Category Archives: World

China: Hu Jintao public expulsion

Brussels 22.10.2022 Chinese former party leader Hu Jintao has been led out of the closing ceremony of the Communist Party Congress.

The frail-looking 79-year-old was sitting beside incumbent President Xi Jinping when he was approached and led away by officials. No explanation to public was given so far.

Concluding the week-long congress, the CPP is expected to confirm Xi Jinping, 69, for a historic third term.

The event, held in Beijing every five years, cemented his position as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

Hu Jintao, who held the presidency between 2003 and 2013, was on stage when two officials approached him. He said something to Xi Jinping, who nodded back.

Then the former leader Hu was escorted out of the Great Hall of the People. The Commentators suggested this is the beginning of the Communist purge, persecuting all members, who opposed the historic President Xi third term.

Earlier on Saturday, October 22, a new Central Committee (205) senior party officials was elected. Delegates endorsed amendments to the party’s constitution in agreement with Chairman Xi’s ideas as guiding principles for China’s future.

Chairman Xi his opening speech at the Congress last Sunday, he hailed the crushing of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong as a move from “chaos to governance”. He also reaffirmed China’s right to use force to seize the self-ruled island of Taiwan.

Xi Jinping currently assembles the positions of General secretary of the Communist Party, President and Commander of the armed forces, plus he is also referred to as Paramount or Supreme leader.

China: commitment to Taiwan reunification

Brussels 16.10.2022 Chinese leader Xi Jinping hailed Sunday, October 16, what he views as the Communist Party’s achievements during his decade at the helm and reiterated Beijing’s commitment to reunification with Taiwan, while he gave the opening address at the party’s much awaited congress.

Chariman Xi, who is set to secure an unprecedented third five-year term as general secretary at the nation’s most important political event, lauded the party’s “historic achievements” such as poverty reduction and stressed that it will “unswervingly advance the cause of national reunification” with Taiwan.

“We will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary,” Xi said on Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing regards as a part of China, adding his remarks are directed at “interference by outside forces and the few separatists” seeking the island’s independence.

He urged all the 96.7 million party members to strive in unity to build “a great modern socialist country” and “accelerate efforts to foster a new pattern of development” as he delivered his speech for nearly two hours at the opening session of the weeklong congress convened at the Great Hall of the People.

Xi also called for a rapid elevation for “our people’s armed forces to world-class standards” with the People’s Liberation Army marking the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2027.

Regarding Taiwan, Chairman Xi warned against any interference by the United States or other countries amid heightened cross-strait tensions following U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island in early August.

“In response to separatist activities aimed at ‘Taiwan independence’ and gross provocations of external interference in Taiwan affairs, we have resolutely fought against separatism and countered interference, demonstrating our resolve and ability to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.

A rift between Beijing and Washington has been deepening with China fiercely reacting to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit by carrying out large-scale military drills around the island.

In the speech, Xi also defended China’s radical “zero-COVID” policy to stem coronavirus infections, saying the country launched an “all-out people’s war” against the epidemic and succeeded in protecting lives “to the greatest extent possible.”

China prepares party Congress

Brussels 09.10.2022 China’s Communist Party opened Sunday, October 9, a meeting of senior members who will make final arrangements for its twice-a-decade congress where leader Xi Jinping is expected to secure an unprecedented third five-year term as party general secretary.(Image: illustration)

The VII plenary session of the ruling party’s XIX-th Central Committee, which is expected to run for around four days, will discuss a draft work report to be delivered by Xi at the Congress, due to start October 16, and finalise plans for China’s top leadership for the next five years.

Kyrgyz and Tajik border clashes

Brussels 16.09.2022 “Violent clashes erupted in the last few days between border guards along various sites at the border between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan. We express our sympathy to those directly affected.

“Such escalation along the common border is detrimental to regional stability. The EU welcomes the ceasefire reached on Friday, September 16. We call on both parties to ensure effective implementation of the ceasefire and spare no effort to de-escalate the tensions and reach a sustainable solution to existing differences as soon as possible”.

Russia: Kuril travel regime ends

Brussels 05.09.2022 Russia terminated the agreement with Japan on facilitated visits to the islands of Kunashir, Iturup and the Lesser Kuril ridge by Japanese citizens – former residents of these islands. The corresponding order of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is published on the official portal of legal information.

“In accordance with Article 37 of the federal law “On International Treaties of the Russian Federation”, terminate the agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan on the procedure for mutual trips dated October 14, 1991 and the agreement between the government of the Russian Federation and the government of Japan on the organization the most facilitated visit to the islands of Kunashir, Iturup and the islands of the Small Kul ridge (Sakhalin region) by Japanese citizens – former residents of the islands and members of their families (in the form of an exchange of notes) dated September 2, 1999, ”the document says.
The Russian Foreign Ministry was instructed to notify the Japanese side of the decision.

World Report: Happy Finns

Brussels 15.08.2022 The European Union’s member-state Finland was crowned the happiest country in the world for the fifth consecutive year, with a score significantly ahead of its peers in the World Happiness Report 2022 ranking.

The other EU member-state Denmark kept its second place, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network said on Friday, August 13. Iceland bypassed Switzerland to take third place and the Netherlands concluded the top five. The U.S. ranked 16th, up three places from 2021.

“The lesson of the World Happiness Report over the years is that social support, generosity to one another, and honesty in government are crucial for well-being,” Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, said.

“World leaders should take heed,” Sachs said. “Politics should be directed as the great sages long ago insisted: to the well-being of the people, not the power of the rulers.”

Over the ten years the report has been published, the biggest gains in happiness have taken place in Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, and biggest declines posted in Lebanon, Venezuela and Afghanistan. The authors detected, on average, a long-term moderate upward trend in stress, worry, and sadness in most countries, as well as “a slight long-term decline in the enjoyment of life,” they wrote.

The report uses global survey data to report on how people evaluate their own lives in more than 150 countries around the world, with the ranking based on a three-year average. Key variables that contribute to explaining people’s life evaluations include gross domestic product per capita, healthy life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom to make life choices and perceptions of corruption.

G7 calls on peace in Taiwan Strait

Brussels 03.08.2022 “We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, reaffirm our shared commitment to maintaining the rules-based international order, peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and beyond” reads the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Preserving Peace and Stability Across the Taiwan Strait.

“We are concerned by recent and announced threatening actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), particularly live-fire exercises and economic coercion, which risk unnecessary escalation. There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally. The PRC’s escalatory response risks increasing tensions and destabilizing the region.

“We call on the PRC not to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the region, and to resolve cross-Strait differences by peaceful means. There is no change in the respective one China policies, where applicable, and basic positions on Taiwan of the G7 members.

“We reiterate our shared and steadfast commitment to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage all parties to remain calm, exercise restraint, act with transparency, and maintain open lines of communication to prevent misunderstanding”.

EU condolences to Japan following Shinzo Abe assassination

Brussels 08.09.2022 NARA, Japan, July 8 (Reuters) – Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving leader, died on Friday hours after he was shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election, shocking a country in which political violence is rare and guns are tightly controlled.

“It is with deep regret that I have learned of the passing of Shinzo Abe I will never understand the brutal killing of this great man. Japan, Europeans mourn with you. My sincerest condolences to his wife and family” wrote on his Twitter page Charles Michel, the president of the EU Council.

A man opened fire on Abe, 67, from behind with an apparently homemade gun as he spoke at a drab traffic island in the western city of Nara, Japanese media reported.

It was the first assassination of a sitting or former Japanese premier since the days of prewar militarism in 1936.

Doctors struggled to save Abe but he died at 5:03 p.m. (0803 GMT), about five and a half hours after being shot.

He bled to death from two deep wounds, one on the right side of his neck, a doctor told a nationally televised news conference. The former leader had no vital signs when he was brought in.

The video shows the man firing a weapon that left a large puff of smoke; it is believed to be a “homemade,” and potentially, a 3D printed gun. Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, from Nara city was arrested on suspicion of shooting Shinzo Abe. He told police that he was dissatisfied with his leadership and that he “aimed to kill.”
An image of Yamagami surfaced on Japanese media.

Russia-China eyes on Japan

Strasbourg 07.07.2022 Chinese and Russian military officials are likely to have agreed to strengthen their surveillance activities to boost “strategic deterrence against Japan,” sources close to the matter said Thursday, reflecting Beijing and Moscow’s relations with Tokyo deteriorating recently.

However China and Russia have also decided not to carry out joint surveillance around Japan for the time being, the Chinese sources explained, adding that such agreements were concluded during an online meeting in June between senior military officials of the two countries.

Beijing and Moscow are expected to increase military activities in waters surrounding the Japanese archipelago, including the East China Sea, as they have been at odds with Tokyo over Taiwan which China regards as a renegade province to be reunified, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, foreign affairs experts said.

On Monday, a Chinese naval ship chased a Russian warship just outside Japanese territorial waters around the Japan-controlled, China-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

A Chinese frigate sailed in the so-called contiguous zone of the uninhabited islands, which Beijing calls Diaoyu, for about six minutes from 7:44 A.M., chasing a Russian frigate after the nation’s ship entered the waters, Japan’s Defense Ministry said.

It was the first time since June 2016 that Chinese and Russian naval vessels had been spotted entering the contiguous zone at around the same time.

Over the years, Japan has lodged protests with China over repeated intrusions by Chinese coast guard ships into Japanese waters around the Senkakus.

Japan fleet Pacific exercise

Brussels 18.06.2022 Japan has dispatched a Maritime Self-Defense Force flotilla on a deployment to 11 Indo-Pacific countries and one foreign territory as part of joint naval exercises with the United States and other countries undertaken to counter a more assertive China.

In the annual deployment that began last Monday and will run to Oct. 28, the MSDF fleet will make port calls in the Pacific island nations of the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Fiji for the first time, according to the Defense Ministry.

The fleet will also take part in the Rim of the Pacific exercis – the world’s largest multinational naval exercise – the Pacific Vanguard exercise involving Australia, Japan, the United States and South Korea, and other drills, the ministry said.

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