Category Archives: Opinion

Sweden calls for UN action on climate change

 STOCKHOLM, Aug. 11(Greenpost) — Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Isabella Lövin Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate in Sweden recently jointly issue an article calling the United Nations to take real action on climate change issues.  The text is as the following published on Swedish government website.

Today the members of the United Nations Security Council are meeting to discuss climate change and security for the first time in seven years. In recent years, clear signs of climate change have made it difficult to turn a blind eye.

The aim of today’s meeting, chaired by Sweden, is to increase understanding about the exacerbating effects of climate change on conflict.

In Sweden this year, spring and summer have been characterised by extreme weather. Water shortages, forest fires and crop failures have become recurring news stories. The issue feels increasingly relevant and part of our reality. Extreme heat is now also affecting Canada and California, while extreme rainfall across Japan has led to two million people being evacuated from their homes, and more than 120 people have died.

But people in poor countries are those hardest hit by the adverse impacts of climate change. There, resilience to extreme weather events and crop failure is extremely low. Women are often disproportionately vulnerable in these situations. Fragile countries risk being stuck in a vicious cycle of instability and climate risks.

A few days ago, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and other United Nations and African Union representatives conducted a joint visit to Chad and Niger. In doing so, we continue the focus on a region where the link between climate change and security is particularly clear. This will help us better understand the various dimensions of the conflict, such as links to terrorism, lack of development, gender inequality and the impact of climate change. The visit made clear that traditional security measures are not enough to promote peace and security.
Last year, the Security Council also travelled to the Lake Chad region. After the trip, Sweden initiated a ground-breaking resolution that was the first to identify the impact of climate change on a specific conflict, and called for the UN to strengthen its capacity to respond. This marked the beginning of a new approach to climate change in the Security Council.

The Sahel region of West Africa has been hit hard, especially Mali and the Lake Chad region. Shorter and less predictable rainy seasons have increased competition for scarce resources, exacerbating existing tensions between herders and settled farmers. People’s livelihoods and food security are threatened, further increasing people’s vulnerability. In countries where resilience to crisis is weak and social and economic security extremely limited, we see more and more people being recruited by extremist groups offering money and food. Many choose to leave their homes and flee.

Another telling example is the many small island state that are at risk of being submerged when sea levels rise. It is difficult to image the consequences of entire nations potentially disappearing.

These are only a few examples of the link between climate and conflict. We need to better understand how climate interacts with, and at times reinforces, patterns of conflict. Without this understanding, we — the international community — will never be able to take fully informed decisions to promote peace and prevent conflicts.
Sweden has worked intensively to bring greater international attention to the issue. The international community must be better at understanding, highlighting and committing to action against the threats of climate change. This means improving conflict prevention work.
The United Nations Security Council, whose primary responsibility is the maintenance of international peace and security, must lead the way. We simply cannot ignore this issue in our quest for sustainable and peaceful development. Since Sweden took its seat on the Security Council, we have worked continuously to raise awareness of this issue. And we have achieved many important results. Sweden is working with other like-minded countries to draw attention to climate-related security risks, and we have seen results in regions including West Africa and the Sahel, and countries such as Somalia and Mali. We also work strategically with incoming Security Council members to ensure that the issue continues to receive the attention it deserves when Sweden is no longer a member.

Sweden is doing its share, in foreign policy, climate policy and aid policy. Sweden is demonstrating global leadership in climate finance and development cooperation, and is the highest per capita donor to most of the largest multilateral climate funds. Climate and conflict perspectives are continuously integrated into development cooperation, and a range of contributions focusing on climate and security are being implemented.

The Government also supports the establishment of an international research centre for climate and security, the Stockholm Climate Security Hub, which will engage some of the leading Swedish research institutes in the field. This will be launched in conjunction with World Water Week in August with the aim of promoting knowledge development and policy dialogue in the area, not least to support the UN and other multilateral actors with evidence-based analysis.
Today’s Security Council debate on climate and security was far from self-evident. But our efforts are met with ever-clearer support from countries on all continents, and with great gratitude especially from the many affected countries that are already experiencing the grave effects of climate change.

We are now looking ahead to next year’s UN climate summit. If we are serious about the Global Goals, including global sustainable development and peace and security, then climate-related security risks must be on the global agenda. The situation is acute. And we have no time to lose.

Margot Wallström
Minister for Foreign Affairs

Isabella Lövin
Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate

Sir David Attenborough receives honorary prize in Sweden presented by the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson

IMG_4220.JPGSir David Attenborough together with the founders of The Perfect World Foundation, Ragnhild Jacobsson & Lars Jacobsson.

Sir David Attenborough is possibly the world’s most famous presenter of nature documentaries. On September 6th. The Perfect World Foundation will be hosting a gala in Gothenburg, in support of earth’s nature and wildlife. Sir Attenborough, the evening’s guest of honour, will be awarded the foundation’s honorary prize presented by the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson.

Sir David Attenborough has become internationally renowned for his characteristic storytelling in nature documentaries such as, among many, Planet Earth and Life on Earth. On September 6th the 92-year-old Sir Attenborough will be visiting Gothenburg to receive The Perfect World Prize during the foundation’s yearly gala in support of nature and wildlife.

“Through his work, Sir David Attenborough has given wildlife a voice and raised interest for nature and wildlife world over. It is a great honour to have him as our guest,” says Ragnhild Jacobsson, CEO and founder of The Perfect World Foundation.

The non-profit organization The Perfect World Foundation annually organizes a support gala in Gothenburg, to address concerning nature and wildlife issues. This year’s focus is on polar bears, climate change and the ever faster melting Antarctic ice. Each year The Perfect World Prize is awarded a person who has made a significant contribution to the conservation of nature and wildlife. Sir David Attenborough will become the fifth honouree to be awarded the prize; previous recipients include Dr Sylvia EarleDr Jane Goodall, Dr Richard Leakey and Mark Shand.

Celebrities gather to pay tribute to David Attenborough

The British Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson entered the limelight in 1986 when she married Prince Andrew. Today she is one of The Perfect World Foundation ambassadors and will be presenting Sir Attenborough with the foundation’s honorary award. Also, Shannon Elizabeth, who performed with a role in American Pie (1999), Nobel Peace Prize winner (2007) Rajendra Pachauri and The Game of Thrones-star James Cosmo will go on the red carpet to the support gala at Elite Park Avenue Hotel in Gothenburg.

“Many want to join the celebration of Sir David Attenborough. We’ve already received several offers from well-known artists who want to perform, free of charge, during the gala evening,” announces Ragnhild Jacobsson.

Sir David Attenborough’s visit to Sweden on September 6th will not solely involve festivities. The Perfect World Foundation is also organizing and hosting a climate conference, at which Sir Attenborough will lecture around lunchtime the same day. The funds raised from the climate conference and the gala evening will aid The Perfect World Foundation in their pursuit to preserve the earth’s nature and wildlife. Both the gala and the climate conference will be held at the conference centre Gothia Towers in Gothenburg on September 6th.

“We want to raise awareness around the seriousness of the climate change. Our oceans are filled with plastic waste, coral reefs are dying and soon several of our great mammals are extinct. Through the conference and gala we want to inspire, people and companies, and encourage involvement in the climate issues,” concludes Ragnhild Jacobsson.

Short about the gala

The Perfect World Foundation has since 2014 organized three support galas in Gothenburg, which have all raised significant funds for animal and nature projects worldwide. Dr Sylvia Earle, Dr Jane Goodall, Dr Richard Leakey and Mark Shand are previous recipients of the foundation’s honorary award. The prize is each year awarded a person who has made a significant contribution to the conservation of nature and wildlife.

Prince Charles receiving The Perfect World Prize 2014, on behalf Mark Shands.

 

Jane Goodall The Perfect World Prize recipient in 2015.

 

Last years award recipient Dr Sylvia Earle, accompanied by the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson (left) and the swedish artist Martin Stenmarck (right).

 

The Perfect World Prize, a crystal rhinoceros statuette made by Orrefors.

 

Press Contacts

Daniel Wilke PR & Communication Manager +46736329827 daniel@theperfectworld.com

Ragnhild “Rags” Jacobsson CEO & Co-Founder +46768669940 rags@theperfectworld.com

 

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Contact persons

Daniel Wilke

Daniel Wilke

PR & Communication Manager
+46736329827
daniel@theperfectworld.com
Ragnhild “Rags” Jacobsson

Ragnhild “Rags” Jacobsson

CEO & Co-Founder
+46768669940
rags@theperfectworld.com
= = = = =

Attachments

Images

IMG_4220.JPG
 01.08.2018  jpg  DownloadSir David Attenborough together with the founders of The Perfect World Foundation, Ragnhild Jacobsson & Lars Jacobsson.
charles.png
 01.08.2018  png  DownloadPrince Charles receiving The Perfect World Prize 2014, on behalf Mark Shands.
jane.png
 01.08.2018  png  DownloadJane Goodall The Perfect World Prize recipient in 2015.
sylvia.png
 01.08.2018  png  DownloadLast years award recipient Dr Sylvia Earle, accompanied by the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson (left) and the swedish artist Martin Stenmarck (right).
Skärmavbild 2018-07-26 kl. 13.06.55.png
 01.08.2018  png  DownloadThe Perfect World Prize, a crystal rhinoceros statuette.

Kinesiska ambassadör Gui: Att främja den traditionella vänskapen för att fördjupa vårt gemensamma intresse

 STOCKHOLM, July 26(Greenpost)– Kinesiska ambassadör Gui Congyou har skrivit den här artikel om hans jobb i Sverige.  Full text är nedende:
Jag har arbetat som den tjugonde kinesiska ambassadören i Sverige i nästan ett år.

Fast Kina och Sverige är geografiskt långt ifrån varandra, är vår vänskap långvarig och väletablerad. Så tidigt som 1739 seglade Ostindiefararen Götheborgs till Kina och kinesiska porsliner, silke och te fick komma till Sverige längs den maritima sidenvägen. Vi kommer alltid ihåg att Sverige inte deltog i västmakternas invasion och plundring i den tid när Kina var svagt och sårbart. Vi kommer alltid ihåg att Sverige är det första västlandet som upprättade diplomatiska förbindelser med Folkrepubliken Kina. Det politiska modet och den strategiska visionen av dåtidens svenska ledare är mycket beundransvärt. Vi kommer alltid ihåg att Sverige stöttade Kinas rättsliga plats i FN, och efter Kinas reform och öppnande, blev Sverige en gång till det första västlandet som undertecknade handels-och investeringsavtalet med Folkrepubliken Kina och därefter aktivt utförde ekonomiska och tekniska samarbeten, vilka bidrog mycket till Kinas ekonomiska och samhälleliga utveckling.

Nuförtiden går relationer mellan Kina och Sverige ständigt framåt. I juni 2017 reste Sveriges statsminister Stefan Löfven till Kina för World Economic Forum, och träffade Kinas president Xi Jingping och premiärminister Li Keqiang och nådde viktiga överenskommelser om att vidare främja kännedom om varandra och fördjupa pragmatiska samarbete med hänsyn till principerna av ömsesidigt respekt och jämlikhet. De viktiga överenskommelserna ska utforma framtidens kinesiska-svenska relationer. Samtidigt fanns det frekvent bilaterala besökt på olika nivåer i 2017. 6 svenska ministrar besökte Kina och 26 kinesiska delegationer på vice-ministers eller ministers nivå kom till Sverige.

Samarbeten mellan Kina och Sverige håller fart i olika område. I många år har Sverige varit Kinas främsta affärspartner i Norden och Kina Sveriges största i Asien. I fjol steg handelssiffran mellan Sverige och Kina med 29 % till 15 miljarder US Dollar. Sveriges export till Kina ökade med 24 % och redovisade ett överskott av 690 miljoner US Dollar. Volvo och Geely:s “äktenskap” har skapat tiotusentals jobb och blivit ett framstående exempel på samarbete mellan Kina och Sverige även Europa.

Mellan Kina och Sverige har man etablerat 31 par vänorter, där utbyte förstärkt och samarbete fördjupade. Enligt SCB:s statistik är antal hotellövernattningar av kinesiska turister i Sverige 203 000 i 2014, 258 000 i 2015, 323 000 i 2016 och mer än 400 000 i 2017. Kinesiska turister är nu den största kundgruppen av tax-free handel i Sverige. I juni 2017 undertecknades det första mellanstatliga utbildningsavtalet och antalet kinesiska gäststudenter i Sverige steg till 8000. Det kinesiska kulturcentret i Stockholm spelar en viktig roll i att förmedla den kinesiska kulturen och traditionell konst.

Sedan jag anlände i Sverige den 18:e augusti i fjol har jag haft omfattande kontakt med den svenska regeringen och samhället. Jag känner att de goda relationerna mellan Kina och Sverige ännu kan förbättras, det finns verkligen stora möjligheter.

Vi har liknande utvecklingslinjer och är ekonomiskt komplimenterande till varandra. Den 19:e nationella kongressen för det kinesiska kommunistiska partiet har framgångsrikt avslutats och nya utvecklingsambitioner fastställts. Under President Xi Jingpings stadiga ledarskap har Kina sjösatt 5 nya utvecklingskoncept som är innovation, balanserad tillväxt, en grön ekonomi, öppnande samt inkluderande utveckling. Det kinesiska folkets önskemål för det goda livet kommer att förverkligas och arbetet för moderniseringen av Kina ska träda intill en ny epok.

Inom 5 år kommer Kina att importera mer än 8 biljoner dollar av varor, och investera 750 miljarder dollar utomlands. Antalet turister som reser till utlandet kommer att vara fler än 500 miljoner. I de kommande 10 åren planerar Kina att investera nästan 600 miljarder dollar inom den gröna ekonomin. The Belt and Road initiativet kommer att öppna upp en ny betydelsefull möjlighet för att utveckla samarbete mellan Kina och Sverige.

Vi har också omfattande överenskommelser och mycket gemensamma intresse i internationella frågor. Vi är fast beslutna att upprätthålla det globala frihandelssystemet. Vi motsätter oss protektionismen och främjar en öppen världsekonomi. Vi aktivt deltar i multilaterala handlingarna för klimatfrågan och främja genomförande av Parisavtalet. Vi är starkt engagerade i världsfred, stabilitet och säkerhet, förespråkar dialog i konfliktlösningen och vi både motsätter oss alla former av terrorism.

Att främja en sund, stabil och hållbar utveckling av relationer mellan Kina och Sverige gynnar inte bara oss själv, det kommer också att främja en allsidig utveckling av relationer mellan Kina och EU samt världens fred, stabilitet och välstånd.

Relationer mellan Kina och Sverige står inför en ny historisk startpunkt. Som Kinas ambassadör till Sverige vill jag, tillsammans med mina svenska vänner, implementera våra ledares viktiga överenskommelser, med ömsesidigt respekt, för gemensam nytta. Vi skall fördjupa samförstånd och utvidga samarbeten, främja kulturella utbyten och främja överläggningar i globala och regionala frågor. Tillsammans ska vi skapa en bättre framtid för det kinesiska svenska samarbetet, och ett bättre liv för våra folk.

  Tibetologist points out that Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Is Independence in Essence

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, June 26(Greenpost) – Chinese Tibetologist Hao Shiyuan has pointed out that Dalai Lama’s so-called `Middle Way` is in essence seeking independence in Tibet.

He made this clear at a seminar in Institute For Security and Development Policy on Tuesday when he led a delegation of Tibetologists from China to visit Sweden.

This was also an answer to the question asked by Oskar Gustafson, editor of ISDP on what problem China is really facing between the central government and the Tibet Autonomous Region or Dalai Lama.

Hao said the Chinese central government had kept contact with Dalai’s private representative for  a long time. But after the March 14th incident took place in Lhasa in 2008 and the disturbance of the Beijing Olympic Torch, Dalai Lama issued a MOU. To summarize the content of this MOU, China held that the so-called Middle Way is an idea that took place in colonized countries after the Second World War.

“He also borrowed the idea of Hong Kong SAR to ask the central government to implement one country two systems idea. But this idea is against the Chinese Regional ethnic autonomy system. Tibet Autonomous Region has been a part of China. Due to this different ideas, China held that there is no way to continue the dialogue. Although Dalai Lama said he wanted to have dialogue, his stance left no room for further dialogue. The condition to have dialogue is to admit that Tibet is already a region of China. “ said Hao.

ISDP’s Mats . Engman presided over the seminar and he said Sweden likes to have dialogue with China on Tibetan issue even though Tibetan issue is not a focus for ISDP.

Erik Isaksson from ISDP explained that ISDP is an independent research institute which has two offices, one in Sweden and the other in the US.  They mainly research on Asia, Central Asia and Caucus’ areas.  Since their establishment in 2007,  it has received many Chinese, North Korea and South Korean researchers. Currently they have two researchers from Chinese PLA Academy.

Hao Shiyuan gave a presentation about the History and Reality of Tibet. In his presentation, he gave a sharp contrast picture of the past and the present.  He said before the liberation of Tibet, it was a political entity with a combination of politics and religion. Only 5 percent of the chiefs and religious leaders enjoyed the privilege while 95 percent of the total population were serfs and slaves who had no personal freedom at all. Even the British historian Goldstein described Tibet as a primitive medieval place. But Dalai Lama has described Tibet as a heaven in human society.  Maybe it was true for his 5 percent of the population, but for majority of the Tibetans, it was suffering.

Hao said in 1951 when Chairman Mao met with Dalai Lama, the latter agreed to 17 provisions of peaceful revolution and reform. Maybe he understood that the Tibetan political system came an end, yet the reform will also end the system. According to the 17 provision agreed by both Dalai Lama and the central government, Dalai Lama position would remain the same. But after he attended a meeting in India in 1959, Dalai Lama changed his stance. After his flee to India, Tibet experience a democratic reform and the serfs and slaves became the master of themselves.

Hao said today Tibetan people enjoy very good education and a complete education system has been established. They also enjoyed the religious freedom. Currently 1700 temples function normally.

Hao said Dalai Lama think of how to get independent while central government is thinking of how to improve the living standards of the Tibetan people.  In Tibet, tourism is one of the pillar industries.  Pregnant women and baby death rate are very low and the rights level are up to the national average. By 2020, Tibet will also have to eradicate all the poverty as planned.

Zhaluo said in Tibet Autonomous Region, there are mainly the Gelu sect of Buddhists, but there are a few others too. Even some people believe in Christianity and Islam.

Mats. Engman asked “Tibet must fall into the debate of border issues between India and China since there is still disagreements on territory in that region. What is China’s approach to ensuring that all partners are brought to the table to discuss the potential security dilemmas on this issue?”

Hao said Sino-Indian border issue has great to do with the British legacy of irrelevant borderline, but has nothing to do with Tibet.

About Chinese map, Hao said before 1949, Chinese map was decided according to history. For example from Qin Dynasty to Song Dynasty, people often thought land outside the Great Wall did not belong to China. But when the Mongolians united China, Chinese map became larger and larger. Tibet Autonomous Region is a historic assets to China left from Chinese history. Only after 1949, China has entered into a modern country.

Gustafson asked: how can the PRC better engage with the Tibetan Government in Exile (or the Central Tibetan Administration) and what issues could they see arising if effective dialogue is not achieved?”

Hao said if Dalai Lama really changes the Tibetan system, it will definitely cause great contradiction. But according to Chinese regional ethnic autonomy system, Tibetans enjoy autonomous freedom. Meanwhile, the economic and social development in Tibet will resist the violence.

Hao said Dalai Lama announced in 2011 that he would retire and then established a so called exiled government.  Chinese government does not recognize this organization, nor will contact it, or treated as representative of Dalai Lama.

Engman said“ISDP strives to anticipate where future conflicts might break out.

Zhang Biao, Charge  D\affair at the Chinese Embassy, Chen Jiliang, Director of Political Department of Chinese Embassy, Cirenpingcuo, Gesangyixi,Xiaojie and Wang Lixin from the delegation and Fatoumato Diallo from ISDP attended the seminar.  Journalists Jorge Navarro from Mexico, Ulrika Bergsten from Sweden and Xuefei Chen Axelsson from Green Post in Sweden were also present at the seminar.

Top news: Chinese Dongfeng Race Team win the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, June 25(Greenpost, Chineseonline)– Chinese Dongfeng Race Team won the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 in the closest pass in race history.

Skipper Charles Caudrelier led his team to victory on the final leg of the race, a 970-mile sprint from Gothenburg, Sweden to The Hague.

Incredibly, it marked the first leg win for the team — it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Three teams started Leg 11 of the race on Thursday in a dead heat on the overall leaderboard. The finishing order between MAPFRE, Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team at The Hague would determine their place on the overall race podium.

Each of those three teams led at various points on the leg and had their opportunities to grab the prize.

But it was Caudrelier and his crew who made a bold call on Saturday evening to take a coastal route to the finish, which squeezed them tight against the shoreline and separated from the other leaders by a series of Exclusion Zones.

“We were not in such a good position, but we trusted our choice and we pushed,” Caudrelier said. “The others didn’t follow us, but we believed and we won…”

The decision hurt the team in the short term as they tumbled down the leaderboard. But by Sunday morning, with less than 100 miles left to race, weather routing projections had the top boats finishing within minutes of each other. None had been able to break away overnight, despite the significant splits on the race course.

“We knew that we would fall behind initially and that if it came good it would only be at the end. The last position report (1300 UTC on Sunday) we were 27-miles from the finish and they were 20-miles and we thought it was over. But then I did a small weather routing and it showed we could end up one-mile ahead so I woke everyone up and said, ‘let’s push!’”

As the teams finally converged again on Sunday afternoon, just a few miles from the finish, it was Dongfeng Race Team, flying down the coast from the north sliding in front of the offshore group, to earn their first leg win, propelling Caudrelier’s team to overall victory.

“We always trusted each other. Nobody thought we were going to win this last leg, but I had a good feeling,” an emotional Caudrelier said, after thanking his supporters and team. “I said ‘we can’t lose, we can’t lose, we can’t lose’… and we won!”

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

The overall results make this the closest finish in the 45-year history of the race and marks the first win for a Chinese-flagged team. It also means Carolijn Brouwer and Marie Riou were on board as the first women sailors to win the Volvo Ocean Race.

Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE was third on the leg, which put the team into second overall.

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

“It has been tough,” Fernández admitted. “We sailed very well the whole way around the world and on this leg as well, so naturally we’re a bit disappointed. We were very, very close this time, but it was not quite enough. So we have to say congratulations to Dongfeng who sailed a little bit better than us.”

Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking would have liked nothing more than to win the race for the first time in eight tries with a home finish in The Netherlands. But it wasn’t to be. His fourth place leg finish left the team in third place overall.

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

“Third place, still on the podium, I think we can be pretty proud of that as a team,” he said. “We thought we had made the right choice (to go further offshore) and we expected a windshift. It came 90-minutes too late and that was the race. But that’s yacht racing. And of course we have to congratulate Dongfeng and MAPFRE for their results.”

Second place on the final leg into The Hague was Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont and his team AkzoNobel, who had previously secured fourth place on the overall leaderboard.

“It’s incredible to finish on the podium in our hometown,” Tienpont said. “We would have loved to have been fighting into The Hague for the final podium but to have set the 24-hour speed record and to get six podium finishes in the race is a testament to the job everyone on our team – on the boat and on shore – have done.”

Vestas 11th Hour Racing had already been locked into fifth place on the scoreboard and after a promising start to Leg 11, had a disappointing seventh place finish on the leg.

“We have a great group of folks on this team,” skipper Charlie Enright said. “We’ve been through a lot and I’m not sure any other group could have dealt with the challenges we have faced the way we did. It’s something special and we’re going to continue to work together moving forward. This was a tough way to go out certainly, but we have one more opportunity with the In-Port Race this weekend.”

That In-Port Race, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, will determine the sixth and seventh place positions in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Both SHK/Scallywag and Turn the Tide on Plastic finished the Volvo Ocean Race on equal points.

The tie-break mechanism is the In-Port Race Series, where David Witt’s Scallywag team currently holds the lead. But Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic is just three points behind and a strong finish on Saturday could lift them off the bottom of the leaderboard.

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

“We can’t help but smile today. We’ve done it,” said Caffari. “This leg was like the longest In-Port Race ever. A lot of corners to go around, and we gave it 100 per cent and left nothing in the tank.”

For David Witt, the finish was bittersweet the loss of John Fisher overboard in the Southern Ocean top of mind.

“I have very mixed emotions right now,” Witt said dockside immediately after finishing. “I’m incredibly proud of our team both on and off the water. We’re very tight and we have gone through a lot… But I’m also sad of course. I didn’t finish it with my best mate (John Fisher) who we started with. So very mixed emotions, but I’m glad we finished it.”

The teams will celebrate their accomplishments and take well-earned rest on Monday. The rest of the week will see activities in The Hague building towards the final In-Port Race and Awards Night on June 30.

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 11 Final Leaderboard — Saturday 23 June
1. Dongfeng Race Team – 3 days, 3 hours, 22 minutes, 32 seconds
2. team AkzoNobel – 3 days, 3 hours, 38 minutes, 31 seconds
3. MAPFRE – 3 days, 3 hours, 39 minutes, 25 seconds
4. Team Brunel – 3 days, 3 hours, 45 minutes, 52 seconds
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 3 days, 3 hours, 56 minutes, 56 seconds
6. SHK / Scallywag – 3 days, 4 hours, 01 minutes, 32 seconds
7. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 3 days, 4 hours, 05 minutes, 36 seconds

Volvo Ocean Race Overall Points Leaderboard after Leg 11
1. Dongfeng Race Team – 73 points
2. MAPFRE – 70 points
3. Team Brunel – 69 points
4. team AkzoNobel – 59 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 39 points
6. SHK / Scallywag – 32 points *
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 32 points *

* Should there be a tie on the overall race leaderboard at the end of the offshore legs, the In-Port Race Series standings will be used to break the tie.

Source: www.volvooceanrace.com

Commentary:EU misunderstand China’s Belt and Road Initiative

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, April 25(Greenpost)– Reading South China Morning Post, it says 27 EU countries Ambassadors signed a paper against China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

This can be seen as an initial reaction against the Belt and Road Initiative when many people keep on asking what is China’s purpose? Why do they do this? What benefit they can gain? What benefit can we gain?

It is understandable that the western idea is always basing on the utilitarian foundation. If you do something, it must be for your own benefit, otherwise you will not do it.

But my understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative is that it started from the ancient silk road routes through central Asia. President Xi Jinping proposed this idea in Alma Ata.  It is a strategic thought to meet the development demand.

China had been a poor country for almost a hundred years and the main reason is that China didn’t have the good infrastructure.  The road was poor and transportation was bad.  So China’s experience is that to become rich, you must have good roads.  (Yao Xiang Fu, Xian Xiu Lu). These kinds of projects are usually big ones, thus it needs state-owned companies to do it because they have high standards engineering capacity.

In China private sector developed rapidly, but a lot of problems also started from private companies.  It takes time to regulate.

After 40 years of development, China becomes stronger, at least with another two years it aims to wipe out the poverty completely. This goal should be praised because with the completion of this goal, it is expected that China’s human rights situation will be substantially improved.

I understand the western solidarity type of wind against China starting from China’s changing of the constitution and ensuring Xi’s presidency forever. Many people understood this change as a guarantee for Xi’s presidency for life long.  But my understanding is that Xi wishes to have a collection of power so that he can carry out his plans more effectively.  But it doesn’t mean he will be president forever.  No one guarantees that after three terms or after he fulfilled the goal of building China into a modern country with even a very basic demand of having blue skies in Beijing, he will step down. Or he will lead an orderly expended scale democratic election.  Through this year’s NPC congress, I think Xi is implementing an orderly and transparent voting procedure.  And his presidency was elected with formal voting procedure.

I am sure China’s intention is not to impose China’s influence to anybody. China is a peace loving country. Chinese people work very hard just to live a better life.  When they have good skills and building capacity, they like to share this with other countries.

It happens exactly like SIPRI’s expert analysed that it is those countries that needs China’s capacity contracted with China such as Greece and Spain. In the early stage such as 2005, or before, China also imported technologies or engineering in waste burning from Spain.

That some EU countries worry about China is understandable, but unnecessary.  On the one hand, they worry if one Chinese will reach a European’s living standard, then China has 1.3 billion people, how many earth we should have to feed such a demand? On the other hand, they worry if you build a port for them, what will be the future? We have no secret from you any more.  How can we maintain our independence?

These worries seem to be real worry because when the western powers went to China, China became semi colonised. When the western power went to Africa,  most African countries were colonised.   Thinking from their own experience, they feel very worried.

But China’s Belt and Road initiative is not to take from you, it is to build for you to use.  The principle is to negotiate first and then you build together and then you share the benefit in the end.  Because you put money in the bank and now you get the bank loan and you got infrastructure.  Improved infrastructure will improve business. With booming business, you will get money or benefit.

China can only provide help to those who really need help. It is very difficult for Nordic countries to think’ how can we need help from China’? It is always we who provide help to others.  Indeed, China still has a lot to learn from the Nordic and western European countries.  But for infrastructure construction such as fast train track and train, China is indeed very advanced. If Nordic region can coordinate and build fast train, travel time on average will be shortened by half, it will substantially improve the business environment and well-being of the people.  It will promote tourism substantially.  Business meetings can increase substantially.  It will only make business even more efficient.

Some people especially some so-called experts and new media persons  recently launched a lot of negative coverage about China in order to win the readers eye balls.  In the long run, it will prove that China is indeed the main force in maintaining the world peace and driving the world development.  China never throws out problems even though they have problems inside China.

This is a big difference between China and America or Britain. When America has election or other problems, they will put their finger on China or other countries and then when they succeed they become normal again.

This kind of drama doesn’t happen in China. China is so large that it can saturate its own problems.  It will not hit others in order to win its own election because they can balance the situation in China according to the real situation.  This is because the Communist party’s goal is to serve the people and make the country a good land to live and people enjoy a better life.

This has happened already in Beijing, Shanghai and most of the eastern regions.  Last month when I came back from Beijing, in Helsinki transfer, I met a Swedish lady who visited Shanghai and visited all the banks in Shanghai, she said she felt people in Shanghai really enjoy  a good life.  They eat well, wear well and they also walk beautifully, namely not always in a hurry.

Those who broke the Chinese law went to America or other countries and then fiercely curse China.  It is not commended.

Back to Belt and Road Initiative,  it is indeed an initiative, it is a good -will suggestion or proposal for all to sit around the table to discuss.  It is not an imperative for everyone to obey.  China thinks when people get better life, they will not fight each other any more.  This is China’s experience.  It is a good will and many experts for example Schillers Institute’s Helga La Rues highly commended belt and road initiative because she said this is so far the best available way to avoid war or conflict.

Belt and Road is also a long term initiative. It will be implemented only in the countries or places where needed.  Those who don’t need it, it is absolutely ok if you are against it or disagree because it doesn’t suit your situation. So let’s forget it.

Belt and Road Initiative is a good idea for Asian, Central Asian, Africa, Latin America and maybe Northeast Asia.  It is indeed difficult for Nordic Countries which are so rich, so well developed and almost world model countries to fit in.

However, I think it is still ok because one of the initiative is to promote people to people communication and exchange, in that sense, it also fits.

I suggest that Nordic countries and western European countries and China  talk with each other in fixing the world peace and development, but not condemn each other.  I read the SCMP article saying the European Ambassadors condemn the Belt and Road Initiative, it is a completely misunderstanding of the purpose of the initiative.

Of course there is still big room for China to improve. That is to invest more in education and research, invest more in culture and domestic development.  There are still problems in rural China where not just poverty alleviation is needed,  all the cultural and education and other wellbeing facilities are needed.

If outside world don’t need China, let us build every inch of China a beautiful China.  Blue sky and clean water and soil is just fundamental and basic requirements.

This is only the writer’s own opinion.

Xuefei Chen Axelsson is a senior editor and correspondent freelancing for different media.  She studied World Politics, Economics and  International Relations.  She also studied leadership for Sustainable Development in London and got a Master degree in it. She has long been journalist covering various development conferences and practices by the United Nations.

Belt And Road Initiative: EU Strategic Interests In Asia

Insights from Richard Ghiasy.

On a strategic level, explain the EU’s perspective toward China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Frankly, there is no unified EU perspective on the BRI – at least yet. Strategic responses to the initiative are still being pondered over. Partially, this has to do with more urgent priorities, mainly Brexit, the Russian resurgence, concerns over populism, the migration crisis, and now the Catalonian crisis. But, it also has to do with the BRI itself  ̶  it is perceived as an insufficiently articulated concept. Subsequently they [EU members] find it difficult to come up with adequate strategic responses.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.At the individual EU member state level, however, a large number of European members, mostly in the south, center, and east have already warmly embraced the initiative and have commenced cooperation. Evidently, this dichotomy in perceptiveness does not aid strategic decision-making processes in Brussels. One such example is the 16+1 framework. It is a cooperation framework of 16 Eastern and Central European states plus China, not all of which are EU members, that has resulted in bitterness in Brussels  ̶   they see the framework undermining EU unity. It is evident that the level of interest shown by (too) many EU states in the BRI will compel the EU to come up with strategic policy decisions on BRI engagement.

Which individual European countries are receptive toward involvement in the BRI and why?  

Countries that have infrastructure deficits, domestic and (sub-)regional connectivity deficits, or pressing unemployment and economic growth challenges have typically been the most welcoming  ̶  this includes Greece, Spain, Italy, Serbia, Portugal, and Hungary. These countries have difficulty securing the financial means for large infrastructure projects domestically and through existing multilateral finance mechanisms, making them very receptive toward BRI involvement.

England has also expressed strong interest, partially driven by anxiety over the economic impact of Brexit, but also over worries of how the BRI may impact global finance over time. The Nordic community has shown little interest so far, partially due to the fact that they are economically developed, well connected, and “tucked away” in a corner of Europe that sees, comparatively, little transit activity. Germany and The Netherlands have shown interest and have commenced engagement, yet at the same time they are evaluating the BRI’s long-term strategic implications at the national and EU level. These are mostly related to economic security impacts, but also impacts on (sub)national and regional security among participating states.

What is the difference between the EU-China Connectivity Platform and the BRI?

The BRI is an immensely ambitious global connectivity and development vision that will – probably – run for decades. It already has over 65 countries on board that have either shown strong interest or are already engaged. In contrast, the EU-China Connectivity Platform is a policy forum that aims to create synergies between EU policies/projects and the BRI – mostly as they relate to cooperation on infrastructure, including financing, interoperability, and logistics. Therefore, the EU-China Connectivity Platform is, in comparison, very modest in size and focuses on projects between the two countries. At this stage, no projects with or in third party countries have been conducted.

What are the potential geostrategic consequences of no EU involvement in BRI?

No involvement would send a strong message to China and participating states that it [the EU] is not interested in joint economic development initiatives with China in Eurasia. Since the EU and China are the two largest economic entities in Eurasia, it is essential that they steward the continent’s economic development agenda. In addition, since individual EU member states are already participating in the initiative, no official EU involvement would create an awkward dynamic. In addition, it is important that the EU engages and helps to steward the initiative so that its own diplomatic, economic, and security interests are not threatened. No involvement would mean that China will, likely, develop larger sway in the continent on anything from investment standards, to supply chains, to trade routes, to diplomacy. This scenario may seriously impact the EU’s economic and security interests.

Explain how EU engagement in BRI might further its strategic interests in Asia.     

Some of the challenges that the EU faces, including the migration crisis and terrorism, stem – partially – from Asia. As the EU goes through a historically unique, yet long and fragile process of integration it is pivotal that its neighbors and neighbors’ neighbors are stable and are developing sustainable economies. At the moment however, the EU is facing security challenges from essentially all directions except its north.

Asia, as the world’s most populous and economically largest continent is pivotal to the world economy, and thus the EU’s economic and security interests. A stable Eurasia requires closer cooperation between its largest actors, the EU, China, India, Japan, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Russia. Distrust and competing visions for the supercontinent between these six will only result in friction and greater potential for (proxy) conflict.

It is quite safe to state that in terms of influence the EU has been losing ground in East, Central, and South Asia. The BRI is a platform on which it could possibly regain some of that influence, for instance by assisting participating states with the “softer side” of connectivity: national development agendas, business reform and socioeconomic policies. There are plenty countries in Asia in which there are concerns over overreliance on China through the BRI – the EU is an economic behemoth that could function as a counterweight.

Source: the Diplomat website.

2018 “Belt and Road” Nordic Spring Peace and Culture Festival held on Stockholm Cultural Night

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, April. 21(Greenpost) – 2018 Belt and Road Nordic Spring Peace and Cultural Festival and Li Li’s Chinese Paintings Exhibition  have been successfully held as a part of Stockholm Cultural Night which was a cooperation with over 100 museums, galleries, opera houses and other cultural locations to open free to the public from 18:00-24:00 on April 21.

The festival was held by China-Europe Cultural Association, Professional Foreign journalist Association or PROFOCA in cooperation with Chinese Teachers Association in Sweden.

Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Gui Congyou spoke highly about the festival.

“The opening of the Stockholm Cultural Night and Belt and Road International Peace and Cultural Festival is of great significance in such a period of time. China and Sweden have enjoyed  very good relations and the bilateral relations are on a new historical starting point with great potential to tap. With Chinese style in  Stockholm Cultural Night, it will make the night even more beautiful and be conducive to Sino-Swedish relations. ” said Ambassador Gui.

“China proposes Belt and Road initiative based on the principle of discussing together, jointly building and sharing the result to improve relations with various countries and  expand cooperation with various countries. People to people relation is one of the five parts of belt and road initiative and cultural exchange is an important way to communicate with each other. ”  he said.

“I understand that tonight there will be a big banquet of culture including instrument performance, dancing and singing, and Chinese woman artist Li Li’s painting and the Chinese film Romance on the Lushan Mountain, I hope you all have a good evening.  ” said Ambassador Gui.

China-Europe Cultural Association is a non-political , non-religious organization consisting 75% of Chinese women in Sweden aiming at enhancing Chinese culture and enrich their life in Sweden and serving as a bridge between China and Sweden.

Ambassador Gui said he also welcomed journalists from PROFOCA and other foreign friends to visit China. Over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China has experienced great changes. Since the 18th Party’s Congress, China has entered a new era. Now China enjoys stable social and political environment and high quality economic development.  Nearly 1.3 billion people have shrugged off poverty and the rest 50 million will eradicate their poverty situation by 2020. In the International arena, China plays an important role in maintaining world peace, security and stability.  It is a main force for world harmony. I believe the journalists can find some good news from China.

Xuefei Chen Axelsson, President of China-Europe Cultural Association and PROFOCA explained why they held this event.

She said to be part of the Stockholm Cultural Night made her proud to be able to contribute to the cultural life in Stockholm with some Chinese flavour. This is also a sign that Sweden is open and international.

“We hold 2018 Belt and Road Nordic Spring Peace and Culture Festival in order to guard world peace.  Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping is not to impose Chinese influence by purpose, but treat it as a way to promote peace and development. Sweden was the destination of the maritime silk road taking the boat Gothenburg as an example. We like to promote cultural exchanges between China and Sweden and China and Europe. ” said Chen Axelsson.

“The third is to celebrate the exhibition of Beijing women artist Li Li. Although it is a small scale of 30 small pieces of paintings, it is profound and a real action of bilateral cultural exchange. ” she said.

As a journalist herself, Chen Axelsson said while China insists on peace and development, some other parts of the world are not very peaceful. She held that violence and conflict are the biggest enemy of sustainable development. We condemn all kinds of violence.  Violence and conflict are a result of illiteracy. Belt and Road initiative aims to avoid violence and conflict. Through peace and development, people’s living standards can be improved. Without peace, there will be no development. We must value the peaceful environment. We believe that cultural exchange is conducive to understanding between different people and countries, and further avoid conflict and maintain world peace and stability.

Last year, we held the first Nordic Spring International Cultural Festival, we also held other cultural activities such as holding lectures and listening to Chinese actor Pu Chunxin’s presentation held in Chinese Cultural Center . By learning Chinese culture, we feel more peaceful and life is more joyful.  By going to China and reporting the Party Congress, I saw China’s peaceful transition to a new era aiming at wiping out poverty completely and building a modern Chinese society. We shall continue to work hard to serve the members and contribute to Sino-Swedish good relations.

The performances began with Swedish Chinese Children’s choir’s singing.

Dong Jiajun’s Hulusi performance is very beautiful. The music is really very good for ear. Hulusi is an instrument from China’s Yunnan Province, Southwest China.

He Ruiyu sang the song Rolling up the Bamboo Curtain beautifully.

Chinese women choir also sang very well. Some of them are the mothers of the children’s choir .

Natali Dansstudio’s girls brought modern dance.

Tang Shiyu sang a beautiful Chinese song called the size of the heaven.

 

Li Zhanchun sang Tianbian, Little Populars Tree and I love you China reminding us the beautiful China of the 1980s.

Ric Wasserman sang Bob Dylan’s song Blowing in the wind.

Li Jia sang a song about Chinese River Liuyanghe.

Zhai Yijia played erhu horse racing, a master piece by Erhu.

Hao Jingxia sang the classic Kunqu Dream in the Garden looking like Peking opera.

Uppsala Confucius Class pupils performed a singing and dancing program attracting the attention of other children.

Xuefei Chen Axelsson sang an inner Mongolian song Take me to the Prairie.

Finally Ambassador Gui and all the artists and guests sang together My Motherland led by Li Jia.

 

Ric Wasserman also sang many other blues style songs with American flavour making the festival international.

Beijing woman artist Li Li’s paintings stand by the wall around the hall which hosts more than 200 people.

The programs attracts Swedish, Russians, Americans and Chinese.  The Chinese food is also part of Chinese culture.

Finally a film Romance on Lushan Mountain was played to end the cultural night at midnight.

Also present at the cultural night were Dou Chunxiang, Education Consular, Zhang Lei, Consular department director, Consular Li Xiaojie and Luo Jinsheng. Ye Peiqun, Execultive President of Sveriges Kinesiska Förbund, Duan Maoli, Anhui Association of Science and Commerce in Sweden, Jack Yu, President of Sino-Swedish Life Science Association, Yin Chang, Kinesiska Riksförbundet I Sverige, Sun Kai, President of Chinese Teachers Association in Sweden, Zhao Lijie, Vice President of China-Europe Cultural Association, Zhouzheng, Secretary of Europe-Asia Cultural Promotion Association, Yang Chungui, President of  Acupuncture Science Association Sweden and Zhao Lijie, Vice President of China-Europe Cultural Association.

The festival was hosted by Åsa and Arthur Lou Guofeng.

Text/Xuefei Chen Axelsson,  Photo/Wu Ming.

Analysis: Trump and Chinese farmers

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

US President Donald Trump recently announced that he has endorsed the order to increase tariff for imported steel and aluminium. As a result, a lot of Chinese products that are exported to the US will face a higher tariff.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce immediately responded that China will increase its tariff against the America grain exported China.

Why was China responding so quickly? Because China has imported American grain or corn at a so low price that it affected the Chinese farmers’ interest. Why?

Because Chinese farmers earned more money before China imported American grain.  My brother Shemin whose name means a member of the socialist commune is a farmer.  He was both happy and sad when I talked with him over the phone.  He was happy to tell me that he harvested 40 tons of corn marking the highest production over the years.  But he was not very happy when talking about how much he earned.

He said that he earned just about 60 thousand yuan or 10 thousand dollars for the whole year. Compared with a couple of years ago,  when the price of the corn was at one yuan or 1.2 yuan, he could have earned 80 thousand yuan with the current harvest amount.  But now the price was only 70 percent of the previous one.  although the productivity increased, the profit decreased.

Why? Because Chinese government said the market is deciding the price and China is open to allow import of grain from America.  Those pig raising entrepreneurs or farmers spend large amount of dollars imported grains from America with much lower prices.  So the American cheap grain actually make the Chinese small farmers lower their income.

This will be very bad for Chinese agriculture because then the Chinese farmers or peasants will leave their land and go to the city to find jobs to earn a salary instead of labouring in the farms with so low income.  In the long run, the peasants are forced to be out of their land and larger contractors will come to the countryside to contract the land, then the monopoly of the larger business people will have right to decide the price and the price will be getting higher, either due to the cost or due to the monopoly. But then the ones who complain will not only be farmers, but the urban citizens.

So far, Chinese government has get rid of agricultural tax and also give a little subsidies.  But that subsidies are so little compared with the French farmers’.  That is only 200 yuan per mu or 30 dollars per acre.  That is too little.

I hope the Chinese government should consider this issue and really care about farmers’ interest.

Feature: A Day in Beijing during the NPC Congress and CPPCC Session

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

On March 13th, I got up early because on March 12 I stayed at home and watched Live TV broadcast to cover the National People’s Congress press conferences.  Due to the jetleg, I have to sleep early every day and get up very early.  This is good for me.

Smog, when will you go away?

In the morning, I looked outside through the window and found the smog was more serious than the previous days. But still, it was better than that of five years ago when I was in Beijing on 2013.

I took the bus No 10 outside the courtyard and it took me 20 minutes to arrive at Guomao.  After I got off the bus, I have to walk another 100 meters and then went into the subway.  Still I love it because it saved me a lot more walking.

I took the line one of the Subway to Tiananmen West. I was worried because on Sunday when I took the bus No. 1, it didn’t stop on Tiananmen West. But thanks to CPC, the subway stopped at Tiananmen West.

When I came out of the subway, I saw the trees along the Chang’An Avenue  very beautiful. It looked like an ink painting.  It was foggy and smoggy.

I hurried to the Great Hall of the People. The guards were strict but nice.  Quickly I arrived in the Hall and went through the security. The logistics were good. They provided a safety box and a key so that people could put their extra mobile phone in the box and locked it.

In the morning, it was Li Jianguo from NPC committee who presented explaination on China’s Supervision Law. This law shows the determination of the Communist Party of China to prevent corruption according to law.

Many Chinese delegations have visited Sweden and got to know how Sweden prevents corruption.

Emphasis was also given to supervision and both a Supervision Law and a Supervision department has been established. These are also the spotlights during this congress. It showed that Xi Jinping is determined to  prevent corruption according to law.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang attended the conference.  Li Jianguo presented a report on details of the Supervision law to illustrate why China forms supervision law and how it works to prevent  corruption.

After this report, Wang Yong delivered a report on State Council’s institutional reform.

For years, people feel it is difficult to get rid of the family planning committee. But now it is gone.  In stead, with the call from the soldiers, a new department on retired soldiers has been established to take care of their pension.

National Land Resources Ministry has been changed to Natural Resources Ministry. State Forestry Ministry has been taken away. More emphasis has been put on the rural areas development and environment protection.

Overall,  the State Council has cutt off 8 ministries, but also promoted some other ministries.  Foreign Affairs Ministry remains at the same level.

Tourism and Cultural Ministry merged into one and it was welcomed.

Delegates think the reform of the institutions  is quite reasonable.

After that, I went to Fulihua  at Nan Lishilu area. I used to work in those area and I miss it very much.

So I went to the Molly shop where I used to buy clothes.  I bought four clothes.  I took a bowl of noodles for lunch.

And then I hurried to Great Hall of the People.  The reason for it is that there is an open press conference in the Xinjiang Ugyor Autonomous Region delegation.  Kurban,  a Ugyor who used to ride a donkey to come to Beijing to see  late Chairman Mao. Now his great grand daughter becomes the delegate representing the hometown people.

She said she worked in the Liaoning Submarine before she became the delegate.  With her family’s experience,  she saw the great changes in their life for better  in Xinjiang.

She said in particular, President Xi Jinping put up forward a policy that the Chinese cadres should help the Ugyor families to form a partnership.  This way leads to the Ugyor family to eradicate poverty quickly.  The Ugyors feel honored to have a Han cadre to be their contact.

She said she would follow her great grand father’s step and continue to work hard to improve the local people’s living standards.

Unity among different ethnic groups in Xinjiang is an important task to keep the region safe, stable and prosperous.

Tourism is an important industry in the region and also key for poverty eradication.

Xinjiang is a beautiful place.  It also receives support from Zhejiang Province as another kind of partnership.  That means the Chinese government asks the eastern provinces to help western provinces and regions.  This is also a good way to narrow down the gap between eastern and western regions.

After this press conference, I went back to the shop to fetch my clothes because I couldn’t take a lot of things to the Great Hall of the People.

In the evening, I met my former colleagues.  She said I can take bus No. 1 to Ritanlu from Nanlishilu.  I remember there were bus 52, 57 and 1. But now neither 52 nor 57  travel so long. Only bus No. 1 kept its pride to drive on the Chang’s Avenue, the No. 1 road in Beijing.

It is true that it goes quickly and I can get off directly in front of Beijing Radio.  Then we went to a Yunnan style restaurant to eat a hotpot sour fish, but not as sour as herring in Sweden.

One can put noddles into the pot and with some vegetables, it became a good meal.  We talked a lot about why I left Beijing for Sweden and what I did over the years.

They said your zigzagging life sounds very interesting and you should write a book about it.  I said I have written a big part of it but I never know how to end it. So it is going on but no end.

Then they drove me home which sits outside the third ringroad.  I was moved by their hospitality and felt very glad that almost every family nowadays has one or two cars in Beijing.

Beijing was shrounded with smog and the trees look like an ink painting.

When I came in to the apartment, I felt I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep.  I watched wechat news and then tried to sleep again. But it was one thirty already.

Kinesiska ambassadör Gui Congyou: Att främja den traditionella vänskapen för att fördjupa vår gemensamma nytta

STOCKHOLM, Dec. 14(Greenpost)– Gui Congyou, Kinesiska ambassadören  i Sverige har skrivit en artikel om relation mellan Kina och Sverige.  Han kom till Sverige den 18 i augusti, 2017.

Att främja den traditionella vänskapen för att fördjupa vår gemensamma nytta

 Jag är ärad för att bli den tjugonde kinesiska ambassadören i Sverige.

Fast Kina och Sverige är geografiskt långt ifrån varandra, är vår vänskap lång och väletablerad. Så tidigt som 1739 kom kinesiskt porslin, silke och te längs den maritima sidenvägen till Sverige, när Ostindiefararen Götheborgs seglade till Kina. Vi kommer alltid ihåg att Sverige inte deltog i västmakternas invasion och plundring när Kina var svagt sårbart. Vi kommer alltid ihåg att Sverige var det första västlandet som upprättade diplomatiska förbindelser med Folkrepubliken Kina. Det politiska modet och den strategiska visionen av dåtidens svenska ledare var beundransvärt. Vi kommer ihåg att Sverige stöttade Kinas rättsliga plats i FN. Och efter Kinas reform och öppnande, blev Sverige en gång till det första västlandet som undertecknade handels-och investeringsavtalet med Folkrepubliken Kina och därefter aktivt utförde ekonomiska och tekniska samarbeten, vilka bidrog mycket till Kinas ekonomiska och samhälleliga utveckling.

Nuförtiden har relationen mellan Kina och Sverige ständigt utvecklats. Juni 2017 besökte Sveriges statsminister Stefan Löfven Kina för World Economic Forum, där han träffades med Kinas president Xi Jingping och premiärminister Li Keqiang och nådde viktiga överenskommelser om att vidare fördjupa kännedom och pragmatiska samarbete med hänsyn till principer av respekt och jämlikhet. Sådana viktiga överenskommelser kommer att utforma framtidens kinesiska-svenska förhållande. Samtidigt finns frekvent bilaterala besökt på alla nivåer, i år har 6 svenska minister besökt Kina och 30 kinesiska delegationer över vice-ministers nivå kommit till Sverige.

Sakliga samarbeten mellan Kina och Sverige håller fart. I många år har Sverige varit Kinas främsta affärspartner i Norden och Kina Sveriges största i Asien. Från januari till augusti i år steg handelssiffran mellan Sverige och Kina med 19.3%, och uppgick till 12.17 miljarder US Dollar. Samtidigt ökade Sveriges export till Kina med 27.9% med en överskott av 690 miljoner US Dollar. Volvo och Geely har skapat tiotusentals jobb i och blivit ett gott exempel på samarbete mellan Kina och Sverige till och med Europa.

Kina och Sverige har skapat 31 par vänorter, mellan städerna stärkts utbyte och samarbete djupare. Enligt SCB:s statistik är antal hotellövernattningar av kinesiska turister i Sverige 203 000 i 2014, 258 000 i 2015, 323 000 i 2016 och 336 000 från januari till oktober i år. Kinesiska turister är nu den största kundgruppen av tax-free handel i Sverige. Juni 2017 undertecknades det första utbildningsavtal mellan två stater och nu finns det över 8000 kinesiska gäststudenter i Sverige. Det kinesiska kulturcentret i Stockholm spelar en viktig roll i att förmedla den kinesiska kulturen och traditionell konst.

Sedan jag anlände till Sverige den 18 augusti i år har jag haft omfattande kontakt med den svenska regeringen och samhället. Jag känner att den goda relationen mellan Kina och Sverige ännu kan förbättras, och står inför viktiga möjligheter.

Vi har liknande utvecklingslinjer och är ekonomiskt komplimenterande till varandra. Den 19:e nationella kongressen för det kinesiska kommunistiska partiet har framgångsrikt avslutats av nya utvecklingsambitioner fastställts. Under President Xi Jingpings stadiga ledarskap har Kina sjösatt 5 nya utvecklingskoncept som är innovation, balanserad tillväxt, en grön ekonomi, öppnande och inkluderande utveckling. Det kinesiska folkets önskemål för det goda livet kommer att förverkligas och arbetet för moderniseringen av Kina skall träda intill en god period.

De närmaste fem åren kommer Kina att importera mer än 8 biljoner dollar av varor, och investera mer än 750 miljarder dollar utomlands. Antal turister som reser utomlands kommer att vara fler än 500 miljoner. Under de kommande tio åren planerar Kina att investera nästan 600 miljarder dollar i den gröna ekonomin. The Belt and Road initiativet kommer att öppna upp en ny betydelsefull möjlighet för att utveckla samarbete mellan     Kina och Sverige.

Våra två länder har omfattande överenskommelser och mycket gemensamma intresse när det gäller internationella frågor. Vi är fast beslutna att upprätthålla det globala frihandelssystemet. Vi motsätter oss protektionismen och främjar en öppen världsekonomi. Vi aktivt deltar i multilaterala handlingarna för klimatfrågan och främja genomförande av Parisavtalet. Vi är starkt engagerade i världsfred, stabilitet och säkerhet, förespråkar dialog som verktyg för att lösa problem och vi är båda starkt mot alla former av terrorism.

Att främja en sund, stabil och hållbar utveckling av förbindelserna mellan Kina och Sverige handlar inte bara om de två länderna och dess folk, utan också att främja en allsidig utveckling av förbindelserna mellan Kina och EU samt världsfred, stabilitet och välstånd.

Relationen mellan Kina och Sverige står inför en ny historisk utgångspunkt. Som Kinas ambassadör till Sverige vill jag tillsammans med mina svenska vänner implementera våra ledares viktiga överenskommelser på grund av principer av ömsesidigt respekt och jämlikhet samt gemensam nytta. Vi skall fördjupa samförstånd och vidga samarbeten, främja kulturella utbyten och stärka överläggningar i globala och regionala frågor. Tillsammans skapar vi en bättre framtid för det kinesiska svenska samarbetet, och ett bättre liv för våra folk.

Redaktör Xuefei Chen Axelsson.

China Cultural Center in Stockholm holds the largest exhibition in its history

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 19(Greenpost)– China Cultural Center in Stockholm is holding the largest exhibitions since its establishment in September 2016.

Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Gui Congyou spoke at the opening of the three exhibitions. One is Born in the 60’s China Contemporary Art Exhibition & Invitational Exhibition for Swedish Artists. The third is Qian Yuqing’s Chinese calligraphy and Ding Yazhong’s  landscape ink Paintings.

“Art is a language that all the people can appreciate. Although China’s contemporary art has a short history, it has become an important art form in China and even in the world. China’s rapid development and great changes have become an inspiration and a source for artists.”  said Ambassador Gui.

“By learning from the western art, Chinese artists have explored deeply about Chinese traditional culture in recent years, by holding this exhibition, I am sure it will promote bilateral cultural exchanges through art works from both China and Sweden.” said Ambassador Gui.

Director of the China Cultural Center In Stockholm and Cultural Counselor of Chinese Embassy in Stockholm, Pu Zhengdong said he is proud to present these three kinds of exhibitions which he believed to have been historic and plays an important role in promoting bilateral understanding and exchange of cultures.  This has been the main purpose of the center and now it really meets the goal.

Anders Nyhlen, planner of the exhibition said he was very glad to attend this exhibition.

“I have held exhibitions relation to China for six times. Many Swedish artists like to know about China since China develops so fast. This time we have eight Swedish artists participating in the exhibition and I think we welcome the Chinese artists to come to Sweden. ” said Nyhlen.

Professor Zhang Fangbai who is also artist and one of the focal persons for the exhibition said he is very grateful to have a chance to exhibit Chinese contemporary art again in Sweden because this has been very conducive for the Chinese contemporary arts development. These kinds of exhibitions in Stockholm affect Chinese artists a lot and Chinese artists were inspired by Swedish artists.

Artist Han Zhongren said by looking at the Swedish artists works, he felt he could understand what those artists are seeking for and he felt that they are seeking for similar goals and shoulder similar responsibilities.  Han’s works are mainly about environmental protection theme.

Qian Yuqing used to be a policeman. But he loved Chinese calligraphy since childhood and calligraphy has always been his hobby. Now he treats the hobby as his main task and quitted the police job.  He loved calligraphy and if he couldn’t get both, he quitted the police job and keeps the calligraphy job.  He said Chinese and western artists actually can learn from each other.  These exhibitions are just the way for them to exchange ideas. He got inspiration from the Swedish artists and he hopes Swedish artists can get some inspiration from him.

Ding Yazhong has his own art gallery, Jia Ji Art Gallery, and has his own art school. He also loves art since childhood.  His specialty is to use special red ink color to paint the landscape. His works show  people a beautiful feeling of autumn symbolising good harvest and beautiful autumn.  China is indeed experiencing the good harvest in many aspects.

The exhibitions opening attracted many audiences.  It will last till 28th of November.

There is also a digital exhibition during the whole exhibitions.

Text/Photo  Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Chinese Special Series–Chinese Housing enough for the next generation

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 12(Greenpost)– To be honest, I came from a poor farmer’s family. But now those who live in the countryside enjoy big house, bigger space.

My brother and sister both have about 100 square meters apartment.
Recently a woman from Qingdao, Shandong province told me that they live in a 150 square meters apartment just for two persons.

Many civil servants have bigger office areas and enjoy two or three apartments.

Even those who came from the countryside and later lived in the city can enjoy very big apartment, not just one.

China has built so many buildings, so many cars and so many bikes.

A great change now is that people live much better.

Beijing attracts architeks from all over the world and it is a test site for all the vanguard builders. I saw an instrument type of building in Chaoyang district.

The famous CCTV building is even more protruding.  Skyscrapers are everywhere. And in many provinces, counties and cities, there are many buildings built.

Many people in local areas even have much more houses than those in bigger cities.  Chinese people enjoy far better material enjoyment now than ever. But their time of course is much tighter than before. They work harder than before.

Sino-US good relations conducive to the world peace and development

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

It is well known that if two tigers fight each other, both will be hurt.  America and China are the first and the second economy in the world. If these two countries are friendly cooperating with each other, the world will be peaceful and prosperous.

Tomorrow American president Donald Trump will visit China, the first visit since Trump came to power and since Xi Jinping was reelected CPC General Secretary.

These are the most powerful politician in the current world.  It is expected that they will definitely talk about bilateral trade and economic cooperation. They will also talk about the North Korean issue.

It is hopeful that China and US can reach an agreement that they will jointly maintain the world peace and not fight with each other.  That will be conducive to the world peace and development.

 

TV: ISDP holds seminar on China’s 19th CPC Congress Ambassador Gui speaks

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Oct. 31(Greenpost)– Swedish Thinktank Institute for Security and Development Policy held a seminar on China’s 19th CPC National Congress on Monday.  Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou made a keynote speech at the opening.

Ambassador Per Eklund made an introduction about Ambassador Gui who was born in 1965 and used to work in Moscow.

Ambassador Gui made the speech in Chinese and interpreted through an interpreter.

Mr. Gui answered questions.

Ambassador Gui explained about China’s stance of non interference and moving to the center of the world stage .

Kristina Sandklef speaks at the seminar.

Oskar Alman speaks at the seminar.

Li Junfeng, political counselor at the Chinese Embassy and Lora Saalman from SIPRI were also panelists at the seminar.

About 150 people attended the seminar and it was warmly welcomed.