Archive February 2019

Vietnam’s path from a mortal enemy to a friendly partn

  United States is particularly appealing to North Korea, who believes a good relationship with the United States can h

elp create the right environment and necessary conditions for achieving North Korea’s new strategic drive toward ec

onomic development,” said Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing.

  The concept isn’t new, of course. During his time as an Asia expert at the State Department in the Clinton administration, Evans Revere said negoti

ators working with North Korea were even then trying to point them to Vietnam, which was beginning to reap t

he benefits of market reforms and becoming a member of good international standing.

  ”We thought, somewhat naively back then, that this would appeal to the North Koreans gre

atly and that our commitments to work with them on bringing about a modernized economy w

ould be so attractive … that they would stand down from their nuclear weapons program. We were wrong,” Revere said.

  ”If all of these incentives or this incentive-based approach to coaxing North Korea do

wn a new path did not work when they didn’t have nuclear weapons, and it didn’t work to prevent th

em from developing nuclear weapons, why will it work now that they are in effect a nuclear weapons state?”

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It’s all about Huawei. World’s biggest mobile tech show g

  Over the next four days, about 100,000 people in Barcelona are expected to traipse through the halls of Mobile Worl

d Congress, one of the tech industry’s biggest events. All the biggest players in the world use it to showcase new products.

  One company really stands out this year: China’s Huawei. Walking

out of the Barcelona airport, there’s a Huawei hospitality stand. The company’s bran

ding dots the city. The lanyards conference attendees wear around their necks are decorated with the Huawei name.

  There’s a good reason everyone is focused on Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecom equipment.

  Huawei is a crucial part of China’s efforts to advance superfast 5G wir

eless networks and today is caught in a life or death battle with the US government.

  The United States claims that Huawei poses a potential national security threat. Last month, US prosecutors revealed cri

minal charges against the company, alleging that Huawei stole trade secrets and worked to skirt US sanctions on Iran.

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Huawei strongly denies the claims and is trying har

  d to persuade the world to use its 5G technology and not cave to pressure from Washington.

  ”This is not something that should be decided by politics,” Huawei’s chairman Guo Ping said on Sunday, ahead of the formal start of Mobile World Congress.

  Guo said he was hoping “independent sovereign states” will make “independent decision

s based on their own understanding of the situation and will not just listen to someone else’s order.”

  Huawei is taking the center stage at this year’s MWC in Barcelona. The event is expected to attract around 100,000 visi

tors. To get in, they will all need a badge like this, with a Huawei lanyard. pic.twitter.com/D6PRmZpqxe

  — Ivana Kottasová (@IvanaKottasova) February 24, 2019

  The US government is trying to convince its allies to shun Huawei equip

ment, which it says could be used by the Chinese government for spying. The company vehemently denies that claim.

  ”Just because you are from a certain country doesn’t mean your equipm

ent is not secure,” Guo said. He added that Huawei must abide by Chinese law and the

laws of countries where it operates. “Huawei will never, and dare not, and cannot violate any regulations,” he said.

  Vice President Mike Pence described Huawei as a “threat.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned other cou

ntries that using Huawei would make it more difficult for the United States to “partner” with them.

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Mine accident leaves 21 dead, 29 hurt in Inner Mongolia

  An accident at a coal mine in Inner Mongolia that claimed 21 lives and injured 29 was c

aused by a brake glitch that forced a vehicle to go out of control and hit a ramp, according to local authorities.

  The accident occurred at about 8:20 am on Saturday at a mining company in North

China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, when a vehicle was transporting 50 workers to the mine.

  The cause of the accident is under investigation. All 29 injured were rushed to hospital and were in stable condition.

  Fu Jianhua, vice-minister of emergency management, arrived at Inner Mongolia

at 22:00 pm on Saturday with a team to supervise the rescue and investigation work.

  An emergency center which included four working teams for medical service, security and safety was set up.

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So the fact that the to-and-fro is still in progress this far

down the line highlight that there is a shared desire to secure an accord that delivers on the rapport that has been established — also perhaps beyond both side’s expectations.

But it would be getting ahead of the situation to consider the final push tow

ard a consensus on principled, mutually beneficial cooperation all done and

dusted. That consensus, which President Xi identified as the objectiv

e of the talks when he met with the US negotiators after the previous round of neg

otiations in Beijing, has still not been completed, and probably will not be until the two leaders meet to agree on the final det

ails. But there is no doubt that both sides are aware of how momentous such a consensus would be, beyond the tangible rewards it would offer both cou

ntries. For if the two sides can iron out their core differences by abiding by the principles of mutual respect and m

utual benefit, it would reset their relationship in a way that would bode well for the future.

History in the past four decades shows that the two countries benefit in an all-around wa

y from harmonious trade and economic relations, as they provide the ballast for their relationship.

There is obviously still more work to be done. However, if neither side puts a foot wrong, a deal will finally be signed sooner or later.

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DPRK leader leaves Pyongyang for Hanoi for second DPRK

PYONGYANG — Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), left here Saturday afternoon by train f

or Vietnamese capital Hanoi for the second DPRK-US summit, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

Kim will meet with US President Donald Trump there on Feb 27-28. Their first meetin

g was held in June 2018 in Singapore, which resulted in improved bilateral relations.

Kim will pay an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong before his meeting with Trump.

Kim was accompanied by Kim Yong-chol, Ri Su-yong, Kim Phyong-hae and O Su-yong, members of th

e Political Bureau and vice-chairmen of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of K

orea (WPK), Ri Yong-ho, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Com

mittee and foreign minister, No Kwang-chol, alternate member of the Po

litical Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and minister of the People’s Armed Forces, among others, said the KCNA.

Kim was seen off at Pyongyang Railway Station by Kim Yong-nam, Choe Ryong-hae and Pak Pong-ju, members of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Cen

tral Committee of the WPK, and other senior officials of the party, government and armed forces, said the KCNA.

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Flight inspections at new Beijing airport complete ddays early

  Beijing’s new international airport finished its flight inspections on Sunday, 19 days ahead of schedule, according to the civil aviation authority.

  At 10:20 am, an aircraft taking off from Beijing Capital Internation

al Airport in the northeastern part of the city landed smoothly on the northern run

way at Beijing Daxing International Airport. The Civil Aviation Administration’s North China Regional Bu

reau called the event a “successful completion” in a news release, referring to its series of flight inspections.

  The inspections, which lasted for 34 days, started on Jan 22 and were suppo

sed last until March 15 to cover the airport’s four runways, six landing systems, lighting facilities and other services.

  Flight inspections, which all airports must undergo before opening, are designed to ensure the airport’s flight pro

cedures and aviation navigational aids will be ready for operation, according to the news release.

  Daxing airport is scheduled to be completed by June 30 and enter commercial operation before Sept 30.

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In calling for “zero tolerance,” a policy whose definition appe

  ars to vary widely among Catholics, Openibo echoed the calls of dozens of abuse survivors gathered for protests and vigils on the streets of Vatican City this week.

  Wearing glasses and speaking gently though plainly, she addressed the Pope directly as “Brother Francis.” Openibo said she ad

mired his candor and willingness to admit mistakes he made in evaluating the claims of Chilean abuse s

urvivors about a notorious priest who was defrocked last year, and the bishops who covered up his crimes.

  ”Thank you for providing this opportunity for us to check and see whe

re we have acted strangely, ignorantly, secretly and complacently,” she said.

  Openibo also thanked the Pope for allowing her to address the assem

bly of 190 Catholic leaders, 114 of whom are bishops and cardinals from around the wor

ld. About a dozen of the participants are women, most Superiors General of religious orders.

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denounced May’s “disastrous” handling of Brexit, conde

  mned the Conservative Party’s shift to the right and warned it was in danger of being taken over by extremists.

  Their announcement was timed for maximum impact, dropping just before the weekly s

ession of Prime Minister’s Questions. In a move freighted with symbolism, the three ex-Conservative MPs

joined the eight former Labour lawmakers on the opposition benches in Parliament on Wednesday.

  The move could mark the start of a reshaping of British politics as the clock continues to tick down to March 29, when the U

K is due to leave the European Union. With 37 days to go, Parliament has still not approved a Brexit deal.

  In a joint letter to May, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston blamed their departure on the government’s “dismal failure to stand up to

the hard line ERG [European research Group],” whose members advocate a no-deal Brexit. The three lawmakers, who have

been vocal anti-Brexit campaigners, said that Britain’s exit from the EU had “re-defined the Conservative Party — undoing all the efforts to modernize it.”

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photo shared by MP John Lamont showed a smiling Berger

  snapping a selfie of the group as they took their seats in the House of

Commons. But non

e of the group asked a question of the Prime Minister, as she appeared before MPs for her weekly grill

ing, and the defections were barely addressed. The mood in the House of

Commons seemed more subdued than usual.

  The closest May came to acknowledging the issue was when she attacked Corbyn over anti-Semitism in

his party, cited as a reason for some of the defectors leaving his party.

  May said she never thought she would see the day when “a once proud

Labour party was accused of institutional Semiti

sm by a member of that party,” or,

equally, when Jewish people in the UK “were concerned about their future.”

  Responding to those accusations, Corbyn said that “anti-Semitism ha

s no place whatsoever in any of our political parties, in our lives, in our society,” be

fore laying into the Prime Minister for “pretending to negotiate” a Brexit deal with just 37 days to go.

  May, who will travel to Brussels later in the day, maintained that she was still working on alternative arrangements on the

Irish backstop — an insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border between

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Irel

and. She also reiterated her position that a no-deal exit from the EU could only be taken off the table by agreeing a deal.

  Speaking at a press conference later, Allen, Wollaston and Soubry said the Prim

e Minister had been bullied by hard-line Brexiteers onto the brink of a no-deal Brexit.

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