Modi’s visit to disputed region imperils thaw in ties

Recently, China and India were engaged in a jagged excha

nge of words over Modi’s visit to South Tibet, a mountainous region under substantial dispute b

etween the two Asian giants. Although China’s stance on the boundary issue is cons

istent and crystal-clear that it has never recognized the so-called “A

runachal Pradesh” and is firmly opposed to any Indian leaders’ presence there, it was Modi who has repeatedly touched the raw nerve.

Such exchange – though it has happened in the past during China’s Spring Festivals in February 2015 and February 2018 – is p

articularly noteworthy: Modi’s latest visit followed the in

formal leadership summit in Wuhan in April 2018 which was widely seen as the key effort

from both sides to improve diplomatic ties and rebuild trust since the 73-day-long armed standoff in Doklam.

Such actions by Modi would inevitably affect the progress

ade by both sides, further complicating the boundary issue and exacerbating mutual suspicion.

Modi’s recent presence in South Tibet was largely driven b

y electoral considerations, aimed at mobilizing support for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahe

ad of the general elections, which are due in India in April and May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha.

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As the West steps up its criticism of Myanmar over the Roh

and Rakhine issues, the country’s relations with the West have deteriorated. China is one of the few powers Myanmar can rely on. There is vast cooperation po

tential between the two countries. China and Myanmar can advance industrial cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative,

the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor. How to

unleash Myanmar’s huge development potential with the help of China should be placed on the NLD government’s planning agenda.

As Myanmar’s largest neighbor, China will continue to play an active role in promoting Myanmar’s national reconciliation and addressing the Rakh

ine issue as well as build mechanism for talks. It will assist Myanmar as much as it can. When inv

esting in Myanmar, Chinese enterprises should pay attention to their social responsibility. They should also ad

dress local people’s suspicions and misunderstandings on Chinese-invested projects. We have reasons to believe that th

e prospect for China-Myanmar cooperation under the Belt and Road framework is promising.

The author is a professor at Center for China’s Neighbor Diplomacy Studies and School of International Studies, Yunn

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed the hope on Febru

that China should be involved in international disarmament efforts. “We would of course be glad if such talks were held not j

ust between the United States, Europe and Russia but also with China,” said Merkel at the 55th Munich Security Conference.

Her remarks were clearly directed against Washington and Moscow’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee,

who was also present at the conference, reiterated that “we [China] are opposed to the multilateralization of INF.”

The INF treaty concerns Europe and Germany’s interests. The US took the lead in abandoning INF, resulting in the collapse of the arms control system.

It is understandable that Berlin is anxious, but Merkel’s hasty call for Beijing is rath

er inappropriate. Her words disrespect China’s interests and wishes, and objectively encourage Washington to quit irresponsibly.

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Promising progress needs pushing forward to a deal Chin

In welcome news, it seems that the latest talks between China and the United States, which concluded on Friday, have further na

rrowed their differences and expanded their common ground on key trade and economic issues.

The two sides entered the two days of high-level talks on Thursday amid a flurry of positive sig

nals that progress was being made. And it seems that their candid discussions have continued to be rewarded.

There has clearly been movement on a number of topics that have been the focus of their recent tra

de rows. Speaking to President Xi Jinping after the talks wrapped up, US Trade Representative Ro

bert Lighthizer said the negotiators “feel we have made headway on very, very important and difficult issues”.

It is probably still too early to conclude that this heralds an end to the long-running trade d

ispute between the two countries, and it would be rash to be overly sanguine about the prospects for re

lations given Washington’s anxieties about China’s rise, which may simply be chann

eled in other ways. But the agreement between Xi and his US counterpart Donald Trump in December to press the pause button on frictions,

and the subsequent intense series of discussions to find ways to stop them escalating, show both sides are aware of ho

w damaging and potentially dangerous it would be to keep locking horns over their trade relations.

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Five more lunar locations get Chinese nameson data

Five more geographical entities on the moon have been given Chinese names,

based on discoveries from China’s latest Chang’e 4 mission, according to a news conference on Friday.

The China National Space Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Internatio

nal Astronomical Union held a joint news conference Friday to announce the five names approved by the IAU on Feb 4.

The landing site of the Chang’e 4 probe is named Statio Tianhe, and three annular pits around the landing site are called Zh

inyu, Hegu and Tianjin. The central peak in the Von Karman Crater is referred to as Mons Tai.

The five places are clearly shown on high-resolution images based on data from the Chang’e 2 and Chang’e 4 missions.

China’s Chang’e 4 probe, launched on Dec 8, landed on the Von K

arman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3.

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Easing likely with slowing of economiespected to move

na may move more toward monetary easing, joining a group of other major economies prone to dovish policy typified by more accommodative measures that stimulate growth, analysts said.

This comes at a time when global central bank governors have become more concerned about an economic slowdown and put tightening measures on hold.

Central bankers in the United States, European Union, Japan and Oceania have had a change in

mood in the past month, given worries that a too tight monetary environment may not cushion the

ir economies from shocks from trade tensions, Brexit and financial vulnerabilities. They sounded the alarm ov

er global uncertainties after the International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast of the world’s economic growth in January.

With bank governors delivering dovish speeches one after another, the Chinese mo

netary authority is considering an adjustment to financial institutions’ “act

ual” lending rate for companies in order to remove the “obstacle” that constrains credit flowing into the co

untry’s production sector, according to Sun Guofeng, head of the PBOC Monetary Policy Department

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Tiantongyuan redevelopment set to improve livesy station

The region to the north of Beijing’s Fifth Ring Road is dominated by Tiantongy

uan, an enormous neighborhood reputed to be the largest residential area in Asia that houses approximately 700,000 people.

The area, which is home to more than 3 percent of the city’s population, mainly migrant work

ers, is nicknamed “Sleeper Town” because a lack of amenities and entertainment facilities mean most of the residents only go there to rest.

Located at the end of subway line 5, a major route connecting the downtown to the northern

suburbs, Tiantongyuan attracted its huge population as a result of its low property prices and relatively convenient location.

However, its dilapidated condition is a major headache for the city and the area faces a ho

st of problems, including a lack of infrastructure, both social and industrial, allied to heavy traffic congestion.

Priced at 2,650 yuan per square meter in 1999, Tiantongyuan was built to provide affordable housing

. Nearly 20 years later, property prices in the community have risen more than fourteenfold to 38,000 yuan ($5,600) per sq m.

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Some conservatives in South Korea voiced concerns over a we

akening alliance with the United States at the same time as negotiations with North Korea to deprive it

of its nuclear weapons hit a stalemate. They said Trump might use the failed military cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back so

me U.S. troops in South Korea as a bargaining chip in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Feb. 3 that he has no plans to withdraw troops from S

outh Korea. During his election campaign, Trump suggested he could pull back troops from South Korea a

nd Japan unless they took on greater a share of the financial burdens of supporting U.S. soldiers deployed there.

South Korean media earlier reported that Trump demanded South Korea double its spe

nding for the U.S. military deployment, before his government eventually asked for 1.13 trillion won ($1 billion).

Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said the U.S. had called for a sharp increase in South Korean spending but didn’t elaborate.

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S.Korean president to consult with Trump on 2nd DPRK

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in will consult with U.S. President Donald Trump in the near future on th

e second summit between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, South Korea’s presidential Blue House said Sunday.

Kim Eui-keum, Blue House spokesman, told a press briefing that the leaders of South Korea and the United States will make a d

iscussion on the second DPRK-U.S. summit in the near future, saying the exact schedule will be unveiled as soon as preparations are made.

Moon and Trump would reportedly have a phone conversation in the foreseeable future.

The Moon-Trump dialogue would come after top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and Trump agreed to meet again later this mon

th in Hanoi, Vietnam. Kim and Trump held their first summit in Singapore in June last year.

Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for DPRK affairs, visited Pyongy

ang earlier this week to consult with his DPRK counterparts on the planned second Kim-Trump summit.

The Blue House spokesman said he heard that Pyongyang and Washington had a

greed to continue negotiations at a third country in Asia in the week beginning Feb. 17.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wi

ll have talks in the near future, while Chung Eui-yong, top Blue House national security advisor, will cl

osely exchange information with White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, the spokesman added.

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DPRK officials to meet ahead of summithe United States

and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will meet this month in an unidentified Asi

an country ahead of their leaders’ planned second summit in Vietnam, South Korean officials said yesterday.

The US special representative for the DPRK, Stephen Biegun, visited Pyongyang last week to work out details of t

he February 27-28 summit in Hanoi between President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.

After being briefed by Biegun about his talks in the DPRK, South Korea’s presidential office said that the US and t

he DPRK used Biegun’s trip as a chance to explain what concrete steps they want from each other.

South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong, who met Biegun, repor

ted that US-DPRK diplomacy “is working well,” presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

He said a follow-up US-DPRK meeting ahead of the summit will take place in a third country in Asia in the week beginning February 17.

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