N. Korean Glorious welcome for Predident Xi, China to support security, development concerns


 

Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held talks in Pyongyang Thursday where Xi received an unprecedented welcome. The talks touched on the China-North Korea relationship and the Korean Peninsula issue.

Xi, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), kicked off his two-day state visit to the neighboring country at the invitation of Kim, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Xi said during the talks that the international community expects the DPRK and the US to keep pushing negotiations forward to reach a result, and China is willing to provide assistance to the DPRK in its “reasonable concerns on security and development.”

China is willing to cooperate with the DPRK and other parties involved in the issue to push the political solution, Xi noted.

Kim responded that the DPRK highly appreciated China’s contributions in pushing forward the peace process of the peninsula issue.

His country has made positive efforts to avoid tensions in the past year, but “relevant parties” haven’t offered any positive response, and this is not what the DPRK wants to see, Kim said. But North Korea is patient to keep communicating with “relevant parties” to find a solution that could be accepted by all parties, Kim noted.

Zheng Jiyong, director of the Center for Korean Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said a key reason why the bilateral negotiations between North Korea and the US can’t move on is that Washington doesn’t want to offer a positive response to Pyongyang’s security concerns. Pyongyang feels insecure and so it is reluctant and suspicious to make more concessions, he noted.

“China is capable of making North Korea feel secure and protecting it from unreasonable bullying and threats,” Zheng said.

Lü Chao, a research fellow at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences in Shenyang, said that although the US prefers a bilateral mechanism, it still needs a third party to guarantee the implementation of denuclearization once it reaches an agreement with North Korea.

A third party or a new international cooperation mechanism is needed at this moment, Chinese experts noted, as the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan will take place at the end of the month, and five parties – China, the US, Russia, Japan and South Korea – of the Six-Party Talks, except North Korea, will gather in Japan, offering a good opportunity for them to discuss such an issue.

China is showcasing its unique influence over the peninsula issue to the US before the G20, Chinese experts noted.

At
the invitation of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), paid an unofficial visit to China from March 25 to 28. During the visit, Xi held talks with Kim at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi held a welcoming ceremony for Kim before their talks. Photo: Xinhua

Unprecedented ceremony

From the welcome ceremony at Pyongyang International Airport to the unprecedented salutation at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, Xi received the highest-level reception in the capital of North Korea that shows North Korea attaches great importance to the China-North Korea relationship with firm traditional friendship, Chinese experts noted.

About 10,000 people participated in the ceremony at the airport to welcome Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Pyongyang citizens formed a long welcoming line alongside the highway from the airport all the way to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. There were national flags and banners with slogans about friendship, unity and welcome everywhere in Pyongyang on Thursday.

This is the first time that a visiting foreign top leader received a salutation from the North Korean people at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, a magnificent building near the northeast corner of Pyongyang that serves as the mausoleum for Kim Il-sung, founder of the DPRK, and for his son and North Korean former leader, Kim Jong-il, who were both posthumously designated eternal leaders of North Korea, Xinhua reported.

Special relationship

“This is like three generations of North Korean leaders are witnessing a new milestone in the bilateral traditional friendship being forged by Xi’s visit,” Lü said.

After the ceremony, Xi and Peng moved into the Guesthouse of Kumsusan. Zheng said that the Kumsusan has unusual meaning in North Korea as it belongs exclusively to the Kim family. Kim was trying to emphasize his close and unique relationship with Xi.

“The ceremony is just like welcoming a family member and this also means the two parties and the two countries have a special relationship,” Zheng said.

Rodong Sinmun, the WPK’s flagship newspaper, said in an editorial Thursday that Xi’s visit to “the DPRK despite the urgent and important tasks due to the complicated international relations vividly shows that the Chinese party and government are placing great importance on the DPRK-China friendship.”

The history of the DPRK-China relations vividly records the comradely friendship between the leaders of the elder generation who closely cooperated with each other hand in hand on the road to accomplishing the cause of anti-imperialist independence, peace and socialism, the editorial said.

Xi said during the talks with Kim that the China-DPRK friendship is a strategic choice made by the two sides with a long-term and overall perspective and will not waver due to changes in the international situation.

It is a steadfast policy of the CPC and the Chinese government to maintain, consolidate and develop China-DPRK relations, he stressed.

The top leaders of China and the DPRK agreed during their talks to work together to create a bright future of inter-party and inter-state relations at a new starting point in history, Xinhua reported.

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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.

Read more:

Hollow claims by US on caring about Chinese human rights

The US offers its commiserations for so-called human
rights violations in China, yet in actions, it has been trampling on
China’s human rights for years. It is time for Mr Pompeo and his
colleagues to stop the self-contradictory moves.

Happy Birthday Navy – Xi reviews multinational fleet in E China’s port city



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Happy Birthday Navy

A grand naval parade was held on Tuesday off Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, marking the 70th  anniversary of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, which was founded on April 23, 1949.

20190424d7bb3300-0663-4e43-bff5-c8a6df804036.jpeg

Naval parade marks PLA Navy’s 70th anniversary
A grand naval parade was held on Tuesday off Qingdao, East
China’s Shandong Province, marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, which was founded on ..

China’s security helps regional stability

The PLA Navy will continue to grow. It will make great
progress in hardware by its 80th anniversary. We hope this will be a
process in which the Western Pacific Ocean consolidates peace and
deepens reciprocal cooperation.

Huawei gaining support despite US ban


Charm offensive: To restore its international
reputation, Huawei’s top guns including the normally reclusive Ren began
to grant interviews to foreign media to address concerns and talk about
the group’s technology edge. — Huawei/AFP

CHINA’s Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecom equipment and second largest manufacturer of smartphones, appears to have cleared some key hurdles with the might of its superfast 5G wireless technology amid relentless attacks by the United States.

The Trump administration has claimed that Huawei poses a potential national security threat. It is lobbying its allies to ban Huawei’s equipment, which Washington alleges could be used by the Chinese government for spying.

The US prosecutors have alleged that Huawei stole trade secrets and worked to skirt US sanctions on Iran. On Dec 1, with the help of Canada, it arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei and daughter of the company founder. She faces extradition to the US to be charged for various offences.

Washington has repeatedly cited a Chinese law passed in 2017 allowing state intelligence agency to compel individual organisations to “provide necessary support, assistance and cooperation” as proof Huawei can’t be trusted.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned allies against using Huawei technology, saying it would make it difficult for Washington to “partner alongside them”.

There is also constant reminder that Huawei’s 74-year-old founder Ren Zhengfei was a former engineer in China’s army and joined the Communist Party in 1978, before setting up Huawei in 1987.

In the past one year, the international environment looked hostile and global picture looked grim for Huawei, when New Zealand, Australia and Japan followed the US to block Huawei in 5G involvement in their countries, while European nations led by Britain and Germany placed Huawei under scrutiny.

It looked like this global leader in the fifth generation wireless techno­logy, which has operations in 170 countries, was to lose many potential customers in this non-stop anti-Huawei campaign.

The Chinese tech giant has vehemently denied all accusations by the US, saying these allegations are baseless and not proven. The Chinese government has also denied these claims.

Still popular: Attendees excited by the new Huawei Mate X foldable 5G smartphone revealed at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. — AP

Still popular: Attendees excited by the new Huawei Mate X foldable 5G smartphone revealed at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. — AP

Public relations offensive

When taking a soft approach in response to US assault did not help to restore its international reputation, Huawei decided to go on an aggressive PR offensive recently.

Huawei’s top guns began to grant interviews to foreign media to address concerns and talk about the group’s technology edge.

In a recent interview with BBC, the founder of Huawei declared in Mandarin: “There’s no way the US can crush us. The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit.”

Indeed, Huawei has already built up such a strong lead in 5G techno­logy that it is practically irreplaceable, say analysts.

Huawei claims that its 5G techno­logy is at least one year ahead of its rivals, and many in the tech world agree.

The most successful private company in China is an important part of Beijing’s efforts to advance superfast 5G wireless networks.

Although under Chinese law, firms had to “co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work”, the serious-looking Ren told BBC that allowing spying was a risk he wouldn’t take.

“The Chinese government has already clearly said that it won’t install any backdoors. And we won’t install backdoors either. We’re not going to risk the disgust of our country and of our customers all over the world … Our company will never undertake any spying activities. If we have any such actions, then I’ll shut the company down.”

He described the arrest of his daughter Meng Wanzhou as “politically motivated” amid the year-long US-China trade war.

The US is pressing criminal charges against Huawei and Meng, including money laundering, bank fraud and stealing trade secrets. Huawei has denied any wrongdoing.

Huawei has also used the four-day 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona held last week as a platform to further its media blitz.

Huawei’s chairman Guo Ping expressed hope “independent sovereign states will make independent decisions based on their own understanding of the situation and will not just listen to someone else’s order.”

He added that Huawei must abide by Chinese law and laws of countries where it operates.

“Huawei will never, and dare not, and cannot violate any regulations,” he pledged.

Faced with so much scrutiny, it is no wonder that Huawei’s issue overshadowed the launch of new products and other tech giants at the global trade fair.

To the delight of Huawei, GSMA – a global lobby representing more than 750 network operators and the Mobile World Congress organiser – has appealed to European policymakers not to ban Huawei in Europe’s 5G networks.

It urged countries to take “a fact-based and risk-based approach” in a statement that the US wireless industry did not endorse.

No evidence of spying

Amid Huawei’s PR offensive, which includes aggressive advertising and sponsorship of events, some good news started trickling in for the Shenzhen-based company that hires 180,000 people worldwide.

On Feb 12, it was reported that cyber-security chiefs in the National Cyber Security Centre of Britain had concluded that “any risk posed by involving Huawei in UK telecoms projects can be managed”.

This report is seen as casting doubt on US claim of the security threat from Huawei.

On Feb 19, independent tech news portal The Register reported that Europeans could not find any evidence of Chinese spying.

“No concrete evidence has so far emerged that Huawei equipment contains a backdoor or any other means for China to snoop on,” said the portal’s writer Kieren McCarthy, based in Los Angeles.

And according to media reports, Germany’s Cabinet has rejected American efforts to impose a global ban on Huawei, after its own security services reported that it has failed to find any evidence of spying.

Both the UK and Germany are huge markets for Huawei. UK’s mobile firms – Vodafone, EE and Three – have been working with Huawei on developing their 5G networks.

Huawei is said to command about 40% share in Europe’s telecom network and equipment market. Hence, banning Huawei could be disruptive in this continent.

As a clear leader in 5G technology, ditching Huawei could also mean falling behind on crucial innovation for Europe.

Indeed, Deutsche Telecom is predicting a two-year delay if Huawei is banned from 5G involvement in Germany.

In India, media reports have suggested that Delhi might ignore US pressure after establishing closer ties with China.

Huawei was allowed to participate in 5G trials in India last December.

Ignoring the anti-Huawei campaign, Maxis announced last week it was collaborating with Huawei to accelerate 5G in Malaysia.

Maxis, in a statement, said it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Huawei at the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

It highlighted that Huawei has signed over 30 commercial contracts and shipped more than 40,000 5G base stations across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The MoU states that both parties will work to speed up the rollout of 5G technology in the country, working on full-fledged trials with end-to-end systems and services.

“Maxis has long started its 5G journey, and we are already focusing on live trials, investments and evolving our network infrastructure to be ready for a future where smart solutions will be part of everyday life,” said Maxis CEO-designate Gokhan Ogut.

Perhaps, the last thing Huawei expected was a tweet by US President Donald Trump on Feb 21 amid the US-China trade talks: “I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the US as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind.

“I want the US to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies. We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology!”

Does this mean Huawei would be allowed enter the US market? But can Trump’s tweet be taken seriously by Huawei and Beijing?


China’s dream can’t be crushed

In fact, the onslaught against Huawei is creating big problems for mobile operators as they start building the next generation of wireless networks this year.

This will not only hurt Huawei but also its suppliers in the US and other players in the world, if the US has its way.

As expected, the anti-Huawei campaign has fanned up patriotism among Chinese consumers and the first casualty is Apple.

Demand for Huawei’s devices surged amid local campaigns to ditch US phones. Huawei sold 30 million phones in China in the last three months of 2018, nearly three times as many as Apple, whose sales plunged 20%.

The US-Huawei showdown is also hurting trade and diplomatic relations between China and the close allies of US.

Exports of Canada, Australia and New Zealand to China are seeing negative impact from retaliations from Beijing and tourism linked to Chinese has also taken a hit.

But Huawei’s success in 5G technology is more than geopolitics and competitive price. It represents the rapid rise of China as a tech power, which the US could not stomach.

There is fear by the US that China will control the technologies of the future. Already, China is advanced in AI (artificial intelligence) and has just become the world’s largest solar power producer.

China is the world’s second largest economy. Many analysts believe it will overtake the US to become the biggest economy by 2030, with the momentum created by its 2025 Made-in-China vision and other economic plans.

Huawei last year overtook Apple as the second biggest supplier of smartphones. The company is expected to overtake Samsung by 2020.

In Barcelona, Huawei announced that it expected to ship between 250 million and 260 million smartphones in 2019, up 20%-30% from 2018.

Judging from recent developments, the anti-Huawei campaign may put a brake to the rapid growth of this tech company, but it certainty will not crush Huawei and China’s ambition to lead in technology globally.

By Ho Wah Foon The Star

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2nd Kim-Trump summit deserves more support


North Korea’s Kim Jong-un takes train to China – BBC News[youtube

Kim Jong-un en route to Vietnam summit by train

According to media reports, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un left Pyongyang by train for Vietnam on Saturday for his second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, which reportedly will be held on February 27 and 28.

The upcoming second summit sends positive signals, indicating that Pyongyang and Washington have been moving forward on both denuclearization and permanent peace for the Korean Peninsula since the first summit last June.

Nonetheless, there exist anxieties among certain American and South Korean elites. They worry Trump may make too many concessions and harm Seoul’s interests. In their view, the first Kim-Trump summit was a failure and Trump should not repeat the mistake in the upcoming meeting.

North Korea-US relations achieved a major breakthrough since the first summit, providing a new impetus for fundamentally solving the peninsula issue. However, those elites proclaimed that Trump’s decision to stop the US-South Korea joint military exercise was a unilateral concession, while North Korea did nothing.

Pyongyang declared it would cease nuclear and missile testing, and dismantle its nuclear test site. According to this logic, did Pyongyang make a unilateral concession?

There is a serious lack of mutual trust between the US and North Korea. Washington requests Pyongyang to abandon nuclear weapons completely, while Pyongyang desires security guarantee and permanent peace on the peninsula. Both sides have been playing the game with their own chips from the outset, making the denuclearization process somewhat fragile.

Nonetheless, denuclearization is not something that can be accomplished in a single action, but through a cumulative process.

There are no more nuclear and missile tests, nor US-South Korea joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula. Even verbal battles and threats between Washington, Seoul and Pyongyang have faded.

In addition, bilateral meetings between Pyongyang and Washington, and between Pyongyang and Seoul have been constantly taking place.

Both denuclearization and permanent peace on the peninsula are positive targets. From the perspective of the big picture, there is no need to argue which country is moving faster toward the two ultimate goals.

The old thinking must be altered of demanding only the other party take the initiative but using one’s own responsibilities as a bargaining chip.

Both Washington and Pyongyang were once extremely tough. Now the peninsula’s situation has been finally reversed. Trump has shown the will to move forward, which should be encouraged by both the US and South Korea.

The US partisan struggle should not take the Korean Peninsula issue as a new battlefield. As for concerns among some South Korean people, it is a disturbed way of thinking to worry US-North Korea reconciliation may undermine the US-South Korea alliance.

China welcomes the second Kim-Trump summit. Chairman Kim’s travel through China from the north to south by train is meaningful. China has played a constructive role in Pyongyang’s new routes. Beijing is both a promoter and a stakeholder in this summit.

We hope that the second summit will achieve new breakthroughs. Although the peninsula issues are complex, peace is obviously a good thing. Nothing is impossible to overcome.

Newspaper headline: Kim-Trump summit deserves more support -Source:Global Times



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Recession? No, not this year 2019


 

THE influential International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted slower global growth this year on the back of financial volatility and the trade war between the United States and China.

Turkey and Argentina are expected to experience deep recessions this year before recovering next year.

China, apart from fighting the trade war, is also experiencing its slowest quarterly growth since the 1990s, sending ripples across Asia. In the last quarter of 2018, China recorded an economic growth of 6.4%, which is the third consecutive quarter of slowing growth.

This has led to fears of China’s economy going into a hard landing and it possibly being the catalyst to spark global economic turmoil.

After all, it has been more than 10 years since the world witnessed the last recession in 2008 that was caused by a financial crisis in the US. If we are to believe the 10 to 12-year economic turmoil cycle, the next downturn is already due.

However, the economic data so far does not seem to suggest that the world will go into a recession or tailspin this year.

The bigger worry is what would happen next year.

The narrowing spread between the two-year and 10-year US Treasury papers would lead to banks being more selective in their lending. It is already happening in the US.

The impact is likely to be profound next year. When banks are more selective in lending, eventually the economy will grind to a halt.

But that is the likely scenario next year, assuming there is no fresh impetus to spur global growth.

At the moment, there is a significant amount of asset price depression due to slowing demand. The reason is generally because of the slower growth in China and the trade war.

China has fuelled demand for almost everything in the last few years. Companies and individuals from China drove up the prices of everything – from property and valuations of companies to commodities.

China itself is experiencing a slowing economy and the government has restricted the outflow of funds. Its overall debt is estimated at 300% of gross domestic product and banks are reluctant to lend to private companies for fear of defaults.

China’s manufacturing sector has slowed down because of the trade war. Companies are not prepared to expand because they fear the tariffs imposed by the US.

Nevertheless, the world’s second-largest economy is still growing, albeit at a slower pace. A growth rate of 6.4% per quarter is still commendable, although it is far from the 12% quarterly economic growth it recorded in 2011-2012.

The US, which is the world’s largest economy, is also facing slower growth this year. The Federal Reserve has predicted a slower economic growth of 2.3% in 2019 compared to the 3.1% the country recorded last year.

The ongoing US government shutdown is not going to make things easy.

As for Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) has warned of a slowdown this year. The warning came just six weeks after the ECB eased off on its bond-buying programme that was designed to reflate the economy.

Business sentiments on Germany, which is a barometer of what happens to the rest of Europe, is at the lowest.

As for Malaysia, the country is going through an economic transition of sorts following the change in government. Government spending has traditionally been the driver of the domestic economy when global growth slows.

The new government has cut back on spending, which is a necessary evil, considering that many of the projects awarded previously were inflated. Generally, the cost of most projects is to be shaved by at least 10% – and some by up to 50%.

However, the projects with revised costs have not got off the ground yet and contractors have not been paid their dues. For instance, contractors in the LRT 3 project had complained of not getting payments for work done a year ago.

Fortunately, a new contract for the LRT 3 has been signed. Hopefully, the contractors will be paid their dues speedily and work recommences on the ground fast.

The volatile oil prices are not helping improve revenue for the government.

Domestic demand is still growing, although people complain of their income levels not growing. This is because companies as a whole are also not doing as well as in previous years.

Nevertheless, even the most pessimistic of economist is looking at Malaysia chalking up a growth rate of more than 4.5% this year, which is respectable. The official forecast is 4.9%.

One of the reasons for the optimism is that they feel government revenue is expected to be much higher than expected, giving it the flexibility to push spending if the global economic scenario takes a turn for the worse.

According to the Treasury report for 2019, federal government revenue is to come in at about RM261bil, which is 10.7% higher than in 2018.

The amount is likely to be much higher, allowing the government the option to put more money in the hands of the people. It also allows the government to reduce corporate taxes, a move that would draw in investments.

Malaysia has a new government in place. What investors are looking for are signs of where all the extra revenue earned will go. They are also looking for the next growth catalyst.

The trade war and financial volatility is causing structural shifts in the global economy. It is impacting China, the US and Europe.

Eventually, the global crunch will come, but it is not likely to happen this year.

By m. shanmugam

 

Apple faces brewing storm of challenges


Shrinking share: People walk outside an Apple store in Beijing. Apple’s market share in China in the third quarter of 2018 was around 9, and has dipped from above 14 in 2015, overtaken by local rivals like Huawei, Oppo and Vivo. — Reuters

Video: 5G …https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/iJfCBqPUKHQ

 

SHANGHAI: Apple Inc’s chief executive Tim Cook has his work cut out in China this year: the iPhone maker faces the looming threat of a court-ordered sales ban, the uncertain outcome of trade war talks and the roll-out of a new 5G network, where it finds itself behind rivals like Huawei and Samsung.

The complex outlook raises a challenge for Apple as it looks to revive its China fortunes after weakness there sparked a rare drop in its global sales forecast, knocked US$75bil from its market valuation and roiled global markets.

Cook told investors that the main drag on the firm’s performance in China had been a sharper-than-expected slowdown in the country’s economy, exacerbated by the impact of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

“We did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” he said.

Chinese shoppers told Reuters another element had been key: the high price-tag on Apple’s flagship phones.

Analysts said the firm faced a brewing storm of challenges: an economic slowdown, stronger rivals like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd bringing out comparable tech at lower prices and bubbling patriotic sentiment amid the trade war.

A Chinese court has also issued a preliminary injunction banning some Apple phones, part of a legal battle with chip maker Qualcomm Inc. This ban, potentially hitting iPhone models from the 6S through the X, has yet to be enforced.

Last Thursday a local industry body, the China Anti-Infringement and Anti-Counterfeit Innovation Strategic Alliance, called on Apple to heed the court order and not “trample the Chinese law by leveraging its super economic power and clout.” Apple declined to comment on the group’s statement but has previously said it believed its current phones complied with the Chinese court’s order.

“These are tough times for Apple in China,” said Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint, adding the iPhone could see its market share slip to 7% this year in the face of stronger local rivals and worry about the sales ban.

Apple’s market share in the third-quarter of 2018 was around 9%, and has dipped from above 14% in 2015, overtaken by local rivals like Huawei, Oppo and Vivo.

Another question mark for Apple is its 5G strategy in China, where the US firm is not expected to have a 5G-enabled phone until 2020, behind rivals like Huawei, Xiaomi Corp and Samsung Electronics.

China is looking to push ahead with its rollout of a faster 5G network, with a pre-commercial phase this year and a commercial network in 2020.

Some are looking to make an early bet on the technology.

Huawei is planning a 5G phone mid-year, while Xiaomi is aiming for the third quarter. Samsung is expected to unveil a 5G phone in the first half of the year.

Industry insiders, however, said Apple would likely hold off until the fall of 2020 to have its own 5G-enabled phone, a strategy that would bypass the untested early period of the technology, but which could mean Chinese shoppers delay iPhone purchases or buy another brand that switched to 5G earlier.

“I’ll definitely be paying attention to 5G functionality when I buy my next phone,” said Wu Chengjun, a graduate student in Beijing who currently uses an iPhone X.

With the exception of Huawei, which makes it own 5G chips, Qualcomm is providing the technology to many of the major phone makers releasing 5G handsets this year.

“If you’re a (phone maker) looking for a ‘super cycle’ (of sales), if you don’t have 5G, your situation won’t get any better,” Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s president, told Reuters in an interview. ”

The carrier channel is going to be incentivised to start selling 5G phones in the second half of 2019, he said. — Reuters

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