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
  7-11.9.2020, No. 833  
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Swiss suspect denies aiding in assault during last year's HK riots (Global Times)
A 74-year-old Swiss man appeared in a Hong Kong court on Wednesday, charged with assisting rioters, disrupting social order and assaulting a man from the Chinese mainland last October. Prosecutors said more than 100 people has gathered at Hong Kong's Central District when a man from the Chinese mainland passed Chater House and filmed the riots with his cellphone, but was later circled by rioters, some of whom were reporters. Video circulating online shows that the man was assaulted by the rioters. In response to the mob present, the victim said, "We are all Chinese," and then prepared to enter the commercial building, but the defendant, later identified as Progin Marc Gerard, a 74-year-old Swiss national, closed it. The defendant shut the glass door of the commercial building to block the entry of the victim, and then a man dressed in black rushed forward and beat the victim with his fists. Another person threw an umbrella at his head. Afterwards, the victim called police. The victim sought medical attention afterwards and confirmed that his left ear, left shoulder and other part were injured. Gerard was later charged with inciting others to disrupt social order, and he has previously denied the charges. ^ top ^

Speaker G.Zandanshatar meets Head of Swiss Cooperation Office in Mongolia (Montsame)
At the beginning of the meeting, Ph.D. Stefanie Burri praised the Government of Mongolia's successful effort in prevention of COVID-19 and prompt implementation of relevant decisions made by the Parliament. She also stressed the need to enhance the scope of trade and economic cooperation, which has stagnated due to the pandemic, and to collaborate with countries and international organizations to alleviate and overcome the crisis. Ms. Stephanie Burry said that the Swiss Cooperation Office expressed readiness to contribute in this direction. Informing the establishment of temporary committee on foreign investment and trade under the Parliament, Speaker G.Zandanshatar said that the committee plans to work to stimulate investment and expand trade and economic cooperation. During the meeting, the sides discussed the results of the projects realized in Mongolia by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Ph.D. Stefanie Burri asked about the policies and decisions of the Parliament of Mongolia on water and pastureland which are being eroded due to risk factors such as climate change. Highlighting that the Parliament plans to discuss and approve the Law on Pastureland, Speaker G.Zandanshatar said that to reflect herders' proposals in the draft the Parliament is working on organizing discussions among herders covering crucial issues such as usage and preservation of pasture, pasture use fee, etc. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has budgeted CHF 51.5 million for the realization of projects and activities in Mongolia for 2018-2021. ^ top ^

Mongolia to learn Swiss experience of tourism (Montsame)
On September 3, Minister of Environment and Tourism D.Sarangerel met with Head of Cooperation, Swiss Cooperation and Consular Agency in Mongolia Ph.D Stefanie Burri and discussed the present state of cooperation between the two countries and opportunities for further expansion to a new level. Cooperation between the two countries began in 2002 with humanitarian work, and today the countries co-work in many areas, including transboundary water issues, agriculture, waste, air pollution, and climate change. Ph.D Stefanie Burri said that at the meeting she would like to exchange views on how to expand cooperation over the next four years and on the possibilities to bring it to a new level because they intend to conclude bilateral cooperation from 2024 and bring it to a partnership level or at the same level of participation. By doing so, the parties can resolve together and work for mutual benefits. In addition to implementation of projects and programs in countries, the agency conducts regional research on agriculture, transboundary water management and other issues and it intends to include Mongolia in it, informed Ms.Stafanie Burri. For her part, Minister D. Sarangerel expressed gratitude for cooperation with SDC in numerous areas and supporting each other's initiative at the international level. "Of them, education for sustainable development is a priority. I would like to emphasize that there is an urgent need to pay attention to the education of citizens, especially children, and to cultivate a love for the motherland and a good attitude towards nature. Moreover, Mongolia has defined tourism as an economic priority. In this context, we are working to ensure preparations in tourism during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Switzerland is a wonderful tourist destination. Therefore, we want to learn from the experience and organize online conferences," said Ms. Sarangerel. ^ top ^


Foreign Policy

China, India reach 5-point consensus to de-escalate border tension (Global Times)
Chinese and Indian foreign ministers issued a joint press release with a five-point consensus reached to de-escalate the current border tensions, after their highly anticipated meeting in Moscow Thursday evening. China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi elaborated China's solemn position on the bilateral border situation at the meeting, and stressed that the key task at the moment is to stop firing, provocation and all dangerous acts that violate the commitments, withdraw all trespassing personnel and equipment, and disengage as soon as possible to cool down the situation. In the five-point consensus, Wang and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar believe the current conflict in the border areas does not serve the interests of either side. The border troops of the two countries should continue dialogue, disengage as soon as possible, maintain necessary distance and ease the current situation. The two foreign ministers also agreed that as the situation eases, the two sides should speed up the completion of new measures to build mutual trust, and maintain and enhance peace and tranquility in the border areas. China supports the border troops to strengthen onsite dialogue and solve specific issues. China is also ready to maintain diplomatic and military communication with India to restore peace and tranquility in the border areas. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization foreign ministers meeting in Moscow and was viewed by experts of both sides as a last resort to peacefully settle the current border clash, after previous meetings at the commanders level as well as last week's defense ministers' meeting in Moscow failed to stop the border conflicts. Jaishankar said at the meeting that India does not want to see the escalation of tension in the border area and India's policy toward China has not changed. He said the India does not want to repeat the old path and India is ready to work with China to ease the border tension through dialogue and negotiation. ^ top ^

Chinese academics in Australia shocked, fear 'chilling effect' after Canberra revokes visas of two scholars (SCMP)
Chinese-born academics in Australia have expressed shock, as well as their fears of a chill on scholarship and Sino-Australian engagement, after two leading figures linked to Canberra's cultural diplomacy efforts had their visas revoked on national security grounds. Chen Hong and Li Jianjun, who respectively run Australian Studies Centres at the East China Normal University and Beijing Foreign Studies University, were stripped of their visas in a move that has added fuel to an escalating diplomatic crisis involving tit-for-tat claims of espionage and media intimidation. The centres – which are present at more than 30 universities in mainland China and Taiwan – have been billed as a way to increase mutual understanding and academic exchanges between the countries. Chen, whose visa was revoked on August 6, was a frequent visitor to the country who worked as a translator for former prime minister Bob Hawke in the 1990s. It remains unclear when Li, who was working on a PhD in Australian literature at Western Sydney University, was stripped of his. The cancellation of Chen and Li's visas is believed to be linked to a high-profile foreign interference probe involving a state MP that earlier saw Australian security services interrogate a number of personnel working for Chinese state-run media. […] Mobo Gao, a social sciences professor at the University of Adelaide, said the moves by the Australian authorities were a "disturbing development" and increased his urge to self-censor. "Ever since the May Fourth Movement in 1919, China's educated fell in love with Western democracies precisely for values such as 'I do not like your views but I defend your right to say them'," he said. The youth-led anti-imperialist movement in early modern China championed Western ideals such as democracy and science. "I would not deny the statement 'Chinese journalists and some scholars are just propagandists', but so are some Australian journalists and scholars. Australia is supposed to hold the moral high ground, is it not?" Gao said, adding that he was "shocked" Australian media had not reported the visa cancellations earlier. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation was the first outlet to do so, with a Wednesday report. That same day, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused Australian authorities of carrying out "barbaric" searches on the homes of four journalists with state-run media organisations Xinhua, China Media Group and China News Service. Xinhua had earlier reported that the four journalists were told to "be silent" about being questioned, without citing sources. That questioning took place in late June, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, but came to light in recent days after a backlash in Australia over the dramatic evacuation of two China-based Australian journalists and the detention of Cheng Lei, a Chinese-Australian anchor for state-run Chinese broadcaster CGTN. Australian media have since reported that authorities carried out some questioning of Chinese media personnel, who have since returned home, but have yet to confirm the number of media workers targeted or the seizure of their devices. Yu Tao, a senior lecturer in Chinese studies at the University of Western Australia, said while he could not comment on the specifics of Chen and Li's situation, he was shocked at the news and said "it would be helpful for the Australian government to release more information on, and to be more transparent about, these cases". "In so doing, the Chinese community in Australia will be assured that these are individual cases rather than a component in any broader, more systematic anti-China politics, and scholars and journalists alike will feel more comfortable to voice their opinions openly," he said. Although ASIO and the Australian Federal Police have declined to provide details, Australian media reports said the moves related to the participation of Chen, Li and the Chinese journalists in a WeChat group at the centre of an ongoing foreign interference probe involving New South Wales Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane. Australian authorities have alleged that John Zhang, a former staffer for Moselmane, used the chat group to try to covertly influence the politician to act in the interests of Beijing. Zhang has denied those allegations and challenged the constitutionality of related foreign-interference laws in court. Chen has described any suggestion the WeChat group was suspicious as "preposterous" and denied ever undermining Australia's security, while Li has yet to publicly comment. Chengxin Pan, associate professor of international relations at Deakin University, said the developments cast doubt over the future of the Australia Studies Centres, which he described as a "bright spot in Australia-China relations". "Those centres educate many young bright students interested in Australia, ranging from Australian history, culture, literature, society, economy, politics and of course Australia-China relations," he said. "I think the chilling effect of this visa cancellation will be felt not only among Chinese scholars in Australia, but also Chinese scholars and students in China." Although not directly managed by Canberra, the centres are supported by the Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC), an independent non-profit organisation established by the government-appointed Australia-China Council (ACC) in 2011. FASIC, which provides grants of up to A$10,000 (US$7,250), also raises funds from the private sector. The ACC provided grants to the foundation until last year, when the government announced the council would be replaced by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, whose future role in supporting the centres remains unclear. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was contacted for comment but did respond before publication. Jocelyn Chey, Australia's former consul-general in Hong Kong, said Australian Studies Centre scholars would in future be "very selective in their research and publications". "This is a very strange time for the new National Foundation for Australia-China Relations to commence its work," Chey said. "I can't see how they might proceed." But John Blaxland, a professor at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, dismissed concerns of a chilling effect on legitimate scholarship or journalism, describing it as a "false equivalence" to compare Australia and China's treatment of academics or the media. "It's a convenient false equivalence and of course the authorities in Beijing will want to press that line but it is not a fair one," Blaxland said. "This is an open liberal democracy. We don't operate in a capricious way, by and large, and the system is more transparent than just about anywhere in the world, but it is also one that is easily exploitable." He said Australian authorities were justified in acting on considerable evidence that pointed to "industrial-scale" Chinese interference in the country. "I am quite confident that it is the tip of the iceberg and that [the Australian authorities' actions are] a way of communicating a message in a hope that the message will see that scale reduced and the [Sino-Australian] relationship can still be maintained," he said. ^ top ^

President, EU leaders to meet via video link (People's Daily)
President Xi Jinping will meet via video link on Monday with European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the rotating chair of the regional bloc, the Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday. The meeting comes amid intensive diplomatic engagement between China and the EU countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic recession due to the impact of the outbreak. Xi had a video talk with the first two EU leaders in June, when they and Premier Li Keqiang co-chaired the 22nd China-EU leaders' meeting via video link. That was the first talk between Xi and the two new EU leaders, who assumed their posts in December. He also had several telephone talks with Merkel after the COVID-19 outbreak this year. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi concluded his five-nation European tour on Sept 1, which took him to Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany. Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, also visited Spain and Greece last week. Analysts said the upcoming meeting is significant not only for the China-EU relationship, but will also help boost international confidence in post-pandemic recovery amid mounting tensions between China and the United States. In a speech delivered at the French Institute of International Relations on Aug 30, Wang said despite the difference in social systems, China and the EU are meant to be comprehensive strategic partners, not systemic rivals. He called for building a partnership between China and the EU in investment, green and digital economies, multilateral affairs and countering the pandemic. China and the EU both advocate multilateralism and are committed to safeguarding the United Nations-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law, and the World Trade Organization-centered multilateral trading system, officials said. During the 8th China-EU High-Level Trade and Economic Dialogue held via video link at the end of July, both sides recognized major progress made in their negotiations on a bilateral Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. They committed to concluding the negotiations and reaching a high-level agreement within the year. Yao Ling, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Cooperation, said the positive results of the dialogue demonstrated the common responsibility of China and the EU as significant economies and the major driving forces of economic globalization to create a margin of hope for a global economy impacted by the pandemic as well as unilateralism and protectionism. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the EU. Due to COVID-19, a series of planned events have had to be rescheduled. A summit of China and EU countries planned for September in Leipzig, Germany, will be held later. A summit between China and Central and Eastern European countries set for the first half of the year in China was also postponed. Observers said the global pandemic has become a catalyst for China and the EU to reshape their relationship, and the huge interests they share will bolster their cooperation in the post-pandemic era. The EU was China's biggest trading partner from 2004 to 2019. In the first half of 2020, it became the second largest after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Wang said in his speech in France that over the 45 years, "an important experience we have gained is: China and the EU are entirely able to enhance trust through dialogues on an equal footing, achieve win-win outcomes through mutually beneficial cooperation, properly address differences through constructive communications and jointly tackle global challenges through stronger coordination". ^ top ^

China issues position paper on UN's 75th anniversary (Xinhua)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday issued the Position Paper of the People's Republic of China on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN), expounding on China's position and proposals on various issues, including the UN's role, the international situation, sustainable development and cooperation on COVID-19 response. The paper points out that the 75th anniversary of the UN presents important opportunities, and the international community should jointly uphold the outcome of World Anti-Fascist War and reject unilateralism, hegemonism and power politics. Rather, the international community should champion multilateralism, safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and defend the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law, according to the paper. China is ready to work with all countries to build a community with a shared future for humanity, the paper says. ^ top ^

US hypes Mekong River water issue to sow discord among countries: Chinese FM (Global Times)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian slammed the US for hyping issues of the Mekong River resources to sow discord among Mekong countries, calling for trust, understanding and support among countries in the region. Zhao responded to groundless and false stigmatization by the US at a press briefing on Tuesday, after David Stilwell, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, recently smeared China for "manipulating" water into the Mekong River. The cascade reservoirs of Lancang River (the name of the upstream of the Mekong River in China) serve as flood storage during the rainy season and water discharge in the dry season, which helps to maintain the stable flow of the Mekong River, said Zhao, noting China has done a great deal for Mekong water resources cooperation, including providing hydrological data to downstream countries for 18 years, and assisting in flood control and disaster prevention. China's largest reservoir capacity on the upper reaches of the river is 42 billion cubic meters, and the 280 billion cubic meters suggested by some reports in the US is unscientific, Zhao said. As long as Mekong countries trust and support each other, eliminate external interference and focus on practical cooperation, we will be able to manage our common water resources for the benefit of all people in countries along the Mekong River, he said. The Mekong River is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia. Originating from China, the river also runs through Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam.  ^ top ^

China, Egypt sign protocol to teach Chinese language in Egyptian schools (Xinhua)
Egypt and China signed on Monday a cooperation protocol to teach the Chinese language in pre-university schools in Egypt as a second optional foreign language. The protocol was signed by the Egyptian Minister of Education and Technical Education, Tarek Shawki, and the Chinese Ambassador to Cairo, Liao Liqiang. "Egypt is keen to benefit from the unique Chinese experience in economic development as well as other fields," Shawki said during the signing ceremony. He added that Egyptian-Chinese ties are deeply rooted as Egypt was the first Arab and African country to establish diplomatic relations with China in 1956. "Today's agreement represents an illuminating image of the distinguished and fruitful relations between the two friendly countries, which we always strive to strengthen and support by all means to achieve the desired goals," Shawki said. The minister said the Chinese side helps the ministry in many areas such as establishing solar power plants in schools, establishing workshops for technical education, installing electronic screens in secondary schools nationwide, and establishing smart classrooms. According to the Chinese Embassy in Cairo, there are two Confucius Institutes in Egypt, one in Cairo University, the other in Suez Canal University,in addition to three independent Confucius classrooms in Egypt. A total of 16 universities in Egypt have either established Chinese language departments or teach the Chinese language within their curriculums. The Chinese government also built two schools under an educational aid program for Egypt. In March last year, China's Tianjin Light Industry Vocational Technical College, Tianjin Transportation Vocational College, and Egypt's Ain Shams University signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Egypt Luban Workshop in Cairo. Luban workshop is the first project of international cooperation on vocational training supported by China's Tianjin Municipality, which aims at improving academic education of top technical talents and serving the local economy and society via vocational training. In 2019, China provided more than 300 scholarships for Egyptians to finish master and PhD degrees, according to the Chinese Embassy in Cairo. Meanwhile, Liao said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped cooperation between the two countries in the field of education. "We have given each other's international students meticulous care and exchanged experiences in resuming classes. China has also donated 300,000 masks and other anti-virus materials to the Egyptian Ministry of Education and Al-Azhar University," the ambassador said during his speech. The ambassador noted that the integration of Chinese teaching into the Egyptian national education system reflects the vision of the Egyptian government. "Similarly, China will further open up education to the outside world to facilitate people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, and pave the way for building a China-Egypt community with a shared future," he added. "We are willing to work with Egypt to implement the agreement step by step and strengthen cooperation in improving the proficiency of teachers, enriching Chinese teaching materials, optimizing teaching methods, and compiling syllabus," the ambassador said. ^ top ^

China Focus: China proposes "Global Initiative on Data Security" (Xinhua)
China on Tuesday held the first International Seminar on Global Digital Governance in Beijing and proposed the "Global Initiative on Data Security" during the seminar. The initiative, announced by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi when giving a keynote speech to the seminar via video link, aims to respond to new issues and challenges emerging in the field of data security and contribute to global digital governance. Wang said that China called on all parties to make joint efforts to build a peaceful, safe, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace with view to deal with emerging issues and challenges. According to the initiative, states should handle data security in a comprehensive, objective and evidence-based manner, and maintain an open, secure and stable global supply chain. Meanwhile, states should stand against information and communications technology (ICT) activities that impair or steal important data from other states' critical infrastructure. Faced with activities jeopardizing personal information, states should take actions to prevent and put an end to such activities through the use of ICTs, and oppose mass surveillance of other states and the unauthorized collection of personal information of other states through ICTs, it added. Companies should be encouraged to abide by laws and regulations of the state where they operate, while states should not request domestic companies to store data generated and obtained overseas in their own territory. States should also respect the sovereignty, jurisdiction and governance of data of other states, and should not obtain data located in other states through companies or individuals, according to the initiative. Providers of ICT products and services should not install backdoors in their products and services to illegally obtain users' data, and ICT companies should not exploit users' dependence on their products, read the initiative. Global issues call for global solutions. However, a certain country is bent on unilateral acts, keeps making groundless accusations against others in the name of a so-called "clean" network, and uses security as a pretext to prey on enterprises of other countries. "Such blatant acts of bullying must be opposed and rejected," said Wang. Wang stressed that all parties should uphold multilateralism to develop a set of international rules on data security that reflect the will and respect the interests of all countries through broad-based participation. "Protectionism in the digital domain runs counter to the trend of globalization, undermines the right of global consumers to equally access digital services, and will hold back a country's development," Wang said, adding that all countries should provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for all businesses. He stressed the importance of ensuring fairness and justice, saying that politicizing security issues, adopting double standards, and slandering others violate the basic norms governing international relations and seriously disrupt and hamper global digital cooperation and development. "I hope the Chinese initiative will serve as a basis for international rules on data security and mark the start of a global process in this area," Wang said. Citing that the number of Chinese netizens has exceeded 900 million, Wang said the digital economy in China has been thriving, accounting for more than one-third of the country's GDP. "The Chinese government acts in strict compliance with data security principles," said Wang, adding that China has clear legal provisions for protecting the lawful rights and interests of citizens and organizations, including data security and personal information. China has not asked and will not ask Chinese companies to transfer overseas data to the Chinese government in breach of other countries' laws, said Wang. "China has taken constructive part in multilateral discussions on data security, including at the UN, G20, BRICS, and the ASEAN Regional Forum, contributing China's input to global digital governance," he said, adding that China looks forward to the active participation of all parties to the initiative. ^ top ^

China denies retaliating against US journalists, urges sincerity (Global Times)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the US State Department spokesperson for calling so-called visa limitations on US media in China as a "reciprocal" move against the Trump administration's suppression of Chinese journalists in the US, calling it totally groundless and saying the US is blaming others when it should be blaming itself. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the comments at a routine press conference on Monday. He pointed out that press credential extension applications for journalists with US media outlets, including CNN, are being processed, for them to continue to live and work in China. "And we have informed the US on the matter." The spokesperson's remarks came after a CNN report on Sunday painted a false picture that Beijing is cutting what normally is a year-long visa extension for journalists with US media working in China to only two months. The report cited David Stilwell, the US State Department's Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, who called it a "reciprocal measure" to the Trump administration's treatment of Chinese journalists in the US. The US has come to a "hysteria" state of mind, constantly increasing political suppression against Chinese media, Zhao said. On August 6, the visas of all Chinese journalists expired. They followed the US requirement, and applied for an extension in advance. However, none of them have received a specific answer from the authorities, which seriously disrupts their legitimate work in the US, impairs Chinese media's reputation, and jeopardizes normal exchanges between the two countries, Zhao said. Zhao also said that since 2018, about 30 Chinese journalists have had such an experience. In March, the US, in effect, expelled 60 Chinese journalists. On May 11, the US announced that visas for Chinese journalists are only good for 90 days starting from May 8. The US is biased in its treatment of Chinese media, and takes Chinese journalists in the US as hostages, while flaunting freedom of the press, which reflects double standards and hegemonic bullying tactics. Despite that, China adheres to communication and negotiations with the US under the premise of equality and mutual respect, to solve the media issue between the two countries, Zhao noted. China has been restrained on taking countermeasures, and working on extending the visas of US journalists, and offering convenience for their work. China did not expel the same number of US journalists when the US expelled 60 Chinese journalists and denied visas for more than 20, he said. Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Monday that it is the US that unilaterally created the media crackdown, and that it is irresponsible for the US State Department or media to scapegoat China for such a dilemma. China has been displaying calm and rationality when it comes to handling bilateral ties with the US, drawing a big contrast to the US stance that is increasingly reckless and impulsive, Li noted. The US acted arrogant during the communication with China, turned a deaf ear to China's legitimate concerns and requests, coerced China with the visa extensions for Chinese journalists, and held Chinese reporters as hostages to pressure China, Zhao said. "China will not compromise on that." US journalists in China are clear on the said facts, and do not support the US government's crackdown on Chinese media and using media from the two countries as pawns, Zhao said. If Washington truly cares about American journalists, it should approve the visa extensions of all Chinese journalists, rather than hold journalists as hostages for the political interests of certain politicians. Zhao urged the US to meet China halfway and respond to China's reasonable requests as soon as possible, warning that "The US understands very well that China has all the options on the table. If the US keeps moving further down the wrong path, China will have no choice but to make a justifiable and necessary reaction to firmly uphold its legitimate rights." In several tweets on Monday afternoon, Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, also made it clear that "We would be glad to continue our excellent cooperation with American journalists here if Chinese journalists are treated fairly in the US." Hua urged the US State Department in a tweet to "be honest to tell people that since 2018, the StateDept has delayed&denied visas to about 30 Chinese journalists&expelled 60 in Mar, limited the visas of all Chinese journalists to a max 90-day stay in May&has not approved a visa extension to any of them." ^ top ^

Meng Wanzhou's case a test for how much Canada values relations with China: experts (Global Times)
China's recent reiteration of its stance on the detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is a message to Ottawa that the judgment on Meng's case will serve as a key indicator of whether Ottawa will prioritize the mutual interests of the two countries, independent from the US, in its future relations with China, experts said, following a series of indications from Chinese diplomats, including the latest statement issued by the Chinese embassy in Canada on Sunday, that said Meng's detention is the main obstacle to current China-Canada relations. Chinese ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, made the comments during an interview with Canadian newspaper La Presse on Tuesday, urging Canada to release Meng soon to bring the damaged relations between the two countries back on track. The Canadian government has known from the beginning the high political nature of Meng's arrest, which is a grave political event concocted by the US to suppress China's high-tech companies. But the country still committed a serious misstep by acting as an accomplice of the US, which has left China-Canada relations stuck in trouble, Cong said. Cong's remarks echoed those of Lu Kang, director-general of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who pointed out that Canada is the only country willing to detain Meng at US request and Meng's detainment has deprived the two countries of many cooperation opportunities in an interview published on Friday with Canadian media, as well as Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who called on the Canadian government to make the correct choice over Meng to eliminate obstacles between the two countries at a meeting with Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Fran?ois-Philippe Champagne on August 25 during his trip to Europe. Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, said that China's recent reiteration of its stance on Meng's detention is a reminder to Canada that China is still willing to maintain the past healthy relationship with Canada and to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the future as long as the country can fairly judge Meng's case, which will be reopened in late September. "China has sent a message to Ottawa that the judgment on Meng will be an important test of whether Canada will equally value its relations with China and make decisions independent of the US' influence on issues in the future," Li told the Global Times on Sunday. Jin Canrong, associate dean of the Renmin University of China's School of International Studies, believes that Canada has appeared to take initiatives in recent meetings with Chinese officials as the two media interviews respectively with Ambassador Cong and Lu, head of North America and Oceania office, and Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Phillipe Champagne's meeting with State Councilor Wang in Rome were closely arranged before the upcoming reopening of Meng's case. "These meetings show Canada's wish to strengthen communication with China over the case, especially under the domestic pressure blaming the government for not handling the matter well and hurting the country's economy," Jin said. Meng was detained in Vancouver in December 2018, after the US issued a warrant for her arrest over bank and wire fraud, which was later refuted by Huawei in July by providing evidence showing that HSBC, the bank that the US accused Meng of defrauding, actually conspired with the US to set a "political trap" for the company and gave false testimony to the court. "The Chinese government's recent voices are also urging the Canadian judiciary to reveal more impartial and objective information about the case so that Canadian society, media and people around the world can know the truth," Li noted. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

Vice premier stresses reforming procurement of drugs (Xinhua)
Vice Premier Han Zheng on Thursday urged unswervingly deepening the reform on centralized procurement of drugs and medical consumables, noting the reform has played an important role in improving people's well-being and promoting the healthy development of the pharmaceutical industry. Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks when presiding over a symposium on the centralized procurement work. He stressed efforts to consolidate and improve institutional achievements, and establish a more standardized system to promote the normalization and institutionalization of the national centralized procurement. Scope of the procurement should be expanded at a faster speed, while selected products should be subject to enhanced full-life-cycle quality supervision, he said, noting that a "zero tolerance" approach should be adopted on quality problems. ^ top ^

Xi Focus: Xi stresses building modern logistics system as support for new development pattern (Xinhua)
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday stressed coordinated efforts to advance the construction of a modern logistics system to provide strong support for a new development pattern. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at the eighth meeting of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs. He is also head of the committee. Noting that the logistics system plays a fundamental role in the national economy, Xi said that building a modern logistics system should be treated as a critical strategic mission in forming the new development pattern. Xi called for coordinated efforts to advance the building of hard and soft infrastructures for modern logistics system, develop new logistics technologies and business forms, improve industry regulations and standards, and nurture modern logistics companies with global competitiveness, so as to provide strong support for the new development pattern in which domestic and foreign markets boost each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay. The meeting was also attended by other leaders including Li Keqiang, Wang Huning and Han Zheng. Reports from several central government departments were heard at the meeting. Calling an efficient modern logistics system as "indispensable" to both the domestic circulation and the international circulation in the new development pattern, the meeting underlined the need to step up the improvement of a unified domestic market and to enhance high-speed rail and international air freight transport capacity. Efforts should also be made to facilitate digital and intelligent transformations in building a modern logistics system, support upgrading of commerce logistics facilities that concern people's daily lives, and provide more financial products easily accessible to business entities in the logistics sector. The country's experience in coping with the COVID-19 epidemic should be drawn upon to quicken the establishment of a resilient emergency logistics system that can guarantee adequate reserves and make rapid responses, according to the meeting. ^ top ^

Xi urges teachers to enhance expertise (China Daily)
President Xi Jinping encouraged China's teachers on Wednesday to proactively explore new educational methods for the new era and bolster their professional expertise. In his greetings to teachers nationwide ahead of Teachers' Day, which falls on Thursday, Xi commended the country's educators for making important contributions to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of the pandemic, teachers across the nation braved difficulties, fought on the front line of epidemic containment, gave lessons online and safeguarded the physical and mental health of hundreds of millions of students, he said. In doing so, they dedicated themselves to the largest scale of online teaching in the world, he added. With 2020 being the final year of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieving the goal of poverty alleviation, Xi praised teachers for their work to help stop poverty from being passed on to the next generation. Teachers display great professional ethics and a sense of responsibility as they inspire children from rural areas, he said. Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, expressed his hope that teachers can bear in mind their original aspiration-the fostering of virtue through education-as well as their mission to cultivate talent for the Party and the State and make greater contributions to nurturing the next generation of builders of socialism. He urged authorities at various levels to care more about teachers in order to make teaching the most esteemed and admired profession, and to enable the whole of society to respect teachers and give priority to education. It is also important to coordinate normalized epidemic containment measures with teaching activities to ensure the across-the-board reopening of schools in a safe manner, he said. China now has 17.32 million full-time teachers, who provided long-distance teaching to the 280 million students across the country during the pandemic. Meanwhile, millions of rural teachers and hundreds of thousands of volunteer teachers are working in the nation's most remote and least developed areas. Xi's message has been well received by the country's educators, who said that it boosted their morale. Lin Chen, a professor at the School of Applied Economics of Renmin University of China, said Xi's greetings greatly encouraged teachers as he recognized their arduous efforts during the pandemic. "We also felt keenly that our responsibility is huge," he said. Zhan Hongyi, an associate professor at the School of Education of Renmin University of China, said Xi has given a specific task to teachers, which is to accelerate research on the impact of new technologies on teaching and how they can use new technology to train innovative talent. ^ top ^

Typhoon weakens to tropical storm, but heavy rains persist (China Daily)
Typhoon Haishen-the 10th typhoon of the year-that landed on the southern coast of South Korea on Monday morning, has weakened to become a tropical storm, but the gales and torrential rains it brought hit vast northeastern China, triggering school suspensions on Tuesday. It will continue to weaken as it moves northwest with lesser influence on the northeastern region, the National Meteorological Center said on Tuesday, adding that the areas will still witness gales and torrential rains until Thursday. The NMC warned local authorities to strengthen preparations to reduce losses, considering that two typhoons had hit the regions days before. The education bureau of Changchun, capital of Jilin province, requested all primary and secondary schools and kindergartens in the city to suspend classes on Tuesday due to the typhoon, and nearby cities like Jilin and Yanbian issued similar notices to suspend classes. The city of Hunchun in the Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture upgraded its emergency response for floods and typhoons to Level II, the second-highest in the country's four-tier emergency response system, and relocated 1,499 residents on Monday. The Heilongjiang Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued guidelines on Monday evening, including various concrete measures to ensure the safety of agricultural production. For example, the document said agricultural experts should be organized to scientifically assess the impact of disasters and implement production recovery measures depending on local conditions. Jilin province is also facing the high risk of flooding and mountain torrents, as soil has already been saturated due to the heavy rain brought by previous typhoons, Han Mu'en, head of the provincial water resource department, said at a news conference on Sunday. Compared with other provinces in eastern and southern China, typhoons are less common in Northeast China. However, the series of three typhoons-Bavi, Maysak and Haishen-brought heavy rain and strong wind to the region within half a month. Meteorological experts explained it was mainly the subtropical high pressure that caused the three typhoons to move northward. "Heavy rain and strong wind brought by Typhoon Maysak struck Jilin around Sept 3, knocking over crops and flooding fields," said Zhang Yonglin, deputy head of the provincial department of agriculture and rural affairs. "Around 577,000 hectares of fields were affected, 90 percent of which are planted with corn." ^ top ^

China pushes for opening-up at higher level, improved business environment (Xinhua)
China's Vice Premier Hu Chunhua on Tuesday called for continued commitment to a higher-level of opening-up, providing a better business environment for foreign-invested companies and creating more development opportunities. Foreign companies in China have stood the test of COVID-19 and made significant contributions to stabilizing employment and spurring economic growth, said Hu at a symposium with foreign business associations in China. China is making institutional changes to accelerate the improvement of the foreign-investment promotion, protection and service system, with a focus on addressing the concerns of foreign firms, as the country remains committed to opening-up, said Hu. He expressed hope that foreign business associations will deepen the bond between Chinese and foreign firms and help strengthen foreign investors' faith in their future development in China. ^ top ^

Xi praises COVID role models in speech (People's Daily)
President Xi Jinping attends a meeting to commend role models in China's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic on Tuesday. He presented medals to four outstanding individuals, and delivers a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Here are some highlights from his address. - China has achieved another heroic feat in humankind's fight against disease. - The Communist Party of China Central Committee had adopted extraordinary measures to tackle the extraordinary incident of COVID-19 epidemic. China had effectively curbed the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic and protected people's lives and health to the greatest extent. - The Chinese people put up a strong defense with unity to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. - Millions of medical workers fought the COVID-19 epidemic at the front line across the country. Nearly half of the medical staff involved in the country's fight against COVID-19 are young people no more than 31 years old. - Chinese economy is steadily turning for the better as the country has coordinated epidemic containment with economic growth after the sudden outbreak of COVID-19. China has become the first major economy to return to growth since the COVID-19 pandemic, and has taken the lead in the world in both epidemic control and economic recovery. - The major strategic achievement gained from China's fight against COVID-19 fully demonstrated the remarkable advantages of the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and socialism.  ^ top ^

Experimental Covid-19 Vaccines Given to Hundreds of Thousands of Chinese (Caixin)
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken an experimental Covid-19 vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG) in the past two months, including Chinese subjects not enrolled in clinical trials, CNBG said. The final trials are still underway to prove that the vaccines are safe and effective, but China's drug regulator authorized three experimental coronavirus vaccines for emergency use among those in high-risk groups such as medical workers, pandemic response officials, border inspection agents and members of the military. China officially launched the emergency-use program in July, but certain state-owned companies internally started having employees take the vaccine as early as June, workers told Caixin. CNBG, China's leading coronavirus developer, said its vaccine has proven to be safe and to have good immunogenicity in various animal tests, and the product has obtained clinical study approval from China's State Food and Drug Administration, according to an informed consent form for emergency vaccination viewed by Caixin. Now emergency use of the vaccines is expanding. China's civil aviation authorities recently provided vaccines for front-line workers at airlines and airports. Zheng Zhongwei, head of China's coronavirus vaccine task force, said the government is considering expanding the emergency program to cover workers at produce markets, transport industry officials, and service workers. A Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd., a Nasdaq-listed Chinese vaccine developer, was also approved for emergency use. Sinovac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yin Weidong told Reuters that 90% of its employees—as many as 3,000 workers—and their families have been injected with the company's vaccine candidate even though it hasn't completed late-stage trials. The hundreds of thousands of vaccine recipients can provide valuable data to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of vaccine candidates, but the data can't be used as the basis for approval for commercial application, Yin said. He, his wife and parents have all received the vaccine, Yin said. Sinovac is conducting Phase III trials in Brazil and Indonesia. CanSino Biologics, another Chinese vaccine developer included in the emergency program, said its vaccine has been used by some Chinese peacekeepers. The company didn't disclose how many members of the military have taken the vaccine. In an interview with Chinese state-owned television, Yu Xuefeng, chairman and CEO of CanSino Biologics, said commercial use must be supported by effective data from Phase III clinical trials. China has been a leader in the race to develop Covid-19 vaccines, contributing five of the nine vaccines that have reached late-stage Phase III trials. About 135 vaccine candidates are under development worldwide. Among them, about 10% use a traditional approach employing a weakened or inactive form of the virus, as does the CNBG candidate. Starting in June, more than 1,000 employees of a Beijing-based state-owned company voluntarily received the CNBG vaccine, an employee of the Beijing company told Caixin. The person said he got the shot after the employer called for volunteers several times. The company requires all expatriate workers to take the vaccine before they can leave China, the person said. Several other companies, including state-owned and private companies such as Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., have started providing vaccines to employees, mostly to expatriate workers, according to employees at the companies. CNBG said its vaccine was developed by a Beijing-based unit. According to publicly announced vaccine development progress, the inoculation was still in early phases of clinical safety trials when it started to be put into use. On April 27, the vaccine was tested in Shangqiu, Henan province. On June 28, the company disclosed preliminary trial results showing that all participants produced antibodies against the Covid-19 virus within 28 days of receiving two doses of vaccine. Even though Phase I/II clinical trials show that a vaccine induces neutralizing antibody responses, that isn't enough to prove a vaccines is effective in protecting patients, experts said. Another informed consent form for emergency vaccination viewed by Caixin emphasizes that due to differences among recipients' immune systems, it cannot be ruled out that certain people may not obtain immune protection from the vaccine. As with any other vaccine, the informed consent form listed common reactions that may occur after injection with the Covid-19 vaccine, including fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, muscle pain, joint pain and lethargy. The employee of the state-owned company said recipients of the CNBG vaccine are required to report only fever. CNBG said it signed agreements with Huawei and Phoenix Television, a partially state-owned television network, to provide resources and service support for routine and emergency vaccinations. CNBG is conducting Phase III trials abroad, including in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Peru, Morocco and Argentina. Scientists said they aren't sure how effectively these experimental vaccines can protect people from coronavirus infection. "Since there's no proven vaccine yet, any candidate that can help us in preventing and controlling the pandemic is necessary," said Xiong Sidong, president of Soochow University and Director of the Institute of Biology and Medical Sciences. The World Health Organization warned that widespread immunization against Covid-19 may not be in the cards until the middle of next year. ^ top ^

Reusable spacecraft lands after two-day excursion (China Daily)
China's reusable experimental spacecraft landed at a preset site on Sunday morning after two days in orbit. Xinhua News Agency said its mission was a complete success and proved that the spacecraft is able to offer space round-trip services more conveniently and affordably than existing approaches. The agency did not give details of the two-day operation, the landing site or how the spacecraft landed. The reusable experimental vehicle, whose name has yet to be disclosed, was lifted into orbit atop a Long March 2F carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert on Friday afternoon. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the leading State-owned space conglomerate, said after the launch that the robotic vehicle was tasked with verifying reusable technologies that will serve as technological foundations for the peaceful use of space. The company did not elaborate on details of the mission and the spacecraft, and did not publish pictures of the liftoff or scenes inside the command and control hall. One of the company's subsidiaries, Xi'an Aerospace Propulsion Institute in Shaanxi province, said on its WeChat account in March that "the next Long March 2F flight will be an important scientific experimental mission and will lay the foundation for future manned space programs". The mission "will be crucial to next-generation aerospace technologies", and the institute "must make sure it will succeed", it said. Experts said reusable spacecraft have a wide range of applications, such as carrying out space tours for civilians, transporting astronauts and placing satellites into orbit more cheaply. ^ top ^



China international services trade fair closes (Xinhua)
The China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), the first major international economic and trade event held both online and offline by China since the COVID-19 outbreak, closed on Wednesday. The fair highlighted new forms and models of business such as digital trade, 5G communications, industrial internet, smart office and blockchain innovation, said Xian Guoyi, an official with the Ministry of Commerce. Provincial regions, central enterprises and financial enterprises formed trading groups and signed 240 agreements during the event, Xian said. The ministry will introduce negative lists for cross-border trade in services this year to promote the institutional opening-up in the services sector, Xian added. The fair's official website received 7.2 million views, and the official app received 8.05 million views, said Yan Ligang, head of the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau. According to Yan, a total of 5,372 enterprises from home and abroad set up online exhibition booths, including 2,037 three-dimensional booths. An online platform will continue to be open to enterprises for a certain period for online registration, online exhibition booth building, negotiations and contract signing, Yan said. The CIFTIS, themed "Global Services, Shared Prosperity," opened on Sept. 4. The six-day event included the Global Trade in Services Summit, four summit forums, and more than 100 other industry seminars and forums. ^ top ^



Most U.S. companies in China plan to stay: AmCham Shanghai (Xinhua)
While there has been considerable talk about US companies moving production or supply chains out of China in response to geopolitical concerns, tariffs or supply chain weaknesses exposed by COVID-19, very few companies are moving much production, According to a report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai) on Wednesday, of over 200 respondents that own or outsource manufacturing operations in China, 70.6 percent did not intend to shift production out of China, 14 percent are moving some production to non-US locations. Only 3.7 percent are moving some production out of China to the U.S. The report is based on the results of AmCham Shanghai's 2020 China Business Survey. This year 346 AmCham Shanghai members responded to the survey, which included questions about company performance, economic outlook, investment, operational challenges, hiring conditions and trade policy and tariffs. According to the report, 78.2 percent of respondents reported profits in 2019, marginally ahead of recent years despite trade frictions. In addition, nearly half reported their 2019 China revenue growth were higher than in the rest of the world. China is becoming a more important source of profits for companies. Those reporting China as a significant source of profits for their U.S. headquarters rose by 9.4 percentage points to 32.1 percent, said the report. "COVID-19 hit the Chinese economy hard in early 2020, but the recovery was quick, especially in certain industries," said Ker Gibbs, president of the AmCham Shanghai. "American companies still see China's consumer market as a great opportunity." ^ top ^



India-China border: Tibetans at Pangong Tso race to help amid warnings military face-off could take 'any trajectory' (SCMP)
Nawang Dorjay and his family had been looking forward to the summer. The Tibetan Buddhists live in a campsite in Ladakh, where mountain passes mark India's disputed border with China. Their home overlooks the serene, turquoise waters of the glacial Pangong Tso lake, and they run a cafe further north in Durbuk village – areas that would normally be frequented by hundreds of thousands of tourists at this time of year. But the family of seven have not seen a single cent's worth of business this year. To curb the spread of Covid-19, the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi instituted a complete lockdown in Ladakh from March 25 to the middle of June. Then, even as the country continued battling the deadly coronavirus, a confrontation between Indian and Chinese soldiers in May sparked a lengthy, unprecedented stand-off that this week escalated into the first exchange of fire along the border in 45 years. Most of the tension has been concentrated on the northern banks of Pangong Tso, though there have also been flare-ups at the lake's southern side, with Indian officials saying they have been countering China's large military build-up in the area. At several points, hundreds of troops are reportedly now in eyeball-to-eyeball proximity. New Delhi and Beijing this week accused each other of firing warning shots in the Mukhpari heights – northwest of Rezang La, a ridge close to Dorjay's home in Chushul village – despite their long-standing agreement to avoid using firearms along the 3,488km Line of Actual Control (LAC), the undemarcated border that stretches from the icy heights of Ladakh to the forests of Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas. But instead of fretting about their losses, the 28-year-old and his family are working themselves into a different kind of frenzy. Dorjay, and others whose families fled Tibet after Beijing sent troops into the region in 1950, now live in the villages of Chushul, Merak and Man Pangong around Pangong Tso. Almost every day, they wake up at 3.30am, trudge to the nearest Indian army base and present themselves as willing volunteers. Their job, he said, was straightforward – help the army get supplies to its forward posts. The tricky part is the journey through inhospitable terrain. "The trek to these posts can take anywhere between two to three hours, and involves steep climbs," Dorjay said, adding that four members of his family are volunteers for the Indian army. Pangong Tso itself is more than 4,000 metres above sea level, and the stand-off between Indian and Chinese forces has been about who can occupy the highest points in the region – some 6,000 metres above sea level, according to estimates by Indian media. This week's accusations of warning shots follow Indian troops' efforts late last month to occupy a hilltop New Delhi regards as its territory, with People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers seeking to close in on them. When they set out, Dorjay and other volunteers have strapped to their backs up to 15kg of water, cooked food and other supplies. Most times, they are focused on simply getting the provisions across – but, he said, it could also be about showing their gratitude. "Villagers here are poor," Dorjay said. "We don't have much to give, so we add some soft drinks from our end for our soldiers." These efforts from Ladakh's Tibetan communities come as more details have recently emerged about the Special Frontier Force, a secret paramilitary unit consisting mainly of Tibetans that is deployed in operations against Chinese troops. One soldier, Tenzin Nyima, lost his life in a landmine blast along the LAC on August 30 and was given a hero's farewell. Relations between the world's most two populous countries – a nuclear-armed pair of neighbours – are at new lows, even though their defence ministers met last week and their foreign ministers Wang Yi and S. Jaishankar are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in Moscow on Thursday. Indian news channels on Wednesday began quoting unnamed top government sources as saying the stand-off could take "any trajectory", adding that at positions like Finger 4 – one of the mountain ridges overlooking Pangong Tso – the armies were "barely a few metres apart". There were also reports of frequent sorties by Indian fighter jets in Ladakh. Chinese nationalist tabloid Global Times, published by Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, on Wednesday said the PLA was mobilising "forces, including bombers, air defence troops, artillery, armoured vehicles, paratroopers, special forces and infantry units, from different parts of the country to the bordering plateau region". Social media in China has also been awash with nationalist images and videos. Footage of a violent clash between troops from both sides – likely from a few months ago – went viral, while there are also claims hundreds of Indian soldiers had been captured before they were handed back. On Wednesday, photographs mysteriously appeared in Indian media of Chinese soldiers armed with machetes and automatic rifles, purportedly along the LAC. A former Indian ambassador, who requested anonymity citing the sensitivity of the issue, pointed out that the warning about the "trajectory" of the stand-off happened a day before the Wang-Jaishankar meeting, and said these mind games were common. "Such psychological operations help in two ways – one is that it allows [either side] to take potshots at their rival, and it allows them to satisfy domestic audiences." There is also growing apprehension in New Delhi about Chinese activities in the eastern sector of Arunachal Pradesh. Earlier this week, the PLA admitted that five Indian nationals who went missing from the Nacho region of the state were in their custody, according to Indian sports minister Kiren Rijiju. "The problem is, our attention has been firmly focused on Ladakh, whereas the Chinese are making incursions into Arunachal Pradesh very frequently," said Ninong Erring, former member of parliament from the state, who added that he had also sent reports to Prime Minister Modi showing how "the Chinese were making roads leading into Indian territory". An Indian media report pointed to these warnings and said the government was possibly taking note, and that government intelligence had confirmed that China had been making "incursions" into India across not just Arunachal Pradesh but also the neighbouring state of Sikkim. Corps commanders from both sides are expected to continue talks on the ground in Ladakh, though a date has yet to be finalised. For now, however, officials said progress would depend on the understanding that Wang and Jaishankar reach on Thursday. ^ top ^



Narrow-minded attacks on Xinjiang prompt boycott of 'Mulan': analysts (Global Times)
Amid a new round of boycotts against the Disney film Mulan for its credit to Xinjiang regional government organs, including the public security bureau, analysts mocked anti-China forces' narrow mindset, which they said failed to recognize the dynamic and diverse nature of Xinjiang society, and the only thing they knew was to smear the vocational education and training centers. The film, which was attacked by Hong Kong secessionists over the lead actress Liu Yifei's support for Hong Kong police last year, thanked eight government organs in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, including the Turpan public security and cultural heritage bureaus, which helped Disney shoot some scenes in the region. Some media organizations, including the BBC and the Guardian, reported that Disney is being criticized for giving such credit, as the Turpan public security bureau is involved in the operation of vocational education and training centers. The reports quoted so-called China expert Adrian Zenz heavily. Zenz, who many anti-China forces have used as a source, is recruited by the US intelligence organizations to conduct studies of Xinjiang. He makes a living by fabricating rumors about Xinjiang and defaming China, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday. Crediting organizations and individuals that helped in the production of a film is common industry practice, and public security bureaus, culture and tourism departments, and publicity organs are usually the authorities that coordinate shooting work on city streets or at scenic sites, said Shi Wenxue, a Beijing-based film critic, noting it is sad to see a film being hijacked repeatedly for political purposes. The production designer Grant Major of Mulan told Architectural Digest magazine that his team spent months in and around Xinjiang to do legwork and research before the cameras rolled and they also consulted Chinese academics. Major said thanks to the meticulous detailing, layouts and structures of the local buildings, they were able to make the scenes in the film feel right. Anti-China forces failed or intentionally ignored the aesthetics of film production, the multiple roles public security organs played in China, and the diversity of Xinjiang society, focusing solely on using the vocational education and training centers to attack the Chinese government, analysts said. "Anti-China forces have become addicted to targeting China's policy in Xinjiang and the vocational education and training centers over the years, like some addicts who cannot help using drugs," Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told the Global Times on Tuesday. It is a pity that they could not see the true Xinjiang, or get a broader vision of the region where people enjoy life, tourism is booming and the social environment is stable. Their distorted mindset makes them blind, Zhu said. In 2019, Xinjiang received a record 200 million tourists and generated revenue of 340 billion yuan ($49.7 billion), both up 40 percent from the previous year. Actually, what Western media call "re-education camps" or "detention camps" do not exist in Xinjiang. The vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang aim to help those who are influenced by terrorism and extremism to return to the right track, obtain work skills and become employed. But foreign media kept ignoring the truth and hyping the issue after all trainees graduated in late 2019, analysts said. Xinjiang residents have the biggest say in the true Xinjiang and "no matter what exterior voices say, China's resolution of maintaining the stability and prosperity of the region is unshakable," Zhu said.  ^ top ^



Hong Kong protests: at least 289 arrested as scattered groups heed online calls to rally on postponed election day (SCMP)
At least 289 people were arrested, one on suspicion of violating the national security law, as Hong Kong protesters took to the streets of Kowloon on Sunday to demonstrate against the Beijing-imposed legislation and the government's decision to postpone legislative elections for a year because of the coronavirus crisis. There was a heavy police presence in the area late into the evening, hours after officers had used both pepper spray and pepper balls in dispersal operations against anti-government protesters. That came after scattered groups of people had heeded online calls by anonymous activists, who aimed to mobilise 50,000 protesters on what would have been Legislative Council polls day. The groups that gathered in the Jordan neighbourhood were small at first, but protesters later spread to nearby Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei. In Mong Kok, police fired pepper balls at protesters at about 5pm. Nearby, officers raised a purple flag warning those chanting the "Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times" slogan that they could be arrested for violating the sweeping security law. Chaotic scenes erupted when several plain-clothes officers pepper-sprayed and wrestled protesters to the ground. Baton-wielding officers then went for other demonstrators and had water bottles thrown at them. Among anti-government slogans chanted near Jordan MTR station were calls for the city to be independent from Chinese rule. As of 9pm, police said, one woman had been arrested on suspicion of violating the national security law for chanting slogans that promoted Hong Kong independence. Some 270 others were detained on suspicion of illegal assembly. Five men were held for disorderly conduct in a public place, another five people for not being able to present their identity cards, and others for assaulting police, obstructing officers in the execution of their duties, loitering or other offences. A bus driver who reportedly honked his horn at officers blocking a street was also arrested although the force later said he was held on suspicion of dangerous driving as he was going too fast and drove his vehicle very close to officers on Nathan Road, endangering their safety. Twenty-two people were fined for violating coronavirus-related social-distancing rules that limit public gatherings to two people. League of Social Democrats activists "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, Raphael Wong Ho-ming and Figo Chan Ho-wun were among those arrested after raising a banner outside the Eaton Hotel in Jordan to criticise the government for postponing the polls. "I want my right to vote! Shame [on the government] for postponing the elections!" Leung said. Police accused them of taking part in an unauthorised assembly, and then pointed to the 30 or so journalists following them and said they also could be considered as taking part in the illegal event. Officers later took the trio into a police vehicle. A post on Chan's Facebook page subsequently said the three had been arrested. Police sources earlier said 2,000 riot officers would be deployed across West Kowloon, with water cannons and armoured vehicles on standby but they were not brought into action. Hongkongers were supposed to be casting their votes on Sunday to choose lawmakers for the next term. But the government postponed the elections in late July, citing public health risks because of the resurgent coronavirus outbreak. Critics, however, said the move was politically motivated. Opposition politicians had been banking on winning an unprecedented majority in the 70-seat legislature, buoyed by their trouncing of pro-establishment rivals in last year's district council polls. […] At around 2.15pm, activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung appeared outside the Eaton Hotel. Asked whether he was there to join the protest, Wong said he would "see what happens", because of the number of police officers present. But he said there were four demands which he wished to express, including withdrawing the national security law and relaunching the elections immediately. "We hope the world can never forget September 6 should be election day. And now Beijing delayed and even cancelled the elections, which is totally unreasonable," he said. Dozens of people also gathered inside Langham Place shopping centre in Mong Kok to chant protest slogans. Officers did not enter the mall but checked the identity cards of those outside and nearby. Small groups of protesters in Mong Kok were still being searched as night fell and, on one occasion, officers would not let people inside a mobile phone shop leave until after their identities were checked. In a statement in the evening, the government strongly condemned the protest and said such unauthorised assemblies could significantly increase the risk for Covid-19 to spread. A spokesman said it was international practice for countries to pass laws to protect national safety. The national security law was constitutional, reasonable, and in line with the "one country, two systems" principle, he said, referring to the framework under which Beijing governed Hong Kong. The law bans acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The spokesman also defended the decision to postpone the elections, saying the Covid-19 outbreak could last for some time and there could be another outbreak during the winter. Beijing's liaison office in the city also said in a statement it supported police taking decisive enforcement action to ensure stability. The office said it was reasonable for the government to postpone the elections, hitting out at opposition figures for inciting "street resistance". It also criticised these figures for politicising Beijing's help in Hong Kong's fight against the coronavirus outbreak, saying they had no conscience. Police last made arrests on Sunday's scale on July 1 when 370 people were detained for various offences as thousands gathered in anger over the security law, which had been imposed on the city the previous day. In a statement on a Telegram group earlier, the anonymous organisers of Sunday's protest said citizens had to take to the streets because there was already no way out in the face of a "shameless" government. The protest was also organised to show disapproval about the plans to introduce a health code system, which would allow people to travel freely without need for quarantine between Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau. […] ^ top ^



Experts warn of grave consequences if US official visits Taiwan (Global Times)
Some secessionist Taiwan media are once again drowning in joy by hyping the possible visit of US Undersecretary of State Keith Krach to the island, which would be a dangerous provocation that further harms the cross-Straits ties and regional stability. Local media once reported that the separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities in the island of Taiwan were actively promoting the visit of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to Taiwan and may invite Krach to the island. Although the details of Krach's visit, which was unconfirmed and reportedly about an economic and commercial dialogue between the island and the US, have not been decided yet, Taiwan's economic department said that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) will not be discussed during Krach's visit, without confirming his tour. Wang Mei-hua, head of Taiwan's economic governing body, said on Thursday that the subject of the meeting, exact time, and even the possibility of holding the dialogue online are unclear. Taiwan's "foreign affairs" authority gave a similar answer. If Krach's trip pushes through, he will be the most senior US official to visit the island in decades since US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar's visit last month, a few days before Taiwan lifted restrictions on importing ractopamine-enhanced pork from the US. Wang Jianmin, a Taiwan affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday that the US senior official's possible visit is an attempt of the island's "economic secessionism" and gradual decoupling of Taiwan from the mainland under US interference. Some analysts said that besides grabbing financial benefits from Taiwan, Washington will guarantee nothing on security issues, as the island is just a little chess piece to confront the mainland. Once the situation turns around, Taiwan authorities will lose miserably. Wang said that if Taiwan continues provoking, the mainland will never rule out the option of ending the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). For Americans who dare provoke China on the Taiwan question, some observers warned that their affiliated companies may have to stop doing business with the Chinese mainland and face sanctions. China will not give up anything on the issue of sovereignty. In view of continuous provocations, China will further warn and pressure the US and the island of Taiwan, so that they will realize the change in the situation, and think of the interests of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, Wang said.  ^ top ^



Tracks to continent help boost development prospects in inland cities (China Daily)
Seven years ago, companies in the inland city of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, either had to send products to nearby coastal ports to be shipped, or reserve space on expensive air cargo flights if they wanted to export to Europe. Now, new rail freight services have become the favored option, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as global shipping capacity and air traffic have been greatly reduced, according to Kang Yan, deputy general manager of Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co. The freight train service from Zhengzhou to Europe was launched in 2013, with one journey a month made to the northern port city of Hamburg, Germany. In recent years, services between Zhengzhou and Europe have grown rapidly, with some 120 trips made on average each month. Three main European routes operate from Zhengzhou-to Hamburg and Munich in Germany, and Liege in Belgium. A total of 13 logistics centers have been established by Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co in countries including France, Italy, Poland and Hungary. The centers will help distribute goods transported by rail to Hamburg, Munich and Liege throughout the European Union, using other modes of transportation. Zhengzhou also operates rail freight routes to Moscow, the Russian capital, Almaty in Kazakhstan, Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, and the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. Kang said it takes more than 25 days to transport goods from Zhengzhou to Europe by sea, and seven days by air, so rail freight, which takes 14 to 16 days, is the ideal intermediate option. "Since freight train services to Europe started to operate from Zhengzhou, many clients in different industries have arranged their production cycles and sales plans according to the rail timetable," Kang said. He added that only high-value and seasonal products were sent to Europe by rail initially. "However, with freight train charges falling gradually, more goods, such as mechanical equipment, auto parts and furniture, have been transported by rail," Kang said. He added that every week, 12 to 13 trains leave Zhengzhou for Europe, and eight to 12 trains travel to the city from the continent. In the first seven months of this year, nearly 405,000 items of medical supplies weighing a total of 2,663 tons were sent by rail to Europe from Zhengzhou to help fight the pandemic. Some 99 percent of the supplies came from China. Kang said that as an important Belt and Road Initiative project, China-Europe freight trains have brought great opportunities to inland cities and boosted their economic development. "They have made inland cities such as Zhengzhou ports of entry and exit and greatly improved logistics services, helping local companies become better involved in the global market and industrial supply chain, and bringing overseas companies closer to the Chinese market," Kang added. "As these services strengthen Zhengzhou's position as an international transportation and logistics hub, more industries are moving into the city." The pandemic has not been fully controlled globally, so shipping and air transportation services will face obstacles on the road to recovery. As a result, rail freight will continue to be the preferred choice of transportation between China and Europe, Kang said. "Before the pandemic, rail freight services had already seen rapid growth. A stable performance during the outbreak has increased market confidence in this form of transportation, and it will play a bigger role in boosting local economic development as well as China-Europe trade," he said. ^ top ^

Experts: Country to build fintech hubs (China Daily)
China plans to build pioneering fintech hubs nationwide, focusing on the research and development of blockchain technology and digital currency to boost investment in financial infrastructure, according to officials and experts on Tuesday. They made the remarks at the 2020 China Financial Technology Forum, part of the ongoing 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing. According to a report issued at the forum, Beijing ranks top among eight cities around the world, thanks to its huge consumer market, advanced technology application and fast development of the fintech ecosystem. Other cities that China aims to develop as global fintech hubs are Shanghai, Shenzhen in Guangdong province, and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, according to the report. Last year, the People's Bank of China, China's central bank, published a three-year fintech development plan, from 2019 to 2021. So far, some results have been achieved and major projects are proceeding as scheduled, said Li Wei, head of the science and technology department of the PBOC. Issuing the central bank digital currency was included in that blueprint, which also involves developing fintech services based on blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence and financial security technology. The three-year plan aims to promote China's fintech industry to an international leading level. So far, the basic technology framework of the digital currency designed by the central bank, has almost been completed, with sophisticated top-level design, and trials are ongoing in some application scenarios, said Ben Shenglin, co-head of the International Monetary Institute at Renmin University of China. The fast progress will give the PBOC a leading position among its global peers in officially launching a digital currency, Ben told China Daily on the sidelines of the forum. Zhou Gengqiang, deputy secretary-general of the China Banking Association, said that along with the research and promotion of the central bank digital currency, commercial banks should have more opportunities to provide usage scenarios, as well as data and client services, in order to bring more safe and convenient products to customers. Executives from multilateral development banks expressed their expectations about the central bank digital currency, which is undergoing tests. Anil Kishora, vice-president of the New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank set up by the BRICS nations-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-said that the PBOC is expected to be one of the leading central banks to issue a digital currency and attention should be paid to its impact on regulatory policy in the future. Joachim von Amsberg, vice-president for policy and strategy of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, said that the financing gap of digital infrastructure in Asia is predicted to reach $500 billion by 2030, which provides huge opportunities for the multilateral development bank to increase cross-border investment. Li, the PBOC official, said that regulations on fintech technology development will focus on protecting personal privacy, expanding fintech services to benefit more individuals, and streamlining regulations. "The third group of fintech regulation projects in Beijing are in the pipeline," Li said. Beijing became the first city in China to launch fintech regulation trials, or the so-called Regulatory Sandbox, a British regulatory model. Now 17 projects are undergoing tests, including blockchain-based credit services and supply chain financing. Nearly 150 international and domestic financial institutions are participating online and offline in the financial services thematic exhibition at the CIFTIS, including 43 foreign financial institutions from 18 countries and regions. ^ top ^

Rise in China's August exports shows post-coronavirus recovery: UK newspaper (Xinhua)
China has registered the highest increase of any month this year in its exports, emphasising the post-coronavirus recovery in the country, a major British newspaper reported Monday. "The rise in exports underlined China's dominant role in global trade during the coronavirus pandemic and its recovery from it," said the Financial Times. "The country returned to growth in the second quarter after new cases of coronavirus slowed to a trickle and lockdown measures were eased," said the newspaper. China saw its foreign trade rise 6 percent year on year in August in yuan terms, with exports up 11.6 percent and imports down 0.5 percent respectively, official data showed Monday. The total value of foreign trade rose 6 percent year-on-year in August to 2.88 trillion yuan (about 421.14 billion U.S. dollars), according to the Chinese General Administration of Customs (GAC). It is "the highest increase of any month this year and above expectations", the newspaper added. ^ top ^

Global Food Prices Rise Along With Chinese Imports (Caixin)
Global food prices increased for the third consecutive month in August, driven by a rebound in demand as economies recover from the pandemic and an increase in imports by China as it seeks to meet U.S. trade deal commitments. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in international prices of commonly traded food commodities, averaged 96.1 points in August, rising 2% month-on-month to its highest point since February. The increase was largely a result of rising cereal prices: The FAO Cereal Price Index rose 1.9% month-on-month, led by coarse grains. Both sorghum and barley saw strong import demand from China, according to the FAO. Chinese officials have encouraged grain traders to import more, as the country is accelerating its agriculture product purchases from the U.S. to meet its commitments under the phase one trade deal, a grain trade middleman told Caixin. In the first seven months, China imported a total of 2.3 million tons of sorghum, which is mainly used for liquor-making and animal feed, a dramatic increase of more than nine times over the same period in 2019, according to customs data. Such imports have been a factor behind rising sorghum prices, up 8.7% from July and 33.4% above the year-ago level, FAO data showed. The gap between domestic and overseas cereal prices is another factor, multiple industry insiders said. As China resumed work after bringing Covid-19 under control within its borders, recovering livestock farmers have driven up demand for cereals, leading to a notable rise in domestic cereal prices and demand for imports. ^ top ^



Xi sends congratulatory message to Kim Jong-un on NK's 72nd National Day (Global Times)
Xi sends congratulatory message to Kim Jong-un on NK's 72nd National Day. ^ top ^



Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to pay official visit to Mongolia (Montsame)
At the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia N.Enkhtaivan, State Councilor of the People's Republic of China, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Mongolia on September 15-16. During his visit to Mongolia, Mr. Wang Yi is set to hold official talks with his Mongolian counterpart alongside paying courtesy calls on heads of state of Mongolia. The visit aims to keep frequency of bilateral high-level visits and move forward bilateral cooperation in all areas. And strengthening the achievements in efforts for reviving economic cooperation alongside continuing collaboration in prevention of COVID-19 pandemic will be main topics of meetings and talks to be held during the visit. The sides agreed to realize the visit considering the current situation of the COVID-19 outbreak in the two countries that China has taken control of the pandemic and Mongolia has zero local transmission. As the visit is to be hosted in Mongolia under the heightened state of readiness, corresponding officials are making coordination so that as few people as possible participate in the official events and the infection prevention rules is strictly adhered. Furthermore, foreign visits, events and multilateral meetings started to be held again in recent months as the countries are coping with the new situation. In particular, State Councilor of the People's Republic of China, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi did visits to the European countries from August 25 to September 1 and he will pay visits to Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan prior to his visit to Mongolia. ^ top ^

Foreign Minister meets WB Country Manager (Montsame)
Noting the valuable contribution made by the World Bank to Mongolia's social and economic reforms over the past 30 years, the Minister expressed gratitude for the support provided by the bank in the direction of mitigating negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic and revitalizing economy of Mongolia. The Minister briefed on the current social and economic situation of Mongolia and the outlook for the coming years and the sides exchanged views on a wide-range of topics, including Mongolia's removal from the FATF's grey list, expansion of foreign trade, investment growth, poverty reduction, etc. The World Bank is cooperating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate trade and promote exports, and the two sides expressed interest in working together to define and implement a new phase of the World Bank's development cooperation strategy. ^ top ^

Prime Minister visits Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Montsame)
On September 7, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held a meeting with the ministry officials, speaking of the Government's goals and other issues. Minister of Foreign Affairs N.Enkhtaivan reported on the works the Ministry has recently carried out as well as pressing issues and underlined the importance of delivering government services through one point of access. After his meeting with the Ministry officials, PM U.Khurelsukh visited the kindergarten administered by the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry's archive and museum. ^ top ^


Karin Andrea Hess
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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