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#WalangPasok: Classes, gov’t work in Manila suspended prior to Xi’s state visit

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Classes on Tuesday (November 20) at all levels in public and private schools in Manila have been suspended.

Based on the Executive Order No. 41 of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, the class suspension is in relation with the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

President Xi will be attending the wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Monument, therefore, Manila Police District has recommended classes suspension to enforce security measures.

Suspension of work in Manila City government is also included.

Work in Manila courts including the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are also suspended. — UNTV News & Rescue

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U.S., China agree on trade war ceasefire after Trump, Xi summit

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a working dinner after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 1, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – China and the United States agreed to a ceasefire in their bitter trade war on Saturday after high-stakes talks in Argentina between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, including no escalated tariffs on Jan. 1.

Trump will leave tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at 10 percent at the beginning of the new year, agreeing to not raise them to 25 percent “at this time”, the White House said in a statement.

“China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries,” it said.

“China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately.”

The two leaders also agreed to immediately start talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture, the White House said.

Both countries agreed they will try to have this “transaction” completed within the next 90 days, but if this does not happen then the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent, it added.

The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said the negotiations were conducted in a “friendly and candid atmosphere”.

“The two presidents agreed that the two sides can and must get bilateral relations right,” Wang told reporters, adding they agreed to further exchanges at appropriate times.

“Discussion on economic and trade issues was very positive and constructive. The two heads of state reached consensus to halt the mutual increase of new tariffs,” Wang said.

“China is willing to increase imports in accordance with the needs of its domestic market and the people’s needs, including marketable products from the United States, to gradually ease the imbalance in two-way trade.”

“The two sides agreed to mutually open their markets, and as China advances a new round of reforms, the United States’ legitimate concerns can be progressively resolved.”

The two sides would “step up negotiations” toward full elimination of all additional tariffs, Wang said.

The announcements came after Trump and Xi sat down with their aides for a working dinner at the end of a two-day gathering of world leaders in Buenos Aires, their dispute having unnerved global financial markets and weighed on the world economy.

After the 2-1/2 hour meeting, White House chief economist Larry Kudlow told reporters the talks went “very well,” but offered no specifics as he boarded Air Force One headed home to Washington with Trump.

China’s goal was to persuade Trump to abandon plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent in January, from 10 percent at present. Trump had threatened to do that, and possibly add tariffs on $267 billion of imports, if there was no progress in the talks.

With the United States and China clashing over commerce, financial markets will take their lead from the results of the talks, widely seen as the most important meeting of U.S. and Chinese leaders in years.

The encounter came shortly after the Group of 20 industrialized nations backed an overhaul of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which regulates international trade disputes, marking a victory for Trump, a sharp critic of the organization.

Trump told Xi at the start of their meeting he hoped they would achieve “something great” on trade for both countries. He struck a positive note as he sat across from Xi, despite the U.S. president’s earlier threats to impose new tariffs on Chinese imports as early as the next year.

He suggested that the “incredible relationship” he and Xi had established would be “the very primary reason” they could make progress on trade.

Xi told Trump that only through cooperation could the United States and China serve the interest of peace and prosperity. Washington and Beijing have also increasingly been at odds over security in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the same time, Trump again raised with Xi his concern about the synthetic opioid fentanyl being sent from China to the United States, urging the Chinese leader to place it in a “restricted category” of drugs that would criminalize it.

The White House said Xi, “in a wonderful humanitarian gesture”, had agreed to designate fentanyl a controlled substance.

Xi also said that he was open to approving the previously unapproved Qualcomm-NXP deal should it again be presented to him, the White House added.

“This was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China. It is my great honor to be working with President Xi,” Trump said in the statement.

WTO REFORMS
Earlier on Saturday, the leaders of the world’s top economies called for WTO reform in their final summit statement.

Officials expressed relief that agreement on the communique was reached after negotiators worked through the night to overcome differences over language on climate change.

The final text recognized trade as an important engine of global growth but made only a passing reference to “the current trade issues” after the U.S. delegation won a battle to keep any mention of protectionism out of the statement.

Trump has long railed against China’s trade surplus with the United States, and Washington accuses Beijing of not playing fairly on trade. China calls the United States protectionist and has resisted what it views as attempts to intimidate it.

The two countries are also at odds over China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea and U.S. warship movements through the highly sensitive Taiwan Strait.

In addition to tariffs on Chinese goods, Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States this year. Numerous countries have filed litigation at the WTO to contest the levies.

The United States is unhappy with what it says is the WTO’s failure to hold China to account for not opening up its economy as envisioned when China joined the body in 2001. The European Union is also pushing for sweeping changes to how the WTO operates.

G20 delegates said negotiations on the summit statement proceeded more smoothly than at a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders two weeks ago, where disagreement on protectionism and unfair trading practices prevented a consensus.

European officials said a reference to refugees and migration – a sensitive issue for Trump’s administration – was excised to ensure consensus.

On climate change, the United States once again marked its differences with the rest of the G20 by reiterating in the statement its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and its commitment to using all kinds of energy sources.

The other members of the group reaffirmed their commitment to implement the Paris deal and tackle climate change.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said high levels of debt accumulated by emerging market nations was a pressing concern.

U.S. officials said a call by G20 leaders for the IMF and World Bank to improve monitoring debt levels was aimed at ensuring that developing economies did not become to heavily indebted to China in return for infrastructure projects.

U.S. officials have warned about China’s increasing influence across swaths of the developing world, including Latin America. G20 summit host Argentina is expected to sign a series of deals with China on Sunday during a one-day state visit by Xi.

Apart from trade and climate change, Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels drew condemnation from other G20 members, while the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the summit raised an awkward dilemma for leaders.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler arrived amid controversy over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, though Saudi officials have said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

The leader of the OPEC heavyweight had a series of bilateral meetings at the summit, including a closely watched encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Michael Martina, Matt Spetalnick, Maximilian Heath, Scott Squires, Cassandra Garrison, Daniel Flynn and Kylie Maclellan in Buenos Aires; Dave Shepardson and Humeyra Pamuk in Washington, Ben Blanchard in Beijing and John Ruwitch in Shanghai; writing by Matt Spetalnick and Daniel Flynn; editing by Ross Colvin, Alistair Bell, Jonathan Oatis and Will Dunham

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China’s President Xi to visit PH on Nov. 20-21

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the first meeting of the French-Chinese business council in Beijing, China, January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

MANILA, Philippines –China’s President Xi Jinping is set to arrive on Tuesday (November 20) to Wednesday (November 21) for a two-day state visit through a personal invitation from President Rodrigo Duterte.

This is the first time that a Chinese President will step foot on Philippine soil after 13 years since the state visit of former Chinese President Hu Jintao during the time of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005.

The two countries’ diplomatic ties went through rough sails when tensions over territorial claims escalated.

Xi and Duterte’s meetings are expected to rekindle ties and bolster cooperation between the two countries.

“These face-to-face meetings are so important because they promote understanding and goodwill between the leaders and also show a good example to their citizens that you know Philippines and China should cooperate more closely and again, cooperation comes from understanding each other’s position very well,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier announced that the highlight of Xi’s visit will be the Philippines signing in to China’s Belt and Road Initiative – a development strategy that involves massive infrastructure development as well as trade and investments in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific.

Xi’s visit will also involve the signing of agreements on financial assistance from China to fund the Duterte administration’s infrastructure projects.

Though China’s offer will bring huge benefits to the Philippines, Secretary Dominguez clarified that the provisions of the Belt and Road Initiative and other deals will still be reviewed before final signing.

“We will certainly review it again, this belt and road agreement,” he assured.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with President Duterte in Davao City last month to facilitate the arrival of the Chinese President. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Chinese president arrives in Brunei for state visit after trip to Papua New Guinea

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2018

 

China’s President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Brunei’s officials | REUTERS

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Bandar Seri Begawan Sunday for a state visit to Brunei, the first by a Chinese head of state in 13 years to the southeastern Asian country.

Xi was warmly welcomed by Brunei’s senior officials when his plane touched down at the Bandar Seri Begawan airport at about 18:50 local time.

On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, Xi extended sincere greetings and best wishes to the government and people of Brunei.

Xi stressed that China and Brunei are close neighbors across the sea, and also friends and partners who trust each other, as the two sides have a long history of friendly exchanges.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 27 years ago, the two countries have been treating each other as equals and scored deepening political mutual trust and fruitful results in various cooperation projects, which brought tangible benefits to the two peoples and made positive contributions to peace and prosperity in the region, said Xi.

He expected to carry forward bilateral traditional friendship, jointly outline a blueprint for the development of bilateral relations in the new era, and uplift the China-Brunei good-neighborly friendship to a new high through the visit.

It is the second stop of Xi’s ongoing Asia-Pacific tour. He has paid a state visit to Papua New Guinea, met with leaders from Pacific island countries that have diplomatic ties with China and attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Papua New Guinea’s capital city of Port Moresby.

Upon Xi’s departure from Port Moresby Sunday afternoon, Papua New Guinea’s Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel and other senior officials saw the Chinese president off at the airport.

After Xi’s stay in Brunei, he will fly to the Philippines for a state visit. — Reuters

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