25 Sept 2020
XI'S PLEDGES BOOST GLOBAL POVERTY FIGHT
New measures announced by President Xi Jinping to support the United Nations will offer a strong boost to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, bolster the level of food security and reduce extreme poverty for the world's least developed countries, officials and experts said.
In a speech delivered via video at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Xi announced a $50 million donation to the China-UN Food and Agriculture Organization South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III) and another $50 million to the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan.
The donation to the FAO comes on the heels of China's funding support to the organization in 2009 and 2015, which totaled $80 million.
The contributions have funded two phases of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation programs, through which China sent 350 agricultural experts to 12 developing countries in Africa and Asia to share their expertise in the production, processing, storage and marketing of agricultural products.
"We are very grateful for this new $50 million contribution announced by President Xi, as it provides a strong boost to the work of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Program," said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu.
"Through knowledge-sharing, and the exchange of expertise and technologies between developing countries, the program aims to improve food security and nutrition, reduce rural poverty, engage rural women and youth, build resilience, and develop local capacities to contribute to the 2030 Agenda," he said.
Li Zhiping, deputy director-general of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said the new donation indicates the strong emphasis China's top leadership places on South-South cooperation in the agricultural area in the new era.
"It also shows that China will push forward South-South cooperation to a higher and deeper level with more pragmatic actions," she said.
With close to half of the goals laid out in the 2030 Agenda related to agricultural development, Li said the program between China and the FAO is an important way to help realize goals set in the agenda and concrete action to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
In his speech at the UN meeting, Xi said China is set to lift out of poverty all of its rural residents living below the poverty line by the end of this year, which will enable the country to meet poverty eradication target 10 years ahead of its schedule set out in the 2030 Agenda.
China has managed to lift 850 million people out of poverty since it began reform and opening-up in 1978, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of global extreme poverty reduction, according to the World Bank.
COOPERATIVES URGED TO HELP ADVANCE RURAL REVITALIZATION
President Xi Jinping has urged the country's supply and marketing cooperatives to stay true to their fundamental purpose of serving agriculture, rural areas and rural people, continue deepening comprehensive reforms and make contributions to the advancement of rural revitalization.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in an instruction on the sector's work.
China's supply and marketing cooperatives are a key platform for the distribution of agricultural products in rural areas. The combined sales volume of the cooperatives stood at 4.6 trillion yuan ($673.9 billion) last year with retail sales of consumer goods reaching 1.59 trillion yuan, according to All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives.
Xi said that the cooperatives, as an important force for boosting agricultural and rural development, have contributed greatly to promoting the development of modern agriculture, increasing farmers' incomes and boosting integrated urban-rural development.
Party committees and governments at all levels should keep improving the work of cooperatives and give priority to advancing the modernization of agriculture and rural areas and consolidating the foundation of the Party's governance in rural areas, Xi said.
He also urged the cooperatives to improve systems and mechanisms, expand their service areas, and strengthen efforts to become a comprehensive platform for serving rural production and livelihoods, as well as a bridge for the Party and the government to connect with farmers.
Xi's instruction was conveyed at the 7th Congress of the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives, which opened on Thursday in Beijing.
FTSE RUSSELL TO ADD CHINESE BONDS IN ITS INDEX
FTSE Russell, a global multi-asset index provider, announced that it will add Chinese government bonds to its flagship World Government Bond Index on Sept 25. The CGBs will be included in the index from October 2021, pending an affirmation on March 2021, according to the statement, thepaper.cn reported.
The inclusion marks a major step of the opening of China's bond market. It will also make Chinese yuan the fourth-largest currency used in bond denomination after the US dollar, euro and Japanese yen.
WGBI is a broad index providing exposure to the global sovereign fixed income market. The index measures the performance of fixed-rate, local currency, and investment-grade sovereign bonds. It comprises sovereign debt from over 20 countries, denominated in a variety of currencies, according to FTSE Russell, which is owned by the London Stock Exchange Group.
China's government bonds are already a part of the JPMorgan and Bloomberg Barclays index suite.
The Citibank estimated that the full inclusion will attract around $120 billion of foreign inflows into China's bond market based on an estimated weighting of 5.7 percent, said the report.
MEDIA REGISTRATION FOR THIRD CIIE OPENS
The media registration platform for reporting the third China International Import Expo opened to journalists on Thursday, said the authority.
To control and prevent COVID-19, this year's event will mainly invites journalists from the Chinese mainland, journalists from foreign countries currently based in the Chinese mainland, and journalists from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan currently based in the Chinese mainland, according to the China International Import Expo Bureau.
The journalists can apply for permission via the CIIE's official website or its official app. The registration will stay open until Oct 20.
The third CIIE will be held in Shanghai from November 5 to 10.
FESTIVE DECORATION TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL DAY
An 18-meter-tall display in the shape of a flower basket has been placed at the center of Tian'anmen Square as a decoration for China's National Day holiday.
The basket contains representative flowers from all over the country and decorative fruits with auspicious meanings.
Along Chang'an Boulevard, the main artery of Beijing that forms the northern boundary of the square, 10 floral displays will be placed with different themes depicting China's development and achievements.
CHINA WILL DO WHAT 'IT TAKES' TO HALT SECESSION
China will do "whatever it takes" to thwart any effort aimed at Taiwan seceding from China, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said on Thursday.
The recent exercise by the People's Liberation Army near the Taiwan Straits was meant to target foreign interference and Taiwan separatists, and has demonstrated that China is determined and capable of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said in a regular news briefing.
"The island's ruling Democratic Progressive Party has disregarded the safety and well-being of Taiwan compatriots in its efforts to secede and stir up confrontation between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan," he said.
"This scheme for secession has damaged peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, and it is doomed to fail," he added."If Taiwan separatist forces dare to attempt Taiwan's secession under any circumstances, we will do whatever it takes to thwart their efforts."
Tan's remark came after China's Foreign Ministry clarified on Monday that the "median line" in the Taiwan Straits has never existed. Experts said this move is a solemn wake-up call for Taiwan separatists and the United States, and this arbitrary line created by the US military in the mid-20th century does not obstruct the activities of the Chinese military and the nation's march toward reunification.
It is a grievous mistake for anyone to doubt China's resolve and capability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, experts said. If Taiwan separatists continue to collude with some forces in the US, including in the form of official interaction and arms deals, China will take more tenacious countermeasures to protect its core interests, they added.
When asked about warplanes of the PLA Eastern Theater Command crossing the "median line" during its recent exercise near the Taiwan Straits, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, said on Monday that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and there is no such thing as a "median line".
Wang's remark came following the visit of US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach to the island last week. It is the second visit by a senior US official to the island in two months, prompting strong protests from China.
Last week, the Pentagon was reported to be planning to sell up to seven major weapons systems, including mines, missiles and drones, to Taiwan under an initiative called "Fortress Taiwan". The $7 billion arms deal is poised to be approved by the administration of US President Donald Trump, which has already approved an arms package to Taiwan valued at over $13 billion.
US Republican Senator Rick Scott introduced a bill last week that seeks to authorize the US to counter China militarily over Taiwan. The bill also advocates visits between top officials from the US and the island.
Su Xiaohui, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies, told China Central Television that the US and Taiwan separatists are changing the status quo and "tipping the scale" in the region toward their goal of separating the island from China.
PEACEKEEPING POLICE A 'PILLAR FORCE', MINISTRY OFFICIAL SAYS
China's peacekeeping police have become a "pillar force" for United Nations peacekeeping missions, impressing the world body and host countries with their professionalism and strict discipline, a senior official from the Ministry of Public Security said.
"China is a peace-loving country and is willing to contribute forces and resources to peacekeeping missions. Also, it is China's duty to participate in such activities as it is a permanent member of the UN Security Council," said Yu Chengtao, deputy director-general of the ministry's Department of International Cooperation.
"Upholding peaceful development, China will always be a contributor to world peace."
China is now the second-largest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping, after the United States.
"The job of peacekeeping police officers includes protecting civilians, quelling riots and conducting security patrols," Yu said.
"Most of the assignments were in less-developed areas, where officers overcame poor conditions to carry out difficult missions."
Chinese police officers have been deployed for UN peace operations since 2000, when 15 were sent to East Timor.
Over the past two decades, more than 2,600 of them have taken part in nine peacekeeping operations. Eight have died during their missions.
Currently, 33 Chinese police officers are on peacekeeping operations in Sudan, South Sudan and Cyprus, and some serve at the UN headquarters.
A 160-member police squad will soon be dispatched to Abyei, a disputed area on the border of Sudan and South Sudan.
When President Xi Jinping attended the summit meetings for the UN's 70th anniversary in 2015, he announced several measures to support UN peacekeeping missions, including contributing to the UN's standby force mechanism, training 2,000 international peacekeepers split evenly between soldiers and police officers−and setting up a fund to sponsor UN work.
QINGDAO TRACES, ISOLATES, TESTS TO STAMP OUT COVID-19 CASES
Qingdao, Shandong province, reported two new asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Both are port stevedores who unloaded imported frozen seafood six days ago, according to the city's health authority.
The two are now under medical observation in designated hospitals. Both are among those who undergo nucleic acid testing routinely. Their test results 16 days ago were negative, according to the city's health commission.
The seafood products have not entered the market and have been sealed. Among the 1,440 collected samples of cold chain products, some have been confirmed positive.
A total of 132 people who are believed to have had close contact with the patients have been isolated and 129 of them have finished the tests, all negative.
Another 228 who are thought to have had contact with the 132 close contact people have been also isolated.
Besides, 4,341 more people are believed to have had some contact with the infected or lived in the same community. The health authority has collected 3,497 samples and the results of 1,502 are already out, all negative.
One of the asymptomatic cases, surnamed Dong, 40, works at Qingdao Port. He walks to his workplace every day and lives with his wife and son. His wife works at a canteen in a middle school and the son is a primary school student. Their tests of nucleic acid showed negative.
The places where Dong and his family have been recently, including port areas, seafood storage, schools, supermarkets and wet markets have been disinfected.
Another case, surnamed Chen, 45, is Dong's colleague. He lives in a dormitory provided by his company and cycles to work every day. His two roommates have tested negative.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
You can fake virtue for an audience. You can't fake it in your own eyes. - Ayn Rand