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China seeks to support militancy fight at security summit

This weekend China will be part of a regional security summit where it seeks to support the fight against extremism. One of the closest associates to attend the summit will be the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia and China jointly launched the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 to combat radical Islam and other security concerns in their own countries and across Central Asia.

The two nations added India and Pakistan as the new members. Iran on the other hand has been knocking at the door since last year. Tehran is currently an observer rather than a full member of a bloc that also includes four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics.

China’s official said, “One of the pressing tasks facing the SCO is to continue fighting against militants of the Islamic State who, following the extremist group’s defeat in Syria and Iraq, have returned to their native countries, some of which are SCO members or observers,”

“Member countries have destroyed more than 500 training bases for armed militants and arrested some 2,000 members of “international terrorist organizations” between 2013 and 2017,” the official said.

According to Reuters, China faces a threat from Islamist militants in its far western region of Xinjiang, where hundreds have been killed in unrest in recent years.

The head of SCO Research Centre allied to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Sun Zhuangzhi said: “The traditional hostility between India and Pakistan could affect the efficiency of the SCO’s decision-making process,”

Source:Reuters

Emerging markets to be hot commodity in 2018

Investments in emerging markets are likely to continue their upward climb

 

From Chile to Turkey, Peru to Russia, Egypt to India and China, emerging markets have become sharply lucrative again, due to economic policy in these countries not only becoming adaptive to US market shifts – namely, Fed policy – but also becoming proactive by drawing up scenarios that include the prospects of US interest-rate hikes.

This has largely helped stabilise commodity markets – also seen in strengthening currency stability, ultimately leading to stronger confidence in the economy. These countries have also learnt how to weather political crises that once debilitated confidence in their economies and pulled markets into recession.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Country Index, which measures equity market performance in some 26 emerging countries and accounts for 10% of the world market capitalisation, is up to 29.37% year-to-date. Just three months ago, the Index was up 23.4% – the steady increase is noticeable, as is the outperformance when compared with European and US indices. And most of these outperformances are located in Latin America and Asia.

Take Brazil, for example, which is now emerging from three-year recession. Its benchmark Bovespa stock exchange is up 24.20% year-to-date. In Chile, that figure is 35.52%, while in Argentina, which is still waiting to be shifted from the riskier “frontier” market status to “emerging”, the Merval stock exchange is up 62.13%. UK-based financial services group bfinances said in a quarterly report that there is “a surge in emerging market appetite”. It added that as of June 20, 2017, 24% of new equity engagements were focused in emerging markets or “emerging Asia”.

It revealed that emerging-market equity performance grew 18.4% over the period of a year ended June 2017, outperforming European (15.5%) and US equity (9.3%). And this trend is likely to continue, as emerging markets appear to welcome US President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to replace current chief Janet Yellen. The expectation is that while Powell will not halt interest rate increases, he may choose to delay such action for a while.

Powell has voiced his opinion that is may be time to slowly roll back some of the policies that Yellen greenlit – without rocking the boat – in a bid to get the US economy back on track.

 

POWERHOUSE CHINA, POWERHOUSE INDIA

These markets, as in Asia, have moved from being commodity-focused (suffering from the commodity-markets crisis of the past two years) to services and technology-based markets. Leading this transformation are China and India, two of the world’s biggest emerging markets and key growth prospects in BRICS.

According to Reuters and MSCI, China’s markets are up 45.2% year-to-date, while India’s markets are up 31.5% in the same period. India’s growth was briefly stunned due to the demonetisation drive launched by the government last year, with GDP growth failing to a three-year low of 5.7% in the second quarter.

However, the government has been pushing for bank reforms and streamlining regulations for foreign investment. In May 2017, it terminated a government body that was tasked with approving foreign direct investment (FDI) – and seen by some as being restrictive- and left the approval of such ventures to individual ministries. This is part of Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s Make in India policy to woo foreign investors and boost the country’s productivity and competitiveness.

According to government statistics, FDI rose 8% between March 2016 and 2017. In early November 2017, a World Bank report lauded India for boosting access to the credit system and making it easier to secure construction permits. India moved up to 30 places in the Bank’s ease-of-doing-business ranking, and the World Bank has also forecast a revival of demand in the commodity markets, which will be a boon to India, China and other.

The Bank says that falling supply and increased demand will largely contribute to a rise in gains for energy and metal commodities in 2017. Boosting the presence and viability of emerging markets is a necessary policy, says Chinese President Xi Jinping. “We need to amplify the voice of emerging markets and developing countries,” he adds.

“We need to seek practical results in our (BRICS) economic co-operation. We have not fully tapped the potential of BRICS yet,” Xi said at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen in September 2017.

In its latest economic outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in August that China can expect sustained strong growth of 6.7% this year and a likely average of 6.4% revised up from 6 – until 2021. But the report said that China must quickly move to curb “household, corporate and government debt, which are expected to continue rising strongly”.

Nevertheless, the manufacturing sector has continued sustained growth in China since last year. The country’s Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) was 51.0 in October. The government survey tracks the health of some 3 000 large and state-owned companies. The reading is above the neutral 50-point level, signalling an expansion in the manufacturing sector, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. A reading below 50 represents contraction.

 

 

This article first appeared in the BRICS Post

[WATCH] Selection and election: How China chooses its leaders

China has developed a unique system of choosing its leaders, eschewing Western models for a process based on merit and broad support. Scholar Zhang Weiwei argues that while the system of “selection and election” is not perfect, it is a match for alternative models and has delivered for the Chinese people.

Copy & video: China Global Television Network

 

 

President Xi Jinping remains ‘historic’ speeches are validated at Davos

Fu Jing in Davos, Switzerland
Displayed with permission from China Daily

Theme built on ‘shared future’ idea president unveiled in 2017

President Xi Jinping’s advocacy of a community with a shared future for mankind, an open economy, globalisation and fighting protectionism and isolationism has been widely welcomed and China has been transforming the proposals into action, said a senior Chinese official attending the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

Liu He, a member of Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, addressed the four-day annual meeting, which ends on Friday. Last year, Xi made speeches that were considered historic in Davos and Geneva.

“President Xi came here last year and delivered a speech entitled Jointly Shoulder Responsibility of Our Times, Promote Global Growth, in which he expounded on China’s firm support for economic globalisation,” said Liu, a top economic policy adviser as head of the General Office of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, responsible for mapping the country’s economic policies. “That speech was warmly received by the international community.”

Liu said that in line with Xi’s propositions in Davos, China has stood firm against all forms of protectionism in the past year.

He said China has strengthened protection of intellectual property rights, promoted fair competition, deepened the opening of financial markets and increased imports.

“With efforts to implement the Belt and Road Initiative, we are moving economic globalisation forward with concrete actions,” Liu said.

Liu said the theme of this year’s forum, Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World, is highly relevant.

He quoted Xi as saying, “As long as we keep to the goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind and work hand in hand to fulfil our responsibilities and overcome difficulties, we will be able to create a better world and deliver better lives for our people.”

While urging improved labour productivity and changes in the savings rate in large economies, Liu warned that deep-seated problems in the world economy have yet to be fixed and multiple risks and considerable uncertainties come from high debts, asset bubbles, protectionism and the escalation of regional and international hot spots.

“To meet these challenges, to keep the growth momentum, and to turn the cyclical recovery into sustainable growth, we need concerted global efforts,” Liu said. “History often repeats itself in different ways or keeps revisiting similar crossroads. It is crucial to make prudent and rational choices – choices that will serve mankind well.”

He advocated having an open mind and taking a strategic perspective in dealing with global challenges like climate change, disruptive technologies and terrorism.

“No country can cope with them alone. We need to enhance mutual understanding, tolerance and trust. And we must seek cooperation in a sensible and practical manner,” Liu said.

“We need to shape a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and build a community with a shared future for mankind. We believe this is the only way that will lead us to prosperity.”

Angus Deaton, an economics professor at Princeton University, told China Daily that Xi’s concept of a shared future for mankind is a great vision. “I think China is doing what they can to make it happen,” said Deaton, recipient of the 2015 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, the police authority based in The Hague, said Xi’s call for a shared future is significant.

“I work very much in Europe with US partners, but that is not enough. I am very pleased about the positive positions that China has taken so far,” Wainwright said.

In his speech, Liu also said that high-quality growth, instead of high-speed development, will predominate in China’s development in the coming years.

Liu said China is preparing a new reform package that will be announced when China celebrates the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up this year.

Liu has said that the financial sector, manufacturing and services industries, intellectual property rights and imports are the four key sectors for China’s reforms this year.

fujing@chinadaily.com.cn

 

Source: Repubhub/China Daily

BRICS members embrace open economy

An Baijie in Hamburg
Displayed with permission from China Daily

Xi tells leaders a multilateral trade system will bear fruit for all people

The leaders of the BRICS countries reached important consensus on building an open world economy and improving global economic governance during their informal meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday.

President Xi Jinping presided over the meeting, since China holds the rotating presidency of the BRICS bloc this year.

The BRICS Summit will be held from September 3 to 5 in Xiamen, Fujian province.

Xi said in his speech that there are currently positive signs for the world’s economy, with a promising future for the development of BRICS countries, and at the same time, there are also challenges ahead for the BRICS members.

He called on the member countries to establish an open world economy, maintain a multilateral trade system and push forward open, inclusive, beneficial, balanced and win-win economic globalization, thus making the fruits of economic growth accessible for all people.

The BRICS countries should unswervingly stick to the principle of multilateralism in addressing conflicts and disputes, strive to achieve peace and cooperation, and make full use of multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations to discuss international rules, he said.

In his speech, Xi highlighted the importance of the G20 in boosting international economic cooperation and improving global economic governance.

The consensuses reached at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou last year and other G20 summits should be implemented to create a good environment for the development of emerging economies and developing countries, Xi said.

Xi also encouraged the BRICS countries to play a leading role in supporting developing countries, especially African nations, to help them to improve development capacity.

Saying that preparations for the BRICS Summit in Xiamen are going smoothly, Xi added that he expected to make joint efforts with the other BRICS members to achieve fruitful outcomes, deepen BRICS cooperation, offer new solutions to improve global governance and contribute to global economic growth.

South African President Jacob Zuma, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the meeting and agreed that the BRICS countries should keep the good momentum of cooperation on politics, economy and people-to-people exchanges to push forward practical cooperation of the BRICS members, according to a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry.

They also agreed to work together to send positive messages in the G20, to push the international order to develop in the direction of being more just and reasonable, and to create a better environment for the development of emerging markets, the statement said.

-Repubhub/ China Daily

China ready for more high-level Russia exchanges

Zhang Yunbi
Displayed with permission from China Daily

Beijing is ready to work with Moscow to prepare for high-level exchanges in the near future, as the two countries have always trusted and supported each other, no matter how the international situation changes, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Wang made the remark while meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday in the Russian capital.

As part of the good relationship between the two emerging markets, bilateral meetings of leaders have been frequent, including Putin’s meeting with President Xi Jinping earlier this month during a trip to China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

Wang said Putin made an important contribution to the success of the forum.

Putin told Wang he expects that Xi could visit Russia at an early date, and the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination “is worthy of its name”.

Beijing and Moscow have kept close contact on global issues. Their senior diplomats have met recently to discuss the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Syrian situation.

Wang said the two countries should also strengthen strategic cooperation on international affairs, firmly safeguard their strategic interests and jointly promote peaceful settlement of international and regional hot spot issues.

Putin said Russia and China should work closely together within multilateral frameworks such as BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the G20. He also said the two countries should strengthen international security cooperation, jointly tackle hot spot issues and maintain global strategic stability.

Regarding bilateral cooperation, Wang said both sides should act on the guidance of their respective leaders and push for new outcomes of bilateral cooperation on linking the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union.

Putin said the economic situation in Russia is improving, the departments of both governments should strengthen communication and consultation, and major cooperative projects should be implemented effectively.

Jiang Yi, an expert on Russian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the reinforced cooperation has laid a foundation for the lasting development of the bilateral partnership.

Progress in major projects will facilitate economic restructuring of both countries and boost their standing on the global stage, he said.

-Repubhub/China Daily

Capital hosts global gathering to explore paths for prosperity

May 15, 2017
Displayed with permission from China Daily

President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, (center) have a group photo with delegates and guests before the welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday. Wu Zhiyi / China Daily

Delegates and guests arrive at the welcome banquet held at the Great Hall of the People. Xu Jingxing / China Daily

A staff member displays commemorative stamps and envelopes at the China National Convention Center on Sunday. Zou Hong / China Daily

Media from home and abroad attend the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the China National Convention Center in Beijing on Sunday. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries (center) attends the Plenary Session of High-Level Dialogue on the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on Sunday. Zou Hong / China Daily

Yanqi Lake, 50 kilometers from downtown Beijing, surrounds the Beijing Huairou International Conference Center, one of the two main venues for the two-day forum that ends on Monday. Li Xin / Xinhua

-Repubhub
– Image: Twitter

Xi: Dialogue needed to calm region

Li Xiaokun
Displayed with permission from China Daily

President urges US leader to assist in defusing Korean Peninsula situation

The Korean Peninsula issue should be settled through peaceful means, President Xi Jinping told US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, adding that Beijing is willing to continue a dialogue with Washington on the issue.

Xi spoke by telephone with Trump on the issue just days after his meeting with the US president on April 6 and 7 in Florida.

Xi “stressed that China sticks to the target of the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and that China is committed to peace and stability of the peninsula,” according to a news release issued by the Foreign Ministry.

“China holds that the issue should be solved through peaceful means and is ready to maintain communication and coordination with the United States on the issue,” the statement said.

The two presidents also talked about the situation in Syria. Xi said any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and that the path of political settlement should be followed.

He expressed the hope that the UN Security Council would speak in one voice, as it is important for the council’s members to remain united over the issue.

Xi said his recent tete-a-tete with Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida has produced important results, which have won a positive response from among the Chinese people and the international community.

He and Trump have increased mutual understanding and established sound working relations, he added.

He urged the two sides to promote economic cooperation, expand exchanges in military, law enforcement, technology and communication, enhance communication and coordination regarding major global and regional issues through a newly established four-pronged dialogue mechanism.

Xi also asked teams from China and the US to work together to make sure Trump’s visit to China later this year will achieve fruitful results.

Trump has called the meeting with Xi at Mar-a-Lago a success. He said he was looking forward to his state visit to China this year.

When asked about the reason behind the phone conversation, which came right after Xi’s US trip, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Wednesday that the two presidents agreed to keep close communication through all kinds of channels.

“After all, the time of the meetings was limited,” he said.

Lu said Beijing had taken note of remarks made by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Washington would consider talking with Pyongyang after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north stops all nuclear and missile tests.

Ruan Zongze, executive deputy president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the situation on the Korean Peninsula issue is “very severe” and became an important topic of the phone conversation between the two leaders.

The US and the Republic of Korea to the south are conducting their biggest-ever military exercises, and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group is heading to the area.

“Once the situation is out of control, it will be a disaster to China and the region. So China has clearly expressed its resolution to keeping stability there, which is Beijing’s bottom line,” Ruan said.

The change of tone is a move forward in the right direction on the issue, Ruan added.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

lixiaokun@chinadaily.com.cn

Xi: Keep poverty-reduction promises

An Baijie
Displayed with permission from China Daily

The country’s poverty alleviation work is facing tougher challenges with the approach of the 2020 deadline for its ambitious poverty-eradication plan, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday, while calling on officials to make greater efforts to help poverty-stricken people.

The Communist Party of China has made a solemn promise to lift all remaining poverty-stricken people out of that status by the end of 2020, said Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Xi made the remarks at a panel discussion with lawmakers from Sichuan province during the ongoing annual session of the National People’s Congress, the top legislature. Mountainous Sichuan, with many ethnic groups, has 3.8 million people living in poverty.

By a standard set in 2011, China categorizes those with an annual income lower than 2,300 yuan ($335) as poverty-stricken.

The number of people living in poverty in rural areas was reduced by 12.4 million last year to 43.35 million. The government will lift another 10 million people out of poverty this year, according to the Government Work Report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday.

The whole process of poverty reduction requires tailored poverty relief policies and precision measures, and sometimes patience and accuracy like “doing embroidery”, Xi said.

The government should continue to dispatch officials to live in poor rural villages to focus on the poverty reduction work there, Xi said, adding that the authorities should make full use of poverty alleviation funds.

The president called for continuous measures to prevent those who have already escaped poverty from falling into that status again. Formalism should be stopped resolutely in poverty reduction work, he emphasized.

During the discussion, Xi also urged local authorities to push forward with supply-side structural reform in agriculture, improve quality and produce more green, organic and pollution-free farm products.

The integration of military and civil industries should speed up, Xi said, adding that a high-tech industry base should be built for military-civil integration.

The president also stressed the importance of clean governance. Government officials should stick to their beliefs, safeguard the authority and leadership of the CPC Central Committee and abide by political discipline and rules.

During the talks, the lawmakers gave their suggestions on issues including pushing forward reform, reconstruction work after the 2013 earthquake and Tibetan inhabitants’ livelihoods.

-Repubhub

Xi calls on Shanghai to lead way

AN BAIJIE
Displayed with permission from China Daily

President praises city, but asks it to do even more in opening-up, boosting innovation

President Xi Jinping said China will continue to open up in all respects, particularly in further liberalising and facilitating trade and investment, while calling on Sunday for Shanghai to take a leading role in deepening reform and boosting innovation.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during a panel discussion with Shanghai lawmakers at the National People’s Congress annual plenary session.

“The door of China’s opening-up will not close,” Xi said, mentioning that creating the pilot free trade zone in Shanghai was a strategic move by the CPC Central Committee.

The zone, inaugurated in 2013, has seen about 40,000 new enterprises emerge.

Shanghai also should make a difference in deepening free trade zone reforms, advancing the construction of scientific innovation centers and social governance innovation, and strengthening CPC discipline, Xi said.

The president said the city should be bold in its pilot projects, expanding its role as a testing ground for further reform and opening-up. He also urged the city to push forward with free trade and facilitation of investment. Its free trade zone should become a bridgehead for the country’s Belt and Road Initiative and help market entities go global, he said. That way, Shanghai can achieve innovative results that can be adopted by other regions.

China faced a complex global situation and downward pressure on its domestic economy in the past year, but the nation kept “seeking progress while maintaining stability”, pushed forward on supply-side structural reform, and achieved its goals of economic and social development, Xi said.

The president recognised the achievements of Shanghai authorities in the past year in areas such as boosting innovation, optimising economic structures and deepening reform.

The key to the supply-side structural reform is innovation, Xi said. He urged breakthroughs in key technology areas. He also advocated educational reform to create the talent needed for the country’s development.

Xi said Shanghai should explore new ways of social governance that fit a super municipality. He suggested use of information technology, including the internet and big data, to enhance intelligent city management to make the city more orderly, safer and cleaner.

The president also vowed to strengthen the discipline of the Communist Party of China. Party leaders must shoulder their responsibility in clean-governance supervision, he said.

-Repubhub