SCHWEIZER BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
AMBASSADE DE SUISSE EN CHINE

Der wöchentliche Presserückblick der Schweizer Botschaft in der VR China
The Weekly Press Review of the Swiss Embassy in the People's Republic of China
La revue de presse hebdomadaire de l'Ambassade de Suisse en RP de Chine
  6-10.11.17, No. 695  
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Switzerland

China's cycling authorities probe Tour of Hainan violence (Global Times)
2017-11-06
Authorities have begun investigating an incident involving a member of the Swiss team being attacked during a cycling race in South China's Hainan Province, the Chinese Cycling Association (CCA) said on Monday after it decided to impose more serious punishment. During the Stage 7 of the Tour of Hainan on Friday, some employees and riders from the Keyi Look team attacked people from a Swiss team car after the car allegedly made Keyi's rider Wang Xin fall during the race, according to an official statement released by CCA on Saturday. The tour's organizing committee decided, with the CCA endorsement, to disqualify the entire Keyi Look team, with the CCA expected to take further action, the release said. A CCA employee told the Global Times on Monday that they are still investigating the case, but declined to give further details. A video posted online purportedly shows Wang falling down from his bike after making contact with the Swiss team car. Wang jumped and hurled a water bottle at the car. Another video claims to show Wang attacking the Swiss team staff, knocking one person to the ground and kicking him. The rider then grabbed a tire pump from the back of a car and started to approach another staff member before police intervened. "The CCA holds zero tolerance toward any uncivilized behavior or violence and has asked all cycling teams, be they Chinese or international, to follow disciplinary rules," the CCA statement said. The Swiss Embassy in Beijing made no comments on the incident as of press time. ^ top ^

 

Foreign Policy

'The Chinese have figured out how to play Trump': Asian leaders go the extra mile to flatter US president (SCMP)
2017-11-10
Custom hats. Gauzy videos. Jumping children, declaring their love. The first half of US President Donald Trump's whirlwind tour of Asia has been an exercise in the art of flattery, as world leaders woo the man who was introduced at the South Korean National Assembly as the "leader of the world". The pageantry-plus displays come as leaders across Asia and beyond struggle to understand the unpredictable American and search for ways to win his favour and avoid his wrath. "They are not ignorant that this is a president who is particularly responsive to flattery," said Lindsey Ford of the Asia Society Policy Institute in Washington, adding that the Chinese, in particular, "absolutely go over the top" trying to stroke the president's ego. The pomp and pageantry began in Japan, where Trump was welcomed to the grand Akasaka Palace with a welcome ceremony that featured a maze of red carpets, an honour guard and marching band. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has gone out of his way to strike up a personal friendship with Trump, also treated the president to a round of golf at Japan's premier course, complete with a champion golf partner and a taste of home: a hamburger lunch made with American beef. Abe also presented Trump with a hat signed by both leaders that read, "Donald and Shinzo, Make alliance even greater," a play on Trump's campaign theme. At a banquet that featured another golf champion and a pop star admired by Trump's granddaughter, Abe talked about the close relationship the two had forged. "When you play golf with someone not just once, but for two times, the person must be your favourite guy," Abe said. In South Korea, President Moon Jae-in laid it on even thicker in what he said was the first state visit by an American president in 25 years. South Korea's welcome ceremony at Seoul's Blue House featured soldiers dressed in colourful costumes and a gaggle of children who shouted with glee upon Trump's arrival, greeting him like he was Asia's Justin Bieber. There was more flattery in the meetings, where Moon celebrated the one-year anniversary of Trump's election victory with plenty of praise. "I believe it has not been one year yet, your time in office," said Moon, "but you are already making great progress on making America great again, as you have promised on the campaign trail." Then came a banquet that had the feel of a campy wedding, complete with a custom logo that read, "We Go Together," and a photo montage of Trump's and Moon's happiest moments together. No matter that most of the photos featured the same scenes, shot from different angles. As guests entered the ballroom, Trump's inauguration song, Frank Sinatra's My Way, played. All presidents get red-carpet treatment abroad, but Trump's welcome receptions have been especially grandiose. In Saudi Arabia earlier this year, Trump was greeted like a returning king, the roadways lined with his photo. In France, Trump was welcomed as an honoured guest at the annual Bastille Day military parade. Trump liked the display so much he proposed holding his own military-style parade in the US But the most elaborate welcome may have come from China, which poured on the pageantry, beginning with an arrival ceremony that was lavish even by Chinese standards. Heads of state are usually given a low-key reception at the airport. Not Trump, for whom China's ambassador to the US promised a "state visit, plus." Trump and the first lady were greeted by Chinese and American dignitaries as soldiers stood stiffly at attention and a band played martial music. Dozens of children jumped up and down, chanting, "Welcome, welcome." Trump and his wife were then whisked to a private tour of the Forbidden City, Beijing's historic imperial palace, where they clapped along during an outdoor opera. Children in colourful costumes at one point shouted to Trump: "Welcome to China! I love you!" On Thursday came the piece de resistance, a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People that featured an honour guard of hundreds. The welcome left Trump wowed. "The hosting of the military parade this morning was magnificent. And the world was watching," Trump said, claiming he had received calls from around the world commenting on the spectacle. "Nothing you can see is so beautiful." Trump was also honoured at a state banquet that included a video with highlights from Xi's April visit to Florida and clips from Trump's trip – along with the screening of a video of Trump's granddaughter, singing in Chinese. "The Chinese have figured out how to play Trump: flatter him," said Mike Chinoy, an expert on East Asia policy at the US-China Institute at the University of Southern California. "And there's nothing the Chinese do better than wow foreign diplomats." ^ top ^

Human rights and playing the crowds off the agenda for Trump in China (SCMP)
2017-11-09
US President Donald Trump has made no public mention of human rights during his trip to China and will not address universities or members of the public, in a sharp contrast to the visits made by his predecessors. Instead, the three days of his maiden presidential trip to China have consisted exclusively of official and private events with his counterpart, President Xi Jinping. The two have sipped tea and watched opera performances in the Forbidden City, the imperial palace complex in Beijing, and have held private meetings in official quarters. Analysts said the itinerary may have been set that way to ensure the visit went off without a hitch, and to reduce opportunities for Trump – known for his off-the-cuff remarks – to say anything that might embarrass the host country. The US State Department did not respond to requests for comment. Ja Ian Chong, associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore, said that Trump's administration may not have pushed for such meetings and Beijing would not have proactively arranged them. "It's not really Trump's thing," he said. "Even in the US, he does these mass rallies, but he doesn't really have these close-up engagement events … His administration may feel that having a more controlled environment for the president's engagements may be beneficial for both the US administration and the Sino-US relationship." There was no mention of human rights or the condition of Liu Xia, the widow of deceased Nobel Peace laureate and dissident Liu Xiaobo, at a joint press conference between the two leaders on Thursday, even though more than 50 authors, including Philip Roth and Margaret Atwood, had urged the US leader to seek the release of Liu Xia. Journalists were prevented from asking questions during the press conference, a sign also of Xi's tightened grip over the country and the erosion of media freedoms. Trump's predecessors had traditionally spoken at local universities during visits to China, but his own itinerary did not include such events, nor others that would allow him to engage with the Chinese public. ' Bill Clinton had delivered a live speech at Peking University during his visit in June 1998, George W. Bush had addressed students at Tsinghua University in February 2002, and Barack Obama had held a town hall meeting with students in Shanghai in November 2009. Although the events were stage-managed – students at Obama's meeting were preselected and the event was not broadcast nationally – they have served as forums for the leaders to touch on key bilateral issues. Zhang Zhexin, a research fellow at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said that in any case Trump was likely to prefer Twitter as his platform for public engagement. "Being a tweeting president, he doesn't need these public speeches," he said. "He would rather go directly to the public." ^ top ^

Major consensus reached at Xi-Trump summit (Xinhua)
2017-11-09
Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting U.S. President Donald Trump have reached extensive and important consensus on the development of China-U.S. relations, Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said Thursday. The following highlights the major consensus about what the two sides should do. -- Have broad common interests and important responsibility for protecting world peace, stability and prosperity -- Display the strategic and leading role of head-of-state diplomacy in developing bilateral relations -- Continue close contact through telephone conversations, letters, meetings and exchange views on major issues of common concern in a timely manner -- Give full play to the four high-level dialogue platforms: the diplomatic and security dialogue, the comprehensive economic dialogue, the law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue, and the social and people-to-people dialogue -- Enhance macro-policy coordination concerning fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policy; keep communication and coordination on domestic structural reform and global economic governance -- Step up communication on increasing imports from the United States and review policy of foreign investment involving national security concerns -- Substantially ease market access to China's financial markets such as banking, securities and funds, and insurance industries, in accordance with China's timetable and roadmap -- Reduce tariffs on automobiles gradually and properly by the Chinese side -- Reinforce exchanges and dialogues at various levels between the two militaries -- Strengthen cooperation in combating cybercrime and protecting the Internet -- Prevent each other from becoming a paradise for fugitives -- Make positive achievements in repatriating illegal immigrants -- Enhance law enforcement cooperation on drug control and the spread of new psychoactive substances -- Strengthen protection of people and agencies in the other country -- Stick to the one-China policy -- Enroll more students from each other -- Welcome the extension of China-U.S. Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology -- Cooperate on the prevention and treatment of AIDS, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases -- Dedicate to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region -- Safeguard international nuclear non-proliferation regime; promote complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula; not to accept the nuclear status of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea -- Expand cooperation on fighting terrorism on a two-way and mutually beneficial basis -- Offer assistance to Iraq -- Stand by the "Afghan-owned and Afghan-led" way to realize the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan -- Cooperate in nuclear safety, crack down on nuclear smuggling, and fight nuclear terrorism. ^ top ^

Xinhua Insight: Xi, Trump agree on leading role of head-of-state diplomacy in Sino-U.S. ties (Xinhua)
2017-11-09
Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday agreed on maintaining the strategic leading role of head-of-state diplomacy in developing bilateral relations. "Both sides should draw the future roadmap for the development of China-U.S. ties, and increase trust and defuse doubts on major and sensitive issues in line with the goal set by the heads of state," Xi said during their talks in Beijing. Trump also pledged to maintain close communication with Xi and promote the development of bilateral ties and cooperation on international affairs. The two sides agreed to increase exchanges at various levels, give a full play to the four high-level dialogue mechanisms initiated by Xi and Trump -- the diplomatic and security dialogue, the comprehensive economic dialogue, the law enforcement and cyber security dialogue, and the social and people-to-people dialogue.
DEFINING THE RELATIONS: "We believe Sino-U.S. relations concern not only the well-being of both peoples, but also world peace, prosperity and stability," Xi said during the talks. The presidents agreed that cooperation is the "only correct choice" for China and the United States, and a better future would only be achieved through win-win cooperation. Xi noted that the Sino-U.S. relations are "at a new historic starting point" and China is willing to work together with the United States to respect each other, seek mutual benefit and reciprocity, focus on cooperation, and manage and control differences. Trump said the two countries have a great relationship and their cooperation accords with fundamental interests of both and is crucial to resolving world problems.
HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUES: During their talks, the two presidents were briefed on the progress of the four high-level dialogue mechanisms, which were initiated by them during their first face-to-face meeting at Mar-a-Lago, Florida in April this year. Before Trump's state visit to China, they also met in Hamburg, Germany on the sidelines of the G20 summit in July. The dialogue mechanisms should not only focus on issues of overall and strategic significance, but also on individual cooperation projects, expand mutual interest and remove disruptions in a timely and proper manner, said Xi. The mechanisms should play an important role in serving as accelerators for increasing mutual trust, incubators for fostering cooperation and lubricant for managing and controlling differences, according to Xi.
DIPLOMACY & SECURITY: Xi stressed that diplomacy and security concern the overall development of bilateral ties and strategic mutual trust. The Taiwan issue is the most important and most sensitive issue at the core of Sino-U.S. ties, which concerns the political foundation of bilateral relations, Xi said. He urged the United States to continue to abide by the one-China principle to prevent disturbance to the overall situation of Sino-U.S. ties. Military relations should serve as a stabilizing factor in China-U.S. ties. "The Pacific Ocean is vast enough to accommodate both countries," Xi said. Stating that common interests of China and the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific far exceed differences, Xi said the two sides should cooperate actively in the region so that more regional countries can work with them to jointly contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity. Trump said the U.S. government adheres to the one-China policy. During the talks, the presidents stressed that the two countries have common goals in eventually solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation, and reiterated the commitment to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
ECONOMIC COOPERATION: Xi said the two sides should draw up and launch economic and trade cooperation plans for the next stage as soon as possible and push for "larger scale, higher level and broader fields" of cooperation. He called for advancing healthy development of Sino-U.S. economic ties in the direction of "a dynamic equilibrium, mutual benefits and win-win results." "Economic and trade cooperation is the stabilizer and ballast of Sino-U.S. relations," Xi said. He noted that the Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations are mutually beneficial in nature, saying that cooperation brings huge gains to both countries and their people. China will break new ground in pursuing opening up on all fronts and implement policies for high-level liberalization and facilitation in trade and investment, according to Xi. The Chinese president also wanted the two nations to coordinate and cooperate more in multilateral mechanisms, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Group of 20 and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, to jointly work for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the world economy. In addition, the presidents agreed to make bigger the "cake of economic cooperation" to solve the problems arising from the rapid development of economic relations between the two countries.
CULTURE & LAW ENFORCEMENT: People-to-people exchanges are a long-term cause and crucial to the development of China-U.S. relations in the long run, Xi noted. He called for the two sides to implement cultural cooperation programs and exchanges between young people, and enhance mutual understanding and friendship between Chinese and American people, to inject fresh impetus into the sustainable development of bilateral ties. Noting law enforcement and cyber security are vital to the security and happiness of the people in both countries, Xi said that he is looking forward to more cooperation in drug control, illegal immigration control, crackdown on online crime and cyber terrorism, and cyber security protection. Xi and Trump agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in hunting fugitives and repatriation of illegal immigrants and promote exchanges in education, science and technology, culture and healthcare.
DEALS SIGNED: After the talks, Xi and Trump witnessed the signing of agreements between Chinese and U.S. companies in sectors including energy, manufacturing, agriculture, aviation, electronics and automobiles. The contracts and two-way investment agreements are worth more than 250 billion U.S. dollars. Prior to the talks on Thursday morning, Xi held a welcome ceremony for Trump at the square outside the east gate of the Great Hall of the People. Other senior officials including Vice Premier Wang Yang also attended Thursday's activities. ^ top ^

Did China test missile that could hit any target in US two days before Donald Trump's visit? (SCMP)
2017-11-09
China is likely to have tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could strike anywhere in the United States just two days before President Donald Trump's Beijing visit. Chinese military experts said the tests were intended to send a message to the US by highlighting China's nuclear capability at a time when both the US and Russia are intensifying their own tests of ICBMs and hypersonic vehicles. However, it was unclear whether the test had been deliberately timed to coincide with Trump's visit. On Sunday, Beijing announced an air closure zone over an area in Gobi Desert that has been used in the past to test China's newest ICBM the DF-41. The announcement said the 53-minute closure would end at around 9am on Monday, two days before Trump arrived in Beijing. The DF-41 which has a range of 12,000km is one of the most cutting-edge weapons in the People's Liberation Army. The missile is equipped with two mul­tiple independently targetable ­re-entry vehicles, each of which is capable of carrying several warheads. Its range allows the PLA to strike anywhere inside the US. The Chinese foreign ministry declined to confirm whether it had conducted a test following a query from the South China Morning Post. The defence ministry did not reply to this newspaper's questions on Thursday evening. Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military commentator with Phoenix TV, said it was possible the PLA's Rocket Force had conducted ICBM tests in the air-closure zone in Gobi Desert, on Monday following its announcement of closure. The location has previously been used for ground-based, high-altitude anti-missile tests and other ICBM tests. Earlier reports from state media have said that the missile had been put in service by the PLA's newly established Rocket Force before the start of this year. Beijing-based military commentator Zhou Chengming said he would not rule out the possibility that Beijing wants flex its military muscles before Trump's visit as China has made similar gestures ahead of visits by US top officials. The most notable example was the maiden flight made by the PLA's J-20 fighter in January 2010 when then US defence secretary Robert Gates visited Beijing, Zhou said. The key message was highlighting Beijing's nuclear deterrent, he said. "China, the US and Russia have started a secret competition over long-range strike technologies in recent years. There are voices saying there is a need for the three super powers to agree a higher level nuclear weapons convention as soon as possible," Zhou said. "As one of the three super powers in the world, China also needs to do something to boost its nuclear deterrence." But Song said the timing could just be a coincidence because the test should have been scheduled long before the date of the US president's visit was confirmed. "ICBM tests are very complicated. It needs many departments to work on and coordinate them. It should have been organised last year, but the US President's Beijing trip was confirmed just two months ago," Song, who previously served in the PLA's Second Artillery Corps, the predecessor of Rocket Force, said. At the end of last month, Russia tested four ICBMs, one of which was identified by its defence ministry as the Satan 2, also known as the RS-28 Sarmat. Moscow has claimed the missile is capable of carrying 12 nuclear warheads. Moscow's latest exercise followed a successful test of US air force's Minuteman 3 ICBM in California on August 2. The tests come amid rising tensions over North Korea, which has conducted at least 13 rounds of missile tests this year. Song said the latest ICBM tests indicated that Beijing was strengthening its nuclear capability in the wake of the US and Russian tests. He added that China's nuclear strategy was designed to avoid the risk of nuclear "blackmail" and was "not as aggressive as the US and Russia". Besides ICBMs and missile defence systems, China has also followed the US in developing hypersonic glide vehicles, a technology that can reach any target in the world within an hour using unmanned hypersonic bomber aircraft. Last month, state-run China Central Television broadcast a special features discussing its JF-12 hypersonic wind tunnel and disclosing the different aircraft models it was testing. ^ top ^

Five key points from Donald Trump's talks with Xi Jinping and what they mean for US-China relations (SCMP)
2017-11-09
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump wrapped up their talks on Wednesday as Trump's first presidential visit to China drew to a close. In a joint press conference after their talks, Trump again congratulated Xi on his enhanced political status after last month's Communist Party national congress. "Your people are also very proud of you," he told the Chinese leader, adding that Xi's elevation opened the opportunity for further improving Sino-US relations. Their talks covered a wide range of issues and point to how ties between the two countries will develop. Here are the five key topics the two leaders discussed: 1) Reining in North Korea's nuclear ambitions: The two sides agreed that urgent measures had to be taken to stop North Korea from further provocations, but they appeared divided over what action was needed. Trump said the United States was committed to denuclearisation in North Korea. He called on China to work "very hard" on the issue, including cutting banking ties with its neighbour. "If you work on it hard, it [the denuclearisation] will happen. There is no doubt about it," Trump said. "Time is quickly running out, we must act fast, and hopefully China will act faster." While Xi said China was committed to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, he also insisted that dialogue was needed to resolve the crisis. 2) Narrowing the trade deficit between China and the US: Trump said US trade policies had to be adjusted because the United States was lagging behind other countries. But Trump tried to strike a moderate tone, saying he would not blame China for the trade deficit which stood at US$347 billion last year. Instead, he blamed the previous US administration for the problem. Xi said it was necessary to have continued in-depth discussions on trade and lessen restrictions on investment. 3) Containing tensions between China and the US: The two nations have disagreed over various issues, such as the South China Sea and the US' role in Asia. Xi said the relationship between China and the US was at a "new historic starting point", but added that efforts should be taken to properly manage the differences between the two nations. In the joint press conference after the talks, Xi said he had told Trump that the Pacific Ocean was big enough to accommodate both China and the United States. 4) Stepping up military ties and ensuring security in the region: Xi said China would soon invite US Defence Secretary James Mattis to visit China, and would arrange for a Chinese military delegation to visit the US. Trump and Xi said both sides believed there was a need to make United Nations peacekeeping operations stronger. They also agreed the two nations could work together on counterterrorism operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. They have discussed cooperation on repatriating fugitives. This one of the key areas where China wants the US to cooperate, but it has been thwarted by the lack of an extradition treaty. However, the two leaders made no mention of Guo Wengui, a billionaire living in exile in New York who has made a string of sensational allegations about senior Chinese figures. 5) More exchanges between young people: Trump said he hoped the peoples of both nations would build up more personal relationships, particularly the younger generations. He highlighted four existing channels for high-level dialogue with China, one of which was person-to-person exchanges. "In the coming months and years, I look forward to building an even stronger relationship between our countries, China and the United States of America, and even closer friendships and relationships between the people of our countries," Trump said. ^ top ^

Xi's article on China-Vietnam friendship hailed in Vietnam (Xinhua)
2017-11-09
Vietnamese scholars and experts have highly lauded Chinese President Xi Jinping's signed article titled "For a New Vista in China-Vietnam Friendship," published Thursday on mainstream Vietnamese media Nhan Dan. The article was published ahead of Xi's state visit to Vietnam, where he will also attend the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang. In the article, The Chinese president reviewed the China-Vietnam friendship "forged with blood" by the older generation of leaders and the two peoples and called on both sides to make greater efforts to promote bilateral ties. "It is a nice surprise that before his visit, President Xi sent messages to Vietnamese public via such a friendly channel," noted Tran Viet Thai, deputy general director of the Institute for Foreign Strategic Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. "His words recalled unforgettable memories when we two peoples stood side by side as comrades, supporting each other in our fight for liberty and independence. That is really touching," Bui Tri Dung, editor at Vietnam's Investment newspaper told Xinhua. Luu Bich Ho, former director of the Institute of Development Strategy under the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, also said that he was impressed by Xi's article. President Xi expressed the hope that the two countries jointly create a new vista in China-Vietnam relations. "These words are remarkable," Ho noted to Xinhua on Thursday afternoon. According to the expert, the vista is being driven by three factors. Firstly, Vietnam and China are both entering new periods of pursuing development, reform and innovation. Secondly, China and Vietnam are making great efforts to lift cooperation to a higher level which will bring more practical benefits for peoples of both sides. Thirdly, given changing global context, cooperation is crucial to ensure stability and development not only for Vietnam and China, but also for the region and the world. Do Tien Sam, former director of the Institute of Chinese Studies under Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua that he strongly agreed with Xi's thoughts on deepening cooperation and foster new prospects for "our interconnected interests." In his article, Xi said that the two sides need to enhance the complementarity of their development strategies and work for substantive progress in bilateral cooperation in key areas, including infrastructure, trade, industrial capacity, cross-border economic cooperation zones and agriculture. "Xi's words stressed the need to bring more practical benefit to peoples," said Sam, noting that this is a long-awaited direction. The article also stressed that two countries should strengthen coordination and create new highlights in multilateral cooperation. Sam noted that Vietnam and China have huge potential to work together on this aspect as both countries are members of several multilateral cooperation mechanisms such as the United Nations, APEC, China-ASEAN cooperation frameworks and the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism. Like other experts, Sam is looking forward to the success of Xi's visit to Vietnam. "I hope that the visit will mark a milestone in Vietnam-China friendship, creating new momentum for pragmatic development of our bilateral relations," he told Xinhua. ^ top ^

China, India discuss crisis control (Global Times)
2017-11-09
Managing a crisis from a potential border conflict will top the agenda of forthcoming talks between China and India and the talks are a positive sign after June's Doklam standoff soured bilateral ties, experts said Thursday. India is preparing to host China's special representative in Delhi for talks over the border dispute, with the Chinese delegation led by State Councilor and special representative Yang Jiechi, India's Economic Times reported Thursday. India's National Security Adviser Ajit Kumar Doval, who is also the special representative for talks with China, will lead the Indian team for the 20th round of border talks, according to the India's Economic Times report. The Chinese side has yet to make an official announcement about the talks as of press time. The last round of border talks was held in April 2016 in Beijing, with Yang and Doval leading each side's delegation. The news on the highest-level border talks between China and India is a very positive sign that the two countries are committed to resolving problems through dialogue instead of confrontation, Qian Feng, an expert at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday. "Resolving the border disputes has stagnated and the Doklam standoff has led to a rethinking on the ties of the two countries, which will be reflected in the talks," Qian said. The talks, coming months after the standoff, will put managing a crisis on the top agenda as future disputes remain possible, and both sides need to manage the disputes and avoid confrontation, Qian added. India should also be more realistic and show more sincerity in maintaining the fragile ties that returned to normal after the BRICS Summit in September, experts said. If India refuses to make a deal on the issues and continues to send senior officials to the disputed border, the talks will not yield tangible results, Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times on Thursday. Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the South Tibet area (which India calls Arunachal Pradesh) to inspect defense preparedness, Indian news agency PTI reported on Monday. Meanwhile, the US and Japan are stepping up their efforts to cozy up to India as a balance to China, which gives India more "confidence" to play tricks behind China's back on the border issue, Hu told the Global Times on Thursday. However, the US is merely fooling India and its real intention is to increase weapons sales to the country, and India should be more realistic in that China will not lose if a military conflict erupts after another border dispute, Hu noted. ^ top ^

Chinese icebreaker steams for Antarctica in polar power play (SCMP)
2017-11-08
The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong steamed south from Shanghai on Wednesday bound for Antarctica, where it will establish China's newest base as Beijing strives to become a polar power. China is a latecomer in the race for pole position but its interest in Antarctica has grown along with its economic might. The new station will be the fifth Chinese foothold on the frozen continent, more than some nations that got there earlier. China is ploughing money into polar exploration and research as other countries like the United States pull back under funding constraints and a glut of other global priorities. An international treaty suspends all territorial claims to Antarctica, essentially setting it aside as a scientific preserve. That "provides a precious opportunity to quickly develop China's polar bases", Qin Weijia, director of the China Arctic and Antarctic Administration, said at an annual meeting on the poles last month. China has rapidly built up activities on the continent, building new bases and commissioning polar-capable ships and aircraft. Officials said it intended to become a "polar power". "The fact that China has coined this new term and has made it an important part of their foreign policy shows the level of ambition and forward thinking that China has," Anne-Marie Brady, a global fellow at the Wilson Centre, said. Brady's research, published in her book China as a Polar Great Power, shows that China is already the pre-eminent spender on Antarctic programmes, when its logistics, infrastructure and research funding are added together. The multilateral Antarctic Treaty bars mineral exploitation on the continent, but that may change in 2048 when rules governing the treaty change. Some researchers worry that resource-hungry China's interest in the South Pole is a thinly veiled cover to allow mapping of the continent in preparation for a future when mining and drilling may be allowed. Lin Shanqing, deputy director of the State Oceanic Administration which oversees China's polar programmes, said as much last week. China must speed up development of "polar prospecting and extraction equipment", Lin said at the administration's annual meeting. The 334-person crew of the Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, will establish a temporary 206-square-metre base on rocky Inexpressible Island, a leader of the expedition told China Daily. This will eventually be developed into China's fifth base, with work expected to be completed about 2022. China has a growing collection of outposts, with its largest – the Great Wall station – able to pack in 80 researchers in the summer months. The base was not built until 1985, more than 80 years after Argentina established Antarctica's first base, on Laurie Island in 1904. "China will be one of the few countries with a considerable number of bases spread out over the region," Marc Lanteigne, a lecturer at Massey University Albany in New Zealand, said. "It demonstrates China is a major player on the continent." The US, in contrast, operates three permanent bases relying in part on decades-old equipment. Argentina tops the list with six permanent bases. Equally important are the expensive icebreakers, whose sturdy hulls are crucial for getting supplies to iced-in Antarctic outposts. Russia has more than 40, while the US has just two, one of which is years past its prime. China has two icebreakers including the red-hulled Xuelong and a third under construction. For China, it is more than a strategic priority, Brady said. The projects in Antarctica are the latest to showcase and bolster the Communist Party's case that it is leading the nation to "rejuvenation". "It's also about stirring up patriotism and confidence, which is very important to this government," Brady said. ^ top ^

'Sing for the new era': Chinese journalists told to spread the word on Xi Jinping's ideology (SCMP)
2017-11-08
China has marked Journalists' Day by reminding its 228,000 reporters of their duties as propaganda workers and to promote the country's achievements in its "new era", a centrepiece of President Xi Jinping's national ideology. The call on Wednesday came just weeks after the Communist Party's national congress and as Beijing continues to tighten its grip over news production. China was ranked 176 out of 180 countries in this year's World Press Freedom Index published by advocacy group Reporters Without Borders. The party has embarked a massive propaganda campaign since the congress, and state media are expected to play a key role in publicising Xi's new ideology, accomplishments and policy goals. Official news agency Xinhua said Chinese journalists were the "witnesses of the great times" and encouraged them to "sing for the new era". A number of state media veterans have climbed the political ladder, going on to become censors and state leaders. Politburo member Wang Chen started his career as a reporter at party newspaper Guangming Daily and later became head of the State Council Information Office, which makes official statements and organises press conferences. Propaganda department deputy chief and hardline censor Tuo Zhen used to be an editor at Economic Daily. And retired ideology tsar Liu Yunshan covered agriculture for Xinhua's Inner Mongolia bureau. Chief editors of top state and party mouthpieces are often members the Central Committee, the party's largest leadership body. Only accredited journalists are allowed to report on the mainland, and they are regulated by the state-run All-China Journalists Association. The association said China had 228,327 journalists, with more than half of them working for official broadcasters. Beijing has tightened control over news since Xi took power in 2012, stepping up party oversight of state media, while making it harder for private companies and individuals to produce original content. In March, the association amended a charter for mainland journalists to make support for Xi's "core" status in Chinese leadership one of its principles. The charter also included a new clause ordering reporters to help the international community develop a "more objective" understanding of China. ^ top ^

Philippines seeks military protocol with China to head off clashes after South China Sea stand-off (SCMP)
2017-11-08
China and the Philippines will negotiate a military protocol to avoid maritime "miscalculations", Manila's defence minister said on Wednesday, after a brief stand-off over a sandbar near a Philippines-occupied island in a disputed part of the South China Sea. Disclosing details of the new territorial spat for the first time, Philippine Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana said President Rodrigo Duterte stopped construction work on the newly formed sandbar – part of a string called Sandy Cay – after China protested. Lorenzana said the Philippines tried to put up makeshift structures on the sandbar about 4km off Thitu Island in the Spratly archipelago in August, but China objected and sent ships to the area. The rift remained unresolved but both sides pledged not to occupy any new territory, he said. "We intend to sit down with China to draft and agree on a protocol to resolve immediately any incident," Lorenzana said, adding he hoped talks could start this year. "We hope to avoid any miscalculations in the disputed areas so we need the protocol to act on any problems because we cannot wait for higher authorities to decide. "Anything can happen anytime, so we want commanders on the ground to decide to prevent violence." China claims almost the entire South China Sea, a strategic waterway where about US$3 trillion worth of seaborne goods pass every year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have competing claims. China-Philippines relations have often been frosty over maritime disputes, but ties have warmed under Duterte, who prefers to not provoke Beijing and wants to tap it for loans and investment. Lorenzana said marines were sent to a sandbar to build shelters made of light materials for Filipino families and fishermen. There were also Chinese fishermen on the sandbar, which covers about 500 square metres, he said. "China complained because the Philippines was occupying new features, which it said was a violation of a bilateral agreement," Lorenzana added. "We pulled out and no structures were built there, but both sides agreed there would be no new occupation." Two senior Philippine security officials told the Associated Press news agency in August that three Chinese navy ships, a coastguard vessel and 10 fishing boats began keeping watch on Sandy Cay after spotting the Filipinos on the barren sandbar. The Philippines has pressed ahead with US$25 million of upgrades to Thitu Island. A small community of Filipinos has lived there since the 1970s, ostensibly to prop up the country's claim, although conditions are basic compared to those enjoyed by Vietnamese and Chinese on other islands in the Spratly chain. The Philippines has defended the upgrades, saying other countries have long been doing the same. China has rapidly built small cities on nearby artificial islands and installed missile systems, radars and aircraft hangars on three of them. Xinhua said coastguard officials of both countries had met on Tuesday to discuss exchanging visits, building trust and cooperating to prevent cross-border crimes. Malcolm Davis, a senior defence analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the maritime protocol would likely involve coordinated maritime action between the nations, but agreements of this kind "generally are symbolic". "This is useful for the Philippines in the short-term, and for the Chinese," Davis said. "I think that Duterte is probably trying to do a diplomatic deal … Duterte is probably playing it safe." Manila's push for a maritime protocol was part of its "delicate balancing act" between China and the United States, ahead of the regional summits it would host next week, he said. The country was also wary of China's new super-dredger ship in the contested waters. "It's about how to avoid China taking actions that could cause escalation and destabilisation in the region, particularly now that the 19th [Communist Party] congress is finished, and there is less restraint on China to act in the South China Sea," Davis said. Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow with the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said it would be a positive development if China and the Philippines could agree to a military protocol. "It would benefit their bilateral relations, elevate trust between the two countries, and maintain the security of the South China Sea." ^ top ^

China-US talks: Meet the politicians and policymakers behind the presidents (SCMP)
2017-11-07
With US President Donald Trump set to arrive in Beijing on Wednesday, observers will be watching closely for any changes to the dynamics of Sino-US relations as China welcomes its first foreign head of state since completing a major leadership reshuffle late last month. Several of the Chinese officials expected to play a role in the diplomatic and trade talks alongside President Xi Jinping will do so from new, elevated positions announced at the 19th national congress. The two leaders appeared to get on well at their first meeting in Florida in April, and Trump has since played up his close personal relationship with Xi. However, he also been highly critical of China on trade issues and what he sees as Beijing's lack of commitment to reining in its restive neighbour North Korea. With the presidents' meeting now just days away, the South China Morning Post has identified some of the people who are likely to play key roles in Sino-US relations next week and in the years ahead. Wang Yang: Vice-premier, Politburo Standing Committee member: Elevated to the apex of China's power structure at the party congress, the vice-premier is expected to remain a central figure in Sino-US trade talks. One of China's highest profile diplomats, Wang represented China every summer during Xi's first five years in power at the high-level trade talks between Washington and Beijing. When he attended the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue in July, he rebutted claims made by Trump's administration that China was to blame for the imbalance in bilateral trade and investment relations, and stressed the importance of "win-win cooperation". In late September he met US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross in Beijing as a precursor to Trump's upcoming visit. Wilbur Ross: US commerce secretary: The United States Commerce Department announced last month that Ross would lead the 29 business delegations – from mostly energy and commodities firms – set to visit China to "advance the bilateral commercial relationship by promoting business deals between US and Chinese firms, as well as addressing market access barriers faced by US companies". ' The billionaire investor has repeatedly accused China of putting up barriers to trade and even described it as "the most protectionist country". On the upcoming trip, he said he was looking for "immediate results" and "tangible agreements". Cui Tiankai: China's ambassador to the US: As one of its architects from the Chinese side, Cui described Trump's first official trip to China as a "state visit plus". Over the course of the three days, Trump would receive a military honour guard, take part in official talks and attend a formal banquet, he said, adding that other "special arrangements" had also been made. In Xi's meeting with Trump, one of the top priorities would be the crisis in North Korea, he said. According to information reported earlier and exclusively by the Post, the 65 year old, who has been China's ambassador to the US since 2013, delayed his retirement so he could play a role in the Trump visit. Terry Branstad: US ambassador to China: Although he has been in his current role for less than four months, Branstad's personal ties to Xi could be the deepest of all the US officials set to take part in the upcoming dialogue. More than 30 years ago, Xi, then a young agriculture officer, met Brandstand for the first time in Iowa, where the now ambassador was the Midwestern state's governor. The two men have met three times since: in 2011 and 2013 when Brandstad visited China, and in 2012 when Xi attended an Iowa state dinner as a vice-president. Yang Jiechi: State Councillor, Politburo member: Yang's status as China's top diplomat and a key figure in Sino-US relations was consolidated at last month's party congress when he was promoted to the 25-member Politburo. In doing so, he became the first state councillor since former vice-premier and foreign minister Qian Qichen – who retired in the early 2000s – to be elevated to the country's second-highest decision making body. As well as having responsibility for the party's Foreign Affairs Leading Group, Yang is regarded as an expert on the US, where he served as China's ambassador from 2001 to 2005. At a meeting with Rex Tillerson last month, during his US counterpart's preparatory visit to China ahead of Trump's trip, Yang was quoted by Xinhua as saying that China hoped to "handle sensitive matters in a proper way". In February, Yang became the first Chinese official to visit the United States under the Trump administration. Rex Tillerson: US secretary of state: The face of US foreign relations, Tillerson was the last US official to visit China before the arrival of his country's president. In laying the groundwork for Trump's visit, Tillerson said in late September that the top agenda items as far as the US was concerned would be North Korea and bilateral trade. Last month he said Trump had told him to continue pushing for diplomacy with Pyongyang "until the first bomb drops". He has also repeatedly stressed the importance of China's role in dealing with its restive neighbour. Zhong Shan: China's commerce minister: Zhong became a top economic policymaker this year and was one of the Chinese representatives who met Tillerson in September. He also held follow-up meetings with US trade representatives after Xi and Trump agreed a "100-day plan" to improve bilateral economic ties at their meeting in Mar-a-Lago, Florida in April. As China's trade representative, Zhong is expected to play a central role in this week's meetings. Steven Mnuchin: US treasury secretary: As a key policymaker, Mnuchin has led negotiations from Washington's side as the US and China have sought to establish a bilateral investment treaty. At the US-China Business Council in Washington in June, he said that the most urgent trade issue was establishing open markets in key areas. He made specific reference to China's financial services sector, and its information and communications technology markets. "Once we make progress on that we can turn to the bilateral investment agreement," Mnuchin said, adding that signing such a treaty was the long-term goal. Wang Yi: China's foreign affairs minister: After Xi secured his position as China's leader for the next five years, Wang was quick to speak out on how it would influence the country's foreign relations. "Under the guidelines set out by General Secretary Xi Jinping in the new era, Chinese diplomacy will develop towards having a wider international vision, greater responsibility for the world, and a more proactive role in international relations," he said at a meeting following Xi's work report speech at last month's party congress. ^ top ^

Trump to get 'state visit-plus' experience in China (Global Times)
2017-11-07
Amid tremendous public curiosity over the visit of US President Donald Trump, China is pulling out all the stops in its preparations for the leader who has fascinated many with his outspoken remarks and strong personality. Trump's trip to Beijing, from Wednesday to Friday and coming after his trip to Japan and South Korea, will make him the first foreign head of state to visit China after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. China and the US are working to ensure President Trump's state visit is a "historic success," said Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday. Using this opportunity, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump will have strategic communication on significant issues of common concern to build a new consensus, enhance mutual understanding and friendship, and promote bilateral relations in all spheres, Zheng said. According to Zheng, China will provide a "state visit-plus" experience for President Trump and his family. "Apart from the red-carpet ceremony, formal talks and a banquet, President Xi and his US counterpart will have some informal get-togethers," Zheng elaborated. "A 'state visit-plus' refers to arrangements that could show the personal relationship between the two presidents and the places will be typical areas that can help the US president have a better understanding of Chinese history and culture," Wu Xinbo, director of Fudan University's Center for American Studies in Shanghai, told the Global Times. Although there's no official announcement of where the two presidents will meet, speculation is running high that the US president will visit the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City will be closed on Wednesday for an "important event," reads a notice on its website. "The visit will be different from routine arrangements and there will be surprises," Ni Feng, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of American Studies, told the Global Times. Meanwhile, China will also prepare top-level security measures for the visit, together with a package of trade and economic agreements for Trump, Ni said. Many Chinese are concerned about the future of the bilateral ties, and how the two countries will interact over the Korean Peninsula issue during the visit, said An Gang, a senior research fellow at the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank. Chinese entrepreneurs will be keeping a keen eye on trade issues during Trump's visit, with a focus on whether industry and financial reform in both countries will bring more cooperation or confrontation, and what the Chinese government will do to avoid risks brought by Trump's tax and economic policies, said An. Aside from major issues, the visit has also attracted wide public attention, as many are very curious about the forthright Trump, whose public remarks reflect his strong personality. The public also expressed their interest online, such as whether the 71-year-old president will visit the Great Wall or open an account on Sina Weibo, the Chinese Twitter-like platform with nearly 340 million users. The hashtag "Trump's visit to China" had received more than two million page views on Weibo as of press time. On online forums, posts about what outfits First Lady Melania Trump might wear are also popular, while some have expressed disappointment that first daughter Ivanka Trump will not come to China with her father. However, Wu noted that the public may see little of Trump, as the schedule is already tight with the trade and economic agendas. "Meanwhile, unlike Barack Obama, who included the mission of spreading US culture and values to Chinese people in his visit to China, Trump is focused more on selling US products and bringing economic opportunities to the US, so interaction with the Chinese public is not on his agenda," Wu added. ^ top ^

Chinese, Nepali officials discuss cross-border railway (Xinhua)
2017-11-06
Officials from China's National Railway Administration (NRA) informed Nepali officials that China has given high priority to developing cross-border railway connecting Kathmandu and Chinese border town Kerung. During a meeting between a visiting delegation of NRA and Nepali officials from Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Department of Railway on Monday, the Chinese delegation said the objective of their visit was to start groundwork for the development of the proposed railway. In response to Nepali officials' inquiry over the issue, Zheng Jian of the NRA said that China has given high priority to the cross border railway with Nepal but also admitted that the proposed railway corridor is most complicated and challenging to build. "This delegation's priority to start preliminary works including the preliminary feasibility study of the corridor," he said. The delegation will start a field trip along the proposed railway line from Tuesday and the two sides will be holding another meeting on Friday. Zheng stressed on the need for a long-term planning and thorough study on all technical aspects and finding major technical solutions to develop the proposed railway. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Military, armed police required to study CPC congress spirit (Xinhua)
2017-11-09
The Central Military Commission (CMC) has ordered all units of the People's Liberation Army and armed police to "carefully study and implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC)." "Studying and implementing the CPC congress spirit should be a primary political mission for the armed forces," the CMC said in an instruction made public Thursday. "The armed forces should inform all servicemen and women, veterans and civilian staff of the Party congress spirit, officers in particular," the document said. By the end of next year, officers at regiment-level and above should all receive education courses, and the CMC would conduct inspections "in appropriate time." From now to June next year, the CMC will dispatch lecturers to major military command areas, while the headquarters of different forces will also send out lecturers to lower units. Media and academic institutes attached to the military are also required to take an active part in the education campaigns. Such efforts matter to the overall situation of the work of the Party and the country, the long-term development of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the fundamental interests of the general public, according to the CMC document. It asked Party committees at all levels within the military and armed police to strengthen the organization and leadership in this regard with a "clear political attitude" and "strong political responsibility." The CMC instruction requires "comprehensive and precise studying and understanding, scientific and prudent publicity, as well as concrete implementation." "Party committees must strictly perform their duty in ideological work, allowing no channel for wrong ideas and messages to spread," the document said. It urged the military and armed police forces to seek profound comprehension of the congress's theme, the historic status and rich connotations of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and the historic changes over the past five years. It also required a "profound understanding of the change in the principal contradiction facing Chinese society, the CPC's mission in the new era, Xi Jinping's thinking on strengthening the military and major policies national defense modernization." The armed forces should firmly regard Xi's miliary thought as the guideline in strengthening national defense and military, and safeguard the authority and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core, said the document. ^ top ^

Public security organs urged to play bigger role in building a safe China (Xinhua)
2017-11-09
A senior official has called on the country's public security staff to study, understand and implement the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress. Guo Shengkun, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks Wednesday at a meeting of public security officials studying the meaning of the congress in Beijing. Guo said the country's public security workers should take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guide for work, to open up a new situation and write down a new chapter in the public security work. He said public security officers needed to combine theory with practice to contribute more to building a safe China with rule of law. Guo also stressed that public security staff must adhere to the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core. ^ top ^

China publishes draft supervision law to solicit public opinion (Xinhua)
2017-11-08
China's top legislature on Tuesday published the draft law on supervision to solicit public opinion. The draft of the National Supervision Law will be open for public comment on the National People's Congress website until Dec. 6. The draft has made clear regulations on China's new detention system, which will replace the "shuanggui" system. Shuanggui was an intra-party disciplinary practice that required a member of the Communist Party of China being investigated to cooperate with questioning at a set time and place. The practice was monitored by Party disciplinary officials, but its largely informal process caused tricky legal issues. The new detention system will safeguard the rights of those under investigation with several measures. The draft says family members of detainees or the organizations they work for must receive a timely notice of the detention, usually within 24 hours, and the date and length of the interrogation must be specified to ensure the safety of detainees. The detention organizations have to provide food, ensure rest and provide medical service to detainees, according to the draft. The draft also points out that detainees will be able to offset the term of detention against future penalties. The draft forbids any supervisory body or investigators to insult or maltreat detainees, and the inquiry process must be videotaped. Supervisory commissions will be set up across the country by the People's Congresses at national, provincial, city and county-levels within their jurisdiction to supervise those exercising public power. The commissions will be in charge of three major duties: supervision, investigation and punishment. In January, China started a pilot for the new supervision system in Beijing, as well as Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces, including establishing supervisory commissions and practicing the new detention system. The pilot has had strong results. And the reform ensures that supervision covers everyone in the public sector who holds power. In the first eight months of the year, a total of 183 people were detained by supervision commissions in the three pilot areas. Since the reform, the number of people under supervision rose from 210,000 to 997,000 in Beijing, from 785,000 to 1.315 million in Shanxi, and from 383,000 to 701,000 in Zhejiang. ^ top ^

UNESCO okays China teacher education center (Global Times)
2017-11-07
China's education model has gradually come to be known by the rest of the world, Chinese experts said, after a UN agency approved a teacher education center for Shanghai. The agency, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), approved a Shanghai teacher education center on Saturday at its 39th general conference session in Paris, the news site thepaper.cn reported on Tuesday. "This decision shows that Shanghai's education model has influence and has been acknowledged internationally," Zhang Minxuan, head of a group responsible for preparations for the teacher center, was quoted by the Wenhui Bao, a local newspaper, as saying. Zhang explained that the center will be able to take part in global affairs and help spread UNESCO's influence internationally and increase its cultural soft power. The center will help turn Shanghai into a platform for greater knowledge and innovation among teachers all over the world and make suggestions for new programs, thepaper.cn reported. Meanwhile, UNESCO can provide professional support for the new center. It will also benefit Shanghai's development as an international city and contribute more to global cultural development, and promote China's soft power, Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, told the Global Times. Xiong noted that while teachers are essential for social development there is a glaring lack of them, especially high-quality ones in less developed areas. UNESCO addresses this matter with its Education 2030 Framework of Action, whose purpose is to increase the number of qualified teachers for developing countries, especially the least developed and small island states, via international cooperation, by 2030, according to Wenhui Bao's report, which noted that 8 million teachers are needed. Liu Limin, a former vice-minister of education, said in 2016 that the biggest challenge facing China's village schools was exactly the number of teachers. And China wants versatile teachers who can perform many roles, similar to a general practitioner in the medical field, said the Xinhua News Agency. A guideline the State Council announced in 2016 noted the need for greater progress in village elementary school, junior high school and boarding school should be addressed. ^ top ^

'Grandpa, what are spies?' Cartoon urges Chinese children to be on alert (SCMP)
2017-11-06
A boy watches his father email photographs of Chinese warships to an overseas magazine when his grandfather storms in, brandishing a newspaper article about spying. "Grandpa, what are spies?" the boy asks. "Spies are those sent by enemies to collect information about us," his grandfather replies with a stern face. "In peaceful times, the information is used to damage our development. In wartime it can kill numerous compatriots." That's the plot of a cartoon viewed by young Chinese children in the past month to prepare them for what the government says is a growing espionage threat. The video is part of an online course launched by the state-run Chinese Society of Education last month to remind youngsters of their duty to safeguard the country. There are two videos, one designed for primary pupils and one for secondary pupils, and the course also includes a quiz featuring questions like "what number should you dial when you spot spying activities?" In the video for secondary school pupils, actors and actresses demonstrate three kinds of espionage: leaking government data, taking photos of a military base for foreign spies, and breaches of cybersecurity protocols. Children are told the law requires citizens to report such acts to intelligence and security officers. The stories mirror espionage cases reported by state media. Two Chinese men were jailed in 2015 for selling military secrets, such as photos of the Liaoning aircraft carrier, to foreign spies. A Japanese news outlet then published detailed photos of the aircraft carrier last year, prompting a Chinese military newspaper to call for tighter counter-espionage efforts. An official notice said the new material complied with China's National Security Law, which requires national security to be part of children's education. The notice says all schoolsin a "safety education pilot scheme" should arrange for their pupils to watch the video with their parents and to complete the quiz online. It is unclear how many people have accessed the materials, but the pilot scheme covers major cities including Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. A staff member at the Chinese Society of Education who was charge of the campaign said she was not authorised to speak to the media. Some social media users have said the videos reminded them of the Cultural Revolution, when people were encouraged to turn in friends and relatives who were "counter-revolutionaries". "Little has changed after 40 years," a Weibo user said on Sunday, posting screenshots of the cartoon. Since becoming Communist Party leader in 2012, President Xi Jinping has stepped up warnings about national security threats such as subversion, terrorism and religious extremism. Over the past five years, Beijing enacted a slew of laws covering national security, anti-terrorism, counter-espionage, cybersecurity and intelligence work. Xi also chairs the powerful National Security Commission, which he founded in 2013 to strengthen centralised control of various security organs. In April last year, the government marked the first National Security Education Day, circulating posters that showed a foreign man seducing a young Chinese woman to get her to spy for him. ^ top ^

China won't allow a Mao-style cult of personality around Xi, says top Communist Party academic (SCMP)
2017-11-06
China has learned from history and will not allow a Mao Zedong-style cult of personality to form around President Xi Jinping, one of the ruling Communist Party's top official academics said on Monday. Xi cemented his political authority at a key twice-a-decade party congress last month, enshrining an eponymous political ideology in the party's constitution and breaking with recent precedent by unveiling a new leadership line-up without a clear successor. The extent to which he now dominates Chinese politics has prompted comparisons with Mao and fuelled speculation he could seek to stay on in some capacity beyond the end of his customary second five years in power, in 2022. Xie Chuntao, director of the Central Party School's academic department, said the "respect and love" ordinary Chinese felt for Xi was "natural" and "heartfelt" and bore no similarities to a cult of personality. "The Communist Party has had a cult of personality before," Xie said. "This lesson has long been had, and I believe this will not reoccur." The Central Party School is the training ground for top cadres and is influential in interpreting and disseminating party directives. Xi's official portrait on People's Daily's front page after the unveiling of the party's new top leadership last month dwarfed a group photograph of the members of the Politburo Standing Committee. Since Deng Xiaoping introduced the concept of collective leadership three decades ago to ward off the rise of another Mao-like cult of personality, the official portraits of all newly selected Politburo Standing Committee members have been presented together on the front page in a grid. Xie acknowledged the photo treatment was out of the ordinary, but said Xi deserved the prominence. He argued collective leadership still very much existed, albeit with a "larger individual role" for Xi. "It is an objective fact that he is a strong leader," Xie said. "If there isn't someone with the trust of the people and strong ability … then I think it's hard to do anything well." ^ top ^

New detention center law is further move to protect human rights (Global Times)
2017-11-05
China's top legislature has adopted a decision to list the country's first law on detention centers in the legislature plan of the next National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee on Saturday, a further move to protect human rights. Putting forward a law on detention centers, together with amending the People's Police Law, was suggested in a report that was adopted at a bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the NPC that closed on Saturday in Beijing. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) published a draft law on detention centers to collect public opinion in June. Respecting and safeguarding human rights was listed as one of the intentions for the law, according to the draft law published on the MPS website. All people's procuratorates must supervise enforcement of the detention center law regarding detention of suspects and defendants, as well as allowing inquiries and meetings with attorneys to avoid power abuses. The use of police instruments and weapons by detention center staff must also be supervised by prosecutors, the draft says. Medical units must set up branches in detention centers, ensuring basic medical access for those in custody to treat suspects, defendants and criminals with HIV/AIDS, contagious diseases and other illnesses. The draft of the amended People's Police Law was released on the MPS website in December 2016 for public opinion. The draft has added several regulations on the use of weapons, including the conditions to allow or ban the use of weapons. The current regulation on detention centers was enacted in 1990 and was drafted based on the Criminal Procedure Law, while the People's Police Law was enacted in 1995 and its latest amendment was in 2012. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Hong Kong soccer fans jeer national anthem despite tough new mainland laws (SCMP)
2017-11-09
Hardcore Hong Kong soccer fans booed and swore when the national anthem was played at the start of a friendly match against Bahrain on Thursday, openly displaying their contempt after China's top legislature set the stage for the city to make such behaviour punishable by law. Ignoring a heavy police presence, a small group of fans jeered as the familiar strains of March of the Volunteers rang out across Mong Kok Stadium, and some turned their backs to the pitch. "I don't care [about the law]," said an 18-year-old fan who was among the hecklers. "So what? There are thousands of people at the stadium, how will they find me and arrest me?" "I don't think the anthem represents Hong Kong," said another spectator who had brought his five-year-old son to the game. "I don't care if they arrest me. I just do what I think is right. I will continue to boo. If they have guts, they can arrest all of us." The match was closely watched as it was the first in the city after the National People's Congress Standing Committee last weekend incorporated the mainland's newly toughened National Anthem law into Annexe 3 of Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law. The Hong Kong government is now required to come up with local legislation to prevent abuse of the anthem, which is punishable by up to three years' imprisonment on the mainland. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor assured the public on Tuesday that the impending legislation would only seek to punish those who deliberately disrespected the anthem, and that there was no need to worry about breaking the law accidentally. On Thursday night, plain-clothes police officers could be seen around the stadium an hour before the match started, taking Hong Kong Football Association chairman Brian Leung Hung-tak by surprise. "We were not informed about [police] action," he said. "But the situation seemed to be under control. We did not hear too much of booing when the national anthem was played and we do hope the fans continue to come to support the Hong Kong team. This should be their primarily objective." A police source said more officers had been deployed to prevent any potential trouble. "There are some pro-China supporters as well, and the aim is to mitigate any risk or breach of peace," he said. At 8pm, as the anthem was played before the start of the game, local fans wearing red stood together on the North Stand and booed as they brought out a giant Hong Kong flag. One raised a middle finger while some swore out loud. After the anthem, they started to cheer on the local squad team, banging drums and shouting, "We are Hong Kong!" The crowd was more than 2,400-strong in the 6,600-seat stadium, with the loudest cheering fans gathered on the North Stand. Around two dozen spectators, wearing red and holding both the national and Hong Kong flags, sat by themselves on the East Stand. It marked the first time the Chinese flag was seen at a home game that was not being played against the national squad. Fans were made to undergo a security check when entering the stadium. No water bottles were allowed inside, and banners had to approved first. Last month, the HKFA was given a stern warning by the Asian Football Confederation after being held responsible for fans' behaviour – they booed the national anthem during the Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia on October 10. Lam said on Tuesday that she would aim to introduce an anthem bill at the Legislative Council within its current term, or before next July. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taiwan grounds all Mirage jets after pilot goes missing during exercise (SCMP)
2017-11-08
Taiwan's air force said on Wednesday it has grounded all its Mirage jets after a pilot went missing during a training exercise. The single-seat Mirage-2000 flown by Captain Ho Tzu-yu disappeared from the radar 34 minutes after take-off on Tuesday evening off the northeast coast of the island, according to the air force. Authorities dispatched 17 military planes as well as 10 naval and coastguard vessels to conduct a search but there had been no sighting of the missing plane, it said. "We hope Ho can be safely rescued soon," said Lieutenant General Chang Che-ping, the air force's deputy chief. All Mirage jets had been grounded since the incident, Chang said. Chang described Ho as an excellent pilot and said there was no sign of any problems or irregularities after he took off from a base near the northwestern city of Hsinchu. Ho graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2013 and had logged around 227 hours in the French-made Mirage-2000, the air force said. Chang declined to comment on reports that Ho's health may have been a factor in the disappearance, saying an investigation into the cause of the incident was still under way. He confirmed that Ho had taken time off work in 2015 on health grounds but declined to elaborate. Taiwan bought 60 Mirage 2000-5 jets from France in a 1992 arms deal that upset China. The defeated Kuomintang forces made Taiwan their base at the end of the civil war in 1949 but Beijing claims sovereignty over the island and is fiercely opposed to Taiwan developing its military strength. There were five accidents involving Mirage fighters in Taiwan between 1999 and 2013, in which three pilots were killed. In 2012, Taiwan temporarily grounded all its Mirage jets after one of its pilots died during a training mission in France. ^ top ^

Top political advisor calls for closer cross-Strait ties (Xinhua)
2017-11-07
China's top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng said Monday that relations across the Taiwan Strait should move forward in full accordance with the direction of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks in a speech delivered at the 2017 Zijinshan Summit for Entrepreneurs across the Taiwan Strait being held in Nanjing, capital of eastern China's Jiangsu Province. Yu said the 19th CPC National Congress provided guiding thoughts, major tasks and key measures in handling cross-Strait affairs, charting the course for the development of relations between the two sides. "Cross-Strait relations will have new opportunities and room for development in the new era, but challenges will remain," Yu said. "We will continue to work for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, and advance the process toward the peaceful reunification of China." "We always uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus," Yu said. "The 1992 Consensus embodies the one-China principle and defines the fundamental nature of cross-Strait relations. It is key to ensuring the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations." He also said that the mainland resolutely opposed separatist attempts for "Taiwan independence" in any form. Yu suggested entrepreneurs from both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan "seize the opportunity of the mainland's rapid development to explore broader areas for economic cooperation, and shoulder responsibilities for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations." He proposed more cooperation based on innovation and encouraged more small and medium-sized firms as well as grassroots and young people to participate in cross-Strait economic cooperation. The summit was first held in 2008. From 2013, when the mainland and Taiwan both set up councils dedicated to business exchange and cooperation, it was agreed that it should be held every year. ^ top ^

 

Economy

A look inside Beijing's US$253 billion trade package for Trump (SCMP)
2017-11-09
Below is a list of key deals signed between Chinese and US firms during US President Donald Trump's three-day visit to China. Energy: China Petrochemical Corp signed a US$43 billion deal for a liquefied natural gas project in Alaska. China's sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp, and Bank of China, a state-owned bank, will help with financing. Another state energy giant, China National Petroleum Corp, signed an initial agreement with Texas-based Cheniere Energy for the long-term supply of liquefied natural gas. Mining and energy firm China Energy Investment Corp signed a memorandum of understanding with West Virginia state to invest US$84 billion in shale gas, power and chemical projects. ' Agriculture: China agreed to buy 12 million tonnes of soybeans from the US in 2017 and 2018 in two batches, in total worth US$5 billion. Aviation: General Electric signed deals with three Chinese companies worth a total of US$3.5 billion. They were an engine and repair agreement with Juneyao Airlines worth US$1.4 billion, a US$1.1 billion deal with ICBC Leasing for engines to power Boeing planes and a US$1 billion agreement with China Datang Group to supply gas turbines. China Aviation Supplies Holding Company agreed to buy 300 Boeing planes in an order worth US$37 billion. Finance: China's sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp, and Goldman Sachs agreed to set up a joint fund to invest in US firms which have already or plan business operations in China. The fund plans to raise US$5 billion. China's Silk Road Fund and General Electric signed an agreement to cooperate in investments under China's "Belt and Road Initiative", a global trade development plan. Telecoms: Chinese phone makers Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo signed three-year deals to buy products from US mobile chip maker Qualcomm. The deals are worth US$12 billion in total. ^ top ^

Asia is embracing trade, too bad that's not the Trump agenda (SCMP)
2017-11-10
As an 18-year-old rugby player, one of the least-loved experiences after every Saturday match was stepping into the huge communal bath with 29 other sweaty, muddy bodies to wash and sooth the afternoon's bruises. After particularly rainy matches, the bath water became so murky that the overall hygiene of the bathtub scrummage was very much open to question, as was the effectiveness of the elusive bars of soap. As President Donald Trump has flown into typhoon-battered Danang to join leaders from the 20 other APEC economies for their annual summit meeting, one has a feeling he is about as enthusiastic to join the soggy fray as I was to join those bathtub scrummages. I'm reluctant to take the metaphor any further: the image of our region's motley gathering of leaders sharing a muddy communal bath is too, too unappetising. But this perhaps goes a little way to explaining why Trump, in his longest and arguably most important trip away from home since taking up office almost a year ago, has in recent weeks focused so exclusively on the bilateral bits of his voyage, and until now avoided all allusion to the anchor events – the APEC Leaders meeting in Danang, and the Asean Leaders meeting in Manila, where Asean celebrates its 50th birthday. As I have read over the past two months the steady flow of media releases from Trump and his administration on his inaugural Asian voyage, I have felt rising bemusement at their wilful refusal to mention the plurilateral bits. All US media focus has been directed to summit talks with Abe in Japan, on North Korea discussions with President Moon Jae-in in Seoul, and on bilateral arm wrestling on trade, investment and intellectual property protections while being feted in the Forbidden City by China's newly-minted helmsman, President Xi Jinping. I don't think it is my paranoia. I really do believe that Trump's distaste for group deals, and his recognition that one-on-one arm-wrestling is by far the best strategy for the playground bully, has prompted him to avert the media eye as far as possible from the awkward reality that the raison d'être of the Asian tour was a plurilateral one. Despite his best efforts – and a handsome clutch of China trade deals, worth round US$250 billion we are told – now that he is just one of 21 leaders gathering to haggle together in Danang, his bilateral bias is awkwardly adrift. APEC discussions are all about deepening regional integration, fostering globalisation and the net benefits of free and open trade and investment, and reducing inequalities across one of the most economically diverse regions in the world. These are concepts that stick deep in the craw of an "America first" president. The refusal of the other 20 APEC leaders to give priority to bilateral trade balances must surely test his patience. Efforts in Danang to finalise a TPP11 – a stripped-down version of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership that was sabotaged by Trump's US withdrawal 10 months ago – must be an open and very public slap in his face. Yet he cannot afford to throw a Twitter temper tantrum when Xi Jinping, fresh from anointment at the 19th Party Congress in Beijing, is so readily offering China as the 21st century poster child for globalisation and trade openness. Since his star performance at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, Xi Jinping has moved unerringly towards this virtuoso reprise at the APEC summit. "The problems troubling the world are not caused by globalisation," he said at Davos. "Countries should view their own interest in the broader context and refrain from pursuing their own interests at the expense of others." He did not mention Mr Trump by name. "China will keep its doors wide open," Xi added: "We hope that other countries will also keep their doors open to Chinese investors and maintain a level playing field for us." With such a gauntlet on the floor in front of him, the petty transactional diplomacy at the heart of Trump's foreign policy looks flaccid. Again remember Xi in Davos: "People with petty shrewdness attend to trivial matters while people with great vision attend to governance of institutions." It is "petty shrewdness" that has characterised much US input in APEC over the past year, making it tough for Vietnam as host to gather support for any notable deliverables. For the first time ever, APEC ministers in May failed to agree a common statement committing to trade openness. Even modest aspirations to agree on better rules for managing the movement of labour around the region were foiled in a 20-to-1 vote. But here, perhaps is one of the pieces of good news from Vietnam's APEC Chairmanship: just as US officials have been forced to recoil from issues they enthusiastically championed in the pre-Trump era, so this withdrawal has pulled the 20 other APEC member economies together in common cause in support of regional integration, and the net benefits of trade and investment openness. The other piece of good news is that across the region, there is strong evidence of synchronised economic recovery, with Asia clearly seen as a main driver of global growth in the coming year. Risks lay ahead, in particular as central bankers begin the tentative process of weaning the world off the zero interest rates that have prevailed since the 2008 financial markets crash, but the improving economic mood was in sharp contrast with the gloom wrought by Typhoon Damrey over APEC leaders in Danang. If the murky communal bath in Danang was not enough torture for Trump, his challenge is now to fly out directly to Manila for Asean's 50th anniversary party, where all talk is on efforts to close the 16-economy Asean-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). More plurilateral water torture can only be marginally more appealing than efforts to persuade him to support Duterte's war on drugs. Trump will without doubt be relieved to get back on Air Force One bound for Terra Americana. It will be some weeks before the net impact of this first sortie into Asia is audited. Let's hope we see more good than harm. Whether he will be persuaded to make another Asian grand tour to Port Moresby at the end of Papua New Guinea's APEC Chairmanship in November next year is moot. A year in American politics is a lifetime… ^ top ^

What Beijing's super regulator means for China's economy (SCMP)
2017-11-09
China has officially launched a super powerful supervisory body as the key institution to keep financial crises at bay in the coming years. China under President Xi Jinping's rule has avoided a financial meltdown over the past five years, but the US$12 trillion economy is under constant threats of financial turmoil stemming from excessive credit and debt, plus lax market oversight. Xi said at a key national financial work conference in July that a new committee must be created to oversee a fragmented regulatory system and to whip watchdogs into staying alert. The result was the Financial Stability and Development Committee under China's cabinet, the State Council. Four months after Xi ordered its creation, the committee has convened its first meeting under Ma Kai, a vice-premier set to retire next March, paving the way for one of Xi's chosen officials to run the committee during the president's second five-year term in office and beyond. The man likely to succeed Ma to head the committee is Liu He, Xi's "trusted economic lieutenant", according to a research note by Sun Hung Kai Financial analysts. Liu has secured a seat on the 25-member Politburo, creating an opportunity for his election as a vice-premier at the annual meeting of China's legislature in March. A report by state-run news agency Xinhua on Wednesday did not name any other members on the new committee or publish pictures of its first meeting. But Xinhua confirmed the committee would have the authority to supervise China's monetary policy and financial regulation, to guide local authorities on financial matters and to question financial regulators and local Communist Party officials if it sniffs anything awry. "This role definition grants the committee great power in financial affairs in parallel to China's top economic planner," Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at Industrial Bank in Shanghai, said. Lu was referring to the National Development and Reform Commission, which has extensive powers over a range of issues, from approving subway construction projects to screening China's overseas investment deals. Lu said the new financial committee would be even more powerful since it was headed by a vice-premier, giving it a higher political ranking than a ministry. This in turn could help to reduce turf wars and infighting among regulators, Lu added. The existing financial regulatory framework, overseen by the People's Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, proved not only inefficient but also dangerous at times, according to analysts. In a stock market rout in 2015, which tarnished Beijing's global reputation as a capable market administrator, a vice-chairman and an assistant chairman at China's securities watchdog were later found to be colluding with speculators to undermine the central government's market rescue efforts. The former chairman of China's insurance regulator, Xiang Junbo, was found to have issued special licences to well-connected tycoons allowing them to amass huge piles of funds to speculate in stock markets or to spend lavishly overseas. Meanwhile, China's regulators were incapable of spotting and curbing illegal fundraising schemes. One Ponzi scheme fleeced about 900,000 investors of US$9 billion in roughly 18 months before the scheme was busted by the police. At the financial meeting in July, Xi told the country's cadres that preventing risks, mainly in the financial sector, was now one of the top three tasks for China along with environmental protection and poverty alleviation. The financial committee will be the main institution to answer Xi's demand for financial stability and security. But doubts remain on whether the new committee can tame the country's debt juggernaut. Zhou Xiaochuan, China's central bank governor for the past 15 years, said in an article published last week that the country had deep-rooted problems that could lead to financial troubles down the road. For instance, local governments were constantly pressuring the central bank to ease monetary policy, regardless of the economic conditions, Zhou wrote. Gary Liu, president of the China Financial Reform Institute research group, also questioned how successful the new body would be. "A considerable regulatory scope will not guarantee success for the panel," Liu said. "It is still a coordination body, legally speaking. "The new panel is not a legal entity like the Bank of England. So it will still be very difficult for it to coordinate when regulators have conflicting interests." Henry Chan Hing Lee, an adjunct research fellow at the National University of Singapore's East Asia Institute, said backing from the highest levels of government was crucial. "Whether the new super-body will work depends on the capability of its leader, the political backing he enjoys and his political will," Chan said. How the head of the super-body would act during a time of crisis and when there was no political consensus among the top leadership, would be the acid test of the committee's effectiveness, Chan said. Central bank chief Zhou said at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington last month that the committee would focus on problems of China's shadow banking, asset management sector, internet finance and financial holding companies. These areas, with rampant irregularities and regulatory loopholes, are where the businesses of banks, insurers and securities brokerages are tightly intertwined. ^ top ^

 

DPRK

'Strong man' Xi may get tougher on North Korea but China 'won't cut oil link' (SCMP)
2017-11-09
China might agree to further reductions in oil exports to North Korea but would stop short of cutting Pyongyang's lifeline completely, a Chinese diplomatic observer said. The assessment came after the leaders of China and the United States vowed to improve coordination over the reclusive state, with US President Donald Trump calling on Beijing to work hard to stop Pyongyang from realising its nuclear ambitions. In top-level talks in the Chinese capital on Thursday, Trump demanded China sever all financial links with North Korea, and said Chinese President Xi Jinping could come up with a solution as a "strong man". But Xi said only that dialogue was crucial to resolve the problem. After the talks, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump told Xi: "You're a strong man, I'm sure you can solve this for me." Tillerson said Xi also discussed specific action that China was taking to enforce sanctions against North Korea, such as restrictions on bank accounts. In an address to a business forum after the talks, Trump said the US was committed to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but China had to work harder on the issue. "If you work on it hard, it [the denuclearisation] will happen. There is no doubt about it," he said. "Time is quickly running out, we must act fast, and hopefully China will act faster." In a statement, the Chinese foreign ministry said China and the US had a "common goal" for the Korean peninsula, and the two nations would step up communication about it. Wu Xinbo, director of Fudan University's Centre for American Studies, said China might have signalled that Beijing could take tougher measures against Pyongyang, including cuts to oil supplies. But it was unlikely that Beijing, Pyongyang's sole economic and security guarantor, would agree to a complete halt to the essential fuel. Despite the lack of progress on North Korea, China's lavish "gift pack" of trade deals should be enough to satisfy the deal-making Trump, Wu said. "The giant gift pack of US$250 billion in trade deals is already something Trump can take home and claim as a success of the visit," he said. North Korea has become a contentious issue between China and the United States, with Washington insisting that military action is an option. The US also maintains that China should put more pressure on North Korea, especially with Xi cementing his political status at the Communist Party's national congress last month. Justin Hastings, a China-North Korea trade analyst at the University of Sydney, said the two countries might have discussed an approach towards North Korea, but the outcome would not be disclosed. Lu Chao, an specialist on China-North Korea relations at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, said it was possible China had secured a promise from Trump to play down the military option. "Trump has shown that the US is willing to consider China's position that there should be no war on the Korean peninsula," he said. Lu said there were concerns that North Korea would conduct another nuclear or missile test during the summit but the pressure from China and the US might have paid off. "North Korea has shown restraint and seems to want to leave its options open instead of further escalation which would lead to a dead end," Lu said. Timothy Heath, senior international defence research analyst at US think tank Rand, said he was sceptical that China would squeeze North Korea further. "China is unlikely to risk adding too much pressure to North Korea, due to a fear that the regime could collapse and thereby cause a serious catastrophe on the peninsula," Heath said. ^ top ^

Xi, Trump reiterate commitment to denuclearization on Korean Peninsula (Xinhua)
2017-11-09
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday he and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump have reiterated firm commitment to achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and solving the nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation. Xi made the remarks when meeting with the press alongside Trump after their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. "On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, we have reiterated firm commitment to achieving denuclearization on the peninsula and maintaining the international nuclear non-proliferation regime," Xi said. "The two sides will continue to fully and strictly implement UN Security Council resolutions and stay committed to solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation," he told reporters. The two sides are also willing to work with various parties concerned to explore ways of realizing lasting peace and order in Northeast Asia and will continue to maintain communication and cooperation on the issue, the president said. During their talks earlier Thursday, the two presidents stressed that the two countries have common goals in eventually solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation, and reiterated the commitment to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region. Trump said during the talks that the United States hopes to work with China to push for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. side highly values China's important role in the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Trump said. The U.S. president arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for a three-day state visit. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Cabinet meeting in brief (Montsame)
2017-11-09
During its regular meeting on November 8, the Cabinet made following decisions: Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh instructed Deputy Ministers and State Secretaries not to illegally dismiss officials from government positions. "This Cabinet will enforce rule of law and is responsible for improving order and accountability. We must bring about change," the instruction said. The Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry was assigned to reach consensus on the venue and scheduling of the 3rd Mongolia-China Expo with the Chinese side and report to the Cabinet. ^ top ^

Government to fight against illegal acts related to special licenses (Montsame)
2017-11-07
Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh stated that the Government will fight vigorously against illegal trading of land ownership and mining licenses, during his speech to the Parliament last Friday in connection with a discussion of 2018 State Budget Bill. The Government will stop improper practices, including issuance of mining and exploration license or land ownership certificate directly by one signature under the name 'according to application', issuance of hundreds of licenses to few people or company and they sell the licenses under the name granting or transferring to avoid tax payment. The Government intends to submit a new law, which legislates to issue licenses for land use and ownership, mining and exploration through open bid and auction and MNT36 billion is estimated to be accumulated to the State Budget by approval and realization of the law. According to the Prime Minister, tax will be imposed on indirect transfer of special licenses and ownership rights, registering basic beneficiary of the special license and final users as well as direct and indirect transfers. The Government expects that hidden and illegal acts related to special licenses will be eliminated as special license will be cancelled, if license holder fails to present tax report or hide necessary information. A total of 3,476 licenses, of which 1596 mining licenses and 1,880 exploration, have been registered as of first half of 2017. ^ top ^

Presidents names A. Gansukh Secretary of the National Security Council (GoGo Mongolia)
2017-11-06
President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga has issued a decree on appointing Gansukh Amarjargal the Secretary of the National Secutiry Council. On friday the former NSC Secretary Ts.Enkhtuvshin presented the NSC Seal and the original version of the Concept of National Security of Mongolia to A.Gansukh. Ts.Enkhtuvshin said, "The NSC Secretary must hold responsibility over all the cherished properties starting with the security of Mongolian state. Security of Mongolia is the matter of independence of Mongolia, inviolability of its boundaries, territorial integrity, continuity of Mongolian state and healthy and safe living environment for citizens of Mongolia. The Concept of National Security is the second most important document after the Constitution of Mongolia. I wish you to pursue and safeguard the Concept of National Security of Mongolia at all times, and wish you all the best in your works." ^ top ^

 

Aurèle Aquillon and Valentin Jeanneret
Embassy of Switzerland
 

The Press review is a random selection of political and social related news gathered from various media and news services located in the PRC, edited or translated by the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing and distributed among Swiss Government Offices. The Embassy does not accept responsibility for accuracy of quotes or truthfulness of content. Additionally the contents of the selected news mustn't correspond to the opinion of the Embassy.
 
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