Archive for ‘talks’

18/02/2019

China applauds ‘positive’ Donald Trump tweet, hopes for US trade war deal ahead of Washington talks

    • Opinion piece in major state media outlets is seen to be part of Beijing’s efforts to reassure its citizens that the tariff war with the United States will soon be over
    • A Chinese delegation led by Vice-Premier Liu He is expected to leave on Tuesday for the American capital after last week’s trade talks in Beijing produced ‘progress’

    China applauds ‘positive’ Donald Trump tweet ahead of Washington talks

    18 Feb 2019

    China and US make ‘progress’ but talks to head to Washington next week

    16 Feb 2019

    Chinese President Xi Jinping urged for a “mutually beneficial” trade deal in this week’s talks when he met US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing on Friday, according to Xinhua. Photo: Xinhua
    Chinese President Xi Jinping urged for a “mutually beneficial” trade deal in this week’s talks when he met US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing on Friday, according to Xinhua. Photo: Xinhua

    A tweet by US President Donald Trump on the ongoing trade war is a “positive” signal, brightening prospects of a deal from this week’s talks in Washington, according to an opinion piece published by China’s major state media outlets on Monday.

    Monday’s opinion piece was published the day before a Chinese delegation led by Vice-Premier Liu He is expected to leave for talks in Washington.

    In the tweet on Sunday, Trump said: “Important meetings and calls on China trade deal, and more, today with my staff. Big progress being made on soooo many different fronts! Our country has such fantastic potential for future growth and greatness on an even higher level!”

    The opinion piece, which was published by the official Xinhua news agency, the People’s Daily and the Global Times under the pseudonym Niu Tanqin, is seen to be part of Beijing’s efforts to reassure its citizens that the trade war with the United States will soon be over.

    It did contrast previous columns on Trump by the same author, who in March last year argued that China dislikes the American president for his “insatiable demands, greediness and lack of trust worthiness”.

    Last week’s trade talks in Beijing produced “progress” ahead of the March 1 deadline, which could see tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products increased from 10 per cent to 25 per cent if the world’s two largest economies fail to reach a deal.

    The outcome of the talks in Washington, which are likely to be the last before March 1, will largely decide whether China and the United States can reach a pact, likely in the form of a memorandum of understanding, to suspend the tariff battle that has been roiling global markets and clouding growth prospects since last year.

    According to the opinion piece, Trump’s use of “soooo” instead of “so” indicated that the US president was excited when he heard reports from his trade envoys following the talks in Beijing, which Chinese President Xi Jinping attend on Friday.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    Important meetings and calls on China Trade Deal, and more, today with my staff. Big progress being made on soooo many different fronts! Our Country has such fantastic potential for future growth and greatness on an even higher level!

    “The US side is attaching great importance [to the trade talks]. Although Trump is on vacation, he listened to relevant reports and he definitely will make specific instructions,” it added.

    Trump has been upbeat about the prospects of reaching a trade deal with China, and said on Friday at the White House: “It’s going extremely well.”

    Chinese President Xi urged for a “mutually beneficial” trade deal in this week’s talks when he met US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing on Friday, according to Xinhua.

    Stocks in China and Hong Kong surged on Monday, partly bolstered by the increased likelihood of a trade deal between China and the United States.

    Monday’s opinion piece fits into the latest official line that an agreement is very likely to end the tariff war after the Global Times said over the weekend that the bilateral trade talks are “sprinting” towards a positive end.

    Donald Trump’s demands ‘good for China’, says economist Jin Keyu

    Meanwhile, reports in China suggest differences between Beijing and Washington still remain over forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, cyber theft as well as a verification system to ensure China keeps its promises.

    Xi told the US trade envoys that China is willing to “cooperate” but “cooperation has principals”, a statement showing that Beijing will not entertain US demands if it finds such demands violate China’s principals.

    A White House statement on Friday said that “much work remains”, showing gaps still exist.

    Source: SCMP

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09/02/2019

China Airlines resumes talks with striking pilots amid airport chaos

  • Transport minister urges swift resolution so stranded travellers can get home after Lunar New Year holiday
  • Airline rebuked for breakdown in negotiations and pilots urged to consider the rights of passengers
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 February, 2019, 7:17pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 February, 2019, 7:17pm

Taiwan’s largest airline China Airlines and its pilot union returned to the negotiating table on Saturday in a closed-door coordination meeting over an ongoing strike that so far has forced the cancellation of 34 flights, including at least 12 to or from Hong Kong.

The carrier cancelled four Saturday flights between Hong Kong and Kaohsiung and three between Taipei and Hong Kong, after scrapping five flights to and from Hong Kong the previous day. More than 12 flights have been delayed in the past two days, according to the airline.

The China Airlines branch of the Taoyuan Union of Pilots is protesting the airline’s failure to improve pilots’ working conditions and launched industrial action at 6am on Friday after talks broke down on Thursday, saying the strike would continue indefinitely until China Airlines agreed to meet its demands.

Taiwan’s transport ministry stepped in, asking China Airlines and the union to hold a new round of talks on Saturday afternoon under the supervision of the Taoyuan Labour Affairs Department.

Earlier on Saturday, transport minister Lin Chia-lung said airline management should have reviewed the reasons behind the breakdown in talks, in light of last year’s successful negotiations between EVA Air, another major Taiwan carrier, and its pilots.

“Senior officials of China Airlines should have listened to the voices of their employees and put aside their emotion to properly handle the labour dispute,” Lin said, adding that the union should also take note of the rights of travellers and resume negotiations with the employer to jump-start reform of China Airlines’ aviation safety and systems.

The union voted to strike in August and obtained approval from the labour authorities following disputes dating back to December 2017 between pilots and the two airlines over working conditions.

The EVA pilots agreed not to strike after a consensus was reached with airline, coordinated by the labour authorities, but no agreement was reached between China Airlines and its pilots, prompting Friday’s action.

Lin said he hoped the dispute could be settled as soon as possible so that stranded passengers could return home in time for work on Monday, the day after the official end of the Lunar New Year holiday.

In a statement released on Friday, the union said it staged the strike because China Airlines had refused to take note of the fatigued condition of pilots required to work overtime, which it said created a flight risk.

The union is demanding an additional backup pilot for flights lasting eight hours or more, and two pilots on long-haul flights lasting 12 hours or more.

The pilots also want a more transparent system of promotion, a year-end bonus similar to EVA Air’s, and other concessions, including replacement of the management staff they say were responsible for the breakdown in talks.

The union is also demanding an assurance that there will be no later punishment for the strike action.

China Airlines has rejected the union’s demand for extra manpower on long-haul flights, saying the pilots’ working conditions are in line with international practice and that “increasing manpower would raise human resources costs and seriously affect the competitiveness of the company”.

Deputy transport minister Wang Kwo-tsai appeared to support the union’s position on fatigue and promotion issues.

“After all, fatigue would cause flight risks and protection of the benefits for employees would enable the company to operate continuously,” he told reporters on Saturday.

Wang stressed the strike had already disrupted air traffic and stranded passengers, and said there was a strong need for the two sides to swiftly resolve the dispute to ensure the rights of passengers.

Source: SCMP

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