Archive for ‘President Xi’

01/02/2019

China’s Xi surprises Beijingers with casual pre-new year visit

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping dropped in on surprised diners at a small Beijing restaurant and chatted with deliverymen on Friday on an apparently unscripted visit ahead of next week’s Lunar New Year holiday.

Such relaxed interactions between senior politicians and the public are uncommon in a country where even leaders’ birthdays or family backgrounds are often closely held secrets.

Leaders generally use the time around the festival to make carefully choreographed, well pre-arranged inspection trips around the country where they flag important policy initiatives or areas of concern for the year ahead.

Xi last year visited villagers in a poor southwestern part of China, to press home his campaign against poverty.

On Friday, state television showed Xi walking into the restaurant in a southern district of Beijing known for its traditional alleyways and courtyards, asking how much the food was and how long the owners had been in the city.

As diners stood up to take pictures, Xi told them not to stop eating on his account.

“I’m just passing through,” he said.

As he chatted at a separate location with deliverymen, who speed around Beijing delivering packages on motor-bikes, passersby could be seen in the background walking right behind him, or in one case cycling by.

“Are you not able to go home for the Spring Festival?” he asked one of the deliverymen.

Still, Xi was almost certainly accompanied by his security detail throughout, even if they were not directly shown in the television footage.

In another much more obviously scripted part of the day, he visited policemen and made dumplings with residents in a courtyard dwelling.

While Xi has cultivated a man-of-the-people image, and is genuinely popular with many Chinese for his war on corruption, he has only rarely had such relaxed interactions since assuming office six years ago.

In 2014, Xi shocked Beijing residents by visiting courtyard homes and chatting with passersby near a shopping street during one of the city’s notorious smoggy days, drawing praise from social media users for his unusual public diplomacy.

The week-long holiday, starting on the eve of the new year, on Monday, is the most important in the Chinese calendar, when millions of people travel home, many for the only time in the year.

Source: Reuters

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01/02/2019

China, Qatar agree to deepen strategic partnership

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-QATARI EMIR-TALKS (CN)

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, emir of Qatar, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 31, 2019. Prior to the talks, Xi held a welcome ceremony for Tamim at the Great Hall of the People. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani Thursday in Beijing, and they agreed to deepen the bilateral strategic partnership featuring mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and common development.

Xi recalled the establishment of the strategic partnership between the two countries in Beijing in 2014, saying that many consensuses reached at that time on developing bilateral relations were being implemented in joint efforts, which had brought tangible benefits to the two peoples.

China is willing to enhance communication with Qatar to deepen political mutual trust, Xi said, adding that China supports Qatar in exploring its development path suitable to its own conditions.

He said China appreciated Qatar’s firm adherence to the one-China policy, and thanked Qatar for its firm support on issues concerning China’s core interests.

Xi called on the two sides to further synergize their development strategies and jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative.

The two countries have initially formed a new pattern of cooperation with oil and gas cooperation as the backbone, infrastructure construction as the focus, and finance and investment as the new growth point, Xi said, calling for the progress in cooperation in energy, infrastructure construction, high and new technology, and investment.

The two sides should strengthen exchanges, share experiences and increase cooperation in international anti-terrorism and anti-extremism campaigns, Xi said.

Regarding people-to-people exchange, Xi called on the two sides to advance cooperation in such areas as tourism, culture, sports and media, especially by supporting each other in hosting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Noting the significance of regional cooperation and stability in the Gulf for the prosperity of the region, Xi voiced China’s support for appropriately addressing differences and contradictions through political and diplomatic means, and within the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and the Arab frameworks, in order to resume unity and harmony among the Gulf states.

The Chinese side stands ready to continue playing a constructive role in accordance with the wish of the GCC countries, Xi told the emir of Qatar.

Hailing the rapid development of the bilateral ties, Tamim said the Qatari side was confident of the Chinese economy.

As one of the earliest countries that had responded to the Belt and Road Initiative, Qatar looks forward to cooperating extensively with China in energy, investment, technology, infrastructure construction and other sectors, Tamim said.

Tamim spoke highly of the performance of Chinese enterprises in Qatar, and welcomed Chinese companies’ investment in the Gulf country. The Qatari side is committed to enhancing cultural, tourism and media exchanges with China.

Lauding China’s constructive stance in multilateral affairs as well as in the Middle East and Gulf issues, Tamim said the Qatari side was willing to strengthen communication and coordination with China, and deepen cooperation with the Chinese side to fight terrorism and extremism.

After the talks, the two heads of state attended a ceremony of the signing of cooperation documents between the two countries.

Prior to the talks, Xi held a ceremony to welcome Tamim at the Great Hall of the People.

Source: Xinhua

29/01/2019

Xi extends Spring Festival greetings to non-Communist parties, personages

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-NON-COMMUNIST PARTIES-PERSONAGES-SPRING FESTIVAL-GREETING(CN)

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attends a gathering and extends Spring Festival greetings to leaders from non-Communist parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and personages without party affiliation in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 28, 2019. Wang Yang and Han Zheng, both members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, also attended the gathering.(Xinhua/Yan Yan)

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday attended a gathering in Beijing and extended Spring Festival greetings to leaders from non-Communist parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), and personages without party affiliation.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, expressed his hope that they will make new and greater contributions to the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Senior officials Wang Yang and Han Zheng attended the gathering.

Gao Yunlong, chairman of the ACFIC, addressed the gathering on behalf of the central committees of non-Communist parties, the ACFIC and personages without party affiliation.

Xi said China has kept its economic growth within a reasonable range during the past year, noting that institutional reforms of the Party and the state have been comprehensively promoted along with other reforms, and China’s level of opening-up has seen constant improvement.

The year 2018 was the first year since new leaders of non-Communist parties and the ACFIC were elected, Xi said, noting that central committees of non-Communist parties, the ACFIC and personages without party affiliation have actively offered advice and suggestions and provided important references for the scientific decision-making and effective policy execution of the CPC Central Committee.

On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Xi expressed gratitude for their work including the active role played in poverty alleviation.

Noting that pursuing progress while ensuring stability was the underlying principle of the current and future work of the Party and the country, Xi urged to pursue progress while ensuring stability in both economic and social development.

He called on non-Communist parties, the ACFIC and personages without party affiliation to unite the people in promoting reform and development, adding that they should follow closely the policies and decisions made by the CPC Central Committee while giving full play to their expertise and wisdom.

Calling investigation and research the foundation of making correct decisions, Xi said that more investigations and research should be made in addressing prominent issues in the work of the Party and the country, including forestalling and defusing major risks, carrying out targeted poverty alleviation and preventing and controlling pollution.

Xi also called on the ACFIC to fulfil the CPC Central Committee’s requirements on supporting the growth of private businesses and help to implement policies of promoting the development of medium-sized, small and micro enterprises and private investment.

Source: Xinhua

28/01/2019

President Xi Jinping visit to Macau confirmed as security chief issues stern warning against illegal activities threatening China’s security

  • Chinese leader’s visit to celebrate 20th anniversary of former colony’s reunification
  • Security services meanwhile are focused on anniversaries of Tiananmen Square and Falun Gong crack downs
PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 January, 2019, 9:35pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 January, 2019, 9:35pm
Li Chunsheng, head of the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department, also disclosed that a communication centre for police forces in the Greater Bay Area would be set up in an islet called Qi’ao in Zhuhai by October, which would handle the security details and operational command for Xi’s trip.

Speaking at a meeting in Guangzhou, where dozens of officials from the city of Maoming discussed the annual report delivered by the provincial governor Ma Xingrui, Li gave a stern warning on a series of threats to China’s political security in 2019, indirectly citing a number of anniversaries, including that for the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.

“In October, a Greater Bay Area police communication centre will be set up in Zhuhai,” Li said. “[Xi] will come and join the celebrations for the 20th anniversary in Macau, where he will deliver an important speech.”

Li was speaking hours after Ma Xingrui, Guangdong’s No 1 official, also said the province would team up with Hong Kong and Macau this year on building joint laboratories to study cutting-edge technologies needed by local industries.Ma said the province had chosen the development of the Greater Bay Area – a plan to create an international innovation and technology hub in partnership with Hong Kong and Macau – as its top priority for 2019.

Yet such a centre, and the cross-border collaboration of police forces, were not the top priority for him and his peers in 2019, according to Li, who has been overseeing public security in Guangdong for six year.

“We must resolutely defend the country’s political security,” Li said. “Among all types of security, the political security is the most prominent and its two essential parts are the security of our socialist system and the security of the Chinese Communist Party’s regime.”

Li said to defend the security of the party that centres around Xi, and to defend the socialist path were the top priority for public security authorities in 2019, which he described as “a politically significant year”.

“It’s the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, it’s the 20th anniversary of Macau’s handover, and of course, it’s the anniversary of a series of incidents, which took place 20, 30 and 10 years ago,” Li said, without naming the specific incidents.

“The hostile forces inside China have long marked this year as an important time to implement their plan – which is a vain attempt – to overthrow our system.”

Other than the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989, in April 1999, thousands of members of the Falun Gong spiritual group gathered outside the Communist Party’s headquarters in Beijing to protest against violent treatment by the police, which prompted former president Jiang Zemin to outlaw the group and punish its believers.

Li said Guangdong’s provincial party chief Li Xi had recently organised a special meeting and rolled out eight operation plans to strike “illegal activities that will jeopardise political security”, including strengthening control over universities, the social sciences sector, and the internet.

When asked by the Post on the sidelines of the meeting if Guangdong police would more severely crack down on people who tried to get rid of the internet blockage in mainland China, Li said the police would be targeting the “hostile forces” and “illegal activities that will threaten our system, society and public security”.

“It’s not contradicting the integration [with Hong Kong and Macau],” Li said.

Source: SCMP

28/01/2019

Xi and his wife meet senior DPRK official, watch art performance

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-DPRK-ART TROUPE (CN)

Xi Jinping (C), general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, and his wife Peng Liyuan meet with Ri Su Yong, a member of the Political Bureau of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee and director of the party’s International Department, who led an art troupe from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 27, 2019. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

BEIJING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, and his wife Peng Liyuan on Sunday met with Ri Su Yong, a senior official from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and watched a performance by DPRK artists.

Ri, a member of the Political Bureau of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee and director of the party’s International Department, is leading an art troupe to visit China.

This visit, as an important cultural exchange activity for implementing the consensus reached by the two sides, as well as a significant event in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of China-DPRK diplomatic relationship, will be a great success to cement friendship between the two peoples, Xi said.

Ri extended to Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan warm greetings and good wishes from Kim Jong Un, chairman of the WPK and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, and his wife Ri Sol Ju.

Xi asked Ri to convey the cordial greetings and good wishes to Kim and his wife.

Xi said he and Kim had reached important consensus on the development of China-DPRK party-to-party and state-to-state relations in the new era during their four meetings since 2018.

China stands ready to work with the DPRK to implement the important consensus reached by the two sides, so as to better benefit the two peoples and contribute to world peace, stability, development and prosperity, Xi said.

Art and cultural exchange is an important, unique and traditional component in bilateral ties, Xi said, calling for joint efforts in implementing the consensus on strengthening art and cultural exchanges and cooperation, so as to consolidate the foundation of good will of the people, carry forward traditional friendship, and promote the development of respective socialist cultures.

Ri expressed gratitude to Xi and his wife for watching the performance.

This visit and art performance represented Kim’s deep feelings to Xi and the DPRK people’s profound friendship with the Chinese people, Ri said.

The DPRK side will earnestly implement the important consensus reached by Kim and Xi, strengthen friendly cooperation and contribute to writing a new chapter in DPRK-China friendship, Ri added.

The performance featured famous and popular songs in both the DPRK and China.

The visit of the DPRK art troupe is at the invitation of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Source: Xinhua

26/01/2019

Xi stresses integrated media development

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-INTEGRATED MEDIA DEVELOPMENT (CN)

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, delivers a speech while presiding over a group study session of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau at the People’s Daily in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 25, 2019. Xi stressed efforts to boost integrated media development and amplify mainstream tone in public communication so as to consolidate the common theoretical foundation for all Party members and all the people to unite and work hard. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday stressed efforts to boost integrated media development and amplify mainstream tone in public communication so as to consolidate the common theoretical foundation for all Party members and all the people to unite and work hard.

Xi made the remarks at a group study session of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.

The move will provide strong spiritual strength and public support for the realization of the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, Xi said.

Led by Xi, members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee visited the People’s Daily on Friday morning.

During the visit, Xi stressed Party newspapers and periodicals should strengthen the development and innovation of their means of communication.

Efforts should be made to develop websites, microblogs, WeChat, electronic newspaper bulletins, mobile newspapers, internet protocol television and other forms of new media to enable the voice of the Party to directly reach all kinds of user terminals and gain new public opinion fields, he added.

The work of news and public opinion is facing new challenges as profound changes have taken place in the ecology of public opinion, the media landscape and the means of communication, Xi said.

The integrated development of the media should be accelerated to make the penetration, guidance, influence, and credibility of the mainstream media more powerful, said Xi, urging for building of competitive, strongly influential new types of mainstream media.

“Priority should be given to mobile platforms,” he said, calling for the exploration of using artificial intelligence in news gathering, generation, distribution, receiving and feedback.

“We should strengthen the management of new media in accordance with the law to ensure a cleaner cyberspace,” Xi stressed.

Xi also asked the mainstream media to provide more authentic and objective information with clear viewpoints in a timely manner, and called for efforts to improve the online content to safeguard the country’s political, cultural and ideological security.

Party committees and governments at all levels should give greater support to integrated media development in terms of policies, funds and talent, he said.

While stressing the status of the People’s Daily as the CPC Central Committee’s official newspaper, Xi demanded the newspaper improve its work to give full play to its key role in guiding public opinion.

26/01/2019

President Xi congratulates launch of China-Laos Tourism Year 2019

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message on the launch of the China-Laos Tourism Year 2019 in Vientiane on Friday, expressing his hope for deepening understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

Noting that China and Laos enjoy mutual political support, comprehensive economic cooperation and constant deepening of traditional friendship, Xi said China views Laos as a good neighbor, friend, comrade and partner. He also said China is willing to work with the Laotian side to better dovetail development strategies, enhance cooperation on Belt and Road construction, and promote the China-Laos comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation to achieve new fruits.

China and Laos both have brilliant cultures and beautiful sceneries, Xi said. People of both countries, drinking water from the same river, have the strong aspiration to deepen mutual understanding and friendship, the Chinese president added.

Xi said he hopes the two countries will take the chance of holding the year of tourism to expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and to consolidate the public and social basis for the building of a China-Laos community of shared future.

The agreement to hold the China-Laos Tourism Year was reached during the talks between Xi and visiting Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachit in Beijing in May 2018.

Both sides will jointly hold exhibitions, artistic performances, forums, training programs and other events, to promote mutual understanding and friendship, as well as to make contributions to building a China-Laos community of shared future.

Source: Xinhua

25/01/2019

China’s Xi Jinping ‘most dangerous’ to free societies, says George Soros

George Soros at DavosImage copyrightAFP

The billionaire philanthropist George Soros has used his annual speech at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, to launch a scathing attack on China and its president Xi Jinping.

Mr Soros warned that artificial intelligence and machine learning could be used to entrench totalitarian control in the country.

He said this scenario presented an “unprecedented danger”.

But he said the Chinese people were his “main source of hope”.

“China is not the only authoritarian regime in the world but it is the wealthiest, strongest and technologically most advanced,” he said, noting concerns too about Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

‘Security risk’

“This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of open societies,” he said.

Mr Soros, a prominent donor to the Democratic Party in the US, also criticised the Trump administration’s stance towards China.

“Instead of waging a trade war with practically the whole world, the US should focus on China,” he said.

He urged Washington to crack down on Chinese technology companies such as Huawei and ZTE, which he said present an “unacceptable security risk for the rest of the world”.

More broadly, Mr Soros cautioned that repressive regimes could utilise technology to control their citizens, in what he called “a mortal threat to open societies”.

US President Donald Trump (R) welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) to the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
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Both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump have been criticised by Mr Soros

The 88-year-old Hungarian-born Jewish businessman, who survived Nazi occupation by forging identity documents, became infamous for his involvement in the devaluation of the British pound, known as Black Wednesday.

But it is his philanthropic and political activities that have made him a divisive figure in the US, Europe and beyond.

Bribes

He has spent billions of his own money funding human rights projects and liberal democratic ventures around the world, and has become a frequent target for criticism by right-wing groups due to his support for liberal causes.

Much of the criticism aimed at him has been criticised as having anti-Semitic undertones.

Last year, a suspect package was found in a post box at his home in New York.

Mr Soros used his Davos speech last year to lambast tech giants such as Facebook, and what he considered to be their corrosive effect on democratic systems.

But this year, he directed his wrath towards Beijing, and particularly its controversial “Belt and Road” investment plan, which pays for road, rail and sea links to boost trade with countries around the world.

“It was designed to promote the interests of China, not the interests of the recipient countries,” he said.

“Its ambitious infrastructure projects were mainly financed by loans, not by grants, and foreign officials were often bribed to accept them.”

Source: The BBC

23/01/2019

Israel has enough sense and self interest to avoid efforts to drag it into US-China trade war, analysts say

  • China and Israel mark 27th anniversary of diplomatic ties at a difficult time
  • Relationship could be tested by US efforts to influence Israeli government policy
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2019, 3:13pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2019, 4:09pm

Uncertainty over China’s relationship with Israel is growing as the United States puts pressure on its allies to harden their stance on Beijing while trade and geopolitical tensions between the world’s biggest economies get worse.

As China and Israel prepare to mark the 27th anniversary on Thursday of diplomatic ties, analysts from both countries worry that relations, caught in the US-China crossfire, may face more difficult tests.
Like most other countries, Israel wants to maintain good relations with both the US and China and is concerned about an escalating rivalry, Gal Luft, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, a Washington-based think tank, said.

“Sadly, the new atmosphere in US-China relations is putting many countries – Israel included – in an extremely uncomfortable situation in which they are forced to pick sides,” he said.

Luft, a former lieutenant colonel in the Israeli Defence Force, said Israel could become a “sandwich country” like Canada, caught in the middle as Washington continued efforts to build an international coalition against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei

In recent weeks, senior US officials have increased pressure on Israel to reconsider China’s investments in infrastructure and hi-tech sectors there.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks ago to tread carefully where Chinese telecommunications companies, such as Huawei and ZTE, were concerned because of national security concerns.

Bloomberg reported that US deputy secretary of energy Dan Brouillette issued a warning last week in Tel Aviv that Chinese investment in Israel’s national infrastructure, such as the port of Haifa, could compromise intelligence sharing with the US.

“The US has been abusing the idea of ‘national security,’ slandering and striking down the normal commercial activities of Chinese enterprises,” she said on Monday.

The Sino-Israeli relationship is very different from Beijing’s ties with oil-rich Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and Iraq, one analyst said.

Apart from its hi-tech industries, Israel has a significant military and political role in the Middle East. Beijing is seeking to increase its presence in the region as the US plans to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, Huang Jing, dean of Institute of International and Regional Studies at Beijing Language and Culture University, said.

“Israel may be small in size but is fairly influential in regional geopolitics and its long-standing special ties with Washington in particular make it uniquely important for Beijing”, which sought to steady relations with the US, he said.

Assaf Orion, a retired Israeli brigadier general and a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said China for Israel had great potential as a market, a source of investment, a trade and tourism partner, and an infrastructure powerhouse.

“Israel’s China policy mainly seeks to balance the benefits of their bilateral economic ties on the one hand and its own strategic national security concerns on the other, with the all-but-formal strategic alliance with the US being a paramount national interest for Israel,” he said.

Ties between China and Israel have improved in recent years, especially where trade, investment, education and tourism were concerned.

During a visit to Beijing in 2017, Netanyahu said that China accounted for one-third of the investment in Israel’s hi-tech industries.

Citing a report by the Israel Venture Capital Research Centre, Reuters said Israeli tech start-ups raised US$325 million from Chinese investors in the first three quarters of 2018, up 37 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

During a visit to Jerusalem by China’s Vice President Wang Qishan in October, Netanyahu said that the two countries would complete a free trade agreement this year.

According to a report by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies in 2017, “China is also involved in building infrastructure in Israel, such as digging the Carmel road tunnels in Haifa, laying a light railway in Tel Aviv, and expanding the Ashdod and Haifa seaports.”

Haifa is Israel’s largest port city and a berth for the US Sixth Fleet. In 2013, the Netanyahu government approved China’s Shanghai International Port Group’s plans to operate the container terminal there for 25 years beginning in 2021.

US has stepped up pressure on Israel to scrap the deal and one of the Sixth Fleet’s warships refused to dock at Haifa in October, citing security concerns that doing so could compromise US and Israeli intelligence assets.

But Luft was critical of Washington’s stance on the Haifa port project as the Chinese company was the only bidder in an open tender.

“The US government is punishing the people of Israel twice” by demanding its ally cancel the deal, Luft said. “First, by denying them competition in the port sector, which would lower their cost of living, and second the government will have to pay a large fine to China if the deal is cancelled. This fine will come at the expense of important public services.”

Despite a boost in diplomatic and trade ties and China’s interest in Israel’s military and security technologies, arms sales and military cooperation between the two countries were limited because of US pressure.

The US moved to block the export of the Phalcon airborne early warning system in 2000 and the Harpy killer drones in 2005 to China.

Orion said that while China’s diplomats often speak about win-win relationships, Israel’s challenge was to seek a win-win-win situation within a triangular relation between the two great powers and a start-up nation state.

“When much of the media discourse is pitching Israel into an exclusive ‘either/or’ choice between the two powers, Israel’s strategic concept should seek ‘precision choice’, promoting its relations with China prudently while minimising risk to itself and avoiding any harm to the US and the strategic relations with it,” he said.

But Luft also voiced concerns that as tension grew between the US and China, Washington tended to expand the definition of “national security” to include broader technology fields like microchips, telecommunication and artificial intelligence.

“This is where I foresee the next set of challenges. Israel will have to determine how far it can stretch the definition of national security and strike the right balance between its commercial needs and its relations with Washington. Israel is a sovereign country. Being a friend and ally of the US does not mean that Israel must be subservient to every whim of Washington,” Luft said.

However, Washington’s pressure campaign seemed to have worked as Israeli officials sought to reassure their American ally over the past week.

Under US pressure, Israel is mulling plans that include legislation to vet foreign investments for the first time, according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

Israeli analysts also expressed dismay over China’s close relations with Iran, Israel’s arch rival in the region, and Beijing’s long-standing pro-Arab and pro-Palestinian policies, saying China often voted against motions that Israel favoured at the United Nations.

“China’s relations with the Arab World are less of a concern in the current regional landscape. However, China’s relations with Iran, which is both obsessed about Israel and committed to its destruction, are more of a worry,” said Orion.

China could do more to dissuade Iran from its aggression against China’s partners in the region: Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he said.

“Keeping the relations good requires constant nurturing, especially at a time the US is trying pull Israel away from China,” Luft added.

Huang also said Beijing must be more careful in dealing with Iran. “The ultimate goal for Beijing should be to avoid advancing Iranian ties at the expense of Sino-Israeli relations,” he said.

He said that despite structural differences between the two countries, Israel had rarely adopted an anti-Chinese stance on issues of importance to Beijing.

“While it remains to be seen how Israel deals with mounting pressure from the US over Huawei and other Chinese telecoms companies and a host of geopolitical issues, I think Israel is shrewd enough to avoid taking sides between the US and China,” Huang said.

Source: SCMP

23/01/2019

Xi extends Spring Festival greetings to military veterans

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-MILITARY VETERANS-SPRING FESTIVAL GREETINGS (CN)

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, shakes hands with the retirees during a gala for retired military officials with Beijing-based troops in Beijing, capital of China, on Jan. 22, 2019. Xi extended his Spring Festival greetings to military veterans and retired military officials. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) — President Xi Jinping on Tuesday extended his Spring Festival greetings to military veterans and retired military officials.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, watched a gala for retired military officials with Beijing-based troops.

Xi shook hands with the retirees and asked about their health and lives.

Songs and dances about building strong armed forces and the military’s loyalty to the Party were performed.

Senior military officials including Xu Qiliang, Zhang Youxia, Wei Fenghe, Li Zuocheng, Miao Hua and Zhang Shengmin were also present at the show.

Spring Festival, the Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on Feb. 5 this year.

Source: Xinhua

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