US is now the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic with active cases over 85,505 patients!


 Coronavirus death toll, infections and recoveries 

WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) -Get the latest information from the World Health Organization about coronavirus.

Donald Trump again struggled to reassure a fearful nation on Thursday as it emerged the US now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. News that America had surpassed virus hotspots China and Italy with 82,404 cases of infection, according to a tracker run by Johns Hopkins University, broke as the president was holding a press conference at the White House.

His instinctive response was to question other countries’ statistics. “It’s a tribute to the amount of testing that we’re doing,” Trump told reporters. “We’re doing tremendous testing, and I’m sure you’re not able to tell what China is testing or not testing. I think that’s a little hard.”

Trump later spoke to the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, by telephone and had what he described on Twitter as a “very good conversation”. The two leaders discussed the coronavirus in “great detail”, adding that: “China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!”

 

 

Malaysia’s PM, a one-man show as Cabinet list jigsaw puzzle


PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be in charge of all ministries and government departments until the appointment of Cabinet ministers, says the latest Federal Government gazette.

The gazette signed on Tuesday by the Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali, also stated that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, pursuant to Article 43 of the Federal Constitution, has appointed Muhyiddin as Prime Minister.

“This Order is deemed to have come into operation on March 1,2020, ” said the notice that was uploaded on the Attorney General’s Chambers website.

“It is notified that the Prime Minister, (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin) shall be charged with the responsibility in respect of all departments of the Federal Government and the subjects for which the departments are responsible until the appointment of other ministers in the Cabinet.”

Muhyiddin, who was sworn in as Prime Minister on March 1, met chief secretaries from the Education and Foreign Ministries yesterday.

The newly minted Prime Minister posted pictures on Facebook of him meeting the duo in his office that featured empty shelves and empty tables, a sign of someone who has just moved in.

In the Facebook post, Muhyiddin said Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Gazali Abas briefed him on developments and suggestions to upgrade the education sector.

Foreign Ministry chief secretary Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob was also seen explaining Malaysia’s current diplomatic relationships and pending international conferences.

“Mohd Gazali gave explanations on developments in the education sector as well as statistics of achievements, and gave suggestions on how to build up the education sector.

“Shahrul of the Foreign Affairs Ministry briefed the prime minister on the current relationship between Malaysia and other countries, as well as collaborations and important conferences which will take place this year, ” said the post.

It is believed that one of the main subjects discussed was the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) inter-governmental forum that will be held in November in Kuala Lumpur.

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The Cabinet list jigsaw puzzle


Muhyiddin Yassin

GPS, having played the kingmaker in the political saga, expects to be well rewarded. Thus, drawing up the Cabinet list will be a more complicated task this time around, as there are just so many variables that need to be considered.


AS Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin thinks about the composition of his Cabinet list, he will certainly need to take heed as to how Sarawak should be rewarded.

There is no doubt that the 18 Members of Parliament from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) were the ones who made the critical difference in the numbers game last week.

The GPS consists of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

It was game over when these lawmakers chose Muhyiddin instead of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be prime minister.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg put it aptly when he told the media that “now you know the value of GPS votes.”

He said the ruling state coalition initially supported Dr Mahathir to continue leading the country.

“After that, he resigned. Then he resigned from Bersatu. After that, he was back again. So left, right, left, right, what else to expect?

“That’s why we supported Muhyiddin. At the same time, our Sarawak interest is uppermost, ” he added.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had hoped that GPS would remain neutral at least but the political reality was that GPS had to make a stand.

If there was one big factor that had made up the final decision of the GPS, it has to be the DAP.

Outspoken Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing has consistently said that GPS would not support a coalition that included DAP in the ongoing political crisis.

He blamed DAP’s “administrative arrogance” for this, adding that the party did whatever it pleased without listening to others, citing Lim Guan Eng as an example.

He pointed out that the former Finance Minister had announced that Sarawak would go bankrupt within three years when the DAP leader came to the state last year.

The reality is actually the opposite.

In 2019, S&P Global Ratings has affirmed its ‘A-’ rating on Sarawak with stable earnings outlook and said the state’s exceptional budgetary performance and liquidity will likely mitigate its elevated debt, supporting its creditworthiness.

The state’s healthy financial standing and its stable socio-political environment have earned Sarawak commendable investment-grade credit ratings of A-, A3 and AAA by reputable international and domestic rating houses.

A Google search of the financial standing of the country’s largest state is sufficient to show that.

Lim’s hurtful remark, and other past disputes with the DAP, seem to have left a deep-rooted resentment of the party among GPS members, and last week, was payback time.

While it has been said that there are no permanent friends or foes in politics, this doesn’t seem to apply in the case of the GPS in this regard.

At one point, Masing even said the GPS was “more comfortable working with PAS than DAP.”

As the situation turned desperate, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said the party was willing to make concessions with GPS to keep the Pakatan Harapan government intact, appealing to GPS “to put aside all past political differences and work together with Pakatan to save our country.”

Many interpreted the offer to mean the DAP’s readiness in not contesting in the upcoming Sarawak state elections.

But it came too late as the GPS had already made up its mind after having huddled together for two days at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

It remains to be seen what the GPS had asked for and what Muyhiddin has to offer.

It will be Sarawak’s gain over neighbouring Sabah as Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal opted to stay with Pakatan.

A statement from the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office on Feb 29 said GPS supported Muhyiddin to restore political stability in the country without sacrificing Sarawak’s interest.

It also said that GPS would be friendly to the new Federal Government but was not a member of the Perikatan Nasional coalition.

Some senior leaders of the GPS said privately that they wanted to see what would be on the table but expected to be rewarded accordingly.

Others said that they were prepared to wait till the state elections were over – as these veteran politicians were aware that Pakatan would most certainly use the alliance with Perikatan Nasional as a rallying call against the GPS in the state polls.

Unlike Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawakian leaders are more interested in protecting and keeping their state positions rather than federal posts.

“The interest of Sarawak is more important than the interest of lawmakers, ” Masing told this writer.

But the immediate priority would be to demand a higher oil royalty from the current 5% and if this was a sticky point under Pakatan, it will likely remain so for the new Perikatan Nasional government.

The other is the Malaysia Agreement 1963, or more popularly known as MA63.

The agreement – an 18-point pact for Sarawak and 20-point for Sabah – was signed on July 9,1963, before the formation of Malaysia.

It is an important document safeguarding the rights and autonomy of the two states.

The 18-point and 20-point agreement covers religion, language, constitution, immigration, the position of the indigenous people, finance, tariffs and citizenship.

Sabahans and Sarawakians are understandably annoyed when they hear “orang Malaya” remark that these two states “joined Malaysia”, pointing out that they had, in fact, helped to form Malaysia.

In the peninsula, the governing state leaders are known as state executive councillors but over in Sabah and Sarawak, they are known as state ministers.

That also explains why Malaysians from the peninsula side need their identity card or passport when entering these two states, and state immigration have the right to deny anyone entry.

“Orang Semenanjung” who want to work in these two states have to apply for a work permit.

The same goes for lawyers who wish to appear in the courts of either state – they have to get approval beforehand.

Most Malaysians may not understand fully what MA63 is all about, even if they have become contentious political issues.

But most believe that the Federal Government has not given due recognition to the MA63 or that these safeguards have not been honoured or taken away.

Sarawakians want a greater degree of financial and political autonomy as compared to other states in the peninsula and not end up being merely one of the 13 states in Malaysia.

It remains to be seen how or what posts would be given to the GPS MPs, and whether this state coalition wishes to wait till the state polls are over before moving in but what is certain is that the new Prime Minister certainly cannot ignore the Land of the Hornbill.

Abang Jo’s words (now you know the value of the GPS) would surely ring continuously in the ears of the Prime Minister.

And now, this explains why a tiny country like Malaysia, with a population of over 32 million people, has a big Cabinet – it is simply because the Prime Minister has to accommodate so many geographical and ethnic interests.

It is also very possible that the Prime Minister may announce the appointments in batches, starting with the crucial ones. This will allow him time to tinker.

Drawing up the Cabinet list will be a more complicated task this time, unlike previously, as there are just so many variables that need to be considered.

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Countdown to the Chinese New Year around the world for the year of the mouse


A live countdown to the Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year) for Hong Kong, Hanoi, Vietnam, and New York on January 25, 2020.

While most of the world celebrates the New Year on January 1, many people also celebrate the traditional new year based on the lunar calendar. Celebrate as the clock strikes midnight and the new year arrives. Happy New Year from the Youtube Battles community! 🙂

At the beginning of this year we did a live countdown to 2020 with coverage for all 35 time zones in the world so that everyone could celebrate the moment as the clock struck midnight in their time zone on New Years Eve and the new year began. As the day progressed, the countdown was updated to show the next time zones to hit the year 2020.

Chinese New Year 2020 falls on January 25 | Human World …

春晚合家欢系列之同一种乡愁 | 订阅CCTV春晚

北京时间1月24日20:00,2020年中央广播电视总台春节联欢晚会将如约而至!锁定CCTV春晚频道,春晚直播等你来看,我们不见不散!
2020年中央广播电视总台春节联欢晚会直播地址:https://bit.ly/2R6DIOK

Celebrating Spring Festival with KOLs at the CGTN office 四位外国网红齐聚央视大楼喜迎春节

 

 

Moderate gains for year of the rat – StarProperty



Chinese people around the world prepare for the year of the mouse

People in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province pick hangings with Chinese character “Fu (fortune)” at a market on Monday. Photo: cnsphoto

The Chinese Lunar New Year will arrive on Saturday. Chinese people across the country and around the world are preparing to welcome the year of mouse with various traditions.

Chinese people value celebrating the New Year with families.

As of Monday, the national railway has served 12.24 million trips within 11 days since the peak travel season started, a 19.8 percent year-on-year increase. A total of 1,370 temporary trains have been added, China National Radio reported Tuesday.

Traditional conventions in Spring Festival vary across China.

In Chaozhou, South China’s Guangdong Province, people march with god sculptures from temples. “The gong and drum band would follow the firecrackers in the march,” Chen Aijing, a Chaozhou resident, told the Global Times.

“Each village would have different dates to celebrate. There would be performance for Chaozhou operas and traditional puppet play,” she said.

Several days before the New Year day, people in Guangzhou, Guangdong’s capital city go shopping in “Flower Street” where one can buy almost anything. On December 28 of the Lunar Calendar, families clean their houses. On the New Year Day, they make rice cakes, according to Zhao Shi, a local resident.

In Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, there used to be dragon and lion dances, but the convention has been replaced by a lighting show. “Dried fish, meat and sausages are a must for Spring Festival,” a local university student Wu Han said.

Wu interns in Chongli, North China’s Hebei Province. Due to the spread of pneumonia in his home city, Wu hesitated whether he would return home.

In the northeastern provinces, people usually stay indoors during the festival due to cold temperatures.

“Watching the Spring Festival gala is a must for us,” Lun Yu, a resident from Da-

qing, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, told the Global Times on Tuesday. Her big family gathers together on the New Year eve and makes dumplings with fillings of sauerkraut and pork. The dumplings are served on the table right at midnight.

For Chinese living overseas, it is often difficult for them to go home at Spring Festival. Tina Ma, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, decided to visit a friend in Brisbane. “We plan to have a big meal and watch the gala on the internet,” she told the Global Times.

Police officers perform traditional dance at a Spring Festival gala in Du’an Yao autonomous county, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Sunday. Photo: cnsphoto

Colored lanterns featuring the Red Army displayed in Zunyi, Southwest China’s Guizhou Province. Photo: cnsphoto

A child is attracted by holiday decorations at a Spring Festival market in San Francisco. Photo: cnsphoto

A child tries the head decoration of Chakhar clan in Hohhot, North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at an event to celebrate Spring Festival. Photo: cnsphoto

A man is writing couplets at the National Library of China in Beijing on Tuesday. An Exhibition on folk arts and intangible cultural heritage about Spring Festival kicks off here. Photo: Li Hao/GT

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Spring Festival dinner tables underscore digital advantage

From Norwegian salmon, Bostonian lobsters to Chilean cherries, the dinner tables of Chinese people have never been more globalized in the run-up to the Lunar New Year, the most important reunion time for Chinese families.

What’s behind the most important feast for Chinese points to the key to China’s economic appeal – the government’s opening-up efforts, growing consumer demand for diversified choices and better quality, and a digital economy that helps accelerate the country’s consumption upgrading.

As China is shifting toward a consumption-based economy, its rising household consumption and enhanced opening-up to the outside world indicate the great potential of the Chinese market, which attracts attention from foreign companies and exporters.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s retail sales rose 8 percent year-on-year to some 41.16 trillion yuan ($6 trillion) in 2019, with the contribution of consumption to GDP expansion reaching 57.8 percent and remaining the top growth engine for the economy. Moreover, the country’s per capita GDP exceeded the $10,000-mark last year. By any measure, there is still plenty of room for China’s consumption to grow.

But most importantly, a large-scale digital market has taken shape in China, offering a significant boost to consumption, which may be the biggest difference between China’s consumer market and those in other countries. With the upgrading of internet services, the popularization of e-commerce and the change of consumption habits, China’s internet generation of consumers have become accustomed to buying all their daily necessities online. Such efficiency and simplicity have greatly encouraged consumption innovations, providing more and better goods and services options for consumers.

In the process of promoting its consumption upgrading, China’s digital economy has not just boosted its foreign trade but also offered a lift to the rural economy. According to information from Tmall, it sold 190 million kilograms of agricultural commodities during a shopping campaign in early January this year, with income for each participating farmer increasing by 1,037 yuan.

With the rise of the digital economy, Chinese farmers are also using the tool to expand marketing channels for their output so as to improve the living standards. That’s a big difference between China and India. While rural Chinese are embracing the internet and making use of it, Indians in rural regions are resisting the shifts e-commerce will bring, which somehow explains the great vitality in the Chinese economy.

In short, China’s economic prowess lies largely in its digital economy, which sees all parts of society connect with one another to generate continuous momentum for the country to maintain strong growth.

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Chinese people to celebrate festival despite disease impact

The specter of the Wuhan novel coronavirus hovers over China with at least 544 confirmed cases across the country, and most provinces have reportedly had suspected cases, but due to the approach of the most important festival in Chinese tradition – Chinese New Year – many people across the nation maintained optimistic and will go ahead to celebrate the festival.

 

Celebration for Chinese Lunar New Year held in Chinatown of Yangon
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S.Korea’s real GDP growth hits 10-year low in 2019

South Korea’s real gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, posted the lowest growth in 10 years last year, central bank data showed Wednesday.

S.Korea posts lowest growth in a decade

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Jawi, a simple education matter is threatening to morph into a serious political issue?


Dong Zong president Tan (seated second from right) with other Dong Jiao Zong leaders at a press conference on Dec 12.

CHINESE educationists and guild leaders are going to display solid unity on Dec 28 – thanks to the Education Ministry’s move to marginalise the board of directors (BOD) in vernacular schools over a Jawi teaching issue.

Dong Jong and Jiao Zong, collectively referred to as Dong Jiao Zong, have championed the cause of Chinese education since the 1950s.

This coming Saturday, heads of Dong Jiao Zong from 13 states, as well as top leaders of 30 other national Chinese associations will be congregating at Dong Jong Building in Kajang to take a stand against a set of new guidelines on the teaching of Jawi issued by the Education Ministry to non-Malay schools.

Leading Chinese groups Huazong and Hoklian have declared their support promptly.

Hua Zong president Tan Sri Goh Tian Chuan said Chinese guilds need to unite in opposing the government’s move.

“The position of the Chinese community on Chinese language education, especially on this subject, needs to be consistent,” he said.

The bone of contention lies in the new guidelines issued by the Education Ministry on the teaching of Jawi scripts for Standard Four pupils in Chinese and Tamil primary schools.

In the guidelines issued earlier this month, the teaching of Jawi scripts will be optional. But if 51% of parents vote in favour of it in a survey conducted by Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), then schools will have to teach Jawi.

In this PTA survey and voting process, the school BOD is totally left out.

Responding to Dong Jiao Zong’s Dec 12 press conference, deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching told Bernama the ministry prioritised the opinion of the PTAs as well as the parents and students themselves.

Heng: ‘We are concerned that once the precedent (of sidelining the school board) is set, school boards will lose their voice in future policies affecting Chinese primary schools.

– Datuk Eddie Heng Hong Chai

“We will let the PTAs make the decision because it’s about their children’s learning. Parents are the guardians, so you should get their consent if you want to do anything,” she said on Dec 13.

But to the Chinese community, the BODs are the dragon heads of schools. Hence, they cannot be sidelined in any decision-making.

In a Chinese school, BOD members – who could include businessmen, parents, alumni and trustees — are expected to donate money, raise funds and formulate policies.

As government funding for Chinese primary schools is often lacking, raising funds for development and repairs of schools often rest on the shoulders of the BOD.

Dong Jiao Zong has argued that this new guidelines not only “defies the decision made by the cabinet”, but also “goes against Article 53 of the Education Act 1996” in which authority is vested in the BOD in schools.

“By allowing the parents to have the final say on this matter, the harmonious and amicable relationship among parents and students from different races will be undermined. This will also marginalise the school board as well as PTA,” Dong Jong chairman Tan Tai Kim said in a statement last weekend.

Dong Jiao Zong’s statement also noted that in the new Bahasa Malaysia (BM) textbook for Standard Four, the appreciation of Chinese caligraphy and Tamil writing are left out.

In the past, pages on Jawi, Tamil and Chinese writings appeared in the Standard Five BM text book; and Dong Jiao Zong was happy with the multi-racial content.

The new BM text book for Standard Four contains three pages on Jawi scripts, without Chinese and Tamil writings.

“The key point to note here is: we are not anti-Jawi or anti-Malay or anti-Islam. There is no issue if students are asked to learn all cultures. But we don’t want to see the gradual Islamisation of Chinese schools and the marginalisation of BODs,” says a Chinese educationist, who declines to be named.

Due to the sensitivity of this matter which could be racially or religiously distorted, Dong Jiao Zong — the organiser of the Dec 28 meeting – has advised invited community leaders to register early.

In the latest statement on Wednesday (Dec 18), Dong Jiao Zong said to ensure the meeting could be effectual and held smoothly, no one is allowed to bring banners and other publicity materials to display slogans.

Provocation is the last thing Dong Jiao Zong wants to see, given that there are already two Malay groups challenging the constitutionality of Chinese and Tamil schools in the country.

The congress is likely to adopt a resolution urging the Jawi Scripts Learning Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education to be withdrawn, and the text book be amended to reflect multi-culturism in the country.

Apart from Dong Jiao Zong, there are other independent groups and political parties voicing similar concerns.

One group that recently sprang up is the one led by Datuk Eddie Heng Hong Chai, who heads the school board of SJK(C) Sentul KL.

At a recent press conference, the businessman opined the teaching of Jawi calligraphy in vernacular schools should be a co-curricular activity.

His group, consisting of representatives from vernacular school BODs and PTAs around Kuala Lumpur, has called for a dialogue with Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

“I wish to emphasise that we are not against the teaching of Jawi in schools. We are only opposing the ministry’s decision to include it in the Bahasa Melayu syllabus, ” he told a joint press conference with an Indian group.

“We are concerned that once the precedent (of sidelining school board) is set, school boards will lose their voice in future policies affecting Chinese primary schools, ” Heng said.

With school boards being the founder and pioneer for Chinese primary schools for over 200 years, Heng said school boards always had the authority in deciding school policies.

Gerakan, a political party in the former government, last week announced its plan to appeal against an earlier high court ruling that the court has no authority to interfere with Government decision on introducing Jawi into vernacular schools.

From the education point of view, many academics – irrespective of race – do not see the need for students to learn Jawi.

They have asked: What could students learn from three pages of Jawi in a year? Is there any benefit to their future career? Shouldn’t there be more emphasis on the teaching of English, Science and Maths to prepare Malaysians to be competitive internationally?

Indeed, this current education issue is not the first to stir up an uproar this year.

The first controversy erupted several months ago when the Education Ministry attempted to introduce khat (Arabic calligraphy) into vernacular schools. This decision was later withdrawn after many quarters opposed it.

But the new set of guidelines on Jawi writing is creating another unwarranted chaos.

There is suspicion in the Chinese community that there are elements within the Education Ministry scheming to gradually change the character of Chinese schools.

This deep-rooted mistrust against the Ministry cannot be easily erased because Chinese education has often come under different forms of suppression since the 1950s.

From the political perspective, there is talk that the ruling parties are pandering to ultra Malay politics to gain Malay support.

As the controversy escalates, the DAP – a major Chinese-based party in the ruling Pakatan coalition – appears to be the one feeling the most heat.

This is because the DAP drew most of its political support from the Chinese and Indians in the last general election.

The DAP leaders in Cabinet are expected to reflect the fear and sentiment of the non-Malays to the Education Ministry and the Prime Minister on the Jawi issue.

But so far, only Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow – also a DAP national leader – has openly voiced concern over this baffling issue and said it should be resolved speedily.

If the voice of non-Malays is not taken seriously, and the government continues to ignore inclusive politics, the ruling Pakatan coalition risks being rejected by the people.

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In his keynote speech at an event to mark the sixth anniversary of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), Musa said this was because the former premier did not train leaders but instead chose to retain and train

China showed truth about Xinjiang, but Western media chose to be blind as US practises ‘double standards’

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Xi discusses fresh ties with Trump


Presidents’ phone talk raises hope for final phase one trade deal: experts

WASHINGTON: The China-US phase one trade deal, reached on the basis of equality and mutual respect and against the backdrop of an extremely complicated international environment, will benefit both countries and contribute to peace and prosperity of the world, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Donald Trump.

In the phone call at the invitation of the US side on Friday, Xi expressed “grave concern” over the recent US “negative statements and actions” on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which he said interfered with China’s internal affairs, damaged China’s interests, and are not good for mutual trust and cooperation.

Xi told Trump that China hopes the US side will “conscientiously” implement the important consensuses reached in their multiple meetings and phone conversations, and pay close attention to China’s concerns, thus avoiding disturbing the bilateral relations as well as the important agenda of both countries, according to a statement released by the Xinhua News Agency.

Xi noted that the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries contributed tremendously to the steady development of their bilateral relations and to global economic growth.

As the modern economy and technology have connected the world, the interests of China and the US will become increasingly interlinked, and there will be some differences in the course of their collaboration, he said.

As long as the two sides adhere to mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, and always respect the dignity, sovereignty, and core interests of the other country, they will be able to overcome the difficulties in the course of development, and push forward Sino-US economic and trade relations under the new historical conditions for the benefit of two countries and two peoples, Xi said.

Xi also said he is ready to maintain contact with Trump through various means, and exchange views on bilateral relations and international issues, and work together to promote a China-US relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability.

In their phone call, Trump said the phase one trade deal is good for both countries and the rest of the world.

It has received positive responses from the markets of both countries and the world, according to the Xinhua report.

The US side is ready to keep close contact and communications with the Chinese side for the deal to be signed earlier and implemented, Trump said. — China Daily/ANN

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China-US economic and trade exchanges, instead of bilateral economic and trade relations, is the ballast stone for bilateral ties because there involve more superstructure and actions, and they cannot be entangled , a former Chinese official said Saturday.

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China-US trade tensions will be less fierce in 2020, although disrupting factors like issues concerning Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Taiwan island will remain amid the hubbub generated by the US presidential election next year, an expert said Saturday.

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Besides, Chinese media should take the initiative to post reliable information about hot-spot issues, such as the education and vocational training center in Xinjiang. More detailed planning can be made to increase the effectiveness of news diffusion. As long as Xinjiang develops toward prosperity, and Chinese media’s publicity strategy improves, the truth will come to the light eventually. More people will recognize Western media’s selective deafness strategy and break away from its lie of objectivity and freedom of the press.

Say no to Western media’s double standards

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The Black Hand – ETIM and Terrorism in Xinjiang, American human rights, freedom and democracy condemned


China’s Most Direct Security Threat
 
Chaos was rampant in China’s westernmost region. Explosions and other violence struck terror in the hearts of residents in the country’s Xinjiang region. The victims and  survivors should be remembered in China’s current fight against terrorism.

https://youtu.be/8a0SCmf8iI0

The East Turkistan Islamic Movement, or ETIM, is designated as a terrorist organization by the UN. For decades, the group which has close links with international terrorist organizations perpetrated countless terrorist attacks aiming to separate the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from China.
The movement has attempted to recruit people on a massive scale, spreading a radical ideology that continues to cause chaos in many countries around the world.
In this exclusive CGTN exposé, we show you never-before-seen footage including interviews with perpetrators and recruitment videos used by this black hand.

https://youtu.be/HbhdU5TSipY

The Long-Term Fight

Terrorist acts in modern China are just using religious extremism as a banner to separate Xinjiang from the country. ETIM, one of the most wanted terrorist organizations in the country, has been creating strife to divide ethnic groups and religions in the region for decades. Many of its members were trained outside the country in extremist thought, returning to the country to apply their radical ideologies.

The human cost
An SUV slammed through the barricades in Beijing’s iconic Tian’anmen Square in 2013, killing two and wounding 40. The three attackers had sworn the so-called jihad on the hills of Urumqi, a bustling city in China’s Xinjiang region.
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High ranking Chinese official calls U.S.’ Pompeo, tells U.S. to stop interfering
Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, Yang Jiechi, has spoken on the phone with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Yang said that the recent U.S. passage of legislation on Hong Kong and Xinjiang was interference in China’s domestic affairs.

He said that it violated international law and the basic principles of international affairs. Yang also said that Beijing will resolutely protect its territorial sovereignty and urged the U.S. to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.

https://youtu.be/WKZgtlzz604
Senior Chinese official condemns US interference in China’s internal affairs 

 

BEIJING: Yang Jiechi (pic), member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, held a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday (Dec 8).

Noting that the United States had allowed the so-called “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019” to become law and the House of Representatives of the US Congress to pass the so-called “Uygur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019,” Yang said US officials have repeatedly made statements that distort and attack China’s political system and internal and external policies.

Those are gross interference in China’s internal affairs and a serious violation of the international law, the basic norms of international relations and the will of the Chinese and US people as well as the international community, Yang said.

“China firmly opposes and strongly condemns these acts,” he said.

Over the past 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, great achievements which have attracted worldwide attention have been made, Yang said, adding that it is under the leadership of the CPC that the Chinese people have found a path of development suited to China’s national conditions.

The Chinese people have a high degree of confidence in their own development path, theory, system and culture and will unswervingly follow their own development path, and no force can stop the Chinese people from marching forward, Yang said.

China’s determination to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests is unwavering and no one should expect China to swallow anything that undermines its own interests, Yang said.

Yang said that China urges the US side to come to a clear assessment of the situation, correct its mistakes and immediately stop slandering China and interfering in China’s internal affairs. – Xinhua/Asian News Network (ANN)

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Guests: Victor Gao, vice president of the Center for China and Globalization; Einar Tangen, current affairs commentator.

Counter-terrorism proven effective to protect human rights

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Documentary reveals facts: Brutal scenes of attacks show sacrifice of police, justify Xinjiang policies  

China’s first documentary on its overall counter-terrorism efforts in Xinjiang aired Thursday night prompted wide discussions among the audience with never-before-seen scenes of terrorism, which highlighted the hefty price China has paid and the country’s resolve to eradicate terrorism.

Video and audio clips in the English-language documentary were shown for the first time as evidence of the horrible crimes wrought by terrorists in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It also showed interactions between terrorists and overseas masterminds.

The nearly one hour-long documentary, “Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang,” which was streamed on CGTN, China’s state broadcaster, has four parts. It begins with the evolution of extremism in Xinjiang, followed by the fight against terrorism. It also illustrated the interactions of terrorists and overseas forces accompanied by audio and video evidence. The documentary ends by highlighting international cooperation on counter-terrorism.

Zheng Liang, a research fellow at Guangdong-based Jinan University, who studied Xinjiang for more than 10 years, told the Global Times that he felt “shocked” after viewing the documentary.

Zheng said that previous videos on Xinjiang’s counter-terrorism were not as specific and well-edited as the Thursday one. “This newly released documentary uses quite different visual language adopted by mainstream media.”

“The authorities did not publish the video and details of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang before out of concern they may cause panic. This proves China had paid a high price in fighting terrorism, and the international community should have a clear understanding of this,” Li Wei, a counter-terrorism expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Li noted that the video and audio footage justify China’s Xinjiang policies in countering terrorism, including launching the vocational education and training centers, which have been highly effective in de-radicalizing and fighting extremist forces.

The beginning of the documentary features the landscape of Xinjiang, its culture and the different ethnic groups in China, including the prosperous markets and people’s peaceful and happy lives. Then the scene shifts to depicting the threat of terrorism that wrought havoc in the region.

Global threat

Xinjiang has long been the main battlefield of countering terrorism. According to incomplete data, from 1990 to 2016, Xinjiang endured thousands of terrorist attacks that killed large numbers of innocent people and hundreds of police officers.

The documentary features video footage of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, including one in Yining, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture in 1997, which left seven dead and 198 injured; the Urumqi riots on July 5, 2009, which caused 197 deaths and over 1,700 injuries; and the 2013 Seriqbuya attack in Kashi, which left 15 dead and two wounded.

Terrorists also orchestrated attacks in other cities of China: ramming a car into a crowd in Tiananmen Square in 2013, and another attack that struck the Kunming railway station on March 1, 2014, that left 31 dead and 141 wounded.

Police officers in Xinjiang work on the frontline of the fight against terrorism. According to data from China Central Television, from 2013 to 2016, a total of 127 police officers in Xinjiang sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Experts believe terrorism is a global threat, and no country can win the war against terrorism on its own. In the face of the threat of terrorism and extremism, Xinjiang has taken a series of measures, including establishing laws and regulations, and launching effective counter-terrorism operations.

According to media reports found by the Global Times, the Xinjiang region launched a special counter-terrorism campaign in May 2014.

Authorities have cracked down on 1,588 terrorist groups, and 12,995 terrorists and 2,052 explosive materials had been seized in Xinjiang since 2014, read a white paper on regional work on counter-terrorism, de-extremism and human rights protection in March.

By Liu Xin and Fan Lingzhi

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The ‘deep state’ is hard to dismantle


In the United States, President Donald Trump alleges that the “deep state” was in play to undermine his presidency. Towards this end, he blamed the “deep state” for the scandal involving Ukraine where he supposedly told his counterpart to step up the investigation into the affairs of his political rival Joe Biden and his son in that country

THE term “deep state” is new to many. However, one thing is becoming clear – it is a tool that politicians are increasingly using as an excuse to camouflage their short-comings.

In the United States, President Donald Trump alleges that the “deep state” was in play to undermine his presidency. Towards this end, he blamed the “deep state” for the scandal involving Ukraine where he supposedly told his counterpart to step up the investigation into the affairs of his political rival Joe Biden and his son in that country.

In Malaysia, politicians of Pakatan Harapan contend that the “deep state” is in play and was sabotaging the efforts of the government to carry out its plans and promises.

For all the negativity that the “deep state” has invoked in Malaysia, this informal group of senior diplomats, military officers and civil servants have earned the praises of the masses in the United States. This comes hot under the heels of the testimonies of Trump’s former advisor on Russian affairs, Fiona Hill and Ukraine embassy political counsellor David Holmes in the impeachment hearing of Trump for his role in Ukraingate.

In many ways, Malaysia has its own hero in Nor Salwani Muhammad, one of the officers who worked for former Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang.

Nor Salwani told a court hearing how she secretly left a tape recorder to capture the conversation of Malaysia’s top civil servants, in a meeting called by former Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, on doctoring the audit report of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The audit report deleted four important points before it was tabled to the parliamentary Pubic Accounts Committee (PAC).

People such as Nor Salwani, Hill and Holmes are part of the executive who have played a pivotal role in checking the wrongs of politicians when they run the country. Trump has described the testimonies of Hill and Holmes as the workings of the “deep state”.

In Malaysia, Nor Salwani is regarded as a hero. However, she comes from the executive wing of the government that some politicians regard as the “deep state”. In the United States, Trump feels that the military, diplomats and some from the private sector were working together to undermine him and has labelled them as the “deep state”.

But does the “deep state” really exist as a formal structure or is it just some loose alliances of some segments of unhappy people serving the government?

Nobody can really pinpoint what or who actually are the “deep state” in Malaysia. It is not an official grouping with a formal structure. It generally is seen as a movement that is a “government within a government” pursuing its own agenda that runs in contrary to what the ruling party aspires.

It is said to largely comprise the civil service working well with the police and the different arms of the judiciary. Some contend that the “deep state” is closely aligned to Barisan Nasional.

The term “deep state” was coined in Turkey in the 1970s and it primarily comprised the military and its sympathisers who are against the Islamic radicals. In recent times, even the powerful President Recce Tayyip Erdogan complained that the “deep state” was working against him.

Which raises the question – if the “deep state” was so influential, how did the Turkish president get himself re-elected in 2018?

In Malaysia, the ruling Pakatan Harapan party has blamed the “deep state” for some of the incidences such as the arrest of several people, including two DAP state assemblymen, under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma). Deputy Rural Development Minister R. Sivarasa contended that the “deep state” was responsible for the arrest and it was done without the consent of the top leadership.

Other ministers have blamed the movement as sabotaging their efforts to deliver on their promises to the government. Towards this end, speculation is rife that there would be a round of changes in the civil service to dismantle the “deep state”.

Some have even pinned the commando style abduction of pastor Raymond Koh and the disappearance of social activist Amri Che Mat on the “deep state”.

If the “deep state” was really in the works, it seems like the government would be facing a humongous task to dismantle it.

Firstly, nobody is able to pinpoint who these people are except that they apparently have tentacles at every level of the executive and in the police and probably military. Secondly, if the so-called `deep state’ is essentially made of the civil service, then they have done some good work to help uncover the cover up work of senior members of the executive wanting to hide the 1MDB scandal.

In reality, it will be hard to dismantle the much talked about `deep state’ in Malaysia. Many do not look out for riches or fame. It is likely that they are more driven to seeing what is best for the executive branch of the government.

A more practical approach would be to work together with this movement of individuals, if they can be identified, and find out the root cost of them being unhappy with the government.

Only 18 months ago, the “deep state” was very much against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his efforts to cover up the massive debt that 1MDB accumulated. The money was largely raised outside Malaysia and diverted to entities under the control of fugitive, Low Taek Jho better known as Jho Low.

There were countless reports on 1MDB that were leaked through the social media. From banking transactions of money going into the account of Najib to pictures of him on holiday with his family and Jho Low were made available on the social media.

Isn’t this also the work of some clandestine movement within the executive that some deem as the “deep state”’?

Consider this – even in Turkey, where the word “deep state” was coined, many believe it is still in works, protecting the country’s interest. In the United States, there is a view that the “deep state” is the gem in the government.

The government can make as many changes as it wants on the civil service or agencies under its watch. However, it is not likely to wipe out the “deep state” movement.

The views expressed are the writer’s own.  Source link

Read more:

Deep state – Wikipedia

 

Deep state in the United States  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_state_in_the_United_States

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