Chinese ambassador to US says officials from both countries are discussing Xi making first state visit to US later this year
AP, February 8
A top Chinese diplomat has said President Xi Jinping plans to make his first state visit to the US later this year, Chinese state media reported on Monday.
The official China Daily newspaper quoted China’s ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai as saying Chinese and US officials were discussing the visit. Cui told Chinese reporters on Sunday that no date had been determined yet.
The US national security adviser Susan Rice said on Friday that the US had invited both Xi and the Japanese president, Shinzo Abe, for state visits.
Al Jazeera investigates ties between Louisiana and the Chinese government in a proposed $1.85 billion methanol plant.
Al Jazeera, By Massoud Hayoun, January 26
This article is part one of a three-part series on China’s role in redeveloping southern Louisiana called China’s Louisiana Purchase.
St. James Parish, LA — A prominent Chinese tycoon and politician — whose natural gas company has a dubious environmental and labor rights record that recently started coming under fire in the Chinese press — is parking assets in a multibillion dollar methanol plant in a Louisiana town. And he appears to be doing it with help from the administration of likely GOP 2016 presidential ticket contender Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Not many locals in a predominantly black neighborhood of St. James Parish — halfway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge — know that Wang Jinshu, the Communist Party Secretary for the northeastern Chinese village of Yuhuang and a former delegate to the National People’s Congress, is the man at the helm of a $1.85 billion methanol plant to be built in their town over the next two years with a $9.5 million incentive package from the state. The details of the project are unclear, residents say, largely because they were not told about the project until local officials, amid discussions with state officials and Chinese diplomats, decided to move forward with the project in July 2014.
“We never had a town hall meeting pretending to get our opinion prior to them doing it,” said Lawrence “Palo” Ambrose, a 74-year-old black Vietnam War veteran who works at a nearby church. “They didn’t make us part of the discussion.”
The ugly ramifications of the Trade in Services Act (TiSA)
Wolf Street, By Don Quijones, December 25
Much has been written, at least in the alternative media, about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), two multilateral trade treaties being negotiated between the representatives of dozens of national governments and armies of corporate lawyers and lobbyists (on which you can read more here, here and here). However, much less is known about the decidedly more secretive Trade in Services Act (TiSA), which involves more countries than either of the other two.
At least until now, that is. Thanks to a leaked document jointly published by the Associated Whistleblowing Press and Filtrala, the potential ramifications of the treaty being hashed out behind hermetically sealed doors in Geneva are finally seeping out into the public arena.
BBC, November 8
Countries of Asia and the Pacific region have agreed to set up a network to share information on corruption.
Apec members said in a statement that the purpose of the agreement, proposed by China, was to deny safe haven to anyone engaged in corruption.
It comes amid efforts by Chinese President Xi Jinping to clamp down on corrupt officials, including those who try to escape abroad.
Apec leaders are expected to back the deal at a summit in Beijing next week.
US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the move as a “major step forward”.
“Corruption not only creates an unfair playing field, it not only distorts economic relationships, but corruption also steals from the people of every country the belief that the system can work for everybody,” he told journalists.
The Christian Science Monitor: As US and China meet at APEC summit, a drama involving billions in trade
Backlash over video said to show the ‘hate and violence’ of Occupy protesters as lawmakers accuse security chief of ‘political propaganda’
South China Morning Post, By Tony Cheung , Shirley Zhao and Clifford Lo, October 28
Security chief Lai Tung-kwok yesterday attempted to lift the lid on “hate and violence” by Occupy protesters with a video of clashes with police – but found himself on the receiving end of a backlash amid accusations that he left out inconvenient events.
Lai premiered the video – said to have been gleaned from clips found on the internet – to members of the Legislative Council’s security panel. But panel members criticised him for using the meeting as a “tool of political propaganda”.
The minister insisted the video was meant only to show lawmakers what had happened.
Before showing the film, Lai spent seven minutes telling lawmakers how “Occupy Central … deviated from its nature of civil disobedience” and failed to live up to its promise to act “with love and peace”.
In the clips, protesters are seen apparently trying to seize barricades on September 28, while a man in the background shouts instructions such as “Charge! Put on goggles! The back row, proceed!” In other clips, officers are seen grabbing protesters’ umbrellas and using pepper spray and batons. In one clip, protesters are heard using foul language and shouting abuse at police in Mong Kok.
New York Times, By Alan Wong & Chris Buckley, September 28
Hong Kong — In a significant escalation of their efforts to suppress protests calling for democracy, the authorities in Hong Kong unleashed tear gas, mobilized riot police with long-barreled guns and closed a subway station Sunday to disperse crowds that have besieged the city government for three days. But thousands of residents wielding only umbrellas and face masks defied police orders to clear the area.
Hours after the police sought to break up the protest, large crowds of demonstrators remained nearby, sometimes confronting lines of officers and chanting for them to lay down their truncheons and shields. Police officers were also injured in skirmishes with protesters. Streets of a city known as a safe enclave for commerce became a nighttime battleground.
Steve Lee, 23, a recent university graduate who joined the protest, sobbed on the sidewalk after exposure to tear gas. “I don’t understand how the government can, in less than 30 seconds after a warning, use tear gas against peaceful student protesters,” he said.
“Hong Kong has gone crazy,” he added. “It is no longer the Hong Kong I know, or the world knows.”
China rejects open nominations for Hong Kong leadership
AP, August 31
China’s legislature on Sunday ruled against allowing open nominations in elections for Hong Kong’s leader, a decision that promises to ignite political tensions in the Asian financial hub.
The legislature’s powerful Standing Committee ruled that all candidates for chief executive must receive more than half of the votes from a special nominating body before going before voters. Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city “will definitely happen.”
Activists have also decried the nominating committee held up by Beijing as beholden to Chinese leaders and were mobilizing to stage massive protests against the decision.
And remember how they supported unions, the (informed) workers supported unions, and hell, most of America wanted to see those plants opening up here because, jobs? And it was only a small handful of conservative morons who were all Socialism!!!!!, which of course neglects the fact that the same “socialism” was expanding production into America?
Well, the Chinese seem to be taking the name “China Sea” seriously. First came the dispute with Vietnam, the Philippines, and probably any nation with a couple of dinghies and a drunk captain over the South China Sea.
Reuters, By Kathy Chen & Stian Reklev, June 3
Beijing – China said on Tuesday it will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016 just a day after the United States announced new targets for its power sector, signalling a potential breakthrough in tough U.N. climate talks.
Progress in global climate negotiations has often been held back by a deep split between rich and poor nations, led by the United States and China, respectively, over who should step up their game to reduce emissions.
But the fact that the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases made unprecedented announcements on climate within 24 hours of each other sparked optimism among observers hoping to see the decades-old deadlock broken. The steps come ahead of a global meet on climate change starting on Wednesday in Germany.
China, the world’s biggest emitter, will set a total cap on its CO2 emissions when its next five-year plan comes into force in 2016, He Jiankun, chairman of China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change, told a conference in Beijing.
Officials have been clamping down on credit to puncture the property bubble but are clearly having second thoughts as money supply weakens and bad debts accumulate.
The Telegraph, By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, June 1
China’s central bank is exploring direct purchases of bonds and other assets to support key sectors of the economy in case the slowdown deepens, according to a leading Chinese business publication.
A front-page article in the China Securities Journal – regulated by the central bank – reported growing concerns about the weakness of the money supply and bad debts accumulating in the financial system.
The authorities may have to widen the range of possible options for “targeted monetary loosening”. These include surgical stimulus for the West and Central regions, as well as “direct asset purchases by the central bank”, mostly government bonds, financial and railroad debt, as well as state-backed housing bonds.
It is the first hint of quantitative easing in China, and has left analysts scratching their heads. The central bank has many other tools available that would normally be used first to combat incipient deflation. The Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) is still 20pc. This could be slashed to low single-digits if need be, generating up to $2 trillion of stimulus through higher lending.
Any move in this direction would be a radical policy shift. China has been clamping down on credit deliberately over recent months in order to slow the economy and puncture the property bubble before it becomes any more dangerous, but officials have clearly been having second thoughts for several weeks. Premier Li Keqiang announced a targeted cut in the RRR on Thursday, with lower rates for banks lending to agriculture and small business.
The dwindling world of Communism is getting more and more aggressive: towards each other.
Chinese authorities said Sunday that more than 3,000 Chinese had already been evacuated from Vietnam after protests over China’s decision to move an oil rig into disputed waters of the South China Sea spiraled into riots last week in which foreign-owned factories were burned and looted.
Two Chinese citizens were killed in the violence and more than 100 were injured, authorities said.
The crisis has frayed ties between the two Communist-run Asian nations, and there is little sign of either side backing down over the increasingly bitter territorial dispute.
(CNN) – China has evacuated more than 3,000 of its citizens from Vietnam and is sending ships to retrieve more of them after deadly anti-Chinese violence erupted last week over a territorial dispute between the two countries.
Five Chinese ships will travel to Vietnam to help with the evacuation, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Sunday, citing the Ministry of Transport. One of the ships has already set off from the southern island province of Hainan, the ministry said.
Sixteen critically injured Chinese citizens were flown out of Vietnam on Sunday morning on a chartered medical plane organized by Chinese authorities, Xinhua said.
Two Chinese citizens were killed and more than 100 others were injured in the violence that hit parts of Vietnam last week, according to the news agency. Some of the worst violence appeared to have taken place in the central coastal province of Ha Tinh.
Reuters, May 17
Beijing – More than 3,000 Chinese nationals have been evacuated from Vietnam, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, following deadly rioting that stemmed from an outpouring of rage over Chinese oil drilling in a disputed area of the South China Sea.
The violence was triggered by China’s positioning of a $1 billion oil rig in a part of the South China Sea claimed by Hanoi, a move described by the United States as provocative. It is the worst breakdown in ties between the two Communist neighbors since a short border war in 1979.
The evacuation followed days of clashes between Vietnamese rioters and Chinese workers. Crowds of thousands massed as rioters turned against Chinese workers and Chinese-owned businesses, or those thought to be Chinese, smashing windows, gates and walls and torching vehicles and factories.
Pax Americana continues to crumble before our eyes. The belief that the United States has a divinely-inspired obligation to police the entire world has always been most strongly held among Americans themselves; some of the beneficiaries of this largesse, such as the Vietnamese and most recently the Iraqis, never quite showed the gratitude America felt it had earned by bringing them liberty, freedom, justice, and a Starbucks Grandé Mocha every morning on their way to work. Of course, it takes a lot of effort to keep Americans invested in the Pax Americana dream, especially since to make the dream mean anything the U.S. has to have “boots on the ground” in strange places that seem to have little to do with American security. Read More