Category Archives: World News

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

Ambassador Gui Congyou says China to be the world’s largest consumer market by the end of this year

 On 20 April, Ambassador Gui Congyou gave an exclusive interview at the Embassy with the program Ambassadorial Interview Series of the Swedish Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP). Ambassador Gui answered questions on China-Sweden relations, international trade, China’s foreign policy, China-Europe relations and other topics from Dr. Lars Vargö, distinguished fellow of ISDP and former Swedish Ambassador to Japan and South Korea.

Following is the full text of the interview:

1. Q: China and Sweden have long maintained friendly relations, the basis of which is mainly trade. The continuous development of China presents important opportunities for Sweden. If China’s economic growth slows down, what impact will it have on China-Sweden economic and trade relations ?

Gui Congyou: In recent years, China-Sweden relations have maintained steady development, and practical cooperation in all fields has continued to expand. For many years China has been Sweden’s largest trading partner in Asia and Sweden China’s largest in the Nordic region. Bilateral trade volume reached USD15 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of nearly 20%, while export from Sweden to China grew by 27%. For the first time in 25 years, Sweden has shifted from deficit to surplus in trade with China, which has fully reflected China’s strong demand for premium Swedish products and the great potential in cooperation between the two countries.

In the 40 years since the reform and opening up, China has scored great achievements in economic and social development. Over the past five years since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China has unswervingly pursued the vision of innovative, coordinated, green and open development that is for everyone, accelerated the transformation of the growth model, and improved the economic structure. The 19th CPC National Congress held last year emphasized that China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development. The lowering of China’s economic growth target is for the purpose of transformation and innovation, which leads to improvement in the quality and returns of development. In the first quarter of this year, China’s GDP increased by 6.8% year-on-year, and the national economy has maintained steady performance with a good momentum for growth. The basic role of real economy and consumption in economic development has continued to strengthen. China is expected to surpass the United States as the world’s largest consumer market by the end of this year.

President Xi Jinping has solemnly announced that China will adopt a series of new and major measures to further opening up, including significantly broadening market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights, and taking the initiative to expand imports. In order to meet the demand of the vast Chinese consumers for high-quality foreign products, China will hold its first International Import Expo in Shanghai this November. While many other countries have held export expos, few have held an import expo. China holding the Import Expo fully demonstrates that it is dedicated to further opening up and willing to import more products. We look forward to the participation of Swedish companies to bring premium and competitive products to the Chinese market and expand two-way investment, so that China-Sweden trade and investment cooperation will develop towards greater breadth, deeper levels, and higher quality.

2. Q: What should policy makers in China and Sweden do to help defuse friction in global trade? What role can companies play?

Gui Congyou: At this stage of economic globalization, all countries in the world have already been bound together for good or ill. Frictions in trade are natural due to structural differences among different economies. The key is that all countries should uphold the principle of openness and win-win cooperation and resolve disputes through constructive dialogue under the framework of the multilateral trading system. As all WTO members have solemnly pledged, “should any dispute or friction occur, they will not seek unilateral actions that may heighten confrontation but will rather seek remedies through the dispute settlement system, and observe its rules and its rulings.”

Therefore, not only China and Sweden, but all policy makers in the world should stay rational and refrain from politicizing trade issues. Instead, they should act responsibly and bring trade issues back to the multilateral trading system for consultations and resolve them in accordance with business rules through negotiation. Punitive tariffs imposed outside the WTO framework are very likely to lead to a trade war. History has proved and will continue to prove that such a practice will harm both others and self.

To adjust trade imbalances, it is ultimately necessary to use market instruments and allow companies to be the main player. Most of the trade, investment, and technology transfer take place among multinational corporations, therefore they should actively take part in the discussions on global governance and the formulation of global trade rules. At the same time, companies should strengthen their awareness of avoiding trade frictions by taking proactive measures, and be given more play in dealing with trade frictions.

3. Q: At the 19th CPC National Congress, President Xi Jinping outlined the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. What does China’s role as a major country mean to Sweden?

Gui Congyou:The 19th CPC National Congress established the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Its most remarkable highlight in foreign policy is the call for promoting the new form of international relations and championing the development of a community with a shared future for mankind, in the pursuit of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

Since ancient times, the Chinese people have believed in the values of harmony among nations, a world of equality and peace, and brotherhood among peoples. After the founding of the People’s Republic, China initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which have become the basic principles for the development of state-to-state relations that transcend social systems and ideology, and have been accepted by the vast majority of the countries in the world. The report of 19th CPC National Congress emphasized that China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit and uphold its fundamental foreign policy goal of preserving world peace and promoting common development. China remains firm in its commitment to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and to forging a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation. China will develop itself in the process of stepping up cooperation with the rest of the world, and benefit the world in the process of being further integrated into the world.

China and Sweden are traditionally friendly countries with no historical dispute or conflict of interests. We share many common topics and interests in areas like maintaining world peace and stability, globalization, free trade and climate change. China’s development means opportunities for Sweden. It is hoped that the Swedish side will seize the historic opportunity to continuously strengthen coordination and cooperation with China, so that we can jointly make more positive contributions to the world on the way toward building a new form of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. As I said to my Swedish friends, cooperation between China and Sweden can produce the effect of one plus one being greater than two.

4. A: Innovative technologies have great significance for both China and Sweden. China aims to become a scientific and technological leader by 2030. Sweden has similar ambitions. Stockholm hopes to become the Silicon Valley of Europe. How can the two sides cooperate to achieve these goals?

Gui Congyou: President Xi Jinping emphasized in the report of 19th CPC National Congress that China must firmly implement the strategies of invigorating China through science and education and innovation-driven development, and set higher targets for future international cooperation in scientific and technological innovation.

Sweden, a world leader in technological innovation, has made important contributions to human scientific progress. The Swedish scientific research community has always been committed to open cooperation. China and Sweden have great potential in scientific and technological innovation cooperation.

The leaders of the two countries reached an important consensus on strengthening China-Sweden scientific and technological innovation cooperation. When he met with Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven in June 2017, President Xi Jinping stressed the importance to associate China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, innovation-driven development strategy, and “Made in China 2025” with Sweden’s “Smart Industry” strategy, to strengthen cooperation in fields such as clean energy, smart cities, life sciences, green finance, high-speed rail and aerospace. This important consensus by the two leaderships has set a clear direction for Chinese-Swedish scientific and technological innovation cooperation.

Last August, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang visited Sweden, and co-chaired with the Minister of Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson the 4th meeting of China-Sweden Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation. The two sides agreed to conduct “2+2” cooperation, or joint research projects that involve a scientific research institution and a company from each side. This shows that China-Sweden scientific and technological innovation cooperation is not a one-way flow of technology, but rather joint development of new world-class technologies with the participation of businesses from both countries. In this way, results of joint research can be transformed into productivity more quickly, to better serve economic and social development and enhance the well-being of the two peoples.

5. Q: Sweden is a member of the European Union. The relationship with EU is one of the most important foreign relations for Sweden. The EU is also an important partner of China. How does China look at China-EU relations?

Gui Congyou: The China-EU relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations in the world. It is of strategic significance to both China and Europe and world peace and development. During his first visit to Europe as the Head of State of China in 2014, President Xi Jinping proposed the development of partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization and a comprehensive strategic partnership with a stronger global influence, which has pointed the direction for the development of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership under the new situation.

At present, China is deepening reform in all areas, and advancing the modernization of its national governance system and governance capacity. It is accelerating the advancement of new-type industrialization, informatization, urbanization, and agricultural modernization, and speeding up the development of the socialist market economy, democratic politics, advanced culture, harmonious society, and ecological civilization. We will work tirelessly to realize the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. The EU is undergoing governance, industrial and social transformation, promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and striving to lift its international competitiveness. China’s rapid development has become a good opportunity for Europe’s development and prosperity, while Europe with its economic strength and time-honored civilization is also one of the most important partners for China’s reform and development. China-EU cooperation has never been more urgent. We hope Europe will take a long-term perspective, surpass differences in social systems, cultural traditions and ideologies, respect the development path chosen by China, and regard China’s development as a major opportunity, to work together with China for common development.

6. Q: Another important issue for Sweden is Russia. Due to Ukraine, the “Salisbury incident” and other issues, the relationship between the EU and Russia has become increasingly tense, and Sweden is highly concerned about this. How does China view the tension between the EU and Russia?

Gui Congyou: The EU is undoubtedly an important pole in the multi-polar world. China has always attached great importance to Europe and regarded developing relations with Europe as a priority of China’s diplomacy. China continues to support the process of European integration. As a global power and permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia is also a pole and has important influence in international and regional affairs.

China has consistently advocated that disputes between countries should be properly resolved through friendly negotiations. All countries should obey international law and the basic norms of international relations and avoid taking any actions that intensify contradictions. As the international community is facing many challenges, all countries should reject the cold war mentality, give up confrontation, and work together to safeguard world peace, stability and tranquility, to jointly build a new type of international relations of mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation. The EU and Russia are neighbors that cannot be moved away. The only right choice for the two sides is dialogue and cooperation.

7. Q: In recent years, conflicts have increased across the world. Sweden is concerned about this. China sticks to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Can China and Sweden cooperate to promote world peace and stability?

Gui Congyou: Absolutely. No matter how powerful it becomes, China will always safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold international order. China firmly remains committed to the path of peaceful development. It will be more active in maintaining international and regional security, and contribute more of Chinese experience, Chinese wisdom and Chinese approaches to improve international governance. China is firmly dedicated to political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues and strives to play a constructive role in bridging disagreements and promoting peace talks.

Sweden is also committed to safeguarding world peace and stability and advocates the settlement of disputes through diplomatic means. We appreciate this. China and Sweden can certainly strengthen cooperation in international and regional issues, and step up communication and coordination on dealing with global challenges, addressing regional hotspot issues, combating terrorism and promoting international development, so as to jointly make greater contributions to global peace and stability.

8. Q: What advice do you have for Swedish youth who want to learn about China? What should they do and what kind of opportunities do they have?

Gui Congyou: In the past 8 months as China’s ambassador to Sweden, I’ve found that young people from both China and Sweden are becoming more and more interested in each other, which is a good thing. As of the end of last year, there were more than 8,000 Chinese students studying in Sweden and nearly 400,000 Chinese tourists to Sweden, most of whom are young people. For Swedish young people who want to learn about China, I have the following suggestions for their reference.

To understand China, one must first understand China’s development path. China follows the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The 19th CPC National Congress declared that Socialism with Chinese Characteristics has entered a new era and has embarked on a new journey of building a great modern socialist country. Second, one must understand China’s system of political parties. China has CPC as the ruling party, but it’s not “one-party dictatorship” as referred to by some Westerners. Instead, it adopts a system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation, specifically cooperation and consultation with eight democratic parties. Third, one must understand China’s history and culture. China has more than 5,000 years of civilization and history and has created a splendid Chinese civilization. But in modern times, it has also experienced deep misery caused by aggression, enslavement and plunder. Only by knowing the journey of the Chinese people in the past can one understand the pursuit and dream of the Chinese people today. Fourth, I suggest that young people in Sweden read the book The Governance of China by Xi Jinping. This is the key to understanding contemporary China. This book records the thinking and practice of President Xi Jinping on governing the country and embodies the essence of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. It provides a window for comprehensively sensing and understanding China today and is the most authoritative book for in-depth comprehension of Chinese path, concept and approaches in the new era.

Seeing is believing. I also sincerely hope that young people in Sweden, whether as students or tourists, will go to China and take a look around to have a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of China’s past, today and the future. With sincerity and good faith, Swedish friends certainly could truly appreciate the Chinese story, Chinese miracle and Chinese spirit. I myself and the Chinese Embassy in Sweden will definitely do our best to help Swedish friends from all walks of life to better understand China.

Source , Chinese Embassy.

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.

Swedish PM Lofven was interviewed by CGTN Tian Wei in China

STOCKHOLM, March. 21(Greenpost) – Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven was interviewed by CGTN’s Tian Wei  to find out about his personal story, and how Sweden and China can better cooperate during his visit to China participating the World Economic Forum.

According to him, Sweden values the work and cooperation on climate change and clean energy with China. As the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with the PRC, Sweden is also eagerly looking at other potential points of cooperation on security, trade, and other global issues. Prior to becoming prime minister, Lofven worked as a welder before becoming an active trade unionist. He rose to become chairman of the trade union IF Metall from 2006, until being elected leader of the Social Democrats in 2012. The hard days of being a welder gave him a deeper appreciation for the conditions of grassroots people, and, in his own words, made him more pragmatic and down to earth.

NPC 34: XI JINPING RE-ELECTED CHINESE PRESIDENT

BY XUEFEI CHEN AXELSSON
BEIJING, MARCH 17(GREENPOST)– XI JINPING WAS RE-ELECTED AS THE CHINESE PRESIDENT WITH A FULL VOTE OF 2970 VOTES DURING THE THIRD PLENARY SESSION OF THE ONGOING NATIONAL PEOPLE’S CONGRESS IN BEIJING.

GREENPOST’S REPORTER XUEFEI CHEN AXELSSON ATTENDED THE ELECTION SESSION AND FILED THIS REPORT.

AT 9 THE PLENARY SESSON BEGAN AS USUAL.
The deputies  first approved the draft law of the national institution reform.
Then the voting process started.

Xi Jinping was elected as the Chinese president with a full vote of 2970 votes out of the total member of 2980 in which 10 absent.

Li Zhanshu was elected as the new chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Wang Qishan was elected as vice president of the People’s Republic of China.
Wang Chen was elected as vice president of the NPC standing committee together with others.

The elected leaders swore in front of the new constitution that was passed a few days ago during this session of the NPC Congress.

The result was even welcomed by the weather because it snowed and rained after such a dry winter in Beijing.

The premier will be elected on March 18th. please stay tuned.

Xuefei Chen Axelsson reporting from Beijing.

Ingmar Bergman’s 100th anniversary celebrated all over the world

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson


Photographer/Source: © Bengt Wanselius

“Bergmania” is sweeping the world in celebration of what would have been the legendary director’s 100th birthday. New digitisations of his films by the Swedish Film Institute have enabled the entire world to participate in the celebration, according to a press release from the Bergman Foundation.

– The huge interest in celebrating Bergman 100 exceeds our highest expectations! Though great art is indeed timeless, it still needs the support from public and private institutions to remain available. Most importantly, though, it needs the support of the audience. The art of Bergman, luckily, enjoys all of these, says Jan Holmberg, CEO at the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

In the beginning of February the Ingmar Bergman-fever reached New York as Film Forum opened its centennial celebration of the Swedish director, with a five week retrospective, screening 47 of his feature films. The program has been praised as “the repertory of the year” and has drawn great accolades from fans and critics with reviews in high profile New York-based magazines such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker wrote “The world of Ingmar Bergman is hereby declared open. It contains multitudes. Everyone is welcome.”

BFI programmer Geoff Andrew crowned Bergman as “the ultimate auteur” in his introductory speech for BFI’s Ingmar Bergman: A Definitive Film Season, a three month celebration that marks the centenary of the film-makers birth. As part of BFI celebrations of the centenary of Ingmar Bergman, many of his films will be returning to cinemas across the UK. From February 21 through April 14, London’s Old Vic presents Fanny & Alexander, an adaptation for the stage of Bergman’s 1982 semi-autobiographical work.

Back in continental Europe, the Centro sperimentale di cinematografia in Rome generated long lines circling around the theatre as they screened the Bergman retrospective. In Vienna, the Austrian Film Museum is staging a complete retrospective of Bergman’s filmography. In the Austrian newspaper Die Presse, hailed Bergmans films as “keeping us looking fearlessly into the mirror, their reflections are acid baths for the soul”.

Film retrospectives and screenings will continue all over the world, among them Tel Aviv, Singapore, Detroit, Beijing, Montreal, Madrid, Moscow, Prague, Berlin, Washington DC, Hong Kong, Bogota, Taipei, Chicago, Paris, Toronto, Ljublijana, Geneva and Mexico City.

– The fact that Ingmar Bergman’s films can be shown in this way worldwide is thanks to the Swedish Film Institute’s digitisation project. Three years ago, we decided that all of Bergman’s films would be digitised and translated into English by 2018, says Mathias Roensgren, Director of Film Heritage at the Swedish Film Institute.

In Scandinavia, among almost countless Bergman-related events, the cinematheques in Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo started their all year long retrospectives. The Museum Hallwyl in Stockholm is showcasing a selection of women’s costumes featured in Bergman’s films. This year will also witness an extensive Bergman-related book release (more than 40 titles); including the Swedish publishing house Nordstedts releasing six volumes of mostly previously unpublished material written by the director.

The Oscars-weekend is fast approaching and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film is Ruben Östlund’s The Square. This could make it the first Swedish film to win the award since Fanny & Alexander at the 1984 ceremony. Bergman received three Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film during his career including The Virgin Spring(1960) and Through a Glass Darkly (1961), placing him second only to Federico Fellini, and received nine other Academy Award-nominations for his films. Watch actress Harriet Anderson accepting the award on Bergman’s behalf at the 1962 ceremony.

For more information, visit http://www.ingmarbergman.se/

The Swedish Film Institute works to promote film across the board – from idea to finished product, during launch in Sweden and around the world, and by preserving films for posterity in our archives. The Guldbagge Awards are Sweden’s leading film awards and have been presented by The Swedish Film Institute since 1964. In our database The Swedish Film Database you can search for information about all Swedish feature-length films released at the cinema since 1897.

北欧理事会部长出席《北欧地区状况》报告发布会

北欧绿色邮报网报道(记者陈雪霏)– 北欧理事会部长们2月8日在斯德哥尔摩斯堪森露天博物馆出席了《北欧状况》报告发布会。

瑞典外交大臣瓦尔斯特伦和她的北欧理事会同行一起出席了发布会。

瓦尔斯特伦首先致辞说,北欧地区在全球作为整体经济实力占12%是全球经济的一支重要力量。我们经常被当作很小的单位来看待。

北欧地区在教育,科研,数字化等领域都是全球领先。今后将继续加强协调合作。北欧状况报告里边藏金啊。经济增长速度比欧盟平均速度高,接受的难民最多,男女平等非常好。我们的长处在于创新和数字化。还有我们善于互相学习。我们像一个大家庭。所以,希望大家好好研究这个报告。这也是瑞典担任轮值主席之后的第一次会议。

报告评出最具动态增长力的城市是斯德哥尔摩。斯德哥尔摩大区郡长主持会议。

专家们表示,北欧状况报告显示,在过去两年里冰岛的增长速度是非常快了。相比之下,挪威慢了一些。他们认为冰岛可能是因为2008年经济危机出现严重倒退,现在恢复过来了,因此,显得速度非常快,而挪威相对慢的原因是因为石油价格下跌和石油产量减少造成的。但也有人认为挪威经济实际上也没有什么大的变化,依然还是不错的。

发布会上斯德哥尔摩郡长斯文诺纽斯认为,斯德哥尔摩之所以发展速度快是因为斯德哥尔摩有吸引力。注重长期改善投资环境,注意合作,而不是互相争斗。这是我们的长期成功。

Mayor Irene Svenonius from the Stockholm County Council will also attend the event.

Mayor Irene Svenonius from the Stockholm County Council 。

The Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Dagfinn Høybråten

State of the Nordic Region is a unique compilation of statistics and maps, giving a detailed view of the Nordic countries at both national and regional level.

The report compares the Nordic countries on key socioeconomic parameters. It also provides prognoses on the demography, economy and labour market of the 74 regions within the overall Nordic Region.

China reiterates non-first-use principle of nuclear weapon

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 19(Greenpost)–

A senior Chinese diplomat said Saturday that China is committed to the principle of non-first-use of nuclear weapon, expressing concerns about the danger of nuclear development at present at the ongoing Munich Security Conference (MSC).

“China maintains a very small nuclear arsenal, and China follows the policy of self-defense and minimum deterrence,” said Fu Ying, a veteran diplomat and now chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature.

File Photo of Fu Ying [Photo: Xinhua]

File Photo of Fu Ying [Photo: Xinhua]

“China is also committed to the principle of non-first-use of nuclear weapon, and no-use of nuclear weapon against any nuclear state at any circumstances and no-use of nuclear weapon against nuclear-free zones,” she added.

Fu made the remarks at an MSC panel discussion about the nuclear security, on which some participants expressed their concerns over nuclear proliferation at present.

“I share and express the concern about the danger, about the risk of the nuclear development,” said Fu, who added that so far after many decades, the world has managed to prevent a major nuclear war, but obviously the challenges and dangers are growing.

She noted that it is important that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely China, United States, Russia, Britain and France, should continue their efforts and continue to take responsibility to maintain global strategic stability, to safeguard non-proliferation regime, and to continue the nuclear disarmament.

China is also in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), added Fu.

She also called for efforts to upgrade global security governance.

“We need to think about how to upgrade global security governance to reflect that highly integrated global economy,” said Fu.

“China supports and advocates the idea of common securities for all,” she said, stressing that China proposes and is committed to building a community with shared future for mankind.

Source: Xinhua

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Ambassador Gui Congyou Meets with First Deputy Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Ewa Thalén Finné

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson
STOCKHOLM, Feb. 2(Greenpost)–  On 18 January, Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou met with the First Deputy Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Ms. Ewa Thalén Finné.
The two sides exchanged views on the outcomes of the recent joint visit to China by the Speakers of the Nordic-Baltic parliaments, development of China-Sweden relations and exchanges between legislatures of the two countries.

Ambassador Gui said that the successful joint visit of the Speakers of the Nordic-Baltic parliaments is a major event in the history of China-Sweden relations and even in the exchanges between China and the Nordic-Baltic countries.

It is a milestone in the exchanges between legislatures of the two countries. China speaks highly of Sweden’s active participation in the joint visit to promote friendly cooperation with China, and stands ready to further strengthen communication with Sweden so as to implement the outcomes of the visit and promote bilateral relations, said Gui.

Ms. Finné spoke highly the positive results of the joint visit to China. She said the delegation’s informative meetings with the Chinese leaders have enriched the delegates’ understanding of modern China and played an important role in promoting exchanges between legislatures of China and the Nordic-Baltic countries.

The Swedish Parliament stands ready to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the National People’s Congress of China and promote bilateral relations.

Source: Chinese Embassy

China International Import Expo CIIE to be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 30 (Greenpost) — China International Import Expo is to be held in Shanghai during November 5-10, 2018, said Wang Dongtang, Deputy Director General of Department of Foreign Trade of Ministry of Commerce.

He made the remark during a presentation in Stockholm about the November expo.

Wang said it was Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the expo during last year’s belt and road summit in Beijing. The purpose is to provide chances for foreign exporters to sell in China.

China will invite all the buyers home and abroad to attend the expo and buy the products and services in order to balance the Sino-foreign trade.

Wang said the expo will provide a good platform for the important exporters and importers to make a deal efficiently to balance the world trade.

Han Xiaodong, Chinese counselor of Commerce at the Chinese Embassy in Sweden said it was for the first time that Swedish export to China to reach surplus in 2017.  This means Swedish products are welcomed in China.

Elizabeth Soderstrom, Secretary General of Sweden-China Trade Council also attended the presentation and express good luck to the expo.

Over a hundred entrepreneurs, CEOs and government attended the route presentation of China International Import Expo.

Photo&Text  Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Air China to launch direct Beijing–Copenhagen route

STOCKHOLM, Jan.23(Greenpost) — Air China Limited (Air China) will begin non-stop flights between Beijing and Copenhagen from May 30, 2018. Once the new route launches, passengers will be able to arrive comfortably in Andersen’s dreamlike fairy tale Kingdom in 10 hours.

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, and is filled with fairy-tale innocence and lively, idyllic charm. Following the official start of the “China-Denmark Year of Tourism”, Chinese tourists are becoming increasingly excited about travelling to Denmark, with 260 thousand tourists visiting the country in 2017. Following its launch, the Beijing-Copenhagen direct route will become a strong supplement to the Beijing-Stockholm route, further improving Air China’s network of routes to Northern Europe. Once the route launches, domestic passengers will be able to enjoy travel in Northern Europe by flying to two destinations, Copenhagen and Stockholm. Passengers from Denmark and Sweden will also be able to enjoy 144-hour via free transit in Beijing when travelling to a third country.

For many years, Air China has been establishing a global route network with Beijing as its hub. The network of routes spreads throughout the world, covering six continents. The addition of this non-stop route between Beijing and Copenhagen is the latest development in Air China’s strategy to transform Beijing into an airport hub with a truly global reach, and improve network coverage in the Europe. Air China offers the largest selection of routes between China and Europe. The new Beijing–Copenhagen service will bring the total number of routes to 27, with an offering of 300 flights per week to 20 major European destinations, including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Rome, Moscow, Barcelona, Madrid, Zurich and Stockholm, all serviced by wide-body aircraft.

Flight information:

The Beijing -Copenhagen route number is CA877/8 and has four flights per week, scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The outbound flight departs Beijing at 02:55 and arrives in Copenhagen at 06:45; The inbound flight departs Copenhagen at 13:15 and arrives in Beijing at 04:10 (all times are local). All flights use the Airbus 330-200. Business class offers 180 degree fully flat seats, with personal entertainment systems throughout the cabin, so you can either stretch out comfortably or enjoy the entertainment, giving each passenger an even better personal flying space.

The specific launch time for the route will be determined by when tickets go on sale.

今日头条:太棒了!国航将开通北京—哥本哈根航线

SIPRI Expert on chances and challenges on cooperation of Ice Silk Road

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 11(Greenpost)– Chinese President Xi Jinping has put up forward a proposal about cooperation in Ice Silk Road along arctic routes as the ice in the arctic is melting faster and faster.

Greenpost has a chance to have a  written interview with Ekaterina Klimenko, Researcher and SIPRI expert on Arctic Security. The following is the Q & A.

1.     What are the chances and challenges in the cooperation of this ice Silk Road, or Northern Sea Route for China?

 Traditionally, Russia has been reluctant to allow non-Arctic states to play a strong role in Arctic region, including in economic projects. However, a number of factors have shifted Russia’s policies, among them significant shifts in the world energy markets and sanctions. This allowed for great China’s involvement, first of all, into oil and gas development in the Russia Arctic zone. Moscow and Beijing has significantly expended Chian’s investments in to the joint project on the Yamal peninsular, Yamal LNG.

 The Russian government officials and the President Putin personally have on a number of occasions encourages Asian partners, and China in particular, to look at the Northern Sea Route as a possible alternative shipping route. However, over the last couple years China, and other Asian states, is also seen as investors into the construction of the NSR infrastructure. E.g. in a Joint Statement signed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Medvedev in December 2015, it was highlighted that the two sides would cooperate in developing the NSR into a competitive commercial sea route in the future. On several occasions Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s State Commission for Arctic Development, has mentioned that Russia and China are discussing cooperation on the NSR.

 Among the major challenges at the moment remains the fact that the Russian Government has still not defined the future of many infrastructure projects along the NSR. It is therefore unclear whether any of the projects will actually be implemented. Thus, despite the evident enthusiasm of Russian officials for fostering Chinese participation in infrastructure projects, this type of cooperation remains ‘on paper’ and does not go further than official statements and signed MOUs.

2.     How will this affect the Arctic countries?

It is too early to say at the moment how Russia China cooperation on the Northern Sea Route would affect the other Arctic states, as there is not much progress with it. I think we will see much more in the next 5-10 years.

 3.     How will it affect the environment?

Expansion of any economic activity in the Arctic brings the risks for environment. Growing shipping along the NSR, especially shipping of hydrocarbons creates significant risks for oil spills.

 4.     How can China participate in projects along the route?

 We have already 2 examples of how China can participate in the projects: the construction of the Belkomur railway and the deep-water harbour in Arkhangelsk. In 2015 Chinese Poly Technologies Inc. signed an agreement to invest in the development of the Belkomur railway and in the future to be responsible for its operation. . The project is believed to have a cost frame of more than 200 billion roubles (€2.67 billion). Poly Technologies has reportedly also expressed an interest in participating in construction of the new deep-water harbour in Arkhangelsk.[1]

I think we will see more of this type of partnerships.

Thank you. 

 

Swedish Chinese TV: 2017 Right Livelihood Prize issued in Vasa Museum

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Dec. 1(SCT, Greenpost) –2017 Right Livelihood Prize has been issued to Robert Bilott (USA), Colin Gonsalves (Indien), Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbajdzjan) and Yetnebersh Nigussie (Etiopien) by Kenya Human Rights activist and UN rapportage Maina Kiai. Khadija ISmayilova from Azerbajdzjan could not come out, but she showed up in video on Dec. 1. The issuing ceremony was held in the beautiful Vasa Museum.

Filmed by Xuefei Chen Axelsson