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
  20-24.7.2020, No. 826  
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Foreign Policy

Why has the US abruptly turned against China?: Global Times editorial (Global Times)
Why has the US unexpectedly turned against China? Is there still room for China and the US to ease tensions and avoid an all-out confrontation? This is the most common sentiment among US political elites: The US has been in contact with China since the early 1970s, and has long believed that the market economy boom, brought by such contact, will eventually lead to the so-called political liberalization in China. However, they are completely disappointed now. We believe such an explanation is the US elites' selective self-beautification, as well as their moral mobilization of the US and the Western world's confrontation with China. The détente in the China-US relations started with former US president Richard Nixon's China visit in 1972 during the peak of the Cold War. The US, forced by the Cold War, had to take the initiative to approach China. At that time, China had a sharp ideological confrontation with the West. But the rapprochement of China-US relations reshaped the geopolitical structure of the Asia-Pacific region and affected the trend of the Cold War. This was Washington's true purpose. After China's reform and opening-up in late 1970s, China and the US formed a wide range of contacts. But until the end of the 1980s, the US' biggest consideration for China had been using China's power to accumulate bargaining chips against the Soviet Union. After the end of the Cold War and throughout the 1990s, Washington's strategic focus was to digest its achievements during the Cold War. China, as an emerging market, attracted the huge interest from the US during that period. The US conservative elites have never given up hostility toward China, but the huge potential of the Chinese market prevented the spread of such hostility. After the US' counter-terror war, the sense of major power competition was strengthened again in the US. China's rise has gradually reached the critical point of US strategic tolerance. The Trump administration considers China the US' largest strategic competitor. US policy toward China has undergone a fundamental reversion. The US never faced a country like China before - a huge country with rapid development and unlimited potential. Washington's political elites are panicking. Their Cold War mentality has been fully mobilized. The US' hegemonic interests have been placed in an overwhelming position in the China-US relations, and the two countries' huge economic interests have been relegated to the back seat. It seems the US has suddenly returned to the 20th century. China also has no experience in interacting with the world hegemony. In the face of the US' fierceness, should we try to calm it down, or should we do our own thing well and counterattack? This is what we need to explore. However, we believe China's overall innocence will affect the development of the situation for a long time to come. That China is growing into a major country is driven by Chinese people's desire to get rid of poverty and become prosperous. It is not a conspiracy campaign to overthrow the US. China's military development is also in line with its expanding strategic risks and its need to protect national interests. China is still a strategically defensive country without any ambition to expand. Our "toughness" is a strategy to protect our core interests, not to reset the world order. The US has seriously misjudged China's strategic motives. China is a huge society, and internal affairs have been the country's focus of governance. The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the core force leading the Chinese people to fulfill arduous tasks. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC held in 2012, the anti-corruption campaign has profoundly changed the style of government, the information industry has brought convenience, and China has also taken steps in new countryside construction, and fairness and justice. China has also adequately put the COVID-19 epidemic under control. This is the period when China's politics is unprecedentedly stable. The US has no ability to crush today's China, because China is already powerful enough but it does not take the dangerous road of expansion. Although China has ideologies different from those of some Western countries, it does not sow seeds of hatred. This is why the US has encountered resistance while trying to form an anti-China camp. The US ruling team's understanding of US interests as well as China is outdated. It is the 21st century, rather than China, that they are fighting against. They will inevitably run up against the wall. ^ top ^

China-India relations must move forward, not backward (China Daily)
I have been living in China for 15 years, and every year my love for the country and its people becomes deeper. The clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers on the border last month was not only troubling for people in both countries but also a matter of grave concern for the international community. Why should there be any fight at all? Mahatma Gandhi once said an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. The bonding between the two ancient civilizations is centuries old. Despite the mighty Himalayas dividing them, the two Asian giants have been carrying on friendly exchanges for more than 2,000 years, from the time of the ancient Silk Road. Bodhidharma (Damo), who some sources say was the third son of a king in southern India, traveled to China in the 5th or 6th century to spread the teachings of the Buddha and started the physical training program for monks at Shaolin Temple which eventually developed into Shaolin kung fu. Before Bodhidharma, Kumarajiva played a key role in spreading Buddhism in China, and inspiring Chinese scholars to study the teachings of Buddha. One such scholar-cum-monk was Faxian, who traveled to India in the first decade of the 5th century in his quest for Buddhist literature. In the 7th century, Xuanzang, the Buddhist monk, scholar, traveller and translator made his historic journey from China to India. His account of India remains a comprehensive source of history. In recent history, Dwarkanath S. Kotnis, along with four fellow doctors, came from India to China in 1938 to assist in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45). Dr Kotnis sacrificed his life while serving the Chinese army and continues to be revered by the Chinese people. Even after the 1962 border war, exchanges between the two neighbors continued. Both sides shelved their differences to explore mutually beneficial opportunities in trade, people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in many fields. Since then, peace, stability and friendship have characterized Sino-Indian relations. Many global experts have described the 21st century as an "Asian Century". This can become a reality only if China and India focus on common interests. Many people in India are influenced by the media which often reflect a Western world view. I hope my Indian brothers and sisters will be discerning, and not get influenced by the media that cater spicy and divisive news, which spreads venom, to gain higher television ratings. Hate-filled news could have devastating impacts on the livelihoods of innumerable families. Trade and investment between China and India have helped increase employment in both countries. Chinese and Indian businesspeople, traders and workers such as myself are connected with different fields of trade between the two countries. Many manufacturers in China service the demands of the Indian market and numerous Indian businesses have flourished from bilateral trade. A conflict between the two neighbors could fracture this win-win arrangement. The Sino-Indian trade volume last year was $92 billion, and many expected it to reach $100 billion this year. However, the border clash combined with the COVID-19 epidemic and the call in India to boycott Chinese goods will likely reduce bilateral trade this year. My fellow Indians should know that boycotting Chinese goods is not the solution to their problems; instead, it will worsen the economic situation. The people of the two countries must support each other. We must prevent Western countries from interfering in bilateral affairs because they could take advantage of geopolitical conflicts in the developing world even though they themselves face the health crisis and other challenges. Going forward, India and China need to work together to bring peace to this turbulent world. China and India deserve better than strife. The bilateral decision to disengage at the border is a big relief. Hopefully, the leaders of the two countries will continue the meaningful cooperation based on friendship, mutual trust and mutual benefit. As Sun Weidong, the Chinese ambassador to India, said, China and India need to be partners and not rivals, need peace rather than confrontation, need to pursue win-win cooperation instead of a zero-sum game, need to build trust rather than suspicion, and bilateral relations should move forward rather than backward. As we enter a new era of Sino-Indian relations, a path toward global peace, stability and prosperity beckons. As the Buddha said, "If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path." ^ top ^

China mulls not recognizing British National Overseas passports as travel documents (Xinhua)
China here on Thursday said that it is considering not recognizing British National Overseas (BNO) passports as valid travel documents, as the British side has already violated its commitments on the matter. "Regardless of China's solemn representations, the British side insisted on engaging in political manipulation on the issue involving BNO passports," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a routine press briefing. The UK government on Wednesday issued a policy statement on the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa, announcing that it will change the arrangements for BNO passport holders and extend their rights of residence. The relevant measures will come into force in January 2021. Wang said the British move "blatantly violated British commitments, violated international law and basic norms of international relations, and interfered in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs," and China firmly opposes to such moves. The Chinese side "reserves the right to take further measures," Wang added. ^ top ^

China-EU investment treaty talks hit crunch time, as Europeans bemoan seven years of 'promise fatigue' from Beijing (SCMP)
It is approaching crunch time for the European Union's relationship with China. After seven years and more than 30 rounds of talks, China's Vice-Premier Liu He and the European Commission's executive vice-president in charge of economic policy Valdis Dombrovskis are expected to speak on the phone next week in a last-ditch effort to salvage an investment treaty, on which they cannot even agree the name, but which may lay a marker for the future dynamic between two of the world's three largest economies. For Beijing, it is called the China-EU Bilateral Investment Treaty. For Brussels, it is the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. And for those familiar with the talks, therein lies the rub. Negotiations have so far yielded few concessions from China, and with each round of talks the impression builds among Europeans that China wants the perks of multilateralism without making any of the required domestic reforms. At the beginning of the year, European Union trade commissioner Phil Hogan slapped down suggestions that the bloc would "meet China in the middle". "Meeting halfway will not work for the EU. Our markets are largely open, probably the most open in the world. We have therefore made it very clear that we expect and are demanding a rebalancing of the asymmetry," said Hogan. Europe wants a level playing field for its companies working in China, meaning a reduction in Beijing's support for state-owned enterprises and subsidies for key domestic industries. It also needs a deal it can sell to its 27 member states, 26 of which are already covered by basic investment protection treaties with China. The European Commission is still haunted by the struggle to ratify the EU-Canada trade agreement in 2016, when Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, blocked the deal for weeks because it wanted stronger protections for workers, the environment and consumer standards. Now, it is faced with pitching a deal with China, at a time when wariness toward the world's second largest economy is growing across the continent. Multiple European nations were chastened by dodgy personal protection equipment shipments from China during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, while there has been growing opposition to China hoovering up strategic assets around the continent, even as European firms were unable to invest in the same manner in China. Last week, the European Union also launched a stern rebuke of the sweeping national security law enacted on Hong Kong, describing it as "draconian" and warning of a "revision" of diplomatic course with China. It is fair to say that expectations are in check over the EU-China investment treaty. "The expectations of this deal are fading away, unfortunately," said Joerg Wuttke, president of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China. "We're very grateful for the effort put in by Brussels but I think it sort of makes it more clear to us what China's real intentions are around opening up, it is basically just rhetoric, and I think 30 rounds of negotiations puts a number on it." Wuttke said that Europe was beginning to suffer from "a build-up of promise fatigue", which has been piling up since speeches by Chinese President Xi Jinping at Davos in 2017 and at the Boao Forum in 2018, which tried to pitch China as the bastion of free trade and openness as the United States became more protectionist. Xi reiterated the message again on July 15 in a letter to a group of global business executives. "There have been lots of nice words," Wuttke said, "but very little substance, and we don't see any major reform efforts." Under Xi, and especially over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, Beijing has been strengthening its state-owned enterprises and started burning more coal at a time when Brussels thinks it should be moving closer to its standards. China is soon set to unveil a three-year reform plan for its state economy, with the ultimate goal of making the government more powerful and influential. This is viewed by some Europeans as reform "but with Chinese characteristics". Beijing continues to send positive signals about concluding a deal this year. In a video conference with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel last month, Premier Li Keqiang backed plans to complete the deal in 2020. Xi, meanwhile, told the two European leaders via video conference in June that China and Europe should "accelerate the investment treaty negotiations" and become "double engines" for the world economy. Chen Fengying, former director of the World Economy Institute at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a state think-tank, said that Beijing has found new urgency to sign the deal – which she said could be a stepping stone to a broader trade agreement – as its relationship with Washington quickly deteriorates. "It's written on the wall now that China and the US can't return to business as usual," Chen said. "The world is undergoing massive changes and China is facing huge uncertainties. A deal with Europe can at least provide a bit of certainty for China." China fears being excluded from a future global trading system built on bilateral and regional pacts of which it is not a member. With this in mind, it strongly desires the deal with the European Union, and while it is expected to offer some concessions on market access and the list of sectors off-limits to foreign investments – the so-called negative list – it is not expected to entertain any demands to weaken its state-owned enterprises. Europeans point to the fact that over the course of seven years of negotiations, Brussels has agreed dozens of bilateral treaties with countries ranging from Japan to South Korea to Canada. China has signed a phase one trade deal with the US that showed that under a certain amount of duress it is willing to make some concessions, a point that has not gone unnoticed by European trade observers. "Maybe we need a phase one of our own," one adviser quipped in a private conversation recently, while business figures from the bloc have commonly lashed out at the "managed trade" between the US and China that stands to divert valuable energy, agricultural and manufacturing exports from Europe. "China wants the image of being multilateral, without any of the underlying substance. It has had a prime opportunity in recent years to show that with the world order being shaken by the US, it could work in a constructive way on the trade front with Europe and others," said Andrew Small, senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US. There is also hope on the European side that engagement with China would result in a high calibre bilateral deal and, in turn, show that the US approach under President Donald Trump does not work. "As it's turned out, neither the US approach nor the European approach has worked with China," said Small, who added that officials in Brussels view the next few weeks as "part of the last big push to see if they can induce change on China and in meaningful ways". Nonetheless, there is a lot at stake commercially. Huo Jianguo, a government adviser and former head of a think tank under China's Ministry of Commerce, said Beijing sees the bilateral treaty as "critical" to the economic futures of both sides. "There have been contradictions in the negotiations, but hopefully under the current circumstances they can overcome the difficulties and make a breakthrough," Huo said. The latest round of talks, which took place from June 29 to July 3, achieved "positive progress", according to a one-line statement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. Despite a hardening stance on Hong Kong and human rights in China, there is still political will in Brussels to reach an agreement, particularly as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a key backer, is seeing out the final months of her 16 years in office. Europe also still needs investment from China, albeit in a managed way, while European firms still crave access to the biggest market in the world. "Broadly speaking, the sense across Europe is how do we strike a balance between getting Chinese investment and protecting strategic assets?" said Eleni Theodoropoulou, a Brussels-based trade lawyer with Hogan Lovells. As a former staffer at the investment unit at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade, she said that even four years ago, "the mood towards China was cautious, not much more optimistic than now". The Chinese side is cautious as well. "The main purpose of such a bilateral investment deal for China is to facilitate entry into the European market. But the white paper [on foreign subsidies], if legislated with the current design, could turn it into a de facto one-way deal, meaning it will only be good for European businesses," said Ye Bin, a senior researcher with the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. This is a point on which the two sides strongly diverge: Europe has already been open to Chinese investors for years, even as China remains inhospitable and uneven for European equivalents. With such a disparity, it is easy to see why few expect a broad treaty to be signed any time soon. ^ top ^

U.S. request to close Chinese Consulate General in Houston "political provocation": Chinese embassy (Xinhua)
The U.S. government's request to close the Chinese Consulate General in Houston is "a political provocation," and "an outrageous and unjustified move which sabotages China-U.S. relations," said the Chinese embassy in the United States on Wednesday. "The U.S. abruptly demanded that the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston cease all operations and events within a time limit. It is a political provocation unilaterally launched by the U.S. side, which seriously violates international law, basic norms governing international relations and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the U.S.," said the embassy in a statement. "China strongly condemns and firmly opposes such an outrageous and unjustified move which sabotages China-U.S. relations," the embassy said, noting that China is committed to the principle of non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs. Over the years, Chinese diplomatic missions in the United States, including the Consulate General in Houston, have been performing duties in strict accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and are dedicated to promoting China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation and advancing the two peoples' mutual understanding and friendship, it said. "The U.S. accusations are groundless fabrications, and the excuses it cites are far-fetched and untenable. For the U.S. side, if it is bent on attacking China, it will never be short of excuses," it said. As for reciprocity, China has been providing facilitation for U.S. diplomatic missions and personnel pursuant to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the embassy said. "In contrast, the U.S. imposed unjustified restrictions on Chinese diplomatic personnel last October and in June, unscrupulously and repeatedly opened China's diplomatic pouches and seized China's official goods," it said. "Because of the willful and reckless stigmatization and fanning up of hatred by the U.S. side, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. has received threats to the safety and security of Chinese diplomatic missions and personnel more than once," it said. The U.S. side has more diplomatic and consular missions and personnel in China than China has in the United States, another area where the principle of reciprocity is not reflected. "The move of the U.S. side will only backfire on itself," said the embassy. "We urge the U.S. side to immediately revoke this erroneous decision. Otherwise, China will have to respond with legitimate and necessary actions," it said. ^ top ^

Commentary: What is behind Washington's McCarthyism surge against Beijing? (Xinhua)
Almost three decades after the end of the Cold War, zero-summers in Washington seem to be creating another ideological entrenchment, and drumming up for a new confrontation by re-hyping up what they claim to be the "China threat." Among the most notorious China critics is U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has wantonly sought to discredit the Communist Party of China (CPC) and drive a wedge between the Chinese people and the CPC. Most recently, the White House is reportedly weighing a travel ban against all CPC members and their relatives, a population that is estimated to be roughly equal that of the United States. The days when Washington's ideological hawks began to intensify their assault campaign on China and its ruling party well predate the coronavirus outbreak. In its 2017 National Security Strategy, the incumbent U.S. administration described Beijing as a "strategic competitor" and "revisionist power." After that, Washington has launched a tariff war against China, and tried to stoke the so-called "China threat" theory on a wide range of issues concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan and the South China Sea. One convenient motivation is to manipulate the highly critical public opinion inside the United States and around the world on Washington's failure to contain the outbreak, and to shift blame. There are also a number of deep-seated reasons for Washington's rising anti-China sentiments. One is Washington's deeply ingrained missionary impulse to reshape other countries according to America's own image. In its grand design, the United States intends to transplant the U.S.-style political and economic systems to China through engagement and containment, along with Western values. With this in mind, some in Washington had hoped that China would, as White House National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien recently said, "become like us." Yet to their disappointment, China, under the CPC's leadership, has made almost improbable economic and social progress while at the same time blazing a new development path that befits its own national conditions and cultural inheritance. With China having become the world's second largest economy, some Washington ideologues fear that another communist country will succeed the Soviet Union, and threaten what they claim is America's global supremacy. That seems to be another major root cause. In an interview published on the Defense Department's website on Saturday, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said "it's very clear to me and anybody who understands China that they have the ambition to displace us -- certainly from the region and preferably on the global stage." Guided by this ideology, those China hawks have spared no efforts to fabricate all the excuses, ranging from a ripped-off America, to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan, with the sole purpose to crack down on China with all means possible and stunt its future development. In reality, the McCarthyist bigotry has prevented those decision-makers in Washington from getting rid of their obsolete Cold War mentality, and embracing the spirit of multilateralism that has characterized this age of globalization. During the Cold War, the two rivaling blocs led by the United States and the Soviet Union had very limited economic and trade interactions. In sharp contrast, countries in today's world are highly connected by an extremely complex web of economic interdependence thanks to fast technological breakthroughs. As a major part of the global economy, China's economy is "not a discrete organism that can easily be separated from the global economy but rather a Siamese twin, connected by nervous tissue, common organs, and a shared circulatory system," said an analysis published recently by U.S. political magazine Foreign Affairs. While those present-day McCarthyists in Washington are instigating America's ideological gap with China, they risk pushing the China-U.S. relationship, arguably the world's most important bilateral relationship of this time, into dangerous territory, and catapulting the international community back into the age of division and rivalry. By threatening to decouple with China, those China hawks will further unleash toxic elements of uncertainty and discord at a time when dynamic global cooperation is needed more than ever to beat the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, boost post-pandemic economic recovery, and address such global challenges as combating climate change and fighting terrorism. Thus, it is imperative for them to put aside their McCarthyist bigotry and try to formulate a more rational China policy based on facts, not bias or myths. To do that, the United States should immediately call off its acts of politicization and stigmatization against China, and create a level of mutual respect and trust needed for cooperation. It is beneficial to recall what Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said recently at the China-U.S. Think Tanks Media Forum, "while the U.S. unscrupulously encircles and smears China around the world, and meddles in China's domestic affairs, it should not demand unrealistically that China show understanding and support to the U.S. in bilateral and global affairs." It is also essential for the two sides to reactivate all existing channels of dialogue so as to maintain a smooth flow of communication, and sort out areas where they need to manage their differences, as well as sectors where they can join forces like containing the raging coronavirus pandemic. More than four decades ago at the height of the Cold War, the Chinese and U.S. leaders had managed to set aside ideological differences and normalized bilateral relations. Today, leaders in Washington should join their counterparts in Beijing to muster up even greater political courage and vision and pull the China-U.S. relationship out of perhaps the most severe challenge since the establishment of diplomatic ties. The consequence of failing to do so could be too disastrous for the world to bear. ^ top ^

US accusations of vaccine theft 'absurd' (China Daily)
China is leading the world in developing novel coronavirus vaccine candidates, and it is "absurd" to accuse China of trying to steal US vaccines through cyberattacks, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday. Hua made the remark at a daily news conference in response to United States Attorney General William Barr's claims on Thursday that "PRC-linked hackers have targeted American universities and firms in a bid to steal IP related to coronavirus treatments and vaccines." "We have the best researchers. We don't need to steal to get to the leading position," Hua said. China's research teams have carried out multiple tasks to develop five kinds of vaccines, and Chinese candidate vaccines with independent intellectual property rights have already entered clinical trials, she said. According to a white paper China released in June to explain its efforts in fighting COVID-19, China had approved four inactivated vaccines and one adenovirus vaccine for clinical trials by then. China will also continue to work with other countries to strengthen cooperation in vaccine development and distribution so that the world can fend off the pandemic as soon as possible, Hua said. "China will not act like some countries which seek to monopolize and buy out the vaccines and medicines," she said. COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made for the global public good, which will be China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries, President Xi Jinping said when addressing the 73rd World Health Assembly in May. Hua also dismissed Barr's claims that China is "engaged in an economic blitzkrieg... to surpass the United States as the world's preeminent superpower". Some people in the US have spared no efforts in describing China as a rival and defaming and besieging China, Hua said, adding they have used their attacks on China as "a silver bullet" to address their domestic political issues. "Out of their own political interests, those people went so far as to kidnap domestic public opinion in the US," Hua said, pointing out that such moves are "doing grave harm to the US and the world". China has never intended to challenge or replace the US, she said. "China's policy toward the US hasn't changed. We hope to develop bilateral ties with good will and sincerity," Hua said. Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang held a video meeting with representatives of US companies on Wednesday. China has been trying to develop ties with the US featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, and the US shouldn't repay China's good will with harm, Zheng said in the meeting, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. China-US ties are facing a serious and complex situation, and the US has seriously undermined the ties by interfering in China's domestic affairs and hurting China's interests, Zheng said, adding that some people in the US have resorted to all kinds of means to obstruct bilateral cooperation. China will continue to make necessary responses to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests, and the right path for developing bilateral ties lies in mutual respect and seeking common ground, Zheng added. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

Retired Real Estate Boss Ren Zhiqiang Expelled From Party (Caixin)
Ren Zhiqiang, former chairman of state-owned developer Huayuan Property Co., was expelled from the Communist Party for violating party discipline and faces criminal corruption and embezzlement charges, China's anti-graft watchdog said Thursday. Ren disobeyed major principles and lost loyalty to the party, a Beijing branch of the state graft buster said. He was found using public power for personal benefits, accepting favors from business people, obtaining huge illegal gains through connected-party transactions and causing losses of state assets. Ren collaborated with his children for illicit profit-taking, according to the statement. Ren's case has been passed to the judiciary system for criminal investment on allegations including corruption, taking bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power. Ren was placed under party investigation in April for suspected violations of discipline and law. The 69-year-old Ren retired as head of Huayuan Property in 2014. He was a high-profile figure in China's real estate industry, often stirring controversy with his comments on the country's property market. Ren, along with SOHO China chairman Pan Shiyi and Vantone Holding Co. Ltd.'s Feng Lun, were the country's earliest players in the property market. He joined the predecessor of Huayuan Property in 1984. ^ top ^

Xi stresses carrying forward socialist cause founded by CPC (People's Daily)
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has stressed upholding the great socialist cause founded by the CPC and carrying it forward from generation to generation. Xi made the remarks Wednesday afternoon during his visit to the memorial hall for the Siping battle of the Chinese People's War of Liberation in northeast China's Jilin Province. During the war, the people's army, led by the CPC, emerged victorious from the Siping battle at the cost of nearly 20,000 lives. From the Nanchang Uprising to the fighting in the Jinggang Mountains, from the extraordinarily formidable Long March to the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, and from the Chinese People's War of Liberation to the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea, it was the lives of revolutionary martyrs that ensured the success of the revolution, Xi noted. "We must keep firmly in mind that New China did not come easily," Xi said. The 1.4 billion people in the country, including over 90 million CPC members and leading cadres at all levels in particular, should earnestly study the history of the CPC and that of New China, Xi added. ^ top ^

Protecting market players during protectionism (China Daily)
The Supreme People's Court and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly introduced a document on Wednesday, ordering crackdowns on illegal and criminal acts that target private entrepreneurs, seriously endangering their development, and stressing that the encroached upon or misappropriated property of private enterprises be recovered and/or compensated in accordance with the law. It also said that rules that differentiate between market players on the basis of ownership type should be abolished. Market entities are major participants in China's economic activities, major providers of employment, and major promoters of technological progress. Since the reform and opening-up, China's private sector has witnessed booming development, with private enterprises accounting for over 95 percent of the country's enterprises, and the emergence of a lot of world-class excellent enterprises. However, many restrictions obstructing the development of the private economy are yet to be eased, if not removed. In recent years, in order to protect the legitimate rights and interests of private enterprises and entrepreneurs, relevant departments have worked out a series of judicial interpretations. However, in reality, some local authorities continue putting more emphasis on soliciting investment than on providing services, leading to enterprises getting embroiled in legal disputes and collapsing. Such problems can trigger anxiety among entrepreneurs and undermine the government's authority and credibility. The firm protection of property rights in accordance with the law is the best assurance for market entities and entrepreneurs. In recent years, China has continuously strengthened property rights, while also protecting the legitimate rights and interests of entrepreneurs and preventing economic disputes from being treated as crimes, to create the right environment for private entrepreneurs to invest. The latest document issued by the two State departments is proof of the country's increased efforts to improve the judicial protection mechanism for market entities, strengthen judicial protection for the non-public sector, and better protect the property rights of private enterprises and entrepreneurs. Market players are the carriers of economic power, and to protect market players is to protect social productive forces. Since the reform and opening-up, China has made remarkable achievements in economic and social development and become the second largest economy in the world. These achievements can be attributed to increasing number of market players and their enhanced vitality. As China's economy gradually shifts from rapid growth to high-quality development, it is becoming more inseparable from the development and buildup of various market players and the enhancement of its core competitiveness. At a time of rising protectionism worldwide, which is prolonging the world's economic woes and shrinking global demands, it is all the more important that China does all it can do to protect market players and jobs to ensure sustainable economic development. ^ top ^

Commentary: Bottom line of grain security must not be crossed (Xinhua)
President Xi Jinping's visit to northeast China's Jilin Province shows that the country is firmly committed to ensuring grain security amid COVID-19 pandemic and a complex international situation. For a country with 1.4 billion population, ensuring food security is an unending task for China, and efforts must not be slackened at any time. Northeast China is the country's most crucial commodity grain base, and Jilin is one of the leading corn production areas. Xi's inspection of the province delivered an important message as China strives to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the end of this year. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has stressed the importance of food security on many occasions, reiterating that "the rice bowl of the Chinese people, in any situation, must be firmly held in our own hands." The COVID-19 pandemic has further underlined the importance of grain security. In the first half of the year, China's spring plowing and agricultural production encountered setbacks due to difficulties in transportation, circulation and grain processing. Restrictions on food exports and panic hoarding in some countries and regions, and rampant desert locust, have adversely affected food production. "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020" report released by five agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), projected that COVID-19 could push up to 132 million people into starvation globally this year. China has adopted timely measures to respond to emerging challenges. The central authority convened the national work conference on spring plowing in February, one month earlier than usual, to draw this year's roadmap for spring plowing and agricultural production. When China was hit hard by the coronavirus, the country's top leadership urged all-out efforts to organize spring plowing while taking differentiated anti-epidemic measures, so that farmers don't miss the farming season and a good summer harvest could be guaranteed. Stable grain production has been listed as one of the nation's top priorities as measures conducive to agriculture are adopted across the country. A bumper harvest is in the offing. China's summer grain output reached a historic high of 142.81 million tonnes this year, up 0.9 percent from last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The record-breaking harvest has paved the way for another bumper year. Geopolitical conflicts, coupled with rising protectionism, unilateralism and hegemonism, have made the global situation increasingly complicated, thus posing grave challenges to China's development. Despite the obstacles, the Chinese people will not flinch, they will deal with their affairs unswervingly. The most pressing issue is to provide food for 1.4 billion people. In the face of volatile and complicated international situations, China's bottom line of safeguarding food security can never be crossed. With this bottom line protected, China's confidence and composure will be boosted enabling it to tide over the internal and external challenges. ^ top ^

Vice Premier Sends Team to Investigate Mass Resignations of Scientists (Caixin)
China's Vice Premier Liu He said on Tuesday that the State Council would dispatch a team to investigate mass resignations at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Physical Science in Hefei, East China's Anhui province, according to the academy's official website (link in Chinese). On Sunday, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the world's largest research body, sent a task force to its Hefei branch (link in Chinese) in response to various media reports that more than 90 nuclear scientists resigned en masse in June. The cause of the collective resignation is unclear. According to Chinese media reports, two key factors may have contributed to the decision by scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology (INEST) to resign. One is that the institute could not secure big research projects due to a lack of funds, and the other is that the scientists were "poached" and left for better jobs. The mass resignations at INEST have drawn widespread public attention as the institution, which specializes in advanced nuclear energy and safety technology, currently participates in over 200 national and international projects, including the National Key R&D Program of China and cooperation projects with the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to its website. INEST, a hub of leading Chinese scientists, claims to have around 600 members, of whom 80% hold PhD degrees. ^ top ^

Xi Focus: Xi chairs leadership meeting on flood control (Xinhua)
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday chaired a leadership meeting on the flood control and relief work. Xi stressed putting people's lives and property first and taking more forceful measures to do a good job in flood control and relief work, at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Since June, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee, Party committees and governments at all levels, relevant departments, the armed forces, cadres and the people have worked together to yield positive results in flood control and relief work, Xi said. He said the work concerns the safety of people's lives and property, as well as food, economic, social and national security, and it is very important to do it well because this year is crucial in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and fighting poverty. Xi stressed the importance of strengthening coordination and cooperation because the rainfall in the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River remains heavy, while relatively severe floods could occur in other areas, including the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River. The CPC Central Committee has paid great attention to this year's flood control and rescue work, the meeting said. On May 19, Xi chaired a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and ordered preparations to prevent and control floods in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the meeting said. Xi also issued many instructions on coordinating epidemic containment efforts with flood control work, ordering Party committees and governments at all levels to go all out to save lives and safeguard property. The meeting stressed the need to bring out the advantages of the country's evolving disaster prevention and relief mechanism to enhance cooperation among all relevant departments and give full play to the expertise of those involved in the fight against floods. Hydrological and meteorological forecasts should be done timely and accurately, while more efforts must be made to improve the forecasting of secondary disasters, especially torrential rains, typhoons, mountain floods and mudslides, and make such forecasts accessible to all villagers in the counties. The meeting also underlined the necessity of ensuring the safety of key dams and other major infrastructure facilities, and called for quick responses in disaster relief to minimize all kinds of losses. Epidemic prevention work must be well coordinated with flood prevention and disaster relief work to avoid a rebound in the novel coronavirus outbreak, it said. Efforts should be made to restore order in productivity as early as possible, said the meeting, urging timely repair of damaged water, electricity, transportation and telecommunication facilities to facilitate post-disaster reconstruction. The meeting also stressed that poverty alleviation work must be properly advanced along with post-disaster reconstruction so as to prevent people from falling into or back into poverty because of flood disasters. It said that the country needs to enhance its disaster prevention capability comprehensively and will include capacity building on disaster prevention in its 14th Five-Year Plan. ^ top ^



Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy research center inaugurated (Xinhua)
The Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy research center was inaugurated here Monday. The center was established by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the support of the China Institute of International Studies. It aims to coordinate resources nationwide and carry out comprehensive, systematic and in-depth studies, explanations, and introductions of the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. Focusing on studying the nature, theory, practice, communication, policies, and specific subjects of the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, the center aims to give full play to the guiding role of the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy in China's diplomatic practices, and serve the construction of theory, system and mechanism, and capacity of the major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in a new era. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the inauguration ceremony and delivered a speech. He called for deep study and earnest implementation of the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy to break new ground for the major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. ^ top ^



Shanghai appoints new mayor, who talks of turning crisis into opportunity (SCMP)
Shanghai on Tuesday appointed Gong Zheng as the city's new mayor, who faces the challenge of reviving the city's coronavirus-hit economy. The 60-year-old from Jiangsu was confirmed by the city's legislature after a four-month delay following his transfer from the eastern province of Shandong, where he was governor. In a speech, he told the legislature that it was important to turn the crisis into opportunity, an apparent reference to the economic slowdown brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Gong was sent to Shanghai in March to take up the role of mayor, a position vacated by Ying Yong when he was appointed Communist Party chief in the central province of Hubei in February amid the coronavirus outbreak there. Its capital, Wuhan, was the initial epicentre of the outbreak. As mayor of financial centre Shanghai, Gong will again work with Li Qiang, the city's party secretary. The pair worked together for seven years in Zhejiang two decades ago and both served under Xi Jinping when he was party secretary of the eastern province from 2002 to 2007. Gong has a PhD in economics and worked for China's customs agency for more than 20 years. He was more recently party boss of Hangzhou, one of the country's fastest growing innovation and technology centres. But he will face huge challenges as Shanghai mayor. According to analysts, an immediate task will be dealing with the severe floods in the Yangtze River basin. Longer term, they said his background in economics would be put to the test to push the city's development and growth while trying to limit fallout from the pandemic. Shanghai has been relatively successful in containing the virus, with no local infections and imported cases in the single digits for the past three months. But the city's leaders and public health officials are on alert after recent outbreaks in Beijing and Xinjiang. An economics expert from Fudan University in Shanghai said growth would be a challenge for the city since its economy shrank by 6.7 per cent in the first quarter, but there was cause for optimism. "Gong is clearly focused on the hi-tech sector in order to steer Shanghai's economic development, and the city continues to be one of the most competitive regions in China for investors – especially in hi-tech manufacturing," said the academic, who requested anonymity. "Shanghai wants to lead the next round of China's industrial revolution and show the world that the city is ideal for foreign technology companies like Tesla to set up their research and development and production bases, and to explore the China market," he said. US electric carmaker Tesla set up its Gigafactory in Shanghai two years ago, and began manufacturing its Model 3 sedans there late last year. "Gong has also paid much attention to Shanghai's Science and Technology Innovation Centre, where a lot of companies are working on hi-tech solutions for the post Covid-19 world, and that is perhaps one aspect of what Gong meant by turning the crisis into opportunities," the academic said. Shanghai's domestic retail consumption slumped 13.8 per cent in the first five months of this year, but the city's foreign direct investment grew 4.5 per cent to US$8.5 billion in the same period. Gong has been the city's acting mayor and deputy party secretary since March, and he has regularly been seen at events for technology-related projects. Last week, he unveiled the Shanghai AI Laboratory at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference, where investors reportedly signed deals for projects worth more than 30 billion yuan (US$4.3 billion). ^ top ^



Exclusive: Guangdong Government to Take Over Troubled Drugmaker Kangmei (Caixin)
A state-owned company will take over debt-ridden drugmaker Kangmei Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. after the company was punished for a $12.6 billion financial fraud, according to exclusive sources. Kangmei's controlling shareholder, Kangmei Industry Investment Holdings Co. Ltd., is planning a major matter that may lead to a change in control of Kangmei, the company said Thursday in a statement. Because of the uncertainty of the matter, the company's stock was suspended from trading for two days starting Thursday, Kangmei said. Shanghai-listed Kangmei is one of China's biggest publicly traded drugmakers. Exclusive sources told Caixin that the Guangdong provincial government recently held a meeting and named Guangdong Hengjian Investment Holding Corp. as custodian of Kangmei. Details haven't been finalized, but a possible option is to have Hengjian hold the controlling shareholder's voting rights in Kangmei, one of the sources said. Hengjian is a stated-owned investment holding company wholly owned by the Guangdong provincial government. It holds stakes in state-owned power company China Southern Power Grid Co., China Southern Airlines Co., China General Nuclear Power Group and China Baowu Steel Group Corp. As early as May 2019, just after Kangmei admitted to overstating its cash, former Kangmei Pharmaceutical Chairman Ma Xingtian approached Hengjian for a possible equity investment. The Guangdong government was also interested in brokering a restructuring of Kangmei. But as the financial fraud turned out be far more serious than Kangmei originally acknowledged, the restructuring talks never made substantial progress. Hengjian was the first investor in talks with Kangmei, but the parties failed to reach a deal. Kangmei also approached state-owned Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corp., according to a person familiar with the matter. Kangmei's strategy was to sell assets to ensure bond repayments and buy time to avoid a forced delisting, the person said. Now that the fraud investigation has been concluded and punishment has been handed down, state-owned capital is willing to step in, the person said. The company was fined 600,000 yuan by top securities regulators in May for inflating revenues and fabricating bank deposits. Kangmei said in April 2019 that "accounting errors" caused a 29.9 billion yuan overstatement of its cash holdings. An investigation by regulators subsequently found that the company engaged in a series of illegal activities including forging documents for nonexistent business activities leading to an overstatement of cash holdings amounting to 88.7 billion yuan ($12.6 billion) from 2016 to 2018. Earlier this month, the police took compulsory measures against Ma on suspicion of illegal disclosure of information and failure to disclose important information. GF Securities Co. Ltd., the sponsor of Kangmei's initial public offering in 2001 and adviser in many of Kangmei's financing deals, was banned from the securities-sponsorship business for six months and from bond underwriting for a year. The government's takeover is to ensure the survival of Kangmei, a person close to the Guangdong government told Caixin. Next, the government still hopes to push forward a restructuring of Kangmei in a market-oriented way, the person said. The government is currently coordinating an asset sale by Kangmei to repay some debt, a creditor said. As of the end of 2019, Kangmei had 501 million yuan in cash and cash equivalents but had total debt of nearly 30 billion yuan. ^ top ^

Advisers urged to better promote Greater Bay Area (China Daily)
Political advisers should continue to pool their resources in promoting the collaborative development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and enrich the practice of "one country, two systems", the country's top political adviser said on Wednesday. Wang Yang, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body, urged more understanding of the significance of cooperation in innovation in the Greater Bay Area from a strategic and overall perspective at a regular consultative meeting. "We should adhere to the principle of 'one country', make good use of the benefits of the 'two systems', and maintain the foundation of stability," he said. The central government launched an outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area in February last year. The blueprint lays out the vision for coordinated development of the 11-city cluster, which covers nine cities in southern Guangdong province, and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions. The plan aims to build the region into a globally influential innovation and technology hub, and a world-class bay area. Wang said greater efforts will be made to further promote reform and opening-up and institutional innovation, and remove bottlenecks and constraints that impede the free flow of innovation in the area. "We will build the Greater Bay Area into an open platform for collaborative innovation and further enrich the practice of 'one country, two systems'," he said. About 100 national political advisers and representatives of government agencies took part in the discussion on Wednesday in Beijing or by video link. Their suggestions covered many aspects, including trademark standards, vocational qualifications, equal treatment for innovative enterprises and the construction of a development base for young entrepreneurs. Tan Tieniu, a member of the CPPCC, said that while surveys show most Hong Kong residents are aware of the development of the Greater Bay Area, few know about it in great detail. He said a more innovative approach should be adopted to help inform Hong Kong residents, especially young people, to create better understanding of the area and its broader prospects. Chan Cheuk-hay, a member of the CPPCC from Hong Kong, said it should be made easier for young people from Hong Kong to study and work in cities in the Greater Bay Area. ^ top ^



US blacklists 11 more Chinese firms over treatment of Uygurs in Xinjiang (SCMP)
The US Commerce Department on Monday added 11 Chinese companies implicated in what it called human rights violations in connection with the treatment of Uygurs in Xinjiang to the US economic blacklist. The department said the companies were involved in using forced labour by Uygurs and other Muslim minority groups. They include numerous textile companies and two firms throse government said were conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression of Uygurs and other Muslim minorities. Blacklisted firms cannot buy components from US companies without US government approval. It was the third group of companies and others in China added to the US entity list, after two rounds in which the Trump administration cited 37 companies and others that it said were involved in China's repression in Xinjiang. "Beijing actively promotes the reprehensible practice of forced labour and abusive DNA collection and analysis schemes to repress its citizens," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. The Chinese embassy in Washington declined to comment. In May the Chinese Foreign Ministry criticised US entity list additions, arguing the United States "overstretched the concept of national security, abused export control measures, violated the basic norms governing international relations, interfered in China's internal affairs". The companies added to the blacklist include Nanchang O-Film Tech, a supplier for Apple's iPhone, which hosted Apple chief executive Tim Cook in December 2017, according to O-Film's website. It is also a supplier to Amazon and Microsoft, according to an April congressional letter. The US companies did not immediately comment. The list includes two subsidiaries of Beijing Genomics Institute, a genomics company with ties to the Chinese government, Senator Marco Rubio said. He said the additions will "ensure that US technology does not aid the Chinese Communist Party's crimes against humanity and egregious human rights abuses against Uygurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, including the forced collection of DNA." Also added are KTK Group, which produces more than 2,000 products used to build high-speed trains, from electronics to seats, and Tanyuan Technology, which assembles high thermal conductive graphite reinforced aluminium composites. Another company is Changji Esquel Textile, which Esquel Group launched in 2009. Esquel Group produces clothing for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss. In April, Esquel denied it used forced labour in Xinjiang. In a letter to Ross on Monday, Esquel Chief Executive John Chen asked its unit be removed from the list. "Esquel does not use forced labour, and we never will use forced labour. We absolutely and categorically oppose forced labour," Chen wrote. Efforts to reach other companies in China for comment were unsuccessful outside normal business hours. Also on the blacklist is Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories. On May 1, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it was halting imports of the company's hair products, citing evidence of forced labour. On July 1, CBP seized in Newark a shipment of almost 13 tons (11.8 tonnes) of hair products worth over US$800,000 with human hair that originated in Xinjiang. Commerce previously added 20 Chinese public security bureaus and companies including video surveillance firm Hikvision, as well as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group and Megvii Technology in connection with China's treatment of Muslim minorities. ^ top ^

Mass testing underway in Urumqi as virus flares (China Daily)
Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has launched mass novel coronavirus screening and restricted the movement of its residents in response to a new outbreak that rose to 30 cases as of Saturday. The city added 13 new locally transmitted cases on Saturday, down from 16 registered a day before. The first patient tested positive for the virus on Wednesday after no new local infections were reported across Xinjiang for nearly five months, according to local health authorities. Nationwide, three other confirmed cases came from overseas and a total of 42 asymptomatic cases were reported on Saturday, the National Health Commission said on Sunday. One of the imported confirmed cases and eight of the asymptomatic carriers are employees of China Petrochemical Corp, or Sinopec, the country's largest refiner and petrochemical producer. They arrived in Qingdao, Shandong province, from Kuwait on a chartered flight on Friday. A total of 350 other passengers traveling on the same plane were identified and isolated for medical observation, according to Qingdao's health commission. In Urumqi, the new outbreak is associated with a cluster of group activities and has developed at a relatively fast pace, Rui Baoling, head of the city's disease control and prevention center, said over the weekend. Most of the 30 confirmed patients as of Saturday had mild or moderate cases, and a total of 41 asymptomatic patients and 2,705 close contacts were in isolation for medical observation, according to Rui. She said the majority of newly confirmed and asymptomatic cases were detected in Tianshan district and they were all already placed under quarantine, so there was no need to panic. Zhang Wei, head of Urumqi's health commission, said that the city was carrying out a citywide, free testing campaign beginning in neighborhoods that have reported new cases and among close contacts or residents with a fever, and it would gradually extend across the entire city. Twenty-five certified testing institutions and over 1,600 medical workers will be conducting the tests. On Saturday, the National Health Commission organized 10 teams consisting of 200 medical workers from 10 provincial-level regions to boost the testing capacity in Urumqi. That includes a 21-member medical team from Wuhan, Hubei province, the hardest-hit region in China where the disease has been stamped out. The team also shipped over 100 items of testing equipment and medical supplies to Urumqi. Zhang added that as of 8 am Sunday, all residents being quarantined had received tests. Upon discovering the flare-up of the virus, Urumqi has taken swift action to track down close contacts, halt public gatherings, reduce public transportation and curtail flights in and out of the city, according to the local government. Access to residential communities has been strictly limited and local residents are urged not to leave the city unless for essential reasons and must undergo tests before departure. ^ top ^



HKSAR gov't deplores Britain's interference in Hong Kong affairs (Xinhua)
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Thursday that it deplores and opposes the announcement by the British government on providing a pathway for Chinese nationals in Hong Kong who are holders of the British National Overseas (BNO) passport or eligible for it to reside and obtain citizenship in Britain. Given the history, it is hypocritical for Britain to deliberately violate its pledge made in the British memorandum associated with the Sino-British Joint Declaration despite the Chinese firm opposition and repeated representations, and insist on using the BNO passport or status, which some people in Hong Kong still hold, for political maneuver on the pretext of changing the policy to provide a route for relevant persons to reside and obtain citizenship in Britain, said a spokesman of the HKSAR government. Since the establishment of the HKSAR, the Chinese central government has been upholding and implementing the principle of "one country, two systems". The HKSAR enjoys a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the HKSAR Basic Law and has maintained prosperity and stability, the spokesman noted. National security falls squarely under the purview of the central authorities, and the enactment of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR is constitutional, lawful, rational and reasonable, the spokesman said, stressing that matters of the HKSAR is China's internal affairs in which no other state is allowed to interfere under any pretext. Taking account of the historical background and the existing circumstances of Hong Kong, the central government has permitted the Chinese nationals in Hong Kong who were born before June 30, 1997, to use the BNO passport as a travel document for the purpose of travelling to other states and regions. Since Britain violates its pledge in the first place, the Chinese foreign ministry has announced that China will consider not recognizing the BNO passport as a valid travel document and reserve the right to take any further measure. The HKSAR government is in support of this and will follow up accordingly, the spokesman said. Currently, no matter they hold BNO passport or not, Chinese nationals in Hong Kong who use the HKSAR passport to travel to other states and regions enjoy not only consular protection and services rendered by the motherland but also immigration facilitation, the spokesman pointed out. At present, 168 countries and territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders. The HKSAR government's Immigration Department has issued nearly 6 million HKSAR passports which are still within their validity period to facilitate the travelling of relevant persons in Hong Kong, added the spokesman. The high-profile measures taken by the British government on the pretext of the national security law for the HKSAR are purely made out of political maneuver. They not only seriously violate Britain's own pledge, but also seriously interfere in the affairs of the HKSAR, the spokesman pointed out. The British government has made it an issue again on BNO passport after its unilateral announcement to suspend its agreement with Hong Kong for the surrender of fugitive offenders. The HKSAR government deplores and opposes such moves of Britain, and urges the British government to stop interfering in the affairs of the HKSAR and return to the normal tracks, the spokesman said. ^ top ^

Security law: An attempt to erase the memory of Hong Kong as it really was (HKFP)
In Yoko Ogawa's novel The Memory Police, a new government takes over a small island off the coast of Japan and begins to remove objects from its residents' memories. First, the residents must bring out a chosen item from their possessions and destroy it by killing, burning, burying, or discarding it in the rivers and oceans. Then, as time goes on, the people's ability to remember begins to fade, until all is forgotten. The chosen items start off mundane – such as bells, perfume, emeralds, and birds – but eventually grows to newspapers, televisions, and the ferry that takes people from the island to the mainland. This process of forcing people to forget by removal is what the Hong Kong government hopes to achieve by their refusal to allow protests and their rolling out of the national security law. Unlike the imaginary government in the novel which makes random things from daily life disappear, the Hong Kong government is choosing to make disappear manifestations of resistance against the central government. This process began even before the national security law was put into place. Under the guise of Covid-19 outbreak, the government banned the memorial for the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Victoria Park. This was followed by the police declaring the July 1 democratic protest an illegal assembly. By doing so, they shrunk the numbers of attendees to those who were willing to flout the law. These events once gathered hundreds of thousands of people, and in the case of last year's protests on the reunification anniversary, a breathtaking one million people, according to organiser estimates. Since the promulgation of the national security law, the process has accelerated. In just two weeks, titles by Joshua Wong and other democracy activists have been taken off public library shelves and schools have been told to do the same. Police have arrested people under the law for not only ephemera such as stickers and flags bearing references to Hong Kong independence, but also the ephemeral: shouting certain slogans and singing lyrics that contain them. Eight people were arrested during a silent protest for holding blank placards in opposition to restrictions on expression. By carrying out such actions, the government is trying to remove dissident ideas and words from the public discourse with the aim of wiping out the memory of last year's rebellion and, as the net grows wider, the democratic movement itself. In the novel, not all individuals forget what has been banned. There are some in the population who remember. People keep quiet about their ability, and the protagonist's mother hides some "disappeared" objects secretly in a large chest of drawers. Threatened, the memory police roots out and rounds up these people to bring them to unknown locations where no one knows what happens to them, in order to ensure collective memory loss. This is the same process the national security law puts in place. It threatens to take the most "serious" cases of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, to be tried in closed Chinese courts, where the accused will be placed in secret jails where they face torture. This is to force those who remember the promise of freedom made to Hong Kong to pretend that they do not recall it enough to fight for it. The threat to one's safely is a warning to all who want to continue fighting for the freedom we were promised, and which we once had. But unlike in the novel, people's memories are not as easily wiped out. As time passes and more things are taken away from the public, people's private memories will no longer be reflected back to them through public discourse and important political anniversaries. As time passes, the disconnect between the government's truth and the people's own will widen. No doubt there will be moments when people feel their reality and that of their society are mismatched, which will make them doubt whether what they remember is real. And if taken to the worst-case scenario, as depicted in George Orwell's seminal work on totalitarianism, 1984, people will start feeling like "lunatics" because what they know to be true, is supposedly untrue according to their leaders. So, before the process can even begin, let's collectively safeguard our memories. Know that even if the outside world no longer mirrors the facts we personally remember, our own memory is enough to prove the existence of these truths. Let's all not forget in the deepest of recesses of our minds that candles were lit on June 4 every year for 30 years in Hong Kong to commemorate those who were killed and jailed during the 1989 Chinese democratic movement. That on July 1, last year, a million people walked the streets of Hong Kong freely to protest an extradition bill they felt was unjust. That last year, Hong Kong rebelled against the Chinese Community Party, and people shouted eight-character slogans about reclamations and revolutions that I can no longer say. Just know, even though we might not hear "Glory to Hong Kong" sung in public for a long time, that hearing the first four bars will no doubt rouse feelings of pride and release a flood of recollections. What we hope, of course, is that we will not have to lose these memories. That there will be no decree that will force us to discard our belongings and our knowledge. That events and actions won't be extinguished no matter how harsh the law becomes. That the spark remains, and the resistance continues on. We do not know what is coming in our future, what difficulties it will bring, and what surprises await. Just know, even if the world outside starts looking unfamiliar, if what we remember differs from what is being told, that history, its actual events, what really happened, can never be altered. ^ top ^

Security law: Speech is no longer free for Hongkongers, wherever they are (HKFP)
On June 30, Xinhua News Agency released details of the Hong Kong national security law. As I read the sweeping terms that could incriminate almost everyone the regime deemed threatening, my phone was buzzing with messages from friends in Hong Kong. All of us were at a loss for words. Like most Hongkongers, we were not surprised by the law, and yet we did not know how we could speak of our grief and rage when those very emotions might now be cause for imprisonment. After I hastily drafted an essay as an attempt to articulate these feelings, I felt paralyzed as a writer, academic, and diasporic Hongkonger. The editorial staff of Hong Kong Free Press had slightly altered the title I gave to the essay: while I called myself a diasporic Hong Konger in the original title, the staff had changed it to "an exiled Hongkonger." Prior to this, I was hesitant to consider myself an exile—partly out of denial, but mainly because I did not want to eclipse the more imminent danger and risks that many local activists and journalists face. To write about Hong Kong is to confront the fact that I might not be able to return home safely. Many diasporic Hongkongers, myself included, have struggled with immense guilt for not being there to put our bodies on the frontline, for not risking more of ourselves alongside youth activists who have been brutalised by the police and prosecuted by the government. Ironically, by incriminating "foreign nationals committing acts outside of Hong Kong and China," the national security law has alleviated some of that guilt. Each time I speak of Hong Kong to my academic colleagues, or give a public interview about the national security law, I am fully aware that my speech is not free, that it comes at the cost of possible exile. As an academic and educator, my heart was broken wide open when news reports about book bans in libraries and schools started coming in just a few days after the implementation of the law. Soon after, academic staff in higher-ed institutions were told by the administration to self-censor. On Twitter, Hong Kong literary critic and professor Tammy Ho asked academics from around the world if they would still consider working in Hong Kong in light of the National Security Law. Many who answered publicly replied that, despite the focus of their research and their fondness for the city, they no longer felt comfortable returning. As a Hongkonger and a Hong Kong researcher, my loss is two-fold. I worry that when I lose the freedom to return to Hong Kong safely, I also lose the ability to fully understand the lived experiences of local Hongkongers, and, as a result, the opportunity to amplify their voices and complex struggles in my research and writing. Now more than ever, we need to listen to Hongkongers who stand to lose the most. And yet, the national security law has rendered it risky for all who dare to paint a truthful picture of the city. To write about Hong Kong now is to risk state persecution—not just for the writers, but for news platforms like Hong Kong Free Press that publish the work. As Editor-in-Chief Tom Grundy writes: "Fuzziness is a feature, not a bug—the authorities want journalists to overcompensate, tip-toe around ill-defined red lines, and ultimately self-censor. Beijing's playbook also suggests small outlets like ours will be subjected to legal and bureaucratic terrorism—dragging us through the courts and red tape to drain our meagre resources and bandwidth." Tyranny demands that we either become a liar and comply, or remain silent and be complicit. The regime makes it costly for anyone who dares to act or speak up against it. At the same time, as seasoned journalist Annie Zhang posits, once we give up on our own language, on our ability to speak truth, we will be dehumanized and subsumed into the regime's oppressive mechanism. Despite heartbreak and fear, I am committed to continue writing and teaching against totalitarianism. Under this new age of terror, our resistance may no longer be visible on the streets of Hong Kong, but it can and should be renewed in our everyday commitment to be always on the side of freedom. ^ top ^

China summons US ambassador over Hong Kong-related law (China Daily)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday summoned US Ambassador Terry Branstad to protest a Hong Kong-related bill which scraps the city's preferential treatments and was signed into law a day earlier. Deputy Minister Zheng Zeguang told Branstad the act grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and seriously violated international laws and norms, and China will take measures including sanctions on American entities and personnel to safeguard its legitimate interests. In an online statement, Zheng said enacting the national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region preserves the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong citizens and will ensure long-term stability and prosperity for the city. However, the so-called Hong Kong Autonomy Act defamed the national security law with threats of sanctions and the intention of curbing China's growth, and is doomed to fail. China urged the US to scale back from implementing the law and relevant executive order and stop interfering in China's domestic affairs, Zheng said. Zheng said China has taken countermeasures and will continue to do so to defend its core interests, as the US challenges China in affairs relating to Xinjiang, Tibet and the South China Sea. ^ top ^



EU report on Macao contains baseless, biased claims: Macao SAR gov't (Xinhua)
The government of China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) expressed on Thursday strong opposition to the European Union's (EU) 2019 annual report on the Macao SAR, saying it contains baseless and biased claims. The Macao SAR government said the EU has made groundless and irresponsible comments over the years about Macao affairs, amounting to a brazen interference in China's domestic affairs. It added that since the return of Macao to the motherland in 1999, the Macao SAR has successfully implemented the "one country, two systems" principle with Macao characteristics, maintained long-term prosperity, and made remarkable achievements in various aspects. Macao residents have enjoyed the rights and freedoms stipulated in law. The SAR government said the EU report contains subjective and biased comments about Macao's achievements in politics, society and economic development. It demanded the EU stop this practice, which is not only against basic norms of international relations but also damages China-EU relations. ^ top ^



Hong Kong national security law: Taiwan's foreign minister urges countries to speak out against Beijing (SCMP)
Nations of the world should send a clear message to Beijing that they oppose its heavy-handed tactics in pushing through a national security law in Hong Kong, Taiwan's foreign minister said on Wednesday, adding that the self-ruled island is on the front line of defending freedom and democracy. Speaking to overseas media representatives, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu expressed his concern at the increasingly hostile behaviour of the mainland Chinese military, which he said had been conducting frequent war games, and air and naval patrols close to Taiwan. After Beijing's actions in Hong Kong, he said he feared the democratic island might become the mainland's next target. "As China is eager to expand its communist ideology and authoritarian international order, Taiwan is on the front line of defending freedom and democracy," Wu said. "We would like to cooperate with like-minded countries to defend our way of life." There was a clear need for the international community to send a message to Beijing that they opposed the way in which it pushed through the security law in Hong Kong, Wu said, adding that it targeted not just the former British colony, but Taiwan and elsewhere. Beijing promulgated a national security law for Hong Kong on June 30, which aims to prevent and punish acts of secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and foreign interference. The legislation grants the city's police sweeping powers and allows its security chief to order political groups in Taiwan and elsewhere to provide information on the activities, personnel details, assets, income and spending of organisations in Hong Kong "in a prescribed manner within the specified period". Wu said the regulations were vague and open to arbitrary interpretation by the mainland government. "We would like to work with fellow democracies to provide the necessary support to the people of Hong Kong," he said. "Taiwan may be small, but we know what we are fighting for is more than Taiwan … It's our values that are at stake." Meanwhile, Ko Wen-je, the mayor of Taipei, on Wednesday described Taiwan and mainland China as "two sides of the same family" that should cooperate rather than confront one other. Speaking at the opening of the Taipei-Shanghai Twin-City Forum – held as a videoconference in Taipei – Ko, who also heads the Taiwan People Party, said he favoured pragmatism in dealing with Beijing, given the historical and cultural links between Taiwan and mainland China. "I still believe cooperation is better than confrontation, and an amiable cross-strait family is better than a hostile cross-strait family," he said. The Taipei-Shanghai forum is one of only a handful of cooperative events still held between mainland China and Taiwan, as Beijing suspended all official exchanges with the island after Tsai Ing-wen, who supports independence – was elected president in 2016. She won a second term as leader in January. Earlier this month, the Taiwanese government opened an office in Taipei to help Hongkongers seeking to relocate to the island. To date it has received more than 800 requests, according to Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which handles cross-strait policy, as well as the island's Hong Kong and Macau affairs. The council said that for confidentiality reasons, it could not say how many Hong Kong citizens planned to flee the city for political reasons. "We will do whatever we can to assist people in Hong Kong who need to come to Taiwan. We don't hide it," Wu said, though added that the island would proceed in a prudent manner so as to avoid upsetting Beijing further and giving it reason to attack. ^ top ^



In Depth: Three Years After Record-Breaking Syngenta Acquisition, ChemChina Struggling Under Debt Mountain (Caixin)
When China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) acquired Switzerland's Syngenta AG in 2017 for a blockbuster $43 billion, it paid only $5 billion of its own capital, cobbling together loans from banks and other institutions to make up the rest. Syngenta AG, as the world's third-largest seed supplier and top pesticides-maker, brought its rich store of seed and agrochemical patents to state-owned ChemChina. Now, with both companies deep in debt, there are concerns the lion's share of the debt accrued in the acquisition could wind up back on Syngenta's shoulders. Syngenta Group is now preparing to list on the Chinese mainland by mid-2022. Various obstacles have delayed the float, the goal of which is seen by many to be paying down that debt. The newly formed company has not yet released a financial statement, nor have IPO preparations reached the stage where it would publish a prospectus. But an analysis of the financial situation of its related companies, weak investor sentiment during an abortive pre-IPO round last year, and its limited opportunities for growth illuminate the tough road ahead. In the biggest ever foreign acquisition by a Chinese firm, ChemChina took over the Swiss agribusiness giant for $43 billion despite regulatory hurdles, financial concerns and even criticism from the country's ambassador to Switzerland, that it "wasn't a good deal for the Chinese side." Others were more welcoming. "Syngenta has strong research ability and vest marketing network, so the advantages of this acquisition should outweigh the disadvantages," said Niu Dun, former deputy minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. In June, Syngenta AG was made part of the newly formed Syngenta Group, following the merger of the domestic agricultural chemical assets of ChemChina and its state-owned peer SinoChem Group. The newly formed group is now in talks with state-owned funds over a potential stake. In a standard practice for Chinese regulators when it comes to state-owned companies, the authorities strongly encouraged a merger between ChemChina and Sinochem to prop up Syngenta's Chinese business, which could help with a domestic IPO. Syngenta Group is made up of four business units — Shenzhen-listed Israel-based crop protection company Adama Ltd., Syngenta Group China and Syngenta AG's crop protection and seeds businesses. The last two segments accounted for 58.5% of the group's $23.2 billion sales in 2019, according to its website. However, Syngenta AG's finances remain troubled, as its own acquisition spree since it was bought by ChemChina has landed it with $22.4 billion of debt as of last year, giving it a debt-to-asset ratio of 80.04%. Its cash and cash equivalents totaled $1.9 billion. That's a far higher debt-to-asset ratio than its international peers. German giant Bayer AG had a ratio of 29.67% at the same year, while the world's second-largest chemicals producer BASF SE reported a ratio of 22.9%, according to WSJ Markets data. ChemChina's debt ballooned to 705 billion yuan ($100.7 billion) as of the first quarter of this year, taking its debt-to-asset ratio to nearly 80%. When it borrowed some $38 billion to acquire Syngenta AG in 2017, ChemChina sold perpetual bonds worth $10 billion and $1 billion to the People's Bank of China and Industrial Bank Co. Ltd., while Morgan Stanley bought a $2 billion convertible bond that's set to mature this year. There are three other syndicated loans made in the deal, with the biggest one made by China CiticBank that is worth $12.5 billion. HSBC Bank led such a loan of $6.8 billion and a $5 billion debt restructuring loan. This debt pile and its poor financial performance mean ChemChina won't be able to give Syngenta Group a hand in its attempt to list. It has reported losses every year since 2017, sinking as much as 8.6 billion yuan into the red last year. And China National Agrochemical Corp., the ChemChina subsidiary that holds a 99% stake in Syngenta Group, also has its own debt pile it needs to pay down. "ChemChina was hoping to relist on the Chinese A-share market after it purchased Syngenta," a senior agrichemical researcher said, adding that the high valuation of the A-share stock market could be one of the few ways to pay down the debt. ChemChina tried to raise $10 billion in a pre-IPO fundraising round for Syngenta late last year that valued the company at $40 billion, Caixin has learned. But the lack of confidence at home and abroad condemned the effort to failure. HSBC and Morgan Stanley are both understood to have rejected the offer, while the People's Bank of China went searching for investors in the Middle East without any luck. "The estimated valuation was too high," said a person who worked at a company involved in the effort. At its current profit levels and given price-to-earnings ratio limitations imposed by China's two major stock markets, ChemChina wouldn't have been able to achieve the valuation it was seeking for Syngenta. But the newer STAR Market has no such cap on price-to-earnings ratios, letting investors decide instead, which could at least theoretically allow ChemChina to reach its desired valuation. The past several years have been a hard for the agrochemical industry as a whole. Industry insiders told Caixin of the limited development space left in China's seed and pesticide market, and the growing costs of land alongside its shrinking profitability per acre. China is also among the many countries that have tightened regulations on the use of agricultural chemicals like those that make up a core part of Syngenta's business. In 2015, China said it wanted pesticide use to stop growing in the years to 2020, which hit sales massively. According to the official statistics, pesticide sales shrank 44.31% from 2015 to 2018. Fertilizer use has also been affected by the policy. Sales of the raw materials used to make fertilizers were down 22% from 2015 levels by last year. Agrochemical consultancy firm Phillips McDougall has estimated that global pesticide sales last year dipped 0.8% to nearly $60 billion, due to abnormal weather in Europe, flooding in North America, EU regulation and the Sino-U.S. trade war. Asia, the largest consumer of such products, saw sales drop 2%. However, there are areas of potential growth, as more efficient, less toxic pesticides may become more popular as environmental protection policies grow tougher. An agriculture analyst told Caixin that the biggest momentum for growth in so-called "green" pesticide sales right now is in China, as other major markets such as the U.S. and Brazil have already embraced the products. However if Syngenta was to pursue this strategy, it will have to convince farmers to part with their cash for these pricier products, which will be difficult in a market where low-cost goods are prevalent, according to Su Yuanjie, a seed analyst at a consultancy company. The person close to the pre-IPO deal pointed out that China's pesticide market is relatively small in scale and has no company monopolizing it. Huatai Securities Co. Ltd. also said in one of its reports that no company has a market share over 10%, as most produce only one type of product. In January, China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs gave the green light for China's farmers to plant genetically modified corn and soybeans. This is the first time the country granted safety certificate to genetically modified food in 10 years, sending a positive signal to the agriculture industry. "The use of genetically modified crop doesn't only mean high productivity, it also means the introduction of pesticides suitable for such crops," said the senior agriculture analyst. But great uncertainty remains in China as much of the country's population remains wary of genetically modified foods. ^ top ^

China to develop 1,000 clusters of small stores by 2025 (People's Daily)
China will develop 1,000 clusters of small stores in 100 pilot cities nationwide by 2025, according to a recent notice jointly released the Ministry of Commerce and six other government departments. Small stores refer to roadside stores managed by self-employed individuals, micro-sized enterprises with less than 10 employees or an annual turnover of less than 1 million yuan, and online stores with an annual turnover of less than 15 million yuan. Preferential policies such as broader access, subsidies, and guaranteed loans will be implemented to shore up these small stores and address their difficulties. E-commerce platforms, major supply chain enterprises, and central kitchens are encouraged to cooperate with small stores to reduce their costs. The move is an important measure to expand consumption, improve people's livelihoods and increase employment, said Wang Jixiang, deputy head of the China Association of Warehousing and Distribution. "The move mainly aims to promote the transformation and upgrading of small store clusters," Wang said, suggesting that more commercial facilities and better services should be provided to realize the goal. "To promote the development of small stores, upstream companies should be instructed to provide better services for them," Wang added. China had over 80 million registered small stores by the end of 2019, creating jobs for about 200 million people. ^ top ^

Trade fair on green development opens in NW China (Xinhua)
A trade fair on green development opened Thursday in northwest China's Qinghai Province, featuring online contract signing for the first time due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The 21st Qinghai China Investment and Trade Fair for Green Development was unveiled in the provincial capital Xining, with 17 projects signed online. The projects, with a total planned investment of 8.32 billion yuan (1.2 billion U.S. dollars), are in fields including infrastructure construction, environmental protection and cultural tourism. The fair's main venue features an exhibition area of around 50,000 square meters, with 10 exhibition halls. Located on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, Qinghai Province boasts rich mineral, cultural and tourism resources. ^ top ^

Xi: Leverage huge domestic market (People's Daily)
President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for greater strides in reform and opening-up, including in science and technology, while fully leveraging the strength of the nation's huge domestic market in the face of rising protectionism, a sluggish global economy and a weakening international market. In a key speech delivered at a symposium with corporate leaders in Beijing, Xi underlined the importance of making every effort to protect market players and stimulate their vitality as the COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard the domestic and global economy. Economic globalization remains the historical trend, with division of labor and win-win cooperation among countries being the long-term tendency, and the country must pick the right side of history, said Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission. China must focus its strength on its own affairs and work toward a new model of development in which the domestic economic network takes the primary role with the domestic and international economic networks complementing each other, he said. Xi ruled out the possibility that China would close its doors during the process, saying that the country will instead fully unleash the potential of its domestic demand, enable better connectivity between the domestic and international markets and better employ the two markets and resources to attain more vigorous and sustainable development. The country must give priority to innovation in science and technology, accelerate research of key technologies and establish new advantages in future development, he added. During the symposium, Xi heard opinions from top executives from seven businesses, including Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co, Sinochem Group, Microsoft and Panasonic Corp. He noted that China's epidemic containment has secured major strategic outcomes and its economic growth is stabilizing with positive momentum. The country has led the global community in containing the pandemic and restoring economic recovery. "The situation is better than expected, and we must shore up confidence, face difficulties head on and try to recover the losses from the pandemic," he said. China has become the world's first major economy that has shown robust recovery from the impact of the pandemic, with its GDP expanding 3.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, reversing a 6.8 percent decline in the first quarter. Xi expressed his appreciation for the contributions to the country's epidemic containment and socioeconomic growth from businesses of various forms of ownership, including private and foreign businesses. With many market players facing unprecedented pressure, Xi urged better implementation of aid packages for businesses, with steps to enforce a more proactive fiscal policy and more prudent and flexible monetary policy to ensure macro policies are more targeted and effective. China will continue with measures to cut taxes, fees, rents and interest rates and ensure its various aid measures can be channeled directly to the grassroots and benefit market players, he said. He pledged stronger financial support to market players, with efforts to develop inclusive finance and support exporters to sell readily marketable products to the domestic market. More efforts will be made to develop a business environment that is in line with market principles, the rule of law and international standards, he said, adding that equal protection will be offered to the property rights and independent operations of businesses with various forms of ownership. Xi reiterated the importance of fully enforcing the negative list system for market access and the Foreign Investment Law to widen market access and promote trade and investment facilitation. Officials at various levels must become better acquainted with the outlook of entrepreneurs, fully absorb their opinions during the policymaking process and guard against problems such as commercial bribery that damage the government-business relationship and the business environment, he said. ^ top ^



EUR 7.4 mln technical assistance to be provided to support employment and SDGs implementation (Montsame)
Minister of Labor and Social Protection A.Ariunzaya on July 20 met with Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Mongolia Elaine Conkievich. The sides discussed the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister A.Ariunzaya underlined the timeliness of the Government's COVID-19 response in social protection and that the United Nation's support has been of great importance in the implementation of the economic stimulus measures. She also informed the Resident Representative of the adoption of the Vision 2050 long-term development policy document, while mentioning the country's development policy planning law that requires short-, medium-, and long-term development policies, and undertook to place special emphasis on the implementation of SDGs. Informing that as part of the assistance from the European Union, EUR 7.4 million technical assistance will be provided for Mongolia to support employment and the implementation of SDGs, Ms. Elaine Conkievich said it may become necessary to provide social protection for the citizens who work and study abroad, but have returned home due to COVID-19. "We are now joining our efforts to support employment and small and medium enterprises in pandemic response," the Resident Representative said, undertaking to focus on domestic violence prevention and improvement of youth engagement in SDGs implementation in the future. ^ top ^

Internal migration to be halted temporarily (Montsame)
The regular election of Citizens' Representative Khural will be held on October 15 this year. According to the Law on Elections of Mongolia, citizens' internal migration is to be suspended nationwide starting August 16, 2020 until the end of the day after the Election polling day, reported the General Authority for Intellectual Property and Registration. Article 24.1 of the Law on Election of Citizens' Representative Khural reads, "Individuals' internal migration from one to another administrative unit shall be stopped 60 days before a regular election and shall be resumed the following day of the elections." During this period, there will be no registration of citizens' movements to different administrative units countrywide. ^ top ^


Pascal Wanner
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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