Posts tagged ‘foreign minister’


India looks to China’s technology for making clouds rain|Government|

China is in talks with India on the transfer of cloud-seeding technology.In the first such engagement between the Asian giants, a team of scientists and officials from Beijing, Shanghai and East China’s Anhui province, were recently in Maharashtra to discuss weather conditions with the government of the western Indian state, parts of which have experienced severe droughts over the past two years.

line art drawing of cloud seeding.

line art drawing of cloud seeding. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Chinese team’s days-long tour concluded on June 2.If the discussions are successful, Chinese experts would provide training to officials of the Indian Meteorological Department on their latest cloud-seeding technology, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

One of the sources had earlier described it as an “exploratory visit by the Chinese side to discuss with relevant Indian authorities how to go about it”.

The training is expected to be given on procedures to seed clouds successfully, the source said.

The training is aimed at inducing rain over Maharashtra’s Marathwada region in the summer of 2017 if needed, the source said.

While summer rains have arrived this year in India, the region has been traditionally vulnerable to drought.

The sources spoke to China Daily on condition of anonymity.

An official in the China Meteorological Administration said that arrangements are still in progress.

The development follows a meeting between Han Zheng, Shanghai’s top official, and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, in the Indian state’s capital of Mumbai in early May.

Han, who is also a Communist Party of China Politburo member, had asked Fadnavis if China could do anything for drought relief in Maharashtra, one of the sources said.

Monsoons and temperatures nearing 50 C have triggered many agrarian crises in India, with poor farmers being hit the hardest.

Indian media said in April that the Maharashtra government would begin cloud-seeding experiments in June and continue through August – the period of summer monsoons.

China started to use cloud-seeding technology in 1958, and today has one of the most advanced systems in the world.

Source: India looks to China’s technology for making clouds rain|Government|


China to build highway for Liberia as part of Ebola recovery aid | Reuters

China will build a new coastal highway for Liberia as part of its aid to the country recovering from an Ebola epidemic, Liberia’s foreign minister said on Sunday.

English: Map of the Mano River Union showing G...

English: Map of the Mano River Union showing Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was speaking at a news conference with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi who is visiting Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the countries hardest hit by the epidemic.

Liberia’s existing coastal route is vital for commerce as the country rebuilds after a civil war that ended in 2003. It connects the capital to the border with Ivory Coast via the port city of Buchanan, where exports of exports of iron and timber pass through, but much of the road is unpaved.

“China has agreed to help Liberia with the construction of a ministerial complex which will host about 10 ministries. Also, China will construct a coastal highway,” Liberia’s Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan said.

China would use its global fund for Africa to finance the project and seek partners, he said. The construction of the ministries had already been announced.

Wang did not directly refer to the highway but said Ngafuan had explained the specific components of China’s aid.

“China is open to cooperation in all areas and we know that Liberia is attracting investments from all countries around the world. We know about the historic ties between Liberia and USA but China has its own strength,” Wang said.

“Our relations with Liberia have enjoyed fast growth,” he said. Liberia was founded by freed American slaves and has retained close ties with the United States.

Ebola has killed more than 4,800 people in Liberia and almost 11,300 people in the three countries since the outbreak began in December 2013 but the number of new cases has fallen to close to zero in recent weeks.

China, Africa’s biggest trading partner, has sent hundreds of medical workers to Africa and contributed aid of more than $120 million to the anti-Ebola effort, after initially facing criticism for not doing enough.

Many big companies in China have invested in Africa, tapping the continent’s rich vein of resources to fuel the Asian giant’s economic growth over the past couple of decades.

via China to build highway for Liberia as part of Ebola recovery aid | Reuters.


Top South Korea, Japan, China envoys agree to work for a summit soon | Reuters

The foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and China agreed on Saturday that a summit meeting of their leaders, on hold for nearly three years because of tensions over history and territory, should be held soon to mend the countries’ ties.

(L-R) Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi make a toast during a banquet at the South Korean Foreign Minister's residence in Seoul March 21, 2015. REUTERS-Kim Hong-Ji

The ministers were meeting, also for the first time in three years, in a bid to restore what had been a regular forum to discuss cooperation until it collapsed over what Seoul and Beijing saw as Japan’s reluctance to own up to its wartime past.

“Based on the accomplishments achieved through this meeting, the three ministers decided to continue their efforts to hold the trilateral summit at the earliest convenient time for the three countries,” a joint statement after the meeting said.

via Top South Korea, Japan, China envoys agree to work for a summit soon | Reuters.


Han cadres required to learn Tibetan language – Xinhua |

Mastery of the Tibetan language will become a requirement for non-native cadres in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

All seven prefecture-level cities in Tibet have started organizing Tibetan language training for non-native cadres, according to the regional bureau of compilation and translation on Monday.

Qoizha, deputy director of the bureau, said they have handed out 40,000 books on basic Tibetan language for daily conversation.

President Xi Jinping stressed at a conference on ethnic work in September 2014 that in ethnic regions, ethnic minority cadres should learn Mandarin, and Han cadres should also learn ethnic languages. The language skill should become a “requirement” for cadres.

“One cannot serve the local people well if one cannot speak the local language,” Xi said.

Tibet has adopted a bilingual policy since the regional legislature passed a law in 1987 stipulating both Tibetan language and Mandarin as official languages in the region.

Qoizha said over 90 percent of Tibet’s population of 3 million is of Tibetan ethnicity. Breaking the language hurdle can help non-native cadres better interact with local communities.

In the past 20 years, close to 6,000 cadres and technical professionals from various Chinese provinces and municipalities have been sent to help develop the southwestern autonomous region of Tibet. Cadres usually stay in the region for three years.

via Han cadres required to learn Tibetan language – Xinhua |


Northwest set to push Silk Road links – China –

China’s northwest regions are planning to invest more in infrastructure, tourism and tourism-related industries to attract more visitors to the ancient Silk Road that linked China with central Asian nations.

Northwest set to push Silk Road links

Shaanxi province, whose capital, Xi’an, was the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, has launched a tourism investment fund of 5 billion yuan ($804 million).

“Thanks to the rising influence of China’s western tourism, the tourism industry of Shaanxi province has enjoyed a fast and steady growth in recent years,” said Bai Aying, vice-governor of Shaanxi province. “Now Shaanxi province has invested a lot to operate major tourism projects with the theme of Silk Road culture.”

Gansu province, with more than 1,600 kilometers of the Silk Road, is rapidly improving its transportation network as well. According to the provincial tourism authority, in the next five years, Gansu will connect major national scenic spots with nearby cities, counties and major transport roads.

Gansu will also work to attract more overseas visitors by facilitating more international airlines and gradually opening international ports of entry at the Dunhuang and Jiayuguan airports.

In September 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed an economic belt that would revive the ancient Silk Road. The trans-Eurasian project is proposed to extend from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea.

This year has been set as the Silk Road Tourism Year by the China National Tourism Administration. It is expected to facilitate regional cooperation, deepen mutual understanding and establish mutually beneficial ties for all nations involved

Li Shihong, head of the administration’s marketing and international cooperation department, said CNTA will introduce a three-year plan to coordinate the Silk Road tourism development around the country. It also will help to leverage the economy in less-developed regions.

Industry insiders said they believe this is a new opportunity for China to reintroduce its western regions and upgrade tourism facilities and services.

“The Silk Road is one of the early tourism brands that China introduced to the world. It has cultural meanings and global reputation,” said Dou Qun, a tourism industry professor at Beijing Union University. “And China has developed tourism products along the Silk Road for more than 30 years that all provide a solid foundation for another round of development this year.”

“Besides marketing, tourism authorities should also work closely with other departments including culture, transportation and public facilities to expand the current tourism products and improve the tourism experience,” Dou said.

via Northwest set to push Silk Road links – China –


How Chinese leader Xi Jinping turned Tasmanian toy into a bear essential | South China Morning Post

When Chinese President Xi Jinping stepped on to the airport tarmac in Australia‘s smallest state Tasmania, he was handed a purple fluffy toy called Bobbie.

President Xi Jinping receives the purple bear in Tasmania. Photo: AFP

Stuffed with lavender and wheat, the teddy bear has since captured the hearts – and wallets – of Chinese consumers.

Bobbie has become an overwhelming success in China with a remarkable following – helping creator Robert Ravens, owner of the lavender farm in the state’s northeast, secure an inaugural Australia-China business award for entrepreneurship.

Tasmania has long had the nation’s weakest economy, but is hoping to boost its fortunes by using its natural resources to attract an affluent Asian market looking for quality products.

When Ravens bought the Bridestowe Lavender Estate in 2007, his first goal was to return it to the peak farming condition it was in several decades ago.

He was also keen to boost the tourism potential of the farm. “We looked to create new products which would attract young visitors, and that came through food,” Ravens said.

An early product, lavender ice cream, started to attract Chinese tourists to the 105-hectare farm, an hour’s drive from Tasmania’s second-largest city Launceston.

But it was through the bear that Ravens, a former chief executive of a leading chemicals firm, struck a winning formula.

“We were experimenting with various shapes and colours. One day, five years ago or more, we showed a bear to a young Chinese girl in a shop,” he said.

“She said ‘so cute’ and she was carrying it like a baby, and you could see the bond form. As soon as we saw that, the light went on and we knew that was the right configuration.”

Even the name was designed to attract Chinese consumers, Ravens said, adding: “You can say Bobbie phonetically in Cantonese and Mandarin.”

Ravens courted the celebrity market and when a Chinese model posted a picture of herself with the bear online last year, demand for the furry creature – which doubles as a heat pack – reached stratospheric levels.

The farm had to limit sales to one per customer, temporarily halt online shopping and even contend with fake toys piggy-backing on Bobbie’s fame.

Visitor numbers have soared from 23,000 in 2007 to more than 65,000 last year, and it now produces 40,000 bears annually.

“In Australia, you become successful and you have 26 million potential customers. In China, you have a billion. The scale is so phenomenal,” said Ravens. “The answer is to be authentic and to target the market as acutely as you can. We are aiming always to be a boutique market, not a mass market.”

via How Chinese leader Xi Jinping turned Tasmanian toy into a bear essential | South China Morning Post.


In Modi’s first 100 days, foreign ministry moves fastest on Raisina Hill

With her many visits abroad, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been running the busiest ministry in the new government.

India’s new foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, seems to be running the busiest ministry on Raisina Hill ─ the area of Lutyen’s Delhi that houses key government buildings ─ for the regime led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi’s decision to invite all the heads of state in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation group to his swearing-in ceremony, widely hailed as a good and forward-thinking move, meant that Swaraj had to be on her toes from the get-go. In no time at all, Swaraj and Modi embarked on trips to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal, which an Indian head of state had not officially visited since 1997.

Swaraj has had her hands full, visiting neighbours such as Bangladesh and Myanmar in quick succession while overseeing the successful evacuation of hundreds of stranded Indian citizens from hotspots such as Iraq and Libya and formulating India’s position on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian territory of Gaza. She has just returned from Vietnam and was set to go to Beijing for a trilateral meeting with the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers but the government called off her trip, perhaps in deference to the sensitivities of Japan, where Prime Minister Modi arrived on Sunday for a summit.

On Israel, despite the BJP’s highly favourable stance towards the country, India eventually stuck to its historical position by voting in favour of Palestine at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Many BJP supporters questioned the government’s move, with some saying it was unable to break out of a Congress-era mindset.

The new order at the Ministry of External Affairs has a spring in its heels. From looking to invite all heads of state in the African Union to New Delhi to attracting mixed responses for allowing Modi to cancel talks with Pakistan after its high commissioner met Kashmiri separatist leaders from the Hurriyat Conference, the ministry has been hogging the limelight on Raisina Hill.

via – News. Politics. Culture..


Japan’s top diplomat heads for China seeking better ties | Reuters

Reuters: “Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki will visit China on Monday and Tuesday for talks with senior officials, the latest in a series of efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to improve relations soured by a bitter territorial row.

Japan's chief envoy to the six-party talks Akitaka Saiki arrives at Beijing airport November 30, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The hawkish Abe, who cemented his grip on power in an upper house election last week, called on Friday for an unconditional meeting between Japanese and Chinese leaders.

On Sunday, Isao Iijima, an adviser to the premier, told reporters that Abe could soon hold a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Often fragile Sino-Japanese ties have been seriously strained since September, when a territorial row over tiny islands in the East China Sea flared following Japan’s nationalization of the uninhabited isles.

Concern that the conservative Japanese leader wants to recast Japan’s wartime history with a less apologetic tone has added to the tension.

“Vice Minister Saiki will visit China on July 29-30 and exchange views with Chinese officials,” a Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said. He did not give further details.

China’s Foreign Ministry responded to Abe’s overture on Friday by saying its door was always open for talks but that the problem lay in Japan’s attitude.”

via Japan’s top diplomat heads for China seeking better ties | Reuters.


* New top diplomats in China signal focus on U.S., Japan, North Korea

Reuters: “China is signaling that it is keen to get on top of troubled ties with the United States, Japan and North Korea with the likely appointment of two officials with deep experience of these countries to its top diplomatic posts.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi attends a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart in Moscow February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Current Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, ambassador to Washington from 2001-2005 and a polished English speaker, is tipped to be promoted to state councilor with responsibility for foreign policy, three independent sources said. China has only five such councilors and the post is senior to that of foreign minister.

Yang, 62, will likely be replaced as foreign minister by Wang Yi, China’s ambassador to Japan from 2004 to 2007 and a one-time pointman on North Korea. Both will be appointed during March’s annual full session of parliament, the sources said.

“Yang Jiechi will be in the driving seat, he knows a lot about Sino-U.S. relations,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a China expert at Hong Kong Baptist University.

“China-Japan is high on the list (too) … With Shinzo Abe and the LDP back in the saddle in Tokyo, I’m sure they’re a bit concerned about the right wing twists of domestic politics and Japanese foreign policy as well.””

via New top diplomats in China signal focus on U.S., Japan, North Korea | Reuters.


* China, India hold border talks, pledge to safeguard peace

Extracted from Xinhua: “China and India concluded a border meeting in Beijing on Tuesday with a joint pledge to safeguard peace and tranquility along their border, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement released Tuesday.

This was the first meeting on the bilateral working mechanism for consultation and coordination over border affairs, which was launched in January this year. …

Both sides agreed to further enhance communication, trust and cooperation in accordance with the consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders, and to give full play to the role of the working mechanism, said the statement. They agreed to hold the next meeting for the working mechanism in India. …

China and India share a 2,000-km-long border that has never been formally delineated. The two countries began to discuss border issues in the 1980s. To maintain peace and stability in their border areas, the two sides signed two agreements in 1993 and 1996, respectively. In 2005, the two countries signed a political guideline on border demarcation during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao‘s visit to India.”

via China, India hold border talks, pledge to safeguard peace – Xinhua |

The Indo-Chinese border was unilaterally set under British Raj by Surveyor MacMohan. Although agreed by the Tibetan authorities, it was not ratified by the Manchu or later Chinese government. It was the intransigence of India when other neighbours like Pakistan, Burma, Nepal were willing to re-negotiate, that caused China to invade India in the autumn of 1962 with tanks rolling over the Himalayas. Since then the border has still not been formally agreed.

China’s borders with Russia and Vietnam were settled after some military incidents.

These latest talks hold hope that India is finally seeing that the way forward is to negotiate and not stand on unilateral definitions set by the British.

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