Tag Archives: EU

EU urges Maduro to deal with new elections within 8 days

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 26(Greenpost) — On January 26th, various Member States urged Mr. Nicolás Maduro to take the necessary legal steps for democratic presidential elections to be announced within 8 days.

On that same day, the EU High Representative / Vice President issued a statement on behalf of the 28 EU Member States, also calling for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections and indicating that, in the absence of an announcement on the organization of fresh elections with the necessary guarantees over the next days, the EU would take further actions, including on the issue of recognition of the country´s leadership, in line with article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution.

Finland along with Spain, Portugal, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Sweden and Croatia takes note that Mr. Nicolás Maduro has chosen not to set in motion the electoral process. Subsequently, and in accordance with the provisions of the Venezuelan Constitution, they acknowledge and support Mr. Juan Guaidó, President of the democratically elected National Assembly, as President ad interim of Venezuela, in order for him to call for free, fair and democratic presidential elections.

Analysts hold that this was an ultimatum from EU to Venezuela and it is a good example of intervention of an independent country’s internal affairs by EU.

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.

China urges EU to accept its market economy status

   BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) — China on Thursday urged the European Union (EU) to obey the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and stop its unfair treatment of China.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei made the remarks following comments by EU Trade Minister Cecilia Malmstrom on Wednesday. She said the EU must maintain solid trade defenses even if it decides to grant China market economy status.

China joined the WTO in 2001. The WTO accession protocol means China will automatically transit to a market economy for Europe by Dec. 11, 2016, the 15th anniversary of its accession to the organization. However, Europe insists this must be debated.

“We’ve heard different opinions on China’s market economy status from the EU recently,” Hong said, noting that China had fulfilled its obligations since becoming a member of WTO.

So far, over 80 countries, including Russia, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia, have recognized China’s status as a market economy.

China is now the EU’s second largest trading partner and one of the biggest markets for the 28-member bloc.

The EU is an important member of the WTO, a vital supporting force to the multilateral trade and international legal systems, Hong said, adding that China hopes the EU will fulfill its commitments to China’s entry into WTO.  Enditem



Commentary: Time for EU to grant China market economy status

by Xinhua writer Chen Jipeng

BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — It is high time for European Union (EU) member states to grant full market economy status to China, the second largest trading partner of the 28-nation bloc.

The market economy status is relevant for Chinese exporters because it determines the way in which dumping is assessed in EU’s trade remedy cases against imports from China. With market economies, the assessment of dumping is based on a comparison of the export price and the domestic price of the product in question.

However, China’s non-market economy status is often cited so that the domestic price in China is not considered a suitable benchmark. The export price is compared with domestic price of a surrogate country.

In one of such cases, the United States was chosen as a surrogate country to assess the price levels of stainless steel from China. This is obviously unfair given the much higher labor cost in the United States and the tendency of the producers in the United States — who compete against Chinese companies — to inflate price estimates.

Fortunately, the legal basis for such an obviously unfair practice will no longer exist starting from Dec. 11 this year, under the provisions of the World Trade Organization accession protocol signed by China.

Commissioners from the EU’s 28 members will on Wednesday debate for the first time the issue of granting China full market economy status from December.

Legal experts are of the opinion that the European Union should grant China full market economy status, according to European media reports.

The non-market economy status of China, however, has often become a convenient weapon for trade protectionists. Some of the EU members have continued to be swaying over the issue to retain an unfair advantage.

Nevertheless, the undoubtedly protectionist practice is obviously out of time. Despite its existence, bilateral trade between China and the EU have been growing quickly. China is now the EU’s second largest trading partner and one of the biggest markets for the 28-member bloc. The idea of free trade and comparative advantage has been the driving force behind the phenomenal growth. Sticking to a weapon of protectionism would only increase frictions rather than help the gigantic bilateral trade.

It is known that China has built an efficient market economy to achieve remarkable growth over the decades and it is duly recognized by more than 80 countries, including Russia, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia.

A quick look at the list of the countries that the EU has recognized as market economy tells us that China deserves the market status, too.

It is advisable for some of the EU members to dump the idea of resolving to labelling one of their top trading partners as a non-market economy for a bit of protection. If history tells, it is much wiser to continue opening up and practise free trade.  Enditem


China Voice: BRICS a stabilizer of global economy

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) — A BRICS group with deepened cooperation will not only serve its five member countries and other developing nations, but also stabilize and even boost the world economy.

In upcoming days, leaders of the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — will meet in Ufa of Russia for the seventh BRICS leaders meeting.

They met for the first time in 2009, launching the bloc’s cooperation mechanism. Since then, the BRICS have shown vitality and innovation through cooperation, with deepened participation in global governance.

Now these countries will set up the New Development Bank (NDB). The institution’s board of governors will hold its first meeting in Moscow to appoint members of the board of directors and the management.

The NDB shows that the BRICS bloc has transformed from a political concept to a real force for reform in the international community.

With the bank’s funding, developing countries, especially the African states, can improve their infrastructure, rather than struggling with the limited funds the current international agencies provide them.

The new development bank will cover the shortcomings of the global financial system. It is not intended to overturn the current system, but to encourage investment from developed countries and other developing countries with an open and inclusive mind.

The BRICS has become an importance platform for exchanges and cooperation among the world’s major emerging economies. It has brought real benefits for the member states, and also earned a good reputation among the international community.

This new cooperation mechanism pointed to an important trend: emerging economies are playing bigger roles in global issues.

Global economic recovery remains slow. While trade globalization agreements are still being negotiated, the Western countries and Russia are introducing sanctions against each other, and the developed and developing countries have not yet reached agreement on how to balance economic development and climate change.

Under such circumstances, the BRICS leaders’ meeting in Ufa has critical significance as cooperation among them will not benefit not only themselves but also the world economy.

Although the five countries are at very different stages of their development, they will still become new growth poles for the world economy.The five have contributed half the world’s economic growth in the past 10 years.

They have complementary industrial structures. Sufficient labor, abundant resources and large markets give them great opportunities for development.

The five countries are also important players in both their continents and international affairs. In multilateral platforms such as the UN and the G20, they are playing bigger roles than ever before, thus their booming economies can drive the whole global economy through their deepened cooperation with other countries and international organizations. Enditem

Source Xinhua

Editor  Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Interview: Europe should recognize China as market economy to further bilateral relationship: former Italian PM

by Matt Burgess

SYDNEY, July 9 (Xinhua) — Maybe it is time for Europe to change policy and officially recognize China as a market economy to further the China-EU trade relationship, said former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

The key issue to creating links in the China-EU relationship is China’s market economy status, Letta told Xinhua in an exclusive interview here.

Analysts believe this status could be approved in 2016, a year Letta predicts will be a major turning point for the China-EU relationship.

“It could be recognizing by the EU of the market economy status, it could be the year we can launch the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations,” Letta said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made a strong appeal for the early conclusion of a bilateral trade agreement with the EU at the recent China-EU summit in Brussels at the end of June.

However, establishing a China-EU FTA will be a very complicated process, Letta said.

“There are many fields from agriculture to protection of intellectual property and so on and we need to solve all together, ” Letta said.

Engagements in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as well as the “Belt and Road” strategy are important steps in strengthening Europe’s economic ties with Asia, Letta said.

The Silk Road Economic Belt, together with the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, commonly known as the “Belt and Road” initiatives, were proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.

“I think (the AIIB) was an important and decisive step on behalf of the Chinese leadership,” Letta said. “It was important

for EU countries to follow this step, to react in a positive mode. This is why Italy as well as the main EU countries decided to apply for the membership.”

Letta, who is a visiting scholar at the University of Technology, Sydney, said Europe is too focused on domestic political issues, such as the Greek debt crisis, which is taking up too much of the member states’ energy.

“I think the EU must focus the great opportunities we have around the world,” Letta said.

In an on-stage conversation with former Australian Foreign Affairs minister and Director of the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) Bob Carr at the University of Technology, Sydney on Tuesday night, Letta said “I exactly think that the future of the world will be Asian-driven,” noting that was why he is in Australia.

Letta said Australia was not susceptible to the “virus,” the global financial crisis, because of the links with the Asian region.

“We need, as all western countries, change our mind, change our way to do business and to try to create permanent links,” Letta said. Enditem

Source Xinhua

Editor  Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Interview: China-EU cooperation to help China’s fast growing digital economy: expert

   Interview: China-EU cooperation to help China’s fast growing digital economy: expert


BRUSSELS, May 26 (Greenpost) — The director general of BusinessEurope said in a recent interview with Xinhua that China-EU cooperation can help realize growth potential in China’s digital economy.

Markus J. Beyrer, director general of BusinessEurope, an association of enterprises in 33 European countries, said the digital industry is a game changer for the global economy and will have a huge impact on EU competitiveness.

Intelligent, interconnected systems now seamlessly support industrial activities along the entire value chain, he added.

Europe will have to reap the benefits of this huge potential, putting in place a real strategy to digitize all sectors of the economy.

He noted that by 2025, Europe’s manufacturing industry would gain a gross value worth 1.25 trillion euros (1.36 trillion U.S. dollars). However, he warned if Europe fail to turn the digital transformation to their advantage, the potential losses can be up to 600 billion euros by 2025 or over 10 percent of Europe’s industrial base.

Talking about China’s digital economy, Beyrer said China’s internet industry is growing fast, but until now it has largely been consumer-driven rather than enterprise-driven.

Large e-commerce firms have driven sales and transformed retailing, but small and medium sized enterprises still lag behind in using the internet for procurement, sales and marketing purposes, he said.

“It is clear that there is a lot of potential for growth in China’s digital economy too, China needs to liberalize its market to encourage new innovations and robust competition would accelerate China’s productivity,” said Beyrer.

Beyrer underlined that European companies have the required expertise and can help China realize its potential by engaging the Chinese market on commercial terms. Enditem

Source   Xinhua

Editor  Xuefei Chen Axelsson