China will never start a currency war, Premier Li said in World Economic Forum 2015 (Summer Davos)

Premier: China’s economy moves in positive direction 

The future of China’s economy is bright thanks to a solid base and strong impetus, said Premier Li Keqiang at the opening ceremony of the Summer Davos meeting in Dalian, northeast China, on Thursday.

Li said it was not blind optimism because China had the advantages of huge potential and inner tenacity.

Major programs to promote new industrialization, information technology, urbanization and agricultural modernization are now in progress, which will contain domestic demand.

China’s variety of industries guaranteed an economy characterized by resistance and self-recovery, Li said.

Structural reforms, to realize sustainable economic expansion, have been successful, the premier said.

As the largest developing country in the world, China will continue to roll out measures to maintain medium-high growth with higher efficiency and quality.

Li highlighted the reform of the financial sector, stressing the importance of market and laws in fostering a fair, transparent and stable capital market as well as improving risk controls.

China has the support of high savings and large foreign exchange reserves, and reforms will improve the usage of such resources to support the real economy.

Besides cutting interest rates and reserve requirement ratios, China has scrapped the interest rate ceiling for both loans and deposits, and will allow more private capital to enter the sector as well as boost private banks, financing assurance and financial leasing, the premier said.

He also mentioned the recent changes to the yuan’s central parity system, stressing that the move had nothing to do with boosting exports, and the country is unwilling to see a currency war, as it will be harmful to China.

The inter-bank foreign exchange market will be opened to foreign central banks, and a cross-border RMB payment system will be established by the end of 2015 to improve the yuan offshore market, Li said. – (Xinhua)


DALIAN, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — Premier Li Keqiang told global business leaders on Wednesday that the Chinese economy is still running within a proper range.
The economy is stabilizing despite a slower growth pace, Li said at Summer Davos held in northeast China’s port city Dalian.Full Story
BEIJING, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) — Recent financial volatility has cast a shadow on the Chinese economy, but people need to view the bright side if they want to have the full picture.
Chinese officials never deny that the world’s second largest economy is facing trouble, it is not easy to deliver an annual growth of around seven percent after three decades of rapid expansion.Full Story
ANKARA, Sept. 5 (Xinhua ) — The Chinese economy has entered a “new normal” status and the growth rate of economy is predicted to be around 7 percent in the coming 4 to 5 years, said Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei here on Saturday.
Lou said it in a written statement after the 2-day G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Ankara Turkey.Full Story

Tibet celebrates 50 years of liberation and its founding in Lhasa

The Chinese central government has over the years instituted many polices to help Tibet’s development, in order to enable Tibetans to enjoy better education, higher incomes, better health care and social security. CCTV reporter Liu Yang is in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s capital Lhasa. She talked earlier about the region’s transformations, as regional autonomy of ethnic minorities has been implemented in Tibet for 50 years.

Potala Palace bathed in the morning light in Lhasa, June 1, 2013. [Photo by Li Zhongmin/All rights reserved by]

Autonomy and assistance drive Tibet to prosperity

The now-50-year-old Tibet autonomous region has every reason to rejoice: The national regional autonomy mechanism is working well and benefiting ordinary Tibetans.Yet the 14th Dalai Lama and those in Dharamsala of India will not be sharing the festive mood, for this is not what the Dalai Lama wants. The “high degree of autonomy” he advocates is de facto independence. He wants the central government to forsake any military presence in the region and for the region to conduct its own diplomacy. This would mean the region becoming an independent sovereignty entity.But for that to happen, he would first have to overturn the established jurisprudential truth that Tibet is a part of China. Which is impossible.

The Dalai Lama knows that the autonomous region was an outcome of negotiations between the central government and the local authorities of Tibet, and was written into the famous 17-Article Agreement for Tibet’s peaceful liberation. Until the armed rebellion in 1959, the Dalai Lama himself chaired the preparatory committee for the Tibet autonomous region.

And the design drawn up then has served Tibet well, no matter how unwilling he is to acknowledge it.

There is but little exaggeration in local administrators’ familiar claims that Tibet is enjoying its golden days, because it keeps changing for the better with each passing day.

Few of these changes would have been possible without the very special autonomy bestowed on Tibet.

Such autonomy facilitates local administration, because, in addition to making laws and regulations on its own like all other local governments, the regional government is authorized to tailor national laws to local conditions in their implementation.

Even among the country’s autonomous regions, Tibet has been the subject of envy for the policy favors it has received. Financial subsidies from the central government accounted for almost 93 percent of financial expenditures of Tibet from 1952 to 2014, not to mention the endless aid programs provided by dozens of central government offices, provinces and major State companies. And the sixth central conference on Tibet has just promised further efforts to improve local living standards.

More importantly, the traditional culture of Tibet, from Tibetan Buddhism to the Tibetan language and way of life, which the Dalai Lama says is a target of “cultural genocide”, remains alive and well.

Compared with the Dalai Lama’s pipe dream “autonomy”, what the Tibetan people enjoy now is genuine and practical freedom to build better lives. – China Daily/Asia News Network

Real Tibet can’t be concealed by Dalai’s lies
A grand ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region is held at the square of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, Sept. 8, 2015. (Xinhua/Ding Lin

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. People of all ethnicities have held celebrations for this anniversary.

For all these years, there have been two Tibets in public opinion. One is the real Tibet. The other is an imaginary one hyped by the Dalai Lama clique and Western opinion who often denounced that Tibet is not what it used to be under the rule of the CPC.

The imaginary Tibet does not exist, but with the instigation of Western media and the Dalai Lama, this Tibet has a certain influence in the international opinion sphere. This is perhaps the longest-lasting lie in the modern world.

This lie even forms moral and political correctness in the Western world, which blocks Westerners from knowing about the real Tibet. Some people believe only changes in the power structure and political relations between China and the West can break the lie.

The 14th Dalai Lama is lauded as a “saint” and his image was made into a smiling and wise old man. But his record when he ruled Tibet will thwart the Western public’s notions. The Dalai Lama never dares to talk about his past. This cruel ruler in exile once received the Nobel Peace Prize plotted by Western forces. He also enjoyed the spotlight as a guest of Western leaders. But once the Western opinion reveals his shadowy past, he will be exposed as a cheater.

What should Tibet be like? Western opinion articulates it into an original ecological community with no association with the modern world. They view Tibetan people as aborigines and see all modern facilities in Tibet as destruction.

This is an unfair and unreasonable mentality. It is for the Tibetan public and Chinese people as a whole to assess the social achievements of Tibet. They know what Tibet most needs and care more about Tibet’s development than any external forces.

Tibet has achieved remarkable political progress and undergone unprecedented modern infrastructure construction. Besides, this was all done with Tibet’s culture and ecology protected. Compared to Native Americans in the US, the Tibetans have kept their originality more.

The lies told by the West will not last long. As China gradually moves to the center of the world stage, people across the world will have the chance to see the real Tibet. Tibet will help improve China’s image. The Dalai Lama clique that has become an appendage to external forces to destabilize Tibet is bound to be the loser as time goes by. – Global Times

Why is the Dalai Lama Lying?

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World economy flying on one engine !

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde participating in the Asia Finance Conference at the Bank of Indonesia, in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sept 2, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

With a strong dollar and growing fiscal and trade deficits, small wonder that the markets are debating whether that engine is flying on empty

I was in Jakarta this week attending an IMF-Bank Indonesia conference on the Future of Asian Finance, the title of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) book launched last week with essays by IMF experts reviewing the lessons from the past and sketching how Asia can build its future, with a supportive financial system.

This is a very useful book, because it contains massive amount of helpful data and analyses for Asian policymakers to strategise how to respond to the current turbulence.

This weekend, the G20 Finance Ministers and central bank governors are meeting in Ankara, as Turkey takes the chair of G20 Presidency for 2015, with the key objectives of: strengthening global recovery and lifting potential; enhancing resilience; and buttressing sustainability.

Unfortunately, the current environment is heading in the opposite direction.

In the IMF Note for the G20 Meeting assessed that global growth for the first half of 2015 was slowing; financial conditions for emerging market economies have tightened; and risks are tilting towards the downside.

My interpretation is that basically what the IMF is saying is that if we are not careful, a perfect storm may be looming.

Understandably, the fund called for strong mutual policy action to raise growth and mitigate risks.

The real problem is that G20 members’ policy actions are likely to pull in different directions.

Sept 15 will be the seventh anniversary of the failure of Lehman Brothers, a landmark event, which triggered efforts to prevent global collapse that set up the greatest financial bubble in recorded history.

In the first half of 2015, almost every country witnessed record peaks in their stock markets, bond markets and real estate prices.

Given the fact that most countries are still slowing or having modest recoveries, this bubble has been pumped up by advanced country central banks in an activist monetary gamble called quantitative easing.

Indeed, the McKinsey Global Institute has warned that global credit and leverage is at its highest ever, and despite much soul searching about the need for macro-prudential regulation to prevent bubble risks, there has been not much deleveraging.

We have the odd situation whereby the governor of the Bank of England, currently chairman of the Financial Stability Board, warns about real estate bubbles, but hasn’t dared so far to raise interest rates in his own country.

The Fed has also anguished over whether to raise interest rates this month or in December. The polarity of debate is astonishing.

There are those who say that the US economy is now strong enough to take a 25 basis point interest rate increase, whereas authoritative figures like former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers have argued that another round of QE4 may be necessary to prevent “secular stagnation”.

When the Chinese authorities intervened in the A share market in August, the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal revelled at China’s debacle, only to wake up after their own markets, Dow, Nikkei and German Dax, witnessed the largest drops since 2011 after the announcement of the yuan devaluation of only 1.9%.

People in glass houses should not throw stones at each other, forgetting that other people’s misery, mistakes or misfortunes rebound on oneself.

The markets are not wrong to be nervous. The current global slowdown and turbulence is not the fault of any single country, but the result of a highly fragmented international financial system (IMS) being buffetted without a single monetary authority, fiscal authority or regulatory authority.

We have moved from a unipolar world to a multipolar casino where no one is fully in charge.

The IMS fragility stems from the fact that its inherent trade and debt imbalances, swing periodically to excesses without a coherent or single mechanism to control or moderate them.

Remember, the IMF is not the world’s central bank – that power was assumed by the leading sovereign central banks, particularly the US Fed.

In 2005, then chairman Ben Bernanke complained that the Fed was losing monetary policy effectiveness because of excess savings by the surplus countries, notably China and Japan.

The United States can run ever larger trade deficits, because surplus countries are more than willing to hold dollars in their foreign exchange reserves.

The 2007/2009 crises erupted when the trade imbalances generated a second order imbalance with the United States and European banks expanding credit both off-balance sheet and off-shore in dollars and euro.

The complacency of their regulators allowed these banks to be excessively leveraged. Threats of raising interest rates caused a market reversal and illiquidity, leading to a crisis of confidence and collapse.

Seven years later, the advanced country central banks and regulators again crow that they have “fixed” the problems, but the markets are as fragile as ever.

They are held together because the central banks have emerged as not only lenders of last resort, but buyers of first resort at any sign of market tantrum.

The stark reality was that it was China’s massive reflation in 2009 that reduced its current account imbalances, increased commodity prices and pulled the world out of recession.

But that was at a cost of a huge internal credit binge. Now that China has taken a pause in growth and attempted to correct its internal imbalances, the rest of the world is taking fright.

When the underlying imbalances are correcting as is happening now, there are no excess savings and no excess credit – only the prospect of higher interest rates.

And higher interest rates mean the pricking of the global asset bubble.

In short, before 2007, the world was a four-engine jet, propelled by the United States, Europe, Japan and the emerging markets, led by China.

After 2009, when Europe and Japan slowed, it was a two-engine jet, with China helping the United States sustain growth and currency stability.

Since the United States and Japan are hesitant to want China to join the special drawing rights club, that second engine is being recaliberated.

The world is now flying on one engine, the United States and US dollar.

With a strong dollar and growing fiscal and trade deficits, small wonder that the markets are debating whether that engine is flying on empty.

And what is the Future of Asian Finance? Watch this space next.

Asia News Network
Andrew Sheng comments on global issues from an Asian perspective.

The writer, president of the Fung Global Institute, Hong Kong and the chief adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, is a former chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.

WW2 Eastern frontier main battle: China’s V-day parade 2015

Xi takes group photos with foreign guests ahead of V-Day parade
Chinese President Xi Jinping took group photos with foreign leaders, government representatives and leading officials of international and regional organizations ahead of a V-Day parade on Thursday morning


China holds parade, vows peace on war anniversary

Staged a grand parade on Thursday in Tian’anmen Square to mark the 70th anniversary of victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and the end of World War II, China attracted the world’s attention by showing the aspiration for peace and its determination to safeguard post-war international order.

President Xi Jinping delivered a speech before the parade to call people to commemorate the hard-won peace after years of bloody war that had inflicted heavy losses on China and other countries.

China holds parade, vows peace on war anniversary
Scan the code and check China Daily’s up-to-date full coverage of China’s V-Day parade.

In honoring all the Chinese who perished in the war and those who have contributed to the victory in the deadly conflicts with Japan, the parade is a tribute to history and a call for peace, Xi said.

But he warned that the world is far from tranquil although peace and development have become the prevailing trend.

War is the sword of Damocles that still hangs over mankind. We must learn the lessons of history and dedicate ourselves to peace, he said.

Ravaging through Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, that war inflicted over 100 million military and civilian casualties. China suffered over 35 million casualties and the Soviet Union lost more than 27 million lives, Xi said.

The victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression is the first complete victory won by China in its resistance against foreign aggression in modern times.

This great triumph re-established China as a major country in the world and opened up bright prospects for the great renewal of the Chinese nation, Xi said.

Xi vowed that China will never seek hegemony or expansion no matter how much stronger it may become. He said the country will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected the troops after the speech.

On the Tian’anmen Square, Xi and the first lady Peng Liyuan welcomed honored guests, including 30 national leaders, to watch the parade which involved more than 12,000 military personel as well as veterans and their descendants. Seventeen foreign military teams also took part.

Leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moom witnessed the historical event.

1779 overseas Chinese from more than 120 countries and regions were invited, 5 of them were invited to watch the parade from the Tian’anmen Rostrum, including Chinese American physicist Paul Chu, and business tycoon Lucio Tan.

Opened with a helicopter flying by parading the national flag, the march past lasted for about 50 minutes. 20 military helicopters flew overhead forming the figure 70 to mark the 70th anniversary commemorations. Seven fighter jets flew past, making the world’s longest colored vapor trail.

After more than 300 veterans, including Kuomingtang veterans, and their descendants passed by in two vehicle formations, eleven formations of Chinese troops marched past, including 51 female honor guards. It was the first time female honor guards have joined a parade. More than 50 generals, with an average age of 53, leaded parade units.

Seventeen formations of foreign troops from 17 countries including Russia and Pakistan, marched past, before twenty-seven formations of armaments paraded.

This was the first time foreign military teams join in a Chinese military parade.

More than 500 pieces of China’s latest equipment were displayed, 84 percent of which have never been viewed by the public, many of which are among the world’s most advanced.

The navy displayed its latest anti-ship missiles, ship-to-air missiles and carrier-based aircraft, while the air force brought long-range bombers, fighters and airborne early warning and control (AEWC) aircraft.

The armaments on display also included the army’s newest helicopter gunships and battle tanks as well as intermediate-range conventional and strategic ballistic missiles from the Second Artillery Force.

The events ended with 10 air force formations flying over the square and doves and balloons being released.

China has held 15 military parades since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. In 1999 and 2009, grand military parades were held to celebrate the country’s 50th and 60th founding anniversary. This was the first parade not held on China’s National Day.

As it is an international convention to hold a parade to mark the victory day, China held the grand event with a theme of “remember history, cherish the memory of China’s revolutionary martyrs, uphold peace and create the future”.

By PENG YINING in Tian’anmen square (

Obama’s absence at parade costs US chance to display leadership

Tomorrow, China will be holding a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory in the World Anti-Fascist War. Dozens of global leaders or their special envoys have arrived in Beijing, save for US President Barack Obama or his high-level representative, who could have been a guest of honor at the ceremony.

The absence of the US president at such an important event is a pity. Washington’s move has also affected most Western European leaders, who decided to follow the US’ lead.

But Washington compromised, and will send US Ambassador to China Max Baucus to the parade, a gesture to show that the US will be present at the event. Washington clearly doesn’t want the absence of Obama or his high-level envoy to turn into media fodder.

While it is a pity, Obama’s absence will hardly affect Sino-US relations. Still, as former allies, China and the US have lost a chance to celebrate the victory they achieved together. How they fought side by side 70 years ago continues to be cherished by the Chinese, and the memory of that time has helped nurture a favorable impression of the US.

Geopolitics remains central to Washington’s decision-making process, and weighs heavily on US diplomatic policy. However, calculated moves do not always lead to a better decision. Washington’s ambivalence to Beijing’s invitation has cost itself a chance to display leadership across the Pacific Ocean, regardless of trivial gamesmanship and bickering in the region. The US seems unable to look at the big picture: The parade in Beijing is a righteous cause.

It is not hard to figure out why Obama or a special envoy will be absent. To some extent, the reasons are understandable. First, the US simply wants to show its support to Japan, which strongly opposes the parade and imagines itself as the target of the event. Second, the US dislikes such large parades in a non-Western country, considering it “muscle-flexing.” Third, as the US election approaches, presidential candidates try to earn brownie points with the electorate through China-bashing. The political climate in the US might have made Obama think twice.

To be honest, China never expected Obama to attend. But his “remedial work,” by asking Baucus to attend on his behalf, is weak.

Many China watchers have differing takes on the US’ attitude toward China’s parade. Some believe Baucus’ presence reaffirms an agreement between China and the US that both countries have no animosity towards each other. But some think Obama’s absence is much more complicated.

The Chinese have learned how to deal with narrow-mindedness, so they don’t actually mind whether Obama or a high-level official from Washington will attend. China’s open mind will help steer both countries away from unnecessary disputes Published: 2015-9-2 21:11:50

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  • South-East Asia’s complex big power relations demand careful and considered understanding, where frequent complications and familiar gut…

A region evolves with rising China

South-East Asia’s complex big power relations demand careful and considered understanding, where frequent complications and familiar gut reactions do not help.

WHEN countries have difficulty relating to a rising China, part of the problem lies in not understanding where China is heading and not knowing what it will become.

The sheer scale of China’s development and the weight of its trajectory mean that the impact of its rise on the rest of Asia and the world is bound to be considerable and profound.

As a frame of reference, the future of today’s China is often seen in the context of its past: a “Middle Kingdom” entity, the heart of an Asian tributary system, a regional superpower with global pretensions whose once closed-door policy is opening to the world.

Yet none of these references fits because modern China’s pace of change is as rapid as it is vast. Not only is it a post-Deng China, it is now into the fourth- and fifth-generation leadership of post-Dengist society.

A sense of a likely future China may then be deduced through elimination, by discarding what it is unlikely to be.

These include a communist superpower, a nation shaped by a distinct ideology, and one led by a powerful charismatic individual. But what of those things, admittedly few, that it will still be?

One of these is rule by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), particularly since single party rule continues to be a central bastion of the status quo. Yet even this requires qualification, if not some revision, and is already subject to much speculation.

The CCP has had to undergo some redefinition as circumstances evolve. The state socialism it championed underwent a social(ist) market phase to emerge as state capitalism.

Ideology continues to be diluted as dogma fritters away. Conservatives and reformists both within and outside China agree the trend is irreversible if not also inevitable.

Just about the only thing that a future China is still certain to be is a unitary state. But even this has to be qualified again.

What is now regarded as Greater China – the People’s Republic of China on the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan – are unlikely to be fused into one singularly cohesive whole anytime soon.

Yet they are moving together towards a unitary economy, the basis of the modern nation state. Such a trend is beyond the protestations of democrats and the comprehension of many strategists.

At the same time, provinces are slowly moving towards greater autonomy in economic matters, including in dealings with neighbouring countries. A country as large as China cannot endure too long under strict centralised rule.

And China has endured longer than all others, with the country now into its fifth millennium of continued statehood. These trends and movements take time and may seem imperceptible for other countries, but they are par for the course with China’s enormous timelines.

For decades now, Chinese authorities have also introduced elections at local levels with invited inputs from the Carter Center. Voting has been practised in village and provincial levels, and despite occasional fits and starts the trend is towards a controlled political opening with assured stability.

All of this contributes to the near-incomprehension of today’s China on the part of external observers. A survey of their attitudes, assumptions and responses in any given week attests to this reality.

Questions of whether China (meaning Beijing) can ever govern Taiwan, or even understand Hong Kong, are typical. The real risk of observers not seeing the wood for the trees is ever-present.

A debate of sorts has emerged over China’s likely reaction to a possible win by Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in next January’s election. Pessimists who fret over their own cynical pronouncements fail to realise that China is playing for bigger stakes than petty party feuding.

China’s interest in Taipei is Taiwan, not necessarily a Kuomintang (KMT) Taiwan. A lately declining KMT under President Ma Ying-jou has sufficiently energised pragmatists in Beijing to be diplomatic towards the DPP.

Another perennial issue is the presumed rivalry between the US and China. Although competition exists between them, they have more in common than at variance for now and the foreseeable future.

Their shared interests include international security and a single global economy in which both hold the largest stakes. Rivalry in these core areas compromises the interests of both without enlarging opportunities for either.

An understanding of that basic reality is shared between US and Chinese leaders, but apparently not by Japanese ones. The Abe administration is still stuck between old wartime anxieties and proudly snubbing Beijing.

However, China should also not expect anything but Abe’s cancellation of a visit on Sept 3. The occasion, with Western leaders absent, is being presented by some in China as celebrating its victory over Japan.

China: Military parade not aimed at any country

China says its upcoming September 3rd military parade is part of commemorations for the 70th anniversary of its victory in the war of resistance against Japanese aggression, and is not specifically aimed at any country.

Nonetheless, the Abe government remains an activist one in provoking competition with China over military issues. Its White Paper released last month inflates China’s maritime military capabilities and even conflicts with US calculations.

Besides the US, Taiwan and Japan, the other barometer of China’s rise as seen through its foreign relations is Asean.

China regards Asean wariness of its territorial assertiveness as limited and negotiable, since not all member countries have rival claims to offshore territory. But Beijing may seriously be underestimating Asean’s sense of solidarity, given not just Asean’s community-building agenda but also its common resolve to develop community cohesiveness.

The established links between China and Asean’s newer CLMV members (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam) are both limited and fraying in places. Beijing needs to rebuild trust and good faith within Asean as much as in North-East Asia.

China has thus emphasised multi-level, multi-sectoral joint ventures both bilaterally and collectively. Its proposals for a Maritime Silk Road and a One Belt, One Road link to Europe are backed by the China-Asean Maritime Cooperation Fund, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development (Brics) Bank and China’s own solvency.

On the ground however, Asean collectively seeks enlarged trade volumes with China. However, China’s currency devaluations and the subsequent jolts to regional currencies compromise these goals.

With Indonesia, China is extending cooperation in fighting drug trafficking as Jakarta favours using the yuan for bilateral trade. With Malaysia, China is building linkages in education and industrial development.

Thailand’s post-coup government is seen as leaning towards China, thanks in part to a US snub. Now Thai-Chinese ties are growing over purchases of stockpiled Thai rice and even the prospect of a Kra Isthmus canal.

China’s relations with Vietnam and more so the Philippines will require more time and work. Ironically, Unctad trade data identifies the Philippine economy as the biggest regional beneficiary of China’s rise.

Beijing’s ties with the other Asean countries may be less complicated but still require attention and constant tending. Its record of fully understanding Asean is not impressive.

Overall, Beijing’s relations with Asean and its member nations are economic, diplomatic and socio-cultural, without political interference in their domestic matters. This contrasts with Washington’s largely military posturing and its political pressures on issues of democracy and human rights.

China’s impact on this region is likely to remain non-political and non-military – differing from US interaction. This asymmetry makes up much of South-East Asia’s strategic status quo.

Whether and how it will endure, and whether it deserves to remain, still have to be seen.

By Bunn Nagara Behind the Headlines

Bunn Nagara is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.

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CASS briefing on significance of War of Resistance

China is preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is currently holding a press conference in Beijing on the significance of the V-Day anniversary.

Sorry is the hardest word for Abe


The news that the “draft of Abe’s statement contains an ‘apology'” made the headlines all day on Japanese broadcaster NHK on Monday. According to the report, the statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday will also include key expressions used in the 1995 statement by then-prime minister Tomiichi Murayama, including “apology,” “deep remorse,” “aggression” and “colonial rule.” This is so far the first report released saying that Abe’s speech will cover this positive content.

Yet over the past few days, a number of Japanese media have been quoting a variety of inside information saying that Abe’s remarks will not include terms like “apology.” As the day that marks Japan’s defeat in WWII approaches, how Abe will talk about it has been placed under global public scrutiny.

Abe’s statement will reflect the future path of the country. If he only reflects on the wartime past but tries to blur the nature of the war by refusing to apologize, or avoiding mention of “aggression,” the nation will face serious doubts over whether it is planning to ditch peaceful development, and means to reshape the political and historical pattern that formed after the war.

Abe has always been beating about the bush, trying to lower the world’s anticipation of him echoing the spirit of the Murayama Statement. Not long ago, his cabinet voted through revisions of the country’s security rules, which has triggered quite a few domestic protests. His domestic support rate has tumbled sharply, causing him unprecedented pressure since he assumed office as prime minister for the second time.

Abe might compromise, and add those key words from the 1995 Statement. Yet this is not as certain as a compromise to political pressure, rather than his own moral and political responsibility. His historical revisionism is known by all, and opportunism is universally considered as his main principle to adjust strategies over historical issues. Hence, there is a good chance that he may rewrite his statement draft at the last minute.

Accordingly, instead of the real historical recognition by Abe’s administration, the speech will more likely mirror Abe’s scheming and calculating among all the pros and cons in the power structure of the Asia-Pacific region.

Even so, a statement that can be accepted by the international community is still worth welcoming.

Abe’s political logic is weird. He should realize that the US is Japan’s biggest obstacle on the path toward becoming a “normal state.” But he won’t let go of the rivalry with China. Some suspect that Tokyo is eager to stay in the good graces of Washington, letting its guard down and seeking a chance to get rid of its control. However, Japan is unable to make that work.

Abe will find that his ability falls short of his wishes over his strategy in the Western Pacific. We hope he will make the right choice for his statement, whatever the reasons. And history will judge him fairly.

– Global Times


VIEWPOINTJapan must face up to verdict of history

BEIJING, Aug. 9 — The memorial services in Hiroshima and Nagasaki should serve as an opportunity fo[Read it]

The South Korean government on Sunday denied that the US had asked its President Park Geun-hyu not t[Read it]

Special Reports 

The 70th annv. of the victory of war of resistance against Japanese aggression The 70th annv. of the victory of war of resistance against Japanese aggression

Expert hails China’s efforts in war against fascism  

China’s fight against Japanese Aggression began in 1931, and lasted for 14 years. This part of history has been widely recognised as a crucial part of the global fight against fascism. 

MH370: Aircraft debris found on La Reunion is from missing Malaysia Airlines flight

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) attends a press conference on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aug. 6, 2015. Verification had confirmed that the debris discovered on the Reunion Island belongs to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced here early on Thursday. (Xinhua/Chong Voon Chung)


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — Verification had confirmed that the debris discovered on Reunion Island belongs to missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced early Thursday.

“Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370,” the prime minister said.

“We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” Najib said.

“This is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370. We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery.”

The airlines will update the families and cooperate with the authorities, he added.

The prime minister said his country remains dedicated to finding out what had happened on board the flight. “I would like to assure all those affected by this tragedy that the government of Malaysia is committed to doing everything within our means to find out the truth of what happened.”

Meanwhile, the Malaysia Airlines said the finding had been confirmed jointly by the French Authorities, the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA), the Malaysian investigation team, the technical representatives from China and the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) in Toulouse, France.

The debris was discovered on Reunion Island on July 29 and was officially identified as part of a plane wing known as a flaperon from a Boeing 777.

Prior to the latest discovery, a massive surface and underwater hunt had failed to find the plane in what has become one of the biggest mysteries in the aviation history.

The plane went missing on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 on board, most of them Chinese. – Xinhua

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