FILE PHOTO: Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping. REUTERS/ Denis Balibouse
Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan called for a global effort to eradicate the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic on Wednesday as she addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Meeting on the Fight to End Tuberculosis via video while also explaining at length China’s endeavor to combat the disease.
Peng, who was appointed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) goodwill ambassador for TB and HIV/AIDS in 2011, shared her thoughts and experiences with the attendees of the meeting, which took place at the UN headquarters in New York City. She also shared the touching stories of unsung heroes in China who have been selflessly dedicated to the cause of combating TB.
The first lady, who is also China’s national ambassador for TB control and prevention, said that the control and prevention of the disease in China has made rapid progress, and its victims are being diagnosed and treated in a more timely and effective manner.
Such progress has been made, she pointed out, because of the great importance the Chinese government and the entire society has attached to the cause, as well as the enthusiastic participation of about 700,000 volunteers.
In some parts of China, TB prevention has become one of the key tasks in the government’s poverty alleviation program, said Peng.
Now, China has seen continuous increases of case detection and cure rates for TB and decreases in morbidity and mortality, as many TB victims in the country have had their lives renewed, said Peng, adding that the awareness rate of TB control and prevention knowledge has reached over 75 percent in China.
Thanks to the joint efforts by governments, international organizations, NGOs, specialists and volunteers, the control and prevention of the tuberculosis epidemic at the global level has scored significant achievements, but mankind still faces severe challenges in this aspect, said Peng.
The WHO has adopted the End TB Strategy, she said, urging all countries in the world to join hands and do their best to change the lives of the millions of people who are affected by TB and end the global epidemic.
The high-level meeting was chaired by Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, president of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. A political declaration on the control and prevention of TB was endorsed at the meeting.
In interviews after the meeting, attendees said that Peng’s speech was very impressive. Attendees also said they really appreciated China’s achievements in the fight against tuberculosis, as well as the country’s support and contribution to the global fight against TB.
“As WHO goodwill ambassador on TB and HIV/AIDS, the first lady is doing a lot within her country to raise awareness about the problem, to encourage, to provide necessary treatment to these people, and, of course, it demonstrates a very good example,” said Teresa Kasaeva, WHO Global TB Program Director.
“I saw very well the things that she highlighted, and I know the efforts that are happening in China. I want to say to China to support as well TB programs in the world,” said Lucica Ditiu, executive director of the Stop TB Partnership.
“In the future, we hope that China can achieve the goal of eliminating TB by 2030 and keep TB under control at a very low level. We hope China can continue to make more efforts and contribute to the global community,” said Ren Minghui, WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. — Reuters
Without ICC treaty, PHL can’t sue China if it invades Panatag, Scarborough — Carpio
FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the Pagasa (Hope) Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines July 20, 2011.
REUTERS/ROLEX DELA PENA/POOL
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has concluded the oral arguments on the petition questioning the validity of the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
It was the Executive Department’s turn to argue that there is no explicit constitutional provision that states Senate concurrence is required in treaty withdrawal.
Solicitor General Jose Calida explained that President Rodrigo Duterte did not violate the Constitution, but only exercised his power as the chief architect that crafts and implements foreign policy.
But Justice Antonio Carpio said the ICC treaty is the only legal deterrent that can protect the country from China’s abuses, specifically, the Kampala Amendment which activated the court’s jurisdiction on crimes of aggression.
“If China invades Pag-asa [Island] and puts up a naval base in Scarborough Shoal, we will not be able to sue President Xi Jin Ping and his military leaders because we have withdrawn already from the ICC, correct?
I mean we cannot take advantage of this legal defense anymore because we are withdrawing from the Rome Statute.
Calida suggested that there might be other international treaties that can be used, but Carpio insisted otherwise.
“This is the only treaty in the world that holds political and military leaders of a state that commits the crime of aggression,” Carpio said.
The Philippines withdrew from the treaty in March 2018 via note verbale sent to the United Nations amid the preliminary examinations on Duterte’s war on drugs by ICC prosecutor Fathou Bensouda.
But according to constitutional law professor Tony La Viña, whether or not the high court rules in favor of the president, investigations on his controversial drug war will continue.
“Kahit sabihin ng Supreme Court natin na valid ang pag withdraw ni Duterte di ba? For any case filed against him, for acts he committed noong member pa tayo, continue iyon. Ang consequence lang ng pagwithdraw natin sa ICC ay any acts committed after April or March, when it takes effect, is no longer covered,” La Viña said.
The petitions asking for the nullification of the withdrawal were filed by opposition senators and the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court. — Mai Bermudez
Gov’t: PHL-China joint oil exploration could solve surging oil prices, energy security
FILE PHOTO: A child holds national flags of China and the Philippines before President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and China’s President Xi Jinping attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
MANILA, Philippines — The government believes that the possible joint oil exploration between the Philippines and China in the West Philippines Sea will help address surging oil prices and ensure the country’s energy security.
The government is eyeing to sign a formal agreement with China during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the country this year.
However, Malacañang clarified that the agreement will not be immediately implemented pending processes and studies to be undertaken on the matter.
“That’s why we are studying it and the administration is pushing for the joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea because based on the initial study, there is natural gas or diesel especially in what we call the Service Contract No. 72,” said Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue
Tariffs impact U.S. apparel companies, consumers: expert
Customers choosing sneakers sold in Stadium Goods | REUTERS
U.S. tariffs on imports from China will not only impact companies but also the consumers said an expert in an interview with China Global Television Network in Beijing on Tuesday.
Sara Hsu is an associate professor of economics at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She said it was not clear what percentage of the tariffs the companies would pass on to the consumers but it would definitely impact the consumers.
“It’s definitely going to impact the consumers in terms of higher cost as well as the companies. So there might be a split in terms of the company taking part of the hit and passing part of cost on to the consumers as well. And starting from January 1, the tariffs will go from 10 percent to 25 percent. So that’s a really significant increase,” said Sara.
China is the largest supplier of textiles and apparel to the U.S. market, accounting for about 40 percent of American imports in the sector, according to the statistics of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA).
The industry relies on sourcing from China to provide American consumers with affordable and varied choices. But the tariffs will impact the multinational companies in the U.S. in the industry, said Sara.
“A lot of the American multinational firms are producing their goods overseas. So that’s why the tariffs on exports from China are going to impact the American multinational companies. And these multinational companies would like to move to a different place, especially given the tariffs that just kicked in. But it’s really hard for them to do,” said Sara.
She added that there would be a high cost for the companies to move and set up shops in other countries with a level of development and have low wages.
It can take up to five years to move from China to another country, Sara said. The situation hasn’t happened yet, but a lot of companies are not reassuring to the U.S. instead of relying on automation in order to produce their products because American labor costs so high. — Reuters