Archive for ‘France’

23/05/2019

Boeing 737 Max: China’s top airlines seek compensation

China’s three biggest airlines are demanding compensation from Boeing over its grounded 737 Max fleet.

Air China, China Southern and China Eastern have filed claims for payouts, according to state media reports.

China’s regulator was the first to ground the fleet in the wake of two deadly crashes involving the US-made aircraft.

It comes on the eve of a meeting of global aviation regulators that will provide an update on the troubled jets.

The Chinese airlines are seeking compensation for losses incurred by the grounded fleet, as well as delayed deliveries of the 737 Max jets, according to reports.

China operates the largest fleet of Boeing 737 Max aircraft and was the first country to take the jets out of service after the Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 crash in March.

The disaster killed all 157 people on board. In October, 189 people were killed in a Lion Air crash involving the same model.

Both crashes were linked to the jet’s Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, a new feature on 737 Max planes, which was designed to improve the handling of the jet and to stop it pitching up at too high an angle.

Last week, Boeing said it had completed development of a software update for its 737 Max planes.

The planemaker’s entire global fleet of 737 Max aircraft has been grounded since March and the firm is anxious to prove it is safe to return to the skies.

The move by China’s top airlines to seek compensation comes ahead of a closely watched summit of aviation regulators in Texas on Thursday.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is due to provide an update on reviews of Boeing’s software fix and new pilot training.

The meeting in Texas will involve 57 agencies from 33 countries, including China, France, Germany and the UK, as well as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

But it is unclear if the planes will be back in the air before the end of the critical summer travel season.

Source: The BBC

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27/04/2019

Cherish the love: China and France should avoid causing unnecessary upset, Beijing says

  • Foreign Minister Wang Yi tells French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian the two sides should ensure ties ‘continue to develop in a healthy way’
  • Meeting comes after Paris angers Beijing by sending a warship through the sensitive Taiwan Strait
Paris upset Beijing earlier this month by sending its frigate Vendémiaire through the Taiwan Strait. Photo: Reuters
Paris upset Beijing earlier this month by sending its frigate Vendémiaire through the Taiwan Strait. Photo: Reuters
France and China should value their strong relationship and not take actions that disrupt it, China’s foreign minister told his French counterpart on Thursday, just days after 
Beijing expressed its upset

at Paris for sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait earlier this month.

Speaking at a meeting on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Wang Yi told Jean-Yves Le Drian that the two nations “should cherish their hard-won and good relations”.
“[We should] avoid unnecessary disruptions and ensure that bilateral relations continue to develop in a healthy and progressive way,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Friday by the Chinese foreign ministry.

Le Drian responded by saying France was willing to cooperate with China to “maintain the growth momentum of bilateral relations”, according to the statement.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that Paris was willing to cooperate with Beijing. Photo: Xinhua
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that Paris was willing to cooperate with Beijing. Photo: Xinhua
The

French frigate Vendémiaire

passed through the Taiwan Strait on April 6. It had been expected to take part in a naval parade on Tuesday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of China’s navy, but Beijing withdrew the invitation in response to the action.

The defence ministry in Paris said this week it had been “in close contact with the Chinese authorities” about the incident.
EU’s connectivity plan ‘more sustainable’ than belt and road

A spokesman for the European Union said the trading bloc was committed to a rules-based maritime order based on international law, including freedom of navigation, and that it was in regular contact with the member states.

Chinese academics said that after the transit by the French warship it was likely that more Western countries would make their presence known in the region and that Beijing should remain vigilant.

“France wants to show that as a great power it has a broader concern in Asia-Pacific beyond trade and other ‘soft’ fields,” said Shi Yinhong, an international relations professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing.

“And it will exert its right to free navigation in any international waters regardless of China’s position or sensitivities.”

The Taiwan Strait is about 160km (100 miles) wide and divides mainland China from Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a breakaway province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. The US, meanwhile, is bound by law to help the self-ruled defend itself and frequently sends warships through the strait in a show of support.

Shi said that US President Donald Trump’s Indo-Pacific strategy, which regards China as a “strategic competitor”, might draw “opportunistic associates” – like France and Britain – into the region.

“Some other states could be encouraged by the French action to do the same,” he said. “But [they] may also be deterred by China’s probable military and diplomatic responses, which would be determined on a case-by-case basis.”

Putin gets behind Xi’s belt and road plan in face of US hostility

Zhu Feng, a professor of international relations at Nanjing University, said France’s conduct was intended to show the “shared concern of Western allies” regarding the security aspect of cross-strait relations.

“China must be vigilant to the new tendency [for nations] to internationalise the Taiwan Strait issue,” he said, though added that the transit of the French warship was “more of a symbolic gesture than actual action”.

Philippe Le Corre, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington and former special assistant for international affairs to the French defence minister, said the Taiwan Strait did not belong to any one nation and, therefore, ships were within their rights to sail through it without prior authorisation.

“From Paris’s point of view, like the rest of the EU, the principles of freedom of navigation are critical to the world economy and trade, therefore there is no reason why European navies or even commercial ships should not be allowed to cross the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

“This is EU policy, not just France or the UK. It has nothing to do with the US, it is international law.”

Source: SCMP

27/04/2019

Europe wants to deal with China as a group – German minister

BEIJING (Reuters) – Major European Union countries want to deal with China as a group rather than sign bilateral agreements as individual states, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday, attending a summit in Beijing on China’s Belt and Road plan.

European countries have generally signalled their willingness to participate in China’s programme to re-create the old Silk Road joining China with Asia and Europe.

But key states like France and Germany have said China must in turn improve access and fair competition for foreign firms.

Italy in March became the first major Western government to back China’s initiative, even as some EU leaders cautioned Rome against rushing into the arms of Beijing.

 

“In the big EU states we have agreed that we don’t want to sign any bilateral memorandums but together make necessary arrangements between the greater European Economic Area and the economic area of Greater China,” Altmaier said when asked if he could see Germany signing a similar bilateral agreement to Italy.

A spokesman for Altmaier’s office later said he was talking about general arrangements and not specifically the Belt and Road.

The minister said he was encouraged by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pledge to pursue free trade, multilateralism and sustainability as part of Belt and Road.

“We will take this promise seriously” and make suggestions on how to achieve these goals in both Asia and Europe, he said.

China is a partner and a competitor at the same time and the EU must define its interests, Altmaier said.

“And for that we need an industry strategy. For that we need our own connectivity strategy,” he added.

Source: Reuters

25/04/2019

Exclusive: In rare move, French warship passes through Taiwan Strait

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A French warship passed through the strategic Taiwan Strait this month, U.S. officials told Reuters, a rare voyage by a vessel of a European country that is likely to be welcomed by Washington but increase tension with Beijing.

The passage, which was confirmed by China, is a sign that U.S. allies are increasingly asserting freedom of navigation in international waterways near China. It could open the door for other allies, such as Japan and Australia, to consider similar operations.

The French operation comes amid increasing tensions between the United States and China. Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, which also include a trade war, U.S. sanctions and China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea, where the United States also conducts freedom of navigation patrols.

Two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a French military vessel carried out the transit in the narrow waterway between China and Taiwan on April 6.

One of the officials identified the warship as the French frigate Vendemiaire and said it was shadowed by the Chinese military. The official was not aware of any previous French military passage through the Taiwan Strait.

The officials said that as a result of the passage, China notified France it was no longer invited to a naval parade to mark the 70 years since the founding of China’s Navy. Warships from India, Australia and several other nations participated.

China said on Thursday it had lodged “stern representations” with France for what it called an “illegal” passage.

“China’s military sent navy ships in accordance with the law and the rules to identify the French ship and warn it to leave,” defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang told a regularly scheduled media briefing, while declining to say if the sailing had led to the withdrawal of France’s invitation to the parade of ships this week.

“China’s military will stay alert to firmly safeguard China’s sovereignty and security,” he said.

Colonel Patrik Steiger, the spokesman for France’s military chief of staff, declined to comment on an operational mission.

The U.S. officials did not speculate on the purpose of the passage or whether it was designed to assert freedom of navigation.

MOUNTING TENSIONS

The French strait passage comes against the backdrop of increasingly regular passages by U.S. warships through the strategic waterway. Last month, the United States sent Navy and Coast Guard ships through the Taiwan Strait.

The passages upset China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory. Beijing has been ramping up pressure to assert its sovereignty over the island.

Chen Chung-chi, spokesman for Taiwan’s defence ministry, told Reuters by phone the strait is part of busy international waters and it is “a necessity” for vessels from all countries to transit through it. He said Taiwan’s defence ministry will continue to monitor movement of foreign vessels in the region.

“This is an important development both because of the transit itself but also because it reflects a more geopolitical approach by France towards China and the broader Asia-Pacific,” said Abraham Denmark, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defence for East Asia.

The transit is a sign that countries like France are not only looking at China through the lens of trade but from a military standpoint as well, Denmark said.

Last month, France and China signed deals worth billions of euros during a visit to Paris by Chinese President Xi Jinping. French President Emmanuel Macron wants to forge a united European front to confront Chinese advances in trade and technology.

Source: Reuters

22/04/2019

Tesla says investigating car explosion in Shanghai

Logo of a Tesla Motors store in Hangzhou downtown. Tesla Motors is an American automotive and energy storage company selling luxury electric cars and battery products. It aims to produce its $76,000 and up vehicles in ChinaImage copyright GETTY IMAGES

Tesla said it is investigating a video on Chinese social media that appears to show one of its vehicles bursting into flames in Shanghai.

In a statement, the carmaker said it had sent a team to investigate the matter, and that there were no reported casualties.

The video, which has not been verified by the BBC, showed a stationary car erupting into flames in a parking lot.

Tesla did not confirm the car model but social media identified it as Model S.

“After learning about the incident in Shanghai, we immediately sent the team to the scene last night,” according to a translation of a Tesla statement posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

“We are actively contacting relevant departments and supporting the verification. According to current information, there are no casualties.”

The video showed smoke rising from a parked, white vehicle and seconds later it bursts into flames.

The time stamp on the video shows the incident happened on Sunday night, local time (Sunday morning GMT).

Previous incidents involving Tesla vehicles catching on fire seem to have happened while the cars were moving.

In 2018, a Tesla car driven by British TV director Michael Morris burst into flames, following another such incident involving a Model S model in France in 2016.

A series of fires involving Tesla Model S cars took place in 2013.

Source: The BBC

21/04/2019

How much of Europe does China own?

Shipping containers at PiraeusImage copyrightAFP
Image caption China now has a majority stake in the Greek port of Piraeus

The European Union has introduced a new mechanism for screening foreign investment.

It’s widely believed to have been prompted by concerns over China’s economic ambitions in Europe.

It will allow the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm – to give an opinion when an investment “threatens the security or public order” of more than one member state or undermines an EU-wide project such as the Galileo satellite project.

In March, the European Commission called China a “systemic rival” and a “strategic competitor”.

The Chinese Ambassador to the EU urged the bloc to remain “open and welcome” to Chinese investment, and not to “discriminate”.

How much foreign investment is in the EU?

China’s ownership of EU businesses is relatively small, but has grown quickly over the past decade.

A third of the bloc’s total assets are now in the hands of foreign-owned, non-EU companies, according to a report from the European Commission in March.

Of these, 9.5% of companies had their ownership based in China, Hong Kong or Macau – up from 2.5% in 2007.

That compares with 29% controlled by US and Canadian interests by the end of 2016 – down from nearly 42% in 2007.

So, it’s a significant increase, but the total amount is not huge, comparatively speaking.

China in the EU

Foreign direct investment into the 28 member stAlthough the levels of Chinese foreign direct investment in the EU have been increasing rapidly, it peaked at €37.2bn in 2016 amidst a slowdown in Chinese investment globally, according to the Rhodium Group and the Mercator Institute for China Studies.

In European countries outside the EU, investment also dropped in 2018.

What and where is China investing?

A large proportion of Chinese direct investment, both state and private, is concentrated in the major economies, such as the UK, France and Germany combined, according to the Rhodium Group and Mercator Institute.

Chinese investment by top EU countries

Analysis by Bloomberg last year said that China now owned, or had a stake in, four airports, six maritime ports and 13 professional soccer teams in Europe.

It estimated there had been 45% more investment activity in 30 European countries from China than from the US, since 2008.

And it said this was underestimating the true extent of Chinese activity.

What about infrastructure?

In March, Italy was the first major European economy to sign up to China’s new Silk Road programme – known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

It involves huge infrastructure building to increase trade between China and markets in Asia and Europe.

Officially more than 20 countries in Europe (including Russia) are part of the initiative.

For example, China is financing the expansion of the port of Piraeus in Greece and is building roads and railways in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia.

This could prove attractive to poorer Balkan and southern European countries, especially as demands for transparency and good governance can make EU funding appear less attractive.

However, analysts point out that Chinese loans come with conditions – such as the involvement of Chinese companies – and also risk burdening these countries with large amounts of debt.

Will Chinese investment grow?

Globally, China’s outward direct investment has slowed over the last year or two, after more than a decade of expansion.

“This is mainly the result of stricter controls on capital outflows from China, but also of a changing political environment globally concerning Chinese investment,” says Agatha Kratz of the Rhodium Group.

China’s global investment slows

The Trump administration is taking a tougher line towards China’s economic activities.

Governments elsewhere are more cautious – particularly when it comes to investment in sensitive areas of the economy, such as telecommunications and defence.

But there’s little doubt China is now a significant player in Europe, whether through direct investments or via the new Silk Road project.

Source: The BBC

19/04/2019

China asks Britain for help to boost image of Belt and Road Initiative

  • China’s Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming cites ‘rule-making’ as an area for bilateral cooperation with the UK
Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming gives a keynote speech during the ‘Chinese Bridge’ Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students UK Regional Final in London. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming gives a keynote speech during the ‘Chinese Bridge’ Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students UK Regional Final in London. Photo: Xinhua
China has asked Britain for help to offset claims its “Belt and Road Initiative” investments are opaque and justify its overseas spending to critics.
It made the move days before UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond was expected to head to the belt and road forum in Beijing.

In an article in London’s Evening Standard on Wednesday, China’s Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming cited “rule-making” as an area for bilateral cooperation.

“Britain has played a leading role in the establishment and management of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” Liu said. “In [belt and road] development, Britain could have a big role to play in ensuring that the projects are of higher quality, at a higher standard, with higher return.”
Four years ago the UK defied the US and joined the AIIB.
Liu’s comments followed news the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) was asked to join a new initiative aimed at improving China’s international accounting and transparency standards.
China is thought to see DFID as a model for its new aid outfit, China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), which was established last year to oversee Beijing’s foreign aid.
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond. Photo: EPA-EFE
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond. Photo: EPA-EFE

The DFID was the third most transparent donor in the world after the Asian Development Bank and UNDP, according to the aid data-crunching website Publish What You Find. China was the least.

Critics say part of the problem is Beijing prefers to deliver loans and other investments through local elites. There are also often several government departments involved, each directed by their own rules and priorities, making financial reporting more complex.

“I think the Chinese are instead playing by a different set of rules, not all of them in conflict with the West’s … but most definitely not fully aligned with what the West wants or expects”, said Eric Olander, managing editor of Shanghai-based The China Africa Project. “Therefore, I would not expect to see the kind of meaningful change in its accounting and financial standards in the near term.”

‘Cooperate or stop criticising’, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi says as belt and road summit nears

The MOU proposed by China is more a statement of intent than a plan of action but the UK welcomed it as a positive sign

“China’s proposal to set up a ‘Multilateral Cooperation Centre for Development Finance’ has real potential to ensure its huge investments in developing countries meet the key international standards that matter to all of us – on debt, transparency, environment and social safeguards,” UK International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said at the World Bank Spring Meeting recently.

A source at DFID told the SCMP that the UK has not signed the MOU yet but said while other countries are aware of the proposal, it is the only country so far to be formally invited to participate by China.

France and Germany were two possible future signatories, and MCCDF has been discussed in EU member state meetings in Beijing.

“[China] is clearly frustrated that it feels misunderstood by the international community,” said Olander.

“I have attended one seminar after another where African stakeholders ask the Chinese for more transparency and the Chinese respond with a sympathetic smile that says ‘I’d love to but I’m not sure how we can do that given our political culture and the current political realities’.”

With the Chinese economy slowing at home and the losses abroad in places like Venezuela starting to mount, there are indications that the Chinese policy banks are becoming far more risk-averse in places like Africa and the Americas.

Even so according to figures released on Thursday, the Export Import Bank of China provided more than a trillion yuan (US$149 billion) to more than 1,800 Belt and Road projects since 2013. China Development Bank (CDB) said in March it had provided US$190 billion in the same period.

“The UK is very concerned by rising debt levels, particularly in emerging market economies and in low-income countries,” Mordaut told the World Bank.

“Unsustainable debt levels are a real risk that can undermine or reverse development gains.”

The IMF said recently 24 out of 60 of the poorest countries are either in debt distress or at a high risk of falling into it.

China is also looking to the UK to help manage the BRI projects and organise part of the financing, something the City of London and the government are keen to do, Liu said.

Describing it as “third-party involvement in BRI development” he said: “The UK, with its unique strengths in professional services, project-management and financing, could tap into this potential.”

China is keen for the UK to sign a BRI MOU like Italy, and soon Switzerland, but so far it has resisted. A report released earlier this month by the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee called for a rebranding of the “golden era” started by the former chancellor George Osborne, now the editor of the London Evening Standard.

Britain is keen to cement closer ties with Beijing as the world’s fifth largest economy looks to reinvent itself as a global trading nation if and when it leaves the European Union.

Source: SCMP

17/04/2019

‘Masood Azhar issue being resolved’: China tells US to hold new resolution

Beijing also rejected the report that the US, the UK and France asked China to lift the technical hold on Azhar by April 23, failing which they will move a formal resolution for discussion, vote and passage at the UN Security Council (UNSC).

WORLD Updated: Apr 17, 2019 15:31 IST

Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Beijing
masood azhar,china,US
China on Wednesday said the issue of blacklisting Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar at the UN panel was heading towards a settlement and asked the US not to force through its own resolution on the matter.(AP)
China on Wednesday said the issue of blacklisting Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar at the UN panel was heading towards a settlement and asked the US not to force through its own resolution on the matter.

Beijing also rejected the report that the US, the UK and France asked China to lift the technical hold on Azhar by April 23, failing which they will move a formal resolution for discussion, vote and passage at the UN Security Council (UNSC).

“On the issue of the listing of Masood Azhar, China’s position remains unchanged. We are also having communication with relevant parties and the matter is moving towards the direction of settlement,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said here.

Asked to elaborate further, Lu did not answer clearly.

“The matter is now moving in the direction of settlement. As to the specifics for the discussion in the 1267 committee, there are clear procedures and regulations regarding UNSC and its subsidiary bodies. We think members should follow and abide by such procedures.”

He was responding to a question whether anything was achieved after China claimed “positive progress” on the issue of declaring Azhar a terrorist.

China in the past has put four technical holds on the resolutions by India, the US, the UK and France to ban Azhar at the UN 1267 sanctions committee.

Beijing’s latest technical hold came last month after Azhar’s outfit claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 Indian military personnel in February.

This prompted the US to draft a new resolution and take it directly to the Security Council for an informal discussion. Beijing slammed the move, saying this will complicate matters when some progress has already been achieved.

Lu again reiterated it when asked if China will support such a resolution in the Security Council.

“Regarding what you said relevant parties are forcing a new resolution through the Security Council. We firmly oppose that. In relevant discussions, most members expressed that this issue should be discussed within the 1267 committee and they don’t hope to bypass the 1267 committee to handle the issue.

“We hope the relevant country can respect the opinions of most members of the Security Council to act in a cooperative manner and to help resolve this issue properly within the framework of the 1267 committee,” he added.

Asked if Beijing has been set a deadline of April 23 to lift the technical hold on resolution banning Azhar at the 1267 committee, Lu said: “I don’t know from where you get such information, but the Security Council and it’s subsidiary bodies like the 1267 committee, they have clear rules of procedures and you have to seek clarification from those sources.”

“China’s position is very clear. This issue should be resolved through cooperation and we don’t believe that any efforts without the consensus of most members will achieve satisfying results.”

Source: Hindustan Times

13/04/2019

China targets nuclear fusion power generation by 2040

HEFEI, China (Reuters) – China aims to complete and start generating power from an experimental nuclear fusion reactor by around 2040, a senior scientist involved in the project said, as it works to develop and commercialize a game-changing source of clean energy.

China is preparing to restart its stalled domestic nuclear reactor program after a three-year moratorium on new approvals, but at a state laboratory in the city of Hefei, in China’s Anhui province, scientists are looking beyond crude atom-splitting in order to pursue nuclear fusion, where power is generated by combining nuclei together, an endeavor likened by skeptics to “putting the sun in a box”.

While nuclear fusion could revolutionize energy production, with pilot projects targeting energy output at 10 times the input, no fusion project has up to now created a net energy increase. Critics say commercially viable fusion always remains fifty years in the future.

China has already spent around 6 billion yuan ($893 million) on a large doughnut-shaped installation known as a tokamak, which uses extremely high temperatures to boil hydrogen isotopes into a plasma, fusing them together and releasing energy. If that energy can be utilized, it will require only tiny amounts of fuel and create virtually no radioactive waste.

Song Yuntao, deputy director of the Institute of Plasma Physics at the Hefei Institute of Physical Science, said on Thursday that while technological challenges remain immense, the project has been awarded another 6 billion yuan in funding, and new construction plans are underway.

“Five years from now, we will start to build our fusion reactor, which will need another 10 years of construction. After that is built we will construct the power generator and start generating power by around 2040,” he said at the site, built on a leafy peninsula jutting into a lake.

China has been researching fusion since 1958, but at the current stage, it is still more about international cooperation than competition, Song said. The country is a member of the 35-nation ITER project, a 10-billion euro ($11.29 billion) fusion project under construction in France.

China is responsible for manufacturing 9 percent of ITER’s components, and is playing a major role in core technologies like magnetic containment, as well as the production of components that can withstand temperatures of over 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit).

ITER is scheduled to generate first plasma by 2025. A demonstration reactor will then be built, with the aim of creating 500 megawatts of power from just 50 megawatts of input, a tenfold return on energy.

Despite the critics who say dependable fusion energy is unrealistic, Song said he was confident breakthroughs are being made.

“Because we have a lot of technology now, a lot of challenges in plasma physics have been overcome, and I think this will speed up the entire process,” he said.

($1 = 6.7188 yuan)

($1 = 0.8859 euros)

Source: Reuters

09/04/2019

China supports France, Germany’s efforts in upholding multilateralism: spokesperson

BEIJING, April 8 (Xinhua) — China on Monday voiced its support for multilateralism after France and Germany jointly proposed an “Alliance for Multilateralism” during a recent session at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart Heiko Maas intended to officially launch the Alliance during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly scheduled for September.

“China has always staunchly upheld, supported and practiced multilateralism,” spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press briefing while commenting on the proposed Alliance, adding that China supports the efforts of the international community including France and Germany in maintaining multilateralism.

Lu said China stands ready to work with all parties in preserving the international order and regime with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter at its core, and the rule-based multilateral trade regime with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, with a commitment to multilateralism.

Against the backdrop of a surging trend toward economic globalization and multi-polarization as well as a constant increase in global challenges, the world needs multilateralism more than ever before, the spokesperson said.

Speaking of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks at a forum on global governance attended by French, German and EU leaders during Xi’s recently-concluded European visit, Lu mentioned Xi’s advocacy for safeguarding multilateralism, enhancing international dialogue and cooperation, and jointly addressing the deficits in governance, trust, peace and development, so as to improve global governance.

“China is ready to work with all parties in facilitating a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, to jointly build a community of shared future for mankind,” Lu added.

Source: Xinhua

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