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Beijing, Delhi have wisdom to resolve bilateral disputes: Chinese envoy

Ma Jia said that China supports India’s G20 Presidency and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and expressed hope for positive outcomes….reports Asian Lite News

China has said that the border dispute with India is a bilateral issue and foreign interference will not help solve the problems, Chinese Charge d’Affaires Ma Jia said while speaking to reporters in New Delhi.

Speaking to reporters, Ma Jia said, “Border issue between India and China is a bilateral issue, both countries have the wisdom to resolve the issue, we can handle that, we don’t invite any other, especially from other regions to interfere in this bilateral dispute, and whether foreign interference is helpful to resolve the issue, anytime you see there is interference in bilateral dispute, on the contrary, it will not help the two sides to solve the problems.”

Commenting on External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s remarks that the situation at the India-China border is fragile, the Chinese envoy said, “Jaishankar says that situation now is fragile, that’s what we are talking about, that’s what senior commander and diplomats are talking and discussing about, there are difficulties, we have to face it.”

The Chinese envoy’s remarks came after Jaishankar in India Today Conclave on March 18 made a comment on the India-China border issue and said, “The situation, to my mind, remains very fragile because there are places where our deployments are very close, and in military assessment, actually quite dangerous,” the minister told the gathering.

Further, Ma Jia added, “China and India don’t want a war, neither of us wants a war, neither of us wants a confrontation along the border areas so I think as long as we have these kinds of intentions, understanding of each other, we can find a way out, we have some difficulties, the border issue is very complicated it has a leftover of history for many years so it is not easy to reach an agreement, we have to face the problem, we have to talk, the intention of the two sides is to improve the situation, our two leaders have consensus on that, we can find a way out.”

Expressing her views on reports of China building huge infrastructure along the border, the Chinese envoy said that as a government it is their responsibility to build infrastructure for civil and military purposes and countries must have mutual trust and there are channels to build this trust. He also said the Indian side is also building huge infrastructure in the past few years.

Chinese Charge Charge d’Affaires Ma Jia called mutual trust a “crucial thing”. The envoy said, “Crucial thing is mutual trust, if we have diplomatic and military channels to keep the channels smooth and explain to each other about what is the intention of that would be helpful to increase the mutual trust between the two sides, especially between the two militaries.”

“I think that is very crucial, we have already solved some problems through these channels, we finished some disengagement in some points, we can gradually solve these problems. We have to understand as a government, we have a responsibility to build infra to be used for civil and military purposes,” she added.

Speaking on the growing ties among Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) nations comprising of Japan, Australia, India and the US, the Chinese envoy said that Beijing does not oppose any kind of regional or international cooperation if it is in the interest of the people and the country in the region.

Commenting on the growing partnership among the Quad nations, the Chinese envoy said,

“We don’t oppose any kind of regional or international cooperation if it is in the interest of people and country in this region but we oppose those small circles composed for the purpose of geopolitical intentions for the containment of China, so we are hopeful all the cooperation are helpful to the world and the region.”

Ma Jia said that China supports India’s G20 Presidency and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and expressed hope for positive outcomes. Notably, India assumed the G20 Presidency on December 1. She stressed that India has been trying very hard to bring everyone together but the job is very tough.

Speaking on why there was no consensus reached during G20 foreign ministers meeting, the envoy said, “I have personally attended the G20 foreign affairs meeting, I can see that everybody from the US and western countries talking about Ukraine they don’t have time to talk about other G20 agenda so like this is overwhelming.”

She further said, “At the Bali summit, we already had a similar thing but finally they reached some kind of accommodation in a joint statement. Nowadays, the situation has intensified so it becomes more difficult to reach accommodation so you are out of the track of discussing prominent security issues in the economic and financial platform.

“It’s very difficult to reach consensus … it’s not that China and Russia stand together. We are having a very strong believe that G20 should talk about economic and financial problems and that we have to face that is very serious we can see that G20 has shouldered the responsibility to do something, it’s not just Ukraine and I think India has played a very crucial role and India has been trying very hard to bring everyone together but the job is very tough we support India’s presidency, we also hope G20 and SCO have fruitful outcome this year.”

While speaking to reporters regarding Chinese President Xi Jinping’s participation at G20 and SCO in India, Ma Jia said, “We have already received an invitation. I don’t have too much information right now because it is still several months, and the date is still under discussion so that is why I don’t have very specific information right now to tell you Chinese leader will come or not, we will keep you informed.” (ANI)

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Xi’s renewed efforts to change West-led world order

The criticism of the western views from legal education in China is seen as a part of Xi’s reinvigorated efforts to change the US-led world order….reports Asian Lite News

Chinese President Xi Jinping has again taken a potshot at western education that talks about democratic values, as he takes over the reins for the third time, tightening his grip on China’s political, social, and cultural institutions. It may prove detrimental to the civil rights of Chinese people in the long term as Xi has openly called for opposing and resisting” erroneous Western views” such as constitutional government, separation of powers, and judicial independence.

The criticism of the western views from legal education in China is seen as a part of Xi’s reinvigorated efforts to change the US-led world order. Chinese efforts to diminish the US-led world order is expedited in Xi’s tenure. This involves discrediting global institutions, defying prescribed international rules and norms, and rejecting liberal values.3 Calling democracy the sole legitimate form of government hurts China’s ambition to reshape the world order and replace the US as the world’s superpower. Tuvia Gering, a research fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, said Chinese policymakers seek to make efforts that cause American decline and its ascent. “They need to lay the infrastructure for a more China-centric, or at least a less US-, Western-centric, world,” he said.

The Chinese government has been subjected to criticism from the international community over the lack of democratic rights and absolute control by the China Communist Party as well as human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet. Thus, the Xi government find western concepts such as constitutional government, separation of powers, and judicial independence problematic.

The information disseminated to the Chinese public is subject to the government’s scrutiny. However, there has been a greater intervention since Xi came to power in 2013. He has often criticised western education and values. Many professors, who talked about democratic values, were sacked or sent to jail by the Xi government. In 2015, the then-education minister Yuan Guiren said “Never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes.” This had come after Xi had sought more involvement of the communist party in China’s universities.

President Xi Jinping. (Xinhua/IANS)

Millions of Chinese went to western countries for higher education in past few decades and some of them even ended up becoming top leaders in the country.

Interestingly, about 20 per cent of 370 members of the Central Committee of China’s Communist Party pursued their education in foreign countries, mostly at western universities. Even the eight Chinese leaders in the current 24-member politburo studied in western countries.

Activists and leaders from the US and several European countries have been demanding action against Beijing over alleged crimes against humanity in Tibet and Xinjiang. It often puts China in a bad light over the allegation of autocracy, police action, ethnic cleansing, religious suppression, and a crackdown on civil liberty, among others. International media is quite critical of these issues, often termed ‘western propaganda’ by Beijing.

It has become quite comfortable for Beijing to target western countries and values propagated by them to distract the domestic audience from the variety of thorny issues such as violations of human rights, religious freedom, autocratic rule by the communist party, and even Covid mismanagement.

The spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign ministry, Wang Wenbin, had called the allegation of atrocities in Xinjiang a western conspiracy and political tool to demean China. A Chinese Uyghur Abduweli Ayup said antiWestern sentiment is really strong in China.

“All our history we learn that China is the victim, and all those countries around us are very bad,” he said.

The reiteration of anti-west remarks shows Xi has reinvigorated the efforts to the US-led world order. He seeks to dislodge the prevailing standards or replace them with Chinese ones that are endorsed by the communist party. The anti-west ideological campaign is allowing Xi to form a China-led group of nations as well as consolidate his power.

“There are nationalistic voices that are against everything – against the US is good, and are for anything that the US is against,” said Gu Su, a political scientist at Nanjing University, adding, “Many of the discussions are not about the actual rights and wrongs but only about picking a side between enemies and friends.” (ANI)

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Putin welcomes Chinese peace plan for Ukraine

On Monday, Xi and Putin held almost five hours of informal talks behind closed doors….reports Asian Lite News

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Kremlin for official talks on Tuesday.

Speaking after the meeting alongside Xi, Putin lauded the 12-point peace roadmap for Ukraine recently floated by Beijing, RT reported.

“We believe that many of the provisions of the peace plan put forward by China are consonant with the Russian stance and can be taken as a foundation for a peaceful settlement when they are ready for it in the West and in Kiev. However, so far we have not observed such readiness on their part,” Putin stated, RT reported.

The two leaders met behind closed doors first, with a number of top officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev and Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu taking part in the negotiations on the Russian side.

The meeting was followed by another round of talks with expanded delegations, involving more government ministers and the heads of Russian state corporations, RT reported.

On Monday, Xi and Putin held almost five hours of informal talks behind closed doors.

President Xi’s visit is his first to Russia since the outbreak of the Moscow-Kiev conflict, and also his first foreign trip since securing an unprecedented third term as China’s head of state.

The two nations have reiterated their commitment to build a multipolar world and reinforce their relations, described as a “strategic partnership”. According to Xi, building closer ties with Russia is “a strategic choice China has made on the basis of its own fundamental interests and the prevailing trends of the world”, RT reported.

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‘BRI ambitions overshadow Nepalese development needs’

China is forcing Nepal into its ambitious but controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project…reports Asian Lite News

Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has urged Chinese investors to invest in his country at the Nepal-China Investment and Business Forum 2023 in Kathmandu.

At the forum, Dahal also brought up the issue of the Nepal-China inland railway and transmission line, which has been under discussion for a long time, epardafas, a Nepal daily reported. The Nepal Prime Minister said that discussions are being held with China for the expansion of the border in trade relations, and he also expressed concern over the increasing trade deficit with China. He also mentioned that foreign direct investment (FDI) has not been received from China as promised, the publication reported.

Nepal’s growing trade deficit with China and the “apparent gaps in China’s committed and actual FDI are some of the issues that a forum like this should try to address with a practical solution,” said Dahal.

Nepal has a long history of relations and assistance with its neighbouring country, China. In recent times, China has gained a grip on Nepal’s big projects. Chinese companies are involved in the construction of airports, hydropower projects, tunnels, roads, and dry ports.

Some of these projects have been completed and operational, while some have been stalled.

Some projects have been built by the Nepal government with Chinese loans. But now questions have started to arise about the justification and benefits of those projects. The construction of some projects has been delayed for years due to the negligence of Chinese companies.

Chinese company CAMC Engineering, Sino Hydro Corporation, Poly Changda, China Overseas, China State Construction Engineering and other companies are especially involved in Nepal’s big contracts.

The Damak Industrial Park, which is supposed to be built by China, is still stalled. The construction of this park, which was laid with pomp by promising to improve the economic condition of the country, provide employment for one lakh people, and to bring about a revolution in the industrial sector has been stalled for a long time.

Eight years have passed since the acquisition of land, and two years have passed since the foundation stone was laid, but the work has not yet progressed as the Chinese side is showing indifference.

On the one hand, there was the dissatisfaction of locals due to the decision made by the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to appease China, on the other hand, the Chinese side itself has not been able to come forward for construction.

Among the other unfinished projects of the Chinese company are the Narayangadh-Butwal road section extension, Kalanki-Maharajganj ring road extension, Timure dry port and Syafrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road construction.

Similarly, Chinese companies have been delaying the construction of the tunnel of the Kathmandu-Tarai Expressway.

Some projects such as Pokhara Airport and Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project built by a Chinese company have been completed. However, these projects were also built some later than the scheduled time.

In this, the purpose of the Pokhara airport, which was built with China’s loan, is now being questioned. Various incidents have shown that there is a risk of flying in this airport, which was built without taking the environmental impact assessment seriously.

Especially because of birds and other animals, there is a problem with flying here. Therefore, the Nepal government is facing a problem in repaying the loan from China.

The Nepal-China railway has also been discussed for a long time. Even during the visits of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Former Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, there have been various agreements regarding the progress of this project, but there is still no readiness to proceed with the work.

Not only railways, even the border points of Nepal’s Himalayan district including Humla, are connected to China, but they have not been started after the Covid-19 pandemic. Rasuwagadhi, the only operational border crossing with China, is also not fully operational.

On the other hand, China is forcing Nepal into its ambitious but controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project.

A few months ago, at the inauguration of Pokhara International Airport, an official of the Chinese Embassy in Nepal made a controversial statement that the airport was built under BRI.

Though China stated that Pokhara International Airport is built under BRI, it was contracted to China CAMC Engineering Co and was built with a concessional loan from China’s Exim Bank.

Similarly, the important thing to remember here is that the loan agreement was signed before Nepal became a part of the BRI.

Analysts say that while the government is inviting Chinese investors, their work should also be evaluated. Since the trade deficit with China has been increasing recently, economists say that emphasis should be placed on the access and market assurance of Nepali products in the Chinese market.

Prime Minister Dahal also expressed concern over the increase in trade deficit with China in the event. In the last fiscal year, while importing goods worth about 2 trillion 32 billion rupees from China, it exported only of 67 billion rupees.

Economists say that as Prime Minister Dahal said, the Chinese side and companies should be well prepared and also should be responsible for investment in Nepal. (ANI)

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Putin, Xi discuss China’s plan to settle ongoing Ukraine crisis

Talks between the two leaders lasted four and a half hours on Monday, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. Further formal meetings are expected to follow on Tuesday…reports Asian Lite News

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Kremlin, has said his country is “always open for a negotiation process”.

Putin made the remarks on Monday in response to China’s “plan settle ongoing Ukraine crisis”.

The plan aimed to “end the Russia-Ukraine war” was released by China in February. However, the US has warned it could be a “stalling tactic”, the BBC reported.

“The world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia, supported by China or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was quoted as saying by the British broadcaster.

“Calling for a ceasefire that does not include the removal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory would effectively be supporting the ratification of Russian conquest,” Blinken added.

Talks between the two leaders lasted four and a half hours on Monday, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. Further formal meetings are expected to follow on Tuesday.

Xi, who called Putin his “dear friend,” praised his Russian counterpart, saying the country’s development had “significantly improved”, CNN reported.

“Both sides exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine issue,” reported Xinhua news agency, describing the leaders’ meeting as “in-depth and candid.”

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Xi meeting Putin a boost for isolated Russia leader

Xi and Putin declared they had a “no-limits friendship” before the February 2022 attack on Ukraine, but China has tried to portray itself as neutral…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is due to meet with Vladimir Putin a political boost for the isolated Russian president after the International Criminal Court charged him with war crimes in Ukraine.

Xi’s government gave no details of what the Chinese leader hoped to accomplish. Xi and Putin declared they had a “no-limits friendship” before the February 2022 attack on Ukraine, but China has tried to portray itself as neutral. Beijing called for a cease-fire last month, but Washington said that would ratify the Kremlin’s battlefield gains.

The Chinese government said Xi would visit Moscow from Monday to Wednesday but gave no indication whether he had left. The Russian government said Xi was due to arrive at midday and meet later with Putin.

Ahead of the meeting, China’s foreign ministry called on the ICC to “respect the jurisdictional immunity” of a head of state and “avoid politicization and double standards.”

China looks to Russia as a source of oil and gas for its energy-hungry economy and as a partner in opposing what both see as American domination of global affairs.

The meeting gives Putin and Xi a chance to show they have “powerful partners” at a time of strained relations with Washington, said Joseph Torigian, an expert in Chinese-Russian relations at American University in Washington.

“China can signal that it could even do more to help Russia, and that if relations with the United States continue to deteriorate, they could do a lot more to enable Russia and help Russia in its war against Ukraine,” Torigian said.

Beijing’s relations with Washington, Europe and its neighbors are strained by disputes over technology, security, human rights and the ruling Communist Party’s treatment of Hong Kong and Muslim minorities.

Some commentators draw a parallel between Russia’s claims to Ukrainian territory and Beijing’s claim to Taiwan. The Communist Party says the self-ruled island democracy, which split with China in 1949 after a civil war, is obliged to unite with the mainland, by force if necessary. Xi’s government has been stepping up efforts to intimidate the island by flying fighter jets nearby and firing missiles into the sea.

Will China be the ultimate gainer of US sanctions against Russia?.(photo:IN)

China has stepped up purchases of Russian oil and gas, helping to top up the Kremlin’s revenue in the face of Western sanctions. But it has avoided doing anything visible that crosses the red lines laid down by Washington and European governments in regard to financial sanctions and the provision of military aid.

This week’s meeting follows the ICC announcement Friday of charges that Putin is personally responsible for the abductions of thousands of children from Ukraine. Governments that recognize the court’s jurisdiction would be obligated to arrest Putin if he visits.

Putin has yet to comment on the announcement, but the Kremlin rejected the move as “outrageous and unacceptable.”

In a show of defiance, Putin visited Crimea and the occupied Ukrainian port city of Mariupol to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Russian news reports showed him chatting with Mariupol residents and visiting an art school and a children’s center in Sevastopol in Crimea.

The ICC should “uphold an objective and impartial stance, respect the jurisdictional immunity enjoyed by the head of state in accordance” and “avoid politicization and double standards,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.

“China will uphold its objective and fair position on the Ukrainian crisis and play a constructive role in promoting peace talks,” Wang said.

Xi said in an article published Monday in the Russian newspaper Russian Gazette that China has “actively promoted peace talks” but announced no initiatives.

“My upcoming visit to Russia will be a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace,” Xi wrote, according to text released by the official Xinhua News Agency.

“A reasonable way to resolve the crisis” can be found if “all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security,” Xi wrote.

The trip follows the surprise announcement of a diplomatic thaw between Iran and Saudi Arabia after a meeting in Beijing, a propaganda coup for Xi’s government.

Xi wants to be seen as a global statesman who is “playing a constructive role” by talking about peace but is unlikely to press Putin to end the war, said Torigian. He said Beijing worries about possible Russian battlefield losses but doesn’t want to be seen to “enable Russia’s aggression.”

“They won’t spend political capital” on pressing Moscow to make peace, “especially if they don’t think it will get them anything,” he said.

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26 Chinese military aircraft, 4 naval vessels detected around Taiwan

Taiwan retaliated by sending aircraft, naval boats, and land-based missiles to monitor the PLA aircraft and ships.,..reports Asian Lite News

At least 26 Chinese military aircraft and four naval vessels were tracked by the Ministry of National Defence (MND), Taiwan between Friday and Saturday, Taiwan News reported today.

According to the MND, 15 of the 26 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft were observed in Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ). Four Chengdu J-10 fighters, four Shenyang J-16 fighters, one CH-4 reconnaissance drone, and one Harbin BZK-005 reconnaissance drone crossed the Taiwan Strait median line. Another reconnaissance drone from Harbin flew along the southern edge of Taiwan’s ADIZ.
The southwest corner of the ADIZ saw the tracking of two Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and one BZK-007 reconnaissance drone. A Harbin Z-9 anti-submarine helicopter also appeared in Taiwan’s identification zone’s southeast portion, Taiwan News reported.

Taiwan retaliated by sending aircraft, naval boats, and land-based missiles to monitor the PLA aircraft and ships.

Beijing has sent Taiwan with 67 naval vessels and 266 military aircraft so far this month. China has intensified its use of grey zone strategies since September 2020 by routinely dispatching aircraft inside Taiwan’s ADIZ.

Grey zone tactics are defined as “an effort or sequence of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that aims to achieve one’s security objectives without resorting to direct and substantial use of force,” reported Taiwan News.

Chinese military ships, fishing vessels and sand dredgers regularly cross into Taiwan’s waters using what military analysts describe as grey-zone tactics — part intimidation campaign, part resource extraction — intended to keep Taiwan’s people and government on alert.

The Chinese Communist Party government shelled Matsu for decades after the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government retreated to Taiwan in defeat in 1949, and gained control of some of the outlying islands that are much closer to China than Taiwan.

Notably, Japan controls the islands, whereas China continues to claim them.

According to history and international law, the islands are inextricably linked to Japan’s territory, the Japanese government claims. (ANI)

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US mulls ban on Chinese airlines using Russian airspace

The idea is the result of lobbying by US airlines, who lose up to $2 billion in market share yearly to foreign rivals who are not restricted from overflying Russian territory…reports Asian Lite News

The US Transportation Department is proposing a ban on Chinese airlines’ use of Russian airspace to fly passengers to the US, three officials from the administration of President Joe Biden told New York Times, reported Russia Today.

The national security team and others were reportedly given an order last Monday requiring Chinese rivals to adhere to the same restrictions faced by US carriers.
The idea is the result of lobbying by US airlines, who lose up to $2 billion in market share yearly to foreign rivals who are not restricted from overflying Russian territory, according to industry trade group Airlines for America.

The group has requested that the Biden administration “take action to ensure that international carriers overflying Russia do not depart, land, or transit through US airports,” according to a spokeswoman for the organisation.

Airlines with home nations that are not involved in the conflict in Ukraine, such as China Eastern, Emirates, and Air India, have seen a spike in revenue because they can fly the shortest route without having to go around Russia’s extensive territory.

American carriers, on the other hand, have had to conduct long-haul flights with dozens of vacant seats in the aim of making the jet light enough to avoid refuelling on the more circuitous routes required to circumvent no-go zones, according to airline sources quoted by Russia Today.

US carriers were forced to abandon plans to provide direct services to more than a dozen hotspots like Tokyo, Seoul, and Mumbai in favour of competitors after being denied access to the most direct routes to Asia.

According to Russia Today, Airlines for America has made an effort to persuade passengers who object to forking over the extra cash and time in the air that flying over Russia is genuinely risky. The lobbying group cites the downing of MH17 in Ukraine in 2014 and Brittney Griner’s arrest in a Moscow airport last year as examples.

Foreigners caught with illegal drugs face significantly harsher penalties in many supposedly “safe” nations, including execution by firing squad.

The Dutch team, meanwhile tasked with proving Russia’s involvement in the MH17 catastrophe terminated its probe last month after failing to turn up any solid proof.

The jet was allegedly shot down by a BUK missile developed in Russia, according to a court in the same nation last year, which said there was “no possibility for reasonable doubt whatsoever.”

Following Washington’s own ban on Russian aircraft flying over American territory, Moscow blocked its airspace to US airlines in March of last year, Russia Today reported. (ANI)

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Two new plant species discovered in southwestern China

The new species, including an orchid species and a primrose species, were first found in the Wolong National Nature Reserve by researchers from the Chengdu Institute of Biology under the CAS…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese researchers have discovered two new plant species in a giant panda habitat in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said.

The new species, including an orchid species and a primrose species, were first found in the Wolong National Nature Reserve by researchers from the Chengdu Institute of Biology under the CAS, Xinhua reported.

The orchid species, Gastrochilus heminii, was named after Zhang Hemin, a panda expert. It was first discovered in June 2021 and identified as a new species after field investigations and specimen collections during its breeding period.

The tiny orchid grows at an altitude of 2,400 to 2,700 metres above sea level and has a small population, with only about 200 found in the nature reserve.

The primrose species, Primula wolongensis, was named after where it was found in May 2021. Growing on cliffs at an altitude of 3,400 metres, the perennial herb has yellow flowers and is very rare, only known from its type locality currently, said the CAS, Xinhua reported.

The discoveries have been published in the journal PhytoKeys.

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Xi Jinping to visit Russia

Xi will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss “aspects of further ties…report Asian Lite News

Moscow, March 17 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to Russia next Monday, the Kremlin and the Chinese Foreign Ministry have revealed, media reported.

The trip will last until Wednesday. Xi will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss “aspects of further development of comprehensive partnership,” according to a statement from the Kremlin.

There will also be a discussion of the international agenda and cooperation between the two nations in world affairs, the Kremlin added. Russian and Chinese officials are expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements, RT reported.

Putin invited Xi to Russia during a phone call in late December, but the date of the trip was not previously announced. The two Presidents have been in frequent contact after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in early 2022, both in person at international events and via video link.

Last month, Beijing revealed an initiative for a settlement to the conflict in Ukraine. Moscow said it would consider the proposal, but reiterated that Kiev’s refusal to acknowledge the new reality on the ground is a major obstacle to negotiations, RT reported.

The Ukrainian government has stated that its goal is military victory over Russia and the expulsion of Russian troops from all territories that Kiev claims to be under its sovereignty. It has also prohibited any negotiations with Moscow as long as Putin remains in office.

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