China Will Be The Straw That Will Stir The World’s Economic Drink?

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Forum hears pledge of more effort to revitalize China’s real economy

CHINA will remain committed to ensuring innovation drives development and will increase efforts to revitalize the real economy, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said yesterday.

“The real economy is the foundation of economic growth and we will optimize it,” Zhang said at the opening ceremony of the China Development Forum 2017 in Beijing.

China will improve its capabilities in scientific innovation and boost the development of strategic emerging sectors and modern manufacturing while transforming traditional industries with new technology and business models, he said.

The government will continue to promote entrepreneurship and the “Internet Plus” plan to meet the diverse needs of the market and Chinese companies will be encouraged to use craftsmanship to establish competitive brands that can stand the test of time.

China will further reduce costs for enterprises by streamlining administration and pushing forward tax reforms, and prevention and control of financial risks will be elevated to a higher position on the government’s agenda, Zhang said, adding that China will manage risks in bad loans, bond default, property bubbles and Internet finance to avoid systemic financial risks.

To stimulate growth and improve market vitality, China should increase supply-side structural reform, Zhang said.

Highlighting the basic tone of “seeking progress while maintaining stability,” he underscored the need for efforts to maintain growth, ensure employment and counteract risks from home and abroad.

China will forge ahead with its supply-side reform, cutting steel production capacity by around 50 million tons and coal capacity by over 150 million tons this year, he said.

The country will prioritize de-stocking unsold houses in third and fourth-tier cities as it fights speculation in the housing market, he added.

Zhang restated China’s commitment to better air, water and soil quality.

The government will speed up the reform of state-owned enterprises, make concrete mixed-ownership reforms in sectors such as power, petroleum, railways, civil aviation and telecommunications and open the market to more private investment, Zhang said.

On the close ties between China and the world economy, he stressed the need to advance globalization and fight protectionism.

“China is willing to join efforts with the international community to steer the world economy toward strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth,” he said.

The country will continue to implement its opening-up strategy and advance the Belt and Road Initiative, he added.

China will host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May. Taking part in this “new chapter in win-win cooperation” will be more than 20 heads of state and government, more than 50 leaders of international organizations, more than 100 ministerial-level officials, and more than 1,200 delegates.

Beijing suspends last of its coal-fired power plants: China Goes To The Future: Trump, U.S. In Reverse

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Beijing suspends last of its coal-fired power plants

BEIJING’S last large coal-fired power plant has suspended operations, meaning the capital has become the first city in China to have all its power plants fueled by clean energy.

The Huangneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant came into operation in June 1999. It has five coal-fired units with a total installed capacity of 845,000 kilowatts and heating capacity of 26 million square meters.

Du Chengzhang, the plant’s general manager, said it is an efficient and environmental friendly plant with advanced emission treatment equipment. The plant has provided important support to the stable operation of Beijing’s electric power system and the heat-supply system, he said.

After the suspension of the plant on Saturday, about 1.76 million tons of coal, 91 tons of sulfur dioxide and 285 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions a year will be cut.

According to a clean air plan by Beijing from 2013 to 2017, the city was to build four gas thermal power centers and shut down the four large coal-fueled thermal power plants.

The other three plants which used to consume over 6.8 million tons of coal each year were closed in 2014 and 2015.

Du said Huangneng will prepare to serve as an emergency heat source for the capital’s heating system after operations cease.

Three of the four gas thermal power have already been built and are in use.

Beijing has 27 power plants, all fueled by clean energy with a total installed capacity of 11.3 million kilowatts.

Under the plan, Beijing will build no more large-scale power plants.

For China And The U.S. ‘Cooperation Is The Only Way Forward’

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Cooperation the only way forward

COOPERATION is the only correct choice for China and the United States, President Xi Jinping told visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Beijing yesterday.

There are important development opportunities resulting from China-US relations, said Xi during the meeting in the Great Hall of People in Beijing.

Xi said he had maintained sound communications with his US counterpart Donald Trump through phone calls and messages, and they had agreed that the two countries could be good cooperative partners.

Xi said that to advance China-US ties in a healthy and steady manner, both sides could enhance exchanges at various levels; expand cooperation in bilateral, regional and global fields; and properly address and manage sensitive issues.

Xi suggested the two countries increase strategic trust and mutual understanding, review bilateral ties from long-term and strategic perspectives and expand fields of cooperation for their mutual benefit.

The two countries should also enhance coordination on regional hotspot issues, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns and encourage friendly exchanges between their two Peoples.

Tillerson told Xi, who extended an invitation for President Trump to visit China, that the US president valued communications with his Chinese counterpart and looked forward to meeting Xi and visiting China.

The US side is ready to develop relations with China based on the principle of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, said Tillerson.

China and the US are discussing arrangements for a meeting between the two presidents and exchanges at other levels, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during his talks with Tillerson on Saturday.

“We attach great importance to your visit,” Wang told the US visitor at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

It was Tillerson’s first visit to China since he assumed office last month and he is also the first Cabinet-level official in the new US administration to visit.

China-US ties are developing steadily in a positive direction, Wang said.

He called for more cooperation in foreign affairs, the economy and trade, the military, law enforcement, people-to-people exchanges and local communication.

The essence of China-US trade relations is mutual benefit, said Wang, and he encouraged both countries to expand trade and investment cooperation.

Wang also restated China’s position on Taiwan and South China Sea issues, emphasizing that China and the US should respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, discreetly deal with sensitive issues to protect bilateral ties from unnecessary influences.

Tillerson said the US adheres to the “One China” policy and added that closer cooperation and coordination between the two countries was necessary in the face of a changing international situation. The US would like to have more high-level exchanges with China, and more dialogue in diplomatic security, macroeconomic policy coordination, law enforcement, cyberspace and people-to-people exchanges, he said.

Tillerson’s visit aims to make “political preparations” for the meeting between two presidents, and both sides would make the best use of this chance to seek common ground, said Jia Xiudong, a researcher with the China Institute of International Studies.

Tillerson arrived in Beijing on Saturday from Seoul. His first official Asian tour began on Wednesday and also took him to Japan.

Nike Blasted For Fraud In Advertising Forced To Pay Triple Compensation By China Law

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Nike offers to pay triple compensation after CCTV report blasted it of fraud

SPORTSWEAR manufacturing giant Nike has agreed to pay triple compensation for its Hyperdunk 2008 FTB basketball shoes after it came under fire in a CCTV report on Wednesday.

Nike China issued a statement today, saying it will pay 4,500 yuan (US$1,861) to consumers who want a refund. The shoes cost 1,499 yuan.

The statement said Nike would start refunding from April 4 for 90 days. Consumers can call 800-820-8865 or 400-880-6453 for further inquiry.

Nike China claimed it had mistakenly used the promotion materials of Zoom air cushion and apologized for that.

Nike Hyperdunk 08 FTB was found to be of lower quality, CCTV reported, and accused Nike of false promotion. The shoes, sold as a limited edition, did not incorporate the patented Zoom air cushion, as the sportswear manufacturing giant claimed on its Chinese website, China Central Television’s annual “3.15” quality investigation program said.

The shoes were advertised as copies of those worn by basketball legend Kobe Bryant at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

Nike had earlier offered a full refund to customers, but refused their demand for triple compensation, CCTV reported.

According to China’s consumer rights law, businesses should honestly describe the quality, property and use of product, failing which, they have to pay triple compensation.

A total of 300 Hyperdunk shoes were up for sale in China, according to Shanghai Yangpu Market Supervision and Management Administrative Bureau. All of them were sold out.

At Least Ten Dead In East China Hotel Fire

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AT least 10 people were killed in a hotel fire Saturday morning in Nanchang, capital of east China’s Jiangxi Province, firefighters said.

The fire, which broke out around 8 a.m. in the HNA Platinum Mix Hotel in Honggutan New District, was put out around 9:40 a.m. More than 10 construction workers were working on the second floor at the time.

Firefighters found seven bodies in debris, and three of the 16 hospitalized died despite medical efforts.

The four-story hotel is connected to a 24-story apartment building where over 260 residents were evacuated.

Seven people in connection with the case have been taken into police custody.

Initial investigations found the fire was caused by cutting of decoration materials, and further investigation is underway.

China Says Trade War With The U.S. Is Not An Option

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A potential trade war should not be used as an “option” to spoil Chinese-American relations as the two countries are able to resolve bilateral trade disputes through dialogue, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said yesterday.

China and the United States, the world’s largest traders, should work together to promote trade and investment, said Gao, speaking at a briefing in Beijing.

A good relationship between the two countries not only benefits both sides but helps global economic growth and recovery amid a still weak momentum, Gao said.

US President Donald Trump pledged during his election campaign to raise import duties on Chinese goods to 40 percent but he has yet to take formal action. He also said he would declare China an “exchange rate manipulator.”

However, in a phone conversation earlier this month to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump said that the United States was ready to work with China to take bilateral ties to new historic heights.

Gao said yesterday China would not comment too much on what the US president said during his election campaign, but would focus on the new American government’s attitude toward trade with China.

“As a consensus reached between leaders of the two countries, cooperation was the only right choice for China and the US,” Gao said.

Whatever changes in the US policy toward China, the trade relations between the two nations will eventually return to “the track of mutual benefits and win-win,” he said.

China is now America’s largest trading partner and its third largest export destination after Canada and Mexico, according to a report from the US-China Business Council.

China’s direct investment in America hit a record high of US$45 billion in 2016, a threefold increase on 2015.

Robust bilateral trade and investment have supported some 2.6 million jobs in the US, according to the report.

“A trade war should not become an option,” Gao said. “If the two sides fight, both will be hurt.”

The US last year replaced China as the world’s largest trader as China’s foreign trade declined.

Gao yesterday said China would not seek a “blind expansion in exports‚“ as it could undermine the country’s resources and environment.

China would instead gain new grounds through improved standards, techniques, brands and services.

Addressing China’s tightening inspection on outbound investment since late last year, Gao said measures were being taken to control irrational and blind outbound investment, where companies made huge investment into high risk areas and fields unrelated to their core businesses.

The commerce minister said the government would guide companies to make more prudent and rational outbound investment while improving rules to facilitate outbound investment and protect the rights of investors.

Malaysian Authorities Still Baffled Concerning The Murder Of Half Brother Of North Korea’s Leader

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DETERMINING whether poison killed the half-brother of North Korea’s leader in a busy airport is proving difficult for Malaysian officials, who said yesterday that autopsy results are so far inconclusive.

More than a week has passed since Kim Jong Nam was approached by two women at a budget air terminal in Kuala Lumpur and apparently attacked in the face with an unknown substance. Kim did not suffer a heart attack and had no puncture wounds, such as those a needle would have left, Director General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah told reporters. He did not dismiss poison as a potential cause.

“We have to confirm with the lab report before we can make any conclusive remark,” he said.

He added that medical specimens had been sent to experts for analysis.

However, Rahmat Awang, director of Malaysia’s National Poison Center in Penang, said he had not yet received any samples despite expecting them to arrive two days ago. He said with such a high-profile case, specimens were likely being sent to his lab and to facilities abroad to seek the cause of death or confirm findings already reached in Kuala Lumpur.

Identifying a specific poison could be challenging, especially if a minute amount was used and it did not penetrate fat cells in the victim’s tissue. If the toxin only entered the bloodstream, it could leave the body very quickly. And even if a substance was found, it would need to match the symptoms Kim Jong Nam experienced before death.

The more unique the poison, the harder it was to find.

“Our lab, for example, traces the usual chemicals,” Awang said. “If the substance involved is not something we often see, the likelihood is that we might not be able to detect it.”

Highly sophisticated facilities, such as in Japan or at the FBI’s crime lab in the United States, are among those that have greater capabilities for discovering unusual toxic substances.

The case has perplexed leading forensic toxicologists who study murder by poison. They say the airport attack is a bizarre case, and question how the two women could walk away unscathed after deploying an agent potent enough to kill Kim Jong Nam before he could even make it to the hospital.

Some type of nerve gas or ricin, a deadly substance found in castor beans, have been suggested as possible toxins used. A strong opioid compound could also have been liquidized, though that would likely have incapacitated the victim immediately. Surveillance footage instead shows Kim walking calmly downstairs to the airport’s clinic.

Kim, the older half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, had spent most of the past 15 years living in China and Southeast Asia. The victim is believed to have had at least three children with two women. No family members have come forward to claim the body.

The attack spiraled into diplomatic fury when Malaysia refused to hand over Kim Jong Nam’s corpse to North Korean diplomats after his death, and proceeded with an autopsy over the ambassador’s objections.

The two nations have made a series of increasingly angry statements since then, with Malaysia insisting it is simply following its legal protocols, and North Korea accusing Malaysia of working in collusion with its enemy South Korea.

Seoul’s spy agency believes North Korea was behind the killing, but has produced no evidence.

Kim Jong Nam was not known to be seeking political power.

China’s President Xi Jinping Tells Government Leaders They Must End Their ‘Special Privileges’

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Privileges must end, Xi urges leading officials

PRESIDENT Xi Jinping told leading officials yesterday that they should practice strict self-discipline and eliminate special privileges.

Xi made the remarks at the opening session of a workshop on the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee. The workshop was attended by senior provincial and ministerial officials.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said implementing the decisions of the plenum would have far-reaching and profound significance for both the Party and socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Xi urged leading cadres to “build a fence” against special privileges to prevent themselves and those around them from abusing power.

Leading officials should use their power “impartially, cautiously and legally,” Xi said.

The workshop was being held to help senior provincial and ministerial officials understand two documents — one on the norms of political life within the Party in the new era, and a regulation on intra-Party supervision — which were approved by last year’s plenum.

“Leading officials should strengthen their political capability, firm their political ideals, uphold political direction, be steadfast in their stance and strictly observe political rules,” Xi said, stressing that they should enrich their political experience and match their political capability with the positions they were holding.

Xi said upholding the authority of the Central Committee with strict observance of orders and rules was related to the future and fate of the Party and the nation as well as the fundamental interests of all people across the nation.

Xi called on all Party members to become more aware of the need to uphold political integrity, keep in mind the bigger picture, follow the Party as the core of the Chinese leadership, and act consistently with Central Committee policy.

Safeguarding the authority of the Central Committee and the centralized and unified leadership chimed with democratic centralism, Xi said.

The Party sets great store by intra-Party democracy, as all major decisions follow strict processes, and are informed by wide opinions and suggestions, Xi said.

Strengthening and regulating political life within the Party requires the correct political direction, and advancing with the times, said Xi, who also stressed principles of political life and its spirit of holding firmly to the truth and rectifying errors.

Self-development is the most distinctive characteristic of the Party, and its biggest advantage, because the Party has no interests except for those of the country, the nation and the people, Xi said.

Leading officials, especially those in senior roles, must strengthen their self-discipline, he said.

They should ensure their words and deeds are in line with the Party constitution, and embody the Party spirit in all they do.

Xi called for thorough study of the two documents, which were designed to address contradictions and problems within the Party.

Xi also said Party organizations must improve inspections and ensure accountability. He also stressed that high-raking cadres should take the lead in complying with the Party’s code of conduct.

China’s Government Says That The U.S. Is Responsible For North Korea’s Missile Issues

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

CHINA says the root cause of North Korea’s missile launches is Pyongyang’s friction with the United States and South Korea.

North Korea fired a banned ballistic missile on Sunday, its first test since US President Donald Trump took office. The missile, launched as Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida, is believed to have flown about 500 kilometers before splashing down in international waters.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the launch violated UN Security Council resolutions that call for an end to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.

Trump has complained that Beijing is not doing enough to put pressure on Pyongyang. Beijing counters that its influence is overstated and suggests Washington’s refusal to talk directly to North Korea is impeding progress toward a solution.

“The root cause of the nuclear missile issue is its differences with the US and South Korea,” Geng told reporters.

Geng said China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has been “completely and comprehensively” implementing Security Council resolutions on the nuclear issue.

He said Beijing “has been striving for a settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue by proactively engaging in mediation and promoting peace talks.”

Although generally dismissive of sanctions, Beijing has signed on to successive rounds under the UN Security Council, and last month banned more items from being exported to North Korea, including plutonium and dual-use technologies that could aid its nuclear program.

Geng urged all sides to refrain from provocative actions and said China would continue to participate in Security Council discussions in a constructive and responsible way.

Beijing appears concerned that the US and South Korea will speed up the planned deployment of an advanced missile defense system in South Korea that the two allies said was designed to counter a missile attack from North Korea. Beijing objects to the system because it would possibly be able to observe Chinese military movements.

Shi Yuanhua, a Korean studies professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, said that from Pyongyang’s perspective it was a good time to launch a missile because the new US administration hadn’t decided what approach to take with North Korea, and Beijing was at odds with Washington and Seoul over the anti-missile system.

“Whether or not to abandon nuclear weapons concerns North Korea’s core national interests and there is no way for China to get it to change its stance with a few words of persuasion, and it can’t solve the problem by applying a ban on exports,” Shi said.

“The key for solving the problem lies in the hands of the US. If the US is willing to sit and talk with North Korea, China will be happy to promote it,” he added.

Xi-Trump phone talk a good first step in fostering China-US dialogue

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Xi-Trump phone talk a good first step in fostering China-US dialogue

THE phone talk held by Chinese President Xi Jinping with his US counterpart Donald Trump is a good first step in fostering the China-US dialogue and provides a platform for further cooperation, US experts said Friday.

“The phone call was a good first step…for fostering dialogue between Presidents Trump and Xi,” Dan Mahaffee, an analyst at the Center for the Study of Congress and the Presidency, told Xinhua in an interview.

Trump and Xi held a lengthy and “extremely cordial” phone conversation Thursday night on numerous topics, during which they agreed that the two sides will engage in discussions on various issues of mutual interest.

“The fact that it was cordial, and the discussion’ s tenor reflects that both leaders understand that while differences remain, they need to be addressed through dialogue and diplomacy,” Mahaffee said.

Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International peace, told Xinhua that the call “was very important to provide a foundation of stability in the US-China relations as well as a platform for further wide-ranging cooperation and the management of emerging tensions.”

The call was the first between the leaders of the top two economies in the world since Trump’s inauguration in late January. Before Thursday, Trump had already talked on the phone with about 20 foreign leaders except Xi, fueling concerns that the absence of contact between the two leaders could lead to renewed tensions in the China-US ties.

The Xi-Trump phone conversation was important to break the ice in the China-US ties, Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, told Xinhua in an interview.

“The call helped to open the door on high-level consultation, which is good for both countries,” West said.

“It is important that China and the US remain in close contact. They are the two leading nations in the world and it is crucial that there are open communications so there are no misunderstandings or (something) that could spiral out of control,” he added.

The experts agreed that Trump’s affirmation of the one-China policy, the bedrock of the China-US ties, paved the way for the phone call, which probably came after Trump and advisers concluded that the costs of not doing so could bring greater costs than benefits.

Trump had previously aggravated China by taking a call from Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen after winning the US presidency last November and telling the US media in December that the one-China policy was open for negotiation.

“The fact that Trump now embraces the one-China policy will allow the relationship to unfold more naturally,” West said, citing that resolving the issue was a prerequisite for addressing every other issue.

If Trump continues to question the one China policy, there would be no basis for President Xi to interact with him, said Paal, a former director of the American Institute in Taiwan.

Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Xinhua that Trump probably was convinced by his top aides that it was necessary to make the one-China statement “in order to move forward with the US-China relationship in other areas.”

“The costs of not adhering to the one China policy were very high,” Glaser said, though adding that this should not be seen as Trump making a concession.

Media reports revealed that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said in written answers to questions after his Senate nomination hearing that the US should adhere to the one-China policy.

As China and the US start negotiations to address their frictions and advance cooperation on various issues of mutual interest, there is a broad range of issues that demand early attention, the experts said.

They include the nuclear program of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, US trade deficit with China, mutual investments and boosting American exports, Paal said.

Mahaffee said at the top of the agenda of the China-US talks should be the issues of maritime disputes in the South and East China Seas, cyber security, as well as trade, investment and currency.

“I think there can be discussions aimed at avoiding miscalculation between the nations in the sea, air, space and cyber domains, and I also think that agreements on trade and investment could be reached that would make it easier for companies from either country to invest in the other,” he said.