Mobile coverage snag as uers in many areas face connectivity issue while Malaysia moves into 5G era!


Pix for representational purpose only.

While Malaysia strives to move into the 5G era, the current 4G mobile network connectivity is still found wanting in many areas in the country, including the Klang Valley.

Mobile users in areas such as Taman TAR in Ampang, Jalan Damai Jasa in Alam Damai, Cheras Hartamas and certain areas in Subang, Selangor, face connectivity issues.

Wong Sew Kin, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering, Multimedia University, said there are areas within the Klang Valley that face a drop in network signals.

“Even places near my house in Bukit Beruntung, Rawang, have no signal at all let alone the internet,” he said, adding that more needs to be done for telecommunications infrastructure in Malaysia if it is to be on par with nations such as Singapore and China.

“We are venturing into 5G now but there are still problems with connectivity. We should address this to solidify our mobile network infrastructure so that we are able to make quick and steady advancement without having to worry about minor issues. It is important that we iron out the kinks.”

He added the lack of network signals can be attributed to the lack of base stations, or simply known as telco towers, in certain areas.

“As far as I know, the building of base stations has nothing to do with the government as it’s usually up to the telcos and they prioritise providing network connectivity in highly populated and commercial areas.

“However, the government can play its part by providing incentives for telcos to set up more base stations to ensure that we are fully connected,” he said.

Anusha Ravi, a resident of Alam Damai in Kuala Lumpur, told theSun she often has to direct her e-hailing drivers through the phone to her residence as the drivers are unable to use navigation apps due to the poor network signal.

A resident of Taman Billion in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, said he has faced poor network coverage for years despite being close to commercial areas.

“I have complained about this many times but nothing has been done,” he said, adding that he has to walk some distance away from his house just to make a call.

However, another expert who declined to be named, specialising in base station construction and installation, said the government is already doing all it can to ensure connectivity.

“The government, through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s Universal Service Provision fund, provides contractors and telcos opportunities to develop network infrastructure and connectivity in under-served areas, especially rural places.

“To my knowledge, sometimes we face issues such as a drop in network signals due to lack of base stations within a certain range. Sometimes there is no land to build base stations in between.”

Telcos sometimes face problems when planning to build base stations due to protests by residents in the area.

For instance, residents in Taman Sri Puteri, Bayan Lepas in Penang, successfully lobbied for the removal of telco towers in their area recently.

Among their reasons was that the towers were too close to their homes and thus were a health hazard.

Tutela, an independent crowdsourced data company, noted in its “State of mobile Networks 2019: Southeast Asia” report last year that Thailand beat Malaysia in a test where a mobile connection was good enough for basic internet usage.

The Philippines and Indonesia came out third and fourth.

“All four countries in the report are relatively close when it comes to basic quality. Thailand takes first place, with users able to make a voice over internet protocol call – a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband internet connection or check emails at least 92.5% of the time when connected to one of the country’s networks.”

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Xi Condemns Bullying, Protectionism Ahead of Meeting With Trump at G20 Summit


Asian member states have grown in prominence as China, India and
Indonesia’s economies have boomed over the past two decades. Photo: AFP

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2019-06-28/what-are-the-g-20-leaders-going-to-discuss-at-their-summit-video

The world’s most powerful leaders are gathering in Japan for meetings that may set the direction for the global economy and make the difference between war and peace in geopolitical hotspots.

Key things to watch include any signs of a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks, efforts to stem rising tensions between the Trump administration and Iran, and concrete action to lower emissions and reduce plastic pollution in oceans. Major agenda items include President Donald Trump’s meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

China’s President Xi Jinping condemned protectionism and “bullying practices” in a meeting with African leaders ahead of the summit, according to Dai Bing, the foreign ministry’s Director General for African Affairs.

“Any attempt to put one’s own interests first and undermine others’ will not win any popularity,” Xi said, according to Dai.

The comments come a day ahead of Xi’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump as the leaders try to resolve their trade war, as well as other major disputes like Huawei and the South China Sea. – Bloomberg

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Only sincerity can break trade impasse

Whether there is an agreement or not, China will defend its core interests and will focus on doing its own things well. China is well prepared economically and politically

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CHINA AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY COOPERATION by Gen. Wei Fenghe, State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, PRC


It gives me great pleasure to attend the 18th Shangri-la Dialogue. I would like to thank Dr. John Chipman for inviting me here and thank the Singapore government, the Ministry of Defense in particular, for the warm hospitality. I would also like to congratulate His Excellency Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on his excellent keynote address the other day. This is my first attendance at the Shangri-la Dialogue as China’s defense minister. I am here for mutual confidence, cooperation and peace. I am glad to speak on China and International Security Cooperation.

I. Humanity is at a crossroad. Building a community with a shared future for mankind is the right path forward and the trend of the times.

The world today is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. Destabilizing, uncertain factors and challenges continue to rise. President Xi Jinping’s great vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind is the answer to harmonious coexistence of people across the world, the effective solution to global problems and the right path towards world peace and human progress. We take note that the US expounded on its perspective on regional affairs yesterday. We believe that any such perspective should take into account the common security and interests of regional countries. No approaches to regional issues should resort to military blocs, nor should they undermine the interests of others. We hold different views with the US side on several issues, and firmly oppose its wrong words and actions concerning Taiwan and the South China Sea. Now let’s think about the following questions:

First, which should we choose, peace and development or conflict and confrontation? Peace and development remain the call of our times and the trend of history. However, global and regional hotspots flare up one after another and the risk of conflict and war persists. What is the cause for regional wars and conflicts, the spread of terrorism, the chaos in the Middle East and the refugee crisis in Europe? Who are behind all these and what is the root cause? These are the questions to be reflected on. Some deliberately create division and hostility, provoke confrontation, meddle with regional affairs, interfere in internal affairs of others, and frequently resort to arms. Whose interests on earth do they serve and whose do they harm?

Second, which should we choose, openness and inclusiveness or isolation and exclusiveness? See the world with an open and inclusive mind, and there will be friends and partners everywhere. See the world with a narrow and exclusive mind, and there are only enemies and adversaries. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, lately we see a growing backlash against globalization and a surge of protectionism. A certain country champions unilateralism, puts its own interests before others, withdraws from international treaties and organizations. Aren’t there many countries suffering from the willful infringement and sanctions?

Third, which should we choose, win-win cooperation or zero-sum game? Win-win cooperation makes the pie bigger and brings more benefits to all. However, zero-sum game makes no winner and harms the interests of both sides. Currently, over 150 countries and international organizations have proactively joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Not long ago, over 6,000 delegates from 150 countries and 92 international organizations gathered in Beijing for the second  Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. People can tell what is right.

Fourth, which should we choose, mutual learning among civilizations or arrogance and prejudice? A few days ago, China successfully hosted the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations. We believe that human civilizations are and should be colorful, equal, inclusive and willing to learn from each other. Not a single civilization should be worshiped or belittled. There are scars and tragedies in the history of human civilization which do not go away, to name only a few, the enslavement of Africans, the expulsion of native American Indians, the colonization in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the killing of Jewish people. Unfortunately, some people recently pick up the decadent idea of “clash of civilizations”. As racist and narrow-minded as it is, this is not right. How can we tolerate such a regress of history?

II. Facing complex and volatile international security situation, the Chinese government and armed forces stay committed to regional and world prosperity and stability.

Those who are familiar with China’s modern history must know that the country was once poor and weak and went through enormous misery. The Chinese people know only too well the value of peace and the cruelty and destructiveness of war. Over the years, some have been recklessly hyping up, exaggerating and dramatizing the “China threat theory”, partly due to the lack of understanding of China’s history, culture and policies, but more likely due to misunderstanding, prejudice, or even a hidden agenda.

China sticks to the path of peaceful development. Such a commitment is underpinned by China’s socialist system, the independent foreign policy of peace, and the cultural tradition that values peace and harmony. China shall follow the path of peaceful development, which is a solemn commitment to the people of China and the world. This has been written into the Constitution of the Communist Party of China and the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, thus reaffirmed as the will of the CPC and the state. If this is not even convincing enough for some people, then we don’t know what they would believe? Over the past 70 years since the founding of the P.R.C., China has never provoked a war or conflict, nor has it ever invaded another country or taken an inch of land from others. In the future, no matter how strong it becomes, China shall never threaten anyone, seek hegemony or establish spheres of influence. History has proven and will continue to prove that China will not follow the beaten path of big powers seeking hegemony when it grows strong. Hegemony does not conform to China’s values and national interests.

China adopts a military strategy of active defense. China’s military strategy adheres to the principles of defense, self-defense and post-strike response. It stresses that “we will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked”. China develops its military entirely for self-defense. The purpose is to defend the country and provide the people with a peaceful working environment, and ensure that our people are free from the disasters of war and enjoy a better life. We have never bullied or preyed on others, and we shall not let others bully or prey on us either. China develops its military to cope with security threats. Similar scenario can be found in the past when China had to develop nuclear capabilities of its own under nuclear threat. China’s defense expenditure is reasonable and appropriate. China enhances national defense in order to meet the legitimate needs to defend its own security as well as contribute to the world force for peace.

The Chinese military is dedicated to safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. The PLA is the people’s force under the leadership of the CPC. The PLA has fought many battles and is not afraid of sacrifice. In face of aggression, coercion or hardships, it has stridden forward from victory to victory. The more severe the pressure and difficulties are, the stronger and braver the Chinese people become. Adversity only brings our nation greater solidarity and strength. As the lyrics of the Chinese national anthem go, “Arise, all those who do not want be enslaved. Let’s build the new Great Wall with our flesh and blood.” Faced with daunting and complex security challenges, the PLA vows not to yield a single inch of the country’s sacred land, but it shall not seize anything from others either. The PLA has no intention to cause anybody trouble, but it is not afraid to face up to troubles. Should anyone risk crossing the bottom line, the PLA will resolutely take action and defeat all enemies.

The Chinese military stays committed to safeguarding regional and world security and stability. China is an active supporter of UN Peacekeeping Operations. It is the largest troop contributor among the permanent members of the UN Security Council and a major contributor of funds. We have established a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops that is ready to be deployed. For years, China has been active in promoting bilateral and multilateral security cooperation. The China-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination has been running at a high level. The state-to-state and military-to-military relations between China and the US remain generally stable, despite twists and difficulties. We have strengthened the sense of shared destiny with ASEAN countries, deepened traditional friendship with India, Pakistan and other South Asian countries, maintained peaceful coexistence and good-neighborliness with surrounding countries, and built good relationship with the countries and militaries of Africa and Latin America. In October this year, China will host the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum. We welcome defense and military leaders and scholars from all over the world to attend the Forum.

III. While striving for common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific, we must respect the core interests and accommodate the security concerns of all.

China advocates that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. We should respect and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of one another. China understands and respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries, and supports the social systems and development paths they independently choose. China is not able to progress in isolation from the rest of the world; the world also needs China to prosper. We in China do not covet the interests, nor envy the development, of others. However, we shall never give up our legitimate rights and interests. No country should ever expect China to allow its sovereignty, security and development interests to be infringed upon. As for the recent trade friction started by the US, if the US wants to talk, we will keep the door open. If they want a fight, we will fight till the end. As what the general public of China says these days, “A talk? Welcome. A fight? Ready. Bully us? No way.” I would like to further illustrate China’s position on a few issues you may be interested in.

First, on Taiwan. The Taiwan question bears on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Not a single country in the world would tolerate secession. I visited the US last year. American friends told me that Abraham Lincoln was the greatest American president because he led the country to victory in the Civil War and prevented the secession of the US. The US is indivisible, so is China. China must be and will be reunified. We find no excuse not to do so. If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs for national unity. Hereby, I have a message for the DPP authorities and the external forces. First, no attempts to split China shall succeed. Second, foreign intervention in the Taiwan question is doomed to failure. We took note that the US side mentioned the Taiwan Relations Acts in yesterday’s speech. Is it of Taiwan or the US? Is it a Chinese law or an international law? We can find no justifiable reasons for the US to interfere in the Taiwan question by its domestic law. Third, any underestimation of the PLA’s resolve and will is extremely dangerous. We will strive for the prospects of peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and greatest efforts, but we make no promise to renounce the use of force. Safeguarding national unity is a sacred duty of the PLA. If the PLA cannot even safeguard the unity of our motherland, what do we need it for?

Second, on the South China Sea. The current situation in the South China Sea is improving towards greater stability. It is attributed to the common efforts of the countries in the region. However, there are always people trying to rake in profits by stirring up troubles in the region. Before the Dialogue, I paid a visit to Vietnam and Singapore and reached broad consensus with Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich and Dr. Ng Eng Hen on maintaining the stability in the South China Sea. I have a few questions concerning the issue to discuss with you.

First, who on earth is threatening security and stability in the South China Sea? Over 100,000 ships sail through the South China Sea each year. None has been threatened. The problem, however, is that in recent years some countries outside the region come to the South China Sea to flex muscles, in the name of freedom of navigation. The large-scale force projection and offensive operations in the region are the most serious destabilizing and uncertain factors in the South China Sea.

Second, who would benefit and who would suffer from the chaos in the South China Sea? In case of chaos in the South China Sea, we, the regional countries, are the ones to take the blunt. What are the purposes for certain countries to send military vessels and aircraft all the way from afar to the region? Aren’t there enough examples that some big countries intervene in regional affairs, make troubles, walk away and leave a mess behind?

Third, should the stability in the South China Sea be maintained by countries in the region or outside the region? China and ASEAN countries have made positive progress in negotiating the COC. We hope that relevant parties will not underestimate the wisdom and ability of regional countries to properly handle differences and maintain peace. However, we welcome constructive suggestions from all countries.

Fourth, is China’s construction on its South China Sea islands and reefs militarization? It is the legitimate rights of a sovereign state to carry out construction on its own territory. China built limited defense facilities on the islands and reefs for self-defense. Where there are threats, there are defenses. In face of heavily armed warships and military aircraft, how can we stay impervious and not build some defense facilities?

Third, on the DPRK nuclear issue. China is committed to denuclearization, peace and stability of the Peninsula and to a negotiated solution through dialogue and consultation. In recent years, the Chinese side has made active efforts in promoting peace talks and played an irreplaceable and constructive role. We hope that the US and the DPRK will accommodate each other’s concerns with cool heads and patience, work towards the same goal and resume the dialogue for peace at an early date. The US and the DPRK should follow the dual-track approach and combine denuclearization with the establishment of a peace mechanism. We hope that the international community will positively respond to the legitimate concerns of the DPRK, trigger the reversible clause of the UN Security Council resolutions in due course, push for a declaration on the end of the war, and actively build trust among all parties.

Fourth, on China-US relations. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the US. Despite all the ups and downs, China-US relationship has been steadily growing in the past 40 years. The most valuable lesson we have learned from the 4-decade-long relationship is that cooperation benefits the two sides while confrontation hurts both. Looking forward, the two countries should follow the consensus by the two heads of state and promote a China-US relationship featuring coordination, cooperation and stability. Through continued communication, the militaries of the two countries have agreed on many important issues. First, in terms of implementing the consensus of the heads of state, the two militaries agreed on building their relationship a stabilizer for the overall relations. Second, we agree on maintaining regular communication on the strategic level. The day before yesterday, I had a candid and practical discussion with Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining communication and to develop a constructive military-to-military relationship. Third, in terms of managing risks and preventing conflicts, the two sides recognize that military conflicts or even a war between them would bring disasters to both countries and the world. It takes two to cooperate, but only one to start a fight. We hope that the US side will work with us towards the same goal, follow the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, and steer the China-US relations in the right direction.

The achievement China has made in the past 70 years since the country was founded is not a windfall or a handout from others. Neither was it made by engaging in military expansion or colonial exploitation. Instead, the country has developed through its people’s hard work, wisdom and bravery as well as the win-win cooperation with the world since reform and opening-up. At present, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China enjoys political stability, social cohesion and steady economic growth. Blessed with peace, harmony, prosperity and good governance, the country is making progress on all fronts. The Chinese people are committed to realizing the Chinese Dream of great national rejuvenation. The Chinese military is ready to work with the armed forces of other Asia-Pacific countries to jointly respond to challenges, promote the building of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future and safeguard peace and stability in the region.
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June 4 immunized China against turmoil

中国防长改口称六四为“政治动乱”

June 4 marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident. The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have determined the nature of the incident. Chinese society has also made a comprehensive summary of it. Dropping the incident thereafter has been aimed at helping the country leave the shadow behind, avoid disputes, and help all Chinese people face the future.

We consider such practice a political success, although some people have criticized it from the perspective of news governance. Merely afflicting China once, the incident has not become a long-term nightmare for the country. Neither has the incident’s anniversary ever been placed in the teeth of the storm. It has become a faded historical event, rather than an actual entanglement.

The Chinese government’s control of the incident in 1989 has been a watershed marking the differences between China and former Eastern European socialist countries, including the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Since the incident, China has successfully become the world’s second largest economy, with rapid improvement of people’s living standards. The policy of avoiding arguing has served as a contributor to the country’s economic take-off.

Today’s China obviously has no political conditions to suddenly reproduce the riot of 30 years ago. Chinese society, including its intellectual elite, is now far more mature than it was in 1989. In those years, China’s reform was carried out prior to those of the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. China was completely inexperienced, with an intellectual circle filled with idealism. Chinese society today has seen enough of the political tragedies that occurred in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and some Arab countries.

Having become politically mature, we now understand the significance of the country’s continuous development through evolutions instead of revolutions. We are also aware of the difficulties and complexity at the practical level.

As a vaccination for the Chinese society, the Tiananmen incident will greatly increase China’s immunity against any major political turmoil in the future.

We have noticed that every year around June 4, certain forces outside the Chinese mainland stir up public opinion and attack China. Such forces consist of two groups of people: student leaders and dissidents who fled abroad after 1989, and Western politicians and media outlets.

The first group’s understanding of the incident remains fixed in 1989. They refuse to correct their understanding of China’s development and the changes that the world has been through. Their interests have been decoupled from the Chinese people and have merged with anti-China forces outside China. Their attitude toward the incident cannot represent those of today’s Chinese public.

Western politicians’ discussions of the incident are mainly influenced by their countries’ relations with China. Due to the deterioration of China-US ties, US officials have launched fierce attacks against China that have focused on the incident since last year. But Chinese people are clear that those officials are not genuinely concerned about Chinese human rights, but are making use of the incident as a diplomatic tool to challenge China.

However, all these noises will have no real impact on Chinese society. The actions of the external forces are completely in vain.

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Huawei ban: Risk or opportunity for M’sian tech companies? US-China trade war a boon


KUALA LUMPUR: It looked like the start of semiconductor manufacturers’ nightmare when US President Donald Trump fired another salvo in the escalating US-China trade war by blacklisting China’s mobile phone equipment giant, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

The act sent shock waves along the supply chain of the global semiconductor industry, sparking strong sell-offs in semiconductor companies’ shares worldwide. The same was seen in Malaysia, which caused the Bursa Malaysia Technology Index to sink 3.47% on Tuesday — the biggest loser among the indices — led by companies linked to the industry.

But it may not be a losing battle in the long run, at least not for Malaysian companies. The trade diversion that will arise from Huawei’s ban in the US, which effectively cuts off US chipmakers from the supply chain of Huawei — the world’s largest provider of networking gear and the second-largest smartphone vendor — may benefit domestic players here.

Pentamaster Group Bhd co-founder and chairman Chuah Choon Bin told The Edge Financial Daily that he expects the group’s telecommunications segment to see a 20% to 30% decline in sales as a result of Huawei’s blacklisting in the US. The contraction may take away some 18% in total sales it anticipates for the year.

However, Chuah said Pentamaster may also stand to benefit from the ban, as he expects China will become more aggressive in ramping up their product developments in the face of what happened to Huawei.

So, he sees a silver lining for the group in the form of trade diverted from US chip suppliers to those located elsewhere, possibly in Malaysia, where Pentamaster supplies chip tester equipment or automated tester equipment.

As such, Chuah does not expect Pentamaster to be greatly affected by Huawei’s ban in the US. In fact, the eventual tally may show Pentamaster gaining from the situation.

Pentamaster was among the technology counters on Bursa Malaysia that took a beating on Tuesday, following the news on Huawei’s ban.

Its shares sank as much as 29 sen on Tuesday to RM4.05, before easing to settle at RM4.10, down 24 sen or 5.53% at market close. It was one of the top losers in Bursa Malaysia’s Technology Index, which retreated to 30.9 points, dragging the FBM KLCI down 0.1% to close at 1,603.74.

Other semiconductor stocks that were badly hit include: Inari Amertron, which fell 10 sen or 6.67% to RM1.40; Mi Technovation Bhd, which was down 11 sen or 6.43% to RM1.60; Globetronics Technology Bhd, which retreated 10 sen or 5.92% to RM1.59; and Frontken Corp Bhd, which fell eight sen or 5.63% to RM1.34.

Nonetheless, the rebound on Wall Street among semiconductor stocks that were bogged down by fears over the trade war’s ripple effects, raised hope that its peers in Malaysia may follow suit, if the upward trend seen on Tuesday is sustainable.

The share price recovery was fuelled by the temporary 90-day reprieve that was granted to Huawei on Monday. The initial ban was to take effect on May 20. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index gained 2.1% to end a three-day slump on Tuesday.

“The disruption to (the) supply chain will definitely be negative in the short term,” said an analyst who tracks the semiconductor industry, citing as example people who are considering switching mobile phones after the news that Alphabet Inc’s Google would be cutting off the supply of hardware and selected software services to Huawei once the 90 days is up.

“The trade war seems like breaking the supply chain into two … this is going to be bad in the short term. But if China cannot get their supply from the US, they are likely to turn inwards … [or to] countries like Malaysia,” the analyst added.

A Singapore-based fund manager commented that Malaysian tech companies presently do not have much to do with Huawei. But the ban is causing everyone in China to sit up and rethink their supply chain strategy. “In short, no one will believe in the US [anymore]. It is not a reliable and credible supplier. What it means is that it is positive for some of those tech companies in Malaysia that can offer what the Chinese need,” he said.

Some analysts, however, have a more cautious stance, saying it is too early to draw any conclusions on the matter given that it is hard to predict any retaliatory moves the two countries could make.

The lingering concern remains that any slowdown in international trade volume will not augur well for the world economy, including Malaysia. Meanwhile, some have pointed out that the valuation of Malaysian semiconductor stocks are relatively higher compared with elsewhere.

 
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China won’t accept unequal trade deal

Cooperation with China boosts Philippines’ strategic initiatives


 

 

Schoolchildren wave the national flags of the Philippines and China along the route of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s convoy at the Malacanang palace grounds in Manila on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Philippines from Tuesday to Wednesday has caught international attention.

China-Philippines relations have been one of the most vacillating connections among China and its neighboring countries. During the rule of Benigno Aquino III, bilateral relations were at a low ebb due to frictions over the South China Sea. Incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte changed the Philippines’ diplomatic course and brought ties with China back to the right track.

Last year, China surpassed Japan and became the largest trading partner of the Philippines. The two are conducting negotiations over the possible joint exploration of oil and gas in the disputed waters. If they reach an agreement, it could serve as an exemplary model for South China Sea claimant countries.

However, not everybody is happy to see Beijing and Manila set aside disputes and develop friendly ties. Besides obstruction from pro-US factions within the Philippines, some US and Western forces do not want to see rapprochement between China and the Philippines and even pressure the Duterte government to cut relations.

Recently, some Western media claimed that most of the assistance and investment that China promised to the Philippines was never fulfilled. Such tone maliciously aims to drive a wedge between Beijing and Manila.

In recent years, China has been advancing its Belt and Road initiative in Southeast Asia and has no reason to skip the Philippines when seeking investment and cooperation. In fact, relevant departments of the two countries have been working to push forward the implementation of cooperation projects.

The West has been accusing China’s Belt and Road initiative of locking some countries into a debt trap. However, when it comes to the Philippines, the West criticized China for not fulfilling its promises. Behind such hypocritical words lie the West’s deep-seated prejudice and hostility against China.

When the US strategically targets China, it is difficult for the Philippines – geographically adjacent to China while closely watched by the US – to keep independent strategic thinking and remain firm-minded.

But independent thinking and strong political determination are essential for every country. When Duterte first thought about mending ties with Beijing, independent thinking prompted Manila to face the question: What advantages can the country gain from enmity with China, if any? Will the Philippines benefit from it or will it be exploited by external forces?

The whole region should keep alert to whom will benefit from confrontation among South China Sea stakeholders. As one of the US’ allies in Southeast Asia, the Philippines will always be a tool of the West to instigate provocations in the waters. After twists and turns, Philippine society will form its own judgment.

Many Philippine elite might have thought that their country and the entirety of Southeast Asia could rely only on the US and the West before China’s rise, yet most regional countries did not achieve modernization. China offers more options for the Philippines, and because of China’s rise, the Philippines and Southeast Asia have gained more attention. Compared with the Aquino era, the Philippines under Duterte has acquired more strategic initiatives without becoming overly dependent on other countries.

China-Philippines friendly cooperation has changed the strategic position of the Philippines and brought about a new pattern for its development. It is expected that Xi’s visit will accelerate bilateral cooperation.

Newspaper headline: Xi, Duterte upgrade ties, Xi’s Philippine visit a ‘milestone’ event, Improved relations help keep stability in S.China Sea: expert

As cooperation and political trust improve, China and the Philippines agreed on Tuesday to lift ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperation relations while stressing the need to manage disputes in the South China Sea through “friendly negotiations.”

The decision was announced after visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday in Manila, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Chinese experts stressed that the visit is a milestone event in the development of bilateral relations and the two countries will pursue greater cooperation under the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative (BRI) in the coming years.

As friendly neighbors across the sea, China and the Philippines enjoy geographic proximity and a strong bond that links the two peoples and cultures, Xi said, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

Since Duterte took office, China and the Philippines have reopened the door of friendship and cooperation to each other, bringing real benefits to the two peoples and making important contributions to regional peace, stability and prosperity, Xi noted.

Xi’s visit will largely promote bilateral relations as the visit shows that China values friendly relations with the Philippines, Gu Xiaosong, a research fellow on Southeast Asian studies at the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

“It is a milestone event in the development of bilateral relations,” Gu remarked.

Glenn Penaranda, commercial counselor of the Philippine Embassy in China, told the Global Times on Tuesday that “Xi’s visit is vital in highlighting the significant relationship between our two countries, particularly in trade and investments. The visit will encourage more and deeper engagements.”

Improved China-Philippines relations will also play an important role in maintaining the stability of the South China Sea, experts noted.

“If China and the Philippines can reach an agreement on the exploration and development of oil and gas resources in the South China Sea, it will be a breakthrough in economic cooperation in the region and will largely promote the safety of the Asia-Pacific,” Gu said.

Growth prospects

The prospects for economic and trade relations between the two countries are very bright as Philippine priorities are aligned with the key directions for industrial capacity cooperation under BRI, in sectors such as infrastructure, construction and building materials, chemicals and manufacturing, Penaranda said.

Gu agrees, saying that bilateral economic and trade ties will be further enhanced to a higher level, and the two countries will pursue more cooperation under the BRI.

As a developing country with more than 100 million people, the Philippines needs to improve its infrastructure and enhance the growth of its industrial enterprises, Gu noted.

“We need to better understand the opportunities for bilateral cooperation through increased engagements by enterprises,” Penaranda said, noting that it is important that the frequent reciprocal visits of officials and business delegations continue.

Experts said China is committed to advancing the development with other countries and the Belt and Road initiative will bring greater growth to other developing countries and promote the economic integration of the Asia-Pacific region.

The two countries have conducted broad cooperation in transportation infrastructure and industrial parks and energy, and China is the Philippines’ largest trading partner.

Trade between China and the Philippines increased 8.5 percent year-on-year to $51.28 billion, according to information released by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Thursday.

As of the end of September, China’s investment in the Philippines was $1.25 billion and the Philippines’ investment in the Chinese market reached $3.33 billion, according to the MOFCOM.

Experts said cultural and educational exchanges between the two countries also see a huge potential.

The hospitality toward Chinese people is easily felt among the Philippine public.

The Chinese and Philippine flags were placed along Roxas Boulevard in Manila a week ago. Many Chinese who live and study in Manila waited along the boulevard on Tuesday to welcome Xi.

“We’re so excited that President Xi has come to Manila. We hope the two countries could strengthen cultural exchanges in the future,” Kui Jiangong, a PhD candidate from China who studies at Adamson University in Manila, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

“I have met many locals who like to discuss Chinese culture with me as they want to know more about China,” he said. – Global Times

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Chinese are the unsung heroes of South East Asia: Robert Kuok Memoirs


They are the most amazing economic ants on Earth, ‘Sugar King’ writes in memoir

Good Chinese business management is second to none; the very best of Chinese management is without compare. I haven’t seen others come near to it in my 70year career. Robert Kuok

The overseas Chinese were the unsung heroes of the region, having helped to build South East Asia to what it is today, said Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok (pic).

He said that it was the Chinese immigrants who tackled difficult task such as planting and tapping rubber, opening up tin mines, and ran small retail shops which eventually created a new economy around them.

“It was the Chinese who helped build up Southeast Asia. The Indians also played a big role, but the Chinese were the dominant force in helping to build the economy.

“They came very hungry and eager as immigrants, often barefooted and wearing only singlets and trousers. They would do any work available, as an honest income meant they could have food and shelter.

“I will concede that if they are totally penniless, they will do almost anything to get their first seed capital. But once they have some capital, they try very hard to rise above their past and advance their reputations as totally moral, ethical businessmen,” Kuok said based on excerpts of his memoir reported in the South China Morning Post .

“Robert Kuok, A Memoir’ is set to be released in Malaysia on Dec 1.

Kuok said the Chinese immigrants were willing to work harder than anyone else and were willing to “eat bitterness”, hence, were the most amazing economic ants on earth.

In the extracted memoir published by the South China Morning Post, Kuok, pointed out that if there were any businesses to be done on earth, one can be sure that a Chinese will be there.

“They will know whom to see, what to order, how best to save, how to make money. They don’t need expensive equipment or the trappings of office; they just deliver.

“I can tell you that Chinese businessmen compare notes every waking moment of their lives. There are no true weekends or holidays for them. That’s how they work. Every moment, they are listening, and they have skilfully developed in their own minds – each and every one of them – mental sieves to filter out rubbish and let through valuable information.

“Good Chinese business management is second to none; the very best of Chinese management is without compare. I haven’t seen others come near to it in my 70-year career,” he said.

“They flourish without the national, political and financial sponsorship or backing of their host countries. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese are often maltreated and looked down upon. Whether you go to Malaysia, Sumatra or Java, the locals call you Cina – pronounced Chee-na – in a derogatory way,” he said.

He added that the Chinese had no “fairy godmothers” financial backers.

“Yet, despite facing these odds, the overseas Chinese, through hard work, endeavour and business shrewdness, are able to produce profits of a type that no other ethnic group operating in the same environment could produce,” he said.

Kuok ultimately attributed the Chinese survivability in Southeast Asia to its cultural strength.

“They knew what was right and what was wrong. Even the most uneducated Chinese, through family education, upbringing and social environment, understands the ingredients and consequences of behaviour such as refinement, humility, understatement, coarseness, bragging and arrogance,” he said.

 

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug war confuses US, allies


Quotes: ‘Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte surprised the Western world recently by threatening to “separate from the UN,” and saying he would invite China and African countries to form a new international body.’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte surprised the Western world recently by threatening to “separate from the UN,” and saying he would invite China and African countries to form a new international body.

Duterte’s threat came in response to the UN’s criticism of his anti-drug war that has seen more than 700 suspected drug traffickers shot dead on the spot by the military and police.

Philippine society is severely afflicted by drugs. Statistics show there are over 3.7 million drug addicts in the country, and drug dealers have formed a secure business network in collaboration with corrupt authorities. Duterte has publicly allowed military police officers to fire at will if necessary, and he has even encouraged vigilantes to kill defiant drug traffickers.

Duterte’s new policy has won him great popularity and more than 600,000 drug traffickers and addicts turned themselves in half a month. However, the harshness of the anti-drug war has annoyed many Western media and human rights groups, which keep blaming Duterte for violating the rule of law and human rights.

Duterte’s lash-out against the UN also featured criticism of the US. “Why are you Americans killing the black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground?” he asked. He also blamed the UN for not doing enough to deal with the human rights crises that are happening in Iraq and Syria and allowing big powers to bomb villagers and children.

Duterte’s outspokenness makes him stick out among US allies. He was even dubbed the Philippines’ Donald Trump before he was elected. His big mouth has raised concerns among the US and Japan particularly, which do not know whether he just talks, or he will walk the talk.

The Philippines’ biggest value for the US and Japan is its territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. Washington and Tokyo hope Duterte could remain aggressive like his predecessor Benigno Aquino III and continue serving as a bridgehead for their geopolitical game against China, but Duterte does not find this role tempting. He knows that the US and Japan will benefit in the South China Sea tensions, not the Philippines.

Duterte does not want his energy to be heavily consumed by the long-standing territorial disputes, but wants to put more effort into domestic governance. His first action is to eliminate the most disturbing problem of drugs. However, even though his radical move has gained popularity among the Filipinos, it is against the Western-branded universal value of human rights.

If the anti-drug war continues to expand in the future, pressures from the US and the rest of the Western world will rise dramatically, and the Philippine-US relationship will also be victimized and become bumpy.

The Philippines and the US are close allies with many rifts. Manila needs Washington, but holds aversion to any aggressive intervention in the Philippines’ home affairs. This, instead of the South China Sea disputes, is the crux that lies within Philippine society. – Global Times

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