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China to improve management of unconventional oil and gas mining

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China on Thursday seeks further improvements to the environmental management of unconventional oil and gas mining by issuing relevant policies and technical standards, an official said.

The official, with China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said China value the world’s experience and lessons on the environmental management of unconventional oil and gas exploitation.

The official made the statement at the 2019 International Workshop on Environmental Management of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development, held in Chengdu, the capital of South-West China’s Sichuan Province.

“The ministry will speed up the evaluation, technical guidance, regulation and research of the environmental impacts of unconventional oil and gas mining,’’ the official said.

The official said China had so far effectively established a system managing the environmental influence of oil and gas exploitation and utilisation

The official said more efforts were needed in dealing with potential risks caused by unconventional methods.

Experts from the U.S., Britain, Canada and other countries shared their experience with Chinese participants, representing environmental administrations, oil and gas companies, colleges and research institutes.

The exploitation of unconventional shale gas, tight gas, coal bed gas and gas hydrates had come under the global spotlight.

China is the world’s third nation to achieve large-scale commercial production of shale gas.

YI/AIB

Edited by Yahaya Isah/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Tunisian president thanks China for anti-epidemic assistance

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Tunisian President Kais Saied on Wednesday thanked China for its vigorous support and assistance for Tunisia’s economic and social development, as well as providing multiple batches of medical supplies to help his country combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saied made the remarks during a meeting with outgoing Chinese Ambassador Wang Wenbin at the presidential palace.

Tunisia admires China’s achievements and China‘s speed, Saied said, expressing his confidence that cooperation between the two countries is promising, and that bilateral relations will become a model of international relations with the joint efforts of both sides.

Wang congratulated Tunisia on the positive results of its fight against COVID-19.

He said that in recent years, with the care of the leaders of the two countries, bilateral cooperation has continuously achieved new results and there is a window of opportunity for its further development.

China will continue to work actively to deepen the friendly cooperation between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefits, the ambassador said.

(XINHUA)

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China eases flight curbs after United States targets its carriers

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China said it will ease coronavirus restrictions to allow more foreign carriers to fly to the mainland, shortly after Washington vowed to bar Chinese airlines from flying to the United States due to Beijing’s curbs on American airlines.

Qualifying foreign carriers currently barred from operating flights to China will be allowed once-a-week flights into a city of their choosing starting on June 8, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement on Thursday.

The CAAC has slashed international flights since late March to allay concerns over rising coronavirus infections brought by arriving passengers.

A so-called “Five One” policy allows mainland carriers to fly just one flight a week on one route to any country and foreign airlines to operate just one flight a week to a city in China.

Carriers could also fly no more than the number of flights in a weekly schedule approved by the CAAC on March 12.

But because United States passenger airlines had stopped all flights by March 12, they have been unable to resume flights to China.

United States President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday said it would bar Chinese passenger carriers from flying into America from June 16, pressuring Beijing to let United States airlines to resume flights to the country.

The United States Department of Transportation could not be immediately reached for comment.

The department said it will reconsider its order against Chinese airlines if the CAAC adjusts its policies affecting United States airlines.

The CAAC said all airlines will be allowed to increase the number of international flights involving China to a maximum of two per week if no passengers on their flights test positive for COVID-19 for three consecutive weeks.

If five passengers or more on one flight test positive for the coronavirus upon arrival, the CAAC would bar the airline from services for a week, it said.

Airlines would be suspended for four weeks if 10 passengers or more test positive.

CAAC’s Deputy Director, Li Jian, said in May the agency would consider increasing international flights, after public criticisms of its “Five One” policy, which has led to exorbitant ticket prices for many Chinese stranded overseas.

China has also suspended the entry of foreigners with valid Chinese visas or residence permits since late March, meaning only Chinese nationals can travel back to the country on commercial passenger flights.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Myanmar minister supports China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong

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Myanmar Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin has extended his support for China‘s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar said earlier this week.

In a recent teleconference with Chinese Ambassador Chen Hai, U Kyaw Tin said that Myanmar has strictly adhered to the one-China principle and consistently supported the “one country, two systems” principle, holding that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China, according to a statement released by the embassy on Monday.

A sovereign state has the right to take necessary preventive measures such as proper legislation to safeguard its sovereignty, peace, stability and security, the minister said.

U Kyaw Tin expressed his confidence that under the “one country, two systems” principle, the people of Hong Kong will continue to enjoy peace, stability and prosperity.

Chinese lawmakers voted overwhelmingly at the 13th National People’s Congress, China‘s top legislature, last week to approve the decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.

(XINHUA)

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Trump supporters propagate COVID-19 origin rumor about China on Twitter

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About 30 Twitter groups who claimed to be supporters of United States President Donald Trump, the Republican Party or the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon, have propagated rumors that the coronavirus was a bioweapon created by China, according to new research.

After analyzing over 2.6 million tweets collected by the think tank Australia Institute’s Center for Responsible Technology in the 10 days from late March, the research found that 28 so-called Twitter groups associated with conservative politicians or QAnon spread the story about the origin of COVID-19.

Many of the Twitter groups are automatically generated Twitter accounts that shared posts frequently, it added.

There have been coronavirus related-rumors on social media since early January that some governments created the new virus as part of “military experiments,” U.S. political news outlet Politico reported Tuesday. The World Health Organization and several fact-checking groups have rejected such rumors.

Photo taken on May 29, 2020 shows the live broadcast of United States President Donald Trump speaking at a press conference at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States. Trump told the press conferencen that his country is “terminating” its relationship with the World Health Organization. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Photo taken on May 29, 2020 shows the live broadcast of United States President Donald Trump speaking at a press conference at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States. Trump told the press conferencen that his country is “terminating” its relationship with the World Health Organization. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

The think tank researchers found the conspiracy theory labeling “COVID-19 a Chinese bioweapon” had been shared by these Twitter groups nearly 900 times, the report said.

“Those online messages were then retweeted 18,500 times, collectively garnering as many as 5 million views of the rumor across Twitter,” it added.

In early May, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agitated for “significant evidence” on the virus’ origin from the central Chinese city of Wuhan. However, he did offer any concrete proof to validate his claims.

The WHO responded by saying that such a claim on the virus’ origin remains “speculative,” as the organization had not received any data or evidence from the U.S. side.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing in Washington D.C., the United States, on March 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing in Washington D.C., the United States, on March 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by TASS news agency as saying in an interview with the National Interest published on Saturday that “the United States uses every single area to pressure China in a most energetic and most forceful manner.”

“I think it clearly entails a further growth of uncertainty in international relations,” said Ryabkov.

In Donald Trump‘s remarks during a press conference on March 19, 2020, “corona” was crossed out and replaced with “Chinese.”

In Donald Trump‘s remarks during a press conference on March 19, 2020, “corona” was crossed out and replaced with “Chinese.”

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Washington‘s announcement to punish China could validate the belief that the United States intends to contain China‘s rise.

(XINHUA)

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China urges Britain to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs

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A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday urged Britain to stop meddling in affairs of Hong Kong which is a special administrative region of China.

Britain should recognize and respect the fact that Hong Kong has returned to China, and should not use the Sino-British Joint Declaration as an excuse to make irresponsible remarks, spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.

Zhao made the comments in response to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab‘s remarks that the “authoritarian” national security legislation in Hong Kong was in breach of the “one country, two systems” and “this is a moment for China to step back from the brink” and respect Hong Kong‘s autonomy and its own international obligations.

Britain’s historical link with Hong Kong arises from the period of invasion, colonialism and unequal treaties. Authoritarian is “precisely the word to describe its colonial rule in Hong Kong,” Zhao said, adding that it is after the return of Hong Kong that the residents came to enjoy unprecedented rights and freedoms.

“To quote its own words, we urge the UK to ‘step back’, reject the Cold-War mindset and the colonial mentality, recognize and respect the fact that Hong Kong has already returned to China as a special administrative region,” he said.

The National People’s Congress‘s decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security is part of China‘s internal affairs that allows no external interference, Zhao said.

National security is the very foundation for the existence and development of all countries, and the core and fundamental element of national sovereignty, he added.

The Sino-British Joint Declaration is all about China‘s resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong. The basic policies regarding Hong Kong declared by China in the Joint Declaration are China‘s statement of policies, not commitment to Britain or an international obligation as some claim, he said.

As China resumed exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, the Chinese government administers the SAR in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, not the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Meanwhile, all rights and obligations of the British side under the Joint Declaration were completed.

“You cannot find a single word or article in the Joint Declaration that confers on the UK any Hong Kong-related responsibility after the handover,” Zhao said.

The UK has no sovereignty, no jurisdiction and no right to supervise Hong Kong. As such, on no ground can it cite the Joint Declaration to arbitrarily comment on Hong Kong affairs or interfere in China‘s domestic affairs,” he said.

The national security legislation for Hong Kong is an essential step to safeguard national sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and the foundation of “one country, two systems.” Only when national security is ensured can “one country, two systems” and Hong Kong‘s stability and prosperity be guaranteed.

Zhao said this legislation only targets a very narrow category of acts that seriously jeopardize national security and has no impact whatsoever on Hong Kong‘s high degree of autonomy, the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents or the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong.

“What threatens Hong Kong‘s stability and prosperity is precisely some external forces colluding with local anti-China rioters in conducting activities in the SAR that jeopardize China‘s national security,” he said.

He said China deplores and opposes the unwarranted comments and accusations by the British side, and has lodged stern representations with Britain.

“It should abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China‘s domestic affairs,” Zhao said. “Otherwise, there will be consequences.”

(XINHUA)

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British PM Johnson tells China, ‘We’ll not walk away from Hong Kong people’

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Britain will not walk away from the people of Hong Kong if China imposes a national security law that would conflict with its international obligations under a 1984 accord.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this on Wednesday.

The United Kingdom has urged China to step back from the brink over the national security legislation for Hong Kong that it says risks destroying one of the jewels of Asia’s economy while ruining the reputation of China.

Hong Kong succeeds because its people are free.

If China proceeds, this would be in direct conflict with its obligations under the joint declaration, a legally binding treaty registered with the United Nations.

“Many people in Hong Kong fear that their way of life, which China pledged to uphold is under threat,” Johnson wrote in the Times of London newspaper.

China’s parliament approved last week a decision to create laws for Hong Kong to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign interference.

Mainland security and intelligence agents may, for the first time, be stationed in the city.

If China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away; instead we will honour our obligations and provide an alternative,” Johnson said.

Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule imposed after Britain defeated China in the First Opium War.

China said its decisions on national security in Hong Kong were its own affair and that Britain’s link to the territory stemmed from aggressive colonisation and unequal treaties.

The UK’s irresponsible remarks and accusations have grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs including Hong Kong affairs.

We advise the UK side to step back from the brink.

The UK said the legislation is authoritarian, but this word is the exact characterisation of the UK’s former rule over HK,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

Johnson repeated Britain’s pledge to give British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders in Hong Kong a path to British citizenship, allowing them to settle in the United Kingdom.

There are about 350,000 holders of BNO passports in Hong Kong and another 2.5 million are eligible for them, Johnson said.

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong called on the United Kingdom to go further and impose sanctions on China.

“I call upon the UK government to impose necessary sanctions and restrictive measures,” Wong said.

Hong Kong activists plan to rally to mark the June 4, 1989 anniversary of Chinese troops firing on pro-democracy student demonstrators in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Even though, for the first time, an annual vigil for the anniversary has been cancelled over concerns about coronavirus contagion.

Demonstrations are also planned for the June 9 anniversary of last year’s million strong march against a now withdrawn Hong Kong bill to allow for the extradition of offenders to mainland China, as well as protests three days later that police tackled with tear gas and rubber bullets. (Reuters/ NAN)


Edited By: Halima Sheji/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

 

 

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Supporters of Trump propagate COVID-19 origin rumor about China on Twitter

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About 30 Twitter groups who claimed to be supporters of United States President Donald Trump, the Republican Party or the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon, have propagated rumors that the coronavirus was a bioweapon created by China, according to new research.

After analyzing over 2.6 million tweets collected by the think tank Australia Institute’s Center for Responsible Technology in the 10 days from late March, the research found that 28 so-called Twitter groups associated with conservative politicians or QAnon spread the story about the origin of COVID-19.

Many of the Twitter groups are automatically generated Twitter accounts that shared posts frequently, it added.

There have been coronavirus related-rumors on social media since early January that some governments created the new virus as part of “military experiments,” U.S. political news outlet Politico reported Tuesday. The World Health Organization and several fact-checking groups have rejected such rumors.

The think tank researchers found the conspiracy theory labeling “COVID-19 a Chinese bioweapon” had been shared by these Twitter groups nearly 900 times, the report said.

“Those online messages were then retweeted 18,500 times, collectively garnering as many as 5 million views of the rumor across Twitter,” it added.

In early May, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agitated for “significant evidence” on the virus’ origin from the central Chinese city of Wuhan. However, he did offer any concrete proof to validate his claims.

The WHO responded by saying that such a claim on the virus’ origin remains “speculative,” as the organization had not received any data or evidence from the U.S. side.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by TASS news agency as saying in an interview with the National Interest published on Saturday that “the United States uses every single area to pressure China in a most energetic and most forceful manner.”

“I think it clearly entails a further growth of uncertainty in international relations,” said Ryabkov.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Washington’s announcement to punish China could validate the belief that the United States intends to contain China‘s rise.

(XINHUA)

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Britain has ‘colonial mentality’ toward Hong Kong, says China

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China on Wednesday accused Britain of having a “colonial mentality,” after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised Hong Kong residents a path to citizenship if China enacted planned national security laws.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Britain’s historical link to Hong Kong stemmed from “aggressive, colonial and unequal treaties.”

We urge the British side to retreat from the cliff, abandon the Cold War mentality and colonial mentality, recognise, and respect the fact that Hong Kong has returned” to China, Zhao said, or else Britain risked “smashing its own feet with the rock it is lifting”.

The statement came after Johnson pledged to change Britain’s immigration law to offer Hong Kong residents a path to citizenship if Beijing enacted the national security laws for the financial hub.

In an opinion piece published in the South China Morning Post, Johnson said Britain expected China to abide by international agreements, referring to the 1984 joint Sino-British declaration, which aimed to protect Hong Kong’s freedoms.

The former British colony of Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997.

China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, last week approved a plan to establish new laws in Hong Kong targeting subversion, secession and terrorism.

Critics say the laws will be the death of the “One Country, Two Systems” framework, which guarantees certain freedoms for Hong Kong until 2047.

On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said China should “step back from the brink” regarding the law, which is expected to be rolled out as soon as August.

Meanwhile, protests have returned to Hong Kong, with police cracking down on anti-government demonstrators.

More disruption is expected on Thursday, when a bill that would outlaw mocking the national anthem will be decided in Hong Kong’s legislature.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Commentary: China enhances health system to ensure people’s development goals

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China has stepped up efforts to build a strong public health system and improve the nation’s capacity for disease prevention and treatment to better protect its people’s health.

The measures, laid out at a high-level symposium presided over by President Xi Jinping Tuesday, cover all the key aspects of public health. These include more effective early-stage epidemic warning, the combination of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medicine, scientific and technological advancement, as well as the legislation and revision of laws.

Such a wide-ranging arrangement demonstrates that China is determined to shore up shortcomings in its public health system as the country is in the homestretch toward completing the building of “Xiaokang,” a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Safeguarding the people’s health is an essential part of this centennial goal of Xiaokang. And it is the people who have the final say in whether this goal has been achieved or not.

Ensuring public health for 1.4 billion people is no easy job for the world‘s largest developing country. Reforms in this sector need large-scale allocation of human resources, huge financial inputs and precise policy coordination. The task is especially challenging when the country is faced with the pressure of an economic downturn.

Tuesday’s symposium, however, has demonstrated China‘s readiness for the worst-case scenarios and resolve to forestall major risks in health care.

China will make disease prevention measures more calibrated and effective, with greater efforts in streamlining systems and mechanisms, clarifying functions and improving professional competence.

The country will also build a better monitoring system for epidemics and public health emergencies and a better monitoring mechanism for diseases of unknown causes and abnormal health incidents. Public health campaigns will be carried out, capabilities of TCM hospitals improved, scientific and technological inputs increased and laws revised, among other efforts, to weave a strong network for safeguarding the people’s health.

Based on the country’s unique political and institutional strengths, a strong economic foundation, and the experience accumulated from fighting COVID-19 and previous epidemics, China has the ability to ensure that its people’s lives are always respected, protected and put above all others on their way to pursue happiness.

(XINHUA)

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