Today, the internet facilitates massive financial flows and e-commence, on the one hand, and pornography, terrorism and all manner of crimes, on the other.
The fact that some nations go further in regulating political dissent or religious diversity is simply a function of the differences among nations in how they regulate the physical world.
I cannot say that, in an ideal world, internet sovereignty, with its restrictions, would be a good thing - but I do know that China's leaders hold the belief that regulating the internet is a good thing for the country, because they believe such regulations will help keep its society stable and thereby maintain a political system which suits China's current conditions and level of development. Regarding trusting intellectuals, Xi's instructions are obviously meant to alter the status quo. Nonetheless, Xi's emancipating words are vivid and energetic, and because they are expressed in multiple ways, their meaning cannot be missed. Continuing, Xi advised officials to "take in constructive opinions and be more tolerant and inclusive even though some of them [intellectuals] are biased or incorrect", stressing that intellectuals should not be blamed or punished for expressing their opinions, and urging officials not to "interfere in the creative work of intellectuals so that they can concentrate on their work".
Some Western critics think that Xi was reacting to Western criticism that China is becoming more restrictive.
Xi has set the bar high: Fulfilling the Chinese dream and achieving national rejuvenation requires reform and reform requires the creative engagement of China's intellectuals.
For quite some time, an increasing number of Chinese fashion designers have been, by invitation on many occasions, gracing the catwalks at international fashion weeks and showcasing an emerging, modern and dynamic Chinese fashion industry. Haizhen Wang (a luxury womenswear label based in London), Xander Zhou (collections aimed at preserving traditional Chinese culture through fashion, based in Beijing), Masha Ma (whose recent collections have been featured in Vogue and Elle) and Uma Wang (Wang's eponymous label has recently showcased catwalk collections at London, Paris and Milan fashion weeks), to name but a few, continue to contribute to significant and sizeable global recognition of the talented and creative industry. And last month Shanghai-based fashion brand Arete Studio, only launched in 2013 by Jasmine Ting, was one of a few select brands invited to parade at the internationally prestigious Paris Fashion Week's AMF Paris Showroom. Most importantly it is increasingly the home-grown Chinese talents who are being invited to showcase their work and ideas internationally, often at major fashion shows in the fashion centers of the world.
The times are changing and turning into very exciting moments indeed for the wave of Chinese fashion designers.
Such is the attention and achievement now associated with this emerging pool of young Chinese fashion design talent that only a month or so ago, White Milano, one of the most prestigious international fashion shows in the industry's calendar, carved out an area dedicated to young talents from the Chinese mainland. This area was promoted with the banner "China Calling" and proved hugely popular among all attendees.
The coalescing of a number of young, talented Chinese fashion designers will have accelerated international awareness of their presence. Beyond Milan, Chinese Academy of Art graduate Min Wu's work was first displayed at London Fashion Week in September 2015. But how to build on this international market exposure and make meaningful progress in the competitive area of global brand building?
What we now need to see from these Chinese fashion pioneers is evidence of careful, considered international market penetration plans and brand building programs.
That said, collaboration, co-operation and learning from others should not replace each fashion designers' own talent and creativity. Above all else, young Chinese fashion designers should never forget that it is their mother country that has put them where they are and its unique history and heritage can shine through again and again in the visual appearance and symbolic imagery surrounding their latest designs.
The author is a visiting professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. What some private enterprises now encounter in their domestic investment bids are not a "glass door" or a "swing door", but rather "no door", as Premier Li Keqiang said at the meeting.
Statistics indicate that non-governmental investment has accounted for over 60 percent of China's total fixed-asset investment in recent years, and contributed more than 60 percent to the country's gross domestic product growth. Despite growing faster than the country's total investment over the past years, China's non-governmental investment has been decelerating since the fourth quarter of last year and its proportion to the total has also witnessed a decline.
Forcible measures must thus be taken to push for the implementation of policies to create a fair investment environment and promote the recovery of such kind of investment, Li stressed. The meeting also urged governments at various levels to optimize and adjust their non-governmental investment policies, treat State-owned and non-governmental enterprises as equals and improve the services for private investors. Booming non-governmental investment has played an important supporting role behind the country's fruitful campaign to stabilize growth, adjust its economic structure and expand the job market over recent years, but such kind of investment has declined in the first quarter of this year.
Compared with State-led investment, non-governmental investment is more of a gauge of social capital's activeness and widely viewed as a weathervane of China's economic vitality and an important measure of the extent of its economic prosperity. In view of this, the State Council vowed a series of forcible measures to boost the sagging confidence of private enterprises to stimulate their investment enthusiasm. China's top leaders have made clear that the country will unshakably encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector while adhering to a basic economic system led by public ownership.
Given that the 5.7 percent growth in China's non-governmental investment in the first quarter of this year is 3 percentage points lower than that in the same period last year, the targeted policies and measures rolled out by the State Council to promote the recovery of such investment will be of practical significance.
As early as 2014, the State Council promulgated a guideline document to give non-governmental capital, especially private capital, an active role in some key investment areas. The special supervision and the third-party evaluation vowed by the State Council meeting over the implementation of relevant State policies will undoubtedly exert pressure on local governments to improve their policies. The United States is finding its regional hegemony in the Asia-Pacific contested as China whittles away the US' influence in its neighborhood.
The most recent example of the expansion of Chinese influence relates to the sea boundary disputes with Brunei, Cambodia and Laos. Australia, too, has opposed Chinese actions in the South China Sea, prompting Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Wu Qian to call on Australia to "cherish the hard-won good momentum of development in bilateral relations". Many Chinese seem puzzled about Australia's position on the South China Sea and why it is not congruent with that of China. However, the Australian partnership with the US is a long-standing one, and one it is unlikely to give up. Yet Australia's position vis-i??i??-vis the South China Sea is one taken by a friend of China, not a foe. Countries continually seek to develop their defense capabilities, this includes forming alliances. The proof of the pudding with regard Australia is in the contrasts seen relative to its security and economic interests. But as friends, China and Australia can influence each other, not only regarding the South China Sea, but also on other matters of mutual interest - such as cyber security and terrorism. Undertaking cooperative projects, whether military, economic or cultural, is a way of growing reciprocal positive images. We also know that Royal Australian Navy frigates engaged in "live firing" training exercises with Chinese naval vessels in October 2015. These are signs that this is not a Cold War type situation, but rather a more complex balancing of interests - economic and security - in the contemporary geopolitical context.
Australia, China and the US can cooperate in a triadic relationship to their mutual benefit without precluding other partnerships. The author is a professor and inaugural director of the Soft Power Analysis and Resource Centre at Macquarie University.
The White House has officially announced that US President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima on May 27, the first-ever such visit to the city by a sitting US president.
The White House stated explicitly that Obama will not apologize for his country's atomic bombing of the city during World War II in 1945, and there is no reason for him to do so. Yet, it is quite likely the Japanese media and right-wingers will interpret a visit by the US president itself as an apologetic gesture, as they did when US Secretary of State John Kerry visited the city's Memorial Park in April. World sympathy has often been with the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
To be exact, it is the war of aggression the Japanese militarists launched at the beginning of the last century that is to blame for the bombings.
To the world's dismay, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been trying to whitewash the violence and suffering the Japanese Imperial Army inflicted on the people of the countries it invaded.
The museum in Hiroshima provides hundreds of chilling exhibits and poignant artifacts about the bombing of the city without providing the context in which the US made the decision to drop the bombs. The Abe administration's lifting of the ban on its military fighting overseas by making changes to its pacifist Constitution has drawn strong reactions from its Asian neighbors.
And the neighbors are right to feel uneasy, given Japan's attitude, its government's attitude in particular, toward its imperialist past. In such a context, it is not hard to imagine how Obama's visit to Hiroshima will be exploited by Japan's right-wing and revisionist groups in favor of their efforts to whitewash the atrocious crimes it committed in neighboring countries. This will abrogate what the White House claims is Obama's mission of "pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons". The furor over the introduction of a charge to drive on a remote scenic highway in North China's Hebei province will probably come to end now the provincial price authority says the practice is legal and the money is duly collected according to regulations. Known as "China's Route 66", the 130-kilometer highway received more than 330,000 visitors last year, far beyond its capacity, according to officials in Zhangbei county. They claim the tourists have damaged the local ecology and environment and disrupted the lives of local residents, and the charge of 50 yuan ($7.7) per person will prevent the situation from worsening.
Similar reasons were cited in 2013 when local officials in Fenghuang in Central China's Hunan province started to charge tourists an entry fee to visit the ancient town, despite complaints from tourists and shop owners. Turning a public highway into a fee-charging tourist site, not only sets a bad example for other places that happen to boast of similar resources. Though Zhangbei officials said they would charge only tourists, a viable method is yet to be worked out to avoid the indiscriminate charging of all users.
When tapping their tourist attractions, local governments should take a long-term view and broad perspective by improving infrastructure facilities and their management capabilities.
THE DEATH OF LEI YANG, a young man who died after being caught in a vice raid in Changping district, Beijing, continues to make headlines. We do not know whether the police have told the whole truth because they have not provided any evidence to back up their claims. Of course, by answering questions and accepting interviews, the police have shown an open attitude, which is much better than the ostrich policy that authorities often resort to. When someone dies while being questioned by police, a judicial investigation is needed to determine the circumstances. While asking for the truth, the public hopes to get an answer not only about this individual case, but also about whether our public power is well regulated and whether people are well protected by the law. Winning the Philippine presidential election will be just the beginning of Duterte's new political adventure. It would be unfair to blame the current administration alone for the severe corruption, high crime rate, and widening income gap, which have long existed in the country. During his two-decade term as the mayor of Davao, Duterte has succeeded in improving local security but not people's livelihoods.
That said, to significantly reduce corruption he will have to confront certain political elites, plutocrats, and oligarchs in Manila.
As for his diplomatic pledges, it remains unclear whether Duterte will keep accommodating Washington to sustain the US-Philippines military alliance, or pursue peaceful regional cooperation.
As part of his campaign, Duterte's previous comments on the South China Sea issue have been varied.
VILLAGERS IN Xuegang village, Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province in Central China, paid homage to Fan Huapei on Wednesday, a 36-year-old man killed by police gunfire one day after he stabbed three men to death in a conflict over the forced demolition of his home.
In the context of forced demolitions, there is not much that makes this one a special case. The limited disclosure of information by the local government reveals a significant change in its relocation policy and compensation standards, which meant even less compensation was being paid to villagers such as Fan Huapei - not enough to build a new house - and there was no "resettlement before demolition" as required by State regulations. Cutting off the water and electricity supply to force Fan from his home were the final triggers for the tragedy. By resorting to violence, the desperate show they feel helplessness and unable to change their fate. Every extreme behavior is often accompanied by the collapse of a person's belief in the system. More and more people are losing patience as they have no say in the demolitions and feel they can only be heard through violence. The report predicts the US will overtake China as the world's most competitive country in manufacturing by 2020. The Manufacturing Competitiveness Index is prepared on the basis of responses collected from a diverse group of senior global executives belonging to different industries.
Unlike low labor costs and small innovations, which have been the main determinants of manufacturing competitiveness for the last three or four decades, sophisticated technology is expected to become the main source of industrial competitiveness in the near future. The vital role of advanced technology in promoting the competitiveness of future global manufacturing is well understood.
The forecast for the rankings of the global manufacturing competitiveness index seem to assume that the US will lead the rest of the world in improvements in advanced technology. The rankings appear to have underestimated the importance of skilled labor in determining competitiveness. Skilled labor (including industrial robots) continues to be deployed at cheaper costs in Asian manufacturing, compared with the US and Europe.
Thus the prediction for the 2020 Manufacturing Competitiveness Index might well be incorrect.
The author is senior research fellow and research lead (trade and economic policy) at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore.
The McKinsey Global Institute, in a study of post-crisis debt trends, notes that gross debt has increased about $60 trillion - or 75 percent of global GDP-since 2008. A global economy that is levering up, while unable to generate enough aggregate demand to achieve potential growth, is on a risky path. First, one must consider the composition of the debt across sectors (household, government, non-financial corporate, and the financial sector).
As it turns out, economies with similar and relatively high levels of gross debt relative to GDP exhibit sharp differences when it comes to the composition of the debt. The third key factor for assessing the risk of growing debt is monetary policy and interest rates. Many governments nowadays are accumulating debt in order to buttress public or private consumption.
Moreover, in a relatively high-growth economy, ostensibly high debt levels are not necessarily a problem, as long as that debt is being used to fund investments that either yield high returns or create assets worth more than the debt. The good news is that, in China, much of the accumulated leverage has indeed been used to fund investment, which in principle creates assets that will augment future growth.
The bad news is that directed lending and the relaxation of credit standards in China, particularly after the crisis, have led to investment in assets in real estate and heavy industry with a value well below the cost of creating them. China's so-called debt problem is thus not really a debt problem, but an investment problem. Many developed countries are also failing to invest in high-return assets, but for a different reason: Their tight budgets and rising debts are preventing them from investing much at all. In order to spur growth and employment, these economies must start paying closer attention to the kind of debt they accumulate.
Yet, in an environment of low long-term interest rates and deficient short-term aggregate demand (which means there is little risk of crowding out the private sector), it is a mistake not to relax fiscal constraints for investment. The author, a Nobel laureate in economics, is professor of economics at New York University's Stern School of Business and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. She was soon challenged by an Associated Press reporter about who determines what constitutes an excessive maritime claim.
She was then reminded that the US has not ratified UNCLOS, unlike more than 160 other countries. Such hypocrisy aside, the US Navy action reflects the deep-rooted US mentality that it is the self-appointed world's policeman. It was just like a CNN report earlier this week talking about Russian military presence in Syria.
Yet as anyone who does not have short memory knows too well it was the US and its NATO allies that were the first external forces to become involved in the conflict in Syria, when they supplied arms to rebel groups and when US President Barack Obama said in 2011 that Syrian President Bashar Assad must go. Unlike his predecessors, Obama's rhetoric has been less supportive of US being the self-appointed policeman of the world. However, the US' actions in Syria, Libya and now the South China Sea suggest the US still regards itself as far beyond all other nations and international organizations such as the United Nations. Yes, the world needs a policeman, and it is debatable whether UN can effectively serve that role. We should not forget that both Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were good friends of the US just less than three decades ago. The fact of the matter is the world is no safer today with the US serving as the world's policeman, or in euphemism, exercising its global leadership. I am not denying it has played a positive role at times, but the role of world's policeman clearly needs to be kept under scrutiny by the UN and the international community. A Pew Center poll released on May 5 about America's role in the world showed that most Americans say it would be better if the US just dealt with its own problems and let other countries deal with their own problems as best they can, and more people than before say the US should cut back its defense spending.
That is a clear disapproval by American people for the US playing the role of the world's policeman.
According to the latest statement by the police released on Wednesday, the young man put up a fierce resistance when police officers tried to interrogate him about his visit to a foot massage parlor, where sex services were believed to be provided.
From the police statement, there is no telling whether the police officers assaulted him because of his resistance, nor is there any evidence to connect his death with what the police officers did to him. The police also said that those in the foot massage parlor now detained for allegedly providing sex services confirmed that Lei paid 200 yuan ($31) for sex, and a condom collected from the parlor proves that Lei had sex there. Given the speculation there has been about what happened that night, it is important the police provide as much evidence as possible to corroborate their version of events.
The police have promised that an autopsy will be performed on the body by a third party under the supervision of prosecutors to find out the true cause of Lei's death. The longer doubts about his death exist, the more guesswork there will be about the actions of the police officers involved.
The top leadership has previously said that efforts should be made to let people feel the justice and fairness in every judicial case. Now the concerns the public has demonstrated over the official story regarding this particular case provides the judiciary with an opportunity to fix and consolidate its reputation and credibility by conducting a thorough investigation into the case and finding out exactly what happened.
The situation in the South China Sea took a worrying turn for the worse on Tuesday after the US guided-missile destroyer USS William P.
The US is on shaky ground using this justification as internaitonal maritime law never authorizes military vessels any freedom of navigation into territorial waters of another nation. If the US really cares about the unrestricted flow of goods on the sea, it should refrain from flexing its military muscles on China's doorstep, as this is only raising tensions in the region. China responded to the latest provocation by deploying two navy fighter jets, one early-warning aircraft and three ships to track and warn-off the US warship. More resolute measures can be expected in the future as China has reiterated that its resolve to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity is "as firm as a rock".
As the Pentagon steps up its provocations in the Chinese waters, China is left with no choice but to strengthen its countermeasures. Despite being conducted in the guise of the common good, the moves by the US in the South China Sea smack of its arrogance as the world's sole superpower. ON TUESDAY, Li Yanhong, chairman and CEO of domestic online search engine Baidu, issued a letter to all staff about the results of the recent investigation into the death of a college student, which concluded the search engine had played a role in the young man's death. The public expected Li to apologize and correct his company's wrongdoings, but he only boasted of Baidu's "glories" instead. The investigators have already concluded that Baidu played a role in Wei's death, but Li insisted attributing that to pressure from market competition.
Although recruiting underage workers is illegal, companies still do so from time to time, not only because of the lower cost of child labor, but also because migrant workers' appeal to them to employ their children so the families can be reunited. Worrying about their kids being left unattended during the winter or summer holidays, which can last for months, some migrant workers choose to bring them to the workplace in the cities. Other so-called left-behind children who quit school at a young age, tend to spend a lot of time playing online games at local internet cafes.
It is obvious that the public intervention designed to assist left-behind children, who have easier access to the internet and greater desire for personal wealth and independence, has failed to function. The left-behind children in rural regions have become a sore point in China's social governance, and will keep haunting all parties concerned, including their parents and local governments, as many of them have started their adventure of exploring urban life.
PEKING UNIVERSITY is making it mandatory for female students to take part in an aerobics performance as part of the university's sports show.
It should be realized that the school has no bad intention in organizing the women's aerobics performance, for the upcoming school sports show itself is fine. For female students who are worried about the skirts being too short, they can wear leggings. We often say that government departments should develop policies based on listening to the public's opinions. If the organizer does not consider their feelings and does not solicit their opinions, it will be difficult to put on a good show. For years, the PLA has been investing heavily to enhance its fighting capabilities, and the video shows the progress the PLA has made in modernizing its weaponry. All the branches of PLA, namely the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Rocket Force appear in the video displaying their modern technologies and equipment, demonstrating they are now a modern national defense force.
The video sends a clear signal that the old thinking that emphasized the number of military personnel rather than technology has been abandoned.
Some Western media have speculated that China is preparing for war because of the video's title.
China has never, and will never, change its defensive defense policy, which has been reiterated many times by the government and military. Considering the current global situation, China needs to adopt a proactive defensive defense policy. Unlike the past persuasion-style videos, the Battle Declaration video looks much more modern because it means to recruit more young people with a higher educational background. The author is deputy general secretary of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China convened in late 2012, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as general secretary has adhered to stricter governance of the Party and introduced a strategic layout for building the Party. Xi's theories and views on stricter governance of the Party are important guides for the comprehensive advancement of this work, and the push for stricter Party governance demonstrates Xi's sense of responsibility and mission as the leader of the Party. Without stricter governance of our Party, we will sooner or later become disqualified as the ruling party and unavoidably be deserted by history, Xi has said. Stricter governance of the Party is an inevitable requirement for the socialist cause with Chinese characteristics and the Party's mission to realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. That Xi has put Party building in the context of the Chinese dream fully reflects the requirements of the times and his resolve to achieve this historical goal. To promote stricter governance of the Party, we should tightly combine our efforts to strengthen Party building on both the ideological and systematic fronts, and promote their integration, Xi has stressed.
This remark profoundly states the dialectical relationship between the two, and points out the goals and direction for Party building. As Xi has said, to promote stricter governance of the Party requires institutional guarantees. Experience has demonstrated time and again that if confined to partial aspects, Party building does not achieve expected effects. The CPC is a party that possesses abundant political resources and thus Party building should be based on its own political advantages and show its distinct characteristics. Running through Xi's philosophy of stricter Party governance is a strong "problem" awareness and a clear "problem" orientation, both of which testifying to Xi's pragmatic attitude and sense of responsibility. Under the leadership of Xi, the Party will surely give Chinese people a satisfactory answer sheet in its campaign for stricter self-governance.
The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima later this month when he visits the country to attend the G7 Summit. Three days later, the only other use of nuclear weapons against a human-in-habited target so far took place, when another US B-29 bomber carrying a more powerful plutonium device destroyed the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Sober US military assessments estimated that the invasion might cost hundreds of thousands Americans dead and millions more Japanese casualties. The war that Truman wanted to end as rapidly as possible had already cost, by most recent estimates, 80 million lives including at least 27 million Russian dead, 16 million Chinese, overwhelmingly civilians, and the six million Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
But what is always forgotten across the United States and Europe is that the terrible war did not begin with the Nazi invasion of Poland in September 1939: it began with the Japanese invasion and effort to conquer China in 1937. In the first nightmarish summer of war in 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army drove west up the Yangtze River Valley, slaughtering everyone in their path. When they reached the then Chinese capital of Nanjing, they carried out the first monstrous atrocity of the war, the Rape of Nanjing, killing at least 300,000 people and the mass rape of untold numbers of Chinese women. The atrocities were so terrible they even shocked card-carrying German members of the Nazi Party who witnessed them. In the more than 70 years since those awful events, Hiroshima has become the symbol of the feared new nuclear age. But as today's government in Tokyo supports the confrontational US maritime policies in the South China Sea, those attending the summit would also do well to recall the reckless, headlong charge into war of the militarist Japanese governments of the 1930s. For the road to Hiroshima truly began with the atrocities of the drive up the Yangtze eight years earlier. The author is a national columnist for the Post-Examiner online newspapers in the US and senior fellow of the American University in Moscow.
However, similar government efforts to help domestic consumers, which would be more cost-efficient and effective in sustaining China's overall economic growth, are still in short supply.
For the world's second-largest economy to steadily press ahead with its transformation from expansion led by exports and investment toward growth driven by consumption and services, it is necessary for the Chinese authorities to entice consumers to spend more. To cope with the global market uncertainties that have disrupted the country's trade performance so far this year, the State Council, or the Cabinet, released a guideline document on Monday that set out supportive measures such as optimizing tax refund policies for certain exports, enhancing export credit insurance and offering more financial support to Chinese manufacturers. Given the contribution that China's rising status as a leading global trade power had made to the country's double-digit growth during the past few decades, it is understandable that Chinese policymakers are seeking to reignite this seasoned growth engine. But it is neither possible nor desirable to build the already-huge export engine into the key driving force again. Both the 10-trillion-dollar-plus size of the Chinese economy and the huge share of global trade that Chinese exporters have put a limit on the role that export growth will play in boosting China's overall economic growth in coming years.
Instead, the country's ongoing economic transition toward more sustainable consumption and services-driven growth means the country is relying more and more on domestic consumers who have enjoyed far less policy support than Chinese exporters over the past three decades. It is not that Chinese policymakers never provide any government support for consumption growth. But the scale and scope of such policy support has never gained as much sense of urgency as the policy support aimed at beefing up exports and investment. The stable growth of domestic consumption, long eclipsed by breathtaking investment and the boom in exports, only began to shine when these two growth engines recently began to lose steam.
However, the country's status quo consumption policy can neither meet the rising demands of Chinese families for better products and services nor reflect the potential for consumption to grow into a much bigger driver of economic growth as it is in many other countries of similar or higher income levels.
Urgent policy support to boost investment or export growth may help avoid an unexpected hard landing. Besides officially crowning Kim Jong-un as supreme leader, the just-concluded party congress of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea offered the rest of the world a rare glimpse of the country's actual policy orientations. In contrast to the past months of harsh, sometimes intimidating, rhetoric regarding its pursuit of nuclear weapons and relations with Seoul and Washington, Pyongyang sounded impressively less-aggressive, even reconciliatory at the congress. But Kim's assertion that the DPRK is a "responsible nuclear state" may ring hollow outside Pyongyang, because, suspicions about its nuclear capabilities aside, few would embrace it as a responsible nuclear power. If Pyongyang is sincere about denuclearization, the best way to demonstrate it would be to stop its nuclear brinkmanship. He promised not to use nuclear weapons first unless threatened; yet Pyongyang feels under constant threat. Kim did extend olive branches to both Seoul and Washington by stressing the need for talks to ease cross-border animosities, and reiterating Pyongyang's longstanding formula of reunification under a "federal system". And in a move that seems like a break from his father's songun, or military first, strategy and one which inspires hope that he will switch his focus to the economy, Kim announced North Korea's first five-year economic plan since the 1980s and vowed to improve living standards in the country. However, byongjin as the new key word of North Korean national policies indicates economic development and nuclear capabilities are two parallel goals that appear to carry equal weight on Kim's agenda. Byongjin does signify a step forward from songun, as it indicates Kim has finally come to terms with North Korea's grim economic reality and is showing he has the political will to handle it. Kim has seen the need to make peace with and engage the outside world in order to save his country's suffering economy.
The terse statement released by the police about the death of a young man who was interrogated in Beijing at the weekend has once again provoked the public to question the official version of events. Lei Yang, 29, the father of a new-born daughter and an expert on the environmental economy with a master's degree from Renmin University of China, died on Saturday night while in police custody after he was seized during a vice raid in the capital's Changping district. The police, in a short statement issued two days later, said Lei refused to be subdued when caught, suffered a sudden illness during questioning, and was sent to hospital. Lei's family and friends have strongly disputed this, saying he was in good health and the bruises on his body suggest abuse. The contradiction between their words and the police statement has sparked suspicions that the police resorted to excessive use of force.
To dispel these suspicions, the police should lose no time in taking the initiative to offer more information about the incident than they have provided so far, such as when and where the raid took place and whether Lei's interrogation and custody conformed to legal procedures.
If they have nothing to hide, they should see the public concerns about the man's death as a chance to demonstrate their transparency and build up their social credibility.
Failure to address people's concerns, or any attempt to try to cover up the case - for whatever purpose - will only tilt public opinion against the police and give rise to conspiracy theories, as has happened before. ON MONDAY, investigators looking at the role played by the search engine Baidu in the death of a college student announced their conclusions.
Some analysts have tried excusing Baidu for its faults, claiming Wei made the decision to go to the hospital and Baidu only offered search listings.
They should read the conclusion of the investigators, namely that Baidu's paid rankings, from which it profited by listing search results according to the money companies paid, had a decisive influence on Wei's decision.
Baidu's high executives might never have expected the scandal ignited by Wei's death could become so influential.
RODRIGO DUTERTE, the strongman mayor of the Philippines' southern city of Davao for two decades, is set to become the country's new president. Regularly compared to the controversial US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, the 71-year-old Duterte has promised to end drug crime in three to six months and improve security by executing 100,000 suspected criminals if elected as the Philippine leader. His proposed hard-line policies, which are very different from those of the outgoing administration, have captured the public's attention.
The triumph of Duterte points to the fact that the Philippine people are unhappy with the six-year rule of Benigno Aquino III.
Although the country's economic growth has been 6.3 percent a year on average, the stable economic development has failed to narrow the income gap between the few haves and the huge population of have-nots.
Duterte opposes the idea of seeking a war with China and believes that the Philippine's arbitration case challenging China's territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea issue would make little difference to the situation. But what he can and should do is revise Manila's aggressive China policy and seek to improve the bilateral diplomatic relations, instead of picking sides between Beijing and Washington. Smoking in the classroom not only harms her own health and the health of the students, it also sends the wrong message to the students. Teachers can't be expected to quit smoking all of a sudden but that does not mean they can smoke in the classroom in front of the students. Schools and universities should be cultural highlands and education represents hope for the future in which teachers play an essential role. When people undertake the task of teaching, in addition to sharing their knowledge, they are setting an example for students through their words and deeds.
In fact, last November, the State Council Legislative Affairs Office released draft regulations that ban smoking in public places, including schools, and require public employees, including teachers, to take the lead in efforts to control tobacco use. The peaceful development shared by the mainland and Taiwan during the past eight years, has a lot to do with the political foundation that both sides of the Taiwan Straits adhere to the 1992 Consensus. Although toning down her previous rhetoric endorsing the island's "independence", Tsai has refrained from elaborating on what should be done to "preserve the status quo", and refuses to offer an unequivocal answer to inquiries about what her position is regarding the 1992 Consensus on one China. In all likelihood, she may try to keep beating around the bush in her inauguration speech by acknowledging the 1992 cross-Straits talks and the need to seek common ground while shelving differences. But as the past six decades have repeatedly proved, cross-Straits relations only enjoy peaceful development when both sides reach the consensus that the island and the mainland belong to one China. This is an important lesson that the DPP, which led cross-Straits relations to the brink of breakdown when it governed the island from 2000 to 2008, should keep in mind. The then DPP leader Chen Shui-bian relentlessly pursued Taiwan's formal "independence", which not only dealt a heavy blow to local economy and people's livelihoods, but also served as a ticking time bomb threatening regional stability. It is no exaggeration to say that Cross-Straits relations will be bumpy over the next four years under Tsai's leadership if she refrains from making sincere amendments to her party's pro-independence stance and keeps equivocating over endorsing the 1992 Consensus. Although Tsai has acknowledged the significance of peaceful cross-Straits ties to Taiwan and has stressed that both the mainland and Taiwan are responsible for cross-Straits peace and stability, she seems to regard the mainland as a "threat" to the island's development, rather than an opportunity. The truth is, the stance she has adopted will prove counter-productive, because expressing her support for the 1992 Consensus is the only way to prolong cross-Straits exchanges and enhance mutual political trust.
The author is an associate professor at the Collaborative Innovation Centre for Peaceful Development of Cross-Straits Relations. Nevertheless, critics argue that the emergence of Chinese robotics industry is being sustained by subsidies doled out by local governments, and they question whether the industry would be able to survive on its own in the face of global competition. Furthermore, the boom has been driven by government policies (central government encouragement, local government mandates, and tax credits), rising quality requirements (ramping up automakers for export), and the emergence of early adopters in China (more capital-intensive companies and an expansive middle class with disposable income). On the one hand, Xi called for "internet sovereignty", so the Chinese government can regulate what its citizens can and cannot access online.
The more deeply the internet becomes enmeshed in the economic and social fabric of contemporary life, the more intensely nations are extending their regulating powers so that the rules of the actual world apply in the virtual world. As all these are (and should be) regulated in the physical world, it was inevitable that as they have become more consequential online, they would also become more regulated in the virtual world.
While one person's "regulation" is another person's "censorship", there is nothing unusual going on here.
There is something about current conditions of intellectuals that, for the good of China, he wants to improve. Party and government departments, the president said, should trust intellectuals and create a favorable environment, so that they can exercise their talents and develop their careers.
Reform means change; change means doing things differently, and doing things differently means criticizing the way things are done now. To harmonize the temporal proximity of internet sovereignty and trusting intellectuals should be to recognize that maintaining collective political stability and unleashing individual creative power are simultaneously essential as Xi seeks to actualize his grand vision for China. Sonja Long Xiao, founder of the Shanghai-based concept store Alter, was invited to organize the display of many rising Chinese fashion designers such as Nicole Zhang, Chen Yi Yuan and Shushu Tong.
And rising Chinese star Guo Pei followed up her success at the Met Gala in New York last May with a debut appearance in Paris in January during Haute Couture Week. A coherent strategy with a detailed target market profile per country or region and a clear, valued and unoccupied market position are fundamental to any sustainable success overseas.
The decline in the first quarter marks the first time in years China's private investment has grown slower than the country's total investment. That means the country has not changed its previous policies and efforts aimed at creating a good environment for the non-public sector.
China should ensure the legitimate status and fundamental interests of private investors from a legal perspective. However, the recent declining momentum of such investment shows to a certain degree that the relevant policies and measures have failed to be fully implemented.
Any barriers artificially set for such kind of investment should be removed and relevant persons should even be held accountable.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reported on April 24 that these members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations had agreed to follow individual paths of bilateral negotiation with China. Australia and China already have good relations so they do not understand why the two countries cannot see eye-to-eye on security matters such as this?
Australian policymakers will no doubt be watching nervously, as will their European counterparts, to see if Donald Trump's presidential campaign pronouncements to revisit the US' strategic architecture, might translate into policy if he ends up occupying the White House. While Australia is a major shareholder in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank its ally, the US, has fought shy of joining the AIIB. Australia cannot coerce China to acquiesce to its stance, nor has it the intention to do so.
And China will join the US-led multinational naval Rim of the Pacific exercises off Hawaii in June and July 2016.
Yet, they are also victims of Japanese militarism, something the right-wing groups in Japan constantly try to shun. Such an omission reveals, to a large extent, how the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are viewed by quite a large percentage of Japanese.
But the Obama administration that voices peace on other occasions has remained largely silent about such moves by its enemy turned ally.
In fact, the local government was forced to revoke the fee in April this year as it drove away potential visitors and seriously hurt local businesses.
It also goes against the trend encouraged by the central government to make more roads toll free to cut logistic costs and facilitate unrestricted flow of goods and services. Focusing on earning quick money with such fees is simply killing a goose that can lay golden eggs.
The police claimed he suffered a heart attack when trying to resist interrogation; but they failed to provide any evidence to support their account. More importantly, even if Lei resisted, that's no excuse for his death while in police custody. The police are one of the parties involved, so they should not be investigating themselves.
For example, in an interview with China Central Television on Wednesday, they said they recorded the raid with a cellphone and they would "publicize the video at the proper time".
He has to deliver on his promises to voters while dealing with a slew of tricky challenges at home and abroad left by outgoing President Benigno Aquino III.
Often compared to the pugnacious US presidential candidate Donald Trump, Duterte did manage to persuade many Philippine voters, who are desperate for "a change", to believe that he is the long-awaited game-changer. More important, leading and managing the whole country will be totally different from running the city, especially for the new president who lacks political resources in the capital. But implementing new policies might be difficult due to his lack of support in the Congress.
However, he said during his presidential campaign he is unlikely to break with Washington in the short term. It is time for him to contemplate proper measures to address the South China Sea disputes between China and his country, and wake up to the fact that Beijing is always open to negotiations but will not give up its lawful territorial claims.
The impression of these executives points to the US emerging as the most competitive manufacturing country in the world.
High value-added manufacturing industries, such as aeronautics, automobiles, chemicals, defense, electronics, machinery and pharmaceuticals are becoming more automated in process and function and are therefore employing less labor. But will that make the US the most competitive manufacturing country in the world within five years? This is possible given the US's history of innovations, particularly in digital technology.
It is true that high value-added manufacturing is now dominated by lean work forces and advanced technologies. Indeed, the US dependence on foreign skilled labor remains high, as can be seen from the continuation of the H1B and L1 visa schemes that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise or allow companies operating in the US and abroad to transfer certain classes of employee from their overseas operations to the US. In the years since the 2008 global financial crisis, austerity and balance-sheet repair have been the watchwords of the global economy. China's debt, for example, has increased fourfold since 2007, and its debt-to-GDP ratio is some 282 percent - higher than in many other major economies, including the United States.
Excessive household debt is particularly risky, because a shock in the price of assets (especially real estate) translates quickly into reduced consumption, as it weakens growth, employment, and investment. Today, real growth is subdued and may even be slowing, while inflation is below target inmost places, with some economies even facing the risk of deflation. Though no one knows exactly what a "normal" interest-rate environment might look like in the post-crisis world, it is reasonable to assume that it will not look like it does today, when many economies are keeping rates near zero and some have even moved into negative territory. Unfortunately, though such accommodation cannot be sustained forever, today's conditions are often viewed as semi-permanent, creating the illusion of stability and reducing the incentive to undertake difficult reforms that promote future growth.
Increasing debt to sustain current consumption, whether in the household or government sector, is rightly viewed as an unsustainable element of a growth pattern.
This approach, if overused, can amount to borrowing future demand; in that case, it is clearly unsustainable. In the case of sovereign debt, the return on investment can be viewed as the increment to future growth. To address it, China must reform its investment and financial systems, so that low or negative return investments are screened out more reliably.
As this weakens growth and reduces inflation, the speed at which their sovereign-debt ratios can be reduced declines considerably. The return to public investment is affected by the presence or absence of complementary reforms, which vary from country to country. In fact, the right kind of public investment would probably spur more private-sector investment.
Trudeau, who, like most people, clearly does not understand much of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, said this is consistent with UNCLOS. The US' concern is that ratifying the convention would subject it to international laws that would diminish the US' sovereignty on the high seas.
In the end, the reporter quoted a Syrian civilian as saying that peace and stability can only be brought about by Syrian people, not external forces, implying that the Russian forces are not helping. Since their intervention, the Syrian conflict has escalated, causing huge loss of civilian lives, an influx of refugees and the rise of the Islamic State extremist group. Otherwise, it invites chaos if every big power appoints themselves as a global or regional policeman. The entire truth about Lei's death is indispensable if justice is not only done but seen to be done in this case. As a result, the conspiracy theories on the grapevine will very likely enjoy the oxygen of publicity, causing a lot of damage to the reputation of the police and the credibility of the government.
Lawrence conducted another so-called freedom of navigation operation near Yongshu Reef in China's Nansha Islands.
This is an appropriate countermeasure to the challenge to its maritime sovereignty and security. The situation is evolving in a worrying way as it is leaving less room for consultation and compromise, and the cycle of tit-for-tat actions risks setting the two countries on a collision course.
In essence they are intended to maintain its "unchallenged primacy" in the Asia-Pacific, which the Pentagon fears may be compromised by China's growing economic and military strength. We do not know how he managed to move himself, but his words obviously failed to move readers, as there has been hardly any positive reaction to his letter. Worse, he tried to persuade the public with 1960s-style sentences even though this year is 2016. The whole letter gave readers the impression that Baidu is always right and it just made some small mistakes.
A monopoly does not necessarily bring hate but Baidu does because it uses the monopoly to misguide users for profit.
It has already damaged its public trust, and if it continues being arrogant, the market will soon teach it a lesson.
He (and many of his kind in rural China) dropped out of school early and started working before he reached 16, which is not allowed by China's Labor Law. This, to some extent, is an acceptable way of sustaining the family bonds, but the youngsters can do little but work as child laborers. Their obsession with virtual reality has a lot to do with both their parents' long absence and the internet cafes' failure to keep them out as required. For them, quitting school and working is the only practical choice, partly because higher education is losing its magic in offering them hope of a better life. Of course, they are welcome to study and work in bigger cities, but this teenager's death shows the price they may pay.
But even though the aerobics performance is suitable for a sports show, it could lead to resentment if it is a forced performance.
However, the length of the skirts is not the point, the students are saying that "if I do not want to participate in this activity, then I can choose not to".
Even if they stand on the training ground for five points or perform in the designated uniform in the aerobatics, there will always be reluctance in their hearts that will likely be reflected in their performance if they are forced to participate. They even quote the lyrics and scenes from the video, such as the launching of missiles, to support their claim that China is belligerent.
Such videos are meant to encourage young people to join the military so they have to look exciting. This video clearly signals the change in how it is implementing its defensive defense policy.
Therefore it has two main characteristics: using more popular elements, as well displaying more technology.
College students will graduate in July; the video means to encourage them to join the PLA on graduating, and it gives them a few months to think before they make their final decision. Thus stricter governance of the Party is an inevitable requirement for the completion of the party's mission. Since Xi took office, revisions to the Party's regulations and the promulgation of new rules have institutionally standardized Party building work and advanced it in a systemic and comprehensive manner.
Given that the different aspects of Party building are mutually connected and cannot be separated, only with an overall plan, that is comprehensively advanced and evaluated can Party building achieve its purpose.
In this sense, the stress Xi has repeatedly put on the need to inherit and carry forward the Party's fine traditions is not only a reflection of the past experiences of Party building, but also a requirement for the current and future building of the Party. These are also reflected in his severe crackdown on corruption and relentless campaign to eradicate extravagance and improve the government's working style. AUS Army Air Force B-29 called the Enola Gay - the name of the flight commander's mother - dropped the Uranium-235 implosive device. Truman approved the attacks as a desperate measure to end World War II without having to launch Operation Olympic, the allied invasion of the home islands of Japan. For the Imperial Japanese Army's military headquarters from which the drive up the Yangtze and the subjugation of Nanjing were directed was based in Hiroshima. It is, therefore, understandable that the Japanese media are stressing the issue of nuclear non-proliferation. Such a weaker-than-expected export figure has undoubtedly dampened the hopes raised by a slew of upbeat economic data in March. But the focus on exports has time and again led Chinese policymakers to postpone making a comprehensive stimulus package for consumers as a top priority. There needs to be less dependence on Chinese manufacturers' unremitting efforts to export at any cost.
Government subsidies for energy-saving household appliances and new energy cars are clear examples of a helping hand that please both Chinese consumers and producers. Yet, it is only a substantial boost to domestic consumption that will guarantee moderate but sustained economic growth for years to come. He even identified the needs of increasing international trade and engagement with the global economy. They will not only exhaust his country's very limited resources, but will further isolate his country from the rest of the world, politically and economically. Baidu said they have canceled 126 million pieces of paid information, which come from 2,518 medical institutions. The key to preventing more scandals is to change the mode of paid rankings, which is currently a profit-making model of Baidu. Actually, Baidu takes money from hospitals and mixes their information with normal search results, with only very small indications to alert viewers to the fact they are paid rankings. Now it has expressed "strong support" for the authorities' requirements, and we hope it will truly correct its wrongdoings. And Aquino's constant promotion of nationalism and accommodation of Washington has not given Manila an edge in the South China Sea disputes with Beijing either. For one thing, Duterte, whose political career has been based in the city of Davao for decades, lacks political support to lead the whole country.
When the island seeks to challenge that consensus, relations fall prey to instability and unrest. He was eventually voted out of power in the 2008 leadership election and it was Ma Ying-jeou, the leader of Kuomintang, who put relations back onto the right track by endorsing the 1992 Consensus. She wants to maintain the status quo as well as enjoy the dividends the island has gained as a result of the past eight years of peaceful exchanges. On the other hand, Xi asked officials to "trust intellectuals, welcome their criticism and try not to interfere in their creative work". But Xi does set boundaries - "when opinions are well meant." By this he means he expects intellectuals to put the country and people first, uphold "the right path" and "not repeat others' words without thinking".
Officials should welcome advice and criticism from intellectuals and become their "true friends," he said.
I think the motivation lies in China's need for economic transformation and for solving a host of complex, interdependent problems that China's society faces. In the context that the country's economic growth is showing clear signs of a rebound, the first-quarter deceleration of non-governmental investment should prompt high vigilance from decision-makers.
This despite US President Barack Obama urging ASEAN member states to stand together in dealing with China's South China Sea position only two months earlier. The actions must be seen in the context of other balancing actions, notably economic and soft power actions. Australian national security interests have led to a rotational system of marines at the US base in Darwin. The dialogue was reported to have been upgraded at the end of 2015 in areas of counterterrorism, peacekeeping and senior personnel exchanges. Both Lei's family and several legal experts have called for an independent probe into Lei's death.
Thus the report expects the US to become much more competitive than China in manufacturing by the end of the decade. This impression is being driven by the importance of advanced technology in determining manufacturing competitiveness. Value additions in these industries now come from technological advances that improve efficiencies.
It is also true that many manual labor functions have been replaced by digital functions over time.
This is where many countries in the Asia-Pacific, particularly China, continue to remain competitive. Both these visas continue to draw a large number of applications from US businesses looking to recruit foreign workers in spite of the schemes being heavily criticized for taking away local jobs.
Because debt is a liability for borrowers and an asset for creditors, these trends have divergent effects, increasing value for the asset holder, while increasing the liability of the debtor. But, if used as a transitional measure to help jump-start an economy or to provide a buffer from negative demand shocks, such efforts can be highly beneficial. That means tackling them is pricing of risk that results from the government's backing of the country's State-owned banks (which surely could not be allowed to fail).
If, however, it is financing "current operations" and raising short-term aggregate demand, it is highly risky.
And there is some potential for abuse, with expenditures being misclassified as investments. Throughout the past half a century, it has supported and armed many ruthless dictators from Asia to Africa to Latin America.
After he was again subdued and put handcuffed into a police van, he was observed to be in physical distress and sent immediately to a hospital where he died. If Li continues boasting instead of making changes, Baidu will only arouse more anger, instead of sympathy, from the public.
If such shots signal China's belligerence, all countries that produce such military recruitment videos are belligerent.
Defensive does not mean that when China senses danger it will remain idle while enemies invade its territories.
However, it would be wrong to interpret this as a message that the US is apologizing for the atomic bomb it dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945, which killed tens of thousands of Japanese. Around 75,000 people were killed immediately and another estimated 125,000 died in the following years from the radiation and other injuries they sustained. It also made it urgent for the Chinese government to do all it can to bolster sluggish export growth. How many victims were there because of decisions made on this information, which was never verified? As Baidu remains a monopoly in the domestic search engine market, paid listings on its webpages might adversely influence many patients, and help unqualified hospitals prosper. For another, it will be hard to deliver on his audacious promises to reduce crime and corruption.
Asked about whether she endorses the 1992 Consensus that Taiwan and the mainland are both parts of one China, Tsai is indeed changing her tone, but toward a more vague and less convincing direction. Nevertheless, she is dreaming if she thinks she can be a free rider on the peaceful development that has been based on both sides' adherence to the 1992 Consensus. The move to advanced technology is aligned with the government strategy "Made in China 2025", which is aimed at upgrading China's manufacturing base.
In the mainland, the robotics boom has been fueled by several forces, including demographics (growing engineering talent, the declining factory-age work force, and the aging work force), increasing costs (rising wages, costs of training and housing), and favorable financing (low*cost loans, factory incentives, investment by foreign tech giants that manufacture in China).
Because if China's best and brightest feel that they cannot do their best, cannot be creative, cannot criticize - if they feel threatened, if they fear - the whole enterprise will suffer. But the Northern Territory's economic interests have led to Landbridge, a Chinese company, winning a 99-year lease valued at $506 million, to operate the Port of Darwin. But skilled labor is still essential for ensuring the efficient application of advanced technologies.
The problem is that, in a low growth environment, the probability of some form of default rises considerably. And it has enforced international laws in favor of its security allies and partners, no matter how bad they behave. That is especially the case since it follows so rapidly after the conclusion of US President Barack Obama's latest Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC. Consumers that are misguided by Baidu's paid rankings should have the right to take the company to court. In turn, the development plan for the robotics industry, released in April, seeks to accelerate Chinese robotics with breakthrough products over the next five years.
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