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Phoenix New Media Announces Further Update on Proposed Sale of Investment in Yidian

BEIJING, Jan. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Phoenix New Media Limited ("Phoenix New Media", "ifeng" or the "Company") (NYSE: FENG), a leading new media company in China, today announced that it has entered into an agreement (the "Co-Sale Agreement") with Long De Cheng Zhang (Tianjin) Investment Management Center and Long De Holdings (Hong Kong) Co., Limited (collectively, the "Long De Entities") to settle the dispute with respect to the Long De Entities' co-sale rights under the existing shareholders agreement of Particle Inc. ("Particle" or "Yidian") as previously announced by the Company. The co-sale rights were alleged in connection with the Company's sale of shares of Particle to Run Liang Tai and its designated entities (the "Proposed Buyers") pursuant to a share purchase agreement (the "SPA") dated March 22, 2019, as amended by a supplemental agreement (the "Supplemental Agreement") dated July 23, 2019 (the "Proposed Transaction"). Pursuant to the Co-Sale Agreement, the Long De Entities will sell approximately 9.8 million preferred shares of Particle (the "Long De Sale Shares") to the Proposed Buyers for a total consideration of approximately US$20.7 million in cash and the number of Particle shares to be sold by the Company will be reduced accordingly. As a result, the Company is expected to sell a total of 29.19% of the total outstanding shares of Particle (which reflected the completion of the issuance of additional shares under Particle's share incentive plan) to the Proposed Buyers for a total consideration of approximately US$427.3 million in cash under the SPA as amended by the Supplemental Agreement and the Co-Sale Agreement. Similar to the Company's arrangement with the Proposed Buyers under the Supplemental Agreement, the Long De Entities will deliver the Long De Sale Shares to the Proposed Buyers in two batches. The Company agreed to provide an interest-free loan of approximately US$9.7 million to the Proposed Buyers to enable them to pay for the first batch of Long De Sale Shares. Closing for the second batch of Long De Sale Shares is expected to occur within 10 business days after closing for the second batch of Particle shares to be sold by the Company and repayment of the loan to the Company by the Proposed Buyers, both of which are expected to occur no later than August 2020 according to the Co-Sale Agreement. The Co-Sale Agreement is subject to approval by the shareholders of the Company's parent company, Phoenix Media Investment (Holdings) Limited (HK: 2008), a company listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. While the Company has completed delivery of the first batch of Particle shares to the Proposed Buyers pursuant to the Supplemental Agreement and received consideration of US$200 million for such shares as well as a further deposit of US$50 million, there are still uncertainties as to the completion of the remaining part of the Proposed Transaction. There can be no assurance that the Proposed Transaction will be eventually closed. About Phoenix New Media Limited Phoenix New Media Limited (NYSE: FENG) is a leading new media company providing premium content on an integrated Internet platform, including PC and mobile, in China. Having originated from a leading global Chinese language TV network based in Hong Kong, Phoenix TV, the Company enables consumers to access professional news and other quality information and share user-generated content on the Internet through their PCs and mobile devices. Phoenix New Media's platform includes its PC channel, consisting of website, which comprises interest-based verticals and interactive services; its mobile channel, consisting of mobile news applications, mobile video application, digital reading applications and mobile Internet website; and its operations with the telecom operators that provides mobile value-added services. Safe Harbor Statement This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, the business outlook and quotations from management in this announcement, as well as Phoenix New Media's strategic and operational plans, contain forward-looking statements. Phoenix New Media may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on Forms 20-F and 6-K, in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Phoenix New Media's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: the Company's goals and strategies; the Company's future business development, financial condition and results of operations; the expected growth of the online and mobile advertising, online video and mobile paid service markets in China; the Company's reliance on online advertising and MVAS for the majority of its total revenues; the Company's expectations regarding demand for and market acceptance of its services; the Company's expectations regarding the retention and strengthening of its relationships with advertisers, partners and customers; fluctuations in the Company's quarterly operating results; the Company's plans to enhance its user experience, infrastructure and service offerings; the Company's reliance on mobile operators in China to provide most of its MVAS; changes by mobile operators in China to their policies for MVAS; competition in its industry in China; and relevant government policies and regulations relating to the Company. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the Company's filings with the SEC, including its registration statement on Form F-1, as amended, and its annual report on Form 20-F. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and Phoenix New Media does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law. For investor and media inquiries please contact: Phoenix New Media LimitedQing LiuEmail: ICR, Inc.Jack WangTel: +1 (646) 405-4883Email:  View original content:

TCEB in partnership with Bangkok Airways and Central Department Store introduce "Fly, Meet, Shop" campaign for CLMV corporate travel markets

A new enhanced campaign to boost meetings and incentive travels from CLMV to Thailand PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Jan. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) led by Ms. Nooch Homrossukhon, Director – Meetings and Incentives Department, together with Bangkok Airways' Vice President – Marketing, Mr. Varong Israsena Na Ayudhaya and Ms. Tippamas Kaysee, Vice President – Tourism Marketing for Central Department Store Limited Group (CDS), introduce a new enhanced campaign so-called "Fly, Meet, Shop" to boost Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) corporate travel markets at the press conference today at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. TCEB in partnership with Bangkok Airways and Central Department Store introduce “Fly, Meet, Shop” campaign for CLMV corporate travel markets Building on the success of "Fly and Meet Double Bonus" and "Fly and Meet Double Bonus-Redefined" campaigns launched in 2018 and 2019 respectively, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau or TCEB and Bangkok Airways announce the extension of the campaign for the third year running with new enhanced benefits by inviting additional strategic partner: Central Department Store (CDS) to join hands and provide more privileges to corporate travellers. Under a new name "Fly, Meet, Shop", the campaign is elevated with added shopping privileges for corporate meetings and incentive groups from the 4 countries. Ms. Nooch Homrossukhon, Meetings and Incentives Director, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) states that the success of the campaign for the last two years contributed to an active growth of CLMV MICE travellers to the country. A record of 44 Meeting and Incentive groups (10,542 participants) from CLMV market was supported by TCEB in 2019, a remarkable increase from 19 groups in 2018. "Due to such strong growth, TCEB and Bangkok Airways aim to enrich return of investment and rewarding experiences for CLMV corporate travellers for now and in the future by teaming up with Central Department Store to elevate the campaign with the inclusion of shopping privileges at Central in various locations. It is a true win-win partnership both for Thai suppliers and our CLMV clients." The CLMV is expected to maintain a high economy growth of 6-7% and Thailand has now developed 115 new MICE products, activities and attraction under "7 magnificent MICE themes" in all major 5 MICE cities and its adjacent provinces. We believe such variety of products can inspire and reward business performances of CLMV corporate travellers, added Ms. Homrossukhon. Mr.Varong Israsena Na Ayudhaya, Vice President – Marketing, Bangkok Airways says "On behalf of Bangkok Airways, I would like to thank TCEB for having us on board for another year as one of the strategic partners for "Fly, Meet, Shop" campaign for CLMV market. CLMV countries are among the main source markets for the airline based on our statistics as Bangkok Airways provides air connections with various flight options from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam to Thailand that can provide flexibility and convenience for corporate travellers in particular. In addition, as full-service carrier under the slogan "Asia's Boutique Airline", I believe that our services are well suitable for business traveller's needs". Ms. Tippamas Kaysee, Vice President – Tourism Marketing, Central Department Store Limited, states that this is the first year Central Department Store (CDS) joins the campaign with TCEB and Bangkok Airways. CDS feels very honored to be a part of this marketing initiative. The focus is on CLMV countries as CDS has seen spending growth and traffic from this particular region to our stores. In 2019, the Cambodia was the top market among the rest registering 10% growth in spending compared to 2018. "Currently Central Department Store has 24 branches across Thailand, covering all major destinations, such as Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai. We have varieties of brands and products especially, luxury brands that are CLMV clients' favorites. They can maximize our complimentary cash coupons when shopping at all stores." The 2020 "Fly, Meet, Shop' campaign will provide ease of travel, convenience and excellent return on investment. The benefits include financial support, fast-track immigration service at Suvarnabhumi airport, cultural performances, 10% discount on Bangkok Airways' in-flight shopping, 1 free ticket of every 30 tickets purchased, pre-assign group seating, priority boarding, priority baggage tagging and 10 kg extra baggage allowance. For shopping privileges, CDS provides Central E-Cash coupon and welcome gift. To qualify, each group must comprise at least 30 delegates, fly to Thailand on Bangkok Airways, stay for at least two nights, or hold an event at a venue recognized by the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) or a registered hotel. Application is open now until September 15, 2020, with travel completed by September 30, 2020. For more information, please visit Photo - Links :

'Parasite' invades Oscars race with stunning SAG award win

"Parasite" shocked the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday by landing the night's top prize, a historic win which thrusts the South Korean black comedy into Oscars contention.The critical smash hit film overcame the language barrier to win outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, the SAG equivalent of a best film Academy Award."I'm a little embarrassed feeling like we're the parasites of Hollywood now," joked actor Lee Sun-Kyun.Director Bong Joon-ho attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.Director Bong Joon-ho admitted that "it is true that the momentum is building" for the Oscars.The film, which merges comedy, drama and horror genres, follows a poor family as it infiltrates a wealthier household, and tackles the widening class gulf."Although the title is 'Parasite,' I think the film is about coexistence and how we can all live together," said star Song Kang-ho, while collecting the award.The cast of "Parasite" accept Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for 'Parasite' onstage during the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.The much-hyped movie had missed out on main prizes at the Golden Globes and Saturday's Producers Guild Awards.But Sunday's win underlines the breakout movie's extraordinary popularity in Hollywood.It beat "Bombshell," "The Irishman," "Jojo Rabbit" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" at the star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles.Joaquin Phoenix accepts the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role award for 'Joker' onstage during the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.In contrast to the stunning victory for "Parasite," the four Oscars acting favorites all cemented their front-runner statuses by piling on further trophies.Joaquin Phoenix won best actor for "Joker," a dark origin story of the comic book-based Batman villain, adding to his Golden Globe win.He said he was "standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor Heath Ledger," who posthumously won an Oscar playing the same character in 2008's "The Dark Knight."Renée Zellweger accepts the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role award for 'Judy' onstage during the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.Renee Zellweger compounded her relentless awards sweep playing Judy Garland in "Judy," which recounts the showbiz legend's difficult final days.Zellweger praised her "extraordinary sisters" in the acting community - in a year during which controversy over Hollywood's female representation has raged.'A big stretch'Oscar favorite Brad Pitt added another supporting actor gong for playing an ageing stuntman in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood".(L-R) Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt attend the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California."Let's be honest, it was a difficult part – a guy who gets high, takes his shirt off and doesn't get along with his wife," said Pitt."It was a big stretch," he joked to an audience that included his first wife Jennifer Aniston.And Laura Dern added a further supporting actress movie award for her portrayal of a feisty divorce lawyer in "Marriage Story".Robert De Niro (L) and Harvey Keitel attend the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.Robert De Niro, star of Oscars contender "The Irishman," received the guild's life achievement award."I'm grateful we could get the cast we wanted, and Marty (Scorsese) directing us," he said of the crime epic, which was more than a decade in the making."We got to a point where everybody made themselves available – that's one of the reasons it took so long to get it done... We'll see what happens (at the Oscars)."More honors(L-R) Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie speak onstage during the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.The awards also honor television, where Aniston won for best actress in a drama. She plays a news anchor whose co-star is accused of sexual harassment in Apple TV+'s #MeToo series "The Morning Show."Peter Dinklage added a final best actor SAG to Game of Thrones' historic trophy haul for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister.But the fantasy series – whose final season was widely derided – missed out on the ensemble honor to Netflix's royal drama "The Crown."Phoebe Waller-Bridge accepts Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for 'Fleabag' onstage during the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.Phoebe Waller-Bridge added to her bulging trophy cabinet with best actress in a comedy.But awards juggernaut "Fleabag" surprisingly missed out on the ensemble prize to last year's winner "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel," for which Tony Shalhoub won best actor.Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams swept the limited series awards for "Fosse/Verdon."Scarlett Johansson (L) attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.The SAG awards are the second major showpiece in Tinseltown's glittering awards season, which climaxes with the Academy Awards on February 9.They are seen as an indicator of Oscars glory, since actors represent the largest branch of the roughly 10,000 voters for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.World War I thriller "1917," an Oscars favorite featuring two largely unknown stars, did not feature on a night when the prizes honor – and are chosen by – actors.[Cover: (L-R) Kang-Ho Song, Park So-dam, Bong Joon-ho, Lee Jung Eun, Lee Sun Gyun and Choi Woo-shik pose in the press room after winning the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for "Parasite" during the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.](AFP)

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Iran's top leader hails Iranian "resistance" against U.S. policies

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that Iran's refusal to submitting to the U.S. coercive policies has angered the United States, state TV reported. "The resistance of the Islamic Republic of Iran against America and the Iranian nation's refusal to accepting bullying is a fascinating fact for the world," Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with a group of religious Hajj officials. "The Iranian nation's independence, resistance and refusal to surrendering to the bullies angers the United States," he was quoted as saying by the Press TV. Hajj is an Islamic ritual and millions of the world Muslims attend the ceremony in Mecca city of Saudi Arabia.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Ukraine to press for plane crash black boxes as Iran minister visits

Ukraine will press Iran to hand over the black boxes from the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane at a meeting with a visiting Iranian delegation on Monday, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters.Ukraine would convey the message to visiting Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami, that returning the black boxes would show that Iran wanted an unbiased investigation of the crash, Prystaiko said.“His main task is to apologize and acknowledge what happened. We hope that we can go a little further than just political discussions and discuss practical problems. Among them in particular is the return of the black boxes,” Prystaiko said.Iran had said on Sunday it was trying to analyze the black boxes from the airliner its military shot down this month, denying an earlier report it would hand them to Ukraine. All 176 aboard the flight died.“At first they stated that they were handing them over, then the same person stated that they were not handing them over. This created some misunderstanding in Ukraine and we were starting to be asked: are they being handed over or not?”Many of those killed had were Iranians with dual citizenship, but Iran does not recognize dual nationality and on Monday said it would treat the victims as Iranian nationals.Canada, which had 57 citizens on the flight, said there were still no firm plans for downloading the recorders. Ottawa and other capitals have called for the black boxes to be sent abroad.The Jan. 8 plane disaster has heightened international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long-running dispute with the United States over its nuclear program and its influence in the region that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.The Iranian military has said it downed Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in error in the aftermath of tit-for-tat strikes by the United States and Iran. But authorities delayed admitting this, prompting days of protests on Iran’s streets.Ukraine held a ceremony at Kiev’s Boryspil airport on Sunday as the bodies of 11 citizens, including nine crew, were returned to Ukraine.(REUTERS)


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China-Myanmar relations: An old friendship renewed by the Belt & Road

Editor's Note: Ji Xianbai is a research fellow with the International Political Economy Program of S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.Chinese President Xi Jinping just completed his state visit to Myanmar on January 17 and 18. This rare single-country overseas trip by the top Chinese leader was a concrete testimony to the long-standing "Paukphaw" friendship injected with renewed vitality.While President Xi's visit was meant to commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Myanmar, the deep-running Sino-Myanmar socio-economic ties have a long ancestry that stretches over millennia. Myanmar was located at the crossroads of the ancient Southwestern Silk Road and the Tea Horse Road opened back in the Han Dynasty. Myanmar served not only as the commercial hub where Chinese, Burmese, Indian and Javanese merchants mingled and traded but also an interchange of religion, Buddhism in particular, between East Asia and South Asia.Since 2013, China has been actively reviving these historic silk roads and physical linkages that once knitted peoples and civilizations in the vast Afro-Eurasia supercontinent together through their modern-day incarnations, collectively labeled as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).Myanmar plays a very critical role within the scope of the BRI. The planned Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor carving out a path of connective infrastructure from Kunming to Kolkata crosses Myanmar's Mandalay; the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) provides for greater intra-Myanmar transport connectivity while facilitating economic integration between Myanmar and China's inland province of Yunnan; and the Kyaukphyu seaport on the Bay of Bengal is an integral part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the maritime component of the BRI, for expanding and upgrading global shipping capacity.Myanmar has proved a firm supporter of the BRI corridors and projects. State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi attended both BRI summits in 2017 and 2019. And during President Xi's latest visit to Myanmar, the two countries reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to pushing forward win-win Belt and Road cooperation for mutual benefits and common prosperity despite some short-term project setbacks and policy recalibrations.Myanmar people welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping on the street in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, January 17, 2020. /Xinhua PhotoSome 33 agreements were signed at the tail of President Xi's visit. They aimed at speeding up the development of the Kyaukpyu special economic zone in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the China-Myanmar Border Economic Cooperation Zone along the Kunlong-Chinshwehaw border area, the New Yangon City applying state-of-art smart city technologies and sustainable urban design concepts, and comprehensive road, rail, and energy transboundary interconnectivity. The leaders also designated the year 2020 as the China-Myanmar Year of Culture and Tourism to further advance people-to-people exchanges and mutual cultural understanding.Some Western commentators skeptical of booming China-Myanmar bonds were quick to assert that China is cultivating economic and strategic dependence on the part of Myanmar by stealth through the BRI. Perhaps they should be reminded of the context in which China emerged as Myanmar's most trusted economic partner.Between the late 1980s to 2016, Washington placed harsh restrictions on trade, investment, finance, tourism, education, technology transfer, and development assistance vis-à-vis Myanmar on human rights and democracy grounds, leaving the impoverished country in complete economic and diplomatic isolation from the West. Within the region itself, Myanmar failed to identify robust economic growth drivers. With the exception of the Greater Mekong Subregion program, many long-standing development initiatives spearheaded by the Asian Development Bank (e.g., Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines Growth Area) focused primarily on maritime Southeast Asia and not continental and least-developed nations like Myanmar. Japan's engagement, though helpful and generous, was largely confined to the realms of financial sector reforms and institution-building. This goes without saying that intra-ASEAN trade and investment remained too weak to propel Myanmar's economic take-off.China, by contrast, embraced Myanmar out of pragmatism. China did not pretend, as the West did, that it was within its gift to dictate the development path of Myanmar but nevertheless recognized Myanmar's legitimate quest for economic advancement and social progress. China accordingly offered over the past decades development aid, humanitarian assistance, trade preference and direct investment to Myanmar so that the latter can grow itself out of the economic quagmires resulted from isolation.With the launch of the BRI and the CMEC, China now has a greater stake in the economic success of Myanmar than ever before. President Xi's visit to Myanmar was therefore extremely timely and of far-reaching significance. As China steps up its economic engagement and Myanmar picks up growth momentum under the BRI, the time-honored "Paukphaw" friendship will only get more resilience and renewed for the better. Indeed, as Aung San Suu Kyi puts it, China and Myanmar will stand together "till the end of the world."(CGTN)


Pakistan sees China's achievements in poverty alleviation as model, says Pakistani president

China has successfully lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, which is a great achievement without parallel in history, and Pakistan is learning from China's experience, Pakistani President Arif Alvi said. "Pakistan has learnt three things (from China): better health for its people, better education for its people and then equal opportunities to be provided to the people," the president said here Friday in an interview with the Chinese media. That whoever is sick should be taken care of is the basis of poverty alleviation while good education and equal opportunities of participation will accelerate social development toward prosperity, and Pakistan is learning from China in terms of meeting the basic life needs of people and providing vocational training for the youth, Alvi said. Talking about the Pakistan-China friendship, Alvi said there is no limit to the development of the good relations, and besides the smooth cooperation between the Pakistani and Chinese governments, there is a friendship between the two peoples which is itself unique. "If you go out and talk to people in Pakistan on the streets, you will find China as the top ranking friend of Pakistan." Both Pakistan and China attach great importance to "morality and justice" in their exchanges and the China-Pakistan friendship is such an example, he noted. The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has given a roadmap for economic cooperation globally, said the president, adding that China invests in Pakistan with no strings attached, and relevant projects which have benefited Pakistan regarding infrastructure and energy, will bring a bigger change to the country in terms of socio-economic development. The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, which refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aims at building trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond. The implementation of the protocol of the second phase of the free trade agreement between Pakistan and China will increase the trade volume between the two countries, which means "there is more cooperation at every level" and Pakistan is also learning from China in the field of special economic zones, the president said. The cooperation between Pakistan and China is without strings and is solely for the purpose of peace, economic growth and prosperity of the people, which the world can learn from, he added. (ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


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Palestine accuses U.S. of turning Palestinian statehood to Israel-controlled cantons

Palestine on Sunday accused the United States of trying to turn the future Palestinian state into cantons under the Israeli control. "The U.S. administration wants to transform the Palestinians into small cantons in an entity that is under Israeli control," said Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization. "The U.S. is an accomplice with the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, by taking unilateral steps including dropping the issue of Palestinian refugees, borders, Jerusalem and legalizing settlement activity in breach of international law," she added. She said the U.S. peace deal, known as the "Deal of the Century," would not lead to peace, security or stability, because the U.S. administration "is basing it on Israel's interests." Ashrawi said that the U.S. repeated announcements of a peace plan are an attempt to "prevent any other party from presenting a political initiative to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict." On Monday, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said that the long-anticipated Middle East peace plan is likely to be presented ahead of Israeli elections in March.(CGTN)


Russian activists take aim at Putin in march against repression

According to the White Counter group, which monitors political protests, more than 1,400 people marched in central Moscow on Sunday after President Vladimir Putin proposed re-drafting the constitution, unleashing political upheaval.Protesters - mostly young anti-fascist activists - chanted "Revolution" and "No to dictatorship."The annual sanctioned march was called to commemorate the memory of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova who were gunned down in Moscow by ultra-nationalists in 2009.A number of independent local deputies joined the march, carrying copies of the constitution and chanted "Putin leave!”About ten people including a protester who carried a placard urging Putin to quit power were detained by police.The march took place after Putin stunned the nation last week by proposing sweeping amendments to the constitution, the first major changes to the country's basic law since it was adopted under former Russian leader Boris Yeltsin in 1993.(CGTN)


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Five soldiers killed in roadside explosion in Burkina Faso

At least five soldiers were killed in a roadside explosion on Friday in northern Burkina Faso's province of Soum, a security source told Xinhua.The explosion occurred as an army patrol vehicle hit an improvised roadside explosive device in the town of Arbinda, the source said.Burkina Faso is faced with a worsening security situation in northern regions as frequent militant attacks have sparked a wave of panic in the country.Since December last year, the Burkina Faso army has scaled up military air and ground offensives against escalating terrorist attacks across the country on army positions and civilians.Since 2015, terrorist attacks have claimed the lives of over 700 people, including 200 armed forces soldiers, and displaced thousands of others in the West African country.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


11 U.S. troops wounded in Iranian missile attack on Iraq bases

Eleven U.S. service members had to receive treatment for concussion symptoms after an Iranian missile strike on January 8, a U.S. military spokesman said on Thursday.Nearly a dozen troops were sent to Germany this week for medical treatment, according to media reports.The U.S. initially said no service members had been hurt after Tehran launched ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases where U.S. soldiers were stationed on January 8. On Thursday, a U.S. military spokesman said, "As previously stated, while no U.S. service members were killed in the January 8 Iranian attack on Al Asad air base, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed."(CGTN)


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Disney celebrates Chinese New Year as 'Year of the Mouse'

Disney's California Adventure Park was alive on Friday with fat red lanterns with decorative gold tassels waggling from the parapets, festive red banners fluttering from the lampposts, Chinese-themed tablecloths sporting an Asian-style Mickey Mouse silhouette, and even a magnificent display of Chinese fireworks. Chinese culturally-themed performances featured exotic dragon dances and martial arts and thrilled American spectators.Disney has embraced the Lunar New Year and is happily transforming "The Year of the Rat" into "The Year of the Mouse" -- an opportunity that only comes around once every twelve years. Their California Adventure Park in Anaheim has been transformed as well, with a colorful Lunar New Year theme that has turned the park into a sea of red and gold -- the Chinese New Year's traditional colors -- and a wonderland of festive Asian holiday cheer.The Chinese New Year, celebrated in most of Asia as the Lunar New Year, falls early this year on Jan 25. It is based on a 12-year Zodiac cycle of characters, with 2020 being the Year of the Rat.During the 24 days of this multicultural celebration which started on Friday, guests of the park will enjoy exciting live entertainment and musical performances, including "Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession" and the return of the heartwarming "Hurry Home -- Lunar New Year Celebration" prior to the "World of Color" nighttime spectacular. They will also enjoy new menus of Asian-themed fare, like Shrimp Fried Rice with Garlic Edamame, Char Su Pork Bao, and many others.Thousands of visitors flooded into the park on Friday to enjoy the Lunar New Year festivities and partake of fun activities, with tables of little blonde American girls sitting side-by-side with raven-haired Chinese darlings having fun coloring Chinese fans, where eight-year-old Olinia told Xinhua she isn't really into Disney princesses, so she loved drawing Mulan, her favorite strong heroine.There was also Chinese-style brush-painting calligraphy and a Wishing Wall made of human hopes written on decorative mouse-shaped cardboard disks and hung together on strings.(Cover: Disney's California Adventure Park celebrates Chinese New Year as "Year of the Mouse", Jan 17, 2020. Disney has embraced the Lunar New Year and is happily transforming "The Year of the Rat" into "The Year of the Mouse" -- an opportunity that only comes around once every twelve years.)(CHINA.ORG.CN)


San Francisco mayor kicks off celebrations of Chinese Lunar New Year in Chinatown

San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Saturday launched official celebrations of Chinese Lunar New Year in the city's Chinatown. Breed urged locals and global tourists to support small Chinese businesses and share the joys of the traditional Chinese Year of the Rat, which begins on Jan. 25. "Today is just an opportunity with this particular fair to kick off a chance for visitors and people who come from all over the world to shop, to eat and to enjoy the festivities," said Breed. She said she was "proud" to kick off the celebrations of the Lunar New Year marked by the first day of a Chinatown Spring Festival Market Fair, an annual traditional event that drew thousands of people to buy small gifts, good-luck new year items, potted flowers and tangerines that signify prosperity and fortune in traditional Chinese culture. Breed gave special note to the historic significance of the year when San Francisco and the Chinese city of Shanghai will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their sister-city relationships. Breed was joined by San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, California State Senator Scott Wiener and community leaders to participate in a mini-parade that started at historic St. Mary's Square in Chinatown and marched through several main streets. Hundreds of young people dressed in ancient Chinese-style costumes and performed as lion dancers, as drummers danced merrily to share their festival joy with onlookers.(CHINA.ORG.CN)


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England in South Africa: Joe Root takes four wickets in Port Elizabeth

Captain Joe Root took four wickets to push England closer to victory on the fourth day of the third Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth.Root's best figures in Test cricket left the home side 102-6 following on in their second innings, still 188 short of making England bat again.In all, the tourists took 10-103 across the day, a superb bowling performance which began with claiming the final four wickets of the South Africa first innings in the first 28 deliveries of the morning session.Stuart Broad grabbed three wickets without conceding a run as the home side played some awful strokes to add only one to their overnight 208-6.Following a three-hour rain delay, South Africa showed some resistance, albeit with the scoreboard barely advancing.After Mark Wood struck twice, captain Faf du Plessis at least survived 123 balls for his 36.He would ultimately become the fourth victim of Root's off-spin, the skipper putting England on the brink of going 2-1 up with one Test to play.Their main obstacle to securing the series lead seems to be the weather, with more rain forecast for Monday.England dominate meek ProteasThe first day of this match was evenly contested, but since then England have been in control, their dominance never more complete than a Sunday on which South Africa almost surrendered.From 291 behind overnight, South Africa had a realistic chance of avoiding the follow-on. If they had, given the weather, their chances of escaping with a draw would have been greatly enhanced.Instead, their batting veered from reckless in the morning to virtually shotless for the rest of the day.In damp, grey and windy conditions, Broad and Sam Curran first used the second new ball to run through the lower order.It meant England enforced the follow-on for the first time since defeating West Indies at Edgbaston in 2017.After Root's haul, England may have been able to take the extra half-hour had Dom Sibley held an incredible attempt or Ben Stokes taken a much more straightforward chance to catch Vernon Philander, both off Wood.Instead, they must return on Monday and hope that the weather holds.Root rolls England onRoot choosing to bowl himself was no desperate measure, rather an attacking move on a pitch that has aided the spinners throughout.Bowling round the wicket, Root fired in his off-breaks, with any turn challenging the pads and the inside edge of the right-handers.Collectively, South Africa played him appallingly and, helped by some excellent catching, Root returned the best figures by an England captain in 36 years.Pieter Malan was lbw to one that straightened, then the utterly befuddled Rassie van der Dussen was acrobatically held by Ollie Pope at short leg.Wood brilliantly leapt at point to hold Quinton de Kock's second loose shot of the day before Pope took another short-leg catch to end Du Plessis' resistance.Broad burst sets up victory pushDean Elgar was bowled by Mark Wood to become the first wicket to fall in the second inningsIt is just over four years to the day since Broad took 5-1 in 31 deliveries to bowl England to victory against the same opponents.While his Sunday burst is not yet match-winning, it gave England much more time than they could have imagined to bowl South Africa out again.With his sixth ball of the day, Broad nipped one back through Philander's needless drive and, in the following over, Curran bowled De Kock, who was playing a stroke even worse than Philander's.In his next over, Broad bowled Keshav Maharaj via a bottom edge off an ugly pull, before Kagiso Rabada tamely patted to mid-off.After the rain, when Wood's extreme pace accounted for Dean Elgar and Zubayr Hamza, there was a real chance that South Africa would subside again.They were at least steadied by Du Plessis, who at one point went 54 balls without scoring.Philander and Maharaj ate up more than 10 overs at the end of the day, meaning the Proteas will start Monday as they did Sunday, with four wickets in hand. Any sort of repeat will mean that the weather is not a factor.'South Africa horror story'England pace bowler Mark Wood told the TMS podcast: "It has been an amazing day. This morning no-one saw that four wickets for one run.On playing for England for the first time since the World Cup final: "Six and a bit months since July, it has been a long time. When I bowl a ball and see the stump go flying it is one of the best feelings you can get. It makes those hard times worth it. There are still times now I have my fingers crossed hoping to wake up in the morning and everything is going to be alright."BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: "The way South Africa went about their batting this morning was a complete horror story. Awful, awful shots - stumps flying everywhere. There was no appetite for a fight there."Former England pace bowler Matthew Hoggard on The Cricket Social:"England were totally dominant - aided and abetted by South Africa. They have gifted wickets to England. The amount of trouble that Joe Root has caused, coming round the wicket, is a mystery. I can't understand how they haven't come up with a plan to counteract that."Former England coach Peter Moores: "A fantastic day for England. The game has been in fast-forward all day - it has been classic scoreboard pressure. South Africa didn't know whether to stick or twist. England are in a fantastic position to go 2-1 up in the series."South Africa coach Mark Boucher on Sky Sports: "Mentally the guys were switched on. It's about understanding the situation. Every side has its breaking point. Today we broke pretty early."(BBC)


Saracens will be relegated at end of season, Premiership Rugby confirms

Saracens will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season after a fourth salary-cap breach.The reigning champions, who in November were fined more than £5m and docked 35 Premiership points for exceeding the cap in the previous three seasons, accepted they would not come in within the £7m cap at the end of the season.Under the salary-cap regulations, breaches committed after the start of a season are punished the following campaign but Saracens, after talks with Premiership Rugby, decided to be relegated this season rather than wait a year.“Premiership Rugby is prepared to take strong action to enforce the regulations governing fair competition between our clubs,” said the organisation’s chief executive, Darren Childs. “At the conclusion of dialogue with Saracens about their compliance with the salary-cap regulations, it has been decided that Saracens will be relegated at the end of this season.“At the same time as enforcing the existing regulations, we want to ensure a level playing field for all clubs in the future, which is why we have asked Lord Myners to carry out an independently-led review of the cap. As part of this process, we will soon be announcing an open consultation so that everyone involved in the game has the opportunity to contribute to its future. The actions that we have taken – dealing with breaches of the current regulations and reviewing the system for the future – will help us to build a stronger league and uphold the confidence of supporters.”Saracens will compete in the Premiership through to the end of the current 2019-20 season and even though there is no salary cap in the Championship, will have to present their books for scrutiny before being allowed back up.The reigning European champions, the winners of four league titles in the last five years, contest a place in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals on Sunday when they host French opponents Racing 92. But domestically, they have just five months left in the Premiership before exiting it and joining English rugby union’s second tier alongside clubs such as Ampthill, Jersey and Hartpury. Neil Golding, Saracens’ chairman, said: “I acknowledge the club has made errors in the past and we unreservedly apologise for those mistakes. I and the rest of the Board are committed to overseeing stringent new governance measures to ensure regulatory compliance.”Saracens’ punishment was widely sought by their Premiership rivals, with Exeter – beaten for two seasons in a row by Sarries in the Premiership final – the most outspoken. Their chief executive, Tony Rowe, told BBC Radio Devon after hearing the news: “They’ve taken relegation,” Rowe said. “Let’s be very honest about this before people have sympathy with Saracens, they had two choices: they could either open up their books so that Premiership Rugby could do a forensic audit of exactly what has gone on, or they could take relegation. So it was their choice not to open up their books.“Premiership Rugby – all the chairmen – we just want to move on. It was their opportunity to open up everything to the salary-cap people, or take relegation. They have decided to take relegation.”He added: “We just want to move on. They have cheated. And I’m just a bit upset it has taken so long to do this. At the moment they are still picking their team each week largely from the squad they had last year which is still in breach of the salary cap. They have been asked by the rest of the Premiership clubs to reduce that [the squad] back as well.”(THE GUARDIAN)


Science&Militarymore >>

SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test

SpaceX completed the last big test of its crew capsule before launching astronauts in the next few months, mimicking an emergency escape shortly after liftoff last Sunday.No one was aboard for the wild ride in the skies above Cape Canaveral, just two mannequins.The nine-minute flight ended with the Dragon crew capsule parachuting safely into the Atlantic, after separating and speeding away from the exploding rocket."I'm super fired up," Elon Musk, the company's founder and chief executive, told reporters. "It's just going to be wonderful to get astronauts back into orbit from American soil after almost a decade of not being able to do so. That's just super exciting."Elon Musk founder, CEO, and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX speaks during a news conference after a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket test flight to demonstrate the capsule's emergency escape system at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, January 19, 2020. /AP PhotoNASA astronauts have not been launched from the U.S. since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. Musk and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the next Crew Dragon could launch with a pair of NASA astronauts in the second quarter of this year – as early as April.The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off as normal, but just over a minute into its supersonic flight, the Dragon crew capsule catapulted off the top 12 miles (20 kilometers) above the Atlantic. Powerful thrusters on the capsule propelled it up and out of harm's way, as the rocket engines deliberately shut down and the booster tumbled out of control and exploded in a giant fireball.The capsule reached an altitude of about 27 miles (44 kilometers) before parachuting into the ocean just offshore to bring the test flight to a close. Everything appeared to go well despite the choppy seas and overcast skies. Within minutes, a recovery ship was alongside the capsule.Recycled from three previous launches, the SpaceX rocket was destroyed as it burst apart in flight and slammed in pieces into the sea. SpaceX normally tries to recover its boosters to drive down launch costs, landing them upright on a floating platform or back at the launch site.NASA's commercial crew program manager, Kathy Lueders, said the launch abort test was "our last open milestone" before allowing SpaceX to launch Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken to the International Space Station. Their launch date will depend, in part, on whether NASA decides to keep them for months at the orbiting lab, versus just a week or two. A longer mission will require more training before flight.The astronauts monitored last Sunday's flight from the firing room. Hurley said it was "pretty neat to see" the capsule aboard the recovery ship within two hours. By all early accounts, the test was successful.A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket explodes during a test flight to demonstrate the capsule's emergency escape system, as it crashes in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., January 19, 2020. /AP Photo"We'll see what the data show and go from there," Hurley said. "But it certainly is a confidence builder from the standpoint if you ever got into that situation, that Dragon can get us away from the booster quickly."NASA hired SpaceX and Boeing a decade ago to transport astronauts to and from the space station for billions of dollars. Both companies struggled with technical problems, adding years of delay and forcing NASA to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars extra for Russian rocket rides.After multiple cargo deliveries for NASA, SpaceX successfully flew an enhanced crew capsule to the space station last March without anyone on board, but it exploded a month later during ground testing. The emergency escape thrusters – the kind used in last Sunday's test – had to be retooled. In all, SpaceX has tested these powerful Super Draco thrusters some 700 times.Last month, meanwhile, Boeing's Starliner crew capsule ended up in the wrong orbit on its first test flight and had to skip the space station. The previous month, only two of the Starliner's three parachutes deployed during a launch abort test.Lueders said it's too soon to know whether Boeing will need to send another Starliner to the space station without a crew or go straight to launching astronauts later this year. An investigation team is still looking into why the Starliner's automated timer was off by 11 hours during the December test flight.The importance of launch escape was demonstrated in 2017 when two astronauts, an American and a Russian, were pulled to safety during a failed launch from Kazakhstan. They experienced up to seven times the force of gravity during the abort, but walked away from the accident.The SpaceX in-flight abort system, Musk pointed out, should be gentler for the crew and is good from the launch pad all the way to orbit.Musk said the Dragon's escape system should work – in principle – even if the capsule is still attached when the rocket erupts in a fireball. He said that could look like "something out of 'Star Wars'" with the capsule flying right out of a fireball."Obviously we want to avoid doing that," he quickly added, taking note of all the NASA personnel around him.(AP)


Long March 5 Y-4: Rocket's 'hearts' complete final test

The engines for China's largest carrier rocket Long March 5 Y-4 completed its final test on Sunday, about three weeks after its predecessor Y-3 launched from Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province, suggesting another booster is one step closer to joining China's largest carrier rocket family.The super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants, also known as the rocket's "hearts," are now ready to enter the final assembly stage of the rocket, CCTV reported.The Y-4 carrier rocket will be responsible for China's first independent interplanetary mission in 2020, sending an orbiter and rover to Mars.(CGTN)


Businessmore >>

Germany says it needs Huawei in building 5G network, defying U.S. pressure

Germany's interior minister has suggested that the country cannot build a 5G mobile network without Chinese tech giant Huawei, going against pressure from the U.S. to exclude the company for security concerns reported AP news on Saturday.Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Germany could enforce strict standards to protect itself from possible sabotage when introducing foreign technologies, but it cannot just ban it for a possibility."I'm against taking a product off the market just because there is a possibility that something might happen," Seehofer was quoted as saying.He estimated that shutting out Chinese providers could delay building the new network by 5 to 10 years, wrote AP citing reporting from the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.The U.S. has been trying to pressure its European allies to ban the Chinese telecom giant for alleged espionage risks. But UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said recently that the U.S. has to suggest an alternative if it wants to push the UK to exclude Huawei from its 5G network building.A Huawei smartphone outlet in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. /VCG PhotoMeanwhile, Britain's BT and Vodafone, Britain's two largest telecoms companies, are also considering urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to risk the rollout of next-generation mobile networks by banning China's Huawei, Reuters reported on Saturday.Vodafone, which uses Huawei's equipment in its radio network, has previously said a blanket ban on the Chinese company would cost millions of pounds and significantly slow down the rollout of 5G networks.It paused the deployment of the company's equipment in its data-heavy core networks a year ago until Western governments give the company a full security clearance.BT also uses Huawei's equipment in networks, but it is not deployed in the intelligent core of its fixed-line network, and it is removing it from the core of its mobile network.Huawei vice president Victor Zhang said on Tuesday he was confident the UK government would make a decision based upon evidence, "as opposed to unsubstantiated allegations".Chinese Ambassador to Germany Wu Ken on Thursday stressed at a business conference that the building of 5G network in Germany, should be based on technical standards, product quality, and equal treatment of all suppliers.Wu also said that the Chinese government has no legal requirements for enterprises to collect data, and has never required enterprises to install "backdoors." The German government also hasn't received information so far indicating that Huawei equipment has stolen intelligence. If Germany excludes Huawei from the 5G market, then this is not only discrimination but also a false signal of protectionism, Wu added.French junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher in November said there is no exclusion against Huawei. As one of the top three equipment makers in France, Huawei takes 25-percent market share there.Norway's largest mobile operator Telenor in December also said it will continue working with Huawei for its 5G telecoms network, as it has been working with Huawei for 10 years.(CGTN&REUTERS)


APD | WhatsApp down in many parts of the world

By APD writer Rishika ChauhanThe users of internet messenger service, WhatsApp could not send photos, stickers, and videos, on Sunday in many countries around the world, including in India. According to an Indian Express report, “The popular online messaging service started facing some issues in several regions across the world this evening. Users complained of not being able to send or receive photos, GIFs, stickers and videos.” “However, the messaging service was working continuously on the app throughout this period,” the report added. In India, a website called,, informed that WhatsApp users started facing problems on Sunday, after 4:00 pm and by 5:00 pm a number of such cases were reported. Whatsapp faced problems not only in parts of India, but also in Brazil, and a few countries in West Asia, including the UAE. The company later informed through twitter, that initially they were unaware of the issue. However they confirmed after getting it fixed that the problem that users were facing was because of a routine maintenance operation. A bug was causing the problem and  not allowing to send images and videos.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


chinamore >>

China keeps high alert for novel coronavirus

An official answers questions from the media at a press conference held by Wuhan government in central China's Hubei, Jan.19, 2020. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu) The source of a novel coronavirus that has caused dozens of pneumonia cases in central China's Wuhan remains unclear, the National Health Commission said Sunday, vowing a nationwide vigilance against the epidemic though it is "still preventable and controllable." There is much more to learn about how the virus spreads, and the mutation of the virus still needs close monitoring, the commission said. During recent days, the commission has dispatched work teams to all provincial regions to guide the local work on epidemic prevention and control. The commission has activated the nationwide daily report mechanism and supplied nucleic acid testing kits to intensify the surveillance. Strict and effective measures will be taken to prevent the spread of the virus, to detect and treat infections in time, to identify the source of the virus, and to strengthen the monitoring of its mutation, the commission said. It said extra attention will be paid to the epidemic situation during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of trips will be made across the country. The commission also stressed the importance of hygiene, particularly the cleaning at market places. Wuhan has reported a total of 62 novel coronavirus-related pneumonia cases as of the end of Friday, among whom two had died, eight were in critical condition, and 19 had been discharged from hospital. A total of 681 among the 763 close contacts placed under medical observation have been released. No cases were found among the close contacts.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


China's urbanization rate hits 60.6 pct

The rate of the urban population against the total population stood at 60.6 percent in China at the end of 2019, up 1.02 percentage points from the same period in the previous year, official data showed. The number of urban residents stood at 848.43 million at the end of 2019, 17.06 million more from the previous year, while the number of rural residents stood at 551.62 million, a decrease of 12.39 million, said a statement on the website of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Sunday. The urbanization rate was faster in the central and western regions than in the eastern and northeastern areas, narrowing the gaps on urbanization between different regions, said Zhang Yi, an official on population and job statistics with the NBS. China has been taking various measures to boost urbanization and ensure residents can enjoy improved basic public service and social security.


The Belt and Roadmore >>

Belt and Road Initiative paves way for win-win cooperation between China and Czech

By APD Writer He WeiIn July last year, the first China-EU freight train departed from Prague, captial of Czech,to Yiwu, a city in east China’s Zhejang Province. The new cargo train service marked the official launch of “the Belt and Road Initiative” in Czech. Thanks to joint efforts of both sides, the economic and trade ties between China and Czech Republic is heading for a bright future.During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, two months before the opening, China signed the Memorandum of Understanding to Jointly Coordinate and Promote Cooperation and Project Implementation with Czech. According to the memorandum, more efforts will be made to set up a China-Czech Cooperation Center under the Belt and Road initiative, a key project bank and a cooperation platform, integrate domestic and foreign resources, as well as adjoin and implement projects On the sidelines of the The Working Conference of China-Czech Jointly Coordinating and Monitoring Cooperation Plan and Projects under the Framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Liu Jielei, vice chairman of the Czech-China Friendship Association, told the Asia Pacific Daily (APD) that besides geographic advantage, Czech enjoys a sound investment environment because of its stable domestic policies, friendly policy toward China, lower business taxes and labor cost than that of in other European countries.The "Yixin’ou (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe) cargo train, which began in Yiwu, was hailed as an important bridge linking Asian and European continents and a signficiant achievement in the early stage of the initative by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xu Jie, general manager of Rongsheng Travelling (Czech) Investment Co., Ltd., said because of its important location, they have launched two projects including the Czech-Chinese Technology Business District (CCTBD) project and the South Moravia Chinese Herbal Spa Project in Prague during the past two years, stressing that initial success has been achieved thanks to the initiative.Transalated by Hu Yahui(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Work conference held in Yiwu for China, Czech to coordinate their efforts in promoting Belt and Road Initiative cooperation

By APD Writer He Wei The conference, which jointly organized by the western development department of the National Development and Reform Commission and the second foreign policy department of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade kicked off on June 6, 2018. It is of great significance in implementing the plan for China-Czech cooperation and promoting bilateral communication and cooperation. Both sides took a review on the development of the plan and held a talk over the cooperation prospects on trade, finance, think tank and projects. The priority work of the China and Czech cooperation in the next phase was discussed during the conference.Both sides reached an agreement on enhancing the cooperation on the field of policy coordination, facility connectivity, economic and trade, investment, finance and culture aiming at boosting the economy of both countries and benefiting the people. Almost 100 people from government officials, financial institutions, think tanks  and enterprises of both countries attended the conference.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)