China does not want to see trade war with U.S.: Premier Li

UNTV News   •   March 15, 2017   •   3147

China’s Premier Li Keqiang gestures as he arrives for a news conference after the closing ceremony of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

China’s Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that Beijing does not want to see a trade war with the United States and urged talks between both sides to achieve common ground.

“We do not want to see any trade war breaking out between the two countries. That would not make our trade fairer,” Li said at his annual news conference at the end of the annual meeting of China’s parliament.

“Our hope on the Chinese side is that no matter what bumps this relationship hits, we hope it will continue to move forward in a positive direction,” he said.

“We may have different statistical methods, but I believe whatever differences we may have we can all sit down and talk to each other and work together to find solutions,” Li said.

Issues that cannot immediately be solved should be “shelved” for the time being, he added.

U.S. media have reported that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Florida next month.

Trump has attacked China on issues ranging from trade to the South China Sea and what he perceives as China’s lack of interest in reining in nuclear-armed North Korea.

During the election campaign, Trump had threatened to label China a currency manipulator and impose huge tariffs on imports of Chinese goods.

He has not followed through on either move yet, but the U.S. Treasury will issue its semi-annual currency report in April.

China’s trade surplus against the United States was $366 billion in 2015.

Last month, Trump held his first face-to-face talks with a member of the Chinese leadership, top diplomat Yang Jiechi, who outranks Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The White House said it was a chance to discuss shared security interests and a possible meeting with President Xi.

Li also reiterated in his remarks that China-U.S. relations are founded upon adherence to the “one China” policy, under which Washington acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is a part.

The “one China” policy “has remained unshaken despite changing circumstances,” he said, adding “this foundation cannot be undermined.”

Trump incensed Beijing in December by talking to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and saying the United States did not have to stick to the policy, vaguely suggesting that he may abandon the policy as part of negotiations for a better trade deal with China.

Trump later agreed in a phone call with Xi to honor the “one China” policy in a diplomatic boost for Beijing, which vehemently opposes criticism of its claim to self-ruled, proudly democratic Taiwan.

Li also said China did not seek a sustained trade surplus with the European Union, and that the imbalance “would clearly improve” if Europe exported more high-tech products to China.

The United States and the EU have long maintained export controls as security measures against China on a range of products with both military and civilian uses.

China wants access to high-tech components to move its manufacturing industries higher up the value chain, but the foreign business community has often voiced concern about weak protection of intellectual property rights and forced technology transfers in exchange for market access.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo, Kevin Yao and Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Kim Coghill)

US gov’t sends additional P950 million aid for Odette-hit areas

Robie de Guzman   •   December 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The United States (US) government is allocating an additional P950 million ($19 million) in humanitarian assistance for communities affected by Typhoon Odette, its embassy in the Philippines said Wednesday.

In a statement, the embassy said the latest fund allocation brings the total US support to the Philippines to more than P1 billion ($20.2 million).

“The United States is pleased to announce an additional and significant assistance of P950 million, which brings our total amount of aid for Typhoon Odette to over P1 billion,” said U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) ad interim Heather Variava.

“We stand steadfast with our longstanding friend, partner, and ally in helping support communities devastated by the typhoon,” she added.

With this assistance, the US gov’t through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide food aid; water, sanitation, and hygiene programs to help keep people healthy; and shelter assistance to meet emergency needs and help affected communities start rebuilding their homes.

“This additional assistance will help deliver food and hygiene supplies, and provide life-saving support to those most in need,” the embassy said.

The P950 million funding is in addition to the P50 million ($1 million) announced earlier this week to support emergency logistics efforts to ensure aid is delivered to those in hard-to-reach areas.

This assistance also builds on the P10 million ($200,000) relief assistance that USAID provided immediately after the storm.

The embassy said Variava plans to visit communities affected by Typhoon Odette and see ongoing U.S. relief activities.

Since 2010, USAID has provided more than P17 billion ($340 million) in disaster relief and recovery aid, and boosted the disaster risk reduction capacity of over 100 cities and municipalities in the Philippines.

 

Duterte to join democracy summit hosted by US – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   December 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the “Summit for Democracy” to be hosted by the United States government this week, Malacañang said.

In a statement, the Office of the President said Duterte will join the summit set on December 9 to 10 “upon the invitation of US President Joe Biden.”

“President Biden has invited heads of state and government, other government leaders and voices from the business and nongovernment sectors to join the US in taking action to strengthen democracy,” the Palace said.

Malacañang said Duterte “has accepted” Biden’s invitation.

“President Duterte likewise welcomes the opportunity to share the Philippine democratic experience and commitment to democratic values and nation-building at the Summit for Democracy,” it added.

Biden will convene world leaders from government, the private sector, business and the civil society in the virtual summit. It will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad, according to the US State Department.

The summit has three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights.

The United States said the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal.

US reopens borders to foreign tourists after 20 months

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 8, 2021

The United States (US) has reopened its land and air borders to fully vaccinated foreign visitors after a 20-month travel restriction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US will lift its travel ban on 30 countries but will still implement strict regulations for foreign individuals arriving in the country. Passengers will be required be tested within three days before travel and will have to present negative Covid-19 test results. Unvaccinated travelers, meanwhile, will be allowed entry to the US as long as it falls under ‘essential trips’.

US borders were closed after March 2020 to travelers from large parts of the world, including the Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Britain and China, India and Brazil. AAC

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