World Bank Warns Of Severe Shock Facing Palestinian Economy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

World Bank Warns of Severe Shock Facing Palestinian Economy

Thursday, 18 April, 2019 – 09:15
Ramallah – Asharq Al-Awsat
The World Bank said that the Palestinian economy is now facing a severe shock in regard of public finances as a result of Israel’s approach over tax revenues, calling for an urgent resolution of the crisis before it deepens.

This came in a report that the World Bank has prepared on Wednesday and is due to be presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) at its next meeting in Brussels on 30 April.

The report quoted Anna Bjerde, World Bank Acting Country Director for West Bank and Gaza and Director of Strategy and Operations for the Middle East and North Africa Region, as saying: “The economy, which in 2018 saw no real growth, is now facing a severe fiscal shock because of the standoff over clearance revenue transfers.”

Bjerde stressed that “Urgent resolution is needed to prevent further deterioration of economic activity and living standards. Clearance revenues are a major source of budgetary income and the ongoing standoff is felt by all segments of the population in what is already a weak economy.”

In February, Israel decided to deduct around $10 million a month from the revenues — the sum the PA paid families of prisoners or prisoners themselves serving time in Israeli jails — prompting the Palestinians to refuse any funds at all.

“Against a background of declining aid flows, the recent standoff stemmed from Israel’s unilateral deduction of US$138 million from the PA’s clearance revenues in 2019 to offset estimated payouts to Palestinian martyrs and prisoners’ families,” the report noted.

According to the World Bank, “the clearance revenues, collected by Israel and transferred to the PA monthly, amount to 65 per cent of the PA’s total revenues. In response, the PA rejected the diminished transfers and was forced to cut the wage bill by 30 per cent, reduce expenditures in social assistance, and borrow more from local banks. If not resolved, the standoff will increase the financing gap from US$400 million in 2018 to over US $1 billion in 2019.”

“The dual-use goods system in its current application limits economic diversification and sustainable growth in the Palestinian territories. A revamp of the application of the restrictions on dual-use goods is critically needed,” added Bjerde.

The report stressed that “The Palestinian economy has witnessed low growth rates that are not able to keep up with the growth in population, resulting in an increase in unemployment and deteriorating living conditions. The absence of growth in the past year is mainly attributed to the steep deterioration in Gaza, where more than half of the population is unemployed and economic activities contracted by 7 per cent in 2018—the deepest economic downturn Gaza has witnessed that is not a result of a conflict. However, growth in the West Bank has also slowed below its recent trends.”

Latest NEV offerings at Shanghai auto show

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWSPAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

Auto firms show off latest NEV offerings at Shanghai auto show

 Cao Qian
 Ding Yining

Dong Jun / SHINE

A model poses in the booth of a NEV brand during the auto show.

Car vendors and parts suppliers, expanding into the booming new energy vehicle (NEV) segment in China, are unveiling a slew of new offerings at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition.

NEVs are bucking the slump in China’s auto market and international firms are increasingly focusing on the country, which aims to be the global leader in NEVs.

During the ongoing auto show, firms have released new models and announced expansion plans for China.

China’s SAIC MAXUS Automotive Co, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAIC Motor Corp, launched its new MPV G20 flagship model and showcased its latest vehicle fuel cell technology as it expands its passenger vehicle business and embraces the global shift to clean technology.

Based on the G20, the MPV G20FC is the first domestic passenger vehicle to use hydrogen fuel cells, which offers extra-long range, fast fuel filling and emits only clean water.

The G20FC’s high-pressure hydrogen storage tank delivers hydrogen into the fuel cell where the hydrogen and oxygen react with the cathode and anode in the stack to supply power to the battery and the electric drive system.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are seen as being one of the key directions for developing NEVs.

NEV sales in China are soaring as the overall market falls, surging 85.4 percent year on year in March, compared with a 6.9 percent decrease in total sales.

UK-based Bentley expects to offer an electric version of all its product lines by 2025, including new fully electric models, said Chris Cole, director of Bentley Product Line.

US auto parts maker Dana Inc, whose clients include Tesla and SAIC Roewe, announced it had already opened five new facilities in China this year, largely targeting electric vehicle companies: one each in Shanghai, Changsha and Baoding and two in Suzhou.

Dana’s footprint in China now encompasses more than 6,750 employees at 23 operations.

Dana has been operating in China for more than 25 years. Antonio Valencia, President of Dana China and Oceania, said the company will continue to invest in expanding its capabilities in China for “commitment to electrification and hybridization.”

Matthias Zink, CEO of Automotive OEM at Schaeffler, expects pure electric cars will make up 30 percent of annual auto production by 2030, while 40 percent will be hybrids and the rest combustion engines.

Zhu Shenshen / SHINE

US auto parts maker Dana Inc, whose clients include Tesla and SAIC Roewe, announced it had already opened five new facilities in China this year, largely targeting electric vehicle companies: one each in Shanghai, Changsha and Baoding and two in Suzhou.

Brazil: Former President Lula Remembers When The Poor Got Pay Raises

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL’S 24/7 NEWS)

 

China: Shanghai the foreigners’ favorite

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS)

 

Shanghai the foreigners’ favorite

Shanghai has topped a list of the most attractive cities on the Chinese mainland for foreigners for the seventh consecutive year, it was revealed on Sunday.

At the 17th Conference on International Exchange Professionals, Zhang Jianguo, the deputy science and technology minister, released the latest “Amazing China — the Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Foreigners” ranking.

Launched in 2010 by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the poll required foreigners to vote in four categories — expat-friendly policies, governmental administrative capacity, and working and living conditions.

“Shanghai is becoming a very important hub for international talent,” Oscar Ramos, managing director of Shanghai-based Chinaccelerator, the first startup accelerator launched in China, told Shanghai Daily.

“On one side local companies are internationalizing more and faster than ever and that requires global teams with cultural diversity. On the other hand, there’s great potential to build new products and services in Shanghai that will have global potential.”

He added: “Shanghai citizens and enterprises are early adopters of new technology and the dynamic environment is a great ecosystem for innovation that is starting to be leveraged by both startups and multinationals.”

Ramos said that when he decided to move to China 11 years ago, his go-to destinations were initially Shenzhen or Beijing. He thought they would be perfect for his startup until a friend recommended Shanghai.

“Building a startup is a marathon and the support ecosystem is very important. Shanghai not only had a very supportive international community but in general was more welcoming for business with foreigners,” he added.

Frenchman Sebastien Gaudin released healthcare app CareVoice in Jing’an District in Shanghai in 2014.

He said: “Shanghai concentrates large successful multinational companies, Chinese private companies and fast-growing startups across sectors providing great opportunities for any foreign talent.”

He added: “The quality of life is great too. The city has been modernized while preserving its heritage. Quality of air has been drastically improved and the many outside areas make it easy to enjoy sports and other activities. Shanghai is definitely the most international city on the Chinese mainland, making it uniquely positioned to attract foreign talent.”

The ranking was based on a poll carried out among nearly 10,000 foreigners throughout China including Nobel laureates and Chinese Friendship Award and Turing Award recipients.

They included Konstantin Novoselo, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010, Edvard Moser, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2014, and Leslie Valiant, winner of the 2010 ACM A.M. Turing Award.

Ranked in the top-10 list were Shanghai, Beijing, Hefei, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Qingdao, Tianjin, Xi’an and Wuhan. Chengdu, Nanjing and Guangzhou, which were on the previous year’s list, were replaced by Tianjin, Xi’an and Wuhan.

Currently, Shanghai has 215,000 working foreigners, accounting for 23.7 percent of the Chinese mainland’s total, and 55 of them have been honored with the Chinese government’s Friendship Award.

Since April 2017, Shanghai has issued more than 120,000 work permits, with more than 18 percent issued to high-level foreign professionals, topping the country. Last year, Shanghai welcomed more than 500 foreign professionals.

Shanghai has a number of policies designed to attract foreign professionals.

The city has streamlined procedures for foreigners to apply for visas, as well as work and residence permits. In Pudong, foreign professionals are now able to obtain work and residence permits in just five days, and they have access to a one-stop service, meaning they don’t need to visit different departments and fill in different forms with the same details.

Last month, the city government released 25 measures offering greater financial and administrative support for aspiring innovators to accelerate the city’s development as a global science innovation hub by encouraging overseas research and innovation institutes to build global innovation centers in Shanghai and cooperate with local laboratories.

The confidential oil plan that could cost Trump reelection

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO NEWS)

 

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

The confidential oil plan that could cost Trump reelection

The Trump administration is considering auctioning off Florida’s coastal waters for oil and gas drilling — and Republicans are warning it could cost the president dearly in Florida in the 2020 election.

An industry lobbying offensive has put it on the cusp of achieving its holy grail: access to the resource-rich eastern Gulf of Mexico. The idea is so politically toxic in Florida that past presidents haven’t even entertained it. But behind the scenes, oil and gas interests are appealing to Trump’s desire to turbocharge U.S. energy production, including his past openness to drilling off the Florida coast.

The president and his top advisers haven’t yet weighed in on the plan taking shape inside his Interior Department. But giving it the green light would be tantamount to a declaration of war on his second home state, given the uniform opposition from Florida Republicans, including prominent allies like Sen. Rick Scott, Gov. Ron DeSantis and others.

“He would have a price to pay for that,” Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), a staunch Trump supporter, told POLITICO.

Industry representatives have said a plan has been imminent since last fall, but many expect the Interior Department is waiting for the Senate to confirm acting Secretary David Bernhardt to fill the agency’s top slot before formally releasing the draft. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture Monday on Bernhardt’s confirmation, teeing up a vote this week.

Multiple oil and gas industry sources told POLITICO that the eastern Gulf, along with the Atlantic coast, are included in the administration’s current five-year off-shore drilling proposal, which hasn’t yet been released. The deliberations surrounding that plan are occurring mostly at Interior between lower-level policy aides who are being lobbied by industry representatives, they said.

The administration’s position was muddied when former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke held an elaborately staged Jan. 2018 meeting with Scott, then Florida’s governor, to declare the state wouldn’t be on the drilling map. The announcement was seen as a favor to boost Scott’s electoral fortunes in his ultimately successful challenge against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, who tried to use environmental issues to separate himself from the Republican challenger.

In reality, Trump was upset by the announcement. People familiar with his reaction said Zinke’s statement came without White House approval and contradicted the administration’s “energy dominance” message.

Both parties in Florida oppose offshore drilling. Memories of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which sent tarballs ashore in Florida, bring fears of a future spill damaging the state’s fisheries and tourism. Many in the state also say drilling would conflict with military exercises in the area.

Bernhardt has stayed mum about what’s in the offshore leasing proposal, remarking in a March 28 confirmation hearing that the department is at “step one” of the process. Several industry sources disputed that, though, saying the plan is nearly complete.

“For all intents and purposes, it’s done,” said an industry lobbyist familiar with the plan.

But the senior political officials charged with protecting Trump’s electoral prospects haven’t yet focused on the drilling plan, said a source close to the president who met recently with members of Trump’s energy policy team.

The White House referred a request for comment to the Interior Department. An agency spokesperson did not immediately reply to questions about whether the eastern Gulf of Mexico would be included in any draft plan. Bernhardt said at his nomination hearing that the latest draft plan hadn’t reached his desk.

Offshore drilling is broadly unpopular in Florida. A Quinnipiac University poll of Florida voters released March 13 showed 64 percent oppose the practice. Republicans, though, supported it by a 54-38 percent margin. A ballot measure banning oil and gas development in state waters passed overwhelmingly in November.

“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure Florida remains off the table,” Scott told POLITICO in an interview earlier this month. “I’ve been very clear to let the White House know where I stand. This is very important to me.“

The draft plan from Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would have to go through a comment period, giving the Trump administration another chance to rewrite it before finalizing. It does not need to pass Congress.

The current plan includes a “buffer” to keep rigs at least 100 miles from Florida’s shoreline, according to industry representatives. They said they plan to present Trump with several options for each of the major regions to be covered under the plan, including the mid-Atlantic and Pacific.

“They can put the plan out and if it doesn’t go over very well, this isn’t the final version, so they can just pull it back,” said an oil-and-gas industry source, who added that industry is trying to figure out how close it can get to Florida without inviting backlash. Former President Barack Obama, for example, offered the eastern Gulf of Mexico with a 125-mile buffer before implementing a seven-year ban following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, though Congress already had imposed a moratorium on drilling in waters closest to Florida until 2022.

Florida lawmakers from both parties have signed numerous letters rejecting offshore drilling, no matter how far from the state’s shoreline. Many also have pushed back on what’s known as seismic testing, a precursor to drilling that involves blasting sonar from boats toward the seafloor to search for buried oil and gas deposits. Both chambers of the state legislature are moving resolutions rejecting offshore drilling in the Gulf.

“We don’t want to see any of it in the Gulf, I don’t want to see any of it on the Atlantic side, which is where I represent,” Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) told POLITICO. “We’re not looking for Deepwater Horizons off of Jensen Beach, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fort Pierce Beach, and we don’t want to see it out there in the Gulf.”

Even DeSantis, whom Trump endorsed in a crowded Republican primary last year, signed an executive order in January committing the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to “adamantly oppose” offshore drilling. Pressure on Republicans to oppose drilling has only grown since DeSantis was elected in November, as Democrats have homed in on fighting climate change.

“It seems hard to believe that the administration would move forward with drilling off the coast of Florida less than two years before a presidential election,” said Alex Conant, a partner at Firehouse Strategies and former aide to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “It would certainly be an issue that Democrats would try to use against [Trump] throughout the state.”

‘Sea change in Pakistan’s attitude towards India after Balakot air strike’, says PM Modi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

‘Sea change in Pakistan’s attitude towards India after Balakot air strike’, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Pakistan’s attitude towards India and that during the Congress government has undergone a sea change and terrorists and their sponsors in Pakistan are living in fear.

LOK SABHA ELECTIONS Updated: Apr 11, 2019 21:27 IST

Avijit Biswas
Avijit Biswas
Hindustan Times, Bhagalpur
Lok Sabha Elections 2019,Election Rally,Election news
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the audience during an election rally, in Bhagalpur on Thursday.(Santosh Kumar /HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that in order to talk of peace it is essential to be strong as he came down heavily on the opposition, particularly Congress, over national security.

At an election rally in Bhagalpur, Modi said that the country has emerged stronger after retaliatory action against Pakistan following the Pulwama terror strike. He said the air strike was carried out to address “the restlessness of 130 crore people of country for a firm and definite action against Pakistan”.

“Pakistan’s attitude towards India today and that during the Congress government has undergone a sea change,” the PM said. “Terrorists as well as well as their sponsors in Pakistan are living in fear.”

He attacked the opposition alliance for “speaking the language that supports terrorism”. He stressed that the opposition alliance should clarify whether they are with terrorists or with armed forces.

Modi who was campaigning for JD (U) nominees contesting as NDA candidates from Munger, Banka and Bhagalpur parliamentary seats, said the NDA has a clear policy of giving free hand to armed forces in the fight against terrorism and extremism. While he did not mention the Congress manifesto, he asked the people whether they approve curtailing power of the armed forces. The Congress manifesto promises to review the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which gives the forces in disturbed areas sweeping powers of search and arrest and provides immunity from prosecution in civil courts.

He said as chowkidar of the people he has done what was expected from his government for social security and national security. He referred to works undertaken in social security front under various centrally sponsored schemes including Ayushman Bharat.

He said opposition leaders were fighting for their existence and were trying their best to create fear among people that there would be no election in the country in future and that the reservation policy would be abolished if he is voted back to power.

“On the contrary I favour further strengthening of reservation policy,” Modi said and cited the 10% reservation which his government had announced for poor people of upper caste.

He referred to the government’s minimum support price agriculture produce of farmers against their crop expenditure and said the Congress had no interest in improving the lives of farmers.

“Once we are voted to power again all farmers would be covered under financial assistance scheme instead of present coverage to farmers having land holdings up to five acres,” Modi said.

He also spoke about future plans aimed at extending support to small and marginal farmers besides small businessmen. He mentioned the development work undertaken in Bihar praised Nitish Kumar’s government for its performance.

In the silk town, the PM also spoke about the problems faced by local silk industry and apprised them on what his government has been doing to boost their business globally. “The mega handloom cluster was established here as a step towards solution of your problems,” Modi said.

First Published: Apr 11, 2019 20:56 IST

Will Georgetown’s Black Students Be Expected To Pay Reparations Fee, Too?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘NEWSONE’ WEBSITE AND FROM CBS NEWS AND THE NEW YORK TIMES)
(PLEASE READ MY NEXT ARTICLE AS I AM GOING TO GIVE MY ANSWER TO THIS STORY, THE REASON WHY I VERY MUCH DISAGREE WITH THIS CONCEPT OF REPARATIONS)(oldpoet56)

Georgetown University students have a few questions after they voted in favor of a student fee to benefit descendants of the school’s slaves—including whether Black students are expected to pay the reparations fee.

SEE ALSO: Georgetown University Slave Descendants Call For $1 Billion Foundation

On Thursday, the university announced that students voted overwhelmingly for the $27.20 per student fee that would be charged each semester.

CBS News reported that nearly 58 percent of the student body took part in the vote. And 66 percent of those who voted supported the fee to benefit descendants of 272 slaves the school sold in the 19th century. But there are still some unanswered questions about what exactly comes next.

Some students who voted against the fee believe that a reparation fund should be created but disagreed with the method.

“My issue with this is that I felt like the university was sort of tossing the buck on to students. I don’t believe that students are the ones that need to be paying,” Georgetown junior Nitya Biyani said, noting that the school has a $1.5 billion endowment and increases tuition almost every year but appears unwilling to cover the cost of compensating the slaves’ descendants.

NewsOne@newsone

It’s a no brainer that Georgetown University should pay reparations to slave descendants.https://wp.me/p2bAXi-fOS3 @Georgetown

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Most people learned about the 1838 sale of the slaves, at the hands of the Jesuit priests who ran the debt-ridden college, from a 2016  New York Times article. It was a dirty little secret that the school kept under wraps for many years.

The records indicate that the youngest slave sold to save Georgetown was just 2 months old. The slave infant and its mother were among the group of grandparents, pregnant women, toddlers, and fathers-to-be. They were bound and forced onto a ship sailing from their plantation home in Maryland to new owners in Louisiana. The sale earned the university an estimated $3.5 million in today’s value.

Georgetown University President John DeGioia said back in 2016 that modern Georgetown University administrations have been aware of the infamous slave sale. Georgetown is like the many other elite universities in this nation that benefited from slavery. And like some of them, Georgetown has struggled in confronting its stained history.

Students for GU272 advocacy group, named for the number of slaves the university sold, conceived of the idea for a referendum in the fall 2018 semester. Now that it passed, the university’s next steps are unclear because the referendum still needs the school’s approval.

“This moment raises complex issues that we are prepared to grapple with and embrace. Our students are bringing attention to deeply held convictions that we take very seriously,” DeGioia said in a statement after announcing the referendum results. “With this strong indication from our students, I will engage key leaders in our Georgetown, Descendant, and Jesuit communities and our faculty, board, and student leadership to chart a path forward.”

SEE ALSO:

A History Of Calls For Reparations For Descendants Of Slaves

Sen. Cory Booker Is The First Presidential Candidate To Put Action Behind Reparations

Where All The Presidential Candidates Stand On Reparations, In Their Own Words
Reparations presidential candidates

Market watchdog investigates after viral Mercedes oil leak

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS PAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

Market watchdog investigates after viral Mercedes oil leak

The market watchdog in northwest China’s Xi’an has launched an investigation into a customer complaint that her newly bought Mercedes-Benz sedan has engine oil leaks.

The incident has attracted wide attention after a video of a woman sitting on top of a Mercedes-Benz while weeping and arguing with salesmen went viral online.

In the video posted on Weibo by a netizen identified as “huashenfangcunshan” on April 11, the woman claimed she found an oil leak when she was driving the car home from the dealer. After she drove the car back, she was told she couldn’t get a refund nor switch to a new car. All the dealer offered was to change the engine.

The CLS300 sedan cost around 660,000 yuan (US$98,445).

The customer met with officials from the market watchdog of Gaoxin District Saturday, demanding a full maintenance history of the car and an independent test by a third-party, Shaanxi TV Station reported Saturday.

Mercedes-Benz issued a statement on its Weibo account on Saturday, saying it was sorry for the customer’s “unpleasant experience,” and has dispatched a team to Xi’an to help solve the issue.

The dealer claimed the car had passed all tests before it was sold, according to a report by Xi’an’s news portal cnwest.com on April 12.

Li Yong, an official with the market watchdog of Gaoxin District in Xi’an, told cnwest.com that they learned about the incident online. They are still investigating and will punish those responsible if any violations are discovered, the report said.

Trump Demands China Trade Deal Before Summit

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

 

Trump shifts from personal diplomacy as he demands China trade deal before summit

The embrace of hype has not changed. When the U.S. and China finally agree a trade deal, it will be the “granddaddy” of all deals and a “monumental” agreement, according to President Donald Trump.

But as he spoke ahead of a meeting with Beijing’s vice premier on Thursday, the dealmaker in chief signaled a shift in tactics.

“If we have a deal, then we’re going to have a summit,” he said. “If we don’t have a deal, we’re not going to have a summit.”

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His words stand in contrast to previous negotiations, characterized by heavy doses of personal diplomacy designed to seal agreements during presidential summits rather than before them.

In February, Trump walked away from a summit with Kim Jong Un of North Korea in Vietnam without a deal. Tizoc Chavez, a presidential diplomacy expert at Vanderbilt University, said the failure of the second Kim summit may have prompted a rethink.

“He does have this great faith in his ability to convince someone. Before the first Kim Jong Un summit, he talked about how his touch and his feel would play an important role,” he said. “Maybe now we see his evolution as he tries to trust his diplomats and officials to lay the groundwork rather than taking on all the responsibility himself.”

Robert Lighthizer, who heads China talks for the Trump administration, said “major, major issues” remain. Negotiations continued for a third day on Friday and are due to carry on next week via video link.

The U.S. is pressing China to make commitments to buy American products, to increase protection for intellectual property, and to rebalance trade between the two countries.

Trump said any deal could take up to four weeks.

Officials initially suggested that a summit could take place before the end of March. However, that sparked concerns that any announcement before a deal could weaken U.S. leverage, reducing the chances of winning concessions, according to a person familiar with the talks.

It suggests a new tack for the author of The Art of the Deal, who as a candidate frequently talked up how he would use his business acumen in the realm of politics.

“Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully or write poetry,” he said shortly before announcing his presidential run. “I like making deals, preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.”

Curtis Ellis, senior policy adviser with America First Policies and former member of the Trump transition team, said the president had no need to take on the entire weight of negotiations by himself.

Instead, Trump forged a consensus around tough action and promoted the decoupling of the U.S. economy from China, winning more time to strike not just a deal, but the right deal.

“Businesses and business leaders are coming around on China as the threat. They are now open to President Trump’s approach to confront China. They are open to tariffs,” he said.

“There’s now a growing consensus that President Trump’s policy is the right policy, so the pressure for a ‘quick deal’ is disappearing as it becomes more obvious that we need to counter China’s expansion in international markets and infrastructure development.”

Xi says new substantial progress made on text of China-US economic and trade agreement

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWSPAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

Xi says new substantial progress made on text of China-US economic and trade agreement

Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a message delivered to his US counterpart, Donald Trump, on Thursday that new substantial progress has been made on the text of the China-US economic and trade agreement in the past more than one month.

In the message conveyed by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at a meeting with Trump at the White House, Xi encouraged the two sides to keep up with the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and resolve issues of mutual concern so as to conclude the negotiations on the agreement text as soon as possible.

Under the current situation, a healthy and stable development of China-US relations concerns the interests of both Chinese and American people, as well as the interests of people of other countries around the world, and it needs, in particular, their strategic leadership, Xi told Trump.

Xi also said he is ready to keep close contact with Trump through various means, and believes that the China-US relations will make new and greater progress under their joint guidance.

At the meeting, Liu said the Chinese and US negotiation teams have over the past two days conducted fruitful consultations and reached new consensus on such important issues as the text of the economic and trade agreement.

Liu also said that the two sides, guided by the consensus reached by the two heads of state, will continue with the consultations to achieve greater progress on issues of mutual concern so as to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible and push forward the healthy and stable development of bilateral economic and trade ties.

Trump said that the US-China bilateral relationship now sees a sound and robust development, and is at a high level in history.

The US president said that he is glad to see that huge progress has been achieved in the economic and trade negotiations, and that he hopes the two sides make further efforts and resolve the remaining issues in a bid to reach a comprehensive and historic agreement as soon as possible.

It will not only benefit the two countries but also the whole world, he added.

The US president said he looks forward to meeting with Xi after the two sides reach the agreement, and to witnessing the great moment together with the Chinese leader.

Trump also thanked Xi for China’s decision to add fentanyl-related substances to a supplementary list of controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with non-medical use, saying it is of great significance for American people and the US-China anti-drug cooperation.

Liu is in the United States for the ninth round of high-level economic and trade consultations between the two nations.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner attended the meeting.

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