Friday, September 22, 2017

Conference: China’s Expanding Influence in the Middle East Trade, Energy, Security, and Multipolarity - AUB Sep. 28

China’s Expanding Influence in the Middle East  Trade, Energy, Security, and Multipolarity

September 28th, 2017
9:30AM - 3:30PM
Issam Fares Institute Auditorium
AUB (Green Oval)

09:30 - 10:00
Registration and Coffee Reception
10:00 - 10:30
Welcoming words by Dr. Tarek Mitri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs and by Nils Wörmer, Head of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Syria/Iraq Office
09:30 - 10:00
Panel 1: “One Belt, One Road”: China’s Interests, Goals, and Long-term Visions in the Middle East
Chair: Michael Winzer, Head of Office in Beijing, China, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
Input 1:
China’s Vision of a Multipolar World: Challenging Western Dominance
Dr. Nadine Godehardt - German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin
Input 2:
Trade Interests, Economic Approach, and Chinese Soft Power
Dr. Christina Lin - Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California, Irvine
Input 3:
China’s Military Build-up and Security Interests in the Region
Dr. Bingbing Wu - Institute of International and Strategic Studies, Beijing University, Beijing

Questions and Answers
12:30 – 13:30
13:30 - 15:00
Panel 2: China’s Policies on the Ground
Chair: Rayan El-Amine, Assistant Director, Issam Fares Institute
Input 1:
The Afghanistan-Pakistan Theatre
Dr. Alessandra Cappelletti - Research Center on Contemporary China, Milan
Input 2:
China in the Persian Gulf: Relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq
Dr. Moritz Pieper - School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, Manchester
Input 3:
China’s (Non-)intervention Policy Towards the Syrian Conflict
Dr. Imad Mansour - Department of International Affairs, Qatar University, Doha

Questions and Answers
15:00 - 15:30
Coffee Reception
The conference will address, but not exclusively, the following questions:
How does China visualize its long-term strategy of “One Belt, One Road” in the Middle East, in terms of interplay between its economic approach and goals in a multipolar world?
How do the relations between Chinese Soft Power, its trade interests and its economic vision unfold?
What are the regional security interests that reflect Chinese military build-up in terms of strategic choices and policy on the ground?
What is the nature and limit of China’s engagement in the Middle East, of its bilateral relations to regional powers (Saudi Arabia, Iran) and the resulting implications for countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq?
What are the motors of Chinese strategic choices regarding the Syrian conflict, and how may these choices vary in the future?

Note: This conference will be in English

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Emperor Releases First Footage of Chinese Action Film ‘Operation Red Sea’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief

Variety - September 21, 2017

Emperor Motion Pictures has revealed the first footage from “Operation Red Sea,” one of the most ambitious Chinese action films ever made. Emperor is introducing it to buyers at the Cannes Market.
Directed by Hong Kong’s Dante Lam on a budget of $72 million (RMB500 million), “Red Sea” is about a Chinese army rescue mission in the Middle East.
“Red Sea” is a followup to Lam’s smash hit “Operation Mekong,” which grossed $173 million at the mainland Chinese box office last year. “Mekong” was a fictionalized retelling of the so-called Mekong River Massacre, in which the People’s Liberation Army intervened after two Chinese cargo ships were attacked between Thailand and Myanmar in 2011.
“Mekong” also confirmed Lam, previously best known for noir thrillers, as one of Asia’s top action movie directors.
“Red Sea,” which is still in production, required the collaboration of Bona Film Group, Emperor affiliate Emperor Film Production, Film Fireworks, Star Dream Studio, and the Chinese military’s P.L.A. Navy Government TV Art Central of China.
According to the official synopsis, “the Jiaolong Assault Team, one of the special forces of the world’s largest military force, People’s Liberation Army, is given a potentially fatal assignment, leading a small eight-man unit to evacuate Chinese residents from a North African republic in the throes of a coup d’état.
“The squad strategically makes a two-pronged rescue attempt but is tragically ambushed, resulting in heavy casualties. At the same time, the terrorist leader manages to steal the incriminating evidence against him along with essential material for the manufacture of nuclear arms. The Jiaolong Assault Team is fully aware of the importance of ensuring such material is forever removed from the terrorists’ hands.”
The screenplay was written by Lam and the film produced by Bona’s Yu Dong and executive produced by Candy Leung. The completed picture is currently scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Orientalism and Chinese Studies

Web Based News Organizations:
China Media Project
China Digital Times  
Historical Photographs of China

Academic Organizations:
PRC History -
PRC Mailing List – Michigan State University
American Association for Chinese Studies
Association for Asian Studies

Academic Centers and Programs in the US:
The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies Harvard University
Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
China Studies at the University of Washington Jackson School
Center for Chinese Studies, UC Berkeley
China Studies | SAIS Johns Hopkisn University
UCLA Center for Chinese Studies
Centre for China Studies, CUHK  ?

Think-Tanks Based Centers:
The China Research Center
EastWest Institute
Kissinger Institute on China and the United States | Wilson Center
Freeman Chair in China Studies CSIS
United States Institute of Peace
American Enterprise Institute

Journal of Contemporary China
China: An International Journal
Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
American Journal of Chinese Studies

National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Non-Orientalist View on Chinese Society and Politics

In order to understand China, we must first explore four important Chinese historical novels:

It is also known as All Men are Brothers
Author: Shi Nai'an (Published in 14th century)

A 19th-century mural depicting Lu Zhishen uprooting a tree, a scene from the novel
The opening episode in the novel is the release of the 108 Spirits, imprisoned under an ancient stele-bearing tortoise.[9]  The next chapter describes the rise of Gao Qiu, one of the primary antagonists of the story. Gao abuses his status as a Grand Marshal by oppressing Wang Jin; Wang's father taught Gao a painful lesson when the latter was still a street-roaming ruffian. Wang Jin flees from the capital with his mother and by chance he meets Shi Jin, who becomes his apprentice. The next few chapters tell the story of Shi Jin's friend Lu Zhishen, followed by the story of Lu's sworn brother Lin Chong. Lin Chong is framed by Gao Qiu for attempting to assassinate him, and almost dies in a fire at a supply depot set by Gao's henchmen. He slays his foes and abandons the depot, eventually making his way to Liangshan Marsh, where he becomes an outlaw. Meanwhile, the "Original Seven", led by Chao Gai, rob a convoy of birthday gifts for the Imperial Tutor Cai Jing, another primary antagonist in the novel. They flee to Liangshan Marsh after defeating a group of soldiers sent by the authorities to arrest them, and settle there as outlaws with Chao Gai as their chief. As the story progresses, more people come to join the outlaw band, including military personnel and civil officials who grew tired of serving the corrupt government, as well as men with special skills and talents. Stories of the outlaws are told in separate sections in the following chapters. Connections between characters are vague, but the individual stories are eventually pieced together by chapter 40 when Song Jiang succeeds Chao Gai as the leader of the band after the latter is killed in a battle against the Zeng Family Fortress.  The plot further develops by illustrating the conflicts between the outlaws and the Song government after the Grand Assembly of the 108 outlaws. Song Jiang strongly advocates making peace with the government and seeking redress for the outlaws. After defeating the imperial army in a great battle at Liangshan Marsh, the outlaws eventually receive amnesty from Emperor Huizong. The emperor recruits them to form a military contingent and sends them on campaigns against invaders from the Liao dynasty and rebel forces led by Tian Hu, Wang Qing and Fang La within the Song dynasty's domain. Although the former outlaws eventually emerge victorious against the rebels and Liao invaders, the campaigns also led to the tragic dissolution of the 108 heroes. At least two-thirds of them died in battle while the surviving ones either return to the imperial capital to receive honours from the emperor and continue serving the Song government, or leave and spend the rest of their lives as commoners elsewhere. Song Jiang himself is eventually poisoned to death by the "Four Treacherous Ministers" – Gao Qiu, Yang Jian (楊戩), Tong Guan and Cai Jing.

Author: Luo Guanzhong (Published in 14th century)
Download the novel:

Three Heroes of Three Kingdoms, silk painting by Sekkan Sakurai (1715–1790), depicting Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei.
One of the greatest achievements of Romance of the Three Kingdoms is the extreme complexity of its stories and characters. The novel contains numerous subplots. The following consists of a summary of the central plot and some well-known highlights in the novel.

It is early in the third century and the once-glorious Han Dynasty is in its twilight. Those who would cast themselves as China’s next rulers have brought the empire to the brink of war. Court eunuchs scheme, rulers fall, and great heroes are born in epic combat. The people of China, longing for peace, wonder what will become of their lives as war rages across the land. The dynasty seems to have lost its “Mandate of Heaven”—what now?  This is the backdrop for the literary classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of the four great pillars of Chinese literature (Journey to the West, Outlaws of the Marsh, and Dream of the Red Chamber are the others). Its fourteenth century author, Luo Guanzhong, draws upon history and folklore to create a colorful tale that showcases the era’s political and social affairs.  Moreover, it is considered a guidebook to military strategy that has been likened to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Through its pages, readers meet dozens of iconic characters from history, and witness battles of every scale. Three Kingdoms is at the core of Chinese cultural identity and, especially, the concept of yi—the essential glue that binds a harmonious society.  Shen Yun’s 2015 dance Capturing Arrows With Boats of Straw, tells of one of the brilliant stratagems employed in this mega-historical saga.
Three Kingdoms at War  
As lords and generals gather to vie for supremacy, three great leaders soon emerge. Their names are Liu Bei, Cao Cao, and Sun Quan. These are men of formidable character, prowess, and guile, each keen to see his ambition fulfilled. They are each rulers of their own kingdoms—Shu, Wei, and Wu, respectively—and each aspire to unite the empire, bringing together “All Under Heaven,” as they call it.  With the help of the most brilliant minds and bravest hearts of the time, these three rise to power and engage in an epic contest for the future of China.
Kingdom of Shu
Warlord Liu Bei is the founder of Kingdom of Shu. His claim to the imperial throne is that he is a descendant of the Han’s rulers and can thus continue the heritage if not the dynasty.  Liu is portrayed as the most legitimate and deserving contender. He is high of mind and kind of heart, but lacks the resources and raw power of his rivals. But his lofty character acts like a magnet that attracts to his cause some of the novel’s most unforgettable heroes—mind-boggling strategists and nearly infallible warriors. Together, they successfully establish their own state.  The alliance of these heroes begins in one of Three Kingdoms’ best-known scenes: “Oath of the Peach Garden.” Liu Bei and the two warriors Zhang Fei and Guan Yu become sworn brothers:  “We don’t ask to be born on the same day,” they vow, “but we ask that it be on the same year, same month, and same day that we together die.”  The bond between the three establishes a strong theme that wends throughout the tale. Later, Liu Bei's influence increases rapidly after obtaining the help of Taoist sage and expert strategist Zhuge Liang. Some of Three Kingdoms’ most fantastic stories, like “Capturing Arrows With Boats of Straw,” owe to Zhuge’s exploits.
Kingdom of Wei 
In Three Kingdoms, the ambitious general Cao Cao is Liu Bei’s and conniving rival. Here is an example of a dialogue between him and his loyal chef:  Cao Cao: I need to borrow something of yours. Loyal Chef: Sure, what is it? Cao Cao: Your head. Loyal Chef: What? Cao Cao: Don’t worry, I’ll make sure your family is taken care of.  Cao Cao (pronounced tsao tsao) has an enormous army and the loyalty of much of the realm. He is also an accomplished poet whose works go on to have a significant impact on the Chinese poetic style.
Kingdom of Wu
Meanwhile, the Sun clan controls most of southern China. At the age of 18, after his older brother is assassinated, the red-bearded Sun Quan steps into power. During the decisive "Battle of Red Cliffs," Sun Quan allies with Liu Bei to keep Cao Cao’s armies from advancing across the Yangtze River.
Their allegiance was short-lived, however, and the three kingdoms continued to maneuver and vie for the future of China, known as the Middle Kingdom. But in this riveting tale filled with both triumph and sacrifice, every episode comes back to the principle of yi.
The Meaning of Yi
The novel’s Chinese title, San Guo Yan Yi (三國演義), can also be translated as “Three Kingdoms Performing Yi.” Yi (pronounced ee) most exactly translates as “righteousness” or “duty.” However, the concept expands to encompass honor, benevolence, loyalty, selflessness, and brotherhood.
Yi explains the virtuous relationships between rulers and subjects, fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and among brothers and friends. In traditional Chinese society it was an accepted rule that no matter what happens, you must observe yi.
Perhaps the ultimate embodiment of yi can be seen in the character of General Guan Yu. Also known as Guan Gong, later generations erected temples in his memory and worshiped him as "the God of War." On one occasion, he agreed to duel with a fierce adversary. Poured a bowl of hot wine for good luck, Guan Yu refused to drink it, saying he would be back in just a moment. Minutes later, he returned with the adversary’s head before his wine had even chilled.
And yet, along with his flowing beard, it is his indomitable spirit of yi that makes him most memorable. Faced with likely defeat, the once unbeatable warrior uttered the immortal lines:
Should the city walls fall, it means death, that’s all. Jade can be shattered, but you cannot change its whiteness. Bamboo can be scorched, but its joint cannot be destroyed. The body might perish, but the name will live on for posterity.
In order to protect his lord Liu Bei’s family, Guan Yu once allowed himself to be captured by the merciless enemy, Cao Cao. Cao Cao, who had long admired Guan Yu’s abilities as a warrior, tried coaxing him to his side with gold, titles, and prized horses. A weaker man would have easily given in, but Guan Yu took the first chance to escape. He braved great danger and overcame injury to safely return his sworn brother’s family to him.
Still, he never forgot the generosity that, though an enemy, Cao Cao had shown him. Years later Cao Cao was defeated at the “Battle of Red Cliff” and was running for his life with what was left of his decimated army. Guan Yu was sent to finish him off and intercepted Cao Cao at a narrow mountain pass. Facing the mighty Guan Yu, the disheveled and exhausted Cao Cao did not stand a chance. Guan Yu let him go.
Guan Yu, who was torn, had chosen to face certain execution for disobeying orders rather than betray yi by killing his former benefactor. Of course, Guan Yu was not executed, because it turns out that the strategist Zhuge Liang had specifically sent him to kill Cao Cao precisely because he knew full well Guan Yu could not get himself to do it. The strategist did so because he knew that China still needed Cao Cao to maintain a balance of three equal kingdoms, but that is another story.
The much-maligned Cao Cao, on the other hand, is an example of a leader with a poor sense of yi. He is known for the quote, “I’d rather betray the world than let the world betray me.” His personal philosophy becomes apparent in one scene where a pursued Cao Cao takes refuge with his father’s sworn brother. While his friend is out on an errand, Cao Cao overhears servants sharpening knives and discussing a kill. Cao Cao’s paranoia is piqued and he murders the entire family. He then discovers they were only preparing to slaughter a pig for his grand welcome dinner. When his old friend, the lord of the house, returns Cao Cao realizes he will be held accountable. So he uses the who’s-that-behind-you trick and stabs his host.
The Tale Lives On
With protagonists shining with yi and antagonists sorely lacking yi, Three Kingdoms, like Guan Yu, leaves a most important lesson for posterity. Not only has it has had a profound impact on Chinese culture and society, the novel offers a glimpse into an ancient world of moral courage and righteousness, with the glue of yi that held it together.
* * *
Three Kingdoms author, Luo Guanzhong, believed that the fate of every nation is etched in the stars, and that humans are very limited in their ability to affect the grand flow of history. However, he also believed that if people are upright and virtuous, we are able to accomplish tremendous things, bringing glory to ourselves and our families, leaving a shining legacy that transcends the ages.

Author: Wu Cheng'en (Published in 16th century)

The novel comprises 100 chapters, which can be divided into three major sections. The first, which includes chapters 1–7, is really a self-contained prequel to the main body of the story. It deals entirely with the earlier exploits of Sūn Wùkōng, a monkey born from a stone egg, who learns the art of fighting and secrets of immortality, and through guile and force makes a name for himself as the Qítiān Dàshèng (Simplified Chinese: 齐天大圣; Traditional Chinese: 齊天大聖), or "Great Sage Equal to Heaven." His powers grow to match the forces of all of the Eastern (Taoist) deities, and the prologue culminates in Sūn's rebellion against Heaven, at a time when he occupies a post in the celestial bureaucracy. Hubris proves his downfall when the Buddha manages to trap him under a mountain for 500 years.
Following this introduction, the nominal main character, Xuánzàng, is introduced. Chapters 8–12 provide his early biography and the background to his great journey. Dismayed that "the land of the South knows only greed, hedonism, promiscuity, and sins," the Buddha instructs the Bodhisattva Guānyīn to search Táng China for someone to bring the Buddhist sutras of "transcendence and persuasion for good will" to the East. Guānyīn gives this task to the monk Xuánzàng and provides him with three protectors in the form of disciples, Sūn Wùkōng, Zhū Bājiè and Shā Wùjìng, together with a dragon prince who acts as Xuánzàng's horse mount. These four characters agree to help Xuánzàng as atonement for past sins. This section of the story relates how Xuánzàng becomes a monk (as well as revealing his past life as the "Golden Cicada") and is sent on a pilgrimage by the Emperor Táng Tàizōng, who has previously escaped death with the help of an underworld official.  The third and longest section of the work is chapters 13–100, an episodic adventure story which combines elements of the quest as well as the picaresque. The framework of the story is Xuánzàng's quest to bring back Buddhist scriptures from Vulture Peak in India, but the substance is provided by the conflict among Xuánzàng's disciples and the various evils that beset him on the way.  The setting of this section is supposedly the sparsely populated lands along the Silk Road between China and India, including Xinjiang, Turkestan, and Afghanistan. The geography described in the book is, however, almost entirely fantastic; once Xuánzàng departs Cháng'ān, the Táng capital and crosses the frontier (somewhere in Gansu province), he finds himself in a wilderness of deep gorges and tall mountains, all inhabited by flesh-eating demons who regard him as a potential meal, with a hidden monastery or a royal city-state here and there amid the wilds.  The episodic structure of this section follows a formula to some extent. Episodes consist of 1– 4 chapters, and usually involve Xuánzàng being captured and his life threatened, while his disciples try to find an ingenious (and often violent) way of liberating him. Although some of Xuánzàng's predicaments are political and involve ordinary human beings, they more frequently consist of run-ins with various goblins and ogres, many of whom turn out to be the earthly manifestations of heavenly beings.  Chapters 13–22 do not follow this structure precisely, as they introduce Xuánzàng's disciples, who, inspired or goaded by the Boddhisatva Guānyīn, meet and agree to serve him along the way, in order to atone for their sins in their past lives.  Sūn Wùkōng (Simplified Chinese: 孙悟空; Traditional Chinese: 孫悟空), or Monkey, previously "Great Sage Equal to Heaven," appears right away in Chapter 13. The second, appearing in Chapter 19, is Zhū Bājiè (Simplified Chinese: 猪八戒; Traditional Chinese: 豬八戒), literally “Eight-precepts Pig,” sometimes translated as Pigsy or just Pig. The third, appearing in Chapter 22, is the river-ogre Shā Wùjìng (Simplified Chinese: 沙悟净; Traditional Chinese: 沙悟淨), also translated as Friar Sand or Sandy. The third prince of the Dragon-King, Yùlóng Sāntàizǐ (Simplified Chinese: 玉龙三太子; Traditional Chinese: 玉龍三太子) can possibly to be counted as a fourth disciple. He was sentenced to death for setting fire to his father's great pearl, but was saved by Guānyīn from execution to wait for his call of duty. He appears first in chapter 15, but has almost no speaking role, as throughout most of the story he appears in the transformed shape of a horse that Xuánzàng rides on.  Chapter 22, where Shā is introduced, also provides a geographical boundary, as the river of quicksand that the travelers cross brings them into a new "continent." Chapters 23–86 take place in the wilderness, and consist of 24 episodes of varying length, each characterized by a different magical monster or evil magician. There are impassably wide rivers, flaming mountains, a kingdom ruled by women, a lair of seductive spider-spirits, and many other fantastic scenarios. Throughout the journey, the four brave disciples have to defend their master and teacher Xuánzàng from attacks by various monsters and calamities.  The book strongly suggests that most of these calamities are engineered by fate and/or the Buddha; while the monsters who attack them are vastly powerful and many in number, no real harm ever comes to the four travelers. Some of the monsters turn out to be escaped heavenly animals belonging to bodhisattvas or Taoist sages and spirits. Towards the end of the book there is a scene where the Buddha literally commands the fulfillment of the last disaster, because Xuánzàng is one short of the 81 disasters he needs to attain Buddhahood.  In chapter 87, Xuánzàng finally reaches the borderlands of India, and chapters 87–99 present magical adventures in a somewhat more mundane, though still exotic, setting. At length, after a pilgrimage said to have taken fourteen years (the text actually only provides documentation for nine of those years, presumably to allow room for adding additional episodes) they arrive at the half-real, half-legendary destination of Vulture Peak, where, in a scene simultaneously mystical and comic, Xuánzàng receives the scriptures from the living Buddha.  Chapter 100, the last of all, quickly describes the return journey to the Táng Empire, and the aftermath, in which each traveler receives a reward in the form of posts in the bureaucracy of the heavens. Sūn Wùkōng and Xuánzàng achieve Buddhahood, Wùjìng becomes an arhat, the dragon is made a Naga, and Bājiè, whose good deeds have always been tempered by his greed, is promoted to an altar cleanser (eater of offerings at altars).

Author: Cao Xueqin (Published 1791)

A scene from the novel, painted by Xu Baozhuan (1810–1873)
The novel provides a detailed, episodic record of life in the two branches of the wealthy, aristocratic Jia (賈) clan—the Rongguo House (榮國府) and the Ningguo House (寧國府)—who reside in two large, adjacent family compounds in the capital. Their ancestors were made Dukes and given imperial titles, and as the novel begins the two houses are among the most illustrious families in the city. One of the clan’s offspring is made a Royal Consort, and a lush landscaped garden is built to receive her visit. The novel describes the Jias’ wealth and influence in great naturalistic detail, and charts the Jias’ fall from the height of their prestige, following some thirty main characters and over four hundred minor ones. Eventually the Jia clan falls into disfavor with the Emperor, and their mansions are raided and confiscated.  In the novel's frame story, a sentient Stone, abandoned by the goddess Nüwa when she mended the heavens aeons ago, begs a Taoist priest and a Buddhist monk to bring it with them to see the world. The Stone, along with a companion (in Cheng-Gao versions they are merged into the same character), is then given a chance to learn from the human existence, and enters the mortal realm.  The main character of the novel is the carefree adolescent male heir of the family, Jia Baoyu. He was born with a magical piece of "jade" in his mouth. In this life he has a special bond with his sickly cousin Lin Daiyu, who shares his love of music and poetry. Baoyu, however, is predestined to marry another cousin, Xue Baochai, whose grace and intelligence exemplify an ideal woman, but with whom he lacks an emotional connection. The romantic rivalry and friendship among the three characters against the backdrop of the family's declining fortunes form the main story in the novel.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Why China Is Building A New City Out In The Desert Of Oman

Forbes - Sep 8, 2017 

Nobody is going to confuse the dusty fishing village of Duqm for Dubai.
But Oman intends to change this by building an entirely new, $10.7 billion transit-oriented industrial city on the desertified coast of the Arabian Sea, 550 kilometers south of Muscat.
More accurately, China intends to change this by building an entirely new $10.7 billion transit-oriented industrial city …
A year ago, Oman signed a deal and opened the doors for a Chinese consortium to move in and do what they seemingly like to do best: build a new boomtown. After constructing dozens of full-scale new cities and completely re-developing dozens more in their own country, Chinese firms are now moving out along the tendrils of the Belt and Road to construct new cities across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Duqm is among the most ambitious of such projects.


Monday, September 11, 2017

The Hui: China’s other Muslims

By choosing assimilation, China’s Hui have become one of the world’s most successful Muslim minorities

The Economist - Oct 6th 2016 | TONGXIN

THE faithful are returning from the haj. Waiting for prayers outside the Great Mosque in Tongxin, a remote town in the western province of Ningxia, Li Yuchuan calls his pilgrimage a liberation: “Our prayers are just homework for it.” His 84-year-old friend (pictured, right) leaps up and twists himself with lithe agility into the shape of a pretzel. “We Muslims pray five times a day,” he says. “We are flexible and tough.” China’s Muslims need to be.  China has a richly deserved reputation for religious intolerance. Buddhists in Tibet, Muslims in the far western region of Xinjiang and Christians in Zhejiang province on the coast have all been harassed or arrested and their places of worship vandalised. In Xinjiang the government seems to equate Islam with terrorism. Women there have been ordered not to wear veils on their faces. Muslims in official positions have been forced to break the Ramadan fast. But there is a remarkable exception to this grim picture of repression: the Hui.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

China Purchases 14% Of Rosneft From Qatar

By Zainab Calcuttawala

OIL PRICE - Sep 08, 2017,

China made a new move to strengthen its relationship with Russia this week by agreeing to buy a 14 percent stake in the oil and gas company Rosneft, according to a new report by the Associated Press.
The $9 billion purchase will transfer the Qatar Investment Authority’s 14.16 percent Rosneft stake to CEFC China Energy Company Ltd., Glencore said on Friday. China bought the shares at a 16 percent premium to the Rosneft share price over the past month. Final negotiations and regulatory approvals are needed before the exchange goes through, however.
“This deal intensifies the energy relationship between Russia and China. A direct stake in Rosneft will make CEFC China the main driver for the relationship of Rosneft with China, ahead of CNPC, Sinopec and Beijing Gas,” Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Christian Boermel said. “Rosneft keeps its customers close to its heart – buy a stake, get an oil supply agreement. CEFC China could soon take stakes in Rosneft projects, either in cash-intensive upstream projects, or in the downstream.”


UAE-China economic cooperation to drive success of Belt & Road Initiative

The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has hosted a roundtable on the ‘Belt & Road Initiative’ and Islamic Finance Executive Strategy to promote economic cooperation between China and the UAE in the non-oil commercial and production sectors.

by Nabilah Annuar

CPI FINANCIAL - Monday 21, August 2017

 Held under the theme ‘Sukuk and Economic Development: Opportunities and Challenges,’ the roundtable provided an international platform for exploring bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, education, scientific research, and knowledge exchange under the Belt and Road Initiative. Discussions also centred on the challenges and opportunities in promoting Islamic financial instruments in China with a focus on Islamic Sukuk. The impact of Dubai’s emergence as the largest Islamic Sukuk hub in the world on Chinese companies was tackled as well.  The event was held with the support of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and provided an opportunity to capitalise on the leading experiences of the UAE in Islamic finance to support China’s ambitious initiative of connecting the economies and trade activities of more than 60 countries. The meeting was jointly organised by HBMSU’s Dubai centre for Islamic Banking and Finance, the National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China (NDRC), the China Islamic Finance Club, and ZhiShang Inter-Culture Communication.  Held under the theme ‘Sukuk and Economic Development: Opportunities and Challenges,’ the roundtable provided an international platform for exploring bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, education, scientific research, and knowledge exchange under the Belt and Road Initiative. Discussions also centred on the challenges and opportunities in promoting Islamic financial instruments in China with a focus on Islamic Sukuk. The impact of Dubai’s emergence as the largest Islamic Sukuk hub in the world on Chinese companies was tackled as well.


6th UAE-China Joint Economic Committee Meeting Concludes

ALBAWA - September 10th, 2017 

The 6th session of the UAE-China Joint Economic Committee held in the capital of Beijing, China has concluded. The UAE delegation was headed by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, while the Chinese side was led by Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China.  The two parties reported their achievements in the development of cooperative frameworks in several vital areas of common interest since the fifth session of the Joint Economic Committee. The most notable involved trade, investment, energy, infrastructure, financial services, tourism, as well as the steps taken to establish effective models for industrial cooperation and the exchange of expertise in the fields of information technology (IT).


Chinese enrollment at Israeli universities skyrockets


THE JERUSALEM POST - August 14, 2017

The influx of Chinese students at Israeli universities has been growing steadily in recent years.  On the forefront of this enrollment boom is the University of Haifa, which currently boasts some 200 Chinese students among its student body, compared to 20 in 2013, representing a 1,000% increase. A majority of these students come from the University of East China Normal University in Shanghai, which is a sister city of Haifa.  University of Haifa president Ron Robin welcomes the addition. “The cooperation with strategic partners from Chinese industry and academia serves the strategic goals of the university,” said Robin. “We have positioned ourselves as a leading international institution. As such, we welcome all the Chinese students to Israel, and intend to continue to deepen the ties and cooperation with the Chinese academy.”


Israeli Firm in Talks to Build Winery in China

Hayotzer has agreement in principle for venture that will give it an entry into the second-biggest wine market in the world 

Ora Coren

HAREETZ - Sep 04, 2017

China is on its way to becoming the second-biggest wine market in the world as Chinese tipplers grow increasing fond of the grape, and now one Israeli winery is set to get a piece of the action.  Hayotzer Winery, a unit of the Arza Winery, has reached an agreement in principle to help the Chinese group Hubey Pengdun to set up an $8 million winery in Hubei Province and advise it on viticulture and winemaking, Guy Edri, Yayotazer’s CEO told TheMarker.  Under the terms of the agreement the two sides are now discussing, Hayotzer will get a 20% or 25% stake in the new venture, which will take two years to erect once it’s received all the regulatory approvals.


China-Israel economic, tech cooperation to enter new stage: Israeli minister

Xinhua | 2017-09-09

JERUSALEM — Israel is keen on enhancing its technological and economic cooperation with China, Israeli Economic Minister Eli Cohen told Xinhua in a recent interview.  "We are willing to see more Chinese companies operating in Israel and in the next 30 years we will see more tremendous technological change, and we are willing to increase the cooperation between China and Israel," Cohen said.  Cohen said companies from the US and Europe were the dominant investors in Israel in the past years, but "now we are starting to see a change that more Chinese companies are coming together."  Cooperation between China and Israel in the fields of economy and trade started long time ago. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, the two sides this year announced to set up an innovative comprehensive relationship.


Traditional Chinese acupuncture gains rising popularity in Algeria

Xinhua| 2017-08-21

ALGIERS, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- For Abdelatif Benmeradi, a 35-year-old Algerian suffering from herniated disc problem, acupuncture treatment is a better alternative to taking drugs.  Though his country is far away from China, the home of acupuncture, Benmeradi has been able to receive acupuncture treatment at a local hospital where visiting Chinese doctors treat patients with traditional Chinese methods.  "I feel pain relieve since I started treatment of acupuncture. This method is much better than drugs that I used to take without effect," Benmeradi told Xinhua.  Benmeradi's experience illustrates the increasing popularity of traditional Chinese methods of medical treatment, especially acupuncture, in Algeria.  This is largely thanks to the hard work by the Chinese doctors who have been using Chinese medical methods to treat and cure a range of health problems for Algerians.


Egypt, China sign agreements to fund electric train, SAT 2 projects

Al-Masry Al-Youm

EGYPT INDEPENDENT - September 5, 2017

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping signed two agreements on Tuesday, including the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to construct an $739 million electric train linking the 10th of Ramadan city with the new administrative capital in Al-Qahira Al Gadida.  The second technical and economic agreement is to grant Egypt $US 45 million for second remote sensing Earth observation satellite (SAT 2) built by the Russian RSC Energia, Minster of Investment and International co-operation, Dr Sahr Nasr, announced.  Nasr considered both projects as highly significant within the Egyptian 2030 vision, as they will provide numerous economic opportunities linking new urban cities with industrial zones and serve as research space projects.


Iran, China to Promote Banking Cooperation

IRAN FRONT PAGE -  August 13, 2017

Iranian and Chinese officials have called for expanding cooperation between the two sides’ banks in different fields.  In the latest round of talks between Iran and China over banking relations, the two sides called for establishing good cooperation between Iranian and Chinese bank brokers. They also emphasized the necessity to establish Chinese banks’ branches in Iran. According to a Farsi report by ISNA, as one of the main economic power in Asia, China has been among the leading economic and banking partners of Iran particularly after the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the six world powers. China is also one of the main business partners of Iran in financing various projects inside the country.  In a meeting between the governor of Iran’s Central Bank and China’s ambassador to Tehran, the two sides discussed the banking relations between Tehran and Beijing with a focus on establishing banking brokerage, financing projects as well as setting up Chinese banks’ branches inside Iran.


China Considers Iran Vital Belt & Road Hub

Financial Tribune - Sunday, September 10, 2017 

China’s strategic interest in Iran is intensifying, as Chinese manufacturers seek to establish new operations in Iran.
Tehran is viewed as a vital transport and logistics hub, reads a commentary by Below is the full text:
Iran is focusing in 2017 on expanding its railroad network so that it can better align with China’s Central Asian logistics strategy, Iranian Roads Minister Abbas Akhoundi said recently.
The minister added that the chief goal for Iran’s Department of Transportation would be to improve connections of the national rail network to neighboring railroad networks.
China is also providing $1.5 billion in financing to electrify the Tehran-Mashhad trunk line, and another $1.8 billion to establish a high-speed rail connection linking Tehran, Qom and Isfahan. In return, Iranian authorities are slashing transit tariffs for Chinese goods.
The Iranian upgrades are seen as crucial to achieve two Chinese trade priorities–expand commerce with Turkey and widen access for Chinese goods to Iranian ports near the Strait of Hormuz.
Beijing hopes to see trains running between the western Chinese region of Kashgar and Turkey’s Istanbul as soon as 2020. Iranian railroads figure to serve as key links in routes through both Central Asia and the Caucasus.


Chinese Investors Eying Israeli ‘Green’ Tech Market

by Breitbart Jerusalem10 Sep 2017

The Algemeiner reports: – An Israeli delegation headed by Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin is visiting China to bring Israeli firms specializing in green technology together with Chinese companies looking to invest substantially in the growing industry.  During his trip, Elkin has met with industry officials who plan to invest around $520 million in green technologies. Officials also discussed the possibility of establishing a joint Israeli-Chinese center for the advancement of clean technology.  “This is a tremendous opportunity that will significantly boost the Israeli economy,” Elkin said. “We can turn Israel into a leader in the field of environmental technology, just as we succeeded in doing in the field of high-tech.”

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Why Are Relations Tightening Between China and Turkey?

By Roie Yellinek      

The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 576, September 1, 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The volume of trade between China and Turkey grew significantly in the first decade of this century. The countries’ relationship is now strengthening further, reflecting Turkey’s interest in participating in the BRI and the Chinese leadership’s struggles with its Uyghur minority. Judging from recent declarations, it appears the relationship will hold up, as neither side has viable alternatives to this alliance.

Relations between China and Turkey have always had their ups and downs. When they established diplomatic relations in 1971, they made no effort to establish a deeper relationship. In the last decade of the 20th century, relations improved, and there was even the start of limited military cooperation.
In the first fifteen years of the current century, the volume of trade between the countries grew significantly, from $1 billion in 2000 to roughly $30 billion in 2015. The countries are now experiencing a further strengthening of relations, reflecting Turkey’s interest in participating in the BRI (Belt & Road Initiative) and the Chinese leadership’s struggles with its Uyghur minority.
On August 3, 2017, the two countries’ foreign ministers, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Wang Yi, met in Beijing to discuss relations. At the end of the meeting, the Turkish minister stated that the Turkish government will refrain from publishing anything that could be interpreted as anti-Chinese in the Turkish media, claiming that China’s security relies on Turkey’s. The particular subject under discussion was newspaper articles about China’s Uyghur population.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Official Program - Participants and Exhibitors China-Arab States Expo 2017

Please see the full program at the following homepage:

News Release of China - Arab States Expo 2017

The China-Arab States Expo is a large-scale and comprehensive economic & trade conference and exhibition event approved by the State Council of China. It is jointly organized by China’s Ministry of Com merce, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the People’s Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Since 2010, three sessions of China - Arab States Economic and Trade Forum and two sessions of China-Arab States Expo has been success fully held in Ningxia, which has been widely recognized by the Arab States and other countries along the “Belt and Road” with  extensive  and  profound  influence. On January  21, 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned in his speech at the Arab League Headquarters that China - Arab States Expo has been an important platform for China  and Arab states to jointly build the “Belt and Road”.
China-Arab States Expo 2017 will be held from September 6 to 9, 2017 in Yinchuan, Ningxia with  the theme of “Towards a New Model of Partnership Featuring Results-oriented and Win - win  Cooperation” for the general purpose of “ Friendship, Cooperation, Development ”. Series of conferences and exhibitions will be organized in China-Arab States Expo 2017including:
n Opening  Ceremony
n Serial Activities of Guest Country of Honor (Egypt) and of Theme Province  (Fujian)
n The  7th Session of the Arab-Chinese Businessmen Conference of China-Arab  States Cooperation  Forum&China-Arab States Business Summit 2017 and International Comprehensive Commodity and  service Exhibition
n China-Arab States Agricultural Cooperation Forum& Modern Agriculture Exhibition
n China-Arab States Auto Cooperation Meeting&Chinese Auto Brand Exhibition
n China - Arab States International Logistics Cooperation Meeting;
n China-Arab States Expo Credit Forum 2017
n China-Arab States Technology Transfer and Innovation Cooperation Conference & High-tech and Equipment Exhibition;
n China - Arab   States High - Speed Railway Session & China High - Speed  Railway Technology Exhibition
n China - Arab States Financial Cooperation Summit
n Online Silk Road Conference & Cloud Computing and Big Data Application Exhibition
n China - Arab  States International Capacity Cooperation Forum & Infrastructure and Capacity Cooperation Exhibition
n China - Arab States Tour Operators Conference 2017 and etc.

We sincerely invite governments and business communities of all Arab countries and other countries along the “ Belt and Road ” to join us in the China - Arab  States Expo 2017, to actively participate  in above conferences and exhibitions  to  present your competitive  products and technologies,  introduce trade and investment projects and negotiate results - oriented cooperation.
For further information or  participating in conferences, please contact:
Ms Lu Jing Tel:  +86 - 951 - 5960 610   
Mob: +86 - 17795100962
To  exhibit commodity and service, please contact :  Mr. Bai Mingwei/Ms Wang Jing  Tel : +86 - 951 - 5 9 60628 +86 - 951 - 5960630
Official Website:

Official Website:

China-Arab States Expo to be held from Sept. 6 to 9 in Yinchuan

Aerial photo taken on Sept. 5, 2017 shows the Ningxia International Hall, where the China-Arab States Expo will be held, in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The expo will be held from Sept. 6 to 9 in Yinchuan.

China-Arab States Expo 2017 - Yinchuan

The China-Britain Business Council cordially invites you to the China-Arab States Expo 2017 in Yinchuan, Ningxia. This trade conference is jointly organised by China’s Ministry of Commerce, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the People’s Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
  • Opening Ceremony
  • Serial Activities of Guest Country of Honor (Egypt) and of Theme Province (Fujian)
  • The 7th Session of the Arab-Chinese Businessmen Conference of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum & China-Arab States Business Summit 2017 and International Comprehensive Commodity and service Exhibition
  • China-Arab States Agricultural Cooperation Forum & Modern Agriculture Exhibition
  • China-Arab States Auto Cooperation Meeting & Chinese Auto Brand Exhibition
  • China-Arab States International Logistics Cooperation Meeting;
  • China-Arab States Expo Credit Forum 2017
  • China-Arab States Technology Transfer and Innovation Cooperation Conference & High-tech and Equipment Exhibition;
  • China-Arab States High-Speed Railway Session & China High-Speed Railway Technology Exhibition
  • China-Arab States Financial Cooperation Summit
  • Online Silk Road Conference & Cloud Computing and Big Data Application Exhibition
  • China-Arab States International Capacity Cooperation Forum & Infrastructure and Capacity Cooperation Exhibition
  • China-Arab States Tour Operators Conference 2017 and etc.
For further information or participating in conferences, please contact: Ms Lu Jing +86-951-5960610   Mob: +86-17795100962, Email: