Archive for ‘Chinese President Xi Jinping’

21/05/2019

China’s green efforts hit by fake data and corruption among the grass roots

  • Local officials have devised creative ways to cover up their lack of action on tackling pollution
  • Falsified monitoring information risks directing clean-up efforts away from where they are needed most
China’s efforts to cut pollution are being hampered by local officials who use creative methods to hide their lack of action. Photo: Simon Song
China’s efforts to cut pollution are being hampered by local officials who use creative methods to hide their lack of action. Photo: Simon Song
China’s notoriously lax local government officials and polluting companies are finding creative ways to fudge their environmental responsibilities and outsmart Beijing’s pollution inspectors, despite stern warnings and tough penalties.
Recent audit reports covering the past two years released by the environment ministry showed its inspectors were frequently presented with fake data and fabricated documents, as local officials – sometimes working in league with companies – have devised multiple ways to cheat and cover up their lack of action.
Local governments have been under pressure to meet environmental protection targets since Chinese President Xi Jinping made it one of his top three policy pledges in late 2017.
The performance of leading local officials is now partly assessed by how good a job they have done in cleaning up China’s much depleted environment.
According to the reports released this month by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, pollution inspectors have found evidence in a number of city environmental protection bureaus of made-up meeting notes and even instructions to local companies to forge materials.
Cao Liping, director of the ministry’s ecology and environment law enforcement department, said many of the cases uncovered were the result of officials failing to act in a timely manner.
“In some places, local officials didn’t really do the rectification work. When the inspections began, they realised they didn’t have enough time, so they made up material,” he said.
China ‘still facing uphill struggle in fight against pollution’

While some officials are covering up their inaction, others are actively corrupt. According to Guangzhou’s Southern Weekend, since 2012 there have been 63 cases involving 118 people in the environment protection system involved in corruption.

In the southwest province of Sichuan, 32 current and former employees of Suining city’s environmental protection bureau were found to be corrupt, raking in illicit income of 6.32 million yuan (US$900,000).

Fabricated notes

The party committee of Bozhou district in Zunyi, Guizhou province in southern China, was found to have fabricated notes for 10 meetings – part of the work requirement under the new environmental targets – in a bid to cheat the inspectors.

The case was flagged by the environment ministry in a notice issued on May 10, which said party officials in Bozhou lacked “political consciousness … the nature of this case is very severe”.
Watering down results
Environmental officials in Shizuishan, in the northwest region of Ningxia, tried to improve their results in December 2017 by ordering sanitation workers to spray the building of the local environmental protection bureau with an anti-smog water cannon.
The intention was to lower the amount of pollutant particles registered by the building’s monitoring equipment.
The scheme may have gone undetected if the weather had been warmer but the next day a telltale layer of ice covered the building and the chief and deputy chief of the environmental station in the city’s Dawokou district were later penalised for influencing the monitoring results.
1 million dead, US$38 billion lost: the price of China’s air pollution
Similar tactics were deployed in Linfen, in the northern province of Shanxi in March 2017, when former bureau chief Zhang Wenqing and 11 others were found to have altered air quality monitoring data during days of heavy pollution.
The monitoring machine was blocked and sprayed with water to improve the data and Zhang was also found to have paid another person to make sure the sabotage was not captured by surveillance camera.
According to the environment ministry, six national observation stations in Linfen were interfered with more than 100 times between April 2017 and March 2018. In the same period, monitoring data was seriously distorted on 53 occasions.
Zhang was sentenced to two years in prison in May last year for destroying information on a computer.
Bad company
A ministry notice on May 11 flagged collusion by local officials and businesses in Bozhou in southeast China’s Anhui province. Companies were given advance notice of environmental inspections, with instructions to make up contracts and temporarily suspend production in a bid to deceive inspectors.
In Henan province, central China, inspectors found a thermal power company had been using a wireless mouse to interfere with the sealed automatic monitoring system. They were able to remotely delete undesirable data, eliminating evidence of excessive emissions, and only provided selective data to the environment bureau.
Officials in Shandong reprimanded for failing to cut pollution
In another case, from 2017, an environmental inspection group in Hubei province, central China, found a ceramics company had been working with the data monitoring company to alter automatically collected data on sulphur dioxide emissions.
Criminal offence
Cao said that while the cheating by grass-roots officials was serious, the involvement of companies in falsifying data was a major issue that made the work of inspectors even harder.
“Some fraudulent methods are hidden with the help of high technology, so it’s hard for us to obtain evidence. Besides, the environment officials are not totally familiar with these technologies,” he said.
The environment ministry was working on solutions to the problems, he said, adding that falsifying monitoring data was now a criminal offence.
Fake data was particularly serious, he said, because it could directly influence his department’s decisions about where to deploy resources.

Wang Canfa, an environmental law expert at the China University of Political Science and Law, said the problem of fake data could damage the government’s credibility but also prevent it from taking measures in time.

“If the water pollution or air pollution is severe in one place but the local government has said it’s not a big deal, then the investment needed to control the situation might go to other places,” he said.

Zhou Ke, a professor of environment and resources law at Renmin University, said there was an incentive for local officials to cheat because the inspection results were directly related to their career prospects.

Officials ended up cheating or forging materials to protect local interests or their own political achievements, he said.

Source: SCMP

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20/05/2019

Xi Jinping visits rare earth minerals facility, amid talk of use as weapon in US-China trade war

  • China produces 90 per cent of the world’s rare earth minerals, used in hi-tech production such as electric vehicles
  • Rare earth minerals one of the few goods not hit by incoming US tariffs on US$300 billion of Chinese goods as trade war escalates
President Xi Jinping paid a visit to the country’s rare earth mining base in Jiangxi province on Monday, according to the official Xinhua news agency, in his first domestic tour after the trade talks between Beijing and Washington ended without a deal. Photo: Xinhua
President Xi Jinping paid a visit to the country’s rare earth mining base in Jiangxi province on Monday, according to the official Xinhua news agency, in his first domestic tour after the trade talks between Beijing and Washington ended without a deal. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited one of the country’s major rare earth mining and processing facilities on Monday, in his first domestic tour since the 
recent escalation

of the US-China trade war.

Xi’s visit, reported by the official Xinhua news agency, comes amid growing discussion in China that Beijing could consider banning the export of such minerals as a weapon 
in the trade war

with the United States.

Rare earth minerals were among the few items excluded from the latest US government plans to implement tariffs on almost all of China’s remaining exports to the United States, highlighting their strategic importance. These tariffs, which are set to be levied on Chinese goods worth an estimated US$300 billion, 
could go into effect

as early as July, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The state media report, which includes one sentence of text and two pictures, made no mention of the trade war, but speculation is mounting that rare earth minerals could form a key part of China’s retaliation.

China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rare earth minerals, which contain at least one of the 17 rare earth elements, many of which are vital to a number of low-carbon technologies, such as high-performance magnets and electronics. Photo: Xinhua

China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rare earth minerals, which contain at least one of the 17 rare earth elements, many of which are vital to a number of low-carbon technologies, such as high-performance magnets and electronics.

It accounts for 90 per cent of global production, however the government has been carefully managing mining levels and it was reported last year that amid production quotas, the country became a net importer of rare earth minerals last year.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, wrote an article last week suggesting that China could ban rare earth exports to the US as a way to punish the US for

imposing additional tariffs

. China does not import enough goods from the US to retaliate in pure tariff terms.

The Chinese government has weaponised the trade of rare earth exports before, slashing the export quota by 40 per cent in 2010. The US, Japan and the European Union filed a compliant against the Chinese quota at the World Trade Organisation in 2012, with the WTO ruling against China. Beijing dropped its export restrictions in 2015.

According to the report, Xi visited JL Mag Rare Earth Co, a major rare earth processing company based in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province and “studied” the local rare earth industry. Ganzhou is the heartland of China’s rare earth mining and processing industry.

Xi was accompanied by vice-premier Liu He, who has been China’s top trade negotiator in the long-running talks with the US and who is Xi’s most trusted economic adviser. Also on the trip was a delegation of company officials and local cadres.
JL Mag is a leading supplier of high-performance rare earth magnets, which are widely used in intelligent manufacturing operations, energy-saving applications, and in the production of robots and new energy vehicles, according to the company’s website.

Images of Xi’s trip show a sign saying that the company is trying to build up “a rare metal industry base of tungsten with strong international competitiveness”.

Banning rate earth exports to the US is one of several ideas percolating in Chinese public discussions of possible trade war 

retaliation measures.

Other analysts have suggested that China could sell its $3 trillion stockpile of US dollar-denominated securities, or allowing the yuan exchange rate to depreciate significantly, which would make Chinese exports cheaper for overseas buyers, helping to mitigate the effect of tariffs.

Source: SCMP
19/05/2019

China’s top legislator visits Norway to promote bilateral ties

NORWAY-OSLO-LI ZHANSHU-NORWEGIAN KING-MEETING

Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), meets with Norwegian King Harald V in Oslo, Norway, May 16, 2019. China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu paid an official friendly visit to Norway from May 15 to 18, expecting to promote the development of Sino-Norwegian ties to score more progress. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

OSLO, May 18 (Xinhua) — China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu paid an official friendly visit to Norway from May 15 to 18, expecting to promote the development of Sino-Norwegian ties to score more progress.

During the stay in Norway, Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), met with Norwegian King Harald V, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and President of the Norwegian parliament Storting Tone Wilhelmsen Troen.

When meeting with Norwegian King Harald V, Li conveyed the greetings of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the King, and expressed congratulations on the Norwegian National Day, which falls on May 17.

Li said during the King’s successful visit to China last year, the two heads of state made strategic plans for the development of bilateral relations in the new era. As this year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Norway, the two sides are expected to seize the opportunity to cement friendship and expand cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and treating each other equally, so as to realize better development of bilateral relations.

Harald V expressed gratitude to China’s friendliness to the Norwegian side, saying Norway admires China’s tremendous development achievements. He said Norway is ready to strengthen cooperation with China in such fields as winter sports, and will make efforts to help China successfully host the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

When meeting with Solberg, Li said although Sino-Norwegian relations have experienced ups and downs, friendship and cooperation has always been the main theme of the ties. As both countries share common interests on safeguarding current global mechanism, building an open world economy, the two sides should jointly support multilateralism and free trade. Moreover, the two countries have similar development concepts and share strong economic complementarities, so the outlook of bilateral cooperation is very broad.

Norway is welcome to actively participate in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. And bilateral cooperation on economy, trade, environmental protection, science and technology, people-to-people exchanges and tourism is expected to be forged ahead, said China’s top legislator.

“China hopes the Norwegian side provides a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises’ investment and operation in Norway,” said Li.

Solberg said bilateral cooperation has maintained sound momentum since the normalization of bilateral ties, expecting the two sides to push forward talks on inking a free trade deal and deepen cooperation in such areas as maritime affairs, shipping, fishery and environmental protection. She also voiced the will to advance communication and collaboration with China on issues concerning the United Nations, coping with the climate change and Arctic affairs.

When respectively meeting with Troen and members of the parliament’s standing committee on foreign affairs and defense, Li introduced China’s development path and political system.

“The reasons why China continues to make new development achievements are that we have embarked on a development path that suits our national conditions. This is the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” said Li, stressing that the Chinese people will unswervingly follow this path.

He said that the NPC of China is willing to work with the Norwegian parliament to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen friendly exchanges at all levels, enhance understanding and trust through frank dialogues, and create a favorable environment for pragmatic cooperation.

Troen said that this visit is of great significance as Li’s tour marks the first visit of a Chinese leader since the normalization of bilateral relations in 2016. The Norwegian parliament is willing to carry out all-round exchanges and cooperation with the NPC of China, and make positive contributions to the development of state-to-state ties.

The two legislators also exchanged views on jointly safeguarding multilateral trade system, sustainable development and other issues of common concerns.

On May 16, Li attended the economic and trade conference in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of Norway-China diplomatic relations. He said in a speech that President Xi’s proposal of the high-quality development of jointly building the Belt and Road and the policy of China’s further expansion of opening up have provided new opportunities for the common development of all countries. The two countries’ enterprises are expected to seize the opportunity, tap cooperation potentials, so as to translate the desire for strong cooperation into more practical results.

During the tour, Li visited the Chinese skiers who were training in Norway and encouraged them to train hard and carry out bilateral friendship.

He also visited a local ecological agriculture project, an oil gas processing plant, and met with local officials in Norway’s southwestern county of Rogaland and its southern city of Stavanger.

Norway is the first lag of Li’s ten-day tour in Europe, which will also take him to Austria and Hungary.

Source: Xinhua

12/05/2019

Chinese vice premier urges China-U.S. cooperation, vows no compromise on major principles

WASHINGTON, May 11 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said Friday that cooperation is the only right choice for China and the United States, but China will not compromise on major issues of principle.

China-U.S. relations are of great importance, Liu said in a group interview with Chinese media after the conclusion of the 11th round of high-level economic and trade consultations between the world’s top two economies, which took place on Thursday and Friday in Washington.

Economic and trade relations serve as the ballast and propeller of the overall China-U.S. relationship, and matter not only to bilateral ties, but also to world peace and prosperity, added Liu, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Cooperation is the only right choice for the two sides, but it has to be based on principles, said the vice premier, who heads the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue.

China, he stressed, will never make concessions on major issues of principle.

The Chinese delegation came to Washington for the latest round of talks with sincerity, and held candid and constructive exchanges with the U.S. side, Liu said, adding that the two sides agreed to continue to push forward the consultations.

China strongly opposes U.S. tariff hikes, which are harmful not only to China and the United States, but to the world at large, and China will have to take necessary countermeasures, he added.

Stressing that any agreement must be equal and mutually beneficial, Liu said that the two sides have reached important consensus on many aspects, but there remain three core concerns of China that must be addressed.

The first is to remove all the additional tariffs, he said, adding that the levy of those tariffs is the starting point of the ongoing bilateral trade dispute, and must be totally revoked if the two sides were to reach a deal.

The second is that the amount of purchases should be realistic, he said, adding that the two sides reached consensus on the volume in Argentina, and should not change it randomly.

The third is to improve the balance of the wording of the text, he said, adding that every country has its dignity, the text must be balanced, and more discussions are needed on some critical issues.

Noting that it is just normal that there have been some ups and downs in bilateral consultations since last year, Liu pointed out that it is irresponsible to casually accuse one party of “backtracking” while the two sides are still in the process of negotiation.

As for China, the vice premier said the most important thing is to focus on its own business.

China enjoys huge domestic market demand, the implementation of the supply-side reform will comprehensively boost the competitiveness of Chinese products and enterprises, and there is still ample room for fiscal and monetary policy manoeuvres, he said, adding the Chinese economic prospect is very optimistic.

Liu pointed out that it is a good thing for a major country to encounter some twists and turns in its development, as they can serve as an ability test.

Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core, as long as the Chinese people have firm confidence and make joint efforts, China is not afraid of any difficulties, and will certainly be able to maintain the good momentum of sustained and sound economic development, he added.

Source: Xinhua

09/05/2019

Chinese president, Saudi king talk over phone on bilateral ties

BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping held a telephone conversation with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Wednesday.

Xi said that China attaches great importance to developing the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and regards Saudi Arabia as an important cooperation partner in promoting the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Xi said that he and King Salman have in recent years successfully exchanged visits to each other’s nation, which has guided the all-round and fast growth of China-Saudi Arabia ties.

In February, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud visited China and attended the third meeting of the China-Saudi Arabia High-level Joint Committee, which yielded fruitful results and injected new impetus into bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields, Xi said.

China appreciates Saudi Arabia’s objective and fair stance on issues concerning China’s core interests and major concerns. China firmly supports Saudi efforts to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and stability, and supports Saudi Arabia in promoting its economic transformation and achieving greater development, Xi said.

Xi said that China is ready to work with Saudi Arabia to strengthen the synergy between the BRI and the Saudi Vision 2030, and enhance bilateral practical cooperation in energy and other fields. China appreciates the positive efforts made by Saudi Arabia to promote relations between China and Arab countries as well as Islamic countries.

China welcomes and actively supports Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in 2020, Xi said, noting that China is ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Saudi Arabia and jointly help the G20 make greater contribution to upholding multilateralism, building an open world economy and improving global economic governance.

For his part, Salman congratulated China for successfully holding the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and said he believes that it will play an important role in promoting international development and cooperation.

The two countries are committed to national development and world peace and stability. Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and wishes China greater achievements in its development, Salman said.

The Saudi king also said that Saudi Arabia is willing to strengthen exchanges with China at all levels and promote cooperation in various fields in a bid to better serve the two countries and peoples, and boost cooperation between East and West Asia.

He said that Saudi Arabia is willing to continue to help improve the friendly and cooperative relations between China and Arab countries as well as the Islamic world.

Source: Xinhua

01/05/2019

China Focus: Xi holds talks with Lao president to promote ties

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-LAO PRESIDENT-TALKS (CN)

Xi Jinping (R), general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, holds talks with Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit, who is also general secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee, in Beijing, capital of China, April 30, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, held talks here Tuesday with Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit, who is also general secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee.

The two leaders agreed to forge ahead with the efforts in building a community with a shared future for the two countries and work together to usher in a new era for bilateral ties.

After the talks, the two leaders inked an action plan between the CPC and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party on building a community with a shared future for the two countries.

Noting that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Laos, Xi said as bilateral ties now stand at the best stage in history, China will work with Laos to take the opportunity of signing the action plan to jointly cultivate the bilateral relationship in the new era.

Xi said China and Laos should take strengthening the leadership of the CPC and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party as guidance and grasp the correct direction of the development of bilateral ties in the new era.

He said the two parties must strengthen their strategic self-confidence and sense of urgency, uphold party leadership and ensure the long-term stability of the two countries, so as to contribute to the development of the socialist cause.

Noting the two sides should maintain close high-level exchanges, Xi said he would like to carry on the good tradition of conducting annual meetings with Bounnhang.

Xi also called on the two sides to deepen theoretical exchanges and strengthen exchanges between their cadres.

China and Laos should accelerate the synergy of each other’s development strategies, promote the construction of economic corridors, expand the radiation and demonstration effects of major projects such as the China-Laos railway, so as to contribute more to regional connectivity, common development and prosperity, Xi said.

The two sides should also closely coordinate and cooperate within multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations, East Asian cooperation and the Lancang-Mekong cooperation, said the Chinese president.

Bounnhang spoke highly of China’s great achievements in Party and state building and hailed China’s successful experience in poverty alleviation.

He said it is an unshakable policy of Laos to develop its traditional friendship with China. Laos appreciates China’s long-term support and will work with China to give further play to the leading role of the inter-party ties in the development of the state-to-state relationship, and maintain regular high-level meetings between the two parties.

Regarding the Belt and Road initiative, Bounnhang said Laos will continue to accelerate cooperation in major projects, so as to further promote the prosperity of the two countries and the region.

Concerning the action plan, Xi said this is the first time for China and Laos to sign a cooperation document on building a community with a shared future on the bilateral level, which will not only benefit the two parties, countries and peoples, but also serve as a significant exploration in advancing humanity.

Bounnhang said the signing of the action plan will further promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

The two leaders also watched the signing of a series of cooperation documents after the talks.

Source: Xinhua

01/05/2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s overtures to Japan’s new emperor set tone as G20 summit in Osaka nears

  • Xi’s message talks of promoting ‘peaceful development’ as Reiwa era begins in Japan
  • Analysts see diplomacy as latest steps towards bringing an end to bitter rivalry
The Japanese flag flies at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October to mark the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to China. Photo: Kyodo
The Japanese flag flies at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October to mark the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to China. Photo: Kyodo
Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Emperor Naruhito on his ascent to the throne of Japan in an effort to strengthen China’s ties with its neighbour and competitor as Beijing’s trade dispute with the United States went on.
Xi sent greetings on Wednesday in which the president stressed the importance of relations between Beijing and Tokyo, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The two countries should “work together to promote peaceful development and create a bright future for bilateral relations”, Xi said.
The president also sent a message to Akihito, now Japan’s emperor emeritus, and “expressed his greetings and wishes”, Xinhua said.
Akihito, 85, relinquished the throne to his son at midnight on Tuesday, bringing the Heisei era that spanned his 30-year reign to an end.

Naruhito took the Chrysanthemum Throne to begin the Reiwa era with a pledge to become a “symbol of unity”.

Xi’s message came as China and Japan tried to repair relations damaged by disputes over the East China Sea and the bitter legacy of the second world war.

Washington was locked in a trade tariff war with Beijing, and President Donald Trump’s America First policy had prompted fears about the US’ commitment to Asia at the highest levels of Japanese government. These have pushed Beijing and Tokyo closer and, in October, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Beijing.

China set to appoint new ambassador to Japan, as Xi Jinping prepares for June visit

Xi was expected to attend a Group of 20 summit to be held in Osaka in June. A source said officials were considering whether Xi would dovetail a state visit to Japan with the summit.

Felix Wiebrecht, a China researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said in the international environment China was more willing to put a deep-seated rivalry aside and take Japan as a partner.

“Facing increasing tensions with the US, China is naturally turning towards other potential opportunities for cooperation,” Wiebrecht said.

“Xi is indeed very likely to visit Japan this year since it seems that both he and Abe are interested in strengthening their cooperation. A visit this year could be seen as a culmination in normalising their relationship and comes at the right time for China as its conflict with the US intensifies”.

Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi, a visiting professor at Pusan National University in South Korea and an adjunct fellow at the Pacific Forum foreign policy research institute, said Xi’s message could be seen as Beijing’s expectation on Tokyo to keep relations positive.

“[But] this would raise questions in Japan, particularly regarding regional and bilateral security issues, as well as the trade issues between the US and China,” he said.

As Japan prepares to mark end of an era, a look back at how China started the system

“The big question is whether China – as well as the US – expects Japan to work as some kind of mediator between Beijing and Washington, causing dilemmas for the Japanese government”.

Some observers remarked on the possibility of sideline meeting between the two leaders at Osaka.

“Xi could meet with Abe [at G20] in a bilateral context too,” Zhang Baohui director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, said.

He also felt that Xi may make a separate state visit to Japan, after the G20 meeting closed.

“Japan is reportedly interested in having a second and separate visit by Xi later in the year … The Japanese efforts are part of a broader attempt by the Abe administration to improve relations with China,” Zhang said.

“A separate state visit would cement the full recovery of Sino-Japanese relations since the 2012 Diaoyu Islands dispute,” Zhang said.

Xi Jinping, then Chinese Vice-President, meets Emperor Akihito in Tokyo in December 2009. Photo: Xinhua
Xi Jinping, then Chinese Vice-President, meets Emperor Akihito in Tokyo in December 2009. Photo: Xinhua

Japan and China both claim the territorial rights over the Senkaku Islands – also known as the Diaoyu Islands – in the East China Sea.

In 2012, Japanese government purchased three of the disputed islands from private owners, which prompted large-scale protests in China. In the following year, Beijing set up the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone which included the islands, requiring all aircraft entering the zone to file a flight plan, further intensifying the conflict between the two countries.

Efforts this summer to intensify diplomacy “should bring greater stability to the East China Sea and may even lead to greater Sino-Japanese cooperation on regional issues like economic integration”, Zhang said.

“But Japan’s concern for a rising China and China’s expanding maritime activities in the East China Sea will continue,” Zhang added, noting that Japan has also expanded its military capabilities in disputed areas such as the South China Sea.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are likely to continue their diplomacy during and after June’s G20 summit in Osaka. Photo: EPA
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are likely to continue their diplomacy during and after June’s G20 summit in Osaka. Photo: EPA
30/04/2019

Xi holds talks with Nepalese president

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-NEPALESE PRESIDENT-TALKS (CN)

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) holds talks with Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari in Beijing, capital of China, April 29, 2019. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari in Beijing on Monday.

China highly values the development of bilateral relations, and supports Nepal’s efforts in safeguarding national independence, sovereign and territorial integrity, and in exploring a development path suited to Nepal’s own conditions, Xi said.

He expressed appreciation for Nepal’s long-time firm support on issues related to China’s core interests and major concerns, and Nepal’s active participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.

China and Nepal should strengthen cooperation in infrastructure construction, and continue to advance the construction of cross-border economic cooperation zone, Xi said, adding that China is willing to continue to support Nepal’s economic and social development.

Xi called on the two countries to intensify exchanges among legislative institutions, political parties, youth, think tanks and media, consolidate public support for China-Nepal friendship, and advance the friendly cooperative relations to a new level.

Bhandari said that China’s prosperity and stability present opportunities to Nepal, and her country is willing to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China in various fields.

She said that Nepal adheres to the one-China policy, and that Nepal will not allow any forces to engage in anti-China activities by using the territory of Nepal.

The two heads of state attended a ceremony for the signing of bilateral cooperation documents after the talks.

Source: Xinhua

29/04/2019

Xi delivers speech at opening of International Horticultural Exhibition

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-HORTICULTURAL EXPO-OPENING (CN)

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Beijing in Yanqing District of Beijing, capital of China, April 28, 2019. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Beijing on Sunday.

Themed on “Live Green, Live Better,” the Beijing expo is participated by 110 countries and international organizations, the largest of its kind in history.

Source: Xinhua

28/04/2019

Xi meets Italian prime minister

(BRF)CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-ITALIAN PM-MEETING (CN)

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 27, 2019. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday met with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who attended the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

China highly commends Italy’s signing of a memorandum of understanding with China on jointly building the Belt and Road, taking the lead among major Western countries, according to Xi.

The country is ready to work with Italy in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and make the bilateral relations a model of Belt and Road cooperation between China and European countries, Xi said.

Xi called on both sides to firmly grasp the strategic significance of the bilateral ties, step up coordination and collaboration in improving global governance system and safeguarding free trade and multilateralism, and forge a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.

Conte said the speeches delivered by Xi at the forum helped the international community understand the significant benefits of the BRI for the world.

Italy is firmly committed to participating in the BRI, he said, adding that the initiative is a good opportunity for the world and more countries will join.

Italy welcomes Chinese companies to invest in the country, and will not adopt discriminatory policies against them, Conte said, calling on the two countries to reinforce solidarity and cooperation, and safeguard multilateralism.

Source: Xinhua

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