hinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the US on Thursday and

Friday to continue high-level trade negotiations. His new title as Chinese President Xi Jinpi

ng’s special envoy indicates the importance and authoritativeness of the talks. As pre

paration for the event, consultations at vice-ministerial-level between China and the US were recovered on Tuesday.

The world’s stock markets surged Monday due to the optimistic prospects on the deals that Beijin

g and Washington are expected to make. US President Donald Trump praised “big progress” in the

trade deal on Twitter. His words further stoked the stock markets of the US, which reached the highest in two m

onths and so increased pressure on the Trump administration to close the deal with China.

Analysts believe that if the two countries couldn’t come to an agreement, and as a result the US imposes more tariffs on Chinese prod

ucts while China responds with fiercer countermeasures, it would be a catastrophic strike to global stock markets.

In terms of avoiding such blows, the Trump administration is probably the most pres

sured. Thus in general, by the end of the trade negotiations, China and the US have become more psychologically equal.

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The corridor includes a network of highways, railways and

infrastructure and Gwadar is an important part of it. Pakistan has been trying to get the assistance needed for development and di

versify sources of investment from many countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Gwadar is not an exclusive platform.

The China-funded CPEC helps build the infrastructure at the port, and the improved condition

will attract more investment which then in turn boosts the development of Gwadar and the whole of Pa

kistan. Inclusiveness and multilateral cooperation are exactly the ideas that the BRI champions.

Admittedly, geostrategic competition is prevailing in the region. If added with the different inter

t demands of Afghanistan and Iran and the historical enmity between India and Pakistan, the region can be one of the most volatile plac

es in the world. Joint development is the only path that could lead the region into long-term peace and stability. This is also the broader objective of the BRI.

China hopes that all the investment coming into the region can be connected so as to be best utilized. Regional countri

es should enhance cooperation via coordination. Meanwhile, all should hold an open attitude toward investment from outside the region.

As each regional power vies for a foothold and seeks its development, both competition and cooperation feature in this process. All

the countries face the question of how to turn strategic hedging into benign competition. The BRI provides the answer.

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Major European countries have shown a rather complicated

attitude toward Huawei and China. They wish to maintain their relationship with the US, while hesitating to completely exclude Hu

awei equipment. Most European network operators oppose banning Huawei. Hence there remains uncertainty on Huawei issues.

We are at a historic crossroads. One choice is to explain disputes and uncertainties as serious political and secu

rity issues, and push international relations in the direction of confrontation. Another is to handle p

roblems objectively to create a world dominated by cooperation and mutual compromise.

Europe played only a supporting part in the Cold War, but it may have its own leading role and guard its dignity in the era of multi-polar cooperation.

Whether it is possible for Europe to use high-quality and affordable Huawei equipment and b

uild an efficient and cheap 5G network is the touchstone for the continent to defend its independent role.

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It is easy to feel the influence of the US when dealing with region

al affairs in Southeast Asia. Although Duterte’s strategies differ in some ways fro

m those of his predecessors, the US still has strong influence on the Philippines. It is understandable that M

anila may worry that the takeover of strategic facilities by Chinese companies could affect its relationship with the US. So

me US politicians may also use the South China Sea issue to instigate reckless moves against Chinese investment.

Politicizing investment is a pervasive problem faced by China as the country pushes forward the BRI. China and the Philippines need to make join

t efforts to resolve the issue. China should back the establishment of mechanisms such as the South China Sea Code of Conduct to sa

feguard the interests of all parties and build the foundation for win-win cooperation. As for the Philippines, the c

ountry needs to rid itself of US influence with a new understanding of the Chinese investment. We hope the Philippines can p

rovide fair treatment to Chinese enterprises and abandon its old idea that it has to take sides between China and the US.

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Japan aims to expand political clout by creating global military

In April and July, Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), a m

ilitary logistics pact, with Canada and France respectively. The Japanese government will tr

y to get it approved by the National Diet this year. Canada and France are also advancing domestic procedures for its approval.

The agreement will enable the provision of food, fuel and military supplies between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and Fren

ch and Canadian armies. Japan has also inked ACSAs with the US, the UK, Australia and India. Why did Japan sign such an agreement?

After WWII, especially in the late 1960s when Japan became an economic powerhouse, it was no longer satisfied with its status as a military microstate.

In the mid-1980s, Japan accelerated the pace to push its SDF onto the world stage with the aim of becoming a major political power.

In 1996, Japan signed the ACSA with the US, followed by one with Aus

tralia in 2010. After the new security law took effect on March 29, 2016, Ja

pan amended the two ACSAs, which enabled more flexible provision of ammunition in wartime between the signatories.

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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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He said it’s important to keep a historical perspective on

cting the outlook of China-US bilateral relations, saying that the two economies became deeply integrated over the past 40 years despite some headwinds.

“In the next four decades, China and the US can further promote mutual understanding while properly handling differences,” he said.

January marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-US diplo

matic relations. Bilateral trade grew from less than $2.5 billion 40 years ago to more tha

n $630 billion in 2018. Over the same period, two-way investment rose from practically nil to more than $240 billion.

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said at a recent event that China an

d the US need to develop even stronger ties in the future despite some differences.

“We need to develop an even stronger relationship on the basis of coordination, cooperation and stability” between the two countries, Cui said.

He said it was important for the two sides to have a much better mutual understand

ing on each other’s intentions and policies and identify common ground to stabilize the relationship.

China’s exports to the US climbed 1.9 percent year-on-year to 252.11 billion yuan ($37.21 billion) last month, according to official figures. During the peri

od, foreign direct investment from the US into the Chinese mainland recorded a 124.6 percent year-on-year growth.

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Five more lunar locations get Chinese nameon Jan

ive more geographical entities on the moon have been given Chinese names, based on discoveri

es 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 International Astronomical Union held a j

oint 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 Zhin

yu, 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 Kar

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

Tianhe, another name for the galaxy in ancient China, implies that th

e Chang’e 4 probe served as a pioneer in the history of human lunar exploration.

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Unexpected twist in Gui case embarrasses Swedish FM

There has been a new unexpected twist in the case of Gui Minhai, and this time, the Swedish Ambassador to China Anna Lindstedt is involved.

Gui Minhai was born in China and later became a naturalized Swedish citizen. He was a Hong Kong-based bookseller be

fore being sued in the Chinese mainland in 2015. That lawsuit strained relations between China and Sweden.

His daughter, Angela Gui, has recently detailed a bizarre account of her visit to Stockholm, which has

embarrassed the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Angela Gui, who grew up in Sweden, now live

s in Britain where she is studying for a PhD in history at university. She gave her account in a media interview last we

ek and made an announcement Wednesday on her blog. Gui said that Ambassador Lindstedt contacted her in mid-January, inviting her to go to Sto

ckholm to meet two Chinese businessmen, who Lindstedt trusted, to discuss a new approach to her father’s case.

Angela Gui said she went to Stockholm in late January where she met two Chinese businessmen in the presence of Lindstedt. In

her statement, she said that the two businessmen asked her to stop all media engagements and public comment in exch

ange for her father’s release or commutation. According to Gui, Lindstedt supported the plan and said t

hat if not, the relationship between Sweden and China would otherwise be further undermined.

Angela Gui said that after the meeting, she called the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for confirm

ation. “They told me they hadn’t had the slightest idea this whole affair was taking place. They hadn’t even been informed the amb

assador was in the country,” she wrote. In her account of what happened, she not only gave details of the meeting,

but also described how she was feeling threatened and how the whole arrangement seemed suspicious.

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Moreover, the West likes to attack China by using Chinese

dissidents and their families. Western countries believe that they can easily dig up stories about those people and they can be easily manipulat

ed as well. However, what happened with Angela Gui has sent a clear message that there is always the risk of it backfiring. Those peopl

e are fully aware of being used by some Western interests, which results in a strong sense of insecurity and suspicion. Some of them are also selfish. A f

ew years ago, a Chinese dissident well-known in the West left China for the US and later embarrassed his American patrons.

Furthermore, nowadays Western public opinion is increasingly radical and populist, which has made it difficult for some countrie

s to adopt a realistic approach and repair relations with China after disputes. Some prominent for

eigners who have a comprehensive understanding of China are facing an increasing risk of acting differently from t

he radical sentiment. Recently, John McCallum, Canadian ambassador to China, was criticized and finally lost his po

sition, due to his attempt to ease the China-Canada relationship regarding the incident of Meng Wanzhou.

Last but not least, the incident has primarily embarrassed the Swedish Foreign Ministry m

ore than causing trouble to China. Some Western media claim that Anna Lindstedt’s behavior pr

oves China exercises significant influence on ambassadors of Western countries to China. Such a comment is hi

ghly unprofessional and makes no sense except to show they do not know what they are talking about. Am

bassadors are usually among those in their own country who hope at the utmost to maintain sound relations with th

e country to which they are posted. Generally, they are supposed to play a dovish role, not a hawkish one. Some We

stern media authors need to learn basic ABC knowledge of diplomacy. (The author is a commentator with the Global Times)

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