China lodges strong representation on Modi’s visit to disputed border zone









>>  China lodges strong representation on Modi’s visit to disputed border zone

By Liu Dongkai

China on Friday of February 20 lodged strong representation with India to express diametrical opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to a disputed zone along the China-India borders, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

Hua said in press release posted on the official website of the Foreign Ministry that the act of the Indian side is not conducive to properly resolving and controlling disputes between the two sides, nor in conformity with the general situation of growth of bilateral relations.

Modi visited a disputed zone in the eastern part of China-India borders on Friday to attend activities marking the founding of the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh”, a state that Indian authorities illegally and unilaterally declared in 1987.

“The Chinese government has never recognized the so-call ‘Arunachal Pradesh’,” Hua said.

She said China’s stance on the disputed area on the eastern part of the China-India border is consistent and clear. She said it’s an universally recognized fact that huge disputes exist on the eastern section of China-India borders.

The so-called “Arunachal Pradesh” was established largely on the three areas of China’s Tibet — Monyul, Loyul and Lower Tsayul currently under Indian illegal occupation. These three areas, located between the illegal “Mcmahon Line” and the traditional customary boundary between China and India, have always been Chinese territory.

In 1914, the colonialists secretly contrived the illegal “Mcmahon Line” in an attempt to incorporate into India the above-mentioned three areas of Chinese territory. None of the successive Chinese governments have ever recognized this line.

In February 1987, Indian authorities declared the founding of the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh.”

“We demand the Indian side to pay attention to the strong concern of the Chinese side,” Hua said, adding that India should march toward the same goal with China and insist on a fair and reasonable resolution of the border issue through negotiation.

“We demand the Indian side not to take any action that may complicate the border issue before its resolution so as to maintain the sound momentum in the growth of bilateral relations,” Hua said.






BEIJING  |   2015-02-21 20:46:50

>>  China calls in Indian ambassador to voice unhappiness on Modi’s visit to disputed territory

By Liu Dongkai

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin on Saturday called in the Indian Ambassador to China to lodge stern representation on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to a disputed border region.

Liu expressed “strong dissatisfaction and staunch opposition” to the Indian side’s insistence on arranging the visit by its leader to the disputed area on China-India border.

Modi visited a disputed area in the eastern part of China-India border on Friday of February 20 to attend activities marking the anniversary of the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh”.

The Chinese embassy in India lodged representation with the Indian authorities on the visit on Friday night.

“The Chinese government has never recognized the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a press release on Friday.

During the meeting with Indian Ambassador Ashok Kantha, Vice Foreign Minister Liu pointed out that the act the by Indian side undermined China’s territorial sovereignty, right and interests. He said such act by the Indian side artificially amplified differences between the two countries on the border issue and thus went against the principles and consensus that the two sides reached on properly addressing the issue.

Liu reiterated China’s consistent and clear-cut stance on the China-India border issue, saying the Chinese government “has never recognized the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ unilaterally set up by the Indian side”. It’s an universally recognized, unevadable fact that significant disputes do exist on the eastern section of the China-India border, Liu said.

He emphasized that China places importance on developing relations with India. He said the two countries, as neighbors and the top two developing countries in the world, share broad prospect on cooperation at various levels.

Liu expressed the hope that the Indian side should treasure the sound momentum in the growth of bilateral relations, march toward the same goal with China and abide by the important consensus on the border issue.

Liu called for the Indian side not to take any action that may complicate the border issue and stick to the general orientation of resolving the issue through bilateral negotiations so as to maintain the overall growth of bilateral relations.

The so-called “Arunachal Pradesh” was established largely on the three areas of China’s Tibet — Monyul, Loyul and Lower Tsayul currently under Indian illegal occupation. These three areas, located between the illegal “Mcmahon Line” and the traditional customary boundary between China and India, have always been Chinese territory.

In 1914, the colonialists secretly contrived the illegal “Mcmahon Line” in an attempt to incorporate into India the above-mentioned three areas of Chinese territory. None of the successive Chinese governments have ever recognized this line.

In February 1987, Indian authorities declared the founding of the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh.”







>>  Overseas celebrations of Spring Festival draw warm response

By Sun Ding

The Spring Festival, the beginning of a new Chinese Lunar Year and a day when all Chinese people across the world unite with their loved ones, is being celebrated by more and more people from other cultures.

Starting from Thursday of February 19, this year’s Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep, the eighth position in the Chinese Zodiac circle of 12 animals.

In New York, the Empire State Building (ESB) was lit up in red and yellow one night away from the Chinese New Year eve to ring in the festival as a custom that has been in place since 2001.

The lighting is a show of the friendship between the United States and China, said ESB President Anthony Malkini at the lighting ceremony.

Inside the iconic skyscraper, a festive window exhibition is under way commemorating the Chinese Year of the Sheep.

The theme for the window display, the sixth of its kind in the ESB, is “san yang kai tai” in Mandarin, which means three sheep bring happiness, implying the revival of life when spring returns and expectation for a fortunate and prosperous year.

Over the Hudson river, a 20-minute fireworks display titled “Harmonious China” took place, the first large-scale fireworks display ever in the United States to commemorate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The dazzling show, nearly equaling the scope of the iconic Macy’s Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular, attracted a large number of audience. Some were so impressed that they even stopped their cars on the road to enjoy it.

“It’s fabulous. It’s extraordinarily beautiful,” said Susan King, who works for a non-government organization promoting teaching exchange between China and the United States and was invited to watch the fireworks in the Consulate-General of China in New York.

“The music was lovely. It’s exciting to be able to come here to watch the celebration of the Chinese New Year. We feel very honored to be here for that,” she said.

In the southern Hemisphere, Australia laid claim to be staging the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia.

Sydney and Melbourne are scheduled to stage events for almost two weeks from mid-February, while the other state capitals of Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Brisbane and the national capital Canberra are all holding festive events.

With nearly 900,000 Chinese Australians living in the country, the tradition of multi-cultural communities there joining in celebration of the Lunar New Year has grown every year for the past two decades.

Sydney, the hub of Australia, is expected to host 75 events including the annual Twilight Parade, exhibitions, lion dances and dragon boat races to celebrate the Spring Festival, according to Mayor Clover Moore.

Noting that the Twilight Parade will be the highlight of the celebrations, Moore said the event is an excellent way for local communities to experience the traditional Chinese festival.

The parade, scheduled on Sunday, will feature dozens of floats and 3,000 performers, including more than 100 performers traveling there to perform martial arts and acrobatics along with jugglers, puppeteers, dancers and musicians.

In Belgium, the performance of “Legend of the Sun”, a dance drama featuring 60 traditionally trained dancers as well as the folk songs of Zhuang people in Guangxi, also drawn warm response from local audience during the time of the Chinese New Year.

Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education and Culture, said that the show was “very artistic and good performance”.

“In order to push forward people-to-people exchanges, we have to organize more and more meaningful meetings, that means we have to identify topics and issues close to people’s everyday life,” said Navracsics.







>>  U.S. experts upbeat on sustained China-U.S. dialogue, cooperation

By Lin Zhifei

As the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Goat was ushered in on Thursday of February 19, experts in the United States cautiously predicted a year of sustained dialogue and substantial cooperation between China and the U.S. in 2015.

Optimism about a more amicable year for China-U.S. ties was generated in early February when the two sides announced a state visit to the U.S. by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September. This will be the first state visit to the U.S. by Xi, who already held an informal summit with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Sunnylands estate in California in 2013 and another summit in Beijing last November.

The early announcement of this visit was interpreted by many as a desire by both sides to set the tone for a more smooth and fruitful year for the China-U.S. relationship, which is often set back by recurrent tensions and disputes despite increasingly intertwined economic and trade ties and deepening cooperation on many international issues.

“What it does indicate is that there is a sustained dialogue between the U.S. and Chinese leaders which is significant in the face of the tensions we’ve seen over the past year and the areas that both sides see as potential realms for cooperation,” said Mark Cozad, senior defense policy analyst at the Rand Corporation.

“I think it’s a realistic understanding by both sides that these high-level dialogues are essential for managing tensions and identifying and pursuing areas where cooperation might be possible,” Cozad told Xinhua in an interview.

He said that despite the contentious issues of human rights, cyber security and territorial disputes in Asia, the leaders of China and the U.S. have cooperated on climate change, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear program and economic cooperation, where the “continued dialogue between the two presidents is essential.”

Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center, told Xinhua Xi’s visit is expected to “advance cooperation in certain areas” because impending visit “can spur action and good behavior on both sides.”

Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the China-U.S. deal on climate change reached last November by the two presidents during Obama’s visit to Beijing has already set the tone for “substantial cooperation” between the two nations.

“And that’s going to continue through the year (ahead of the) Paris conference on climate change,” Paal told Xinhua, referring to the United Nations-sponsored climate conference scheduled for late November in Paris, which aims to reach a universal deal on tackling climate change.







>>  Chinese naval escort fleet wraps up visit to Greece

By Liu Yongqiu

The 18th Chinese naval escort fleet wrapped up on Friday of February 20 its formal goodwill visit to Greece and embarked on the voyage back to China.

During the 4-day visit, the fleet was welcomed by the Greek navy and the government in a series of high-profile ceremonies.

The Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Staff of the South China Sea fleet, Rear Admiral Zhang Chuanshu, met with Greek political heavyweights such as the Hellenic Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis and the mayor of Piraeus, Yannis Moralis.

The fleet held an “open day” and a deck reception. During its visit, mutual Sino-Hellenic ship visits and basketball tournaments were also organized.

Greek President Karolos Papoulias met with Zhang Chuanshu and accompanying officers on Thursday, the first day of the Lunar Chinese New Year, and highly commended the contributions the Chinese escort fleet has made towards the freedom and safety of dangerous international sea routes.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, with his high-ranking civil and military officials, aboard the amphibious landing ship Changbaishan on Thursday night to participate in a reception celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Addressing the reception, Tsipras expressed his anticipation for the strengthening of cooperation and communication between the two countries, as well as between Chinese and Hellenic navies in the new year.

This is the first time Papoulias has granted an audience to the commanding officers of a visiting naval fleet during his 10 years’ tenure, and the first time Prime Minister Tsipras has attended a deck reception of a foreign navy since assuming office.








>>  China-theme exhibitions kick off in Poland

By Magdalena

Two exhibitions presenting Chinese culture kicked off on Friday of February 20 in the Polish cities of Warsaw and Krakow.

The Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw hosts an exhibition titled “Chinese Opera — on the stage and behind the scene”, which will last since Feb. 20 until March 18.

It consists of the pictures made by Daria Paweda, accompanied by the authentic costumes and make-up utensils. Paweda is a photographer and traveler, deeply interested in China and its traditions.

“In the space of the Dragon” is the name of the other exhibition held in the National Museum in Krakow between Feb. 20 and July 5. It contains over 400 display units presenting various accents of Chinese art, including clothing, china, accessories etc.

The current exhibition focuses on the idea and symbol of the dragon, a significant part of the Chinese culture and mythology. Thanks to the modern technologies, the animated dragon will be a guide during the exhibition tour, frequently appearing and disappearing from the guests’ sight.

For the first time in Poland, the audience might admire clothing and accessories with the dragon emblem.







>>  Chinese scholar pitch tent at Kenya varsity to cement friendship

By Ding Xiaoxi

Chinese Xu Jing Rotich wearing an African themed dress on Thursday of February 19 walked to the podium to present a seminal paper on the status of indigenous dialects in Kenya and China.

The audience gathered at the University of Nairobi for a conference to discuss the role of native languages in a rapidly evolving world were impressed by Xu’s intellectual vigor, charm and flexible demeanor.

An accomplished public speaker, Xu stressed that language was crucial to cement bonds among people from diverse racial, cultural and religious backgrounds.

She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in linguistics at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Linguistics and Languages.

Xu’s life history is not only uplifting but a also a marvel to many Kenyans.

The eloquent scholar has pitched tent in Kenya’s oldest university to teach mandarin and cement friendship between China and its staunch ally in the east African region.

A faculty member at University of Nairobi’s Confucius Institute, Xu has been at the frontline to quench young Kenyans’ thirst for knowledge about Chinese language, ancient philosophy and customs.

Xu had scant knowledge of Kenya while growing up in China but the scenario changed drastically in the late 90s when she fell in love with a Kenyan gentleman while studying in the university.

“I used to hear about the Maasai but came to appreciate the country during several visits as my courtship with Rotich blossomed. When I visited Nairobi in 2007 and 2008, my husband took me to the Maasai market where I bought gifts for my friends back in China,” Xu told Xinhua during an interview.

She revealed that her marriage to Rotich was solemnized in 2006 after years of blissful courtship.

Now a mother of two children who are in Kindergarten, Xu recalled with nostalgia how she met her future husband who benefitted from a Chinese government scholarship to pursue a post graduate degree in chemistry.

“I was teaching my future husband Chinese language when we fell in love. By then, I was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education and he was enrolled for a post graduate degree in chemistry,” Xu said.

Rotich was later awarded a scholarship by the Chinese government to pursue a doctoral degree in environmental engineering.

Xu’s love for Kenya blossomed after tying the knot with Rotich who relocated to his native country after completing the studies in China.

The newly-weds settled amicably in their new life despite their racial and cultural differences. Xu followed her new husband to Kenya in 2009 to start a new chapter in her life.

“My husband got a job with Kenya Bureau of Standards after studies and I was sent by the government to the University of Nairobi to teach mandarin,” Xu said.

Asked whether she maintains a strong attachment to China after settling in Kenya five years ago, Xu answered in the affirmative.

“China is still my home and have appreciated the opportunity granted to me to teach mandarin in Kenya,” said Xu

She has jelled with the Kenyan society without hitches and appreciates the country’s weather and natural treasures like wildlife.

“Most people in Kenya are friendly and my relationship with in- laws has been cordial. Every Christmas, we visit my husband’s ancestral home in the Rift Valley to reunite with the extended family,” Xu said.

She has also fallen in love with some Kenyan cuisine especially roast meat. Her husband too has come to appreciate Chinese delicacies while Xu ensure they are often served on the dinner table.

“I have taught the maid to cook Chinese food and as we mark the New Year, dumplings are being served constantly,” Xu said.

She is optimistic that Sino-Kenya cooperation in diverse fields like infrastructure development, educational and cultural exchanges will be sustained for the long haul.

“China is developing new roads in Kenya and its footprint in the cultural sphere is spreading,” Xu remarked.

Her experience at University of Nairobi’s Confucius Institute has been refreshing.

Established in 2005, the Institute currently has over 400 students and has started enrolling adult learners from public and private sectors.

“We have started classes for employees from the government and private companies to enable them communicate fluently in Chinese. Likewise, there are classes for employees at the University of Nairobi,” Xu said.

The majority of her students master the Chinese language very fast, she said.







>>  Sri Lanka to continue with Free Trade Agreement with China

Sri Lanka has agreed to proceed with the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China as it will strengthen the country’s economic and trade sectors, a local media report said here Friday.

Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs Harsha De Silva said that a private research agency had done a very interesting study on all FTAs that China had entered into and carried out a comparison exercise. “The government is not pushing it back; we will proceed with it, but there are multiple views. We won’t rush it but we are moving in that direction,” de Silva said while speaking at a CEOs forum organized by the island country’s Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) on Thursday of February 19.

The CEOs forum was told that the government would reassure China of its relationship with Sri Lanka and President Maithripala Sirisena is planning to make an official visit to Beijing next month. “This government will not fight with anybody, instead we will be friendly with everybody. We have to be a responsible government. Don’t forget that it was the United National Party that signed the first agreement with the Chinese, not the Bandaranaikes or the Rajapaksas. We have a strong relationship with China and we are immensely grateful for all it has done for us. Therefore, those relationships will continue,” the deputy minister said.

In order to strengthen its bilateral relations with China, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will leave for Beijing on Feb. 27 in the highest-level trip to hold discussions with key Chinese officials and make preparations for a visit by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in March.







>>  Chinese travelers lead surge in visitor spending in New Zealand

By John Macdonald

Spending by overseas visitors in New Zealand rose by 13 percent last year to 7.4 billion NZ dollars (5.57 billion U.S. dollars), led by a surge in Chinese visitors spending, said a government report on Friday of February 20.

The Chinese market passed 1 billion NZ dollars (753.01 million dollars) in expenditure, up 50 percent from the previous year, according to the quarterly International Visitor Survey from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Chinese visitors spent an average of 4,100 NZ dollars (3,086 dollars) each.

Significant increases in total spending was also seen among visitors from the United States, up an estimated 32 percent, and Britain, up 29 percent.

The survey showed an 8-percent drop in spending by visitors from Australia, the country’s biggest tourism market.

Australian visitors spent 2.05 billion NZ dollars (1.54 billion dollars) or 1,800 NZ dollars (1,355 dollars) on average each.

The International Visitor Survey is based on results from about 8,900 visitors departing New Zealand airports.







>>  China Internet Conference scheduled for July

By Wu Chen

The 14th China Internet Conference will be held from July 21 to 23 in Beijing, discussing the development of the Internet in the coming five years, the Cyberspace Administration of China has announced.

Government officials, representatives from the Internet industry, experts and researchers will gather to talk about topics including e-commerce, Internet finance, cyber security, and online intellectual property rights protection.

Innovation in mobile applications, online games and Internet technology will also be discussed at the conference, held by the Internet Society of China.

The first China Internet Conference was held in 2002.







>>  53 H7N9 human cases reported in Guangdong

By Zhou Yan and Xiao Sisi

The number of H7N9 human cases in south China’s Guangdong Province has climbed to 53, with one new case reported, local health authorities said on Friday of February 20.

A 78-year-old man from Meixian District in Meizhou City was diagnosed with the disease on Thursday. Despite medical attention, he died the same day, the provincial health and family planning commission said in a press release.

H7N9 is a bird flu strain first reported to have infected humans in March 2013. It is most likely to strike in winter and spring.

H7N9 human cases have been reported in 15 of Guangdong’s 21 prefecture-level cities and have resulted in 13 deaths.

To prevent the epidemic from spreading fast, the provincial government has banned live poultry trade at all markets from Feb. 19 to 28, the first 10 days of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Human cases of H7N9 have been reported this winter in several other Chinese localities including Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guizhou and Zhejiang.







>>  China’s diamond consumption continues to decline

By Chen Yunfu and Wang Ruoyao

The amount of polished diamonds imported into China declined for a fourth consecutive month in January, according to the Shanghai Diamond Exchange.

Last month, the country imported polished diamonds worth 157 million U.S. dollars, down 24 percent compared with the previous January.

The declining trend has resulted from sluggish global economic recovery and a weak domestic market, according the exchange.

In 2014, China’s diamond consumption hit a record high thanks to robust growth in the first three quarters. In the year, polished diamonds worth about 2.24 billion U.S. dollars, up 31 percent year on year, were exported to the country through the exchange.

The exchange, founded in October 2000 in Shanghai’s Pudong District, is the only venue in China authorized by the State Council to handle diamond imports and exports and to conduct trade.

As a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the exchange’s membership stood at 370 at the end of January.

China is now the world’s second-largest diamond consumer and fourth-largest rough diamond trader.







>>  China to keep yuan exchange rate stable

By Wang Yaguang

China will continue to improve the formation mechanism of the yuan’s exchange rate to keep it basically stable in 2015, according to its foreign exchange regulator.

Guan Tao, head of the international payments department at the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), said although the yuan has weakened against the U.S. dollar since the beginning of 2015, two-way fluctuations, instead of a continued depreciation, is the market consensus.

The SAFE will speed up the yuan’s convertibility under the capital account and maintain the “basic stability” of the currency while keeping its exchange rate at a “reasonable and balanced level,” Guan said.

He said analysis of the exchange rate of the yuan should be made in a less politicized setting and focus more on market factors.

Economic uncertainties both at home and abroad could affect the flow of cross-border capital and thus cause two-way fluctuations of the yuan’s exchange rate, Guan said.







>>  Non-ferrous metal sector continues to falter

By Wang Yaguang and Zhang Xinxin

China’s non-ferrous metal sector looks set to continue to falter in 2015 as a slowing economy has sapped demand while excess production capacity has contained the sector’s development.

Growth in output and consumption of 10 major non-ferrous metals including copper, aluminum, lead and zinc, will slow further while investment in the sector will continue to shrink, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement.

According to the MIIT, China produced 44.17 million tonnes of the metals in 2014, up 7.2 percent form one year earlier, but the pace of growth slowed from the 9.9-percent rise registered in 2013.

The slowdown came amid continued weakness in economic activity. The economy expanded by 7.4 percent last year, the slowest pace in a quarter of a century.







>>  Chinese fishermen saved 16 hours after shipwreck

By Huang Haoyuan and Wang Ruoyao

Two fishermen were rescued from the sea off south China’s Guangdong Province on Friday morning of February 20, 16 hours after their boat sank, according to local rescuers.

At around 8 a.m., a vessel from the South China Sea Salvage Bureau rescued the two survivors, who along with three others were aboard a boat that sank at around 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Two of the three have been confirmed dead, while the other remains missing, said a spokesman for the bureau, adding that the search for the missing is under way.

The fishermen sailed from Yangjiang City early on Thursday and the accident occurred when they were heading back home.

The survivors said that none of them were wearing life jackets when they fell into the water. The two swam for several hours before reaching an islet where they called for help.







>>  Rain, snow forecast in China

By Wang Yaguang

Rain and snow will hit east and central China over the next three days, affecting travel during the Lunar New Year holiday, China’s national observatory forecast on Friday of February 20.

Regions in north and northeast China will expect snow or sleet during the period, and some parts of northern provinces will be hit by snowstorms, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said.

Hunan, Jiangxi and Hubei provinces as well as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region will experience rainstorms, according to the observatory.

Fog will shroud some parts of north China and regions along the Yellow and Huaihe rivers, reducing visibility to less than 500 meters in certain areas on Friday and Saturday, the NMC said.

It advised residents in these areas to restrain from setting off fireworks, a practice likely to increase the concentration of pollutants during the foggy and windless weather.

The Chinese government has been urging people to light fewer fireworks during this week’s Lunar New Year holiday, from Feb. 18 to 24, to help limit air pollution.








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