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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We bring the best wishes of President Trump. He’s aske

ed us to state that he also places great importance on his personal relationship with you,” Lighthizer said.

“We have had two very good days of negotiations. We feel that we have made headway on some very

, very important and very difficult issues,” he said. “We have additional work we have to do but we are hopeful.”

Xi asked Lighthizer and Mnuchin to extend his sincere greetings to President Trump, saying that he cherishes their good wor

king relationship and would like to keep in contact with him.
Cooperation based on fully respecting mutual interests is the best way for the two c

ountries to renew their trade and economic relations with a deal that is in line with the interests of both countries. If that has been the shared und

erstanding during this week’s talks, and it is carried forward in the negotiations in Washington next week, hopef

ully the two sides will be able to narrow the differences between them sufficiently so that the two leaders can pe

ncil in a date for a meeting at which they can shake hands on a deal that sets the right course for future relations.

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The tariffs imposed on Chinese goods by the US so far hav

ave had a negative impact on the Chinese economy, but it has shown resilience in coping with the shocks, and the repercussions have not been as severe as pred

icted. In January, for instance, Chinese exports rose 9.1 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 3.5 percent declin

e in December, according to customs data released on Thursday. And although its export growth to the US continued t

relations with a deal that is in line with the interests of both countries. If that has been the shared und

erstanding during this week’s talks, and it is carried forward in the negotiations in Wa

shington next week, hopefully the two sides will be able to narrow the differences between them sufficiently so that the t

o drop, no doubt due to the raised tariffs on Chinese goods, China’s shipments to other major

markets, such as the European Union, Japan and Southeast Asia, all rose strongly.

Meanwhile, leyishengpxcn/ions otherwise, the US economy has not rem

ained unscathed, as shown by the need to offer emergency assistance to its farmers and t

he voices of complaint from US companies urging the administration to change tack.

Cooperation based on fully respecting mutual interests is the best way for t

he two countries to renew their trade and economicwo leaders can pencil in a date f

or a meeting at which they can shake hands on a deal that sets the right course for future relations.

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Between each April and October, villagers from Dingri Cou

unty usually set up black tents at the foot of Mount Qomolangma, providing tourists accomodation as a means of earning money.

Though ordinary visitors can’t go beyond the monastery, it won’t affect them from appreciating the mountain.

“The new tent camp for ordinary tourists can still allow them to clearly see the 8,800-meter-plus mountain,” Kelsang said.

Travelers who have a climbing permit can go to the base camp at an altitude of 5,200 meters. Kelsan

g said the mountaineering activities have been approved by the regional forestry department.

Decades after the epic climb to the world’s peak, Tibetans at the f

oot of Mount Qomolangma have conquered poverty by receiving professional and am

ateur mountaineers and tourists, who have also posed an environmental challenge to the mountain.

To conserve the environment surrounding Mount Qomolangma, China c

arried out three major clean-ups at an altitude of 5,200 meters and above last spr

ing, collecting more than eight tonnes of household waste, human feces and mountaineering trash.

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He anticipated that the plan would further connect the

echnology sectors of Hong Kong and the mainland, facilitating more career opportuniti

es for Hong Kong local talent as well as offering a larger market for knowledge transfer.

Tam Yiu-chung, a Hong Kong member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislat

ure, estimated that the plan would lay out development priorities for the area, and the key tasks each city should carry out.

Hong Kong will thus have a clearer direction for future development, and better understand how it can fully contribute, Tam said.

The Greater Bay Area encompasses Hong Kong and Macao, as well as nine cities in Guangdon

g province: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhongshan, Foshan, Zhaoqing and Jiangmen.

In 2017, the 11 cities produced one-eighth of China’s gross domestic product while containin

g only 5 percent of the nation’s population and only 0.6 percent of China’s total landmass.

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Reportcan extenChina has the capacity to extend local governm

ment bond issuance or implement more tax cuts, Economic Information Daily reported Wednesday, citing the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

A total of 2.61 trillion yuan ($386.46 billion) of bond quota was unused by the end of 2018, accounting for 14.1 percent of total local debt, the academy said in a report.

This means China can extend bond issuance, or undertake 14 percent of tax and fee cuts.

The debt balance stood at 18.39 trillion yuan at the end of last year, well below the official ceil

ing of 21 trillion yuan, and accounting for 109 percent of total fiscal revenue of local governments.

In 2018 local authorities raised a total of 4.17 trillion yuan through bond issuance, down from 4.36 trill

ion yuan in 2017, according to the Ministry of Finance. The local debt ratio was 76.6 percent last ye

ar, significantly lower than the international warning line of 100-120 percent.

Last year local governments’ implicit debt risk was controlled effectively, however, the total debt level was still huge, the academy said.

In 2018 new explicit debts rose 13.5 percent to 2.18 trillion yuan, while the in-balance-sh

eet interest payment reached 734.5 billion yuan, with a 17.1 percent growth rate, about 2.75 times that of fiscal revenue.

A rapid increase in interest payments put pressure on future fiscal guarantees and service capacity, the academy added.

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Mentality of US poses biggest threat to humanity from space

Forget asteroids, it is the United States and its pathological need to maintain its he

gemony at any cost that pose the biggest threat to humanity from space.

In its latest Defense Intelligence Agency report, the US claims that Russia and Chi

na have taken steps to challenge the US in space technology, blatantly ig

noring the fact that space does not belong to it, and every country has the right to peacefully explore it.

The report says that “long-standing technological and cost barriers to

space are falling, enabling more countries and commercial firms to participate in sa

tellite construction, space launch, space exploration and human spaceflight”.

But from the way it talks about what China and Russia or other countries have a

chieved in their development of space technology, it seems as if the US believes th

at when it planted a flag on the moon it staked the claim to have the sole use of space.

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Former PBOC governor wins 2019 lifetime achievement award

Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has won the UK’s 2019 Central Banking lifetime achievement award, according to the publication’s website.

Zhou, the sixth winner of the award, stands out for his high levels of integrity, intellectual ri

gor and bold reforms that have served the public interest in China and elsewhere, said a statement of the website.

The Central Banking Awards were established to recognize outstanding perform

ance in individuals and organizations in the central banking community.

Zhou, who stepped down as PBOC governor in March 2018, had served in his position from

December 2012-2018, which makes him China’s longest serving central bank governor since 1949.

The award recognizes the impact Zhou had on the central bank and the Chinese economy.

“While in office, Zhou demonstrated high levels of integrity in his pursuit of public s

ervice. He brought academic rigor to real-world decision-making, acting as a prag

matic policymaker with a strong sense of what was in the public interest,” the statement said.

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Consumers are more willing to spend money this year

Whether it is filial piety to the elderly or rewarding children or themselves, trading volu

me has kept growing. Spending on entertainment and travel also grew fast,” said Chen Han, a data analyst at China UnionPay.

Consumption has become the biggest driver for the economy, contributing 76.2 percent of the co

untry’s economic growth last year, up 18.6 percentage points over the previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

“Judging from major economic indicators, domestic demand has become a decisive force of China’s economic gro

wth,” said Wang Bin, deputy director-general of the ministry’s department of market operation and consumption promotion.

Several factors will support steady consumer spending growth in China. Residential inco

me has been increasing fast and deeper pockets facilitate more spending. The second China Int

ernational Import Expo in Shanghai will also offer more access to global products, Wang said.

Wang Jun, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, exp

ects more favorable policies to further boost domestic shopping this year as nationwide tax cuts continue.

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Global economic growth entering slowdown growth in

The global economy is projected to grow at 2.6 percent between 2020 and 2035 and enter a low

-speed growth period, Economic Daily reported citing the Development Research Center of the State Council.

Considering changes in major factors such as technology, urbanization, population and environment, global eco

nomic growth is expected to experience a declining trend with slower growth rate long-term, the center said.

Developed economies’ overall growth is predicted to slow down further to about 1.7 percent — below t

he average growth rate over the past 50 years — while for developing countries, the annual average growth rate is expected to be 4.9 percent.

Over the next 15 years, some developing countries will continue their urbanization process. A new round of tec

hnology revolution and urbanization still carries potential for economic growth in some developing countries.

The global urbanization rate is expected to be 61.7 percent by 2035, becoming a key driver for future growth, the center asserted.

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