Tuesday, December 30, 2014

China, Kuwait to open consulates in Erbil

Rudaw - December 29, 2014

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – China plans to open a consulate in Erbil to take advantage of the Kurdistan Region’s economic boom, the Chinese consul general in Iraq said in a meeting with Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

The diplomat said his country wanted to boost economic and cultural ties with Kurdistan.

By opening a consulate China joins the other four members of the UN Security Council, which all have operating consulates in Erbil.

Barzani said that Erbil values its relations with China and its position in the world, and is therefore keen to boost relations.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s foreign minister told a news conference in Baghdad that his country will soon open a consulate in Erbil, as well as one in the city of Basra in southern Iraq.

Subah Khalid Hamad Subah said that the consulates will facilitate visits and travel between Iraq and Kuwait, which enjoys good ties with Kurdistan and has a sizeable Kurdish population that has lived there for decades.

Kurdistan, which remains the only prosperous and stable portion of war-torn Iraq, has attracted many multinational corporations that have invested in the energy, construction and tourism sectors.

Struggle by the Pen: The Uyghur Discourse of Nation and National Interest, c.1900-1949

Ondřej Klimeš, The Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences

BRILL, 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cairo in Chinese

Alison Klayman

When Shen Yitong left her home in China to study French at Cairo University in 2008, she didn’t know that she would come to think of Egypt as a second home, or that she would see revolution come upon the country so suddenly. Her parents came from peasant backgrounds and they devoted everything to supporting her education, including moving from a smaller city in Jilin Province to the capital city, Changchun, in 2004.  I met Shen while in Cairo for an arts festival in the spring of 2013. Interested in how Mubarak’s toppling reverberated through the small Chinese expat community (whose members number in the thousands), I was drawn to how Shen and others perceived the joy and despair that Egypt has undergone. Outsiders to the factional disputes, Chinese expat fates are still intertwined with their outcomes—in part because they live in Egypt but also because they are Chinese citizens, for whom the tradeoff between political freedoms and the uncertainty of regime change has immediate resonance.  I thought Yitong and her friends’ stories would reveal a side of globalization that American audiences don’t often think about—a globalization that is not centered on the West—and would help illuminate the Egyptian revolution’s global significance.  I filmed Shen last January and February as part of a larger project I am working on. She has since left Cairo to start a Master’s degree in Paris. This short film produced for ChinaFile focuses on a conversation Shen has with a close Egyptian friend, Asma El Nagar. El Nagar works for a Chinese company in Egypt after having studied Mandarin at Cairo University. The two friends laugh over a meal of Lanzhou noodles and converse in rapid fire, relaxed Mandarin with occasional Arabic mixed in.  As their conversation turns to current events, the two friends draw parallels between the Rabaa Square massacre and the Tiananmen Square massacre. Neither is a historian, political commentator, expert, or activist, and this film does not aim to portray them as authorities. In fact, before coming to Cairo, Shen, like many of her peers at home, had never heard of the events that transpired in Tiananmen Square in 1989. There are of course many strong distinctions between the Rabaa Square massacre and the Tiananmen Square massacre. What they do have in common is they are both examples of overwhelming state violence against civilians. In both Egypt and China, these events are marked by an inability to freely discuss or even commemorate them without fear of retribution.  Ultimately that is what this short film is about, a conversation about free speech, about the idea of freedom itself. For me, it’s an example of the kinds of commonalities and tough questions that will necessarily materialize when such cross-cultural connections, exchanges, and friendship are made between young people.

Ren Xiao - Academic Input and China’s Foreign Policy Making

Steel roses train in harsh winter in Xinjiang

People's Daily Online - December 29, 2014

Female SWAT team members in Xinjiang train under harsh weather condition, Dec. 25, 2014. Members of this team are all with excellent physical qualities and educational backgrounds. After a long-term systematic training, they will undertake the mission of protecting the people and maintaining safety of the society. (Chinanews/Fan Xinyu)


From "Arab Spring" to a cold winter

People's Daily Online - December 29, 2014

The “Arab Spring” in the Middle East has brought much unrest, and neither stability nor prosperity. Egypt has undergone regime change; Libya is in a state of chaos; Syria is embroiled in a civil war which has left millions of people homeless. The truth is that the “Arab Spring” was another kind of “Color Revolution” manipulated by western forces.
During the “Cold War”, western countries contributed to the collapse of Soviet Union. Subsequently, the western countries promoted the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Union. With the resurgence of Russia, this enlargement was impeded. The west then diverted its attention to the Middle East.
In 2011, the Middle East was already riven by conflict. The West took advantage of the disorder to expand its influence there. The Western media hailed the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and revolutions as the “Arab Spring”, and Western governments interfered in events with the intention of exporting their values to the region, and promoting developments in the Middle East that would be favorable to Western interests.
But instead of helping to restore stability to the Middle East, the West has sown the seeds of chaos. The “Arab Spring” that was manipulated by western countries, has brought nothing but trouble to Egypt, Libya and Syria.
The protests in Hong Kong in 2014 are another farce which western countries have sought to manipulate with the intention of harming the development of China. China should beware of the ulterior motives of the West.
This article was edited and translated from 《落入寒冬的“阿拉伯之春”》, source: People's Daily Overseas Edition, Author: Tian Wenlin


Beijing names new culture chief to drive soft-power push

Beijing promotes senior propaganda official to head up ministry as the country seeks to present itself abroad as a modern major nation.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST - Monday, 29 December, 2014

Beijing appointed a senior propaganda official as its culture minister yesterday, making him one of the spearheads of the government's drive to project China's soft power abroad.
The national legislature approved the appointment of 59-year-old Luo Shugang, the top deputy chief of the Communist Party's Publicity Department, as it concluded a bi-monthly session.
Luo has written extensively in party publications on reform of the culture sector, proposing the area be further opened up and its overseas links expanded to burnish China's soft power. Introducing the nation to the world as a modern major country has been part of President Xi Jinping's much-touted "China Dream". But Luo's official biography is brief compared with those of other ministers.


China to Open Consulate in Erbil

Consul to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Kurdistan Region

Mewan Dolamari

Basnews | 28.12.2014


Official delegates from China are expected to arrive in the Kurdistan Region soon to open the Consulate General of China in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan Region.
According to a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announcement on Sunday, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani met Tan Banglin, an envoy from China’s Foreign Ministry appointed to be the first Chinese consul general in the Kurdistan Region.
In the meeting, Banglin said that he was very pleased to visit the Kurdistan Region, stating that he has arrived in the Region during this difficult time to express China’s solidarity and support for Kurdistan and to determine how China can aid the Kurdistan Region in assisting refugees and the displaced.
He added that in the framework of China’s relations with the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, China’s Consulate General in Erbil will be inaugurated in the next two months and that he will be appointed as his country’s first consul general in the Kurdistan Region.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Turkey's diplomatic steps save lives of Uyghur refugees in Thailand

DAILY SABAH - DEC. 27, 2014

Thanks to diplomatic actions taken by Turkey and the United Nations, some 300 Uyghur refugees in Thailand will not be sent to China, from where they had escaped and face death if they return. Seyit Tümtürk, the vice president of the World Uyghur Congress, visited the captured refugees during his visit to Thailand. He told media that Turkey had taken the necessary steps to bring nearly 300 Uyghurs to Turkey, who were found at a human smuggling camp in Thailand a few months ago.

Stating that the Turkish embassy officials in Thailand are closely following the case, Tümtürk said China's pressure prevents the Thai government from sending Turkic Uyghurs to Turkey. He also expressed his concerns regarding the democratic gap caused by the military coup ruling in Thailand and said the current administration might send refugees back to China.


China's Foreign Policy in 2014: A Year of 'Big Strokes'

A look at China’s foreign policy moves in 2014, and what’s in store for 2015.

By Xie Tao

The Diplomat - December 27, 2014

The Chinese have a phrase to describe plans or actions that are eye-catching or have far-reaching impact. It is “da shou bi,” which may be translated into English as “big strokes.” The past year was undoubtedly a year of “big strokes” for Chinese foreign policy.
In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited 18 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania. He also hosted the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai and the APEC summit in Beijing. The former was attended by 11 heads of state, two heads of government, and ten leaders of international organizations, and the latter by 20 heads of state or government. Whether a home game or a road game, China’s top leader apparently managed to make it a big stroke game.
Frequent travels abroad and high-profile summits at home certainly add to China’s international influence, but the real big strokes lie in monetary terms. The Chinese government pledged $10 billion and $41 billion for the BRICS Development Bank and the BRICS Emergency Fund respectively. It also founded the 21-member Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and made an initial contribution of $50 billion. Last but not least, China contributed $40 billion to establish the Silk Road Fund. As many governments around the world are struggling with severe fiscal shortfalls, the Chinese government’s largesse is all the more eye-catching.


Friday, December 26, 2014

China extends high-speed rail network to Xinjiang

China tied the restive far-western region of Xinjiang closer to the rest of the country Friday, opening a high-speed rail line between its capital Urumqi and Lanzhou, in neighbouring Gansu, nearly 1,800 kilometres away.
A slick bullet train took off from Lanzhou West Railway Station at 10:49 am (0249 GMT), with female attendants in Uighur and other ethnic costumes serving 622 passengers, live footage on state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) showed.
The line, the first high-speed railway in China's remote and poor northwest, stretches through the high-altitude Qilian mountain range, an ancient section of the Great Wall and five strong wind zones, slashing travel time between the two cities by half to less than 12 hours, CCTV said.
Another train left Urumqi for Lanzhou two minutes later, according to the report.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Just How Successful Is Xi Jinping?


ChinaFile - 12.19.14

Arthur Kroeber’s essay is a good corrective for the mostly delusional idea that the Chinese government is about to collapse. He also lists a series of technocratic successes of the Xi administration, showing it to be a worthy successor to the Deng Xiaoping model of a development dictatorship. These successes have allowed the Communist Party to transform itself over the past four decades, as the political scientist Richard Lowenthal put it, from “utopia to development,” while confounding predictions that regime change must follow.
It was also refreshing to read his point that not all problems in China are existential. For too long we’ve been told that economic growth must be at least 8 percent (remember those predictions?) or the regime would collapse. Arthur argues compellingly that while the government isn’t legitimized democratically, it is able to deliver many services and probably has more support than people realize.


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a welcome ceremony hosted by President Xi Jinping in Beijing

China, Qatar announce strategic partnership

Xinhua - 2014-11-04

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, on Monday. They decided to build a strategic partnership between the two countries and promote bilateral practical cooperation to a higher level.
"Qatar is an important country that plays a unique role in the Middle East and Gulf region, and a major partner of China in the region," Xi said during the talks.
Xi said it was a milestone for the two sides to upgrade their bilateral ties to a strategic relationship during Tamim's visit.
"We need to plan our comprehensive cooperation from a strategic perspective," said the Chinese president.
According to a joint statement on establishing the partnership, the two sides pledged to increase communication between the leaders of the two countries, support each other on issues involving national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, boost cooperation in trade, investment, energy, finance, fighting terrorism, the military industry and other sectors as well as step up people-to-people exchanges.
They also agreed to make joint efforts to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.


China, Egypt establish comprehensive strategic partnership

English.news.cn | 2014-12-23 

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- China and Egypt on Tuesday in Beijing announced the establishment of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed a joint document on establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L front) holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R front) before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 23, 2014. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State By Weiwei Zhang

World Century Publishing - 2012

This is a best-seller in China and a geopolitical book for our times. As a leading thinker from China, Zhang Weiwei provides an original, comprehensive and engrossing study on the rise of China and its effective yet controversial model of development, and the book has become a centerpiece of an unfolding debate within China on the nature and future of the world's most populous nation and its possible global impact. China's rise, according to Zhang, is not the rise of an ordinary country, but the rise of a different type of country, a country sui generis, a civilizational state, a new model of development and a new political discourse which indeed questions many of the Western assumptions about democracy, good governance and human rights. The book is as analytical as it is provocative, and should be required reading for everyone concerned with the rise of China and its global implications. 

  • Not Misreading Oneself:
    • A Fast-Changing World
    • The Unusual Ascent
    • Surpassing Japan
    • The GDP Paradox
    • To the Top
  • China's 1+1 > 2:
    • The “Quasi-Developed Countries” within China
    • The Size of China's Middle Class
    • The “Emerging Economies” within China
    • Why China's 1 + 1 > 2?
  • The Rise of a Civilizational State:
    • China's Rocky Path towards a Nation-State
    • The Rise of a Civilizational State
    • A New Perspective
    • Looking at China Afresh
  • The Rise of a Development Model:
    • Reflections after the Crises
    • The China Model May Win Out
    • Shaping the Chinese Standards
  • The Rise of a New Political Discourse:
    • Political Reform, the Chinese Way
    • Debating Human Rights
    • The Rise of a New Political Discourse
  • The End of the End of History:
    • The Western Model: from India to Eastern Europe
    • The Western Model: East Asia and Beyond
    • Debating with Fukuyama: The End of the End of History

Monday, December 22, 2014

Is democracy wrong for China?

Mehdi Hasan challenges Chinese scholar Dr Zhang Weiwei on whether China can afford Western-style democracy.

Al-Jazeera - 19 Dec 2014

Reading Chinese in the Mideast

Andrew Korybko

Sputnik - 22.12.2014 

The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Jafari, has confirmed that China has been assisting with airstrikes in the country, but did not specify the details except to say that it is not involved with the current coalition. The arrangement has been going on since September when he met his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, at a UN anti-terrorism meeting.

MOSCOW, December 22 (Sputnik) — China has always been staunchly against terrorism, and it is currently involved in its own year-long anti-terror operation in Xinjiang. The news that it would be assisting Iraq against the Islamic State (IS) came as a surprise for many, since this marks the first major commitment China has made to combating terror outside of the country.
The timing of the announcement may have been deliberately arranged to underscore Beijing’s seriousness towards this issue as it ramps up operations in Western China. Commenting on Jafari’s confirmation of China’s agreement with Iraq to exchange intelligence and train Iraqi soldiers, Foreign Minister Spokesman Hong Lei said that:

“China has been fighting terrorism and has been providing support and assistance to Iraq, including the Kurdish region, in our own way, and will continue to do so within the best of our capabilities”, without providing any additional information. 


The 3rd Symposium on Turkish-Sino Relations" has started in cooperation by SAM & CASS in Beijing

SAM-CASS Workshop
19 December 2014 Beijing

A workshop entitled “The Vision of the 100th Year and Sino-Turkish Strategic Cooperation” was organized by SAM and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) on 19 December 2014 in Beijing.
Within the framework of the workshop, diplomatic perspectives and opportunities for enhancing Turkish-Chinese relations were evaluated within the context of centennial visions of both countries and projects of mutual significance such as Contemporary Silk Road Project.
The participants shared their ideas and suggestions, and responded to various questions from each side during the Q&A segments at the end of every session.
During their time in Beijing, SAM delegation held talks with Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC) on a prospective Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between two institutions. SAM delegation then visited Institute of International & Strategic Studies of Peking University and were briefed about the Center's research fields, where they also had been able to meet Chinese students taking Turkish courses.

Confucius Institutes – Quo Vadis?

Representatives gather in China to discuss the future of the occasionally controversial Confucius Institutes.

By Falk Hartig

THE DIPLOMAT - December 21, 2014

Since the first institute opened ten years ago, 475 Confucius Institutes (CIs) and 851 smaller Confucius Classrooms (CCs) have been established in 126 countries. In 2014 alone, 35 CIs and 205 CCs have been opened worldwide, according to Hanban, the Chinese organization in charge of the institutes.
These numbers raise concerns outside of China about the institute’s intentions, and have prompted some to consider the future of China’s most prominent and most controversial cultural diplomacy initiative.
After the University of Chicago suspended negotiations for the renewal of the agreement for a second term of its Confucius Institute, the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on December 4 on whether academic freedom is threatened by China’s influence on U.S. universities, with the Confucius Institute receiving particular attention.
Debates about the “Confucius Institute Dilemma” of foreign universities – whether CIs are “hardly a threat to academic freedom” or whether they are “academic malware” – is nothing new and the December hearing was not the first of its kind: A 2010 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing was followed by the release of the so-called Lugar Report in February 2011, which concluded that the United States was continuing to fall farther behind China in public diplomacy. In March 2012, the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation held a hearing on “The Price of Public Diplomacy with China,” focusing on Chinese propaganda efforts in the U.S., including Confucius Institutes.


China’s Big Diplomacy Shift

China signals a change in priorities, raising the risk of tension with the developed world.

By Timothy Heath

THE DIPLOMAT - December 22, 2014

China’s decision to elevate in priority its relationship with its neighbors over that with the United States and other great powers, confirmed at the recently concluded Central Work Conference on Foreign Relations, heralds a major shift in its diplomacy. The decision reflects Beijing’s assessment that relations with countries in Asia and with rising powers will grow more important role in facilitating the nation’s revitalization than relations with the developed world. This suggests that over time, China may grow even less tolerant of Western interference in PRC interests and more confident in consolidating control of its core interests and pressing demands to reform the international order. Washington may need to step up coordination with its Asian partners to encourage Chinese behavior that upholds, rather than challenges, the principle tenets of the international order.
“General Framework for Foreign Relations”
At the Central Work Conference, Xi Jinping changed the order of the general framework for foreign relations (zongti waijiao buju). The general framework is a simple, but authoritative, list of broad categories of countries. It provides the conceptual schema upon which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) hangs general instructions on how to approach foreign policy. In itself, the general framework says very little about how to conduct foreign policy. It does, however, provide one important clue- the list’s order has long been understood to suggest a sense of priority, especially in the reform era. Relations with country types at the top of the list, in other words, are understood to have a stronger bearing on China’s prospects than those at the bottom of the list.  The general framework frames virtually all official analyses, documents, and policy directives related to diplomacy. This schema thus provides a simple, easily identifiable layout to help officials and bureaucrats prioritize foreign policy work and interpret directives from central leaders.


Confucius institute: The hard side of China's soft power

By John Sudworth BBC News, Shanghai 

BBC - 22 December 2014

Xu Lin is an unusual kind of Chinese official.
For starters she accepted a request for a BBC interview. Admittedly she came quickly to regret it, demanding that we delete a large section of our recording.
But given that unelected Chinese officials do not need to court their own domestic media, let alone the international press, it is rare to be invited in at all. And it is even rarer to find an official who is prepared to be interviewed in English.
But Ms Xu stands out from Chinese officialdom for yet another reason.
In contrast to the caution and conformity that are hallmarks of the Communist Party system, she has found herself at the centre of a storm of controversy.
Ms Xu heads Hanban, a Chinese government-controlled agency that, on the face of it, would appear to be uncontentious. It is tasked with promoting the learning of the Chinese language overseas.
But during the 10 years that Ms Xu has been in charge, this mission has been coupled with a wider foreign policy goal - the bid to make China a cultural superpower, not just an economic one.


US seen more positively than China in Europe, Latin America but Not in MIddle East

PEW RESEARCH - July 14, 2014

The Middle East is the clear exception. China’s favorability in the region is not especially high, but is higher than that for the U.S. Anti-Americanism has been common in many Middle Eastern nations throughout the Obama presidency, as was the case during the George W. Bush era. And again this year some of the lowest ratings for the U.S. are found in the region. Only 19% of Turks and 12% of Jordanians offer a favorable opinion of the U.S., and at 10% Egypt gives the U.S. its lowest rating in the survey.

Curbs on religious extremism beefed up in Xinjiang

China Daily - November 30, 2014

A regulation prohibiting people from wearing or forcing others to wear clothes or logos associated with religious extremism was passed in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Friday.
The revised regional regulation on religious affairs is the first in the country to target religious extremism.
The measure was approved unanimously by the Standing Committee of the Xinjiang People's Congress, and is due to come into force on Jan 1 next year. It is intended to protect legal religious activities.
"An increasing number of problems involving religious affairs have emerged in Xinjiang," said Ma Mingcheng, deputy director of the Xinjiang People's Congress and director of its legislative affairs committee.
"The old regulation, which was passed 20 years ago, just cannot handle new situations, such as the spreading of terrorist or extreme religious materials via the Internet or social media, and using religion to interfere in people's lives."


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Çin ve Yeni İpek yolu projesi

Altay Atli

Analist - 2014 Ekim Sayısı 

İpek Yolu tarih boyunca Doğu ile Batı arasında malların, insanların ve fikirlerin taşındığı bir ticaret ve etkileşim kanalı olmuştu. Yüzyıllar boyunca dünya ekonomisinin ana ekseni olarak faaliyet gösteren bu yol, sonraları daha güvenli alternatif hatların ortaya çıkması ve taşımacılıkta verimliliği artıran yeniliklerin gerçekleşmesiyle önemini yitirdi. Bugün ise Çin’in öncülüğünde İpek Yolu’nun yeniden ve 21. yüzyılın şart ve imkânlarına uygun şekilde canlandırılmasına yönelik bir projenin ortaya koyulduğunu görüyoruz. Son olarak geçtiğimiz haftalarda Urumçi’de gerçekleştirilen Çin-Avrasya Fuarı’nın da ana teması olan bu proje, Avrupa ile Asya arasında yeni bir ekonomik kuşak oluşturulmasını öngörüyor ve bu açıdan küresel ekonomi için önem arz ediyor. Bununla birlikte, proje Çin’in jeoekonomik ve jeopolitik hedefleri açısından anlam taşıyor.


Roundtable Meeting between SAM and SIIS

A roundtable meeting entitled “Turkish-Sino Cooperation for Peace and Security in Eurasia and Middle East” was organized by SAM and SIIS in Ankara, on 11 December 2014.
The meeting was moderated by SAM Chairman Prof. Dr. Ali Resul Usul ve SIIS President Chen Dong Xiao with participation of Turkish and Chinese Academicians as well as authorities in Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
Within the framework of the meeting, security in Eurasia and in the Middle East, Iranian nuclear program, and energy issues were discussed. Furthermore, Contemporary Silk Road Project and Opportunities for the Turkish-Chinese Relations, Changing Diplomacy Perspectives were evaluated. SIIS Delegation was also briefed by high level authorities from Department of Bilateral Economic Relations of MFA on Turkey Process of the Silk Road Project.
The participants shared their ideas and suggestions, and responded to various questions from each other during the Q&A segments at the end of every session.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Reconfiguring Iran-China relations

Can China maintain its privileged partnership with Iran if a nuclear accord is reached?

Richard Javad Heydarian     

AL-JAZEERA - 01 Dec 2014

As many analysts anticipated, Iran and the great powers, the so-called P5+1 (France, UK, Germany, the US, China, and Russia), fell short of hammering out a comprehensive deal before the November 24 deadline, necessitating a second extension of an increasingly high stakes series of negotiations to July 2015.  Understandably, much of the media coverage of the nuclear talks focused on unprecedented and wide-ranging bilateral talks between Tehran and Washington. The two powers are contemplating the possibility of a "neither foes, nor friends" relationship in the coming years. The emerging consensus is that an Iran-US entente is critical to the stabilisation of a fragile regional order in the Middle East, which has been ravaged by sectarian conflict.  Fewer analysts, however, have paid close attention to the motivations and ambiguous interest of Eastern powers such as China in the Iranian nuclear talks. Generally, China has been the most low-key participant in the Iran-P5+1 talks, with its diplomats largely confined to the sidelines of the negotiations. Although China is seen as sympathetic to Iran, and it has an interest in the stability of the oil supply in the Middle East, it has also been among the biggest - if not the main - beneficiaries of Iran's isolation in recent years. 


Sisi's trip to China to enhance strategic partnership: minister

Xinhua - 2014-12-07

The main purpose of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's expected visit to Beijing is to create a kind of strategic partnership with China, Egypt's International Cooperation Minister Naglaa al-Ahwani told Xinhua on Saturday.
China is now attractive to the whole world, Naglaa al-Ahwani said during an interview, adding that there is a mutual strong desire for further cooperation between the two states.
"China is one of the most important states and the most growing countries across the world with a very huge potential for development," she said.
Egypt has recently established a cabinet unit specified for China led by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, including a number of key ministers as members to study fields of cooperation with China.
Egypt seeks to attract more Chinese investments, Ahwani said. "The concerned ministers provided a number of project proposals to be tackled with the Chinese side before, during and after Sisi's visit to Beijing."


China, Turkey discuss Silk Road project

Zeynep Bilgehan ISTANBUL

HURRIYET DAILY - November/10/2014

Representatives from Turkish NGOs and the Peace and Disarmament Association of the People’s Republic of China discussed the Silk Road project and possibilities for China and Turkey to cooperate further in a number of fields.
“We are very happy to discuss the Silk Road project, which was born in 2013, with our Turkish friends. Turkey has pioneered the ‘win-win’ principle that is based on peaceful development between China and the surrounding region,” said Ma Biabo, the head of the Chinese board, which visited Turkey upon the invitation by Turkey’s Marmara Group Foundation. He added that China and Turkey should have a “long-term perspective to develop their relations and respect” for each other.


China slams Turkey for offer to shelter Uighurs

BEIJING - Reuters - Monday,December 8 2014

China has lashed out at Turkey for offering shelter to roughly 200 Uighurs from the western Chinese region of Xinjiang who were rescued from a human-smuggling camp in Thailand.
Thai police found the group in March and Chinese officials  identified “dozens” of them as Uighurs, a Muslim people from Xinjiang who speak a Turkic language. Many Uighurs chafe at government curbs on their culture and religion. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on Nov. 26 reported a request by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for Thailand to send the Uighurs there, a move that angered China, which views their move to Thailand as “illegal immigration.”
Turkey asked ‘not to meddle’
Asked for a response on Turkey’s offer, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the case was a matter for China and Thailand and “the relevant country” should stop interfering. 


China's Baidu makes first investment in Israeli start-up


REUTERS - Sun Dec 7, 2014

Dec 7 (Reuters) - China's dominant search engine Baidu Inc has made its first venture into Israel's booming start-up sector, investing $3 million in video capture firm Pixellot.
Pixellot developed a system of unmanned cameras that it says can cover the entire field or court at a sporting event and automate video production for both professional broadcasters and amateur fans.
Peter Fang, senior director of corporate development at Baidu, said on Sunday the Israeli technology "will revolutionise video content production" for internet users in China.
Pixellot said it planned to use the funds to expand its research and development and advance global marketing and business development. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Mark Potter)

Panda diplomacy reaching Israel:

China to give two to Haifa zoo Hopefully, that is. 

First the Chinese pandas chief has to be convinced that the Haifa zoo is bear-worthy.

By Ruth Schuster 

HAREETZ | Dec. 2, 2014

Following a diplomatic tradition going back millennia, China will be gifting Israel with two giant pandas, if it decides that the conditions in the Haifa zoo meet the animals' needs.
The delightful duo, which are actually a primitive species of bear, would be the latest to travel further to China's "Panda Diplomacy," a policy first employed used by the Empress Wu Zetian in the year 658 AD to charm the Japanese emperor Temmu. The gift is not a casual one and China does not confer it on just anybody. It even has a specific person responsible for all the pandas in the world, who came to visit Haifa last week together with a gigantic 200-man strong business delegation, says the Haifa municipality public relations department. "I hope it works out," cooed a representative of the city.


Eight Sentenced to Death for Xinjiang Terrorist Attacks

Luo Dan

Xinhua - 2014-12-08

A Xinjiang court sentenced eight people to death on Monday in connection with two deadly terrorist attacks in April and May in the regional capital, Urumqi.
The Intermediate People's Court of Urumqi sentenced another five to death with a two-year reprieve, and four others were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.
Xinjiang saw its bloodiest day in five years on May 22 when 39 people were killed and 94 injured in an attack on a market in Urumqi. On April 30, three people were killed and 79 were injured in an attack at a railway station in the city.
Those sentenced to death include Ahmat Rixit, head of the group responsible for April's violence, and Abliz Dawut and Nurahmat Ablipiz, main plotters of the May attack.
From February 2010 to April 2014, Ahmat Rixit and his associates gathered many times to listen to and watch audio and video clips about terror under the guidance of Ismail Yusup, a member of the terrorist group Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).
Following April's violence, the ETIM publicized a video showing a masked man assembling a bomb. The man, later identified as Ahmat Rixit, claimed the incident "a piece of good news," and called those who detonated the bomb "warriors." The video was made by his brother Abliz Rixit.


From China to Jihad?


China File - 09.08.14

It’s a very long way from China’s arid Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in the country’s far northwest to its semi-tropical borders with Vietnam, Laos, and Burma in the south, and then it’s another precarious distance from there, down rivers and across fortified borders, all the way to the seaside Thai town of Songkhla, about forty miles from the Malaysian border. And it’s longer still from Songkhla to the battlefields of Syria, thousands of miles away. But this town is where more than two hundred members of the Uighur minority from Xinjiang—many of them women and children—were arrested by Thai authorities in March this year. They have been accused, apparently, of planning to wage jihad in Syria.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

LECTURE: “Republic of Turkey Under Siege: Terror, Radical Islam, and Organized Crime” by Kemal Silay

24 周三:下午或晚上,Kemal Silay讲座:陷入包围中的土耳其共和国:恐怖主义、激进伊斯兰主义和集团犯罪
December 24th, Wednesday: Lecture by Kemal Silay in the afternoon or in the evening
“Republic of Turkey Under Siege: Terror, Radical Islam, and Organized Crime”

PEKING UNIVERSITY - 5 Yiheyuan Rd, Haidian, Beijing, China

LECTURE: The Emergence of Modern Uyghur Nationalism in the Context of American Hegemony and Turkish Nationalism By Tugrul Keskin


DECEMBER 18, 2014

晚上,Tugrul Keskin讲座:
Lecture by Tugrul Keskin in the evening

PEKING UNIVERSITY - 5 Yiheyuan Rd, Haidian, Beijing, China

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hundreds of Thai Uyghur Migrants Flee from Repatriation

NTD TV - 2014-11-15

Thai official disclosed that more than 100 migrants thought to be from China’s Uyghur minority have escaped from shelters in Thailand. The authorities feared they have fallen into the hands of a human trafficking ring. Under pressure from Beijing, media have reported that Thailand was requested to return these Uyghurs to China.

Thai official disclosed that more than 100 migrants thought to be from China’s Uyghur minority have escaped from shelters in Thailand. The authorities feared they have fallen into the hands of a human trafficking ring. Under pressure from Beijing, media have reported that Thailand was requested to return these Uyghurs to China.  AFP reported on Nov. 13 that, “more than 100 migrants thought to be from China’s Uyghur minority have escaped from shelters in Thailand.”  “Thailand has held dozens of the migrants since March, when they were discovered during a raid on a suspected people-smuggling camp in the kingdom's deep south and sentenced for illegal entry,” said the report.  “Songkhla province police had said they were waiting to identify the nationalities of the group before deciding their fate. The migrants claimed they were Turkish, but US-based Uyghur activists identified them as Uyghurs from China's northwestern Xinjiang region.”


EVENT: Xinjiang and China's Central Asia Policy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014, from 5 to 7 PM    
(reception at 5 p.m., followed by main program at 5:30)

How do China's concerns over the Uyghurs of Xinjiang affect its strategy in Central Asia?  Arguing that China's  turn to land routes to the West arise from its desire to escape from US control of sea lanes, Ben Chang suggests ways in which China's approach to former Soviet parts of Central Asia may mirror its strategy in Xinjiang.

This presentation will offer insights of importance to anyone following Central Asia, China, energy, development, and western strategies in Central Asia.

Benjamin Chang
Analyst, Long Term Strategy Group

Moderated by:
S F Starr
Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute/Silk Road Studies Program

Rome Building Auditorium
Johns Hopkins University - SAIS
1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20036

Monday, November 17, 2014

China's top domestic security chief visits Iran to push for anti-terror cooperation


Reuters - Mon Nov 17, 2014

  Chinese Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu (C) speaks to reporters as Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik (L) looks on, after arriving at a military base in Rawalpindi September 26, 2011.  Credit: Reuters/Mian Khursheed

China's domestic security chief has visited Iran to push for greater cooperation in the fight against terror, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday, as Beijing seeks allies in its efforts to maintain stability in Xinjiang.
Beijing says it faces a threat from militant Islamists in its far western region of Xinjiang, where hundreds have died in unrest in the past two years or so, and has repeatedly pushed for greater regional efforts to tackle the problem.
Meng Jianzhu, who leads China's anti-terror efforts, met with several senior officials while in Tehran, including Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazl on his Nov. 15-17 trip, the ministry said.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

China Cuts Saudi Oil Imports Amid Colombia Shipment Boost

Bloomberg News - Oct 22, 2014

China reduced oil imports from Saudi Arabia even as the world’s largest crude exporter cuts prices to lure Asian customers amid intensifying competition from Colombia to Oman.
Oil deliveries from Saudi Arabia fell 2.7 percent to 4.74 million metric tons last month from a year earlier, according to data released today by the General Administration of Customs in Beijing. Shipments from Colombia surged 389.6 percent, while Russian deliveries increased by 56.8 percent.
Asian consumers are benefiting from a wider choice of suppliers offering cheaper crude, from Venezuela to Alaska and Nigeria, as the highest U.S. production in almost 30 years cuts American demand. Saudi Arabia reduced prices for oil for Asia to the lowest in almost six years as it aims to maintain market share even as global benchmark prices have dropped about 25 percent from June.


Shoukry meets vice-president of China’s Communist Party

Daily News Egypt / November 6, 2014

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and the vice-president of the Communist Party of China Hai-Ting met on Friday to discuss “the Chinese government’s support of the political, economic, and social advancements Egypt is making,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Shoukry thanked China for its role in helping developing countries economically, especially through the Group 77 organisation, which was created in 1964 to facilitate trade and economic agreements between developing countries.
Shoukry also told the Chinese official that Egypt is interested in attracting Chinese investments. He stated that Egypt wishes for high participation of Chinese companies in its next economic conference in February.
Hai-Ting stated his country “trusts completely that Egypt’s future is bright with its new leadership” and that visits between the two states would be more frequent.
He added that China would also like to revive its economic connection to the region, stressing on reviving its old silk route. He did not offer more details.


China to double Iranian investment

BBC - 16 November 2014

China is set to double its investment in Iranian infrastructure projects, Iran's Mehr news agency reports.
China has raised its quota for Iranian projects to $52bn (£33bn) from $25bn the report said, quoting Iran's deputy minister for energy, Esmail Mahsouli.
Water, electricity, oil and gas projects will all benefit from the extra financing, Mr Mahsouli said.
Iran has turned to China, Russia and Turkey for financing as Europe and the US have strict sanctions on the nation.
The US has an almost total economic embargo on Iran, while the European Union tightened up its sanctions in 2012, particularly targeting the energy and banking industries.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

China Sees Itself at Center of New Asian Order

Beijing Builds Roads, Pipelines, Railways and Ports to Bind Itself to Region

 By Jeremy Page

The Wall Street Journal - Nov. 9, 2014

HORGOS, China—In a valley flanked by snow-capped peaks on China’s border with Kazakhstan, a vision of Beijing’s ambitions to redraw the geopolitical map of Asia is taking shape. This remote outpost, once a transit point for Silk Road merchants, is where China is building one of its newest cities.
Covering more than twice the area of New York City, Horgos had just 85,000 residents when it was founded in September, enveloping several towns and villages in an area known for lavender fields.
China’s plan is to transform the sleepy frontier crossing into an international railway, energy and logistics hub for a “Silk Road Economic Belt” unveiled by President Xi Jinping last year to establish new trade and transport links between China, Central Asia and Europe.


China's 'Marshall Plan' Is Much More China’s ‘one belt, one road’ initiative is no Marshall plan — it’s far more ambitious.

By Dingding Chen

The Diplomat - November 10, 2014

Chinese President Xi Jinping just announced that China will establish a Silk Road fund with $40 billion to support infrastructure investments in countries involved in the “one belt, one road” plan. This new proposal is in addition to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) proposal that 21 countries have already joined. A critical element of such plans is to “break the connectivity bottleneck” in Asia and beyond, which has seriously hindered development in many developing countries. Presumably a large amount of funding will go to building roads, railways, and ports in these countries. Thus, many analysts (see for example here, here, and here) have labeled China’s new initiatives as a Chinese version of the Marshall Plan, indicating that China would use such initiatives to seek influence and even dominance in Asia.
To be sure, there are some seeming similarities between China’s “one belt, one road” initiative with the U.S. Marshall plan, with the main one being that both plans aim at exporting their country’s capital, technology, and capacity to others who need them badly. But there are some major differences between China’s “one belt, one road” initiative and the Marshall Plan, which have not received adequate attention from many analysts. More specifically, China’s Silk Road vision is different from the Marshall Plan in motivation, challenges, and potential impact.


Monday, November 10, 2014

China Voice: Asia-Pacific region needs "new rebalancing" between China and U.S.

by Jiang Xufeng and Fu Shuangqi

ICross China - 2014-11-10

BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- After two years of absence, U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Beijing Monday morning for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting.
Besides the meeting, he will pay a state visit to China, the first since his re-election.
China has welcomed his presence. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told media that China hopes for positive results from his visit and is willing to work with the United States to build a new type of relations between major countries.
The upcoming meeting between President Xi Jinping and Obama is expected to set a tone for the bilateral relations not only in near future but also the long run.
The world is closely watching, whether the largest developed and developing countries, also the world's first and second largest economies, can figure out a solution to stabilize their relations and manage their differences, for their standoff may lead to collateral damages.


US President Obama delivers speech at APEC CEO Summit

Xi urges China-Brunei cooperation in energy, maritime development

ICriss China - 2014-11-10

BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to cooperate with Brunei in the development of oil, gas and new energy, and to achieve "substantial progress" in jointly developing the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.
China will also encourage its businesses to increase investment in Brunei to enhance cooperation in infrastructure construction, as well as agriculture and fishery sectors, Xi said when meeting with Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah.
Hassanal is in Beijing to attend the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting on Nov. 10-11.
Xi said the two countries should increase high-level exchanges and strengthen strategic mutual trust as China-Brunei relations has been upgraded to the strategic cooperative one.
"China is willing to work with Brunei to strengthen maritime cooperation in order to achieve early and substantial progress in joint development of the South China Sea," he told Hassanal.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

China Sees Itself at Center of New Asian Order

The Wall Street Journal - Nov 10, 2014

In a valley flanked by snow-capped peaks on China’s border with Kazakhstan, a vision of Beijing’s ambitions to redraw the geopolitical map of Asia is taking shape. This remote outpost, once a transit point for Silk Road merchants, is where China is building one of its newest cities. As the WSJ’s Jeremy Page reports:
Covering more than twice the area of New York City, Horgos had just 85,000 residents when it was founded in September, enveloping several towns and villages in an area known for lavender fields.
China’s plan is to transform the sleepy frontier crossing into an international railway, energy and logistics hub for a “Silk Road Economic Belt” unveiled by President Xi Jinping last year to establish new trade and transport links between China, Central Asia and Europe.
Horgos is a small element of China’s wider effort to bind surrounding regions more closely to it through pipelines, roads, railways and ports, say diplomats and analysts who have studied the plans it has made public.


Work for Benign Relations

Shen Dingli
Associate Dean, Fudan Unversity

Dr. Shen Dingli is a professor and Vice Dean at the Institute of International Studies, Fudan University. He is also the founder and director of China’s first non-government-based Program on Arms Control and Regional Security at Fudan University.

China and US Focus - November 3, 2014

Next week, Beijing will host an informal meeting of APEC leaders. After that, Chinese and American heads of state will hold a Chinese version of the “Annenberg meeting”. Top Chinese and US diplomats have been shuttling across the Pacific since last month in preparation for the two important events. Such frequent exchanges of visits are rare in bilateral diplomatic interactions.  China and the US have similar or common interests on broad bilateral, multilateral and global issues. No question about that. But their divergence in interests is equally broad and profound. Since the two countries’ leaders’ Annenberg meeting in California last June, although the two sides enhanced cooperation on such matters as web security and maritime concerns, their conflicts and struggles remain fierce.  On the issue of cyber security, Washington has repeatedly accused the Chinese government of conducting frequent attacks on the United States. Yet the truth is the US government has carried out extensive eavesdropping at home and abroad. At least its behaviors have been confirmed by various leaked documents, like those exposed by Edward Snowden. After last year’s Annenberg meeting, both countries established their own cyber security working group and initiated collaboration on the platform of their strategic and economic dialogue. However, the fine momentum didn’t last long. In May, the US Department of Justice launched a high-profile prosecution of five Chinese military officers, making it impossible for the two parties to sustain the dialogue in this field. Through the two months of high-level exchanges, the US should prove its sincerity with practical deeds and eliminate this impediment to the next Xi-Obama meeting as well as a restoration of bilateral dialogues.


Chinese tech giant Founder to open Israel subsidiary

The company, worth over $5 billion, is one of the biggest – from China or anywhere else — to invest in Israel

By David Shamah

The Times of Israel - November 6, 2014

Founder Technologies, a subsidiary of the Founder Group, one of China’s biggest companies, is set to open a subsidiary in Israel, according to documents released by the company. In 2012, Founder it took in $9.9 billion and had a net worth of $5.2 billion, operating in 80 countries.
Now it’s adding Israel, the company said in documents filed with local regulatory authorities, establishing a company in Tel Aviv to be called FounderTech (Israel) Limited. The Israeli company will belong to Founder subsidiary Shanghai Founder Technology (HK) Limited, and will concentrate on providing smart cities solutions. Participating in projects to be developed in Israel will be two other Founder organizations, Founder International Software Co. and Founder Broadband Network Service Co.


The Middle East Crisis and Sino-U.S. Relations

Brookings - October 27, 104

Martin Indyk, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings Institution, delivered a public speech at Brookings-Tsinghua Center on October 27. Researcher of Division for Middle East Studies at Chinese Academy of Social Science Institute of West Asian and African studies Tang Zhichao also joined as a guest commentator. The discussion was warmly welcomed by more than 100 students, scholars and representatives from the media and the industry.  Martin Indyk began his speech with a brief review of the historical roots of Middle East issues. Indyk made three main arguments, first asserting that the modern state system in the Middle East was not established naturally in the historical process. Instead, it was derived from the artificially created borders by British and French colonists during World War I. Consequently, countries in this region suffered from complicated religious and tribal conflicts, which made it more difficult to coordinate their developments. His second argument focused on the dominant role the United States played in the Middle East in the post-Cold War era. The United States, according to Indyk, chose to cooperate with Middle East monarchies for its own oil interests to ensure their rule or even repression of the local people. The region, however, ended up in chaos caused by people’s revolts. Last, Indyk argued that the U.S. war against Iraq after 9/11 exacerbated the regional instability by toppling Saddam’s regime and replacing it with a Shi'a dominated Iraqi government. The rise of ISIS, which Indyk considered to be the biggest threat in the Middle East, could also be considered an unexpected result of the war.


Istanbul Process comes to Beijing, marking new role for China in Middle East

Want China Times - 2014-11-01

That the Fourth Foreign Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process was held in Beijing on Friday suggests that China's diplomatic efforts on Afghanistan have paid off, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.  This suggests that Beijing will lead the next stage of the Afghanistan Reconstruction and fill the void left by departing NATO troops, which are being gradually pulled out of the country.  Beijing has been expanding China's economic and diplomatic influence on Afghanistan since 2012, securing the rights to excavate multiple copper mines and oil fields in the country and local infrastructure and telecommunication projects. China stepped up its efforts this year since India, Iran and Pakistan have shown tremendous interest in Afghanistan.  Retired political heavyweight Zhou Yongkang, who is currently under investigation for graft, played a key role in fostering relations between China and Afghanistan, said Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao. Zhou made an unexpected visit to Kabul in September 2012. Zhou was the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Afghanistan since 1966.


Interview: China has right to play special role in Middle East: Jordan's senate president

Shanghai Daily - Nov 06, 2014

AMMAN, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- China should play a leading role in the Middle East, especially on the Palestinian issue and the Syrian crisis, Jordan's Senate President Abdul Raouf Rawabdeh said on Thursday, adding that Jordan-China relations are historic and at their best at present.
In an interview with Xinhua, Rawabdeh said China is one of the great countries that are making history and future at this stage, noting that Jordan has kept a distinguished relation with China since the time of the late King Hussein. He added that His Majesty King Abdullah's frequent visits to China have further developed this relationship.
China and Jordan have enjoyed a very friendly relationship since diplomatic ties were established in 1977, which is evident through cooperation in economy, commerce and services for the benefit of the two peoples, Rawabdeh said.


New Afghan leader talks peace on China trip

By Christopher Bodeen

The Associated Press - October 31, 2014

BEIJING -- Afghanistan's new president invited the Taliban to join in a peace process backed by the international community on Friday, an unusual direct reference to the insurgents who have stepped up attacks in an attempt to bring down his month-old government.  Speaking at a conference on Afghan peace and reconstruction in Beijing, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai made no specific proposals and indicated government forces wouldn't back away from the fight. However, his mention of the Taliban by name marked a departure from his usual public references to them as "political opponents."  "Peace is our highest priority. We invite the political opposition, particularly the Taliban, to join and enter Afghan dialogue, and ask all of our international partners to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process," Ghani Ahmadzai said.


Qatar to become Middle East clearing hub for China's yuan

The Gulf Times - November 4, 2014

Qatar will become the Middle East's first hub for clearing transactions in the Chinese yuan, in a step that could over the long run help Gulf oil exporting countries reduce their dependence on the US dollar.  Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's  Doha branch has been appointed as the clearing bank for yuan deals in Qatar, China's central bank said on Tuesday.  "The signing of the MoU and the appointment of the renminbi clearing bank will increase the strong ties between China and Qatar and position Qatar as the regional centre for renminbi clearing and settlement," the Qatari central bank said.  Seeking to promote global use of the yuan, China has in the past two years appointed clearing banks for Taiwan, Singapore, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Luxembourg and Seoul. Hong Kong and Macau had clearing banks earlier; Sydney is expected to join the list under a deal to be signed later this month.  A clearing bank can handle all parts of a transaction from when a commitment is made until it is settled; having such a bank can reduce costs and time taken for trading, boosting activity in a financial centre.  At present, the Gulf's wealthy oil and gas exporters rely heavily on the US dollar; most of their currencies are pegged to the dollar, and most of their huge foreign currency reserves are denominated in dollars.


Chinese president proposes Asia-Pacific dream

English.news.cn | 2014-11-09

BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping called for efforts to create and fulfill an Asia-Pacific dream here Sunday, saying China's economy will bring huge opportunities and benefits to the region and the world.
He made the remarks when addressing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit, which attracted over 1,500 business people from 21 APEC member economies and 17 other countries and regions.
The Asia-Pacific has a strong impetus for development and a bright future, with a rising standing in the world, but the region now stands "at a crossroads", Xi said.
He listed several challenges facing the region, such as lingering impacts of the international financial crisis, fragile recovery in some economies, the daunting tasks of raising economic equality and efficiency, as well as different directions and priorities in accelerating the regional economic integration process.
"The development prospect of our region hinges on the decisions and actions we take today," he said. "We are duty-bound to create and fulfill an Asia-Pacific dream for our people."