China, Egypt elevate bilateral ties to comprehensive strategic partnership

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left of front row) holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (right of front row) before their talks in Beijing

on December 23, 2014.   Photo by Liu Weibing

 

 

China, Egypt elevate bilateral ties

to comprehensive strategic partnership

 

By Liu Hua and Yang Yijun

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with visiting Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Sisi in Beijing on Tuesday of December 23, deciding to elevate the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

“This is an important milestone,” Xi said during the talks.

The establishment of the partnership will strongly boost cooperation between the two countries in several areas.

In a joint statement signed by Xi and Sisi on establishing the partnership, the two presidents pledged to boost political, economic, military, cultural and technological cooperation along with cooperation on regional and international affairs.

China pays great attention to the situation in Egypt and firmly supports the Egyptians’ pursuit for a development path suitable for their own national conditions, Xi told the Egyptian leader.

Xi said he believes the Egyptian government and people are wise and able enough to handle all problems and achieve stability and development in the country.

Hailing the traditional friendship between the two countries, Sisi expressed his gratitude for China’s support and assistance, especially for understanding the Egyptian people’s request for change in recent years.

The two leaders also pledged to cooperate on the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road Initiatives.

China stands ready to combine the initiatives with Egypt’s plan for development and boost cooperation in infrastructure, nuclear power, new energy, aviation, finance and other sectors, said the Chinese president.

Sisi said the Belt and Road Initiatives proposed by Xi have provided an important opportunity for Egypt’s renewal and that the Egyptian side will participate in the initiatives in an active way.

Sisi looked forward to China’s participation in Suez Canal Corridor projects, pledging that Egypt will create favorable conditions to attract Chinese companies’ investment.

In August, President Sisi gave the go-ahead signal for digging a 72-km expansion of the original Suez Canal as a national project to boost the country’s ailing economy, ordering “the New Suez Canal” to be open for maritime navigation in early August 2015.

Sisi also hoped more Chinese tourists will visit Egypt as more Egyptian students study in China.

During the talks, Sisi briefed Xi on his view on the situation in North Africa and West Asia.

Xi said as the situation there is complicated, it is of vital importance to find a solution that reflects regional realities and cover the interests of all sides concerned in a political way and through inclusive dialogue.

In the joint statement signed on Tuesday, the two countries reiterated they will support each other on issues regarding core interests and care for each other’s special concerns.

Egypt emphasized its stance of sticking to the one-China policy and China stressed its position of respecting the Egyptian people’s rights to choose their political system and development policy on their own as well as opposing external forces’ attempt to interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs in any name.

China attaches great importance to Egypt’s concern over water security, according to the statement.

In the statement, the two sides upheld that disputes between countries should be addressed through dialogue and negotiations, opposing interference into other countries’ internal affairs with military forces in any name and politicizing issues on human rights.

The two sides pledged to safeguard the United Nations’ key role in addressing international affairs and support reform of the United Nations and the UN Security Council.

The representation of developing countries, especially of African countries, should be strengthened first to rectify injustice that Africa has suffered in history, said the joint statement.

China supports Egypt’s crucial role in resolving the Palestine issue and other major issues in the region as well as the Egyptian initiative on rendering the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. Egypt appreciates China’s objective and impartial position and constructive role in the Palestine issue and other major issues in the region, according to the statement.

They pledged to increase coordination and cooperation to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region, according to the statement.

Sisi arrived in Beijing Monday afternoon for a four-day state visit to China at Xi’s invitation.

 

 

 

CAIRO

Egypt, China see huge

chances from enhancement of ties

 

By Mahmoud Fouly

 

As Egypt and China have decided to elevate their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Egyptian economists see the move is likely to amplify investment opportunities and mutual trade between the two countries.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is currently on a four-day official visit to Beijing, signed on Tuesday a joint statement with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to boost political, economic, military, cultural and technological cooperation along with that on regional and international affairs.

“Egypt provides great investment opportunities to China and it can be a portal for Chinese products into African markets due to the Egyptian strategic geographic location,” Amr Saleh, professor of political economy at Cairo-based Ain Shams University and former World Bank project officer, told Xinhua.

The professor said that relations between Egypt and China should not be restricted to mutual trade “but it is very important to be elevated to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries,” stressing that both Egyptian and Chinese leaders have the political will for the move.

The Egyptian government led by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has recently established a special cabinet unit to study fields of cooperation with China, which shows the interest of the Egyptian leadership to boost partnership with the giant Asian country.

“Egypt needs a strategic partner not just a business partner, while China has a desire to create strategic economic alternatives in light of the slowing worldwide economy,” the professor added.

Saleh expects future military cooperation between Egypt and China as a key field of economic partnership between the two strategic partners.

“Cooperation in arms industries, which is worth billions of dollars, represents a good chance for both Egypt and China as it appears to be military while it is economic in the first place,” the professor told Xinhua, noting the industry is one of the main sources of national income for big countries.

Egypt’s economy has been ailing over the past four years due to political turmoil that resulted from the ouster of two heads of state. Sisi’s administration is currently struggling to put economy back on track.

Last August, Sisi gave the go-ahead signal for digging a 72-km expansion of the original Suez Canal as a national project to boost the country’s economy, ordering “the New Suez Canal” to be open for ship navigation in August 2015.

The Egyptian president said that the Chinese companies have great opportunities to invest in the Suez Canal Corridor projects, reassuring to facilitate procedures and provide an ideal atmosphere for foreign investors in Egypt.

“Chinese companies have vast opportunities to work in logistic projects related to the Suez Canal Corridor after the new waterway is completed, such as platform building, container making, ship maintenance and repair, fuel provision, etc,” said Hamdy Abdel-Azim, economics professor at Cairo-based Sadat Academy and member of Economy and Legislation Association.

He echoed Saleh’s view that there could also be future military cooperation between Egypt and China in weapon spare parts and development.

A few days before leaving Cairo, Sisi told Chinese official media including Xinhua that Egypt supports Xi’s initiative on building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Sisi said Egypt can be a key player in implementing this initiative due to its strategic location as portal for Africa and the Arab world.

“The Silk Road used to be a well-known historical trade route and if revived it will increase the trade volume passing through it,” the economic expert said, adding that Egypt needs to develop its basic infrastructure and services to attract foreign investors in general and Chinese ones in particular.

Abdel-Azim told Xinhua that the intended Silk Road symbolizes a key of future common trade between Egypt and China and a communication bridge between Asian and African countries.

Sisi has recently said that Egypt is establishing a huge road network of 3,400 km within one year as part of its efforts to facilitate investment environment to reassure foreign investors.

Trade volume between Egypt and China exceeded 10 billion U.S. dollars for the first time in 2013, more than 80 percent of which is represented in Chinese exports.

“Egypt needs to develop technologies and improve its products to be qualified for export and make up for the gap between its imports and exports,” the economist said.

He also expected the Chinese investments in Egypt, with maximum 10 percent foreign labors according to the regulations, to help reduce unemployment in the North African country.

Political turmoil over the past few years caused a sharp decline in the tourism industry in Egypt, which brought the country over 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2010 alone.

On Tuesday in Beijing, after signing a joint statement with Xi, Sisi hoped that more Chinese tourists will visit Egypt as more Egyptian students study in China.

 

 

 

 

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Xi satisfied with breakthrough of China-Thailand railway cooperation

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) meets with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha

in Beijing on December 23, 2014.    Photo by Ding Lin

 

 

Xi satisfied with breakthrough of

China-Thailand railway cooperation

 

By Bai Jie

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday of December 23, expressing his satisfaction on the breakthrough of China-Thailand railway cooperation and urging substantial progress.

In their meeting in the Great Hall of the People, Xi recalled his meeting with Prayuth last month during the APEC meeting in Beijing, saying bilateral cooperation has made new progress during the month, especially the breakthrough on railway cooperation.

“I am satisfied with all this progress,” Xi said.

China and Thailand signed two MoUs on railway cooperation and agricultural trade in Bangkok last Friday during Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s visit.

The MoU on railway cooperation allows China to invest in two dual-track rail lines in Thailand that will span 734 km and 133 km, connecting northeast Thailand’s Nong Khai province, Bangkok and eastern Rayong province.

The project is estimated to cost 10.6 billion U.S. dollars.

Xi said the frequent meetings and exchanges between leaders of the two countries showed that China and Thailand enjoyed “Jeen Thai Phee Nong Gan”, the Thai phrase for close friendship.

Stressing the 40th anniversary of China-Thailand diplomatic ties in 2015, Xi called on both countries to hold corresponding celebrations to cement bilateral ties.

The two countries should continue to show mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other’s core interests, Xi said, adding that China will continue to respect and support Thailand’s efforts to realize political stability and economic development, as well as improve people’s living.

Cooperation between China and Thailand always leads among ASEAN countries, Xi said, urging the two sides to earnestly push forward cooperation on areas including railway and agriculture so as to further promote regional connectivity.

He also called on both countries to expand cooperation on culture and people-to-people, education and science.

For his part, Prayuth said the agreement of railway cooperation with China is the best New Year gift to the Thai people.

He also thanked China for importing more Thai farm produce, saying it is conducive to promoting bilateral trade balance.

Prayuth said Thailand is in a period of reform and development and his country is willing to learn from China to develop better bilateral ties.

He also expressed willingness to participate China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative so as to deepen cooperation on areas including railway, telecommunication and tourism.

Prayuth arrived in Beijing on Monday for a two-day visit to China.

 

 

Zhang Dejiang (right), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

(NPC), meets with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in Beijing on December 23, 2014.

Photo by Liu Weibing

 

Zhang Dejiang (right), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

(NPC), meets with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in Beijing on December 23, 2014.  

Photo by Liu Weibing

 

 

Top Chinese legislator meets Thai PM

By Xiong Zhengyan

 

Top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang on Tuesday of December 23 met with visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on seeking stronger bilateral ties.

Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, called Thailand China’s close neighbor and said the two countries enjoy relations of “Jeen Thai Phee Nong Gan”(Chinese and Thais are brothers).

China sincerely expects Thailand to keep stability and seek development and the Thai people to live better lives, Zhang said.

As 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of China-Thailand diplomatic ties, both countries should seize the opportunities, fully implement the agreements reached by leaders, deepen practical cooperation and benefit the two peoples, Zhang said.

On legislative front, Zhang underscored the importance of exchanges and cooperation between the NPC and the Thai National Legislative Assembly.

Zhang called for the two legislatures to maintain exchanges at all levels, increase mutual understanding, create a sound legal environment for pragmatic cooperation and expand the social and public foundation for bilateral friendship so as to boost China-Thailand all-round strategic partnership.

Prayuth reviewed the traditional and solid friendship between the two countries, called on both sides to learn more from each other, implement the cooperation deals and expand the depth and width of cooperation.

Later Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping also met with Prayuth.

Prayuth will conclude his two-day China visit on Tuesday night.

 

 

 

 

FULL TEXT

Joint Press Communique

between China and Thailand

 

By Liu Dongkai

 

Following is the full text of the Joint Press Communique between China and Thailand issued by the governments of the two countries on Tuesday:

Joint Press Communique Between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand

1. At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha of the Kingdom of Thailand paid an official visit to China from 22 to 23 December 2014. During the visit, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha paid a courtesy call on President Xi Jinping and held a bilateral meeting with Premier Li Keqiang as well as met with Chairman Zhang Dejiang of the Standing Committee of the National People’ s Congress.

2. The Chinese leaders kindly requested Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to convey their cordial greetings and best wishes to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Kingdom of Thailand. The Thai side expressed deep appreciation for China’ s display of warm sentiments.

3. The Chinese side expressed appreciation to the Royal Thai Government for hosting a successful meeting of the Fifth Greater Mekong Sub-region Economic Cooperation Program (GMS) Summit on 19-20 December 2014 in Bangkok. The Thai side expressed appreciation to the Government of the People’ s Republic of China for the support and constructive role in ensuring the fruitful outcome of the meeting. Both sides reaffirmed their cooperation in achieving inclusive and sustainable development in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

4. The two sides shared the view that with the growing economic interdependence and evolving regional and international landscape, it serves the fundamental and mutual interests of both Thailand and China to work together to strengthen the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with a view to contributing to peace, stability and prosperity of the region and beyond as well as the improvement of the well-being of the peoples of both countries.

5. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the close and growing ties between the two countries. The Leaders of the two countries welcomed the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand in 2015. Both sides agreed to take the opportunity of this auspicious occasion to further strengthen their long-standing friendship, enhance strategic dialogue as well as deepen and expand the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership for the mutual benefit of the two countries and peoples.

6. China reiterated its understanding of the political situation in Thailand. China expressed support for the efforts by the Royal Thai Government in implementing the Roadmap on national reform, in promoting economic growth and in improving the well-being of the people.

7. The Thai side reiterated its firm adherence to the One-China Policy, and rendered full support for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and China’s peaceful reunification.

8. The Leaders of the two countries applauded the outcome of the Third Meeting of the Joint Committee on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation between the Government of China and Thailand. They reaffirmed their full support to the work of this important mechanism to enhance cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, infrastructure, finance, energy, tourism, rubber industry and information communication and aerospace technology. The two sides agreed to make continuous efforts to promote and facilitate trade and cooperation of agricultural products. The Thai side welcomed the increased Chinese investment in Thailand, especially in greater value-added industries. Both sides look forward to working together to achieve the target of a combined number of tourist arrivals of 5 million between the two countries in 2016.

9. The two sides supported the re-invigorating of the various working groups between Thailand and the local governments of China to promote trade and investment and tourism between both sides.

10. Both sides reaffirmed the common vision for regional growth, prosperity and connectivity. In this regard, both sides welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on the Thailand’ s Railways Infrastructure Development on The Strategic Framework for Development of Thailand’ s Transportation Infrastructure 2015-2022 and the Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation on Agricultural Products Trade between the government of the People’ s Republic of China (PRC) and the government of the Kingdom of Thailand. Both sides shared the view that these two agreements will add a new momentum to the existing close China-Thailand relations and contribute to the long-term progress and development of the region as a whole. The two sides will work on the specific details of the project to bring about its early implementation.

11. The Thai side expressed her support to China’ s initiatives on Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road in the 21st Century. Thailand supported the constructive role of China in promoting regional connectivity through infrastructure development, including the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Both sides attached importance to stepping up efforts in facilitating cross-border transport of goods and passengers between China and Thailand and the region through the main road networks such as the R3, R8 and R12 with a view to promoting trade, investment, tourism and people to people cooperation.

12. Both sides agreed to deepen financial and banking cooperation and to intensify efforts to promote the use of local currency with a view to facilitating bilateral trade and investment by establishing the Renminbi Clearing Banks in Thailand and renewing the existing Bilateral Swap Agreements (BSA).

13. The two sides agreed to share technologies, experiences and best practices in the areas of water resource management, flood prevention and disaster relief, to actively carry out relevant projects, and to explore cooperation in other potential areas of mutual interest.

14. Both sides agreed to further promote scientific and technical cooperation, including enhancing space cooperation, promoting the application of remote sensing, global navigation and other satellite technologies, and engaging actively in negotiations on an inter-governmental space activities cooperation agreement between the two countries.

15. The two sides agreed to convene defense and security dialogue between the Ministries of Defence of both countries, expand cooperation in the fields of joint military exercises, personnel training,defense industry and enhance cooperation in the prevention and the eradication of illegal immigration, drug trafficking, terrorism and transnational crimes, and continue to promote law enforcement and security cooperation through existing mechanisms within the Mekong River framework.

16. The two sides agreed to continue enhancing cooperation in culture and education, particularly in vocational education. The two sides expressed their readiness to vigorously promote exchanges and cooperation between local governments, and enhance people-to-people exchanges, so as to raise public awareness and support on the relations between China and Thailand.

17. The Thai side viewed that China could significantly contribute to the development of the countries in the region through its contributions to such areas as health, anti- drug trafficking and human trafficking.

18. The Chinese side appreciated the active and constructive role of Thailand, as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to deepening cooperation in various fields and further enhance the ASEAN-China strategic partnership so that it continues to serve as an anchor of peace and stability in the region. Both sides also agreed to work closely on the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety, promote practical cooperation and consultations on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) , with a view to arriving at an early conclusion of the COC on the basis of consensus.

19. The Chinese side expressed support for ASEAN’ s centrality in the regional architecture and the two sides agreed to further strengthen coordination and cooperation under the multilateral frameworks such as China-ASEAN, ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), the Asia Pacific and Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the United Nations (UN).

20. The two sides expressed their satisfaction with the fruitful outcome of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’ s official visit to China, and recognised the significance of the visit in setting the future course of the two countries’ bilateral relations. On behalf of the Royal Thai Government and the people of Thailand, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha thanked the Government and the people of the People’ s Republic of China for their warm hospitality.

 

 

 

 

 

China to favor minority officials in ethnically-diverse regions

 

 

 

China to favor minority officials

in ethnically-diverse regions

 

By Zuo Yuanfeng, Hu Longjiang and Cheng Zhuo

 

In a document released on Monday of December 22, the central government promised to cultivate and appoint more officials from minority groups and ensure they are given “full trust”.

The document — “Opinions on Strengthening and Improving Ethnic Work in New Situations” — gives special attention to the cultivation of intellectuals in ethnically-diverse regions, especial those from minority backgrounds.

The guideline also outlines promoting understanding among different ethnic groups and the cultural identity of the Chinese nation.

“Vigorously foster, audaciously select, fully trust and use officials from ethnically-diverse [backgrounds], and cultivate experienced Han officials in ethnically-diverse regions,” said the guideline by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council.

The document called on ethnic minority officials to master Mandarin Chinese, while urging Han officials, the dominant ethnic group in China, to learn the local dialects of the areas where they work.

Stressing an overall language education in ethnic regions, the guideline laid out policies to help bilingual teachers who can teach students Mandarin while respecting the local tongue.

China officially has 56 ethnic groups speaking more than 80 languages. Ethnic autonomous areas account for 64 percent of the country’s total land territory.

The guideline does not miss the opportunity to talk about the rule of law in ethnic affairs. Regional autonomy law must be implemented; laws and rules concerning ethnic minorities must be revised and improved; issues in ethnic affairs must be addressed within the boundaries of the law. Civil and criminal problems cannot be classified as ethnic issues nor can ordinary conflicts in ethnic areas.

“China is a country built by all ethnic groups of the nation; Chinese culture is made up of the culture of all 56 ethnic groups; Chinese civilization is created by all ethnic groups; and the Chinese nation is a community of all ethnic groups,” said the guideline.

Financial policies, including greater support from banking, securities and insurance sectors, were urged and support was called for ports, infrastructure construction and better connectivity in ethnic regions.

During a conference in September attended by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, leapfrog development, mixing policy incentives with regions’ natural strengths, was proposed for ethnic regions.

A statement after the conference said different regional policies should be applied to border areas, impoverished regions and ecological preservation areas.

 

 

 

 

China, Thailand pledge closer relationship

 

 

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left of front row) and visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayuth

Chan-ocha (right of front row) inspect the guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony

before their talks in Beijing on December 22, 2014.   Photo by Ding Lin

 

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) and visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha

(right) inspect the guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony before their talks in Beijing

on December 22, 2014.    Photo by Ding Lin

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left of front row) and visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayuth

Chan-ocha (right of front row) inspect the guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony

before their talks in Beijing on December 22, 2014.   Photo by Xie Huanchi

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) and visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha attend

a welcoming ceremony before their talks in Beijing on December 22, 2014.   Photo by Ding Lin

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) shakes hands with visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayuth

Chan-ocha before their talks in Beijing on December 22, 2014.   Photo by Xie Huanchi

 

hinese Premier Li Keqiang holds talks with visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha

in Beijing on December 22, 2014.   Photo by Xie Huanchi

 

 

China, Thailand

pledge closer relationship

 

By Liu Hua

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha here on Monday of December 22 and they pledged to further boost the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

It was the second meeting between Li and Prayut in three days. On Friday, they met in Bangkok and witnessed the signing of agriculture and railway deals. Li was attending the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation.

China will work with Thailand to prepare for the launch of a railway project as soon as possible, Li said on Monday of December 22 when talking to the visiting Thai Prime Minister at the Great Hall of the People.

As 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Thailand, Li said he hopes the two sides will cement their traditional friendship and boost cooperation in pursuit of win-win reciprocity and improve the comprehensive strategic partnership, highlighting the target of increasing bilateral trade to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.

Li looked forward to more use of the Chinese yuan and the Thai baht in trade and investment settlement, as well as more technology cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. The two sides have set a target of increasing travellers to five million between the two countries by 2016.

Li hopes the Thai side will support and facilitate Chinese participation in the exploitation of kalium resources in Thailand.

He stressed that China regards the ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and welcomes the ASEAN push to transform the ten-country bloc into a community.

Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The 10-country bloc set Dec. 31, 2015 for the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community, a region of free flows of goods, services, skilled labor, capital and investment.

Hailing Thailand’s role in promoting the China-ASEAN relationship, Li said China is willing to work together with Thailand regarding the signing of a China-ASEAN treaty for friendly cooperation, the upgrading of the current China-ASEAN free trade zone as well as boosting maritime cooperation.

For his part, Prayut said Thailand is committed to elevating the bilateral relationship and stands ready to implement the deals with China on railway cooperation and farm produce trade, and boost trade, investment and financial cooperation as well as people-to-people exchanges to benefit the people of the two countries.

The Thai side welcomes Chinese enterprises to set up factories in Thailand, he said.

Prayut said China plays an important part in promoting peace, stability and development in the region and that Thailand will cooperate closely with China to step up the ASEAN-China ties as well as regional cooperation.

Before the talks, Li held a red-carpet ceremony to welcome the Thai Prime Minister.

After the talks, they witnessed a currency swap deal and three other cooperation documents.

Prayut arrived in Beijing on Monday to make a two-day visit to China.

 

 

 

 

 China, Thailand renew currency swap deal

By Li Zheng and Cheng Jing

The central banks of China and Thailand on Monday of December 22 decided to renew their three-year currency swap deal, worth 70 billion yuan (11.4 billion U.S. dollars), said a statement on the website of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).

The two sides also signed a memorandum of understanding on Renminbi clearing settlement in Bangkok.

The deal is a new step in financial cooperation between the two and will facilitate bilateral trade and investment, the statement said.

The deal was announced after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Thailand for the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation.

 

 

 

 

President Xi arrives in Macao for 15th anniversary celebrations

 

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and his wife Peng Liyuan wave as they arrive at the 

international airport in Macao, south China, on December 19, 2014.   Photo by Cheong Kam Ka

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and his wife Peng Liyuan wave as they arrive at the

international airport in Macao, south China, on December 19, 2014.   Photo by Zhang Duo

 

Children wave flowers and Chinese national flags to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping

at the international airport in Macao, south China, on December 19, 2014. Chinese President

Xi Jinping arrived here Friday noon to attend celebrations marking the 15th anniversary

of Macao’s return to the motherland, which falls on December 20.   Photo by Cheong Kam Ka

 

 

 

President Xi arrives in Macao

for 15th anniversary celebrations

 

By Yuan Ye

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Macao on Friday noon of December 19 for celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of Macao’s return to the motherland.

Xi, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission, will also attend the inauguration of the fourth-term government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) scheduled on Saturday of December 20.

Upon arrival at the Macao International Airport, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan were greeted by Macao SAR Chief Executive Chui Sai On and his wife Fok Waifun, and two Macao pupils who presented bouquets to them.

Xi shook hands with Ho Hau Wah, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and former chief executive of the Macao SAR.

Amid a tune of welcome played by the Macao Police Band, the smiling president waved to hundreds of representatives from various walks of life and school children holding national flags and Macao SAR flags to greet him.

Xi told reporters at the airport that he was delighted to visit Macao again since his last trip to the SAR five years ago.

The president said he was glad to be here “to celebrate with Macao compatriots the festival of great historical significance and convey the good wishes of the central government and all Chinese people to Macao compatriots.”

Xi said he was willing to visit local residents, review with them the development of the Macao SAR over the past 15 years and discuss plans for Macao’s long-term development.

The president expressed his belief that Macao will progress in a more steady manner on the right track, guided by the “one country, two systems” policy and the Basic Law.

 

 

 

President Xi meets 

with Macao SAR chief executive

 

By Yuan Ye

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Chui Sai On, chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), here on Friday of December 20.

Xi arrived on Friday noon for celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of Macao’s return to the motherland and the inauguration of the fourth-term government of the Macao SAR scheduled on Saturday.

At the inauguration ceremony, Xi will administer as Chui, 57, is sworn in as the fourth-term chief executive. Chui was reelected on August 31.

 

 

 

 

Chinese president meets ROK parliament speaker

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) meets with Chung Ui-hwa, speaker of the National

Assembly for the Republic of Korea(ROK), in Beijing, China, on December 18, 2014.

Photo by Ding Lin

 

 

Chinese president meets

ROK parliament speaker

 

By Liu Hua

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Chung Ui-hwa, speaker of the National Assembly for the Republic of Korea(ROK), on Thursday of December 18 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Xi said China attaches great importance to the ties with the ROK and the bilateral relationship always occupies an important position in China’s neighborhood diplomacy.

Hailing the smooth development of the bilateral relationship, Xi said he hopes the two sides will work together to implement the new consensus reached between him and ROK President Park Geun-hye last month in Beijing.

Xi met with Park in November on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and they announced the substantive conclusion of the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations.

On Thursday, Xi called for joint efforts of both sides to push ahead with the unsettled work to finish all FTA negotiations at an early date.

He also looks forward to closer fiscal and financial cooperation and more people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, highlighting the Year of Chinese Tourism in ROK in 2015 and the Year of ROK Tourism in China in 2016.

Xi said China stands ready to work with the ROK to boost interactions between the governments, legislatures, and political parties as well as on sub-national levels of the two sides to enhance the bilateral strategic partnership and benefit the people of the two countries.

He said legislative exchanges play an important part in the bilateral relationship and he hopes the Chinese National People’s Congress will continue to cooperate with the ROK National Assembly to improve the bilateral ties in a sustained way.

Extending his best wishes for China’s development, Chung said the ROK National Assembly will step up exchanges with the NPC and make efforts to ensure the implementation of the consensus reached by the two presidents to enhance the bilateral relationship.

Chung is on his first visit to China as the ROK’s parliament speaker. He will conclude his five-day China tour on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

President Xi stresses role of innovation in economy

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC)

Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, shakes hands with

researchers as he visits Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute in Nanjing, capital

of east China’s Jiangsu Province, on December 13, 2014. Xi made an inspection tour in Jiangsu

Province from December 13 to 14, 2014.   Photo by Li Xueren

 

 

NANJING

President Xi stresses

role of innovation in economy

 

By Zhang Zhengfu

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted the role of innovation in economic development.

Xi made the remarks during an inspection tour in eastern Jiangsu Province where he visited scientific research institutions, enterprises, countryside and farmers’ houses.

At Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu, Xi said China must rely on innovation to achieve continuous and healthy economy development.

The president called for close coupling between science and technology and the economy, as well as deep integration among industry, university and research, so as to realize seamless connection between industries and science and technology, and increase the contribution rate of science and technology to economic growth.

The key to developing the economy lies in transforming the development model, restructuring the economy and upgrading the medium-to-low industrial structure to a medium-to-high one, said Xi.

He urges the establishment of new mechanism to the benefit of producing innovation fruits and converting these results to industrial applications.

The president called for boosting the competitiveness of export, creating new advantages of an open economy and expanding new room for opening up domestically and to the outside world.

During the inspection, Xi highlighted the importance of a modern agriculture, prosperous rural areas and affluent farmers in the nation’s overall modernization drive.

The president also called for more efforts to provide safe, effective, convenient and inexpensive public health and basic medical services to people living in rural areas as well as those in cities.

 

 

President Xi visits Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute in Nanjing, capital

of east China’s Jiangsu Province, on December 13, 2014.   Photo by Li Xueren

 

President Xi visits Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute in Nanjing, capital

of east China’s Jiangsu Province, on December 13, 2014.   Photo by Lan Hongguang

 

President Xi visits Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute in Nanjing, capital

of east China’s Jiangsu Province, on December 13, 2014.   Photo by Li Xueren

 

President Xi visits Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute in Nanjing, capital

of east China’s Jiangsu Province, on December 13, 2014.   Photo by Li Xueren

 

President Xi shakes hands with local villagers as he visits the Yongmaoxu Village

under Shiye Town in Dantu District of Zhenjiang City, east China’s Jiangsu Province,

on December 13, 2014.   Photo by Lan Hongguang

 

President Xi talks with a local villager as he visits the Yongmaoxu Village under Shiye Town

in Dantu District of Zhenjiang City, east China’s Jiangsu Province, on December 13, 2014.   

Photo by Li Xueren

 

President Xi talks with villager Hong Jiayong and his families as he visits the Yongmaoxu

Village under Shiye Town in Dantu District of Zhenjiang City, east China’s Jiangsu Province,

on December 13, 2014.   Photo by Lan Hongguang

 

President Xi visits a greenhouse of strawberries in Xianfeng Village under Shiye Town

in Dantu District of Zhenjiang City, east China’s Jiangsu Province, on December 13, 2014.

Photo by Lan Hongguang

 

 

 

 

Chinese premier arrives in Kazakhstan for visit, SCO meeting

 

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang waves upon his arrival at  Astana International Airport

in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Rao Aimin

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is welcomed by his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov upon

his arrival at Astana International Airport in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.  

Photo by Huang Jingwen

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd from left) is welcomed by his Kazakh counterpart

Karim Masimov (2nd from right) upon his arrival at Astana International Airport in Astana,

Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Huang Jingwen

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) reviews the guard of honour with his Kazakh counterpart

Karim Masimov (center) during a welcoming ceremony at Astana International Airport

in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Rao Aimin

 

 

ASTANA

Chinese premier

arrives in Kazakhstan

for visit, SCO meeting

 

By Tian Dongdong, Yu Zheng and Miao Zhuang

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived here on Sunday of December 14 to pay an official visit to Kazakhstan and attend the 13th prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Upon his arrival, Li said that China and Kazakhstan are good neighbors and that bilateral ties have been constantly growing at high levels in recent years.

“I am looking forward to having in-depth exchange of views with Kazakh leaders on bilateral ties and issues of common concern, so as to further unleash the energy and potential of our comprehensive strategic partnership, upgrade China-Kazakh pragmatic cooperation, foster new bright spots in regional cooperation, boost common development and benefit the two peoples,” said Li, who was greeted by his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov at the airport.

As for the upcoming SCO meeting, Li said the cooperation under the SCO framework has yielded important fruits in all areas since its founding.

“I am looking forward to discuss with other participants on ways to further deepen pragmatic cooperation and strive to build the SCO into a reliable guardian for relevant parties to maintain security, develop economy and improve people’s well-being, so as to bolster regional peace, stability and development,” Li added.

During his visit, Li is expected to meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, hold the second regular meeting between the China-Kazakhstan heads of government with his Kazakh counterpart Masimov, and witness the signing of a slew of cooperative documents covering trade, investment, finance and energy.

The SCO, founded in 2001, currently has six member states — China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. It also has Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as observers and Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka as dialogue partners.

After Kazakhstan, Li will travel to Serbia to attend the third leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European countries and pay an official visit to the country.

In Thailand, the final leg of his tour, Li will attend the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation.

 

 

 

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) and his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov hold talks

in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Pang Xinglei

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left)and his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov attend the

second regular meeting between the China-Kazakhstan heads of government in Astana,

Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Pang Xinglei

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (3rd from left) and his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov

(4th from right) hold talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Rao Aimin

 

 

ASTANA

Chinese premier:

China ready to boost

practical cooperation with Kazakhstan

 

By Tian Dongdong, Yu Zheng and Miao Zhuang

 

China is willing to tap complementary economic advantages, strengthen traditional ties and expand cooperation in non-energy fields with Kazakhstan based on high-level mutual political trust, visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday of December 14.

Li made the remarks as he held talks with his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov during the second regular meeting between the heads of government of the two nations.

Congratulating Kazakhstan on its upcoming 23th Independence Day, Li said China and Kazakhstan are good neighbors to each other.

The two sides always respect and equally treat each other, and the China-Kazakh comprehensive strategic partnership remains at high level, he added.

China stands ready to work with Kazakhstan to create new bright spots in cooperation and build new engines of common development, push the upgrading and updating of bilateral practical cooperation, so as to benefit the two peoples and promote regional peace and stability, the premier said.

Li said that both sides should further optimize the structure of bilateral trade and two-way investment and China supports its competitive enterprises to invest in Kazakhstan.

He also hoped that the two countries should continue to deepen energy cooperation, advance China-Kazakhstan gas pipeline construction, implement the memorandum of understanding between the two sides on nuclear industry cooperation, and explore interaction opportunities in photovoltaic field and coal chemical industry.

China’s opening to the west is conducive to the development of Kazakhstan, said Li, calling on both sides to greatly promote interconnectivity, push forward cooperation in such areas as logistics, transportation and communication, and facilitate trade and personnel exchanges.

The Chinese premier urged the two nations to strengthen local cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, establish cultural centers in the other country and consolidate public support for bilateral ties.

Meanwhile, Li said that China will conduct friendly cooperation with Kazakhstan on utilization and exploration of the cross-border water resources based on the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results.

As for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Li said China is willing to beef up communication and coordination within the SCO framework and push forward the SCO for more cooperative fruits.

For his part, Masimov said maintaining good-neighboring friendship with China is Kazakhstan’s diplomatic priority.

Kazakhstan will work with China to explore the role of such bilateral mechanisms as the regular meeting between the China-Kazakhstan heads of government, carry out consensuses reached by leaders of the two nations, and expand cooperation in fields like trade, investment, oil and gas, nuclear and clean energy, among others, he added.

He vowed to continue Kazakhstan’s interaction with China on the cross-border water resources issue.

“Kazakhstan attches great importance to and will actively participate in the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, stands ready to strengthen coordination within the SCO framework with China, and promotes regional and each other’s development,” Masimov said.

Li arrived here earlier Sunday to pay an official visit to Kazakhstan and attend the 13th prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

After Kazakhstan, Li will travel to Serbia to attend the third leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European countries and pay an official visit to the country.

In Thailand, the final leg of his tour, Li will attend the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation.

 

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) and his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov attend a

press conference after the second regular meeting between the China-Kazakhstan heads

of government in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   Photos by Huang Jingwen

 

 

 

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) meets with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev

in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Rao Aimin

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (3rd from left) meets with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev

(2nd from right) in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Pang Xinglei

 

 

ASTANA

Chinese premier urges

new highlights in cooperation with Kazakhstan

 

By Zheng Kaijun

 

China and Kazakhstan need to explore new growth areas and bright spots in cooperation to gear up the development of bilateral ties and upgrade them in a comprehensive way, visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here on Sunday of December 14.

Li, in Astana for an official visit to Kazakhstan and a prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, made the remark when meeting Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The development philosophies of China and Kazakhstan fit that of each other, Li said, hailing the depth and scope of bilateral cooperation as well as its significance.

China is willing to enhance political mutual trust with Kazakhstan, expand two-way trade and investment, deepen cooperation in energy, resource and related deep processing industries, carry out frequent people-to-people exchanges and exchanges at local levels, so as to better benefit the two peoples, Li said.

China will actively participate in implementing Kazakhstan’s “Bright Road” initiative that is aimed at revitalizing the country’s economy, and jointly promote infrastructure construction cooperation, such as developing steel works, power plants and building railroads.

The two countries should join hands to tackle various challenges of the international economy so as to achieve common development that benefits both, Li said.

China is willing to strengthen coordination with Kazakhstan in international and regional affairs to bring the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level, Li added.

For his part, Nazarbayev welcomed Li’s first visit to Kazakhstan as premier, saying he is delighted to see China’s economic achievements and is grateful to the assistance China has offered to Kazakhstan’s industrialization drive.

Hailing the close friendship between his country and China as well as the two sides’ ever-deepening cooperation in various areas, Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan supports the initiatives of the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road which were proposed by China, and is willing to cooperate with China in such areas as economy and trade, interconnectivity, and the deep processing of energy materials.

He welcomed the participation of the Chinese side in Kazakhstan’s infrastructure construction, expecting that the two countries, taking Premier Li’s visit as an opportunity, can explore new cooperation areas to add momentum to Kazakhstan’s economic development and enrich the content of bilateral ties.

 

 

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (center) shakes hands with representatives before he

attends the second meeting of the China-Kazakhstan Entrepreneurs Committee with

his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014.   

Photo by Huang Jingwenx

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang addresses the second meeting of the China-Kazakhstan

Entrepreneurs Committee in Astana, Kazakhstan, on December 14, 2014. Li attended

the meeting with his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov.   Photos by Huang Jingwen

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left)and his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov attend

a signing ceremony of bilateral cooperation documents in Astana, Kazakhstan,

on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Huang Jingwen

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) and his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov attend

a signing ceremony of bilateral cooperation documents in Astana, Kazakhstan,

on December 14, 2014.   Photo by Huang Jingwen

 

 

ASTANA

China eye to eye with Kazakhstan

on enriching cooperation with 14-bln-USD deals

 

By Zheng Kaijun

 

China and Kazakhstan, a pair of traditional friends, see eye to eye with each other all the more with a series of newly-signed cooperative deals worth about 14 billion U.S. dollars.

The agreements were inked on Sunday of December 14 during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to the Central Asian country.

In Astana, Li made crystal-clear China’s willingness to work with Kazakhstan to create new growth points and bright spots in cooperation and build new engines for common development.

The two sides should continue deepening energy cooperation, advancing the construction of a gas pipeline linking them, implementing their memorandum of understanding on nuclear cooperation, and exploring interaction opportunities in photovoltaic and coal chemical fields, Li told his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov during a meeting here.

In the meantime, China is also willing to tap complementary economic advantages and expand cooperation in non-energy fields with Kazakhstan, Li said.

He called on the two sides to further optimize the structure of bilateral trade and two-way investment, saying China supports its competitive enterprises to invest in Kazakhstan.

He also urged the two sides to promote interconnectivity, push forward cooperation in the areas of logistics, transportation and communication, and facilitate trade and personnel exchanges.

The two nations, he added, should strengthen local cooperation, establish cultural centers in the other country and consolidate public support for bilateral ties.

Li said China will also conduct friendly cooperation with Kazakhstan on utilization and exploration of cross-border water resources.

The two sides should expand their cooperation scope from big-enterprise investors to small and medium-sized ones, and from central or key cities to other regions, Li told a joint press conference after his talks with Masimov.

They should explore cooperation opportunities in intensive processing of natural resources, equipment manufacturing and agriculture, which will not only extend industry and value chain to create more values, but also provide new impetus to bilateral cooperation, Li said.

He also stressed that the two sides can jointly develop third party markets, as he addressed a meeting of bilateral entrepreneurs’ committee.

While meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Li said China will actively participate in implementing Kazakhstan’s “Bright Road” initiative that is aimed at revitalizing the country’s economy, and jointly promote infrastructure construction cooperation, such as developing steel works, power plants and building railroads.

Kazakh leaders echoed Li’s ideas, with Nazarbayev vowing Kazakhstan’s support for the China-proposed initiatives of the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and Masimov’s promise of his country’s active participation in helping build the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as well as strengthened coordination within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with China.

The two sides further detailed their cooperation ambitions with a joint communique issued after the meeting between Li and Masimov.

According to the document, the two sides agreed to deepen collaboration in the area of confidence-building measures, to allow CICA, or the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, to play a greater role in the future.

The two countries will work with other CICA members to intensify cooperation in related areas and improve the mechanism of this inter-governmental forum for dialogues on regional security issues in Asia.

Both countries are key members of CICA: the idea of CICA was first proposed by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in October 1992, while China assumes the chairmanship of CICA for the 2014-2016 period.

Also, the two sides would like to tap into the potential of hi-tech cooperation and further advance bilateral aerospace cooperation, read the communique.

The two countries agreed to jointly establish a technical cooperation center as both sides have huge cooperation potential in hi-tech field, innovation and transformation of scientific achievements.

They hoped that mainstream hi-tech organizations and enterprises from both sides would carry out exchanges and develop partnership with each other.

Meanwhile, in the communique, both sides decided to set up a joint working group to study bilateral cooperation mechanism and direction.

After his official visit to Kazakhstan, Premier Li will attend a prime ministers’ meeting of the SCO in Astana on Monday.

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

 China, Kazakhstan renew currency swap deal

By Zhang Zhengfu and Liu Zheng

Central banks of China and Kazakhstan on Sunday decided to renew their three-year currency swap deal, said a statement on the website of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

The two sides also signed currency settlement and payment agreement, which means local currencies can be used for settlement in not only border trade but also ordinary trade activities, said the statement.

The move is good to deepen China-Kazakhstan currency and financial cooperation, facilitate bilateral trade and investment, and safeguard regional financial stability, the statement quoted an unnamed PBOC official as saying.

The agreement coincided with the arrival of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday in Kazakhstan to pay an official visit to the country and attend the 13th prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

 

 

 

 

Top Chinese political advisor meets Uygur writer

 

 

Yu Zhengsheng (right), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s 

Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), shakes hands with Kurbanjan Samat, author of

the book “I’m from Xinjiang”, and some representatives mentioned in his book, in Beijing,

on December 9, 2014.   Photo by Yao Dawei

 

 

Top Chinese political advisor

meets Uygur writer

 

By Ren Ke

 

China’s top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng has met with an author from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region who recently published a book introducing people from the northwestern region.

Yu, chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, met with author Kurbanjan Semat as well as characters from his book “I come from Xinjiang” on Wednesday of December 10.

“I come from Xinjiang” records over 100 ordinary people from Xinjiang with different ethnicities, professions and ages working in other parts of China, showcasing the general image of Xinjiang people working hard for their dreams.

Yu said the book was quite touching and recognized Xinjiang’s contributions to the social and economic development of other parts of China with their hard work.

He called for strengthened exchanges between Xinjiang people and people from other parts of China, urging local governments to address the difficulties that Xinjiang people deal with in their work and livelihood in other parts of China.

Yu also called for strengthened work in education and employment in ethnic minority-inhabited areas in a bid to maintain social stability and ethnic unity in Xinjiang.

Labor-intensive industries and professional training of ethnic minorities should be promoted to enhance their ability in job seeking, he said.

 

 

 

 

China, Ireland pledge closer partnership

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting Irish President

Michael D. Higgins before their talks in Beijing on December 9, 2014.   Photo by Huang Jingwen

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd from left) and Irish President Michael D. Higgins

(4th from right) hold talks in Beijing on December 9, 2014.   Photo by Rao Aimin

 

 

China, Ireland 

pledge closer partnership

 

By Liu Hua

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Irish President Michael D. Higgins on Tuesday of December 9 with both pledging to boost partnership between the two countries.

Recalling his visit to Ireland as vice president in 2012, Xi said China and Ireland have set a good example of friendly coexistence between countries of different national conditions, different culture and different social systems, featuring mutual respect, equality, mutual understanding on each other’s development path, mutual support on major issues, and friendly cooperation.

China will continue to respect, trust, benefit, learn from and help each other with Ireland, and work with the Irish side to consolidate the mutually beneficial strategic partnership between the two counties, said the Chinese leader.

As China is advancing a strategy of innovation-driven development and speeding up urbanization and agricultural modernization, the two countries can boost cooperation in these sectors, Xi said, highlighting Ireland’s advantages in information technology, medicine, life science, and agriculture and husbandry.

China encourages investment into Ireland, Xi said, looking forward to more cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

Xi said China attaches importance to Ireland’s special role in the European Union and stands ready to work with Ireland on building a China-EU partnership of peace, growth, reform and civilization.

Higgins said the two countries have similar views on many major issues and that Irish and Chinese people are good friends.

The Irish side appreciates China’s culture and admires China for its economic and social development achievements, Higgins said.

China has seen great progress in human rights, with hundreds of millions of people lifted out of poverty.

Higgins said he is confident of China’s peaceful development and that President Xi’s notion of the Chinese dream is of great significance for enhancing mutual trust and cooperation between different countries, and promoting peace and development in the world.

Ireland is willing to work with China to address global challenges and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, Higgins said, voicing his hope to boost cooperation with China on economy, technology, education and culture as well as increase people-to-people exchanges.

Ireland will work as a bridge between China and the European Union, he added.

After the talks, Xi and Higgins witnessed the signing of some deals between the two sides.

Prior to the talks, Xi held a red-carpet ceremony to welcome the visiting Irish president.