Xi stresses solid efforts to win battle against poverty

BEIJING – Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has made instructions urging local officials to seek a complete victory in poverty alleviation.

Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said that the task of eliminating poverty is arduous and the time is pressing, and a down-to-earth work style is needed.

Xi’s instructions were conveyed to officials at a video conference held Monday in Beijing on a three-year action plan on winning the battle against poverty.

Party committees and governments at all levels should regard poverty alleviation as a major political task, Xi said, adding top-ranking officials at all levels shall take the major responsibility for poverty alleviation in their local areas.

The country should adhere to poverty relief targets and standards set by the CPC Central Committee, and carry out the Party’s basic policy on targeted poverty alleviation, Xi said.

Efforts should be focused on areas of abject poverty and special groups of poor people so that no village or individual will be left behind, Xi said.

Premier Li Keqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, also made instructions on poverty relief work.

Targeted poverty alleviation is a tough battle that the country must win to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects as well as a key to promoting coordinated regional development, Li said.

Li’s instructions were also conveyed to participants of the video conference, among whom were provincial level officials.

Hu Chunhua, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, made remarks at the conference.

Xi stresses centralized, unified leadership of CPC Central Committee over foreign affairs

BEIJING – Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Tuesday called for enhancing the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee over foreign affairs and opening up new prospects of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

Xi, also Chinese president, chairman of the Central Military Commission, and head of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks when presiding over the first meeting of the Foreign Affairs Commission.

The meeting was attended by Premier Li Keqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and deputy head of the commission, and Vice President Wang Qishan, also member of the commission.

Wang Huning, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and Vice Premier Han Zheng, also member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, were present.

In his speech, Xi called for correct understanding and dealing with the changes of the current international situation and forging ahead to open up new prospects of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics so as to make greater contribution to the realization of the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of great national renewal.

He said China had actively advanced innovations in diplomatic theories and practices, improved multi-faceted diplomacy, promoted the Belt and Road construction and been deeply involved in reforming and building the global governance system since the 18th National Congress of the CPC held in 2012.

It had also firmly safeguarded national sovereignty, security and development interests, blazed a new trail of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and scored historic achievements, he said.

In today’s world of increased factors of uncertainty and instability, China’s development faces both opportunities and challenges, Xi said.

He ordered the precise grasping of the law of changes in the international situation, thinking ahead and properly handling risks.

Xi called for further improvement of diplomatic planning, implementation of plans for major diplomatic activities, enhanced awareness of risks and firm safeguarding of national sovereignty, security and development interests for now and the years to come.

On the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi said the initiative was an important platform for promoting the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

Hailing the achievements on the Belt and Road Initiative in the past years, Xi called for the effective implementation of the results of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held last May, gaining consensus of all sides, planning a vision of cooperation, expanding opening up and enhancing communication, coordination and cooperation with other countries so as to promote the initiative to make more progress and benefit more people.

On local foreign affairs, Xi said they were important components of the foreign affairs of the Party and the country, and of great significance to advancing exchanges and cooperation with foreign countries and promoting local reform and development.

He ordered effective arrangements for local foreign affairs under the centralized and unified leadership of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, as well as the centralized and rational allocation of resources.

Xi stressed that the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee should play a role in policy-making, discussion and coordination, advance the innovation of diplomatic theories and practices and provide strong guidance for foreign affairs to make new achievements.

He also ordered enhanced top-down planning and coordination, an increase in the abilities of setting directions, controlling the overall situation and making policies, promoting reforms to the foreign affairs working mechanism and strengthening the building of foreign affairs talent teams to ensure the implementation of CPC Central Committee policies.

The meeting also approved documents including the working rules of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.

Xinjiang invests 4b yuan to improve rural living conditions

[File photo]

URUMQI — Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region said it invested nearly 4.2 billion yuan ($626 million) last year to improve the living conditions in rural areas.

The regional department of finance said the amount was doubled compared with the amount in 2017, which has been used to clean up rural areas, push forward the “toilet revolution,” recycle trash and dispose of rubbish and wastewater.

The department said social capital had been attracted to invest in projects related to the improvement of rural living conditions.

The region will also focus on villages’ living environments this year. It said rural residents are expected to play a vital role in the campaign, by encouraging them to take part in activities including clean-up, afforestation and management to provide themselves better living conditions.

Int’l community hails China’s contribution to world development

People wait for the flag-raising ceremony at the Tian’anmen Square in Beijing on July 1, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

BEIJING – As the Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrates its 97th anniversary on Sunday, officials and experts worldwide have praised China’s contribution which has provided momentum and visionary concepts for global development.

STRONG GROWTH ENGINE FOR WORLD

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in February released a communique on economic and social development in 2017, which showed China’s contribution to world economic growth stood at around 30 percent in 2017.

“Chinese economy remained an important growth engine for the world’s economic recovery,” NBS chief statistician Sheng Laiyun said.

World Bank data showed that China contributed 34 percent of world economic growth in 2012-2016, more than that of the United States, European Union and Japan combined.

China’s economy expanded 6.9 percent last year to 82.7 trillion yuan (12.8 trillion US dollars), around 15 percent of the world total. Foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest, reached 3.1 trillion dollars, and trade with countries along the Belt and Road rose 17.8 percent to 7.4 trillion yuan (1.15 trillion dollars).

The performance not only fuelled optimism for a global recovery, but also secured greater sustainability through domestic consumption, trade and new technology, which increased external demand and international productivity.

China can achieve more inclusive and sustainable development with coordinated reform, according to the World Bank Group’s report released in February, which highlighted China’s rapid growth that has resulted in a decline in poverty “unprecedented in its speed and scale.”

“China’s remarkable progress in reducing extreme poverty has significantly contributed to the decline in global poverty,” said Hoon S. Soh, World Bank program leader for economic policy for China.

WORLD RECOGNITION

With achievements in various fields, China has gained worldwide recognition.

China’s trading not only contributes to world growth but also benefits less developed nations as “sharing” is its “byword,” said Stephen Perry, chairman of 48 Group Club, a British organization composed of company leaders promoting Britain-China trade.

“China is the world’s largest trading nation, and contributes more to world growth than any other country by a huge margin. These two facts show the enormous difference China has made to world trade,” he said.

As the world’s second largest economy with a population of more than 1.3 billion, China has made significant contributions to the development of world tourism in recent years, said Zhu Shanzhong, executive director of the Madrid-based United Nations’ World Tourism Organization.

“Thanks to the contribution made by the Chinese market, the world tourism has been on a rapid development for years. We do believe that the Chinese market is vital and irreplaceable for further development of the world tourism,” Zhu said.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed praised China’s achievements in reducing poverty as “tremendous,” saying the success provides “multiple lessons” for other developing countries.

“This success in reaching the millennium development goal target of reducing poverty rates by half has contributed to poverty reduction globally,” she said.

VISION FOR FUTURE

For future development, China’s strategic wisdom will continue to boost global growth and contribute to peace and stability around the world.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision to build a community with shared future for humanity is compatible with people’s aspirations for peace and stability in the contemporary world, said Bhim Rawal, a standing committee member of the ruling Nepal Communist Party.

“The concept of community of shared future for humanity is a new paradigm in international relation theory, for it conceptualizes the world and world order based on mutual trust, mutual respect, equality and pursuit of shared development,” echoed B. R. Deepak, Sinologist and professor with the Center of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in India.

Jose Luis Robaina, a professor at Cuba’s Center for International Policy Research, said the CPC has demonstrated “great powers of recovery” and “regeneration.”

Xi’s strong leadership and strategic vision have won him admirers both at home and abroad, he said. At the same time, his grasp of global affairs and defense of multilateralism are allowing China to take its place on the world stage.

“Xi is proposing new rules of global governance, a new form of inclusive globalization, a relationship of respect and a stable world without wars in which disputes are resolved through dialogue,” he said.

Rainstorms force cancellation of trains in Sichuan

Rescuers use a boat to relocate trapped residents at Chengdu’s Tianfu New Area in Sichuan province, July 7, 2019. [Photo/IC]

Rainstorms caused the cancellation of 16 trains in Sichuan on Tuesday, according to the China Railway Chengdu Group Co Ltd headquarters in Sichuan province.

The routes include trains running from Chengdu to Panzhihua and Xichang in Sichuan province, from Puxiong to Yangang in Sichuan, from Chengdu to Kunming in Sichuan’s neighboring Yunnan province, and from Kunming to Xining in Qinghai province.

Since Saturday, rainstorms have lashed many parts of Sichuan, causing landslides on railway tracks of the Chengdu-Kumning Railway.

Twenty trains had to return or stop operation on Monday, said Xia Yongjing, an information officer with China Railway Chengdu Group Co Ltd.

According to the Sichuan Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, the rainstorms have impacted 24,000 people and resulted in the relocation of 2,500 in the province.

China updates pollutant emission permit system

Violators face being shut down and fines of up to 1 million yuan

China issued an updated management guideline to regulate its pollutant emission permit system, making sure every emission into the air, water and soil is supervised, the top environment authority said on Wednesday.

The central government released a revamped pollutant emission policy in November 2016, requiring all stationary sources of pollution to be licensed by 2020 to curb emissions.

The ministry then issued a provisional document to promote this policy in December 2016, which has played a positive role in helping issue permits to companies and motivate the reform, an unnamed official said in a Ministry of Environmental Protection statement on Wednesday.

By the end of 2017, China has issued more than 20,000 permits to companies in 15 industries, which are major emitters of air and water pollutants, including thermal power generation, papermaking, iron and steel, and glassmaking, data from the ministry showed.

We have assessed the basic situation in these industries in terms of emissions, which will lay a solid base for further controls, the ministry said.

In Hebei province, a major national hub for iron and steel production, 1,106 companies from the 15 major industries received permits, meaning they have permission to discharge pollutants, while 461 companies were rejected.

Some should be shut down, and some started construction before they got approval, the Hebei Environmental Protection Department said.

Based on the provisional document in December 2016 to promote the permit system, the ministry issued the updated guideline, the Pollutants Discharging Permit Management Guideline, to the public on Wednesday.

The updated guideline highlights the responsibilities of companies including the need to conduct regular monitoring and release information. Violators face tough punishments.

If a company is caught discharging pollutants without a permit, it could be required to suspend production or shut down, and faces a fine of up to 1 million yuan ($155,000), according to the updated guideline.

Companies guilty of other violations including excessive emissions and falsifying monitoring data will also face similar penalties of closure and heavy fines, the guideline added.

The permit system has worked in regulating emissions in the past year, and will be more effective when it is expanded to cover all companies with the help of the updated guideline, the ministry said.

In China, 27 provinces have adopted the pollutant emission permit system since the 1980s, and granted permits to more than 240,000 companies before the reform started in 2016, but problems including a lack of unified standards have lowered the performance, thus making the update necessary, said Wang Jian, deputy head of the ministry’s department in charge of air pollution control.

Chinese delegation visits Asia to introduce CPC party congress

TOKYO/SEOUL/ULAN BATOR — A Chinese delegation introducing the achievements of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) ended its three-nation Asia tour on Sunday, which has taken them to Mongolia, South Korea and Japan.

The delegation, headed by He Yiting, executive vice president of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, met with local political party leaders and held briefing sessions with party officials, friendly groups, major media and think tanks in the three countries to introduce the spirit and significance of the CPC party congress.

On their parts, the host countries congratulated on the success of the 19th CPC National Congress and vowed to enhance bilateral relations.

During its stay from Thursday to Sunday in Japan, the delegation, invited by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner the Komeito party, met with Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the LDP, Yoshihisa Inoue, secretary-general of the Komeito party, and Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren).

The Japanese side spoke highly of the achievements and significance of the CPC congress and expressed the wishes for continued improvement and development of bilateral relations.

At the invitation of the South Korean foreign ministry, the delegation visited South Korea from Tuesday to Thursday and met with officials from South Korea’s National Assembly, political parties and the government.

The South Korean side lauded the influence of the party congress to the world.

They agreed the visit has enhanced South Korea’s understanding of the CPC party congress and China’s future development, and that the country stands ready to promote development of South Korea-China relations.

Before the two countries, the delegation also visited Mongolia on Nov. 19-21 and the Mongolian side spoke highly of the historic achievements made by China and expected to push for greater development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Trademark protections needed, judge says

Courts should fully protect brands — domestic and foreign — by cracking down on those who register trademarks with “malicious intent”, a senior judge said on Monday.

Song Xiaoming, head of the Supreme People’s Court’s Intellectual Property Tribunal, said the practice by some individuals and companies to register popular names, such as those of celebrities, as trademarks has disrupted the system and eroded trust.

“What the registrants want is to gain profit by transferring the registered trademarks at a high price or to ask for a big compensation through lawsuits,” he said in an exclusive interview ahead of World Intellectual Property Day on Wednesday.

“We must say ‘no’ for those who rush registration for trademarks with bad intention, as honesty and credibility have always been the principles when we handle trademark cases.”

Last year, lower courts — district and intermediate — concluded 1,667 civil IP cases and 2,078 administrative IP cases involving foreigners, up from 1,429 civil and 1,127 administrative cases in 2012, according to data released by the Supreme People’s Court.

Song said the foreign-related proportion has always stayed high in administrative cases, “and the top concern among foreigners is the malicious trademark registration”.

To combat malicious registrations, a guideline issued by the top court and effective on March 1 has made priorities of the principles of honesty and credibility in trademark registrations.

Meanwhile, under the Trademark Law revised in 2013, people who find someone rush registration to their trademarks can request the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce to declare them invalid within five years from the date of the registration.

“However, this time limit doesn’t apply to well-known brands,” and they can file a lawsuit at any time, Song said.

In addition, the top court also clarifies rules against the malicious registration by opening its door to hear foreign-related IP disputes, he said, taking a case involving US basketball superstar Michael Jordan as an example.

In April 2016, a series of administrative cases involving Jordan, Chinese company Qiaodan Sports and the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board was publicly heard at the top court.

All documents during the trials, controversies in the cases as well as the final results were open to the public, according to Song.

“Our aim is to help people know how Chinese courts tackle cases of malicious trademarks in a transparent or visible way,” Song said. “No matter where IP-rights owners are from, the equal protection is a must.”

Legal experts applauded the courts’ increasing strength against malicious registrations, but said the problem should be solved by joint efforts.

Liu Xiaochun, a legal researcher at China Youth University of Political Studies, said the malicious trademark issue points to a loose examination at the time of registrations, suggesting the government build a blacklist to better monitor trademark applications.

Du Ying, a law professor at Central University of Finance and Economics, echoed Liu, saying closer cooperation should be increased between governmental departments and e-commerce platforms, as online trade has boomed.

Beijing dismisses report on US talks

Beijing has dismissed a report by Japan-based Kyodo News regarding the April meeting between President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump as sheer groundless remarks that don’t even deserve refutation.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the comment on Monday during a daily news conference in Beijing when asked about the report.

The report quoted an unnamed source as saying China’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, asked on behalf of the Chinese government during the meeting for the United States to fire Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, in return for exerting more pressure on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Geng suggested Kyodo News, a major media organization, should cherish its reputation, and said the report was groundless and hype. Kyodo is a nonprofit organization founded in 1945, according to the company’s website.

I don’t know if it is because Kyodo News was so puerile to have believed that China and the US would discuss the appointment or removal of US military personnel at diplomatic occasions, or its business was so bad that it had to get by making trouble out of nothing and selling hype.

Or because it had ulterior motives and deliberately spreads rumor to achieve certain goals, Geng added.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, expressed doubt about the motives of the report, saying it was not coincidental that it has been released at this time.

Uncertainties in China-US ties have been significantly reduced since the meeting between Chinese and US leaders in Florida in April, Ruan said, adding that the report shows that Japan doesn’t want to see a smooth development of China-US ties and was attempting to sow discord between the two countries.

However, Japan won’t succeed in such an attempt, as the healthy development of China-US ties is a general trend, Ruan said.

China determined to rectify irregularities in land reclamation

Construction of a resort project at Riyue Bay, or Sun Moon Bay, in Wanning, Hainan province, has been halted. The Sun Moon Island project covers a reclamation area of 97 hectares, and construction on Moon Island, 49.1 hectares, began without proper permits. LUO YUNFEI / CHINA NEWS SERVICE

BEIJING – China’s coastal regions were asked to rectify improper and illegal land reclamation practices after inspections exposed issues that could cause damage to marine ecosystems.

Inspectors from the State Oceanic Administration reported issues to 11 provincial-level regions including Shanghai and Guangdong, urging them to correct problems such as a high vacancy rate of reclaimed land and an improper project approval process.

Since 2002, Tianjin municipality has reclaimed 27,850 hectares of land, yet the vacancy land amounted to 19,202 hectares, resulting in a vacancy rate of 69 percent.

The vacancy rate in other regions including East China’s Zhejiang province and Shandong province was also found to be above 40 percent.

The inspectors said that local authorities behaved improperly in project approval. Projects covering reclaimed land were segmented into smaller sections to bypass state-level examination and approval, inspectors found.

Local authorities also failed to contain nearshore pollution and protect the marine ecology, with lack of supervision in some polluted areas.

In 2017, inspectors were dispatched to 11 provincial-level regions, namely Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong, Shandong, Zhejiang, Fujian, Hebei, Hainan, Jiangsu, Liaoning, and Guangxi.

Concrete actions were taken to address the issues exposed. By the end of April 2018, Guangdong province settled 305 cases transferred by the inspection team, 19 of which were placed on file and settled with punishment.

Environmental protection has been high on the agenda of the Chinese government, with authorities stepping up efforts to punish those who violate environmental laws.

In January this year, China introduced its toughest regulation on land reclamation along the coastline, vowing to demolish illegally reclaimed land and stop approving general reclamation projects.