China outlines integrated development of Yangtze River Delta

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

 

China outlines integrated development of Yangtze River Delta

Xinhua
China outlines integrated development of Yangtze River Delta

Xinhua

The mouth of the Yangtze River on Shanghai’s Chongming Island.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council on Sunday jointly issued an outline of the integrated regional development of the Yangtze River Delta.

The document outlined targets, requirements and measures to boost the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and build a regional cluster of high-quality development.

As one of China’s most economically active, open and innovative regions, the Yangtze River Delta boasts strategic significance in the country’s modernization and further opening-up, which makes its regional integration crucial for leading the country’s high-quality development and building a modern economic system.

The outline, mapping development for a 358,000-square km expanse that encompasses Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province, Anhui Province and Shanghai Municipality, consists of 12 chapters.

Tasks specified in the outline include establishing a coordinated innovative industry system, enhancing connectivity of infrastructure, strengthening environmental protection, advancing public services and building the Shanghai free trade zone under high standards.

The document detailed development goals to be achieved by 2025 and offered visions into 2035.

By 2025, the Yangtze River Delta is to see substantial development and basically realize integration in the science and innovation industry, infrastructure, environment and public services, said the document.

To fulfill integrated development in the science and innovation sector by 2025, the ratio of the region’s R&D spending to its gross domestic product (GDP) should top 3 percent, while its output of high-tech industries should account for 18 percent of total industrial output.

In the same period, connectivity of infrastructure will be represented by improvements in railway and expressway density and a 5G network coverage of 80 percent.

The outline also laid out environment standards to be met by 2025 in terms of PM2.5 density and energy consumption per unit of GDP.

By 2025, accomplishments in public services should put per capita fiscal expenditure at 21,000 yuan (about 2,987 U.S. dollars) and extend the average life expectancy to 79 years, according to the outline.

The outline also called for a unified market system marked by openness and the free flow of resources.

Looking further into the future, the outline envisioned the Yangtze River Delta as the most influential and robust driving force of the nation’s development by 2035.

Citizens of Hong Kong: Leave no stone upon another, and Move Now

Citizens of Hong Kong: Leave no stone upon another, and Move Now

 

This letter tonight is just an opinion piece by a person who has never been to Hong Kong. This in no way should be a call for any riots or violence toward another person, for it is not. I get a lot of material each day that I read and I do obtain my thoughts from varieng news agencies around the world. Ever since England turned Kong Kong over to the Communists government of China I have known that these times happening now would absolutely come about. I know that I am no genius in this matter because I believe that hundreds of millions or more people around the world could see these days coming for the residents of Hong Kong. The Communist Chinese play the long game and their game is total victory for the Party. The end of any hint of Democracy in Hong Kong started the day England inked the deal to turn over the city. The only reason that the people who live there have any freedom is because the Party Leadership has been banking on the revenues you create for them. The day is getting ever closer to the day the citizens of Hong Kong will be under total suppression with no way out accept to either go to a prison camp or die. What I am about to say I am fully aware that it will not ever happen. I believe that every citizen of Hong Kong who doesn’t want to live under suppressive Communists Rulers need to destroy every business they own in the city, raze it to the ground and then get on a boat or plane and get the hell out of there. The Communists Party of China will win this battle, you have no chance at all. So, yes I believe the people should all get out of there as soon as possible but don’t leave these murderous asses a single pot to piss in. They are going to totally control that land, so why leave them anything but the scraped bare soil?

The US just quietly challenged China on something Beijing promised to go to war over

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BUSINESS INSIDER)

 

The US just quietly challenged China on something Beijing promised to go to war over

china militaryJon Woo/Reuters
  • The US military recently called Taiwan a country, something that China routinely threatens to go to war over.
  • China thinks of Taiwan as a renegade province with a democratic government that’s an existential threat to the Communist party.
  • No US president for decades has been so supportive of Taiwan, and the US and China now find themselves in uncharted territory.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has engaged China in a trade war that has global markets holding their breath, but his administration recently challenged Beijing on an issue Chinese officials have promised to go to war over.

The US military’s recent Indo-Pacific Strategy paper, published on June 1, goes further than perhaps any US document ever issued in potentially provoking China’s rage over what it sees as the most sensitive issue.

Buried in the paper, which charts China’s efforts to build up a military fortress in the South China Sea and use its growing naval might to coerce its neighbors, is a reference to Taiwan as a “country.”

“As democracies in the Indo-Pacific, Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Mongolia are reliable, capable, and natural partners of the United States. All four countries contribute to US missions around the world and are actively taking steps to uphold a free and open international order,” the strategy reads.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway island province that has its own, democratic government. Beijing sees this as an existential threat and the factor most likely to upset the Communist Party’s absolute hold on power in the mainland.

In July 2018, China threatened to blacklist airlines that referred to Taiwan as a country. US airlines fell in line, but the White House protested the strong-arm tactic as “ Orwellian nonsense.”

But now the US itself has clearly said it: Taiwan is a country, and the US will treat it as such.

“The Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs”

Trump Bolton
US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with senior military leaders at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2018.
 NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

In another unprecedented step, a high-ranking Taiwanese minister was allowed to meet with Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, in May. This move predictably enraged China.

At the Shangri La Dialogue, the top defense summit in Asia, Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe made clear the stakes of China’s Taiwan problem.

“Any interference in the Taiwan question is doomed to failure. If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs,” Wei said, according to Channel Asia News.

Taiwan is “the hot-button issue” in US-China relations, John Hemmings, the director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, told Business Insider.

China has always maintained that it would prefer to reunify with Taiwan peacefully but will do so by force if needed. Additionally, China’s navy has increasingly patrolled the waters around the island and flown nuclear-capable bombers nearby.

But the US has also sailed warships through the narrow strait separating China and Taiwan and has gotten allies to pitch in.

The arms are already moving

Marine Corps Abrams tank Arrow 19 Finland
A US Marine Corps M1A1 Abrams tank from 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, during Arrow 2019 at the Pohjankangas Training Area near Niinisalo, Finland, May 12, 2019.
 US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Scott Jenkins

The US’s rhetorical escalation follows the Trump administration normalizing arms sales to Taiwan and the news that it will sell $2 billion in tanks, anti-tank weapons, and air defenses to the island.

According to Hemmings, these weapons have a clear purpose: To fight back against a Chinese invasion of the island.

Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Business Insider that the US had now entered “uncharted territory” by acknowledging Taiwan.

The US under Trump has been the most pro-Taiwan administration in decades, Hemmings said. Trump demonstrated this when he had a call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen before Trump even took office.

Taiwan military exercise invasion artillery Han Kuang
Women soldiers from an artillery unit during the live-fire Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates China’s People’s Liberation Army invading the island, in Pingtung, Taiwan, May 30, 2019.
 REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

For years, China has slowly stepped up pressure on the US in areas like forcing companies to transfer technology, building up military sites on artificial islands in the South China Sea, and naval challenges.

Hemmings referenced a popular anecdote in China, where a frog is cooked by putting it in a pot of cold water and then slowly turning up the heat. The frog doesn’t realize it’s getting cooked until it’s too late. China’s gradual pressure campaign against the US has been compared to this practice.

With the US now quietly acknowledging Taiwan in a strategy document, it may have found its own small way to turn up the heat on Beijing.

More: China Taiwan Military Defense

China: 30 years after the Tiananmen Square Massacre

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

A duty to remember: 30 years after Tiananmen

Installation made by Taiwanese artist Shake, and inspired by the photo of Tank Man displayed in central Taipei. Photo by Filip Noubel, used with permission.

It has been 30 years since the rise and fall of the 89 Democracy Movement (八九民运) in China that culminated in the infamous Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4, 1989.

On that day, the Chinese military carried out a brutal crackdown on student-led demonstrations calling for democratic reforms. The Chinese Red Cross estimated that 2,700 civilians were killed, but other sources point to a much higher toll. A confidential US government document unveiled in 2014 reported that a Chinese internal assessment estimated that at least 10,454 civilians were killed.

The Communist Party of China has never publicly acknowledged these events or accounted for its actions with an independent investigation. There are no references to the 89 Democracy Movement in any history textbooks and most university students in China have never heard about the massacre.

Global Voices has been covering the issue for over a decade. This year we commemorate the 30th anniversary of what led to the June 4 massacre to fulfill our duty to keep the memory of those events alive, despite continuous efforts by Beijing to deny basic historical truth.

Beijing’s determination to censor any mention or veiled reference to June 4 has resulted in a perpetual game of cat and mouse taking place online. In April, a foreign ad featuring images of the Tank Man circulated briefly on Chinese social media before being suppressed. Another of our stories explains how Chinese netizens play with censorship and come up with creative ways to allude to the event without mentioning it by its name. All of this in an environment where obtain information that is not filtered by China’s Great Firewall of online censorship has become very dangerous and almost impossible.

Expressing critical views on social media platforms outside of China also poses a personal risk, as you can read in this story. And expressing alternative views not aligned with the Party’s line, even if embedded in Marxism, usually results in harassment and arrest, as we describe here. This draconian censorship is being exported worldwide by Beijing, including to Hong Kong.

Yet the duty to remember continues to inspire people and netizens across the globe. Direct witnesses speak up in emotional interviews, while brave journalists in Hong Kong tell their own stories about June 4. Global netizens, including reddit users, also use humor, art, and online memes to keep the memory of the Chinese pro-democracy movement alive.

Communist Mainland Is Mad About U.S. Selling $330 Million In Arms To Taiwan China

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC NEWS)

 

Getty Images
Aerial of the Pentagon, the Department of Defense headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington DC, with I-395 freeway on the left, and the Air Force Memorial up middle.

China has reacted with anger to the news that the United States is ready to approve a $330 million arms sale to neighboring Taiwan.

The contract was confirmed in a Pentagon news release on Monday that detailed an inventory of spare parts and repairs to be bought from the U.S. for Taiwanese military aircraft.

At a daily press conference on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, expressed anger over the deal and said China had already made its feelings clear to U.S. representatives.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its statement that the proposed sale would “contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security and defensive capability of the recipient.”

The statement added that Taiwan continues to be “an important force for political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.”

One China Policy

What is the ‘One China Policy’?  

Senior politicians in Beijing view Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be reclaimed as part of the mainland. China has used its growing economic power to ask nations it trades with to accept this “one China” view.

However, many Taiwanese want their island to be considered a separate nation and other global powers, including the United States, have wrestled with diplomatic language to try and satisfy both sides.

Under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, military deals with Taiwan had become less frequent as Washington attempted to improve its relationship with Beijing.

If approved by Congress, this latest sale would mark the second arms deal between Taiwan and the U.S. during the tenure of President Donald Trump.

The first, and much bigger deal, was carried out in June 2017 when the U.S. agreed to sell missiles, torpedoes and an early warning system to Taiwan for $1.4 billion. At that time, a Chinese ambassador said the deal damaged trust between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands at a press conference following their meeting outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last November.

Artyorn Ivanov | TASS | Getty Images
President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping shake hands at a press conference following their meeting outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last November.

Relations between Trump and Xi are already under severe strain thanks to an ongoing trade war between the two countries.

On Tuesday, China released a paper that accused the U.S. of “trade bullyism practices.” The Trump administration levied tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods on Monday, while Beijing retaliated by targeting roughly $60 billion worth of U.S. imports.

China’s Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said at a news conference on Tuesday that on trade, the U.S. was putting a “knife to China’s neck.”

China’s People’s Only Chance For Truth In History Is To Eliminate The Communist Party

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE)

 

China criminalizes the slander of its ‘heroes and martyrs,’ as it seeks to control history

Simon Denyer Washington Post

China’s Communist Party has always understood the importance of policing its history.

On Friday, it tightened the screws another notch with a new law banning the slander of “heroes and martyrs” – figures drawn from wartime propaganda said to have given their lives in defense of the Communist Party or the nation.

Chinese schoolchildren are taught about the heroic deeds of figures who fought against the Japanese during the World War II, or who gave their lives for the Communist Party in its civil war with the Nationalists. Memorials to some of the most famous dot the country.

Now, it will be illegal to suggest those tales might not be wholly factual.

“Only the official narrative is allowed to exist,” said historian and critic Zhang Lifan. “But ‘What is the historical truth?’ – is not a question we ask now.”

The law is part of a much broader and long-standing attempt by the Communist Party to mold or rewrite history in its interests, that extends from obfuscating the causes and extent of the famine that killed tens of millions of people during the disastrous Great Leap Forward that began in 1958, or the chaos of the Cultural Revolution that followed, through to the determined attempt to erase from history the 1989 pro-democracy movement and subsequent deaths of many demonstrators.

The “Heroes and Martyrs Protection Act” was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament, and goes into effect on May 1. It threatens unspecified “administrative penalties” or even “criminal sanctions” against those who damage memorials or “insult or slander heroes and martyrs.”

Yue Zhongming, a member of the standing committee, told a news conference the law was not intended to restrict academic freedom, but that this should not be used to harm the honor of the nation’s heroes.

“We often say there is no banned area of academic research, while there is a bottom line of law,” he told a news conference.

Zhang, for his part, maintained the law was largely meant to emphasize and protect the legitimacy of the Communist Party, and to tie up the idea of “loving the country” with “loving the party.”

The law was first submitted for deliberation last December, with its final draft expanded to include a provision to punish people who “glorify acts of war or invasion.”

State media said that provision referred to a handful of Chinese who have taken to dressing up in Japanese World War II army uniforms, and photographing themselves at famous wartime sites or memorials. The so-called “spiritually Japanese” movement is thought to be a small group of people fascinated with that country’s war-era militarism: a group that Foreign Minister Wang Yi referred to as “scum” at a recent news conference.

But the law’s genesis lies in the protection of the Communist Party’s version of history, experts say.

“In recent years, a few people in China have slandered or derogated heroes and martyrs via the Internet, magazines and other media in the name of ‘academic freedom,’ ‘restoring history’ or ‘probing into details,’ which provoked anger from all walks of life,” state news agency Xinhua wrote.

In 2016, for example, historian Hong Zhenkuai was ordered by a court to issue a public apology after questioning the veracity of the much celebrated tale of the “five heroes of Langya Mountain” in which five Communist soldiers killed dozens of Japanese soldiers before leaping off the mountain shouting “long live the Community Party,” rather than surrender.

The pressure to sanitize history has intensified under President Xi Jinping, who has repeatedly warned about what he calls “historical nihilism,” a term that essentially means any attempt to question the Communist Party’s glorious account of its own past.

China also passed a law last year threatening 15 days in detention for any disrespect of its national anthem, the March of the Volunteers, a law that is now being extended to cover Hong Kong after fans there booed the anthem at international football matches.

One historian, who declined to be named for fear of inviting problems with the authorities, said there was growing pressure on his profession within China, with public security officials warning historians not to write anything critical about any aspect of history since the 1949 Communist takeover, under the threat of losing jobs, pensions or access to social services, for them and their family members.

Perry Link, Chancellorial Chair at the University of California at Riverside and Emeritus Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton, said the law’s main aim is to protect the Communist Party’s version of history.

“We should also note that protecting history has nothing to do with empathy for people in a bygone time and everything to do with maintaining the party’s power and control today,” he wrote in an email.

Link cited the writings of Liu Xiaobo, China’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning pro-democracy activist who died in captivity last year, noting the inspiration he drew from people such as Lin Zhao, Yu Luoke and Zhang Zhixin – all of whom were executed during China’s Cultural Revolution “for expressing truths the party did not want to hear,” Link wrote.

“The fact that the present law will have nothing to do with protecting the reputations of those (true) martyrs says all one needs to know about the purpose of the law,” Link wrote.

The Washington Post’s Shirley Feng contributed to this report.

Party of billionaire Andrej Babis wins Czech election

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Party of billionaire Andrej Babis wins Czech election

Tycoon Andrej Babis, poised to become the next prime minister, has been dubbed the "Czech Trump" by some media outlets because of his business empire and populist leanings.

(CNN)Billionaire tycoon Andrej Babis was set to become the Czech Republic’s next prime minister after his ANO party won with a significant margin in the country’s general election on Saturday.

His ANO movement received more 30% of the vote — almost three times more than the conservative party ODS, which came in second.
With 78 seats, Babis will need at least two other coalition partners in order to form a government and secure a majority in the lower chamber of Parliament. The only other possibility is to create a government with ODS, which has already ruled out this scenario.
Babis has been dubbed the “Czech Trump” by some media outlets because of his business empire and populist leanings. In campaigning, he opposed further European Union integration and adoption of the euro, and took a hard line on accepting refugees, according to Reuters.
The far-right SPD party, led by Tokyo-born Tomio Okamura, which ran a virulent anti-immigration campaign, will also have 22 seats — eight more than in the previous election. His party also promised a friendly approach to Russia, a policy shared with the Communist Party, which saw the worst result since the independence of the country with a mere 8%.
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For the first time, the Pirate party will be represented in the Czech Parliament with 22 MPs, including the leader of the party, IT specialist Ivan Bartos.
ANO, which has been governing in coalition with the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats, held a double-digit lead going into the vote, Reuters said.

Wife of Taiwan activist sees China ‘conspiracy’ behind husband’s arrest

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS)

Wife of Taiwan activist sees China ‘conspiracy’ behind husband’s arrest

The wife of a Taiwan activist accused Beijing of “political conspiracy” on Monday after she was barred from traveling to the mainland to support her husband who was detained there last month on suspicion of endangering national security.

The activist, Li Ming-che, is a community college worker known for supporting human rights in China. He went missing while traveling to China on March 19.

More than a week later, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Li had been detained on suspicion on endangering national security but gave no information on his whereabouts.

Li’s wife, Li Ching-yu, had been scheduled to fly to Beijing but told reporters at Taiwan’s international airport her permit to enter the mainland had been canceled.

“I am a weak woman who wants to visit. Is it really necessary for the Chinese government to use such great force to prevent this?” Li said.

“This action confirms to the outside world that there is political conspiracy behind the Chinese government’s arrest of Li Ming-che.”

Li’s detention has put another strain on ties between Taipei and Beijing, which have cooled since Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year because she refuses to concede that the island is part of China.

Tsai also leads the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which traditionally advocates independence for Taiwan, a red line for Beijing.

Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan into its fold, while proudly democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being run by Communist Party rulers in Beijing.

The DPP said on March 30 Li’s detention would “increase doubts for Taiwanese people traveling to China and affect normal exchanges between people of both sides”.

Taiwan activists have linked Li’s detention to a new law targeting foreign non-governmental organizations in China, which grants powers to police to question organization workers, monitor their finances and regulate their work.

Taiwan citizens use a special entry permit issued by China to travel there because China does not recognize Taiwan passports.

Over the weekend, Chinese state media reported that a letter written by Li Ming-che had been delivered to his family last Friday on humanitarian grounds.

However, according to Li Ching-yu, the letter was a copy that she could not verify was from her husband.

Li said she hoped China’s President Xi Jinping “can make sure justice is served”.

(Reporting by Damon Lin and Fabian Hamacher; Additional reporting by J.R. Wu in TAIPEI and Christian Shepherd in BEIJING; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Cuba’s Fidel Castro, former president, dies aged 90

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC NEWS AGENCY)

Cuba’s Fidel Castro, former president, dies aged 90

Fidel Castro. Photo: September 2010Image copyright AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former president and leader of the Communist revolution, has died aged 90, state TV has announced.

It provided no further details.

Fidel Castro ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost half a century before handing over the powers to his brother Raul in 2008.

His supporters praised him as a man who had given Cuba back to the people. But his opponents accused him of brutally suppressing opposition.

In April, Fidel Castro gave a rare speech on the final day of the country’s Communist Party congress.

He acknowledged his advanced age but said Cuban communist concepts were still valid and the Cuban people “will be victorious”.

China Seeks Concessions From Taiwan That They Just Can’t Give And Remain Free

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News Paper)

Consensus ‘key’ to resumption of cross-Strait talks

COMMUNICATION between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan will improve if the latter agrees to adhere to the 1992 Consensus, which endorses the one-China principle, a mainland official said yesterday.

Currently, relations between the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation have been suspended.

“The reason for suspension of talks between the ARATS and the SEF is well-known. Our attitudes toward the issue are clear and consistent,” said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, in response to the appointment of Tien Hung-mao as the new chairman of SEF.

SEF’s top position had been vacant since Lin Join-sane resigned in May. Tien is chairman of the board of the institute for the island’s policy research.

The mainland’s stance on ARATS-SEF talks has been reiterated by Zhang Zhijun, head of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the SCTAO.

“The key issue (with resuming the talks) is not about people, but has political foundations,” he said in an interview while attending a meeting in east China’s Shandong Province.

He called on the industrial and commercial circles of the island to help maintain the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties and its political foundations to build a community of common destiny across the Strait.

He said the mainland’s fundamental policies regarding Taiwan would not change, and it will continue to adhere to the 1992 Consensus, firmly oppose any form of “Taiwan independence” secessionist activities, protect Taiwanese business interests and promote cross-Strait exchanges.

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