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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
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  7-11.10.2019, No. 788  
    Archiv / Archives
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Table of contents

DPRK

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Xi, Modi head to second informal summit (People's Daily)
2019-10-11
President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet in the coastal city of Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Friday amid expectations of a renewed leadership push to stabilize bilateral relations. This second informal summit follows one held in Wuhan, Hubei province, last year. Xi last visited India in September 2014. Analysts in both countries said they anticipate a range of topics — from hot-button issues to routine ones — to be discussed at this year's summit. Chinese experts highlighted "strategic cooperation" as a way to take bilateral relations to the next level. "During this summit, they (the leaders) will likely view bilateral relations more from a strategic perspective and its significance not just for China and India but also the world," said Li Li, a professor at Tsinghua University's Institute of International Relations. "When we look at China-India relations, we find some structural contradictions," she added, citing the border issue as one. Li, who specializes in Sino-Indian relations, said the consensus reached in Wuhan focused more on cooperation as well as better management of the border issue. The format for this year's summit will likely be similar to that for the first, with personal interactions between Xi and Modi and a lack of ceremony or issuance of statements usually associated with high-profile formal government meetings. Li said she expects the talks to be "free and comprehensive". On Wednesday, the Indian Foreign Ministry said the Chennai summit "will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance". China-India trade is set to reach $100 billion soon; cultural exchanges have increased; Chinese companies dominate India's mobile phone market; more Indians work in China in various sectors, including government scientific institutions; and the two countries are even talking of jointly addressing global development issues. Talking more, not lessHowever, Sino Indian relations are complex. Through bilateral high-level meetings, a mechanism could be created where there are fewer elements of surprise in the relationship, according to Einar Tangen, a commentator in Beijing on Chinese economic and political affairs. He said he expects economic issues, included regional proposals such as the China-Nepal-India rail corridor to be discussed at the summit. Srikanth Kondapalli, a professor specializing in Chinese studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said India is expected to raise the trade imbalance issue, adding that the deficit has implications for government spending in India. Information technology is an area that offers scope for synergy, Tangen said. "IT is something that Xi and Modi could talk about. "China is at the forefront of not only developing technology but also setting the agenda. "India has the technical manpower to help China with both hardware and software. This would breathe new life into India's tech industry" and create the jobs it wants and needs, Tangen said. But to do business, "India needs to do more to familiarize itself with China — culturally, politically and legally", he added. Long Xingchun, a professor specializing in Indian studies at China West Normal University in Nanchong, Sichuan province, said he expects the border issue, mutual connectivity and regional cooperation to be among the topics to be covered at the summit. Larger rolesWestern analysts have questioned the resilience of Sino-Indian relations, asking if the two countries can work together toward greater global security. Zhang Guihong, director of the Center for UN Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said that as long as territorial disputes remain unsettled, mistrust will always exist, but it is important to prevent the disputes from escalating into conflict. "To build mutual trust, we need — bilaterally — to strengthen our economic relations and promote people-to-people contact, and regionally, to deepen our cooperation in Southeast, Central and South Asian affairs and to jointly build an Asian community with shared future for humanity," said Zhang. Among the five permanent UN Security Council members, China is the largest contributor to peacekeeping personnel. As large developing countries, China and India have similar goals such as poverty reduction and cleaner air, but they need to do more to coordinate efforts at the UN on global issues such as climate change. "I do not see any substantial coordination at the UN on this issue (climate change) but there is some coordination through BRICS and G77," Zhang said. BRICS refers to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, while the Group of 77 at the UN is a coalition that now comprises 134 developing countries. There were 77 founding members.Lu Yang, a research fellow with the Institute of BRI Studies at Tsinghua University, said China and India have "different understandings" about the Belt and Road Initiative, but this should not affect their "practical cooperation" on specific projects. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a good example of such cooperation, she said. Sino-Indian relations have long been guided by pragmatism. Li, from Tsinghua University, who is also deputy secretary-general of the World Peace Forum, a diplomatic think tank backed by the Chinese government, said, "Developmental cooperation is pragmatic, but it doesn't mean that we don't want strategic cooperation. Zhang said: "We need to define our relationship from the strategic perspective, with bilateral, regional and global dimensions. Similar to France and Germany in Europe,China and India should take the lead on multilateralism in Asia. "He added that cooperation on regional and global affairs would help to enhance mutual trust.  ^ top ^

Donald Trump says first day of China trade talks went 'very well', plans to host Vice-Premier Liu He at White House on Friday (SCMP)
2019-10-11
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he will meet Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He on Friday, the second of two days of high-level US China trade talks aimed at averting further tariff increases, and that negotiations are "going very well" so far. This week's meetings convened amid a spike in friction between the two countries on many fronts and indications of a trade war-related slowdown in global economic growth, which is hitting China particularly hard. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had a full day of meetings with a delegation led by Liu, resuming negotiations at the highest level since the two US officials met Liu in Shanghai in July. "We just completed a negotiation with China," Trump told White House reporters after the first day of talks ended. "We're doing very well. We're having another one tomorrow. I'm meeting with the vice-premier over at the White House, and I think it's going really well. We had a very, very good negotiation with China. They'll be speaking a little bit later, but they're basically wrapping it up and we're going to see them tomorrow right here. "Word of possible interim US-China trade deal boosts yuan ahead of talksAfter escalating tariffs on each other's imports throughout the trade war that started in July last year, the two sides are aiming to avert USTR's plan to impose an additional 5 per cent duty on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods on October 15, raising the levy to 30 per cent. The talks in Washington also follow the US Commerce Department's blacklisting of 28 Chinese entities and firms allegedly linked to abuses in Xinjiang. The US State Department also imposed visa restrictions on Chinese government officials suspected of repressing Uygurs and other members of ethnic minority groups in their country. China's state news agency Xinhua on Thursday quoted Liu as saying that China was willing to reach agreement with the US on matters of importance to both sides, to avoid further tariff escalations. "On the basis of equality and mutual respect, China is willing to reach consensus with the US through this round of consultations on issues of mutual concern to prevent further escalation and spread of friction," he said. Liu made the comments in Washington after meeting US-China Business Council president Craig Allen, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva and US Chamber of Commerce executive vice-president Myron Brilliant, the report said, adding that the trade war was "having a serious impact on the world economy". The chamber held a press briefing on Thursday, citing meetings it held with Liu and Trump administration officials this week. While the chamber's officials said a significant breakthrough in the talks this week was unlikely, they held out hope for agreements on modest Chinese purchases of US soy and other farm products, Chinese intellectual property protection and market access, an agreement on currency exchange rates, and a freezing or possibly a rolling back of US tariffs. In addition to tariffs on US$250 billion of Chinese goods that are set to increase to 30 per cent on Tuesday, fresh duties of 15 per cent on US$160 billion of largely consumer products will go into effect the same day. Dim prospects for deal as China and US resume trade war talks"I'm not here to suggest we're going to have a grand slam in Washington this week," Brilliant said at the press briefing. "First, we need confidence on both sides. That's what this week is about. "The details of a currency agreement were still being worked out and the timing of Monday's blacklisting of and sanctions on 28 Chinese companies was "unfortunate", he said. Any clarification of how Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies might operate in the US market could provide clarity for US companies and possibly help build confidence between Beijing and Washington, he said. Brilliant said also that ideally, progress this week could pave the way for a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month, leading to a more comprehensive deal. Underscoring Beijing's concern about the economic pain caused by the trade war, the World Bank on Thursday cut China's 2019 economic growth forecast to 6.1 per cent, from its 6 per cent estimate in April, owing to factors including "less benign external conditions". The revised forecast is just above the bottom end of Beijing's growth target range of 6 to 6.5 per cent growth this year. Meanwhile, the Institute of International Finance in Washington projected a global growth slowdown to 2.6 per cent this year from 3.2 per cent in 2018, its lowest since 2012, adding that the weaker growth was "particularly pronounced in Latin America, China, India and Africa/Middle East". About 3 per cent of China's GDP is consumed in the US, versus about 0.7 per cent of US GDP consumed in China, Erik Lundh, a senior economist for US and China at the Conference Board, said at an event the member-based think tank held in New York on Thursday. "There is a pretty big asymmetry in terms of the economic exposures through that lens," Lundh said.  ^ top ^

NBA crisis in China is all about whether America and China can respect each other (People's Daily)
2019-10-11
On Oct. 5, the General Manager of NBA's Houston Rockets Daryl Morey was criticized in China due to his tweet backing the violence in Hong Kong. It has sparked outcries among different Chinese media outlets and the Chinese Basketball Association, followed by multiple Chinese brands terminating cooperation with the Rockets. Apologies haven't been heard from Morey himself or the NBA. In response, the NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave his support for Morey's right on the execution of freedom of expression. I. Freedom of speech and political correctness: How we should perceive freedom of speech and its limits – an endless discussion even in today's western world 1. Where does the freedom of speech come from? Freedom of speech is considered a basic human right. If opinions cannot be expressed, then there's no way for people to conduct public communication, participate in politics, and practice democracy. In this sense, the freedom of speech is a special right of the citizens against the regime. To protect and encourage citizens' freedom of speech is indeed an aspect of restricting public power. In the meantime, the practices of the public power to confine individuals' free speech would become very sensitive, and the imprisonment of speech is considered anti-democracy. Therefore, freedom of speech is an issue that mainly deals with the relationship between civil society and the government, or the public power. 2. What kind of restrictions violate the freedom of speech? There has been a classical question. Can an enterprise or organization restrict the right to speech of its employees? Will such restriction constitute a violation of the freedom of speech? Based on what have been said above, only the restriction on citizens' speech made by the public power is considered violation of the freedom of speech. Of course, such a definition is more or less in the legal and political spheres. However, any company, institution, for instance, a political party, or organization has the right to restrict the speech of its members. It is a voluntary practice made by individuals participating in civil associations and organizations, and has nothing to do with the public power. For instance, if an employee of a company wants to make a comment that is against the company's regulation, they should leave the company and suit himself in another one. As long as they are employed by the company, they have to obey every rule, regulation, and code the company issues – from speech to behaviors as well as dress code. If an employee is penalized or even fired by the organization they work for because of their speech, they can file a lawsuit against it. Such a lawsuit is a civil action that can resort to the labor law in the name of the employer's discrimination or the violation of other laws, but it doesn't suggest that the employer has infringed on the right to free speech from legal and political perspectives. That explains why Google as an enterprise can fire engineers who make racist or sexist remarks, but at the same time Donald Trump has no right to require any organization to turn mute on a certain issue. 3. Why should boundaries or limitations be set for freedom of speech? Freedom of speech is not absolute, and boundaries and limitations are generally set for it. Those remarks of hatred, discrimination, eroticism, violence, violation of privacy, as well as slander are always prohibited and unaccepted. To limit the freedom of speech is to reduce harms, as one shall never hurt others when they uphold or exercise their freedom. In a "free" society where everyone's freedom is limitless, chaos would be caused and would further lead to the segregation of society. At the same time, the boundaries and limitations of the freedom of speech also aim at the protection of the vulnerable groups, as the latter are always in an inferior position when it comes to the right to speech. Thus, restrictions should be placed on the right to speech of the predominant groups. This is also a basic mechanism that safeguards the unity and operation of the society. The restrictions on the right to speech about gender, race, and religion in the West always follow this logic. 4. Political correctness and incorrectness Political correctness / incorrectness is related to and extended from the freedom of speech. To consider someone's remarks politically incorrect means such remarks have violated the boundaries, restrictions and taboos of the freedom of speech. Political correctness and incorrectness sets boundaries and minefields of speech so that people would avoid crossing such boundaries and practice a form of conscious self-censorship. For example, they know they should never make sensitive remarks on races, genders, religious beliefs or the vulnerable groups to avoid hurting people or groups. Political correctness has been widely applied in the Chinese context. As the opposite of political incorrectness, it conforms to the mainstream values, recognition, norms, standards and customs, and is accepted politically, socially and morally. It is considered active and positive. For instance, to uphold democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and to laud God is absolutely politically correct in the US. However, in China, absolute political correctness remains to be the act of protecting the integrity of the country's sovereignty and territory. To be more specific, the standards of politically incorrectness and correctness vary with different groups, and that is true in any society. In the US, people support the Constitution and system, which is indisputable. However, when it comes to whether the people should stand up and stay sincere, and whether they can doubt and disrespect the national flag and emblem when singing the national anthem, there are different opinions. The Right consider such disrespect incorrect, while the Left think it is acceptable. Such variation would be more obvious when things happen in different countries. In the US, it is politically correct for politicians to praise God and keep religious faith, while in the UK, it might not be politically incorrect for politicians to do so, but they may be considered stupid in this aspect. That is because every group of every society has its own standards. The things that are regarded as "politically correct" or "politically incorrect" in one society can be totally the opposite in another society, as the societies with different cultures, traditions, history, view of values, and social compositions have different social issues and problems. Therefore, some standards (rather than all standards) are socially constructed, culture-based, and target specific societies, rather than universally applicable. Similarly, the things that are thought to be very offensive in one society can be "socially acceptable" in another society. In the Western world, especially the US, racism is a taboo subject, due to its history of complicated race relations. However, the consciousness of the taboos against racism is not all equally intense in every Western society. In some more conventional societies, people's consciousness of taboos against racism is less strong than that in the US for sure. In the US, socialism is within the freedom of speech. While not being "politically incorrect" and definitely not "politically correct", socialism is regarded as a "bad" word that is beyond the acceptable range of the mainstream groups and needs to be used very prudently in the US. In Western Europe, socialism is a very common and can be a "politically correct" word. In addition, in Japan who also adopts the Western systems, the Communist Party is a real and important political party. There are more extensive examples of the above-mentioned facts in daily life. For instance, addictive drugs are regarded as a taboo subject in Chinese society. With a notorious name, addictive drugs are not acceptable to be discussed in public in China. However, in the US, there is no special ill repute for addictive drugs. They are just regarded as drugs, dopes, or addictive medicine. While addictive drugs represent a social issue in the US, they do not cause widespread antipathy or constitute a taboo subject. The acceptance of addictive drugs in the US society is far more than that in China. This is the difference between the two societies. There are numerous such examples. To put it simply, different countries have different understandings of the boundaries and taboo subjects of the freedom of speech, as well as what is politically correct and what is politically incorrect, due to different history, traditions, cultures, social compositions, view of values and social ideologies. Therefore, one country's standards cannot be simply applied to another country. ^ top ^

Spying slur looms large over Chinese in US (Global Times)
2019-10-11
In a testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last February, Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), indicated that all Chinese living in the US are potential informants working for Beijing. "One of the things we're trying to do is view the China threat as not just a whole-of-government threat, but a whole-of-society threat on their end," he said, and recommended "a whole-of-society response" from the US side. Since then, law enforcement in the US has ratcheted up scrutiny against Chinese living in the US, and those who work in academia and science are in the front row. Last November, the US Department of Justice launched the "China Initiative" to counter what it called intellectual property espionage emanating from China by among other tactics fending off "nontraditional collectors" working as researchers and scholars and educating American universities about the risk of working with Chinese scholars. More and more universities have been approached by authorities with inquiries about the activities of their Chinese researchers. I have no means to provide a "yes" or "no" answer to whether some Chinese scientists are collecting information for China. And I do believe if a real espionage case is uncovered, the person or persons responsible should be punished. What worries me is the chill these seemingly ever-expanding operations have sent in academic and scientific circles, a chill that seems to have started disrupting normal academic exchanges. The latest signs came from the 27th Annual Convention of Chinese Association for Science and Technology, USA that was held on October 5 at Columbia University in New York. Founded in 1992, the organization now has close to 10,000 members in the US working in technology, education, law, finance and other fields, including many leading scientists and academics. Its annual convention has been a platform for Chinese and American researchers to communicate and join hands. This year, the keynote speakers were as appealing as ever, including Nobel laureates and members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences. But the organizers told me the number of attendees from China, who used to travel to the US for the convention, has sunk this year. The Chinese scientists I talked to at the convention, both Chinese nationals living in the US and American citizens, shared their concerns about the current overcharged atmosphere. But many also talked gingerly and anonymously, worrying that a quote in the media, even a innocuous one, could draw unnecessary attention from suspicious FBI agents. Xiaoxing Xi, a Chinese-American physicist at Temple University, joined a panel discussion via Skype to offer advice to scientists and scholars in a state of trepidation. Xi gained some unwanted fame after being wrongfully charged by the federal government in 2015 for allegedly sending restricted technology to China. The charges were dropped after law-enforcement authorities realized they had misunderstood the technology Xi had dealt with. Nevertheless, Xi said he still lives in the pall of the incident: He and his family live in fear - not knowing whether their phone calls and e-mails are still being monitored by the government and fearing any word they say would be misunderstood and get them dragged through the mud. Xi said most scholars in universities focus on fundamental research that is far from becoming commercially applicable intellectual property. And international exchanges and collaboration at this level are not only necessary but also encouraged by governments. The overlooking of this distinction and the ignorance of law-enforcement agents about particular science and technology subjects makes him worry more innocent scholars could easily be mistreated. "I've been telling Chinese scientists: Don't think this won't happen to you," Xi said. During the question and answer session, a woman in the audience shared her experience of working on a US government contract for a nuclear submarine project at the defense giant Lockheed Martin. When she needed to renew her security clearance, she was repeatedly interviewed by government officials, and even the fact that she had not been back to China in the previous decade was questioned. Her security clearance was eventually renewed but she decided to leave the company and vowed never to work on government contracts again. The audience sighed knowingly. An official of the association acknowledged some of its members have been interviewed by FBI agents. Law enforcement in the US has a duty to protect the interests of this country. But there are different ways to approach the goal. They seem to be taking an approach of, to quote a Chinese warlord in the early 20th Century, "rather wrongfully beheading a thousand innocent than risking missing out one guilty. "But an overstretched net may drag things in the opposition direction from the caster's wish. As David Ho, a leading AIDS treatment researcher reminded me at the convention, Qian Xuesen, the physicist who helped America build its first atomic bomb, was driven back to China by the "red scare" in the 1950s. And then he helped China build its own bomb. ^ top ^

With Xi's visit, the spring of China-Nepal ties has arrived (Global Times)
2019-10-10
At the invitation of Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Chinese President Xi Jinping is to pay a state visit to Nepal on October 12 and 13. As the first visit by a Chinese state leader to Nepal in 23 years, it will mark a major breakthrough in bilateral relations. Linked by rivers and mountains, China and Nepal are closely related and interdependent. Xi's visit will undoubtedly inject positive energy and add significant impetus to bilateral ties. Since China and Nepal in May 2017 signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation under the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, the two neighbors have joined hands to develop a Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network as well as a cross-border Special Economic Zone, and enhance cooperation on trade, investment, production capacity, railways, highways, ports, aviation, energy and people-to-people exchange, which has promoted Nepal to transform from a land-locked to a land-connected country. Xi's visit, though a short one, will further propel the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network between China and Nepal, cement mutually beneficial bonds, and upgrade the existing China-Nepal comprehensive cooperative partnership with ever-lasting friendship. In a nutshell, it will breathe new life into bilateral relations. With China-Nepal cooperation that could "level" the Himalayas, the region may develop as a new growth engine of the world and become a fertile ground for other countries to invest in. Nepal is an inland country with only two neighbors: China and India, two rising powers with vast potential for future economic development. Situated between the two, Nepal can naturally play a role as a bridge and bond. It will be of great strategic significance and interest for the three neighbors - China, India and Nepal - to establish an economic corridor and build a community with a shared future. If all three work together to strengthen connectivity, the Himalayas will no longer be a barrier, but will be able to link neighbors geographically and culturally. Nepal is an independent sovereign state. It has a right to choose its own development model and pursue an open strategy that is in line with its own interests. Instead of being made a pawn in geopolitical games, Nepal should be seen as a stage for practicing the China-India Plus formula. China, India and Nepal should give up the zero-sum mentality, replace geopolitical games with geo-economic cooperation and make full use of the geographic advantages to bring real benefits to their people. Meanwhile, some Western media outlets still stick to their pattern of negative reporting about China. Certain Westerners have always seen China-Nepal cooperation with prejudice. Neither China nor Nepal should be bothered about this. China and Nepal have long respected, understood, trusted and supported each other, treated each other as equal and shared a symbiotic relationship, which is good enough to serve as a model. Nepal has always adhered to the one-China principle. It never allows Tibet's secessionist forces or any other forces to engage in anti-China activities on its territory. China highly appreciates this. No country wants its own territory to be used as a base for hostile acts against a third country. Nepal's practices are highly compatible with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, are conducive to maintaining Nepal's domestic security, stability and socio-economic development, and demonstrate the country's role as a responsible regional player. Certain countries may be accustomed to their old habit of infiltrating other states, acting subversively against governments, and being behind color revolutions, so they can hardly understand the synergy between China and Nepal over core interests. The spring of China-Nepal cooperation has arrived. People on both sides of the Himalayas are expected to hold hands and move toward a common future. ^ top ^

Asian century impossible without China-India cooperation (Global Times)
2019-10-10
The phrase "Asian century" has been hotly debated for some time. Quite a few Asian leaders and strategists believe that the world was Europeanized in the 19th century, Americanized in the 20th century and is now being Asianized. The India-based think tank Observer Research Foundation in August elaborated on the concept, saying the so-called Asian century "has been defined by the rise of China" and "India's economic growth. "As President Xi Jinping's second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India approaches, relations between Beijing and New Delhi have entered another period, one of the most prominent trends of which is increased cooperation. Chinese companies have in recent years proactively participated in India's initiatives, such as "Make in India" and "Digital India," expanding investment in the country's industry parks and e-commerce, creating substantial job opportunities in India. India's investment in China is also rising. But for a long time, vigilance toward each other, particularly New Delhi's distrust toward Beijing, has been holding back the two Asian giants' economic integration. At this point, collaboration between China and India is needed more than ever. Their bilateral cooperation is connected with their peaceful development. Take the border disputes. How to properly resolve them is testing the wisdom of Beijing and New Delhi while providing a chance for them to establish a new model for ties between major powers adjacent to one another. Without stable cooperation between China and India, the rise of Asia will look impossible. If the two countries don't exercise rationality in handling bilateral relations, current divergences between the two will be exploited by forces outside the region. Collaboration between China and India also plays a significant role in the world. In February, NASA issued a report saying "the world is literally a greener place than it was 20 years ago," and it is China and India that have prompted the change. "The effect stems mainly from ambitious tree planting programs in China and intensive agriculture in both countries," said NASA. It mirrors the two countries weight in the world, as reports also note that "by 2040, Asia is likely to generate more than 50 percent of world GDP, and could account for nearly 40 percent of global consumption. "The West tends to have the misinterpretation over the Asian century as it believes it would be a China-centered century. But late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping articulated long ago that no genuine Asian century would come without the development of China, India and other regional developing countries. Some observers say Beijing and New Delhi "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." This might be exaggerated but makes sense. Only when the two overcome their disagreements and start sincere collaboration can they send encouraging messages over the arrival of a real Asian century. ^ top ^

Chinese president meets Solomon Islands PM, pledging closer cooperation (Xinhua)
2019-10-10
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare here on Wednesday, pledging closer cooperation between the two countries. "Recently, China and the Solomon Islands have formally established diplomatic relations on the basis of the one-China principle, which conforms to the trend of the times and benefits the peoples of the two countries," Xi said during the meeting with the visiting prime minister at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. China and the Solomon Islands signed a joint communique on Sept. 21 on the establishment of diplomatic relations. Hailing Sogavare's China visit as a milestone, Xi said the friendship between the two nations will enjoy bright prospects although their diplomatic ties are newly forged. "We are willing to work with the Solomon Islands to grasp the historic opportunity of the establishment of diplomatic relations and open up a bright future for the development of the bilateral relationship," Xi said, stressing mutual trust, respect and support and exploring cooperation in various fields. Xi said the Solomon Islands is located on the southern extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The two countries should take the opportunity of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on building the Belt and Road, align their development strategies and boost cooperation to help improve the Solomon Islands people's livelihood as well as the island country's capability of independent and sustainable development.According to Xi, the Solomon Islands will become a tourist destination for Chinese citizens after the establishment of diplomatic ties, "which will generate great opportunities for people-to-people interactions, sub-national exchanges and tourism cooperation between the two nations. "Xi also welcomed the Solomon Islands' joining into the "big family" of cooperation between China and Pacific island countries. China stands ready to boost communication and cooperation with the Solomon Islands within multilateral frameworks, including the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum, to address climate change and other challenges and safeguard the common interests of developing countries. Congratulating the Chinese side on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Sogavare said the Solomon Islands admires China's development achievements over a short period of time. "Choosing to be on the right side of history," as well as the side of most countries in the world, the Solomon Islands recognizes the one-China principle and has established diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, said Sogavare, noting it is a solemn and solid political commitment that the Solomon Islands government has made. Sogavare voiced his hope to learn from China's success and realize the prosperity of the Solomon Islands. The Belt and Road Initiative is a great one, bringing great opportunities for the Solomon Islands, said the prime minister, adding that his country will cooperate with China on trade, investment, agriculture and fishery, tourism and other sectors for a new future of the bilateral relationship. Sogavare also expressed his appreciation for China's care and support for the development of Pacific island countries, labeling it as a model of South-South cooperation. ^ top ^

China urges joint efforts to promote resolution in Syria (China Daily)
2019-10-10
China always holds that Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity must be respected and safeguarded, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Thursday. "We notice that all parties have expressed worries over the consequences that might be caused by Turkey's military action and urged Turkey to remain restricted," he told a regular news conference in Beijing. "We are now seeing a rising momentum for a political settlement of the Syria issue," Geng said, urging related parties of the international community to make joint efforts in creating good conditions for promoting the political settlement and avoid adding new complicated factors to the current situation in Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that his country has launched a military operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish forces that Ankara deems as terrorists and separatists. ^ top ^

Anti-terror body sends warning to US over interference (China Daily)
2019-10-10
In a statement filed on Wednesday night, China's major anti-terrorism body strongly condemned the United States' decision to block police units of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps from importing US technology and other vital components, over so-called human rights issues. On Monday, the US announced that it was adding 28 Chinese entities including 20 public security units in Xinjiang to an export blacklist. The move has damaged the cooperative relationship between law enforcement agencies in the two countries, said a statement from China's National Anti-Terrorism Leading Group Office. The office urged the US to stop tolerating support for "East Turkistan" terrorist forces. It also vowed to continue fighting terrorism and extremism in accordance with law and keep the social situation in Xinjiang stable. Xinjiang has always faced grave threats from terrorism. The measures adopted in the region aim to tackle the problem at the source and are in line with the law. No other country has the right to interfere with matters in Xinjiang, which are internal affairs of China, the statement continued. Furthermore, the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang described by the US do not exist, it went on to say. The move has fully exposed the US's double standard on anti-terrorism issues and its intention to interfere in China's domestic affairs, the statement added. ^ top ^

Xi meets Pakistani PM, calls for forging closer community of shared future (Xinhua)
2019-10-09
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, vowing to work jointly to strengthen strategic coordination and pragmatic cooperation so as to forge a closer China-Pakistan community of shared future in the new era. Noting the two countries as all-weather strategic cooperative partners, Xi said no matter how the international and regional situation changes, the friendship between China and Pakistan has always been unbreakable and rock-solid, and China-Pakistan cooperation has always maintained strong vitality with continuous expansion. China has always viewed relations with Pakistan as a diplomatic priority and will continue to firmly support Pakistan on issues concerning its core interests and of major concern to it, Xi said. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. "We have held a series of celebration activities, which is an opportunity for intensive patriotic education. Chinese people, nearly 1.4 billion in number, have forged a cohesive force with unprecedented patriotism, consolidating our confidence and determination to continue down the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics against all odds, run our own affairs, and stand firm in the community of nations," Xi said. In the past, Pakistan selflessly provided help to China in difficult times, and now that China has developed, it sincerely hopes to help Pakistan for better development, Xi said. He called on the two sides to maintain close high-level exchanges, step up strategic communication and coordinate positions on major issues in a timely fashion. On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Xi said the two sides should adopt a high standard, build and effectively run the existing energy projects, transport infrastructure, industrial parks and projects concerning people's livelihoods, and make the CPEC a model for jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative. China highly appreciates and firmly supports Pakistan's efforts in fighting terrorism, Xi said, calling on the two sides to beef up communication and cooperation within the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other multilateral mechanisms so as to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability. Imran Khan offered his congratulations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Pakistan is delighted to see China's remarkable development achievements and is grateful to China for always adhering to principles and upholding justice and for its firm support and selfless help to Pakistan, Khan said. "Facts have shown that China is Pakistan's all-weather strategic cooperative partner and the two countries' friendship enjoys popular support," he said, hoping to continue strengthening exchanges, coordination and cooperation with China, and advancing the construction of the CPEC so as to make it a paradigm of the Belt and Road Initiative. He also pledged to continue to firmly advance counter-terrorism efforts so as to safeguard security and stability. Khan briefed Xi on Pakistan's views on the Kashmir situation, hoping to avoid deterioration of the situation, saying that Pakistan values and appreciates China's objective and unbiased position. Xi told Khan that China is paying close attention to the Kashmir situation and the facts are clear."China supports Pakistan to safeguard its own legitimate rights and hopes that the relevant parties can solve their disputes through peaceful dialogue," Xi said. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Vice premier calls for solid progress in Xiongan New Area development (Xinhua)
2019-10-11
Vice Premier Han Zheng has called for solid progress in the high-quality development of the Xiongan New Area in north China's Hebei Province. Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks during a research trip to Xiongan Wednesday. Hailing the smooth progress in the development of the new area, Han said authorities should provide more incentives to guide high-quality resources including education and healthcare into the area, while efforts should be made to make Xiongan more intelligent. Calling the building of the area "a strategy that will have lasting importance for a millennium to come and a significant national event," Han stressed high standards and solid progress in the area's development. Environmental protection and treatment should be a priority while particular attention should be given to improving the ecology of the Baiyangdian Lake in Xiongan, he said. Reforms and innovation should be carried out in the new area, which will gradually be granted provincial-level authority for economic and social management, Han added. China announced plans in 2017 to establish the Xiongan New Area, located about 100 km southwest of Beijing. It is a key move in pushing the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. ^ top ^

Three dead in east China's highway overpass collapse (Xinhua)
2019-10-11
Three people have been confirmed dead and two others injured after a highway overpass in eastern China's Jiangsu Province collapsed Thursday, crushing three cars beneath it, local authorities said Friday. The overpass collapse happened at around 6:10 p.m. at the section of National Highway 312 in the city of Wuxi. The preliminary investigation showed one of the trapped cars, which happened to be parking under the overpass, had nobody inside. The three people in the other two cars were killed. There were also five other cars driving on the overpass when the collapse happened. The vehicles including three sedans and two trucks were stopped by the guardrail on the overpass, leaving two injured. According to rescuers and experts from the Ministry of Transport at the site, the overturning of the upper span bridge was caused by heavily-overloaded vehicles. Rescuers work at the site of an overpass collapse in the city of Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu Province, Oct. 10, 2019. The highway overpass collapsed Thursday afternoon, crushing three cars beneath it, local authorities said. Information about casualties is not available yet. ^ top ^

Horticulture expo reflects blooming floral industry in China (People's Daily)
2019-10-11
Drawing more than nine million visitors in 162 days, the just concluded International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Beijing was a vivid reflection of China's blooming floral industry in recent years. Ye Dahua, deputy head of the expo's coordination bureau, said the horticulture expo will be remembered for its many "rare plants and characteristic gardens. "Among the more than 2 million plants exhibited, there were more than 20,000 new varieties and products. A large number of them were quality varieties with intellectual property rights that were independently cultivated before being unveiled at the expo, Ye said. "I remember at the 1999 International Horticultural Exposition held in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, Phalaenopsis, or butterfly orchid, was still considered a novel species, but now it is a common household flower," said Zhao Shiwei, chief engineer of the Beijing Academy of Landscape Architecture. In the China pavilion of the Beijing expo, a six-meter-high three-dimensional ecological wall based on the scenery of Anji in east China's Zhejiang Province is arranged with green plants, which were kept alive for more than five months, said Guo Jia, deputy head of the horticulture department of the bureau. "Many flower arrangements at the Beijing expo were realized with new technologies in flowering regulation, vegetation selection and three-dimensional greening," Guo said. The Kunming expo helped nurture flower consumption in China, while the Beijing expo will further boost the innovation, research, trade and logistics in the whole industrial chain of the floral business to help China seek a stronger position in the world market. China joined the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) in 1999. Since then, Chinese research institutes, flower enterprises and many folk breeders have been committed to the cultivation of new varieties, ranging from chrysanthemum, rose, rhododendron to magnolia with patents obtained in the United States, the European Union and Japan, Zhao said. Scott Salter, chief scientist of Lynch Group, an Australian floral developer, said at the expo the company has over 10 years of experience in China, witnessing the country's floral market growth. "When we first came to China, we only sold some rose species, but now we sell dozens of varieties of floral plants. Every day we see new customers here. The market potential is huge," said Salter. Beijing Green Garden Group Co., Ltd. is the main supplier of the floral exhibits in the host city of Beijing. Lin Qiaoling, board chairperson of the company, said over the past decade, the company's business has expanded from simple flower sales to providing customized flower arrangements. The company's flower output value has increased from less than 6 million yuan (843,400 U.S. dollars) in 2011 to 360 million yuan in 2018, she said. China has become the word's biggest flower-producing country as well as important flower consumer and trader, according to Jiang Zehui, president of the China Flower Association. In 2018, China had a flower cultivation area of 1.63 million hectares. The fast development of China's e-commerce and courier sectors has greatly boosted fresh flower consumption. During this year's Valentine's Day, China's online retailing platform Taobao saw flower orders jump 69 percent year on year, with 500,000 fresh-cut roses, tulips and other flowers grown in Yunnan sold. The expo site, which sprawls over an area of 503 hectares in Beijing's northern suburban district of Yanqing, will now be used as an education base of ecological culture, according to Zhou Jianping, executive deputy director of the expo's coordination bureau. ^ top ^

China unveils plan to underpin industry, education integration (Xinhua)
2019-10-10
China on Thursday published a plan on advancing a national pilot program for the integration between industry and education to promote the development of education, talents and industry and high-quality economic growth. According to the plan, around 50 cities will carry out trials of integrating the industry and education in the next five years, and a number of industries with distinctive regional characteristics that integrate industry and education will be built. The country vows to cultivate more than 10,000 enterprises under the pilot program during the period. Priority should be given to improving development plans and allocation of resources, advancing reforms in talent cultivation and lowering institutional transaction costs, according to the plan. The plan also stresses the full implementation of policy incentives such as fiscal and education policies. ^ top ^

Former vice provincial governor expelled from CPC (Xinhua)
2019-10-10
Peng Yuxing, former vice governor of southwest China's Sichuan Province, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) over serious violations of disciplines and laws, the top anti-graft body announced Thursday. The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission said in a statement that Peng, also a former member of the leading Party members group of the Sichuan Provincial People's Government, was also dismissed from his administrative posts and demoted. The investigation found that Peng had lost his ideals and convictions, the statement said. Peng had violated the eight-point code on Party and government conduct by taking sightseeing trips abroad, organizing and attending banquets and receptions on government expenses against regulations, using official cars beyond allowed standards and accepting banquet invitations that may jeopardize his fulfillment of public duties, the statement said. He also abused his power for personal gains, took bribes, misappropriated public funds and property, interfered in project approval and evaluation and traded power for sex and money unscrupulously, the statement said. Peng severely violated the Party disciplines and committed duty crimes, according to the statement, which added that he showed no signs of restraint even after the 18th CPC National Congress. However, given that Peng reported his violations to authorities, returned his illicit gains and showed remorse, he was granted a lenient punishment, the statement said. Peng's membership to the CPC Sichuan Provincial Committee and his qualifications for delegates to the 19th CPC National Congress and the 11th CPC Sichuan Provincial Congress were also terminated, while his illicit gains would be confiscated, according to the statement. ^ top ^

Six regions involved in logistics reforms (China Daily)
2019-10-09
Several ministry-level departments, including those responsible for education, transport, and development and reform, have responded recently to issues of public concern. Reforms aim to cut logistics costs, increase efficiency. China is carrying out pilot reforms to reduce logistics costs and increase efficiency in six provincial-level regions including Shanxi, Zhejiang and Chongqing, a notice published on Sept 29 said. Jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Transport, it said the pilot program will run to August 2021. Regions involved in the program should study and formulate practical measures within their administrative power to reduce logistics costs and improve efficiency according to their own conditions and needs, it said. The notice said innovative policy demands and suggestions related to the administrative power of State Council departments or those that contradict existing rules, regulations and normative documents should be submitted to the NDRC and the Ministry of Transport. Successful models and advanced experience in pilot areas will be promoted in an appropriate way after an assessment of the reform results, it said. Infrastructure for online education to be boosted. China will greatly improve the construction of infrastructure for online education by next year, according to a guideline published on Sept 30. The guideline, jointly issued by 11 departments including the Ministry of Education, the Cyberspace Administration of China and the National Development and Reform Commission, said efforts to promote the healthy development of online education will include encouraging the wider application of modern information technologies such as the internet, big data and artificial intelligence, improving online education modes and enriching related resources and services. It said all schools will have access to rapid and stable internet services by 2022. To expand the supply of high-quality online education resources, efforts will be made to encourage the participation of social capital in conducting online education, accelerate the research and sharing of online education resources among schools, and establish a group of high-quality online courses, the guideline said. It also underlined the importance of protecting the rights and interests of consumers and providing open channels for consumer complaints. China will carry out 10 major projects related to priority areas and key links in the health industry by 2022, the National Development and Reform Commission said on Sept 29. An outline of an action plan for promoting the high-quality development of the health industry, jointly issued by departments including the NDRC, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology, said a reasonably structured health industry system with rich content will basically take shape by 2022. The coverage of high-quality medical and health resources will be expanded, and integration and coordination within the industry will be strengthened, it said. The industry will also be more competitive in terms of science and technology, will employ more high-quality staff members, and several influential health industry clusters will be established. This will help to lay a solid foundation for the health industry to become an important pillar industry of the national economy, the outline said. China will build a comprehensive traffic network in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to ensure people can travel between neighboring cities in 90 minutes, Ministry of Transport spokesman Sun Wenjian said on Sept 26. Sun told a regular ministry news conference that express railway services will cover all cities of prefecture-level and above in the region. He said the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region has achieved positive results with a number of major transportation projects steadily forging ahead. More efforts will now be made to promote railway development in the region, build a convenient and easy road traffic network, and adjust the region's transportation structure, Sun said. China initiated a key strategy in 2014 to coordinate the development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. ^ top ^

Chinese vice premier stresses Guangdong pilot FTZ's role in building Greater Bay Area (China Daily)
2019-10-07
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua has called for greater efforts to build Guangdong pilot free trade zone into a cooperation model for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Hu made the remarks during a research tour of South China's Guangdong province from Wednesday to Saturday. The pilot FTZ should speed up its construction as a gateway and hub for high-level opening-up, and promote coordinated regional development, Hu said. More efforts should be made to expand key overseas markets, promote the development of cross-border e-commerce, and give play to the important role of exhibition platforms such as China Import and Export Fair, he said. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

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Shanghai

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Guangdong

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Tibet

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Xinjiang

Xinjiang boasts largest number of civil airports in China (People's Daily)
2019-10-11
A total of 20 civil airports have been established in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, topping other provinces and autonomous regions in China. Located in the westernmost part, Xinjiang China's largest administrative region at the provincial level in terms of landmass. Statistics indicate that there are about 1.2 airports for every 100,000 square kilometers of land in Xinjiang, and five of the airports in operation are able to handle over 1 million passengers annually. According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), new airports will be constructed in Taxkorgan, Barkol, East Junggar and other areas in Xinjiang. Four decades of reform and opening up witness the fast development of Xinjiang's civil aviation. In 1986, Xinjiang bought the first batch of four Tupolev Tu-154 aircrafts from Soviet Union, and opened 11 airlines within five years connecting with major cities in China. Later the CAAC Xinjiang Regional Administration was established and Xinjiang's civil aviation started to take off.With more airports and airlines, Xinjiang can link to more places domestically as well as abroad.  ^ top ^

US' visa sanction on Chinese officials over Xinjiang is 'made-up pretext', Beijing says (SCMP)
2019-10-09
Beijing has denounced the United States' imposition of visa restrictions on Chinese officials over treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, accusing it of making up excuses to interfere in China's affairs. In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the Chinese embassy in the US said imposing the visa restrictions "seriously violates the basic norms governing international relations, interferes in China's internal affairs and undermines China's interest". "China deplores and firmly opposes that," the embassy said. "Xinjiang does not have the so-called human rights issue claimed by the US. The accusations by the US are merely made-up pretexts for its interference. "Xinjiang affairs are purely China's internal affairs that allow no foreign interference. We urge the US to correct its mistakes at once and stop its interference in China's internal affairs. The condemnation came a day after the US government targeted Chinese government officials and members of the Communist Party "who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, the detention or abuse of Uygurs, Kazakhs or other members of Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, China". US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Chinese government had instituted a highly repressive campaign against Uygurs and other Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang, which "includes mass detentions in internment camps". The move from Washington had been authorised under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows the secretary of state to deny travel visas to people whose entry they determine "would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States". State Department officials said US law prevented them from announcing who is on the new visa restriction list, although they said names were already being added. Likely targets include Chen Quanguo – a member of the 25-member Communist Party Politburo and regional party secretary of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region – who US lawmakers have singled out in calls for sanctions over the detention of about 1 million people in what Beijing calls "vocational training centres". The Chinese embassy said the measures in Xinjiang were aimed at eradicating radicalisation and terrorism. "They are in line with Chinese laws and international practices, and are supported by all 25 million people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang," it said. The visa restrictions followed Monday's announcement by Washington that it was adding 20 local public security bureaus in Xinjiang and eight tech companies including Hikvision and Zhejiang Dahua Technology to an export blacklist in relation to surveillance, detention and repression in Xinjiang. Those entities had been involved "in the implementation of China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention and high-technology surveillance against Uygurs, Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups" in Xinjiang, the Commerce Department said. ^ top ^

Large gas field discovered in Xinjiang (Xinhua)
2019-10-06
The Tarim oilfield branch of PetroChina, China's largest oil and gas producer, said Thursday that they discovered a huge gas field with an estimated reserve of 115.3 billion cubic meters in Xinjiang's Tarim Basin. Tian Jun, the company's vice general manager, said they completed a successful test of a well in the gas field, with a daily output of 418,200 cubic meters of natural gas and 115.15 cubic meters of gas condensate. The gas field has been estimated to contain 115.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 21.66 million tonnes of gas condensate, Tian said, adding that the field is expected to start production in November. The Tarim oilfield provides natural gas to a total of 15 provincial-level regions in northern and eastern China via the country's West-to-East gas pipelines. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Forget the mask ban. Beijing can solve Hong Kong's protests by letting a governor run the city (SCMP)
2019-10-11
Hongkongers rally against the mask ban on October 4. I think I may have committed a crime at the weekend. I found myself a willing participant at an illegal gathering, with the prospect of arrest. It is no excuse that the crowd were in fancy dress and the masks were pink and sparkly – the law is the law, and it is blind.In August in these columns, I wrote a short speech for the chief executive that many kind readers suggested that she should have given – perhaps avoiding the current crisis point. Instead, the government has enacted policies that merely plaster over minor symptoms, which treat the patient as helpfully as a swarm of leeches.The fatuous anti-mask law is as useful as a cat photo. It makes it illegal to perform The Phantom of the Opera. Otherwise it has, as forecast, been an abject failure. The police have got their arrest numbers up but (what a surprise) it transpires that journalists, paramedics and medical cases are hard to distinguish from rioters. The Education Bureau looks cheap in asking schools to report on mask-wearing students – and, duh, we know what kids do if they are told to not do something. Barristers will have a field day pointing out that the government's environmental policies have failed to clean the air to global standards, so masks are necessary. Surely, if you are an administration lacking in credibility, the last thing you need is to announce a policy that is largely unenforceable. The people of Hong Kong believe that Beijing wants Hong Kong to be like the mainland. My conversations indicate that this is not correct. China wants and needs a calm, prosperous Hong Kong – or the army would already be running the city. It's not a good look for Britain to build the special administrative region for 155 years, only for China to fail in 22. More importantly, China needs Hong Kong's six freedoms (labour, capital, goods, services, law and the press) somewhere within the country to act as a gateway to the world. Beijing wants a Hong Kong as it was before former chief executive Leung Chun-ying mindlessly poked his big stick into the hornet's nest. He should have sympathised with the Occupy Central students, saying "I feel your pain". Instead the government's continued hard line has stirred passions unthinkable five months ago. Taking a hard line has proven to be weak and vacuous. The stick has consistently failed and the policy of "Keep Calm and Carrie On" means that Hong Kong has burned. The carrot remains largely untried. My draft speech to the chief executive was carefully designed to solve the current issues in a politically acceptable manner but recent events mean that we now need to look past the immediate to permanent solutions. The shocking core revelation about these Hong Kong disturbances is that the economy needs clarity on its future status, not by 2047, but today. It is this unknown that has caused the Hang Seng Index to underperform compared to both the S&P 500 and the Shanghai Composite Index by around 15 per cent; most of it since the beginning of May. Hong Kong discovers the price of being the world's most free economyOur problems reflect of years of mismanagement, stubbornness and complacency. The police appear as paper tigers; too scared to issue parking tickets, let alone keep civil order, but brave enough to make a bus full of passengers stand in the rain to be searched. Some unthinkingly argue for the internet to be cut; many argue for tough police action, even bloodshed. It may cause a temporary calm but the passions of the people will remain unrequited, only to bubble up in further extremism. It seems unlikely that the government can change the entrenched vested interests, both within and without the public services. It needs too much intelligent root-and-branch reform. Doing nothing is not an option so the alternative must be some serious mainland interference in Hong Kong affairs. The city is at such an inflection point that this may not be such a bad thing. There is a case for the mainland to install a governor, paid by Beijing and responsible for the stability, growth and prosperity of Hong Kong – which incorporates the welfare of the people. It would maintain the strikingly successful "one country, two systems" model. Relatively little would change, except to rebalance the local vested interests. A few clauses can be amended in the Basic Law and the rest remains as Hong Kong's constitution. The existing Hong Kong administrative structure, using local people, the Legislative and Executive Councils stays, and the self-aggrandisement and patronage of the ministerial system goes. Hey, it worked pretty well for 155 years!The icing on the cake would be for China to sacrifice a little face to amend the Basic Law together with the UK. Desperate Britain would agree to anything for a trade deal. It is a cheap, easy and effective political solution; and provides global diplomatic cover. The outcome is a peaceful city, needed change and the improved lives of Hongkongers without oppression. It's a win-win. ^ top ^

Inadequacies in education helping to radicalize youth (China Daily)
2019-10-11
It is heartbreaking to witness so many of our young people being caught up in the ongoing anti-government protests over recent months. The latest police figures serve as a shocking revelation that our children have been radicalized. Since September, nearly 40 percent of those arrested in protests were under 18, and 10 percent were under 15. Police said 77 people, including a 12-year-old, were arrested for violating the anti-mask law, which came into effect on Saturday. The people involved in violent protests seem to be getting younger and younger. Our youngsters are being radicalized - both offenders and victims. But why are the young in particular being drawn into activities that blatantly break the law and disrupt the social order? They are far too young to be involved in political activities - let alone such violent protests. And have we not come across this phenomenon in other parts of the world? At least 15 Hong Kong youths aged between 12 and 15 have been arrested so far since the citywide protests began in June. Two teenagers have been shot and wounded in skirmishes with police; it is likely the count will not end there. On Oct 1, an 18-year-old Form 5 student at Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College was shot. Tsang Chi-kin was seen on video attacking an officer with a metal rod at a scene that can only be described as a riot. After the incident, the principal of his school came out to say Tsang would not be expelled. School Board members said they wanted to show support and sympathy for the injured teen. However, they did not state the circumstances in which Tsang was shot, nor did they make clear whether this would still be the case if Tsang is later convicted of any crime related to his involvement in the protest. Tsang is facing a riot charge in court. On Oct 5, another boy, a 14-year-old, was shot in the leg and subsequently arrested for rioting and attacking a police officer. What is worse is that his school, Chong Gene Hang College in Chai Wan, has pledged not to expel him even if he is convicted. These students were participating in illegal and violent activities. Tsang was in press reports and videos fully dressed in a combat-style clothes, armed with a metal rod to attack police officers. It was in this situation that he was shot. His case is now going through legal proceedings, but his school seems to have pledged not to expel him if he is convicted. What is going on? Why are these schools harboring violent student criminal suspects? Schools have a responsibility to lead their students down the right path. But we still need to abide by the principle of crime and punishment; these students should be appropriately punished and corrected before being welcomed back to society. If a school cannot uphold such basic moral principles, how can it be expected to discipline other students properly for even minor misconduct such as cheating on exams? A school must be able to uphold ethical principles and moral rules, which are a sign of self-respect, and only then can it have the authority to discipline pupils. What would become of these teenagers when they become university students? So what has driven our youngsters to turn into angry mobs and go on the rampage? Some say they are voicing their discontent prompted by pent-up anger. But still, this doesn't explain why protesters are getting younger and younger. Others say their anger is caused by police brutality. I beg to differ; if police brutality is a factor, then why haven't we seen protesters as young as those in Hong Kong in other countries such as the United States, France, and Indonesia, where police brutality is widespread? I would rather focus on the inadequacies of our education system. According to the great Chinese text Three Character Classic, education and schooling are essential for developing children's values and shaping their moral character. According to the text, parents cannot raise a child without proper teaching and nurturing. When at school, it is the responsibility of the teacher to be strict with the child, or problems with young people will be the fault of the teacher. In Hong Kong, school education seems to be the weakest link in the entire education structure within which our youngsters are nurtured. With strict and well-structured schools and universities, students will not get on the wrong side of the law. A case in point - the two schools of the two teenagers who were shot handled the young offenders with such leniency that it could be interpreted by other youngsters to mean schools condone and should condone their wrongdoings. This will only encourage more criminal behavior from young people. Finally, proper social education is also missing, leaving our children exposed and vulnerable so they can be corrupted by an uncontrolled social media - which is partly responsible for driving young people to embrace radicalism. We need to urgently set targets and tackle these problems to bring our children back on the right track. Schools and society need to take the right steps because our children are our future and the pillars of our society, but pillars need to be strong and well-formed. Schools and principals must do their jobs. Strict school disciplines can help students and keep them in line. Being strict doesn't mean teachers have to be mean. Strict teaching helps students learn to adhere to rules and regulations in an effective manner and shows them there is no room for bad or unruly behavior. Our education sector, which includes the Education Bureau, schools, principals and teachers, has a lot to answer for in regard to our serious situation with a culture of violent or even criminal students today. Society has a responsibility to speak up and condemn this kind of radical and illegal behavior and expose those forces behind the children who are encouraging them to commit crimes and fall foul of the law. Our Education Bureau officials would do well to be reminded of what President Xi Jinping once said: Officials who try to evade tackling problems facing other people will bring shame upon themselves for life. The Education Bureau has a huge responsibility to act as the gatekeeper to monitor schools, principals and teachers and make sure they do their jobs and see our children are properly educated and taught right from wrong. ^ top ^

HKSAR chief executive urges foreign politicians to objectively view Hong Kong situation, stop supporting violence (Xinhua)
2019-10-09
Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam on Tuesday urged foreign politicians to take an objective view of the current situation in Hong Kong and stop supporting those who are committing violence. In response to former governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten's recent remarks on the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation of the HKSAR, Lam said, "I hope foreign politicians, before making comments on Hong Kong, can take an objective view of what's happening here and recognize its essence. " She stressed that the essence of the recent so-called "peaceful demonstration for freedom of expression" is "unprecedented violence. ""For the past four months, especially during the recent one or two months, we were under unprecedented impact of violence," she said. "I believe if they see the real situation currently in Hong Kong, no foreign governments will agree it is essentially about freedom of expression. " Lam made the remarks at a media briefing Tuesday morning before attending the weekly meeting of the HKSAR Executive Council. She emphasized that the HKSAR government's invoking the power under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to enact the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation is a decision aimed at curbing violence and restoring order. The anti-mask regulation is in line with international common practices, since similar laws and regulations have been implemented in Western countries including Germany, France and Canada, and in some states in the US, she said. Lam called for empathy of foreign governments and politicians concerning the situation in Hong Kong. "If similar violent incidents occur in their countries, they may take stricter measures," she said. Rejecting foreign politicians' irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong, Lam urged them to stop maliciously criticizing Hong Kong's efforts to curb violence and glamorizing those who are committing violence as "peaceful demonstrators for freedom of expression." ^ top ^

Commissioner's office of Chinese foreign ministry in HK to Chris Patten: UK is pioneer of anti-mask law (Xinhua)
2019-10-08
Former governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten's recent remarks on the anti-mask regulation of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) have totally ignored the call in Hong Kong for stopping violence and the fact that the UK is a pioneer in banning masks, Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong SAR said Monday. Patten's remarks on Hong Kong SAR's enactment of the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation "have totally ignored the call of the majority of Hong Kong citizens for stopping violence and the chaos, and the fact that the UK is a pioneer in banning masks," said a spokesperson of the commissioner's office." We strongly condemn the remarks, which are full of hypocrisy, bigotry and ruthlessness and have fully exposed Chris Patten's true color," the spokesperson said. The spokesperson said that the SAR government's enactment of the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation is completely legal, reasonable, just and necessary. Over the past four months, masked rioters in Hong Kong have gone on rampage, committed vandalism and arson, and assaulted the police and innocent citizens, posing a grave threat to public security and the rule of law. The Hong Kong public, who have suffered unspeakably, have called for immediately stopping violence, ending the chaos and restoring order, and have shown firm support for the SAR Government in passing the regulation, the spokesperson pointed out. " By distorting the truth and fabricating excuses in total disregard of the mainstream public opinion and the serious threat to civilian safety, Chris Patten attempts to justify the rioters and impede the SAR government's efforts to stop violence. Such intention is simply despicable," said the spokesperson. The spokesperson pointed out that the enactment of the regulation is in line with international common practices. Similar laws and regulations have long been present in Western countries including France, Germany, Canada, Spain and Austria and in many states of the United States. As early as in 1723, Britain passed the Black Act criminalizing having one's faces blackened or being otherwise disguised, which was not repealed until 1823. Later, Britain again banned the covering of the face in response to the protests and riots in 2011, the spokesperson said. "Is that also 'absolutely madness' according to Chris Patten's criteria, we wonder? Such outright double standards and shameless hypocrisy have been seen through by the entire world and will only meet with contempt." The spokesperson emphasized that Hong Kong is part of China and its affairs are completely China's internal affairs. "We firmly support the SAR government in taking all necessary measures in accordance with law to stop violence, end the chaos and restore order. "We again urge Chris Patten and his ilk to remove their black hand from Hong Kong affairs, give up their evil attempts to devastate the city, and stop such 'doomsday madness'." ^ top ^

 

Macau

Macao passes all FATF technical compliance recommendations to combat money laundering (Xinhua)
2019-10-06
China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) has passed all technical compliance recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Financial Intelligence Office of the SAR government said in a press release recently. The assessment was made by Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), an international organization on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. It concluded in its latest report that Macao has passed all 40 FATF technical compliance recommendations, according to the press release by the SAR government on Friday. The FATF, also an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989, aims at combating global money laundering and terrorist financing. This report also provides a summary of Macao's anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism measures. The report has been adopted by all APG members in August and has undergone a stringent review process by the FATF and its global members, to ensure the quality and consistency of the evaluation standard. ^ top ^

While Hong Kong is sick, Macao is getting healthier (Global Times)
2019-10-03
While Hong Kong is struggling from months of violent street protests, events in Macao, another special administrative region of China, are quickly leading the Greater Bay Area to new heights — from medicine to regional economic and cultural cooperation. Leading up to this December 20, 2019's historic 20-year Macao handover anniversary from Portugal, the city is witnessing an acceleration of its diversification beyond the usual gambling economy. This September, for example, witnessed the opening of the city's first medical school since the Portuguese settled here permanently in 1557. The new faculty of medicine at the Macau University of Science and Technology is primarily composed of local Macao students and will see more community and high-tech based simulation training for Macao and the Greater Bay Area. Also, in September, the Guangdong Macao Traditional Medicine Park in Macao and on Hengqing island of Zhuhai held their annual meeting, sharing their collaboration with Portuguese speaking countries from Cape Verde to Mozambique, as well as to the Middle East and Europe. By embracing traditional medicine from China in Zhuhai in this way, Macao is illustrating a very warm embrace of its historic Chinese roots that extend back thousands of years—particularly of the region's glory years when the Greater Bay Area held the last court of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Indeed, imploring Chinese youths of this region to understand their ancient and glorious past is something that regional economic and cultural cooperation is being fostered to do from Macao — much more so than the basket of deplorable, social media driven fantasies of certain fanatical teeny-boppers in Hong Kong. In fact, many silent majority in Greater China view these teeny-boppers as monstrous vandals. But back to peace. Earlier this year in February, meaningful regional and economic cooperation formats embraced education. This past February, Lin Shaochun, Executive Vice Governor of Guangdong Province announced the first ever Guangdong and Macao Cooperation Development Fund with RMB 20 billion. This increases the ability for students from Macao to attend over 50 colleges and universities across the province's key cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing. This was bolstered in September with the 2019 Guangzhou-Macao cooperation task force meeting held in Guangzhou. It was led by the Economic and Financial Secretary of the Macao SAR, Lionel Leong, and co-chaired by Chen Zhiying, Executive Vice Mayor of Guangzhou City. Three agreements were signed related to science and technology industries, cooperation between Guangzhou statistics bureau and the Macao statistics and census service, and the building of a new exhibition and trade center in Guangzhou's Nansha District for Portuguese-speaking countries and regions. In fact, Macao is powerfully embracing its role of bridging these 70 million people of the Greater Bay Area globally, particularly to the Portuguese speaking world. Back in February of this year, outgoing Macao Chief Executive Chui Sai On said, "Macao will continue to maximize its advantages as a global tourism and leisure center and service platform for trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries to promote sustainable development and the performance of new industries with the aim of accelerating the proper diversification of its economy. "The incoming Chief Executive of the Macao SAR, Ho Iat Seng, called this period a "Golden Age" of cooperation between Portugal and China in June of this year. Ho has stated that the next government under him will intensify bilateral and multilateral cooperation to live up to the standards of the "one country, two systems" principle. In so doing, the Portuguese-speaking world will reap the benefits of the Belt and Road Initiative. Overall, in these days when Hong Kong is becoming sick, Macao is becoming a beacon of great health with good medicine, from the first medical school to embracing its brothers and sisters with medicine and education across Guangdong, to its Portuguese-speaking cousins across the world. When Macao celebrates the 20th anniversary of the handover in December, it will be clear to many that Macao has a new role in this region—and will for sure be aiming for new heights of history. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Tsai's speech malign, ridiculous (Global Times)
2010-03-17
In a speech on Thursday, Taiwan regional leader Tsai Ing-wen hyped the mainland's "diplomatic offensives and military coercion" and said the mainland is "threatening to impose" the "one country, two systems" principle on Taiwan. She recounted the "serious challenges" Taiwan had faced over the past 70 years, saying that "we wipe away our tears and stand up once again. "Tsai also mentioned the so-called three goals of the future - "to defend our sovereignty," "continue to build a stronger Taiwan and bolster our economic capabilities to create a prosperous society and powerful country" and "actively engage with the world and overcome challenges, so that the Republic of China (Taiwan) can hold its head high on the international stage with confidence. " Tsai did not forget to brag about her political achievements, but she only said a few words about it because there was nothing much to say. Obviously, Tsai wants to wangle votes by creating panic and intensifying cross-Straits confrontation. She said "we will not act provocatively or rashly," which reflects her trembling heart. In the context of Taiwan's current condition and the cross-Straits situation, Tsai's speech is malign and ridiculous. First, does the island have "sovereignty?" Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. This is an ironclad fact recognized by the whole world. Since Tsai took office three years ago, Taiwan has lost seven "diplomatic allies." Based on the trend, it may soon lose all. What Tsai referred to as "sovereignty" is nonexistent. How can the island defend it?Second, since the Tsai authority always messes things up, how can Taiwan develop its economy? Taiwan's "ministry of finance" released Monday the island's export data for September, showing a decline beyond expectations. The unemployment rate in Taiwan remains high and wages have remained stagnant. Since Tsai assumed office, cross-Straits relations have deteriorated drastically, and Taiwan's tourism industry and agricultural exports have suffered a blow. Poor cross-Straits relations will lead to a poor economy in Taiwan. This is common sense. Third, because Tsai refuses to recognize the 1992 Consensus, will there be any space for Taiwan in the international community? Tsai is boasting without shame. Are there any formal international occasions that Taiwan can engage in? The island can only send uninvited representatives. Even netizens in Taiwan pour ridicule on them. Tsai made up to the Western countries in her speech on October 10, 2018, but she said nothing about them on Thursday. Obviously, Tsai intended to raise her status by bonding the island with the US tighter last year. However, after one year, Tsai realized she had gained nothing from such a move and began to be aware of the high risk of being a chess piece of the US. In the past year, Tsai could have clearly seen the fact that she doesn't mean much to Washington. What hasn't changed is Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party's attitude against reunification. This has pushed the island to the edge of the cliff. We don't know what was in Tsai's mind after she watched the military parade held on National Day in Beijing. What we know is confronted with such power and the strong will of the mainland, the island can easily see the consequences. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China to always welcome foreign firms including U.S. ones to invest in China (People's Daily)
2019-10-11
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday that China will always welcome foreign companies, including U.S. companies, to invest and operate in China. Spokesman Geng Shuang made the remarks at a press briefing when asked to comment on the accusation by some U.S. officials, lawmakers and media organizations that China manipulates U.S. enterprises and forces them to abandon their values. In recent years, China's business environment for foreign investors has continued to improve, and China has been one of the most favored investment destinations for companies from around the world for many years, Geng said. "As for U.S. companies, according to the latest survey data I have seen, 97 percent of surveyed U.S. companies made profits in China, and 74 percent of the members of the American Chamber of Commerce in China plan to expand investment in China," Geng said. "If certain U.S. people were to be believed, could it be said that all these U.S. companies have been forced to abandon their values, and that they were all manipulated by China?" Geng said. Geng said that China's policies to create a favorable environment for foreign companies will not change, nor will the policies to protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign companies. China will also actively interact with the international community on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and welcomes foreign institutions and individuals to come to China for exchanges and cooperation, the spokesman added. ^ top ^

Why China hasn't suffered an economic crisis in several decades? (People's Daily)
2019-10-11
In the eyes of some Western observers, the Lunar New Year figures indicate a plunge in the Chinese economy, as factories have suspended operations and shops closed during the seven-day National Holiday. Some doomsayers even call such scenarios the "Chinese economic crisis". But the reality is that the Chinese people are celebrating the Lunar New Year. Behind such humor comes a question worth pondering: why no economic crisis has ever occurred in China over the past several decades?When the 1997 Asian financial crisis swept almost across the region, stock prices plunged, factories were shut down, and workers were laid off, in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. When the global economic crisis took place in the US in 2008, major developed economies, including Japan and the European Union, were severely affected. Even until today, some countries haven't walked out of the shadow of the crisis completely. While other countries were hurt by regional or global financial and economic crises, China saw its economy grow by 9.5 percent on average over the past 40 years. The country has contributed more than 30 percent to global economic growth for several years in a row. China's GDP increased by 174 times between 1952 and 2018. Between 1979 and 2018, its average GDP growth was 9.4 percent on a yearly basis, much higher than the global average at around 2.9 percent in the same period. The country has grown into the holder of the largest foreign exchange reserves. Its foreign exchange reserves exceeded $3 trillion by the end of 2018, the largest in the world for the 13th consecutive year. The expanding economy, rising national strength, broad market and sufficient potential ensure that when faced with external risks and crises, China can cope with the circumstances timely and effectively. Undoubtedly, China has experienced economic fluctuations under the influence of international economic and financial crises since the founding of the People's Republic of China 70 years ago. There were major bouts of inflation happening around 1988 and 1994, respectively, and risk of capital outflows was high from 1991 to 1994 due to fluctuations of the yuan exchange rates. In addition, the financial and economic crises in 1997 and 2008 both had an impact on China's foreign trade and financial sector. The difference is that China can always turn crises into opportunities, and achieve its own structural reform and transformation. Lian Ping, chief economist of China Bank of Communications, said it was precisely because of the introduction of shareholding reforms that when the financial crisis of 2008 occurred, the Chinese banking industry had sufficient capital to enlarge credit supply, which then greatly enhanced the overall risk-resistance capability of the financial industry and also allowed it to withstand the impact of this crisis. In addition to effectively responding to external risks and being able to turn crises into opportunities in a timely manner, China is constantly striving to break new ground and transform and upgrade. China promotes supply-side structural reforms to achieve high-quality economic development. In addition, its strong and effective macro-control policies also play an irreplaceable role in achieving structural reform and transformation. In the face of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, China insisted that the yuan should not depreciate. At the same time, it actively took measures such as encouraging exports, attracting foreign investment, and expanding domestic demand, to effectively hedge the impact of the crisis on the Chinese economy. In 2008, China's links with the world became even more close. In the face of a greater impact from the international financial crisis, China quickly adopted policies and measures to further expand domestic demand and promote economic growth, and effectively responded through active macro-control measures such as industrial revitalization, expansion of consumption, financial support, and stabilizing employment. In preventing and coping with risks and challenges, China has continuously enhanced its capabilities and the Chinese characteristics have become increasingly apparent. China's development achievements and its initiative in the process of preventing and responding to economic crises have set a good example for other countries and have accumulated good experiences for the sake of global economic governance. Currently, the global economy is facing increasingly downward pressure, and the risk of economic recession is increasing. The International Monetary Fund lowered its global economic growth forecast to 3.2 percent this year, the lowest in the latest 10 years. How could China maintain the bottom line of having no economic crisis and effectively deal with potential crises and risks?Peter Wong, chief executive of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC), said that it is necessary to strengthen the coordination mechanism of cross-sector financial supervision to form a unified, coordinated and efficient financial supervision system. He pointed out that it is also necessary to participate in global economic governance at a higher level, constructively promote reforms of the global economic and financial fields, and improve the ability to guide market expectations and boost market confidence. We can conclude generally all of this discussion with a recent comment that "a more open China will further integrate itself into the world and deliver greater progress and prosperity for both China and the world at large", as Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF). ^ top ^

China steps up policies to improve business climate, stabilize investment (Xinhua)
2019-10-11
China is set to boost its business environment through government legislation, as part of a new round of stabilizing policies which chart a roadmap for high-quality growth. In the latest move to further open up the economy, the State Council, or China's cabinet, plans to release a national regulation on improving the business environment by offering market entities institutional guarantees when they invest and develop business in China. A draft of the regulation was passed Tuesday at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. Equal treatment will be given to all market entities, domestic and foreign, by codifying reform practices shown to be effective into basic institutional norms in the business environment, according to the draft. The regulation is of great significance in building a stable, transparent, fair and predictable legal business environment and promoting modernized governance of the environment, said Liu Junhai, a business law professor with Renmin University of China. "It is not only a comprehensive summary of previous successful experience, but also a response to the reasonable expectations of market players," said Liu. China will continue to expand market access, implement a unified nationwide negative list and further simplify administrative licensing, according to the regulation. Major measures proposed in the regulation, covering multiple cutting-edge reform areas, prove China's commitment to improving the business environment, said Xiao Jiangping, director of the Competition Law Research Center of Peking University. Stressing the protection of market entities, the regulation demanded the government guarantee the business autonomy of market players, protect the personal and property safety of business operators and ensure equal access for all market entities to the country's favorable policies. "Protection of property owners is expected to inspire entrepreneurship, promote sustainable development of enterprises and improve investors' sense of gain," said Liu. With more precise and targeted focus, the new round of stabilizing measures aims to beef up investment, boost consumption and foster new growth drivers. Experts believe the country is shifting toward higher-quality growth, as most of the recent major projects started by local governments are in the transportation sector and emerging industries, featuring high-tech solutions and tight connections between industrial chains. Despite cyclical uncertainties, foreign investors have displayed firm faith in the Chinese economy. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China rose 6.9 percent year on year to 604 billion yuan (84.9 billion U.S. dollars) in the January-August period, Ministry of Commerce data showed. In U.S. dollar terms, FDI inflow grew 3.2 percent. "A favorable business environment makes for a top investment destination," said Liu, noting the regulation is playing a positive role in boosting investment and attracting foreign capital. ^ top ^

China's nation brand value surges 40%: British consultancy (China Daily)
2019-10-11
China's nation brand value increased by 40.4 percent to $19.5 trillion from 2018 to 2019, according to a report released Thursday on the annual study of national brands. China continued to grow at a very healthy rate despite trade tensions with the United States, said the "Nation Brands 2019" report by Brand Finance, a London-based brand consultancy. Defying the expectations of a slowdown, China's brand value has benefited from the glowing success of some of its most dominant and valuable brands, including ICBC, Huawei and Alibaba, said the report. Huawei and Alibaba, in particular, embraced strong marketing strategies adopted by their international counterparts. China has come closer to the long-standing leader -- the United States, which recorded a brand value growth of only 7 percent over the past year. The difference in value between the two nations' brands has dropped from $12 trillion in 2018 to just over $8 trillion in 2019, said the report. The report showed that the average year-on-year nation brand value growth of the developing economies was 13.9 percent, compared with mere 0.4 percent for the developed economies. "With general stagnation in Europe and North America, nations from the Middle East and Africa have claimed 11 out of the top 20 spots for brand value growth this year," said David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance.Although the United States retained its position as the leader among the world's 100 most valuable nation brands, second-ranked China is nevertheless narrowing the gap, as it continues to grow against all odds, said Haigh. ^ top ^

 

DPRK

Nuclear talks felled by competing demands (China Daily)
2019-10-09
The breakdown of working-level nuclear talks over the weekend will make future negotiations between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States even more difficult as the two countries remain reluctant to bridge the gap between them, experts said. The main stumbling block is that Washington's demands for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula run up against the DPRK's insistence on relief from sanctions, they added. The two sides restarted their long-delayed talks on Saturday in Stockholm but failed to reach a consensus. The DPRK said it had ruled out the possibility of holding further negotiations with the US, which it accused of inflexibility. However, the US said it still hoped its negotiators would to return to the Swedish capital for more discussions in two weeks. According to Sun Chenghao, an assistant research professor at the Institute of American Studies of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, the breakdown in the talks underscored the difficulty of closing the gap between the two sides. "It seems that both the DPRK and the US are resorting to the strategy of brinkmanship before the talks, by which they are seeking to gain more leverage and to pressure the other side to concede when things reach a crucial stage," Sun said. Sun noted that the atmosphere surrounding this round of talks is negative, citing the DPRK's weapons tests of recent months, as well as Washington's reluctance to budge on sanctions. Sun also cited US President Donald Trump's oft-stated position that he is in "no rush" for an agreement on a denuclearization road map. He said that the DPRK, with its claim that it will not enter into further negotiations, is seeking to pressure the US into easing its hostile policy toward the country. He said it would be clear to the Trump administration that its interactions with Pyongyang have entered their most challenging phase. Wang Junsheng, an associate researcher at the National Institute of International Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the issue of whether to ease sanctions has moved to the forefront now for the US. "It was hoped that the working-level negotiations in Sweden could at least work out a partial agreement on sanctions, but it seems that the differences are insurmountable. A lack of mutual trust is the fundamental reason," Wang said. Saturday's meeting marked the first formal round of negotiations since a summit in February between Trump and the DPRK's top leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal. At those talks in Vietnam, the DPRK offered to dismantle its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon in exchange for substantial sanctions relief, but the US refused to give ground. In June, at an impromptu meeting inside the Demilitarized Zone at the inter-Korean border, Trump and Kim agreed to resume working-level talks within weeks. The nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang has been stuck in a cycle of ups and downs. On Oct 2, a day after Pyongyang announced that it had agreed to resume working-level negotiations, it tested a new type of ballistic missile in the waters off Wonsan Bay on the DPRK's east coast. Analysts quoted by The Associated Press said satellite images indicated that the test was conducted from a submersible barge rather than an actual submarine. On Monday, the DPRK's United Nations Ambassador Kim Song told media that the test was one of his country's "self-defensive measures", adding that "it has no effect on the security of neighboring countries". But the Republic of Korea's Yonhap News Agency said the launch was seen as a move aimed at increasing the DPRK's leverage after the high-stakes talks collapsed, as submarine-launched ballistic missiles are regarded as a bigger threat to the US than the short-range ballistic missiles it tested in the preceding months, it said. Kim Song said it had been almost 100 days since the two leaders' last meeting in Panmunjom, and the US has not presented any new initiative. "Do you think they will come up with a new one in weeks?" the country's envoy to the UN told reporters. He said the DPRK has demanded that the US come up with mutually acceptable proposals to salvage the nuclear diplomacy by the end of this year. ^ top ^

China hopes DPRK, US will remain patient and meet each other halfway (China Daily)
2019-10-09
China on Tuesday expressed the hope that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States will remain patient and meet each other halfway, and push forward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the political settlement process on a correct track. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks at a press briefing, responding to statements made by the DPRK and the US after their working-level talks held last Saturday in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. The DPRK side said the negotiations had broken down while the US State Department said that its delegation had "good discussions" with its DPRK counterpart, expecting to return to talks in two weeks. "The ups and downs of the Korean Peninsula situation over the past decades tell us that dialogue and consultations are the fundamental way out," Geng said. China hopes the DPRK and the United States will remain patient, meet each other halfway, stick to dialogue and consultations to find solutions to their respective concerns, and push forward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the political settlement process on a right track, Geng said. China is willing to continue playing a constructive role in this regard, he said. ^ top ^

S.Korea's nuke envoy to visit Washington for talks over Korean Peninsula affairs (Global Times)
2019-10-08
South Korea's chief nuclear envoy will visit Washington this week for talks over the Korean Peninsula affairs, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday. Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, will make a four-day visit to Washington from Monday to meet with Stephen Biegun, US special representative for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) affairs. During the meeting, Lee and Biegun will discuss ways to cooperate between Seoul and Washington for the complete denuclearization of and the permanent peace settlement in the Korean Peninsula, the Seoul ministry said. Lee will also hold a bilateral meeting with Takizaki Shigeki, director-general of the Japanese foreign ministry's Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau who will visit Washington during the same period as Lee's trip, as well as a trilateral meeting including Biegun. The series of meetings would come after the DPRK-US working-level nuclearization talks were held in the Swedish capital of Stockholm on Saturday. Kim Myong Gil, the DPRK delegation's chief negotiator, said after the eight and a half hours of talks with the US side that the negotiations broke down "entirely because the United States has not discarded its old stance and attitude" and came to a negotiating table with an "empty hand." The US State Department said its delegation had "good discussions" with its DPRK counterpart, expecting to return to the working-level talks in two weeks. The DPRK-US denuclearization talks have hit a stalemate since the second summit between top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump ended without any agreement in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in late February. The two leaders first met in Singapore in June 2018. In an impromptu meeting in late June at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom, Kim and Trump agreed to resume the working-level dialogue. ^ top ^

Xi, Kim laud sound, stable bilateral ties (China Daily)
2019-10-07
President Xi Jinping said on Sunday that Beijing stands ready to join hands with Pyongyang in pushing forward the long-term, sound and stable development of their bilateral relationship. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark as he exchanged congratulatory messages with Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, over the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.In his message, Xi extended warm congratulations on behalf of the CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people, to Kim, who is also chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, and through Kim to the WPK, the DPRK government and the DPRK people. China and the DPRK officially established diplomatic ties 70 years ago, which had epoch-making significance in the history of relations between the two parties and countries, Xi said. The DPRK was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China. Xi said the China-DPRK traditional friendship has weathered international vicissitudes and changes over time under the care of successive leaders of the two parties and countries and joint efforts from both sides over the past seven decades. It has enjoyed constant development, become even stronger and been supported by the people, he said. He also said that the two countries have achieved fruitful results in exchanges and cooperation in various fields that have greatly promoted prosperity and progress in the cause of socialism in the two countries and played an active and important role in safeguarding regional peace and stability. Xi stressed that the China-DPRK traditional friendship is a precious asset of two parties, two countries and two peoples. It is an unswerving policy of the CPC and the Chinese government to maintain, consolidate and develop sound China-DPRK ties, he added. He said he highly values developing China-DPRK ties and cherishes the mutual trust and friendship with Kim. In June, Xi paid a two-day state visit to the DPRK, the first visit by the top leader of the CPC and China's head of state in 14 years. Before the visit, Xi and Kim had met four times in China since Kim first visited Beijing in March last year. A series of important consensuses reached through the meetings have guided the bilateral relationship into a new historical era, Xi said. In his message, Kim extended the warmest congratulations and sincerest wishes in the name of the WPK, the DPRK government and the DPRK people to Xi and through Xi to the CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people. The two parties and peoples of the two countries have always weathered all tempests while sharing weal and woe with each other in the course of defending and developing the cause of socialism and have written a history of great friendship, Kim said. He said that the DPRK-China relationship has entered a critical period of carrying forward history and carving out a new future. It is the fixed position of himself, the WPK and the DPRK government to carry forward the excellent traditions of the DPRK-China friendship and to further develop overall prosperity and friendly and cooperative relations, Kim said. Kim said he firmly stands together with Xi in strengthening and developing the DPRK-China friendship as desired by the people of the two countries, in steadily defending the cause of socialism, and in preserving peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and around the world ^ top ^

DPRK-U.S. working-level talks in Stockholm break down without agreement (Xinhua)
2019-10-07
The latest working-level talks held here Saturday between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States broke down with no agreement. "The negotiations did not live up to our expectations and were canceled. I am very disappointed," DPRK's chief negotiator Kim Myong Gil told the South Korean news agency Yonhap after the talks. The first DPRK-U.S. talks in more than seven months were held in Lidingo, a suburb of Sweden's capital Stockholm, and lasted eight and a half hours. "It is now up to the U.S. to resume the dialogue," Kim was quoted by the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter as saying. "It's a big failure. If there is no breakthrough now, it will be very difficult to plan for a summit between Trump and Kim. And without a summit, there can also be no bilateral agreement" on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, Jerker Hellstrom, a security policy analyst at the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI), told Swedish Television. Swedish Foreign Ministry has made no comment on Saturday's talks. Earlier, Foreign Minister Ann Linde twitted that dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang is "needed to reach denuclearization and peaceful solution. "Hours after Kim's remarks, the U.S. State Department said officials from the two sides had "good discussions. "Its delegation, which was led by Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for the DPRK affairs, "had good discussions with its DPRK counterparts" and has accepted an invitation from Sweden to "return to Stockholm to meet again with its DPRK counterparts in two weeks' time, in order to continue discussions on all of the topics," said department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a statement. The denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington have hit a stalemate since the second summit between top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in late February ended without any agreement. The two leaders first met in Singapore in June 2018. In an impromptu meeting in late June at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom, Trump and Kim agreed to restart working-level talks. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Additional US Government assistance to advance sustainable and inclusive growth in Mongolia (Montsame)
2019-10-11
On October 10, the U.S. government announced the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Finance of Mongolia signed a MNT 17 billion ($6.4 million) expansion of the bilateral agreement to implement new activities in support of good governance; the rule of law; reliable, efficient and affordable energy; and sustainable, private sector-led growth in Mongolia. "The United States is proud to stand with the government and the people of Mongolia to promote sustainable and inclusive growth," Ambassador Michael Klecheski said. "As strategic partners that share a commitment to democracy, this enhanced partnership will deepen our cooperation to support peace, prosperity, and stability in the region. "The new assistance from USAID will help grow and diversify Mongolia's economy through support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). USAID will work with government and private sector partners to create an environment conducive to the growth of SMEs, including easier access to business financing, improved corporate governance, and provision of small grants to disadvantaged enterprises. In partnership with the Ministry of Finance, the U.S. government will also increase the people of Mongolia's access to economical, clean, and quality energy. USAID assistance will help accelerate deployment of new and advanced technologies, including for energy efficiency; improve the performance of power utilities; and enhance private sector participation. The U.S. government, through USAID, supports Mongolia's continued democratic development; sustainable, inclusive economic growth; and sovereignty. Through its Leaders Advancing Democracy (LEAD) Mongolia program, USAID is helping to build the next generation of democracy champions across the country. USAID has also helped SMEs improve their access to credit and has facilitated linkages between financial institutions and 750 borrowers, multiplying their investments 20 times over and creating more than 600 new jobs. ^ top ^

P Mongolia ranks 102nd in Global Competitiveness Report (Montsame)
2019-10-11
The Global Competitiveness Report series released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) introduced this year's Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), in which Mongolia scored 52.6 point and stood at 102nd out of 141 countries. It means that the country showed a 0.1-point decline or dropped by 3. In macroeconomic stability, Mongolia ranks at 120th, with lowered financial indicator of small and medium enterprises in the financial sector compared with the previous year. Moreover, the bad loans indicator in the entire market has lowered than that before. In its 2019 Global Competitiveness Report, the WEF measured the strength of 103 key indicators, such as inflation, digital skills and trade tariffs, across 141 countries. ^ top ^

M U.Khurelsukh to pay official visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan (Montsame)
2019-10-08
At the invitation of Prime Minister of Kazakhstan A.U.Mamin, Prime Minister of Mongolia U.Khurelsukh will pay an official visit to the country on October 10-12.PM U.Khurelsukh will hold official talks with his Kazakhstan counterpart A.U.Mamin, exchanging detailed views on advancing bilateral relations and cooperation to next level and developing cooperation in wide range of fields such as politics, trade and economy, investment, culture, education and humanity. Moreover, PM U.Khurelsukh will pay courtesy call on state head of Kazakhstan in addition to addressing Mongolia-Kazakhstan business forum. ^ top ^

Mongolian Space Technology Association formed (Montsame)
2019-10-08
Mongolia launched into space its first satellite Mazaalai on July 7, 2017, six decades after Russia's launch of the very first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957. A new association, Mongolian Space Technology Association was established with the aims of creating and launching the country's next satellites as well as bringing the development of space science of Mongolia to a new level through introduction of advanced technology and leading the world in the field. With the World Space Week taking place on October 4-11, the association announced its establishment on October 4 and introduced its activities and goals. The association's Honorary President, Hero of Mongolia and Soviet Union, astronaut J.Gurragchaa, Hero of Labor, Honored Scientific Figure, astronaut M.Ganzorig, Director of the Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics at Mongolian Academy of Sciences S.Demberel, and students of the Mongolian National University attended the event to discuss present state and future trends of space science. Moreover, the association established a Memorandum of Cooperation with MAS Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics during the event. ^ top ^

 

Eleanore Sun
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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