Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 35 n°25

Posts Tagged ‘china’

MERICS wishes you a Happy New Year of the Rabbit

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 21 gennaio 2023

In China, the Year of the Water Rabbit begins on January 22. Our lucky saying on the card contains a play on words. The pronunciation of the characters, „hongtu dazhan”, can also mean “May great plans go forward” (宏图大展). We take this to heart. This year, the Mercator Institute for China Studies celebrates its tenth anniversary. Getting China right: In these turbulent times, this ambition is more challenging and more important than ever. We are planning numerous projects, events and publications this year under this slogan. Your questions, comments and critical support are crucial for us.

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4th MERICS China Forecast conference

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 7 gennaio 2023

Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 12:00 – 14:00 in collaboration with our media partner Handelsblatt. MERICS will present findings from our annual survey among leading European experts and professionals and among a wider global audience on key developments in Europe-China relations. A prominent line-up of high-level speakers will share and discuss their expectations for the turbulent year ahead, including China’s political and economic trajectory and challenges for European governments and companies. The MERICS China Forecast 2023 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 101061700. The event is part of “China Horizons”, a multi-year project bringing together nine research institutions from seven EU member states. Its aim is to strengthen Europe’s independent knowledge base on China’s politics, society and economy.

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“MERICS China Forecast 2023”

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 5 dicembre 2022

2022 was a watershed year. Russia launched a war of aggression against Ukraine, upsetting the European security architecture and global order, while Xi Jinping secured an unprecedented third term in power, filling the ranks of the Politburo Standing Committee entirely with close allies. Entering 2023 in a new geopolitical era marked by insecurity and uncertainty, we would like to invite you to participate in our annual ‘MERICS China Forecast 2023’ survey.

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Has Xi Jinping pushed China’s people too far?

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 29 novembre 2022

London. I’ve been thinking this weekend about Churchill’s joke about democracy. In 1947, quoting an unknown wit, he called it the worst form of government—the worst, that is, apart from all the others. Despite democracies’ mess and imperfections, they at least let ordinary people vent frustrations. Elected rulers are compelled to adjust, to be ready to step back from a policy—such as endlessly prolonging mass lockdowns to fight covid-19—when voters can’t bear it. Is there trouble brewing in China? A perennial threat to the country is that Communist autocrats, in power for so many decades, become unbending. In turn a risk is that the masses could suddenly snap and reject the legitimacy of those in charge—especially when economic conditions are gloomy. So change, when it comes, risks being disruptive or even violent. At the most extreme think of the painful, bloody years of the Arab Spring that followed decades of brittle, autocratic rule in much of north Africa. Look, too, at what is unfolding as protests in Iran potentially threaten that regime. I’m not suggesting China actually faces such a moment—but it is fascinating to see how protests have apparently grown more common in recent months. By one estimate this is already the toughest political test for the government since 1989 and Tiananmen Square. In the past couple of days these have erupted in Beijing, Shanghai, Urumqi and elsewhere, amid popular fury over those lockdowns. More notable, some people are calling for democratic freedoms, like free speech, and even daring to say Xi Jinping should go. In Xinjiang there’s a particular cause of anger: it appears covid restrictions slowed the response of fire services in tackling a blaze that killed at least 10 people on Thursday. I’ll be fascinated to see what comes next. Does Mr Xi adjust his repressive covid policy? Reportedly some lockdowns are being eased “in stages” in Xinjiang. Or might this be a moment for harsher crackdowns and repression? And could those who protested once start to get a taste for more? I’ll rely on the reporting of our team in China: we have just published our latest analysis of the situation on the ground, including our correspondents’ experience of witnessing protests this weekend.Elsewhere, we have our eye on Venezuela, where the regime of Nicolás Maduro may be coming in from the cold. America’s government has started to adjust its stance there. It has just agreed that Chevron can start operating there, again. Talks between Mr Maduro and the opposition signal some frostiness is easing. The bigger context? As the West has tried to isolate Russia, and seeks alternative sources of oil, it naturally has an interest in warming to a country with 20% of the world’s proven oil reserves. I’ll be watching other stories. Emmanuel Macron heads to Washington this week for a state visit. This is a chance to discuss how the West can better support Ukraine in the winter months—and more broadly to think about the best ways to bolster western Europe at a difficult time. The knock-on effects of the war, and high energy prices, could yet lead to unusually large numbers of deaths of many elderly Europeans. We’ve calculated that, in the worst scenario, Europe could see as many extra deaths as there have been combat killings inside Ukraine so far.And there’s plenty to occupy my colleagues who write about business, finance and economics. We have just published a look at which businesses turned out to be winners (and which losers) from the past few years of upheaval caused by covid, war, inflation and more. We’ve also got our eyes on Microsoft, and whether antitrust concerns would scupper its purchase of Activision. And there’s the ongoing saga of the crypto collapse. Some parts of the crypto world may yet emerge stronger from the current fray. On China, in particular, do you see reasons to believe bigger upheavals are looming? Might Mr Xi be ready to bend after all, on his covid policy, or will he opt for ever stricter repression and control? .Adam Roberts Digital editor The Economist

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China is becoming weaker but more dangerous

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 ottobre 2022

From October 16th the grandees of China’s Communist Party will gather in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for their five-yearly congress. Not a teacup will be out of place; not a whisper of protest will be audible. The Communist Party has always been obsessed with control, but under President Xi Jinping that obsession has deepened. Such control-freakery has wider implications for China and the world. At home Mr Xi makes all the big calls, and a fierce machinery of repression enforces his will. Abroad, he seeks to fashion a global order more congenial for autocrats. Rightly, the West finds this alarming. No despotic regime in history has had resources to match modern China’s. This is why Western governments now treat Chinese innovation as a national-security issue. Many are boosting subsidies for industries such as chipmaking. Perhaps, though, they have it wrong. Mr Xi’s obsession with control may make the Communist Party stronger, but it also makes China weaker than it would otherwise be. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist

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How Xi Jinping is damaging China’s economy

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 giugno 2022

For the past 20 years China has been the most reliable source of growth in the world economy, contributing a quarter of the rise in global GDP over that period. Its success has for the most part been powered by pragmatism, as the ruling Communist Party mixed market reforms with state control. Now, however, China’s economy is in danger.The first problem is the zero-covid policy. More than 200m people have been living under pandemic restrictions. Many are sleeping on factory floors so they can keep working, but industrial output has dipped and for the full year China may struggle to grow faster than America for the first time since 1990. Western vaccines are still banned, some 100m Chinese over the age of 60 are not yet triple-jabbed, and the zero-covid policy looks set to continue into next year. Since it is associated with Xi Jinping, China’s leader, criticism of it is regarded as sabotage. The second problem is Mr Xi’s ideological approach to economic policy. His aims are rational: to tackle inequality, monopolies and debt, and to ensure that China dominates new technologies and is fortified against Western sanctions. But his strategy is to expand the scope of the least productive part of the economy—the government-run one—while buffeting the private sector with fines, regulations and purges. Venture capitalists say they have switched to betting on the biggest subsidies, not the best ideas. For the first time in 40 years, no major sector is undergoing liberalising reforms. Without them, China’s growth will suffer, and that will have global consequences. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist

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Shanghai’s strict lockdown to curb an outbreak of covid is finally easing. But China is far from reaching its zero-covid goals

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 31 Maggio 2022

Fresh outbreaks are reported in Beijing and Tianjin. Our cover leader this week explains how President Xi Jinping is damaging China’s prosperity, partly through his insistence on eradicating an ineradicable virus. But even as tensions mount over his covid policies, there is little sign of real challenges to Mr Xi’s rule.Britain’s prime minister should be more concerned about his fate. A highly anticipated report into parties held by the government during covid lockdowns was at last released this week. Our Britain section offers an assessment of the Sue Gray report. We strike a more optimistic tone on the EU’s covid recovery fund. We believe the Next Generation EU (or NGEU for short) will be a test of how the EU could operate in the future. Implementing the current plan is only part of it. Another issue is whether the fund can be adjusted to tackle today’s most pressing issues, such as the war in Ukraine. And in a By Invitation on health care, Sir John Bell argues that there is a need for better identification and tracking of pathogens that cause disease outbreaks. He calls for improved genomic surveillance and sequencing to help thwart pandemics. By Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist

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What China is getting wrong

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 aprile 2022

It is often said that China’s government plans decades ahead, carefully playing the long game as democracies flip-flop and dither. But in Shanghai 25m people are in a citywide lockdown, trapped in their apartments and facing food and medical shortages that not even China’s censors can cover up. The zero-covid policy is one of a trio of problems the country faces this year, alongside the war in Ukraine and a botched attempt to recast the state as a tech incubator as the economy misfires. The response to each has a common root: swagger and hubris in public, an obsession with control in private, and dubious results. For President Xi Jinping this is the year when everything has to follow the script. In the autumn he is expected to use a five-yearly congress of the Communist Party to launch a third term as its chief, in defiance of norms that he step aside after two, opening a pathway to lifelong rule. In some ways Mr Xi has triumphed. Yet look more closely and his final year as a political mortal betrays the weaknesses of his rule as well as its strengths. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist

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Why are so few old people vaccinated in China?

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 5 aprile 2022

China remains the focus of our covid-19 coverage. The lockdown in Shanghai is the biggest test yet of the government’s “zero-covid” approach to snuffing out the virus. Whereas other countries made vaccinating the old and other vulnerable people a priority, only about half of China’s over-80s have been fully vaccinated. This week we explore why that is, and the impact the lockdown will have on the Chinese economy and global supply chains.In the West, memories of the chaos of 2020 are already fading. But a report in Britain this week into the government’s purchase of protective gear made for uncomfortable reading. Mistakes were made when sourcing PPE during the height of the outbreak. But not all of them were bad. In the Business section, our Bartleby columnist makes the case for managerial decency (which could be a useful read for Peter Hebblethwaite, the beleaguered chief executive of P&O Ferries). A study examining how chief executives responded to the outbreak of covid has found that managerial displays of humanity are good for share prices, not just staff morale.Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief Yhe Economist

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China must eventually learn to live with covid-19

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 29 marzo 2022

China is one of the few countries still trying to maintain a “zero-covid” policy. The government remains wedded to mass-testing and strict lockdowns, all enforced by a small army of community health workers and others. Yet spikes in the number of cases continue, not least in Hong Kong. In a leader, we argue that the Chinese government should now help its people live with covid-19. It needs to devote as much energy to charting a path out of the zero-covid policy as it has to enforcing it. Two years have passed since the covid pandemic was declared, and it’s far from over. In our Babbage podcast host Alok Jha speaks to Sir Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, a medical-research charity, about the road ahead.When covid hit, prisoners locked up at close quarters were thought to be among those most at risk. Recent figures show that in fact relatively few inmates of Britain’s jails have died. But in the Britain section we look at how draconian measures needed to contain the spread of covid still took a heavy toll, physically and mentally.It has been a struggle to get covid vaccines to poorer parts of the world. But to end on a more cheerful note, many, including Africa, should have better luck with the world’s first malaria vaccine. It is due to be rolled out later this year. A jab developed by scientists at Oxford University has shown 77% effectiveness. Modellers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reckon that, with enough resources and in conjunction with other anti-malarial measures, by 2030 the jabs could cut deaths caused by 75%.Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist

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Russia and China: The alternative world order

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 18 marzo 2022

We have taken two bites at the story of how Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is upending world affairs. Some argue that, because of the war, China will build on a friendship with Russia that knows “no limits”, to create an axis of autocracy. Others counter that America can shame China into breaking with Russia, isolating Mr Putin. In our cover leader, we argue that neither scenario is likely. The deepening of ties with Russia will be guided by cautious self-interest, as China exploits the war in Ukraine to hasten what it sees as America’s inevitable decline. The focus at all times is its own dream of establishing an alternative to the Western, liberal world order. Our second leader explores what that means for the world economy. If you look beyond the chaos, Mr Putin’s warmongering raises a question about globalisation that is uncomfortable for free-traders such as The Economist. Is it prudent for open societies to conduct normal economic relations with autocratic ones, such as Russia and China, that abuse human rights, endanger security and grow more threatening the richer they get? In principle, the answer is simple: democracies should seek to maximise trade without compromising national security. In practice, that is a hard line to draw. Russia’s war shows that supply chains need redesigning to prevent autocratic countries from bullying liberal ones. However, the world cannot afford a self-defeating lurch towards self-sufficiency. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist this week: Biden’s China doctrine

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 19 luglio 2021

Our cover this week is about President Joe Biden’s China doctrine. Between them, Mr Biden and Donald Trump have engineered the most dramatic break in American foreign policy in the five decades since Richard Nixon went to China. Optimists long hoped that welcoming China into the global economy would make it a “responsible stakeholder”, and perhaps bring about political reform. Today Mr Biden foresees a struggle that pits America against China—a struggle that he says can have only one winner. The administration believes that America must blunt China’s ambitions, by building up its strength at home and working with allies abroad. Much about Mr Biden’s new doctrine makes sense, but the details contain a lot to be worried about—not least the fact that it is unlikely to work. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The brutal reality of dealing with China

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 22 marzo 2021

Our cover this week asks an epoch-defining question: how should the free world best secure prosperity, lower the risk of war and protect freedom as China rises? The parable of Hong Kong defies those looking for a simple answer. Even as China has slapped down democracy there, the territory is enjoying a financial boom. The same pattern is to be found on the mainland: repression in the Western region of Xinjiang last year goes alongside $163bn of fresh multinational investment and $900bn of cumulative foreign flows into China’s capital markets. Some counsel full Western disengagement from China, in an attempt to isolate it and force it to change. Such a price might be worth paying if an embargo were likely to succeed. But there are many reasons to think that the West cannot just penalise the Chinese Communist Party out of power. We look at how to make engagement work. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The battle for China’s backyard

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 marzo 2021

From The Economist: We have two covers this week. In Asia we write about how the growing rivalry between America and China will hinge on South-East Asia. Although the region has no clear battle-lines, unlike cold-war Europe, which was divided into camps allied to the Soviet Union and the United States, that only makes the competition more complex. People across South-East Asia already see America and China as two poles, pulling their countries in opposite directions. This contest will become more fierce—both because of China’s need to secure access to raw materials and markets and because South-East Asia is ever more important in its own right. The region is home to 700m people, and its economy is big and growing rapidly. Prepare for a tug-of-war in China’s backyard. In the rest of the world we dissect a new turn in the global tech contest. The idea of the technology industry being dominated by monopolies is so widely held that it has monopolised much thinking, from investors’ strategies to antitrust watchdogs’ legal briefs. Yet it is becoming harder to sustain. In America digital markets are shifting towards oligopolies, in which second- and third-ranked firms compete vigorously against the incumbent. The big tech companies are wrestling over customers and standards: witness the confrontation between Apple and Facebook over who controls iPhone users’ privacy. And all across Asia digital conglomerates are battling it out. A more contested digital economy would be consequential—for markets, consumers and businesses alike. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief

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Order levels recovering and transformation taking effect

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 11 febbraio 2021

Due to the increasingly tangible successes yielded by the company’s transformation, plus growing demand from China and, since the third quarter, from Europe, too, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is raising its target operating return for financial year 2020/21 as a whole. Consequently, the company anticipates that its EBITDA margin excluding restructuring result will grow to approximately 7 percent, even though the coronavirus pandemic may lead to a sales decline of around EUR 450 million to EUR 500 million compared to the previous year (previous year’s sales: EUR 2,349 million) for the year as a whole. Previously, Heidelberg had anticipated an EBITDA margin that would, at its lowest, equal that of the previous year at 4.3 percent. It is also an encouraging sign for the coming months that print volumes among Heidelberg customers have almost reached the levels of the previous year, with the print volume in the packaging sector even exceeding the previous year’s level.”The successful roll-out of the transformation measures has enabled Heidelberg to achieve a clearly positive operating result, despite the huge pressures caused by COVID-19. When it comes to both our finances and our balance sheet, we have done our homework. Signs of recovery are now emerging on the markets in China and Europe that are important to us. That is why our EBITDA target margin excluding restructuring result is being increased to around 7 percent. The growing interest in our contract business and strong demand for our electromobility charging stations are also grounds to be optimistic about the future,” says Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer, commenting on the developments. Again in the third quarter, the numerous measures of the transformation program launched in March of last year more than compensated for the negative effect on earnings caused by a significant drop in sales due to COVID-19. As a result, after nine months of financial year 2020/21 (April 1 to December 31, 2020), the operating result including effects from the measures that have been implemented was above that of the same period of the previous year.
The sale of the Gallus Group, which did not go ahead at the end of January 2021 despite there being a valid purchase contract, is
clouding the positive picture. However, this is not causing limitations with regard to the results forecast for the current
financial year. CFO Marcus A. Wassenberg explains: “All in all, we have made much faster and more successful progress with our company’s transformation than previously reported. We have raised more than EUR 450 million in liquidity, reduced debt
by approximately EUR 260 million, moved away from loss-makers and will reduce costs by more than EUR 170 million a year on a
sustainable basis. We are therefore confident we will return to attractive profitability in the medium term.” http://www.heidelberg.com/ (abstract)

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China and the EU agree to protect each other’s food and drink specialities

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 novembre 2020

Parliament consented to an agreement by 645 votes, with 22 against and 18 abstentions, signed in September 2020 between the EU and China to ensure that onehundred European products bearing geographical indications (GIs) – including Feta, Münchener Bier, Polska Wódka, or Queso Manchego – will be legally protected in China against imitations and the misuse of a product’s name.In exchange, one hundred Chinese products will benefit from the same form of protection in the EU.MEPs agreed to extend the agreement to a further 175 European and Chinese products within four years. In a resolution adopted by 633 votes, with 13 against and 39 abstentions, Parliament welcomed the agreement, calling it an “important confidence-building exercise” during the ongoing EU-China negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement. At the same time, Parliament expresses its concern about the market-distorting practices used by Chinese state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfers, and other unfair trading practices.Parliament is also deeply concerned by the reported exploitation and detention of Uyghur people in factories in China. With Parliament’s consent, the Council must now adopt the agreement so that it can enter into force at the beginning of 2021. In 2019, China was the third largest destination for EU exports of GI products, including wines, spirit drinks, and agri-food products. In 2018 and 2019 however, 80% of European seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods originated in China, causing losses of €60 billion to EU suppliers, says the draft resolution.

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EU agri-food products to be protected in China

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 ottobre 2020

In a resolution approved by 38 votes, with one vote against and three abstentions, the Trade Committee backed the EU’s agreement with China, signed in September 2020. It will ensure that one hundred European products bearing Geographical Indications (GIs) such as Cava, Feta, Münchener Bier, Polska Wódka, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego will be protected against imitations and misuse of a product’s name. In exchange, one hundred Chinese products will enjoy the same type of protection in the EU.Within four years, the agreement will be extended to include a further 175 European and Chinese products.While trade MEPs welcomed the agreement they see primarily as a confidence-booster, they call on China to extend the constructive cooperation to the ongoing negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement, as well as into areas of conflict such as on industrial subsidies, state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfer, reciprocity in public procurement and overcapacity in steel, aluminium and high-tech.Rapporteur Iuliu Winkler (EPP, RO), said: “The EU-China Agreement on the protection of GIs is a positive step forward in the bilateral relationship and a good tool to promote and protect the authenticity of high-quality products on our respective markets. It is primarily a confidence-building exercise, serving as a measurement of the parties’ ambition to ensure the deal is implemented effectively. The trade committee will actively participate in monitoring and scrutinising the agreement’s effective implementation, seeking frequent reporting from the European Commission.” Parliament is set to vote on its consent to the agreement and the accompanying resolution at its first November session (11-12 November). With Parliament’s consent, the Council has to adopt the agreement so that it can enter into force at the beginning of 2021.

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China going carbon neutral before 2060 would lower warming projections by around 0.2 to 0.3 degrees C

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 settembre 2020

If China were to achieve its announced goal of achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, it would lower global warming projections by around 0.2 to 0.3degC, the biggest single reduction ever estimated by the Climate Action Tracker.The announcement by President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly yesterday – that China will “aim to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060” – is a true milestone in international climate policy. It is the first time that China has acknowledged the need to reach zero CO2 emissions by mid-century. If China were to submit the carbon neutrality pledge as a commitment under the Paris Agreement, it would affect the CAT temperature estimate of the aggregated national “pledges and targets” by around 0.2 to 0.3degC – the biggest dip in the CAT’s warming projections since 2015 after the EU and China had submitted their first indicative targets to the Agreement.Assuming full implementation of the Paris Agreement “pledges and targets”, without the new China announcement, the CAT estimates global temperature increase will be 2.7degC by 2100. The Chinese announcement would lower the warming to around 2.4 to 2.5degC, closer to the 1.5degC warming limit of the Paris Agreement.“China’s critically important announcement comes at a time when the EU is also ramping up its climate action, aiming for a more ambitious 2030 target, and climate neutrality by 2050,” said Climate Analytics CEO Bill Hare. “If China and the EU – which together account for 33% of global GHG emissions – were both to officially submit these new steps to the Paris Agreement, this would create the much-needed positive momentum the world – and the climate – needs.” With both the EU and China’s commitments, this brings the number countries with similar carbon or climate neutrality announcements to a total of 126, together responsible for around 51% of global emissions, with China contributing 25%. The CAT noted that the goal of “before 2060” was not soon enough to keep warming to 1.5degC, where global CO2 needs to be at net-zero by 2050 (IPCC special report on 1.5degC).China’s short-term emissions trajectory towards carbon neutrality is also important. The CAT’s latest analysis of the nation’s climate action shows that it is already set to overachieve its 2030 target. China has significant room to update its 2030 target and submit it to the Paris Agreement. In a briefing being released today, the CAT has analysed the post COVID-19 economic recovery packages of five countries, including China. “It’s clear that China needs to re-examine its economic recovery and aim it at more low-carbon projects if it wants to reach the carbon neutrality goal before 2060,” said Höhne.

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China’s ambassador to the EU: “China will do right things in the right time”

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 settembre 2020

EU relations with China have deteriorated over the years, mainly because of China´s aggressive policies and unfulfilled promises, said MEPs during a meeting with China’s EU Ambassador. China accepts well intended criticism, but it does not accept malicious attacks, nor does it allow anyone to meddle in its internal affairs. This was one of the main messages voiced by the Chinese EU Ambassador Zhang Ming, as he addressed Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday evening.MEPs wanted to hear his views on a range of issues, from the human rights situation in China to ethical dilemmas in the development of artificial intelligence and digital technology and the Chinese unfulfilled promises within the scope of the current trade relations.Relations with China have deteriorated in the last couple of years, stated the Chair of Parliament’s delegation for relations with China, Reinhard Bütikofer (The Greens, DE). There are two main reasons for that, he added. One is China´s aggressive policy with domestic oppression and the territorial conflicts she currently has with nine countries. The other one is a “promise fatigue” on the European side, who expects China to live up to the promises it made during the Summit in April 2019.“The EU and China do not share the same set of values and principles, that are also enshrined in the EU’s market economy”, said Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and Pacific at the European External Action Service. The EU has moved to a more robust, more realistic approach to China, and recognised the degree of complexity but also the necessity for principled pragmatism in dealing with China.The Chinese EU Ambassador agreed with his European colleagues that 2020 should be a crucial year for EU-China relations, with both sides striving to achieve a comprehensive investment deal by the end of this year. He said China is devoted to its reforms, ready to cooperate in the digital fields and in the field of sustainable development, as well as in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also necessary to rebalance economic relations, but both sides need to move in the same direction, he said. China is opening up, but it will do right things in the right time, stated the Ambassador, who also represents the EU’s second biggest trade partner.

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China’s draconian security law for Hong Kong buries one country, two systems

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 5 luglio 2020

THE CHINESE government is spreading fear in Hong Kong. The first shock came in May, when it announced plans to impose a sweeping national-security law on the territory, without the say-so of its legislature. Then it drafted the bill behind closed doors, keeping details secret even from Hong Kong’s administration. Even after the law was passed on June 30th by China’s rubber-stamp parliament, hours passed before it was published at close to midnight. The 18-page bill, which took effect that day, was harsher even than the gloomiest analysts had predicted. It is one of the biggest assaults on a liberal society since the second world war.Chinese officials argue that they are doing nothing wrong: national-security laws are common around the world, even in democracies. But that is disingenuous. This one allows China’s Communist Party to rip up its promise of one country, two systems and send its secret agents into Hong Kong to impose order as it pleases. Its spooks will not be subject to local law. Most national-security cases, supposedly, will be tried in Hong Kong’s own courts. But the judges will be government-appointed. They will be allowed to dispense with juries and try cases in secret. Most worrying is that “complex” or “serious” crimes may be tried on the mainland. The past year of unrest in Hong Kong was sparked by fears of just such a possibility—that a now-shelved extradition law might let dissidents be whisked away to face the mainland’s brutal justice. That is what the new law allows. Officials do not rule out that those convicted by mainland courts could be executed. (font: The Economist)

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