Tag Archives: China
Chinese President Hu Jintao meets French President Sarkozy, saying force is no solution to Libyan issue
Photostream : Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi meets South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan
March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — China is against a forceful resolution to the Libyan crisis and warns against the escalation of the conflict, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Friday.
As reported by RIA NOVOSTI on Friday, the statement came after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Thursday imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. The resolution stipulates possible military action against Libya except for ground forces unless Col. Muammar Gaddafi immediately stops violence against the civilian population.
China, along with Russia, Germany, India, and Brazil, abstained from the vote on the resolution, which was approved by the remaining ten UN Security Council members, including the United States, Britain and France.
“The Chinese side stresses that UN Security Council’s actions should be in line with the organization’s charter and existing international norms, respect Libya’s right for sovereignty, independence, indivisibility and territorial integrity, [and] resolve the existing crisis through dialogue and other peaceful means,” Jiang said in a statement.
“We are against using force in international relations,” the statement said.
The UN resolution, adopted after three days of consultations, authorizes “to take all necessary measures… to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamhariya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force.”
Under the resolution, the UN member states will not authorize Libyan planes to take off, land or fly in their airspace, if the flight was not approved by the Security Council’s sanctions committee.
The no-fly zone regime would not apply to planes delivering humanitarian cargo and evacuating foreigners from Libya.
The resolution also freezes assets of Libyan oil companies and the country’s Central Bank.
A British government source earlier said that British forces could be in action over Libya as early as Friday.
Mass riots demanding the end of Gaddafi’s 42-year rule have been raging in Libya since mid-February. Gaddafi said on Thursday the confrontation between authorities and the rebellious opposition would end very soon. (*)
China: 'Serious reservations' about a United Nations resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya
BEIJING, March 10, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / AP) – An earthquake toppled houses and damaged a hotel and supermarket in China’s extreme southwest near the border with Myanmar on Thursday, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 150, officials and state media said.
Witnesses reported that people were buried under debris from buildings damaged by the quake, centered in Yunnan province’s Yingjiang county, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
China Central Television said the quake hit while many people, including students, were home for a customary midday rest. The report said at least two students were among those killed, but didn’t give details. The state broadcaster showed several buildings with concrete foundations that had cracked and buckled.
The website of the Chinese government earthquake monitoring station said the magnitude-5.8 quake struck just before 1 p.m. (0500 GMT) at a depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers). The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at a magnitude of 5.4 and at a deeper 21 miles (35 kilometers).
At least 19 people were killed and 157 other people were hurt, said Ren Xueli, an official with the Yunnan Disaster Relief Center. China Central Television said 166 were injured.
CCTV reported that about 100 armed police, firefighters and soldiers were using three excavators to try to rescue a man and a girl trapped inside a four-story building that had partially collapsed.
He Shuhui, head of an armed police squad, was quoted as saying they were trapped in a stairway on the ground floor of the building.
Another official on duty at the center, Gao Shaotang, said many houses had been toppled. Xinhua said the army was sending 400 soldiers to the site for rescue efforts.
The epicenter was in Shiming Village, just over a mile (kilometer) from the county seat, but triggered a power outage across Yingjiang, which has a population of about 300,000 people, Xinhua said.
The mountainous area lies 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) southwest of Beijing, close to the border with Myanmar, and is home to many ethnic groups on both sides of the border, which sees heavy traffic in people and goods.
Xinhua said the quake-prone region has been hit by more than 1,000 minor tremors over the past two months.
The Myanmar Meteorological Department released a statement saying a quake had hit some 230 miles (370 kilometers) northeast of Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city.
The statement did not mention injuries, damage or the specific area of Myanmar most affected by the quake. Authorities in the tightly ruled country tend not to immediately discuss the effects of natural disasters.
Much of the area on the Myanmar side been under the control of various armed ethnic groups, who have battled the Myanmar military to remain free from central government control. (*)
BEIJING, March 5, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / AP ) – China’s government vowed Saturday to clamp down on inflation and urgently raise incomes as it pushes to spread the benefits of economic growth at a time when living standards are rising but so are popular calls for greater change, as reported by AP on Saturday.
In a speech that is China’s equivalent to the American president’s annual State of the Union address, Premier Wen Jiabao said there would be more assistance to working class and rural Chinese who have not benefited from the country’s rapid growth.
“Happiness” is a key theme for the authoritarian government this year, as it seeks to pull down inflation that has caused public grumbling and deliver more sustainable growth rather than the breakneck pace that has fouled the environment and widened a yawning rich-poor gap.
“We must make improving the people’s lives a pivot linking reform, development and stability … and make sure people are content with their lives and jobs, society is tranquil and orderly and the country enjoys long-term peace and stability,” Wen said at the opening of theNational People’s Congress, where the country’s social and economic goals will be laid out for the next five years amid lower growth targets and concerns about inflation and asset bubbles.
Security, always high during the congress, is extreme this year following anonymous calls posted on the Internet for Chinese to imitate the popular protests that unseated autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt. A new appeal called for more protests Sunday, the third in a row, though the previous two have attracted onlookers, journalists and swarms of police, but few outright demonstrators.
Police were seen Saturday taking away at least two woman from Tiananmen Square, possibly several of the many petitioners who flock to Beijing during the 10-day congress to seek help with their grievances.
In a country where many people spend a large part of their salaries on food, inflation is a serious concern, hitting 4.9 percent in January despite government efforts to reduce it.
“This problem concerns the people’ s well-being, bears on overall interests and affects social stability,” Wen told the nearly 3,000 national legislators, adding the government would impose price controls as needed and promote food supply, including building up reserves of key items to be released into the market when needed.
Price supports for wheat and rice will also be raised.
The centerpiece of Wen’s program — certain to be approved by the Communist Party-controlled congress — is a five-year plan that outlines an ambitious transformation: moving the economy from its dependence on state investment and exports to one driven by consumption.
If accomplished, the change would boost household spending power through higher wages, level the playing field for private companies and end policies that have effectively shortchanged consumers and channeled savings to the favored state-owned enterprises. The move would also likely reduce friction with the United States and other trading partners as China imports more.
Getting there, however, would require altering the successful formula that has helped propel China to the world’s No. 2 economy. It would also challenge deep-seated interests — from state companies and real estate barons who have benefited from cheap bank loans to politicians whose careers have benefited from the resulting high rates of growth.
Just when it needs cohesion, the leadership is also in the midst of an always contentious transition. Wen, President Hu Jintao and most other members of the Politburo Standing Committee are expected to begin stepping aside late next year for a new generation of technocrats.
In a sign of friction, Wen’s program sets economic growth for this year at about the normal 8 percent, but ratchets back the figure for the whole 2011-15 period to 7 percent annually, hoping to downshift to better quality growth. But most provincial and other local governments have set higher rates, some in double digits.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Beijing is empowering consumers without encouraging them to demand greater political rights. Protests have proliferated in pace with affluence over the past decade. Chinese scholars, extrapolating from state media reports, estimate that large-scale demonstrations, strikes and other mass disturbances reached 180,000 last year — a doubling in five years.
Wen said the government would move to stop illegal seizures of farm land and illegal demolitions of houses, common causes of protests as local governments try to boost growth through construction.
Aware of social fracturing, the government has spent heavily strengthening the military and police and other domestic security agencies. A spokesman for the national legislature told reporters Friday that defense budget would rise 12.7 percent this year, resuming the double-digit increases of much of the past decade.
A task force from elite Tsinghua University reported last year that spending on internal security nationwide was on par with the official defense budget and was expanding much faster. Some members of the task force have questioned that smothering security — evidenced in recent weeks in Beijing in response to calls for a Middle East-style “Jasmine Revolution” — saying it risks alienating the public and stifling appropriate demands for greater accountability and less government waste and corruption.
The government is not counting on muscle alone to forestall those demands.
“We will adjust the income distribution in a reasonable manner. This is both a long-term task and an urgent issue we need to address now,” Wen said, adding the government would steadily increase the minimum wage, pensions and welfare payments, and boost spending on health care.
“Through unremitting efforts, we will reverse the trend of a widening income gap as soon as possible and ensure that the people share more in the fruits of reform and development,” he said.
Behind the shift to greater economic and social fairness is a demographic change. State media have in recent days reported that China’s labor pool is expected to peak during the five-year plan before shrinking as the population ages. The reports note that when South Korea entered that phase in the late 1980s, the government and companies were forced to raise wages. The reports did not mention the labor strife and surge in democratic protests against the authoritarian South Korean government. (*)