Archive for ‘Good news’

25/11/2014

India names special envoy for China border talks | Reuters

India on Monday named its powerful national security adviser as a special envoy on China, opening the way for resumption of talks on the disputed border, where tensions have risen in recent months over border patrols and stiffer defenses.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing September 9, 2014.  REUTERS/Lintao Zhang/Pool

Ajit Doval, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will lead the negotiations with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi to try and reach a settlement on dispute over the 3,500-km (2,175-mile) border that has clouded rapidly expanding commercial links.

In September, the two armies were locked in a faceoff in the Ladakh sector in the western Himalayas just as Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting India for the first summit talks with Modi.

Both leaders vowed to work together to resolve the border row that has defied a solution even after 17 rounds of high level talks over the last decade and negotiations even earlier between the diplomats of the two countries.

China lays claim to more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) disputed by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 38,000 square km (14,600 sq miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.

Doval, a hardliner on national security issues, will conduct boundary negotiations as well as strategic consultations with China, Modi’s office said in a statement.

New Delhi has vowed to beef up defenses along the border to narrow the gap with China’s network of roads and communication links. Beijing has expressed concern about India’s plan to build roads and border outposts in Arunachal Pradesh in the east, which it refers to as south Tibet.

Indian officials say Chinese border patrols have been intruding deeper into their side of the de facto border, in a sign of assertiveness that has fueled concern in the region.

(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

via India names special envoy for China border talks | Reuters.

25/11/2014

China considers tougher tobacco controls: Xinhua | Reuters

China, the world’s biggest tobacco market, is considering a draft regulation that would ban indoor smoking, limit outdoor smoking and end tobacco advertising, the state-run Xinhua news agency has reported.

Girls stand next to a ''No Smoking'' sign at a park downtown Shanghai April 27, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The draft, published by the legislative affairs office of the State Council, or cabinet, and open for public consultation, included plans to curtail smoking scenes in films and TV shows, Xinhua said in a report published late on Monday.

China faces a smoking-related health crisis, with more than 300 million smokers and hundreds of millions more exposed to second-hand smoke each year. However, cigarettes are part of China’s social fabric and advocates of tougher smoking regulations have faced difficulty pushing through controls.

The government’s heavy dependence on tobacco taxes has been a major impediment to anti-smoking efforts. Last year, the tobacco industry contributed more than 816 billion yuan ($131.70 billion) to government coffers, an annual rise of nearly 14 percent.

Sources told Reuters in September that intense lobbying by the powerful state tobacco monopoly had resulted in the weakening of controversial legislation that had meant to introduce a complete advertising ban.

The draft regulation would ban indoor smoking in public places and outdoor spaces in kindergartens, schools, colleges, women’s and children’s hospitals and in fitness venues, Xinhua said. The draft also prohibits selling cigarettes to minors through vending machines.

It urged civil servants, teachers and medical staff to take the lead in tobacco control, saying teachers and medical workers would not be allowed to smoke in front of students or patients.

via China considers tougher tobacco controls: Xinhua | Reuters.

10/11/2014

Xi Jinping’s Ice-Cold Handshake With Japan’s Shinzo Abe – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Well, it’s a start.

Photo

After years of tensions over disputed territory, disputed history and visits to a certain shrine, China and Japan drew closer to establishing a more functional diplomatic relationship with a handshake on Monday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing.

As the video above suggests, the encounter was a tad on the chilly side, with Mr. Xi apparently refusing to return his counterpart’s greeting and looking throughout the photo op as if he’d rather be shaking hands with one of the goats that are said to be stripping the aforementioned disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands of their scant vegetation.

As WSJ’s Yuka Hayashi reports, however, a subsequent sit-down between the two leaders appears to have been somewhat more productive:

Speaking to reporters shortly after the meeting, Mr. Abe said, “I believe Japan and China took the first step toward improving our relationship as we go back to the principle of mutually beneficial strategic relations.”

The meeting, in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, lasted just short of 30 minutes. It followed weeks of intense, behind-the-scenes negotiations, as officials from Asia’s two biggest economies sought to arrange for Messrs. Abe and Xi to get together on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

…“I am aware that our neighbors in Asia and many countries beyond had been hoping to see dialogue between Japanese and Chinese leaders,” Mr. Abe said. “We were able to respond to such wishes and begin taking steps toward repairing our ties.”

China and Japan had earlier issued a surprise announcement that they planned a gradual resumption of diplomatic and security dialogues, though each side translated the text of the agreement in ways that made it look like the other had folded. That subtle sniping continued on Monday, when China’s official Xinhua news agency emphasized that the meeting between Messrs. Xi and Abe came “at the request of the Japanese side” — a message Mr. Xi’s expression during Monday’s handshake helped reinforce.

It wasn’t the first time onlookers have felt a chilly blast when the prime minister of Japan met China’s president. In November 2010, for example. then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan met then-Chinese President Hu Jintao. The meeting saw a few arms-length handshakes exchanged. Mr. Kan read out his greetings to Mr. Hu from a memo. A Chinese fishing trawler had collided with a Japan coast guard boat that September near disputed islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

via Watch: Xi Jinping’s Ice-Cold Handshake With Japan’s Shinzo Abe – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

10/11/2014

China, Vietnam willing to handle maritime issues through dialogue | Reuters

China and Vietnam have agreed to handle maritime disputes through dialogue, Chinese state media reported on Monday, months after ties between the two countries hit a three-decade low in a row over a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters.

Photo

The two Communist neighbors must respect each other and focus on long-term interests, President Xi Jinping said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Sino-Vietnamese relations have been advancing continuously since the two nations established diplomatic relations, despite some twists and turns,” he said.

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said his country was ready to “properly deal with maritime issues through friendly consultation so that the issues will not affect its relations with China”, according to Xinhua.

via China, Vietnam willing to handle maritime issues through dialogue | Reuters.

07/11/2014

China, Japan set aside isle row, paving way for leaders to meet | Reuters

China and Japan agreed on Friday to work on improving ties and signaled willingness to put a bitter row over disputed islands on the back burner, paving the way for their leaders to meet at an Asian-Pacific summit next week.

The agreement, ahead of an expected ice-breaking chat between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the gathering in Beijing, signals a thaw in ties between the world’s second- and third-biggest economies.

Relations have been soured over the past two years by the territorial row, regional rivalry and the bitter legacy of Japan’s wartime occupation of China.

Abe said the two sides were making final arrangements for one-on-one talks, although neither he nor China’s foreign ministry confirmed that the talks were set.

“Both Japan and China are coming to the view that it would benefit not just the two countries but regional stability if a summit is held,” he told a TV program.

via China, Japan set aside isle row, paving way for leaders to meet | Reuters.

04/11/2014

Smog-Heavy China Tops Clean-Tech Investment Rankings – Businessweek

The best developing country in which to invest in clean-tech? It’s China, according to a new analysis (pdf) by Climatescope, a collaborative research project whose partners include Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the U.K. Department for International Development.

A solar thermal power generation system being built in Anhui province, China

China is, paradoxically, both the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases and the largest investor in green energy. This can be true because China’s demand for energy is increasing quickly enough to stoke demand for both traditional fossil fuels and renewable energy. As the report notes, China’s annual energy consumption ballooned a stunning 51 percent from 2008 to 2013. In the same period, India’s power generating capacity expanded 56 percent, while the U.S.’s rose just 6.8 percent.

China is now the world’s top maker of wind and solar equipment, with numerous factories supplying both component parts and finished products. While its solar manufacturing industry was originally export-oriented, China since 2013 has been “the largest demand market for renewables” and “has taken major strides to improve its domestic policy framework” for green energy investment, the report finds.

via Smog-Heavy China Tops Clean-Tech Investment Rankings – Businessweek.

19/10/2014

China, Vietnam pledge to ‘address and control’ maritime disputes | Reuters

China and Vietnam have agreed to “address and control” maritime disputes, state media said on Friday, as differences over the potentially energy-rich South China Sea have roiled relations between the two countries and other neighbors.

Chinese coastguard ships give chase to Vietnamese coastguard vessels (not pictured) after they came within 10 nautical miles of the Haiyang Shiyou 981, known in Vietnam as HD-981, oil rig in the South China Sea July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Martin Petty

Ties between the Communist countries sank to a three-decade low this year after China deployed a $1 billion-oil rig to the disputed waters which straddle key shipping lanes.

Vietnam claims the portion of the sea as its exclusive economic zone, and the rig’s deployment sparked a wave of violent protests in Vietnam.

The two countries should “properly address and control maritime differences” to create favorable conditions for bilateral cooperation, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Thursday on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan.

“Thanks to efforts from both sides, China-Vietnam relations have ridden out the recent rough patch and gradually recovered,” the official Xinhua news agency cited Li as saying.

Xinhua said Dung agreed and endorsed boosting “cooperation in infrastructure, finance and maritime exploration”.

The comments were a reiteration of earlier pledges by leaders from the two countries.

China’s Defense Minister Chang Wanquan held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart, Phung Quang Thanh, on Friday in Beijing, Xinhua reported, during which both sides agreed to “gradually resume” military ties.

The two leaders vowed that the countries’ militaries would “play a positive role in properly dealing with their maritime disputes and safeguarding a peaceful and stable situation”, the news agency said.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich in deposits of oil and gas resources. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims in the waters where $5 trillion of ship-borne goods pass every year.

Alarmed by China’s military rise and growing assertiveness, Vietnam has broadened its military relationships in recent years, most notably with Cold War-era patron Russia but also with the United States.

Beijing has told Washington to stay out of disputes over the South China Sea and let countries in the region resolve the issue themselves.

via China, Vietnam pledge to ‘address and control’ maritime disputes | Reuters.

19/10/2014

After border row, India, China plan counter-terror drills to build trust | Reuters

India, which under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has struck an assertive national security posture, also agreed to China’s request to move next month’s exercises away from the border with Pakistan with which China shares a close relationship.

The manoeuvres will come just weeks after thousands of Indian and Chinese soldiers confronted each other on their de facto border in the western Himalayas, accusing each other of building roads and observations posts in disputed territory.

“The exercises are a confidence-building measure, it is in everyone’s interest,” Jayadeva Ranade, the China specialist on India’s National Security Advisory Board, told Reuters.

“It doesn’t mean anyone is conceding anything.”

The row in the Chumar sector of the Ladakh region erupted just as China’s President Xi Jinping was visiting New Delhi for his first summit with Modi since the Indian leader’s election in May. The leaders of the Asian giants aim to ramp up commercial ties.

India sees the anti-terrorism collaboration with China as a way to highlight the threat they both face from Islamist militants in Pakistan.

It had arranged for the Chinese to practise mock assaults in Bhatinda, about 110 km (70 miles) from the Pakistan border.

via After border row, India, China plan counter-terror drills to build trust | Reuters.

02/10/2014

India launches campaign to boost manufacturing – Businessweek

India’s prime minister has launched a campaign to entice investment and promote the country as the world’s next cheap labor economy.

The “Make in India” campaign is as much a slick marketing campaign as it is a promise to streamline bureaucracy and make India investor friendly.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a launch event Thursday that “the whole world is ready to come here.”

India’s 1.2 billion people are anxious to see the economy expand and create more jobs. Some 13 million Indians become old enough each year to join the workforce.

Modi has been promoting India as the next manufacturing powerhouse. That’s a title long held by China, which is now growing wealthier and pushing toward becoming a consumer economy.

via India launches campaign to boost manufacturing – Businessweek.

18/09/2014

After Modi-Xi meeting, China agrees to quickly settle border dispute, demarcate LAC – Hindustan Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday agreed to quickly resolve the border dispute and demarcate the Line of Actual Control to improve peace and cooperation between both countries.

Addressing the media after the conclusion of one-on-one meeting with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, Modi said India is concerned about the frequent incursions along the border. The Line of Actual Control should be demarcated soon to ensure peace and tranquility in the area, he said.

President Xi, in response, said that China will work to settle the border issue at the earliest date. Since the border is not demarcated there will be some incidents, but both countries are capable of settling it at various levels without causing a bigger impact, he said.

President Xi said both countries would be respectful and sensitive to each others concerns. “We also have the sincerity to work with India to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas before we are finally able to settle the border question,”he said.

The latest incident India was referring to was the  fresh incursion by the Chinese army in Chumar area, even as talks were on between both the leaders.

via After Modi-Xi meeting, China agrees to quickly settle border dispute, demarcate LAC – Hindustan Times.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 536 other followers