Philippines advised to treat Chinese firms fairlyortedly interes

Two Chinese companies are reportedly interested in buying the Philippines’ largest shipyard, once an important US naval base in the Pacific region. Some Phi

lippine politicians have expressed concern over a possible Chinese takeover, saying it will be a very significant national security issue.

An unexpected dilemma is brewing in the Philippines. Since the start of the presidency of Rodrigo Dutert

e, a marked warming of bilateral ties has stoked Chinese firms’ enthusiasm for investing in the Southeast Asian country. In 2018,

China’s outbound investment in the Philippines rose by more than 8,000 percent from a year earlier.

With the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China hopes to shore up economic cooperation and let count

ries and regions along the routes share the dividends of China’s growth. Most countries don’t want to miss the o

pportunity, the Philippines being no exception. If the Philippine government bans Chinese companies from buying the s

hipyard from its current South Korean owner, it will hit Chinese people’s enthusiasm for investing in the country.

However, the explosive growth of investment has triggered concern over China’s increasing presence in the Pacific r

egion. The mass migration of Chinese to Southeast Asia has a long history, and anti-Chinese sentiment has been floating in

those countries. An increased Chinese presence will perhaps intensify anti-Chinese sentiment and complicate the issue.

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Meanwhile, Japan continued signing agreements with other

one with the UK in 2017 and another with India the following year. By exploiting the power of these regional countries, Japan aims to secure military provisions for its SDF in t

he Indo-Pacific region from the US, Canada, Australia and India and in the North Atlantic region from the US, the UK, France and Canada.

This has laid the foundation for Japan to broaden its SDF activities and ensure military provision with its par

tners. It is a small-scale bilateral military alliance system centered on Japan. This shows Japan’s long-term strategic plan.

Since the 21st century, Japan has clearly labeled China as its biggest real and potential rival. Especially since Shinzo Abe took office, he spared no efforts at contai

ning China. During Abe’s first term, the Japanese government raised the idea of the “arc of freedom and prosperity.” When

he became prime minister for a second time, the policies advocated by his cabinet, including the values-based alliance, the alliance of

maritime democracies, the democratic security diamond and the freedom corridor, have all kept China in focus.

Because of the ACSAs with Australia and India, Japan can militarily constrain China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. In the A

tlantic, it can also exert forceful intervention in China’s policy in Europe, North Africa and West Africa.

In some areas where China’s military strength has not reached, Japan has crafted its military pla

n in advance by utilizing its bilateral alliance system, trap-falling China’s military strategy into a passive position.

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With the proscription of Azhar becoming a contentious

t impedes China-India relations, some Chinese scholars advise that China take India’s concern more into account. But Liu Zongyi, a senior fellow of the Shanghai I

nstitutes for International Studies, told the Global Times that India should, first of all, mind its approach. Should New Delhi resort to quiet dipl

omacy instead of extensively directing aggressive rhetoric to pressure Beijing, the Azhar issue could have been better addressed.

Terrorism in India poses a significant threat to Indians. Without solid evidence, India has long accu

sed Pakistan of sponsoring terrorist attacks by Jaish-e-Mohammed and other militant groups and China

of providing uncritical support for Pakistan. Instead of simply blaming other countries, especially Pakistan and China, shouldn’t the Indian government ma

ke more self-introspection on its anti-terrorism policy and dwell more on how to better administer the India-controlled part of Kashmir?

China and Pakistan are not enemies of India in countering terrorism. Despite the India-Pakistan dispute, New Delhi has comm

on interests in fighting terrorism with Islamabad and Beijing. It’s suggested India abandon suspicions and the three countries enhance consult

ations on regional security and strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation. Last August for the first time the militaries of India and Pakistan took part in

a mega anti-terror drill of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Russia aimed at expanding cooperation among member countries to de

al with the growing menace of terrorism and extremism. Such momentum shouldn’t be disrupted.

With the approaching general election in India, nationalism could be easi

ly fanned and used by politicians to woo support. Blaming China and Pakistan for the terr

orist attack will arouse Indians’ anxieties over neighboring countries. A tough stance by the BJP government may help the

ruling party win more support. But this will risk anti-terrorism cooperation being sabotaged for the political interests of parties in India.

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ending by banks surges in Januaryasures fend off nega

hina’s credit growth surged unexpectedly to a record pace in January, strengthening production in the real econo

my and easing overall downward pressure, People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, said on Friday.

Bank lending in domestic currency increased by 3.23 trillion yuan ($476.8 billion) last month, the fastest single-month growth

since the figure was first tracked in 1992. It increased by 2.9 trillion yuan in January 2018, the bank said.

Total social financing, a broader measure comprising all money the real economy receives from the fi

nancial sector, including off-balance-sheet financing activities, rose by 4.64 trillion yuan in Ja

nuary, which was also the fastest monthly growth ever, according to the central bank.

The month’s rapid credit growth was a result of a series of precauti

onary measures to ease the negative effects of slowing domestic demand and external h

eadwinds, according to Sun Guofeng, head of the bank’s monetary policy department, at a news conference.

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Unexpected twist in Gui case embarrasses Swedish FM

There has been a new unexpected twist in the case of Gui Minhai, and this time, the Swedish Ambassador to China Anna Lindstedt is involved.

Gui Minhai was born in China and later became a naturalized Swedish citizen. He was a Hong Kong-based bookseller be

fore being sued in the Chinese mainland in 2015. That lawsuit strained relations between China and Sweden.

His daughter, Angela Gui, has recently detailed a bizarre account of her visit to Stockholm, which has

embarrassed the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Angela Gui, who grew up in Sweden, now live

s in Britain where she is studying for a PhD in history at university. She gave her account in a media interview last we

ek and made an announcement Wednesday on her blog. Gui said that Ambassador Lindstedt contacted her in mid-January, inviting her to go to Sto

ckholm to meet two Chinese businessmen, who Lindstedt trusted, to discuss a new approach to her father’s case.

Angela Gui said she went to Stockholm in late January where she met two Chinese businessmen in the presence of Lindstedt. In

her statement, she said that the two businessmen asked her to stop all media engagements and public comment in exch

ange for her father’s release or commutation. According to Gui, Lindstedt supported the plan and said t

hat if not, the relationship between Sweden and China would otherwise be further undermined.

Angela Gui said that after the meeting, she called the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for confirm

ation. “They told me they hadn’t had the slightest idea this whole affair was taking place. They hadn’t even been informed the amb

assador was in the country,” she wrote. In her account of what happened, she not only gave details of the meeting,

but also described how she was feeling threatened and how the whole arrangement seemed suspicious.

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he story has caused an uproar in Sweden. Gui made it clear that

she would not keep quiet in exchange for various conditions and the Western media is backing her stand. The Swedish Mi

nistry of Foreign Affairs said it already launched an internal investigation into Lindstedt, who had been appointed for an

other position in the Swedish government in March. Lindstedt has now been recalled to her country.

Is Angela Gui telling the truth? The Chinese Embassy in Sweden has responded that China has never and will never authorize

anyone to be in contact with her. China handled Gui’s case in accordance with the law and legal p

rocedures. People need to be aware of Angela’s unique position as Gui Minhai’s daughter; and, considering her lack of ex

perience in distinguishing complex issues, it is necessary for people to be cautious about her story.

However, the role of Ambassador Lindstedt is also part of this. If she did arrange a meeting between Angela Gui a

nd the Chinese businessmen not authorized by Beijing, then we can make the following analysis.

First, there are domestic groups in Sweden that hope the relationship between Sweden and China will not be a

ffected by Gui’s incident in the long term. They are willing to facilitate public discussions between Stockholm and B

eijing on this matter. Ambassador Lindstedt herself is a representative of such groups.

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We bring the best wishes of President Trump. He’s aske

ed us to state that he also places great importance on his personal relationship with you,” Lighthizer said.

“We have had two very good days of negotiations. We feel that we have made headway on some very

, very important and very difficult issues,” he said. “We have additional work we have to do but we are hopeful.”

Xi asked Lighthizer and Mnuchin to extend his sincere greetings to President Trump, saying that he cherishes their good wor

king relationship and would like to keep in contact with him.
Cooperation based on fully respecting mutual interests is the best way for the two c

ountries to renew their trade and economic relations with a deal that is in line with the interests of both countries. If that has been the shared und

erstanding during this week’s talks, and it is carried forward in the negotiations in Washington next week, hopef

ully the two sides will be able to narrow the differences between them sufficiently so that the two leaders can pe

ncil in a date for a meeting at which they can shake hands on a deal that sets the right course for future relations.

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Lai Xiaomin charged with bribery, corruption and bigamy

ai Xiaomin, former China Huarong Asset Management board chairman, has been charged with bribery, corruption and bigamy, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said on Friday.

China Huarong is one of the country’s four largest State-own asset management companies.

It is alleged that Lai exploited various professional positions, including head of the Huarong

corporation and director-general of the banking supervision department of the People’s Bank of China.

While in these positions, it is claimed that he asked for and received significant benefits in exc

hange for “aid”, according to a press release from the SPP, the country’s top prosecuting authority.

It also alleged that Lai was in illegal possession of a large number of public properties, a

nd that he was living as husband and wife with a woman other than his wife, the release said.

Lai, 56, was placed under investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) o

f the Communist Party of China in April last year for “serious violations of disciplinary rules

and laws”, and was expelled from the Party and removed from public office six months later.

The CCDI said he violated political disciplines and State financial policies to blindly expand the c

ompany and operate it in a disorderly manner, resulting in it deviating from its primary tasks and business.

Lai, a Jiangxi province native, started his career at the People’s Bank of China in July 1983, and went on

to hold key positions at the China Banking Regulatory Commission and Beijing Banking Regulatory Bureau.

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Tianhe, another name for the galaxy in ancient China, imp

lies that the Chang’e 4 probe served as a pioneer in the history of human lunar exploration.

According to the IAU naming rules, the landing site name has the prefix of Statio in Latin. And so far onl

y two places have such a prefix, the first being the landing site of Apollo 11, Statio Tranquillitatis.

Zhinyu, Hegu and Tianjin are the names of stars in China’s ancient star chart, as the three pits in the lunar crater formed a shape similar to these three celestial bodies.

Mount Tai is one of the five most famous mountains in China in East China’s Shandong province and stands 1,545 me

ters tall above sea level. The central peak, Mons Tai, in the lunar crater measures 1,565 meters in height from its base.

In August 2010 and October 2015, China had applied to name the landing sites of Chang’e 1 and Ch

ang’e 3, and gained approval, and in January this year, China applied to the IAU for the five new names.

So far, a total of 12 lunar features have been named by China.

Naming entities on lunar surfaces started in the 17th century in Europe, and in the 20th century, the U

nited States and the former Soviet Union had the most names due to their lunar explorations.

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Forward-looking measures have already been taken

 by the Chinese monetary authority, earlier than other major central banks, based on the evaluation on macroeconomic conditions and the exter

nal environment. Policy fine-tuning will send positive signals to the market and support financial resilience, Zhang said.

This year, the remarkable change in tone from the world’s major central banks is shifting into a monet

ary easing cycle, and policies from the Chinese central bank are headed in the same direction, Zhang added.

A recent research note from Goldman Sachs forecast China’s credit growth to rise in January as commercial banks may be “si

gnificantly more aggressive than before” with encouragement from the easing policy. With the PBOC scheduled to

release more data this week, the trend may be reflected in faster growth of new yuan loans and the broad money supply.

Amid a good fall of snow, which Chinese traditionally believe promises a year of harvest and

prosperity, Chinese and United States top officials started two days of talks in Beijing on Thursday.

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