Tag Archives: Xi Jinping

Germany summons N. Korean representative amidst missile launch threats

Germany has summoned North Korea’s emissary for talks in Berlin while Switzerland has offered to play a mediating role in the crisis. Tensions have risen dramatically after Pyongyang staged its largest nuclear test yet.

After North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test to date, Germany’s Foreign Office called for a meeting with Pyongyang’s representative in Berlin on Monday afternoon.

Continue reading Germany summons N. Korean representative amidst missile launch threats

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China is angry, but what can it do about North Korea?

Xi Jinping has few options to bring Kim Jong-un into line but he also has to contend with the unpredictable Donald Trump

On Friday afternoon, the eve of North Korea’s most powerful ever nuclear test, China’s football-loving president received a gift from the world’s greatest ever player.

“Good luck,” read the handwritten message from Pelé on a canary yellow Brazil jersey handed to Xi Jinping by his South American counterpart, Michel Temer.

Continue reading China is angry, but what can it do about North Korea?

Jared Kushner’s family is trying to raise $150 million from Chinese investors in exchange for US visas

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Organizers barred journalists on Sunday from a publicly advertised event in Shanghai to attract Chinese investment in a US real estate project linked to the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law in exchange for immigrant visas.

The two-tower luxury apartment complex in New Jersey, One Journal Square, is being developed by KABR Group and the Kushner Companies, which until recently was headed by senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

Continue reading Jared Kushner’s family is trying to raise $150 million from Chinese investors in exchange for US visas

North Korean missile launch heightens tensions

Rex Tillerson says US has ‘spoken enough’ about hermit state as Donald Trump prepares to meet Pyongyang’s ally Xi Jinping

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, sending a clear message to its ally China ahead of the first summit between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Florida on Friday.

Japan called the test “extremely problematic”, while the South Korean foreign ministry said it “threatens the peace and safety of the international community as well as the Korean peninsula”.

However, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave a “terse response… unlike the standard diplomatic condemnations that usually follow Pyongyang’s missile tests”, CNN says.

“The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment,” Tillerson said.

Continue reading North Korean missile launch heightens tensions

North Korea Moved Some Of Its Most Advanced Weaponry To The Chinese Border In A Sign Of Rising Tensions

In a sign of the continuing decline in relations between North Korea and China, Pyongyang moved a number of tanks and armored vehicles away from South Korea to the Chinese border, according to The Chosun Ilbo, citing an anonymous source. 

Continue reading North Korea Moved Some Of Its Most Advanced Weaponry To The Chinese Border In A Sign Of Rising Tensions

Chinese President Xi Jinping Just Took His War On Corruption To A Whole New Level

china Mao Zedong Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced that his national anticorruption campaign will now extend beyond people and begin investigating state firms.

This directive, says state media organization Xinhua News, is a new priority in 2015. President Xi announced the change through a party communique on Wednesday, after the fifth plenary session of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

It’s impossible to overstate what this anticorruption drive has done in China. It has claimed one of the highest government officials to go down since the days of Mao.

It has changed the entire business landscape and changed the social structure of the world’s biggest gambling center, Macau. And it has rich Chinese people worried about being flashy with their money.

It has uncovered millions of dollars held by corrupt officials.

But the question remains whether this is totally about wiping out corruption. Some believe it’s about Xi consolidating power not merely under the party but under him.

Here’s what the CCDI will be focusing on, according to Xinhua:

  • The top task for 2015 will be the tightening up of internal management and ensuring central leadership policies are implemented. The CCDI demanded that senior officials “toe the line” and that cronyism, fakery and sycophancy would not be tolerated.
  • All state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the care of the central government will be subject to inspections and supervision will be tightened on SOEs across the board.
  • The heads of Party and government departments, and state-owned enterprises will be held accountable for any serious corruption cases that happen under their charge.
  • The rooting out of harmful working practices, including abuse of public money and bureaucracy, will continue.
  • Officials in key positions who use their influence in infrastructure projects and public land deals, embezzle state-owned assets, or buy and sell government posts will face serious penalties.
  • Disciplinary inspection organs will strengthen international cooperation in the hunt for fugitive officials and asset recovery.
  •  The CCDI will build a loyal, clean, responsible discipline inspection team. Incompetent inspectors will be replaced and those who look the other way would be punished.

This will get interesting.

China arrests ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang

File photo: Zhou Yongkang, 1 November 2010

Ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang, the most senior Chinese official to be investigated for corruption, has been arrested and expelled from the Communist Party, state media report.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate, China’s top prosecuting body, said it had opened a formal probe against him.

Before he retired two years ago, Mr Zhou was the head of China’s vast internal security apparatus.

Many of his former associates and relatives also face corruption probes.

Since coming to power, Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a high-profile campaign to weed out corruption among party and government officials.

Mr Zhou was accused of several crimes, including “serious violations of party discipline”, “accepting large sums of bribes”, “disclosing party and state secrets” and “committing adultery with several women” as part of corrupt transactions, Xinhua news agency reported (in Chinese).

Mr Zhou’s arrest was announced in a statement by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, released late on Friday night.

‘Most feared’

Mr Zhou, who is in his 70s, has not been seen in public for more than a year.

Analysts say the investigation against Mr Zhou allows Xi Jinping to consolidate his power base, remove people opposed to his reforms, and improve the image of the Communist Party.

Mr Zhou was previously also a member of China’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.

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Analysis: Zhuang Chen, BBC Chinese

Zhou Yongkang was allegedly the most feared and powerful senior official before he retired two years ago from the pinnacle of China’s decision-making body. He is also the biggest “tiger” – the highest ranking official – caged by Xi Jinping in his anti-corruption drive.

Dubbed “Master Kang”, Mr Zhou put many of his followers in powerful positions in the oil and security sectors during his heyday in office. Many of his loyalists have since been either sentenced or indicted on corruption charges.

It has taken over a year to investigate his case, which suggests the authorities are mindful of its sensitivity. Some suspect the party would rather deal with his case in secrecy, given how much Mr Zhou knows.

The fact that he is to be investigated by state prosecutors means the authorities have gathered sufficient evidence.

It also shows an ever-more confident Xi Jinping making Mr Zhou a case in point to further consolidate his power.

The suspense now is over whether Mr Zhou will be charged and tried in public, in the fashion of his disgraced former ally Bo Xilai.

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A Chinese minister has previously said that the investigation against Mr Zhou would take a long time to complete.

Mr Zhou had enjoyed a close working relationship with former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life imprisonment last year on bribery charges.

Bo’s wife Gu Kailai was given a suspended death sentence in 2012 for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Bo’s downfall was seen as the biggest political shake-up to hit China’s ruling elite in decades, and revealed divisions at the top of the party over how the scandal should be handled.

BBC graphic showing Zhou Yongkang's sphere of influence

‘Zero-tolerance’

Mr Zhou’s arrest was welcomed by many social media users on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like platform in China.

“We have zero-tolerance against corruption!” one user wrote.

“No position is off-limits when it comes to removing malignant tumours, winning the applause and cheers of the people,” another user, Zhang Jinyang, wrote.

Many users highlighted the allegations that Mr Zhou had leaked state secrets and committed adultery.

However, some comments about the charges against Mr Zhou appear to have been censored.

Searching for “Zhou Yongkang” on Sina Weibo brings up a number of microblog posts, but also the following message: “Under the relevant laws, regulations and policies, some of the search results cannot be displayed.”

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Timeline: Zhou Yongkang

1942: Born in Wu Xi city in eastern Jiangsu province

1964: Joins the Communist Party and spends the next 32 years in the oil sector

1998: Becomes party secretary of China National Petroleum Corporation

1999: Appointed party secretary of Sichuan

2002: Appointed member of the Politburo at the 16th Party Congress; becomes minister of public security later that year

2007: Further promoted to member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo – China’s highest state organ

2012: His lieutenants begin to get sacked and investigated; he appears with Bo Xilai at Chinese National People’s Congress session

December 2013: His son Zhou Bin is arrested on corruption charges

December 2014: Arrested, expelled from party

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