Posts tagged ‘White House’

25/08/2016

China and US to ratify landmark Paris climate deal ahead of G20 summit, sources reveal | South China Morning Post

China and the United States are set to jointly announce their ratification of a landmark climate change pact before the G20 summit early next month, the South China Morning Post has learned.

Senior climate officials from both countries worked late into the night in Beijing on Tuesday to finalise details, and a bilateral announcement is likely to be made on September 2, according to sources familiar with the issue.

President Xi Jinping will meet his US counterpart Barack Obama for the G20 summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, two days later on September 4.

How China, the ‘world’s largest polluter’, is taking on climate change

“There are still some uncertainties from the US side due to the complicated US system in ratifying such a treaty, but the announcement is still quite likely to be ready by Sept 2,” said a source, who declined to be named.

If both sides announce the ratification on the day, it would be the last major joint statement between the two leaders before Obama leaves office.

China and the US account for about 38 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Resources Institute.

By ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change, Beijing and Washington could generate momentum for the accord to come into effect as a binding international treaty.

The pact agreed by representatives from 195 countries in Paris last December aims to keep the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius on pre-industrial levels.

Countries began the ratification process on April 22, Earth Day, and by Tuesday, 23 nations had joined, but they account for just 1 per cent of emissions.

China and the US create a new climate for international collaboration on the environment

The treaty will enter into force only after 55 countries representing at least 55 per cent of emissions ratify or join the deal in other ways.

China had said earlier it would ratify the accord before the G20 summit in September.

In June, the US said it would “work towards” approving the deal before end of the year, with the White House keen to seal a key part of Obama’s environmental protection legacy before he leaves office in January.

US law allows the nation to join international agreements in a number of ways, including through the authority of the president.

With China and US joining, some civil society trackers say they are confident the deal could hit the 55 per cent threshold before the end of the year.

On Wednesday, investors managing more than US$13 trillion of assets urged leaders of the Group of Twenty major economies to ratify the deal before the end of December.

The 130 investors also called for the G20 to double global investment in clean energy, develop carbon pricing and phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

How a little-known chapter in Sino-US cooperation may have helped save the planet

“Governments must ratify the Paris agreement swiftly and have a responsibility to implement policies that drive better disclosure of climate risk, curb fossil fuel subsidies and put in place strong pricing signals sufficient to catalyse the significant private sector investment in low carbon solutions,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive at Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

Ratification is expected to play out differently in the US compared with China.

While China has “few uncertainties” at home for passing the deal, it could cause controversy within the US, according to Liu Shuang, an officer with Energy Foundation’s low-carbon development programme.But the Obama administration’s commitment to international frameworks suggests the accord would be passed in a way that would make it difficult for his successors to undo, civil society trackers said.

‘I may do something else’: Donald Trump’s threat to renegotiate UN climate deal greeted with widespread dismay

The two countries started extensive cooperation at the leadership level in 2014. In a joint declaration that year, China promised its emissions would peak before 2030, while the US promised to cut emission by at least 26 per cent. That deal is widely regarded as paving the way for the Paris Agreement.

Source: China and US to ratify landmark Paris climate deal ahead of G20 summit, sources reveal | South China Morning Post

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08/06/2016

U.S. Firm to Build Six Nuclear Reactors in India – India Real Time – WSJ

The U.S. and India agreed to move ahead with the construction of six nuclear reactors in India by an American company, the first such move since the countries signed a landmark civil nuclear deal in 2008.

The breakthrough capped a wide-ranging White House meeting on Tuesday between President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who are seeking closer cooperation as Washington wants to boost New Delhi’s role in counterbalancing China.

The meeting, which included lunch at the White House, will be followed on Wednesday by a speech by Mr. Modi to Congress, wrapping up the Indian leader’s fourth visit to the U.S. as part of an increasingly close relationship that has been sought by both governments.

The warming Indian relationship is backed by the lure of accelerating growth in that country, signs of improvement in the business climate, shared democratic values and some overlapping strategic goals.

By contrast, recent U.S. interactions with China, a far bigger Asian economy and U.S. trading partner whose growth appears to be slowing down, have been marked by strains and warnings over economic and security issues.

Source: U.S. Firm to Build Six Nuclear Reactors in India – India Real Time – WSJ

16/02/2016

First train from China to Iran stimulates Silk Road revival – Xinhua | English.news.cn

First cargo train from China to Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday, indicating a milestone in reviving the “Silk Road,” which has opened a new chapter of win-win cooperation between China and Iran.

English: the Silk Road in Central Asia

English: the Silk Road in Central Asia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

silk road

The train, also referred to as Silk Road train, has passed through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Iran, travelling a distance of 10,399 kilometers. It had left Yiwu city in east China’s Zhejiang Province on January 28.

This train was carrying dozens of cargo containers, according to the deputy of Iran’s Road and Urbanism Minister, Mohsen Pour-Aqaei, who made a welcome speech after the arrival of the cargo train at Tehran Train Station on Monday.

As known to all, ancient Silk Road trade route had served as an important bridge for East-West trade and brought a close link between the Chinese and Persian civilizations.

The “Belt and Road” initiative was raised by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, which refers to the New Silk Road Economic Belt, linking China with Europe through Central and Western Asia, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, connecting China with Southeast Asian countries, Africa and Europe.

“To revive the Silk Road Economic Belt, the launch of the train is an important move, since about 700 kilometers of trip has been done per day,” said Pour-Aqaei, who was present at the welcome ceremony of the train in Tehran’s Railway Station.

“Compared to the sea voyage of the cargo ships from China’s Shanghai city to Iran’s Bandar Abbas port city, the travel time of the train was 30 days shorter,” he said.

Pour-Aqaei, also the Managing Director of Iran’s Railway Company, added that according to the plan, there would be one such a trip from China to Iran every month.

The travel of cargo train from China to Iran is part of a Chinese initiative to revive the ancient Silk Road used by the traders to commute between Europe and East Asia.

Tehran will not be the final destination of these kinds of trains from China, the Iranian deputy minister said, adding that in the future, the train will reach Europe.

This will benefit Iran as the transit course for the cargo trains from the east Asia to Europe, he said.

Chinese ambassador to Iran Pang Sen told Xinhua that as one of the cooperation projects after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Iran, the cargo train is playing a important role to promote construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Meanwhile, the railway line from Yiwu to Tehran provides the two countries an express and efficient cargo trade transportation method, Pang said, adding that the countries along the railway line will furthur upgrade rail technology with the aim to make its transportation ability faster and better.

Source: First train from China to Iran stimulates Silk Road revival – Xinhua | English.news.cn

26/02/2015

China’s top court unveils deadlines for legal reform | Reuters

China’s top court set a five-year deadline on Thursday for legal reforms to protect the rights of individuals, prevent miscarriages of justice and make its judiciary more professional as the ruling Communist Party seeks to quell public discontent.

Zhou Qiang, President of China's Supreme People's Court, attends National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

A statement on the Supreme Court’s website promised specific deadlines for each goal, including support for a “social atmosphere of justice” by 2018.

It gave more details of a decision reached at a four-day meeting last year, when the party pledged to speed up legislation to fight corruption and make it tougher for officials to exert control over the judiciary.

Despite the legal reforms, Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s administration has shown no interest in political change and has detained dozens of dissidents, including lawyers.

China’s top court stressed that one of the five basic principles of legal reform was adhering to the party’s leadership and “ensuring the correct political orientation”.

He Xiaorong, the director of the Supreme People’s Court‘s reform division, said the court “would make officials bear responsibility for dereliction of duty” for cases that have a wide impact.

“Only through the establishment of such a system can we ensure that we can guarantee social fairness and justice in every case,” He told a news conference, according to a transcript on the court’s website.

The measures reflect worries about rising social unrest. Anger over land grabs, corruption and pollution – issues often left unresolved by courts – have resulted in violence between police and residents in recent years, threatening social order.

via China’s top court unveils deadlines for legal reform | Reuters.

14/02/2015

Military corruption: Rank and vile | The Economist

SO EXTENSIVE was the stash of jade, gold and cash found in the basement of General Xu Caihou’s mansion in Beijing that at least ten lorries were needed to haul it away, according to the Chinese press last October. Given General Xu’s recent retirement as the highest ranking uniformed officer in the armed forces, this was astonishing news. General Xu, the media said, had accepted “extremely large” bribes, for which he now faces trial. It will be the first of such an exalted military figure since the Communist Party came to power in 1949.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA)—as the Chinese army, navy and air force are collectively known—has not fought a war for 35 years. But the world’s largest fighting force is now engaged in a fierce battle at home against corrosion within its ranks.

Xi Jinping, China’s president (pictured, pointing), has taken his sweeping anti-corruption campaign into the heart of the PLA, seemingly unafraid to show that a hallowed institution is also deeply flawed. In January the PLA took the unprecedented step of revealing that 15 generals and another senior officer were under investigation or awaiting trial. It said it would launch a stringent review of recruitment, promotions, procurements and all of its financial dealings in order to root out corruption.

One reason Mr Xi is keen to clean up the army is to ensure that it remains a bulwark of party rule. The PLA is the party’s armed wing—its soldiers swear allegiance to it rather than the people or the country. All officers are party members and each company is commanded jointly by an officer in charge of military affairs and another whose job it is to ensure troops toe the party line. Mr Xi has repeatedly stressed the party’s “absolute leadership” over the PLA. His definition of a “strong army” puts “obedience to the party’s commands” before “capability of winning wars”.

via Military corruption: Rank and vile | The Economist.

30/09/2014

Obama-Modi Meeting Offers Chance to Reset U.S.-India Ties – Businessweek

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meetings in Washington give the two leaders to chance to reinvigorate an economic relationship that both see crucial to growth and security.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The two days of talks, which began with a private dinner for Modi at the White House last night, are pivotal, U.S. officials said ahead of the summit. In addition to Obama’s sessions with Modi, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry will host today a luncheon for the Indian leader.

This is the first time Obama and Modi have met, and it also is Modi’s first visit to the U.S. since he was denied a visa in 2005 over anti-Muslim riots in his state of Gujarat three years earlier. Modi won a landslide election win in May, and the U.S. is seeking to repair relations while India is wooing foreign investors to revive its economy.

“The U.S. is eagerly trying to move forward with Modi in order to put the past behind them,” Milan Vaishnav, an associate in the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, said in a phone interview. “The two sides have a foundation in terms of a bilateral government-to-government relationship and a people-to-people relationship to build on. In terms of a leader-to-leader relationship, this is almost like starting anew.”

via Obama-Modi Meeting Offers Chance to Reset U.S.-India Ties – Businessweek.

14/05/2014

How Small U.S. Businesses Can Court Customers in China – Businessweek

Question: What are Chinese consumers looking for in an online shopping experience? What would you describe as the main reason websites aimed at Chinese consumers fail?

How Small U.S. Businesses Can Court Customers in China

Answer: News about Chinese tech companies making their way to Wall Street has been raising awareness about the vast potential Chinese market for U.S. small businesses. China is definitely interested in American-made goods. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your website is appealing to these new customers.

First, as I discussed recently, you need a website in Chinese. Make sure the site is created by a native Mandarin speaker who can convey the culture of your brand without a clunky verbatim translation that will fall flat, says James Chan, president of Asia Marketing & Management.

The main obstacle to selling online in China is the pervasive fear of being cheated or of buying a pirated product. “You need to find the best way of making a Chinese customer in front of a computer comfortable with the fact that you really have a brick-and-mortar company on American soil,” Chan says.

Pictures are a must: an exterior shot of your office or shop, a map showing your location, and pictures of you and your staff. A video of you talking about your business and its history (include Chinese subtitles) and giving a tour of your premises will go a long way. “Some companies ship orders with a certificate that says, ‘This product is made in America,’” Chan says. “Others will wrap the product in their city’s American newspaper for that day. Anything that authenticates you will help.”

Your site should also feature lots of good pictures of your products. “Use different angles, show different colors, and give detailed written descriptions as well,” advises Stanley Chao, managing director of All In Consulting, and author of Selling to China: A Guide to Doing Business in China for Small- and Medium-Sized Companies (2012). “Seeing is believing for the Chinese.”

Anything you can think of that would allow a wary Chinese customer to feel comfortable with your company will help: Your mailing address, your e-mail address, your telephone number. It will cost some money, but if you can, hire a customer service representative who speaks Chinese and can answer telephone queries or at least provide online chat support. “Also, always include 100 percent-guaranteed refunds, or even an added incentive where they get a small credit for the inconvenience of returning something they did not like,” Chao advises.

The piracy problem has prompted Chinese shopping sites such as Taobao.com to institute multilayered customer rating systems for every product, Chan says. You most likely cannot replicate that, but you can include comments on your site—in Mandarin and English—from your Chinese customers. “If others successfully bought your products, then [Chinese customers will think] maybe you are trustworthy.”

Being a small business will put you at a disadvantage in the minds of most Chinese consumers, Chan says, so if your company has any connection to a celebrity or an iconic American brand—such as a major corporation that buys your products, sells them in its retail outlets, or uses your services—trumpet that connection on your site, with pictures, if possible. “Maybe you make a food product that has been served at the White House, or your shoes were worn by an American celebrity,” he suggests. That will appeal to some shoppers in China. “Just make sure you’re being truthful,” Chan says.

Company websites fail in China for the same reasons they fail in the U.S.: They’re done on the cheap, so they are marred by misspellings, ugly design, bad photos, and technical glitches. “I’ve noticed that successful sites are updated frequently, so users want to come back to check for new information, special deals, or more products. This also shows that the site is active, it’s busy, and there are real people behind it,” Chao says.

The bottom line: Take care of your Chinese customers, and they will recommend your company to their friends, show off your products proudly, and visit your store when they’re vacationing in the U.S. When they do, get pictures and put them on your website, Chan says: “If you can build a history in China, where there are millions of people buying and selling online, you’ll win big business there.”

via How Small U.S. Businesses Can Court Customers in China – Businessweek.

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03/10/2012

* China firm sues Obama over blocked US wind farm deal

Is the Obama ban a military-defensive one or an economic-protectionist one?  Maybe the US law courts will be able to decide.

BBC: “A Chinese-owned firm in the US is suing President Barack Obama after he blocked a wind farm deal on national security grounds.

California wind farm, file picture

Ralls Corp, a private firm, acquired four wind farm projects near a US naval facility in Oregon earlier this year.

Mr Obama signed the order blocking the deal last week. The lawsuit alleges the US government overstepped its authority.

It is the first foreign investment to be blocked in the US for 22 years.

The block on the wind farms comes just weeks ahead of November’s US presidential election.

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua said “China-bashing” in order “to woo some blue-collar voters” was the reason for the decision.

Continue reading the main story

Analysis

Martin Patience

BBC News, Beijing

Mr Obama has been criticised by the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, for not taking a tough enough line with China over trade and investment practices.

Indeed, Mr Romney has said he will label China as a “currency manipulator” if he is elected.

US politicians have long alleged that China keeps its currency artificially low giving its exports an unfair advantage and, in turn, costing the US jobs. That is denied by Beijing.

But many Chinese officials are now used to the four-year election cycle when increasingly China has become the whipping boy.

One official who worked at the Chinese embassy in Washington told me that the heated rhetoric is not taken too seriously in Beijing.

While the US election is being followed in China, the focus here is the country’s own once-in-a-decade leadership transition, which will get under way next month.

The move forced Ralls Corp to divest its stake in the projects, which were located near restricted airspace used by the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility.

Ralls Corp’s complaint, filed on Monday, alleged that the US president had “acted in an unlawful and unauthorised manner”.

The firm, owned by two Chinese nationals, said in its suit that Mr Obama failed to adhere to the law to treat Ralls Corp on equal terms. The court documents were made public on Tuesday.

Issuing the order last week, the White House said: “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Ralls Corporation… might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.””

via BBC News – China firm sues Obama over blocked US wind farm deal.

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27/04/2012

* US Is Seeing Positive Signs From Chinese

New York Tines: “When China suddenly began cutting back its purchases of oil from Iran in the last month,  officials in the Obama administration were guardedly optimistic, seeing the move as  the latest in a string of encouraging signs from Beijing on sensitive security issues  like Syria and North Korea, as well as on politically fraught economic issues like China’s exchange rate.

As with so many signals from Beijing, though, its underlying motives for reducing its imports of Iranian oil remain a mystery: Are the Chinese embracing Western sanctions? Or, as some experts suspect, are they trying to extract a better price from one of their main suppliers of crude? The answer is probably a bit of both, according to senior administration officials who acknowledge that they do not know for certain. But for the White House, which has labored to build a more constructive relationship with China, Beijing’s motives may matter less than the general direction in which it appears to be moving.”

via U.S. Is Seeing Positive Signs From Chinese – NYTimes.com.

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