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China pauses arms talks with US over Taiwan arms sales

China has decided to suspend talks with the United States on a new round of arms control and non-proliferation consultations…reports Asian Lite News

The US side bears full responsibility for the suspension of a new round of arms control and non-proliferation consultations with China, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Wednesday.

Lin Jian made the remarks at a regular press briefing when asked to comment on certain US officials’ accusation against China of refusing to engage in the consultations.

Li said that for some time, ignoring China’s firm opposition and repeated representations, the US side has continued to sell arms to Taiwan, and taken actions that seriously undermine China’s core interests and damage mutual trust between the two sides, thereby undermining the political atmosphere necessary for continued arms control consultations, reports Xinhua news agency.

“For this reason, China has decided to suspend talks with the United States on a new round of arms control and non-proliferation consultations, and the responsibility for this situation lies entirely with the US side,” Lin said.

China is willing to maintain communication with the United States on international arms control issues on the basis of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, but the US side must respect China’s core interests and create necessary conditions for dialogue and exchanges between the two sides, the spokesperson noted.

Meanwhile, Penpa Tsering, the President of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, commented on President Biden’s recent signing of the ‘Resolve Tibet Bill,’ stating that the move has clearly struck a nerve with China.

Last week, US President Joe Biden signed the ‘Resolve Tibet Act’, which states that China’s ongoing occupation of Tibet must be resolved per international law peacefully and not through repression.

In an interview with ANI, Tsering highlighted the intense reaction from the Chinese government, which has condemned the bill as an interference in their domestic affairs.

“The very fact that they came here to deliver the bill to His Holiness and then President Biden signing it, even before he signed, they said, please don’t sign the form.

Now, after signing, they are saying, don’t implement the bill; otherwise, it will have consequences,” Tsering said, adding, “So, in that sense, we know that it has worked and China has for it.”

Expressing a confident stance on the impact of the newly signed ‘Resolve Tibet Bill’ and highlighting that the bill has significantly unsettled the Chinese government. Tsering remarked that the strong Chinese reaction underscores the bill’s effectiveness in challenging Beijing’s narrative on Tibet.

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US cautions against Russian, Chinese moves in space

The general’s comments come against a backdrop of heightened fears over potential space-based weapons systems, a concern that has been mounting in recent months….reports Asian Lite News

US military and intelligence officials have expressed escalating concerns over the actions of Russia and China in space, suggesting that both nations are moving closer to deploying space-based weapons that could significantly impact American national security, Voice of America reported.

The warnings came during a discussion at the annual Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday, where US military leaders highlighted the risks associated with the evolving space strategies of these two global powers.

Lieutenant General Jeff Kruse, Director of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), emphasised the growing intent of both Russia and China to use space as a domain for advanced military capabilities. “I would highlight … the increasing amount of intent to use counterspace capabilities,” Kruse said during the forum. “Both Russia and China view the use of space early on, even ahead of conflict, as important capabilities to deter or compel behaviours,” he explained. “We just need to be ready.”

Kruse’s remarks underscored a critical shift in the perception of space as a strategic domain, with increasing military implications. The general’s comments come against a backdrop of heightened fears over potential space-based weapons systems, a concern that has been mounting in recent months.

Earlier this year, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner called for the declassification of all information related to a new Russian anti-satellite weapon that he described as involving nuclear technology. Turner warned that Russia might be on the verge of developing the capability to detonate a nuclear weapon in space, a move that could impose severe costs on US military and economic interests.

“The US is sleepwalking into a disaster,” Turner asserted, citing his concerns over Russia’s nuclear ambitions in space. In response, the White House has consistently maintained that while US officials are aware of Russia’s space weaponisation efforts, Moscow has not yet deployed such capabilities, as reported by Voice of America.

Kruse echoed this stance during his presentation, cautioning that while Russia has been working on the ability to place nuclear weapons in space for nearly a decade, they have not yet reached a deployable stage. “We have been tracking for almost a decade Russia’s intent to design the ability to put a nuclear weapon in space,” Kruse said. “They have progressed down to a point where we think they’re getting close.”

Despite this progress, Kruse warned that Russia’s commitment to this agenda remains strong. “The Russians don’t intend to slow down, and until there are repercussions, will not slow down,” he said, emphasising the importance of continued vigilance and preparedness.

The response from Russia and China to these US allegations has been dismissive.

In May, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov dismissed concerns about Moscow’s plans to weaponise space as “fake news.”

Similarly, the Chinese Embassy in Washington has rejected claims of belligerent behaviour in space.

“China always advocates the peaceful use of outer space, opposes weaponizing space or an arms race in space and works actively toward the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind in space,” said Chinese spokesperson Liu Pengyu.

Liu criticised the US for creating a narrative of threat to justify its own military buildup. “The US has been weaving a narrative about the so-called threat posed by China in outer space in an attempt to justify its own military buildup to seek space hegemony,” Liu said, adding, “It is just another illustration of how the US clings on to the Cold War mentality and deflects responsibility,” according to Voice of America report.

Despite these denials, Kruse argued that China’s rapid expansion into space poses significant threats. “They’re in multiple orbits that they did not used to be before,” Kruse said, pointing out that China’s investments in directed energy weapons, electronic warfare capabilities, and anti-satellite technology are causes for concern.

He elaborated on China’s strategic space initiatives, noting that “China is the one country that more so even than the United States has a space doctrine, a space strategy, and they train and exercise the use of space and counterspace capabilities in a way that we just don’t see elsewhere.”

General Stephen Whiting, the commander of US Space Command, painted an even more ominous picture of the Chinese space program. “China is building a kill web, if you will, in space,” Whiting stated.

He elaborated that over the past six years, China has “tripled the number of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance satellites they have on orbit — hundreds and hundreds of satellites, again, purpose built and designed to find, fix, track target and, yes, potentially engage US and allied forces across the Indo-Pacific.”

Whiting also addressed the challenges of maintaining communication and ensuring space safety amid these developments. “We want to have a way to talk to them about space safety as they put more satellites on orbit,” he said. “So that we can operate effectively and don’t have any miscommunication or unintended actions that cause a misunderstanding,” Voice of America reported. (ANI)

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Xi’s hawkish strategy may face public scrutiny

Contemporary China under Xi Jinping faces numerous domestic and international challenges. The lack of solutions to these issues has led Xi to adopt a hawkish approach towards neighbouring countries, hoping to stir nationalist sentiments among Chinese citizens….reports Asian Lite News

Xi Jinping assumed the presidency of China in March 2013, succeeding Hu Jintao as the primary leader of both the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the People’s Republic of China.

Over the subsequent 12 years, Xi has navigated China through a tumultuous period, significantly altering the global perception of the nation.

Although China is an authoritarian state, it had established mechanisms to prevent the concentration of unchecked power in a single individual, a response to the challenges encountered under Mao Zedong’s leadership. These mechanisms included a maximum two-term limit for presidents and a system of checks and balances within the Party’s upper echelons.

Presidents would typically begin grooming their successors as their terms concluded.

However, these practices have been consistently ignored in Xi Jinping’s case. He amended the party’s constitution to extend his tenure beyond two terms, appointed loyalists to key positions and emerged as the most powerful leader in Communist Chinese history (even Mao faced resistance from civil war-era military generals). Reflecting on these developments, it is crucial to consider how Xi Jinping’s decade-long rule has impacted China.

The starting of failures

When Xi Jinping assumed the role of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the country, it was during the period of China’s ‘peaceful rise’; that the nation was thriving economically and emerging as a global manufacturing hub.

Liberal internationalists believed that as market forces penetrated China, democracy would inevitably follow. However, a realist perspective of international relations ultimately prevailed.

The China that Xi Jinping inherited was flourishing and becoming a constructive global force.

Upon taking office, he began to use this development and the rise of China as instruments for asserting dominance.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) serves as a prime example; it was China’s first major international infrastructural project, launched in 2013 to establish a multimodal network of infrastructure projects across various countries.

A decade later, the BRI has not evolved into a cohesive, concrete initiative. The world’s largest economies have opted out of participating in the BRI.

Low- and middle-income countries that initially joined the initiative began complaining about the debt trap, where high interest rates imposed by Chinese banks forced many countries to cede control of projects to China.

The Hambantota port project in Sri Lanka is the most prominent example of this debt trap.

Additionally, the BRI did not materialise into a multimodal network but rather remained a means for China to establish influence over individual countries.

The failures of the BRI also affected China’s domestic political landscape.

The BRI was closely tied to Xi Jinping’s paramount “Chinese Dream of National Rejuvenation” project. This initiative aimed to revitalise the Chinese economy, which had been decelerating since the global financial crisis. Under Xi’s leadership, the Chinese economic miracle that began during Deng Xiaoping’s era began to slow down. X’s domestic and foreign policies are primarily responsible for this downturn.

Hefei, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has said that the country must improve its capability to prevent and combat disasters in its effort to build a modern socialist country in an all-round way. The ability to prevent and combat natural disasters should be modernized, Xi said Tuesday during his inspection tour in east China’s Anhui Province. The Chinese nation has been fighting against natural disasters for thousands of years and has accumulated valuable experience. And the fight will go on, he said. “In this fight, we should respect nature, conform to the laws of nature and live in harmony with nature,” he said. (Xinhua/Ju Peng, Wang Ye/IANS)

Series of policy mishaps

Xi Jinping and his loyalists, who secured positions within the inner circles of the CPC following Xi’s anti-corruption purge of numerous party officials, are held responsible for several policy failures.

Among the most notable are the rising tensions with neighbouring countries such as India, Vietnam, and the Philippines, with China being accused of aggressive actions along their borders.

Additionally, China engaged in direct confrontations and diplomatic coercion with various states, including Australia and smaller European nations, where its ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’ harmed its carefully cultivated long-term relationships.

It is widely known that China has unresolved disputes with annexed peripheral regions, including Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong.

Over the past decade, following Xi Jinping’s unprecedented security crackdowns, these borders have been tightly controlled. As a result, an estimated one million minority Muslim Uyghurs were detained in camps in Xinjiang, and in Hong Kong, Beijing enacted a sweeping national security law in response to significant anti-government protests in 2019.

Xi has also significantly increased the public security budget for Tibet from nearly 160 million Yuan to more than 300 million Yuan over the last 10 years.

Taiwan, an independent democratic island with security ties to the US, has long been a target for China’s ‘reunification’ ambitions.

Recently, China has become more aggressive along Taiwan’s border.

According to a report by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence, Chinese air incursions have surged, with the number of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft entering Taiwan’s air defence zone daily, increasing from around 15 in 2021 to around 70 in April 2023.

On the economic front, China’s economy has continually slowed since Xi Jinping assumed office. Since his tenure began, there has been an increasing crackdown on the private sector.

Chinese capitalism is predominantly state-run, raising security concerns in many countries.

The purge of prominent industrialists, such as Jack Ma, has created significant challenges for Chinese entrepreneurs and wealth creators.

China remains one of the most unequal countries in the world.

The economic slowdown since the Covid-19 lockdown has also led to increased unemployment, alongside a persistent decline in private sector investment and consumer confidence in the Chinese economy during Xi’s reign.

In conclusion, contemporary China under Xi Jinping faces numerous domestic and international challenges. The lack of solutions to these issues has led Xi to adopt a hawkish approach towards neighbouring countries, hoping to stir nationalist sentiments among Chinese citizens.

While this strategy may be effective in the short term, in the long run, more than one billion people will demand answers from Xi Jinping. Ultimately, history is likely to judge him with a degree of scepticism.

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Xinjiang military infra expansion sparks Uyghur concerns

Recent reports reveal ongoing construction and expansion of military infrastructure, such as barracks and training facilities….reports Asian Lite News

China has been intensifying its military presence in Xinjiang as part of its efforts to assert authority over the region, said Uyghur leader, adding that the Chinese have already built over 360 military installations, including airbases and heliports.

Recent reports reveal ongoing construction and expansion of military infrastructure, such as barracks and training facilities.

Geopolitical analyses from entities like the United States Department of Defence and global think tanks underscore these developments, viewing them within China’s larger strategy.

Foreign Affairs and Security Minister of East Turkistan Government in Exile and the Uyghur leader, Salih Hudayar stated in a post on X, “The Chinese invaders have built over 360 military installations, including airbases and heliports, across occupied East Turkistan, not even counting China’s PAP and XPCC bases. This overwhelming military presence isn’t a demonstration of power–it’s a glaring admission of fear.”

East Turkistan loosely includes the area designated as the “Xinjiang” Uyghur Autonomous Region.

On September 14, 2004, the East Turkistan Government in Exile was established in Washington, DC. This declaration was made by members of the worldwide East Turkistani community, led by Anwar Yusuf Turani.

In his post, Salih further stated, “Beijing’s desperate attempts to maintain its occupation reveal deep anxiety about losing their grip on East Turkistan, the Achilles’ heel of their empire. The massive military, paramilitary, and police presence, along with their ongoing campaign to annihilate the East Turkistani people, expose China’s profound vulnerability and fear of resistance.”

The situation in Xinjiang has been marked by significant geopolitical tensions and human rights concerns. The region is home to the Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, who have faced increasing scrutiny and repression from the Chinese government in recent years.

In recent decades, the Chinese government has implemented policies aimed at assimilating and controlling the Uyghur population in Xinjiang.

These policies include strict surveillance measures, cultural and religious repression, forced labour programs and mass internment camps euphemistically termed “re-education centres.”

The Chinese authorities, on the other hand, justify these actions as necessary for countering terrorism and maintaining stability in the region.

The international community, including human rights organisations and several Western governments, has condemned China’s policies in Xinjiang.

Reports of human rights abuses, including forced labour, arbitrary detention, and cultural suppression, have drawn widespread criticism and calls for accountability. (ANI)

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China, Philippines set up hotline to prevent SCS clashes

Despite these measures, territorial disputes have persisted, raising fears of a larger conflict that could involve the United States….reports Asian Lite News

A newly signed agreement will establish a direct line of communication between the presidential offices of China and the Philippines to prevent potential confrontations in the disputed South China Sea from escalating, according to Associated Press report.

Previously, China and the Philippines had created emergency telephone hotlines at lower levels to manage disputes, especially in two contested shoals where both countries have accused each other of hostile actions.

Despite these measures, territorial disputes have persisted, raising fears of a larger conflict that could involve the United States. The U.S. has reiterated its obligation to defend the Philippines, a key Asian treaty ally, if Filipino forces are attacked in the disputed waters.

US Gen. Charles Brown Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Philippine military chief Gen. Romeo Brawner in Manila to discuss strengthening defense ties, enhancing joint military operations, and ensuring regional stability.

During a confrontation in August 2023 at the Philippines-occupied Second Thomas Shoal, the Philippine government reported difficulties in reaching Chinese officials via an established “maritime communication mechanism.” This mechanism was arranged after Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met Chinese President Xi Jinping in January 2023.

Following a violent confrontation at the Second Thomas Shoal, Chinese and Philippine officials held talks in Manila on July 2. Chinese coast guard personnel reportedly used weapons, and Philippine navy personnel were injured. Chinese forces also seized seven Philippine navy rifles. Gen. Brawner demanded the return of the firearms and compensation for damages.

Both countries recognized the need to strengthen their maritime communication mechanism and signed an agreement to improve communication channels specifically on maritime issues. This includes talks through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as plans for a new communication channel between their coast guards once a memorandum of understanding is concluded.

Additionally, China and the Philippines agreed on steps to boost cooperation between their coast guard authorities and the possible convening of a maritime forum involving scientists and academic leaders. The aim is to restore trust, rebuild confidence, and create conditions conducive to productive dialogue, while acknowledging that significant differences remain.

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CCP leaders gather to chart course amid economic slowdown

The 1978 meeting marked China’s shift towards economic reform and openness, while Xi’s inaugural plenum in 2013 laid the groundwork for dismantling the long-standing one-child policy…reports Asian Lite News

Top officials from China’s ruling Communist Party have convened in Beijing for the third plenum, a pivotal event held every five years to set the country’s economic and political course, CNN reported.

This gathering assumes significant importance as China, the world’s second-largest economy, grapples with a myriad of challenges including a property sector crisis, escalating local government debt, and strained consumer demand amid geopolitical tensions with Western nations.

The economic backdrop leading up to the plenum has been punctuated by China’s latest GDP figures which revealed a growth rate of 4.7 per cent for the second quarter of the year, falling short of earlier expectations and highlighting underlying economic vulnerabilities exacerbated by stringent pandemic control measures.

President Xi Jinping, at the helm of China’s most powerful leadership in decades, faces mounting scrutiny over his handling of economic policies amidst internal party reshuffles and the backdrop of a slowing economy. The delayed scheduling of this year’s plenum has sparked speculation, with some attributing it to disagreements over economic strategies and recent high-level personnel changes within Xi’s administration, reported CNN.

Historically, the third plenum has been a platform for announcing pivotal economic reforms. The 1978 meeting marked China’s shift towards economic reform and openness, while Xi’s inaugural plenum in 2013 laid the groundwork for dismantling the long-standing one-child policy.

However, observers familiar with China’s opaque political landscape do not anticipate sweeping reforms this time. Instead, the focus is expected to be on targeted measures to address structural economic issues, enhance technological self-reliance in response to Western restrictions, and bolster social stability amid economic hardships.

A key focus of the plenum is expected to be on fiscal reforms aimed at easing pressure on local governments burdened by high debt levels and diminishing revenue streams, exacerbated by the ongoing property sector turmoil. Efforts to stimulate consumer spending and improve household income are also anticipated, with potential reforms targeting rural land ownership, the restrictive household registration system, and expanding social safety nets.

Xi Jinping has acknowledged the economic challenges facing China, emphasising in his New Year’s address the need to address job creation and basic needs amid social discontent. His administration’s priorities now include balancing economic stability with ambitions for technological dominance and national security, particularly in sectors critical to China’s industrial and innovation capabilities.

Tech self-reliance has emerged as a central theme amidst US-led efforts to curtail China’s access to advanced technologies, a move perceived by Beijing as a strategic challenge to its economic sovereignty and global competitiveness. The plenum is expected to endorse measures aimed at advancing China’s capabilities in science, technology, and green industries, potentially exacerbating tensions with Western nations already wary of China’s growing influence.

The geopolitical dimension of China’s economic policies is underscored by recent trade disputes, including tariffs imposed on Chinese electric vehicles by the EU and US citing unfair subsidies and market practices. Any decisions made during the plenum to bolster China’s high-tech sectors could further intensify these conflicts, adding to the strain on global economic relations.

Global investors, meanwhile, are closely monitoring China’s commitments to market liberalisation amid a climate of increased state control and regulatory scrutiny under Xi’s leadership. Expectations for greater market access and regulatory transparency are tempered by concerns over China’s evolving political landscape and its implications for foreign businesses.

The plenum may also see the formal removal of senior Communist Party officials implicated in corruption probes or administrative reshuffles, including former defence minister Li Shangfu and other military figures linked to Xi’s ongoing efforts to consolidate authority within the armed forces, CNN reported. (ANI)

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Hasina prefers India over China in $1b Teesta project

Hasina’s recent visit to China, from July 8-10, 2024, yielded limited results despite significant media hype. The meeting between Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping lasted only 30 minutes, indicating a lack of substantive engagement…reports Asian Lite News

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her preference for India to undertake a $1 billion river development project, aiming to address New Delhi’s security concerns. “China is ready, but I want India to do the project,” Hasina stated at a Dhaka press conference on Sunday.

The Teesta River Comprehensive Management and Restoration project, aimed at better managing the river’s waters, has attracted interest from both China and India, as they compete for influence in Bangladesh. The 414 km (257.25 miles) long Teesta River flows from India into Bangladesh, and its development was a key topic during Hasina’s June visit to New Delhi.

A 2011 agreement on sharing the river’s water stalled due to objections from West Bengal, the Indian state through which the river flows before entering Bangladesh. With India slow to resolve the issue, China offered its proposal, prompting India to counter with its own offer amid security concerns over Chinese engineers working near its borders.

“China conducted a feasibility study and made an offer. India also made an offer and will do a feasibility study,” Hasina said, adding, “But I prioritize India’s involvement because they have controlled the Teesta’s waters.”

Meanwhile, Hasina’s recent visit to China, from July 8-10, 2024, yielded limited results despite significant media hype. The meeting between Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping lasted only 30 minutes, indicating a lack of substantive engagement.

Hasina did not receive high-level protocol treatment, with no significant Chinese officials visiting her. The main political interaction was with Wang Huning, the fourth-ranking official in the Chinese Communist Party.

The visit saw no substantial progress on economic issues. The much-anticipated Summit on Trade, Business, and Investment was chaired by a lower-level Chinese bureaucrat. No major agreements or MoUs were signed, with most being renewals or minor agreements, such as the Protocol of Phyto-sanitary requirements for exporting fresh mangoes from Bangladesh to China.

Despite seeking improvements in bilateral trade, Bangladesh’s trade imbalance with China remains significant, with Chinese exports to Bangladesh vastly outstripping Bangladeshi exports. Talks for a concessional loan of USD 5 billion also faltered, and the much-hyped potential for USD 20 billion in grants and loans was largely seen as creating unnecessary media buzz. The visit, heavily promoted by the Chinese Ambassador to Dhaka, ultimately lacked tangible benefits for Bangladesh.

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China’s Q2 GDP growth misses expectations

China’s National Bureau of Statistics noted that adverse weather contributed to the slowdown in second-quarter growth. It also highlighted growing external uncertainties and domestic challenges expected in the latter half of the year…reports Asian Lite News

China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported on Monday that the country’s GDP in the second quarter grew by 4.7 per cent compared to the previous year, which was below expectations of a 5.1 per cent increase.

This growth rate marked a slowdown from the 5.3 per cent growth observed in the first quarter. Additionally, June’s retail sales saw an increase of 2 per cent, falling short of the expected 3.3 per cent growth.

“By quarter, the GDP for the first quarter increased by 5.3 per cent year on year and for the second quarter 4.7 per cent. The GDP for the second quarter increased by 0.7 per cent quarter on quarter,” the statement said.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics noted that adverse weather contributed to the slowdown in second-quarter growth. It also highlighted growing external uncertainties and domestic challenges expected in the latter half of the year.

The economic landscape in China has shown disparities, with industrial output surpassing domestic consumption. This has heightened deflation concerns amid a downturn in the property sector and increasing local government debt. Despite resilient Chinese exports offering some stability, escalating trade tensions now pose a significant risk.

The statistics were released as Beijing aims to bolster economic optimism during the eagerly awaited third plenum, a crucial leadership gathering beginning Monday. However, conflicting goals, such as the need to stimulate growth while reducing debt, present challenges to these efforts.

China has been experiencing a shift from high-speed growth to a more moderate pace in recent years. The GDP growth rate for 2023 was around 5.5 per cent, down from previous double-digit growth rates seen in earlier decades. The shift in China’s economic growth from high-speed to more moderate levels in recent years can be attributed to several interrelated factors.

According to the World Bank, China has been undergoing a shift from an investment-driven growth model to one that emphasises consumption and services. Investment in infrastructure and heavy industries, which previously drove rapid expansion, has slowed as the economy matures.

Moreover, China’s demographic dividend, which provided a large and youthful workforce, is diminishing as the population ages.

An ageing population reduces the labour force participation rate and limits the potential for rapid economic expansion. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, escalating trade tensions with the United States and other major economies have weighed on China’s export sector and overall economic confidence.

Tariffs and trade barriers have disrupted supply chains and reduced global demand for Chinese goods. China faces significant environmental challenges stemming from decades of rapid industrialization.

Efforts to curb pollution and promote green development, while crucial for long-term sustainability, have also impacted industrial output and economic growth rates. According to the China Economic Review, the transition to a more innovation-driven economy requires time and resources, which may temporarily affect overall GDP growth rates. (ANI)

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China, Russia start joint naval drills

Chinese and Russian naval forces carried out on-map military simulation and tactical coordination exercises after the opening ceremony in the city of Zhanjiang. The joint drills came on the heels of China’s latest tensions with NATO allies last week…reports Asian Lite News

China and Russia’s naval forces on Sunday kicked off a joint exercise at a military port in southern China on Sunday, days after NATO allies called Beijing a “decisive enabler” of the war in Ukraine.

The Chinese defense ministry said in a brief statement forces from both sides recently patrolled the western and northern Pacific Ocean and that the operation had nothing to do with international and regional situations and didn’t target any third party.

The exercise, which began in Guangdong province on Sunday and is expected to last until mid-July, aimed to demonstrate the capabilities of the navies in addressing security threats and preserving peace and stability globally and regionally, state broadcaster CCTV reported Saturday, adding it would include anti-missile exercises, sea strikes and air defense.

Chinese and Russian naval forces carried out on-map military simulation and tactical coordination exercises after the opening ceremony in the city of Zhanjiang. The joint drills came on the heels of China’s latest tensions with NATO allies last week.

The sternly worded final communiqué, approved by the 32 NATO members at their summit in Washington, made clear that China is becoming a focus of the military alliance, calling Beijing a “decisive enabler” of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The European and North American members and their partners in the Indo-Pacific increasingly see shared security concerns coming from Russia and its Asian supporters, especially China.

In response, China accused NATO of seeking security at the expense of others and told the alliance not to bring the same “chaos” to Asia. Its foreign ministry maintained that China has a fair and objective stance on the war in Ukraine.

Last week, a US Coast Guard cutter on routine patrol in the Bering Sea also came across several Chinese military ships in international waters but within the U.S. exclusive economic zone, American officials said. Its crew detected three vessels approximately 124 miles (200 kilometers) north of the Amchitka Pass in the Aleutian Islands, which mark a separation and linkage between the North Pacific and the Bering Sea.

Later, a fourth ship was spotted approximately 84 miles (135 kilometers) north of the Amukta Pass. The US side said the Chinese naval vessels operated within international rules and norms.

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Tibetan school shut by Chinese authorities on baseless accusations

The closure of this Tibetan school is yet another addition to several previous Tibetan schools, intended to stop the preservation of the Tibetan language, culture, religion, and identity…report Asian Lite News

The Chinese authorities on Friday forcibly closed an age-old Tibetan school, namely Jigme Gyaltsen Nationalities Vocational High School in Tibet’s Golok, while hiding the true reason behind the order, the Central Tibetan Administration reported.

The Chinese government had launched investigations into monks or nuns under the age of 18 and had threatened the school authorities with severe punishments if any such people were found.

The closure of this Tibetan school is yet another addition to several previous Tibetan schools, intended to stop the preservation of the Tibetan language, culture, religion, and identity.

Additionally, several lawsuits and pressures from the Golok area’s Communist Party Secretary and other officials were noticed conspiring to close this school for many years, the same report by the CTA claimed.

Golok is a cultural area in Eastern Tibet sandwiched between the Tibetan regions of Amdo and Kham, but for much of its six-hundred-plus years of recorded history, it prided itself on being distinct from both its Tibetan and Chinese neighbours.

Today, Golok corresponds to the Chinese administrative unit Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and is situated in the southern region of Qinghai Province, bordering Sichuan Province to the south, according to a report published by Sarah Jacoby, an expert on Tibetan Buddhism.

A small group of students belonging to Sherab Norbu Ling School was also sued by the Chinese authorities for using jewel and lion emblems present on the Tibetan flag, which has been banned by the Chinese administration, as the group’s logo.

According to the report, this group played an active role in the preservation of Tibetan culture.

Jigme Gyaltsen, the school’s founder, has been wrongly accused of accepting bribes under the guise of being the chairman of the Snow Land Pastoral Association and the Qinghai-Tibet Trade Association, the report claimed.

The accusations against Gyaltsen were investigated but, the school’s leader was found not guilty, as the CTA report claimed,, referring to an article dated June 28 last month, but was suspended from his duties as a teacher and a member of the Tibetan Nationalities Council.

The CTA report further stated that the school was established in 1994 by Ragya Jigme Gyaltsen with the full approval and support of the Machen County People’s Government and the Golok People’s Government.

In 2021, the school had over 1000 students belonging to Tibet and currently, the total strength of students was reported around 1400 students by the CTA.

Additionally, the school had a record of its students publishing over 300 books and written literature and folklore related to cultural education. (ANI)

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