BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS ESTABLISHES LONDON BRANCH

The London branch of the Bank of Communications (BoComm) had its opening ceremony on Nov. 9, reinforcing the influence of China-funded banks in the British capital.

Song Shuguang, the chairman of board of supervisors of BoComm, referred to the branch as a “precious achievement” created by a sound China-U.K. financial and trade relationship.

The sub-center of BoComm’s financial market will also start running as the London branch of BoComm officially opens for business. This allows BoComm to better serve Chinese and British enterprises, making London a center for cross-border RMB transactions in Europe.

In this way, BoComm will contribute to a golden era of China-U.K. relations, as well as the building of “Belt and Road,” Song added.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

VICE FOREIGN MINISTER LI BAODONG MEETS WITH SPECIAL ENVOY OF UN SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR YEMEN ISMAIL OULD CHEIKH AHMED

On November 9, 2016, Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong met with Special Envoy of UN Secretary-General for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. Both sides exchanged views on the political solution to the Yemeni issue in the next stage.

Li Baodong stressed that in regard of the Yemeni issue, all concerned parties should staunchly promote the cease-fire, stop the violence as well as carry out more work on the two conflict sides in the Yemeni issue. We should unswervingly push for the restart of peace talks, and continuously support the mediation efforts of the Special Envoy of UN Secretary-General. Humanitarian aid should be firmly launched as well to ease the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

VICE FOREIGN MINISTER LIU ZHENMIN HOLDS GROUP MEETING WITH DELEGATION OF MEKONG RIVER COUNTRIES

On November 9, 2016, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin held a group meeting with the delegation of five countries along the Mekong River,who was in China for the fourth working group meeting on Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) in Beijing.

Liu Zhenmin said that with concerted efforts of all parties, the first LMC Leaders’ Meeting was successfully held this March in Sanya, Hainan Province, launching the LMC mechanism and reaching a series of important results. We are pleased to see that positive progress has been made in the implementation of the meeting’s outcomes. It is hoped that the six countries will continue to make efforts to improve the construction of the LMC mechanism, accelerate the implementation of early harvest programs, and facilitate coordinated development of the LMC and other sub-regional mechanisms, so as to contribute to sub-regional development. China is willing to maintain close communication and cooperation with all parties and jointly prepare for the second LMC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting as well as the fourth LMC Senior Officials’ Meeting to be held in Cambodia within this year.

Delegation members admired the rapid development of the LMC and thanked China for its important contribution to the development of the LMC as the presidency. They expressed their willingness to work together with China to fully implement the outcomes of the first LMC Leaders’ Meeting, strengthen the construction of the LMC mechanism, and promote pragmatic cooperation in various fields, so as to jointly promote the LMC mechanism to better benefit the people of the six countries.

From November 9 to 10, the fourth LMC working group meeting was held in Beijing. Director-level officials from Foreign Ministries of China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam were present.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS HOLDS BRIEFING FOR CHINESE AND FOREIGN MEDIA ON PRESIDENT XI JINPING’S STATE VISITS TO ECUADOR, PERU AND CHILE AND HIS ATTENDANCE AT THE 24TH APEC ECONOMIC LEADERS’ SUMMIT IN LIMA OF PERU

On November 10, 2016, Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao and Deputy China International Trade Representative of Ministry of Commerce Zhang Xiangchen respectively introduced relevant information on President Xi Jinping’s forthcoming state visits to Ecuador, Peru and Chile as well as his attendance at the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit in Lima of Peru, and answered questions from journalists.

I. On State Visits to Ecuador, Peru and Chile

Wang Chao expressed that President Xi Jinping will pay state visits to Ecuador, Peru and Chile from November 17 to 23. During the visit in Ecuador, President Xi Jinping will exchange in-depth views with President Rafael Correa Delgado on bilateral relations and topics of common concern, witness the signing of a series of important cooperation documents, jointly meet the press, and attend the inauguration ceremony of projects supported by China as well as other activities. President Xi Jinping will also meet with President of the National Assembly Gabriela Rivadeneira. Both sides will issue a joint statement. During the visit in Peru, President Xi Jinping will hold talks with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, meet with President of Congress Luz Salgado and deliver a speech at the Congress. The two heads of state will also jointly attend the closing ceremony of the 2016 China-Latin America Cultural Exchange Year. Both sides will issue a joint action plan between the two governments. During the visit in Chile, President Xi Jinping will hold talks with President Michelle Bachelet Jeria, jointly attend a signing ceremony for cooperation documents and meet the press. Both sides will issue a joint statement.

Wang Chao pointed out that this is President Xi Jinping’s third visit to Latin-America. In recent years, China-Latin America relations have enjoyed a flourishing development momentum. As important representatives of the region, these three countries share profound traditional friendship and sound cooperation basis with China. It is believed that the visit this time will not only consolidate China’s traditional friendship with these three countries and comprehensively elevate the level of bilateral political mutual trust and practical cooperation, but also push China-Latin America comprehensive cooperative partnership for sustained and in-depth development, so as to make positive contributions to jointly coping with challenges, promoting common development and building a community of common destiny for mankind between developing countries, including China and Latin American countries, and emerging economies.

Zhang Xiangchen said that Ecuador, Peru and Chile are China’s major economic and trade partners in Latin America. In recent years, bilateral economic and trade cooperation between China and the three countries has achieved considerable development. During President Xi Jinping’s visit, both sides will, in the principle of mutual trust, mutual benefit and mutual learning, focus on discussing the optimization of bilateral free trade arrangements and launching cooperation in such areas as e-commerce, production capacity, industrial parks and infrastructure construction. Both sides are expected to obtain outcomes in various aspects and sign relevant cooperation documents. China looks forward to deepening China-Latin America cooperation so as to jointly boost world economic recovery and prosperity.

II. On Attendance at the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit in Lima of Peru

Li Baodong said that from November 19 to 20, President Xi Jinping will attend the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit in Lima of Peru under the theme of “Quality Growth and Human Development”. Leaders and representatives from various economies will exchange in-depth views on such issues as regional economic integration, the Asia-Pacific free trade area, connectivity and service industry cooperation. The consensus will be laid out in the leaders’ declaration issued after the meeting. During the meeting, President Xi Jinping will attend the APEC CEO Summit and deliver a keynote speech. He will hold talks with representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council, attend two stages of the meeting and meet with leaders of relevant economies.

Li Baodong pointed out that the APEC is the highest-level, the most extensive and the most influential economic and trade cooperation mechanism in Asia Pacific. President Xi Jinping’s attendance at the Lima meeting this year fully embodies China’s great attention to strengthening Asia-Pacific regional cooperation. China supports Peru in hosting a successful meeting and looks forward to a meeting that will promote openness and inclusiveness to ensure that the development outcomes will benefit all economies and all peoples. It is expected that the meeting will deepen pragmatic cooperation to create favorable conditions for developing economies to further integrate into the Asia-Pacific region, continuously implement the achievements of the Beijing meeting, strengthen the consensus of Asia-Pacific partnership, as well as make future-oriented planning for the medium-to-long-term vision of Asia-Pacific regional cooperation. This year marks the 25th anniversary of China’s accession to the APEC. For the past 25 years, China has always been an active participant and contributor to the APEC and has played an important role in promoting the construction of the Asia-Pacific community. China will continue to advance Asia-Pacific regional cooperation and play a constructive role in boosting economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Zhang Xiangchen said that the APEC has played an active role in promoting trade liberalization and facilitation and regional economic integration. China hopes that the Lima meeting will achieve following economic and trade achievements: First, the meeting will complete the collective strategic study for the Asia-Pacific free trade area as scheduled, and propose policies and recommendations on further realizing the Asia-Pacific free trade area. Second, the meeting will continue to deeply implement relevant outcomes of the Beijing meeting to propel cooperation in connectivity and global value chain. Third, the meeting will support inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific region and push for new cooperation achievements in the service industry, small and medium-sized enterprises and other areas. China will continue to work with all parties with an attitude of openness, inclusiveness, pragmatism and responsibility to ensure the complete success of the meeting.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

MA KAI MEETS WITH UK PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY

On November 9, 2016 local time, Vice Premier Ma Kai, who was attending the 8th China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue, met with Prime Minister Theresa May of the UK in London.

Ma Kai first conveyed sincere greetings and warm regards from President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Theresa May. He expressed that President Xi Jinping and Mme. Prime Minister reaffirmed the general direction of the “golden era” of China-UK relations during their first meeting in Hangzhou. Next year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-UK diplomatic relations. China is willing to take this opportunity to, together with the UK side, further enhance bilateral political mutual trust, elevate the level of bilateral practical cooperation and strengthen coordination in international affairs so as to jointly push for the in-depth development of China-UK global comprehensive strategic partnership in the 21st century.

Ma Kai noted that fulfilling relevant regulations in Article 15 of the Protocol on the Accession of China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is an obligation of WTO members. China firmly opposes any covert practices that extend the “surrogate country” approach and expects the UK side to uphold a just stand in this regard and perform its duty in an all-round and clean manner as scheduled.

Theresa May said that it is a pleasure to meet with President Xi Jinping this September in Hangzhou. After its exit from the EU, the UK will further improve its global comprehensive strategic partnership with China. The economic and financial dialogue is an important part of UK-China relations as well as a significant reflection of the “golden era” of UK-China relations. Hoping to see more Chinese enterprises to invest in the country, the UK supports, further encourages and implements the free trade practice.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

REVERED GINKGO TREE READY FOR VISITORS

The ginkgo tree king was “dressed” in yellow on Nov. 8 to welcome visitors from China and abroad in a scenic spot in Rizhao, Shandong province. This is the best time of year for viewing the tree’s beauty. The tree grows on Fulai Mountain near Dinglin Temple. It is praised as a “ginkgo king” and “living fossil.”

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

100-MILLION-YEAR-OLD FOSSILIZED WOOD FOUND IN SHANDONG

A piece of fossilized wood formed 100 million years ago was recently discovered in a village pond in Jiaozhou, Shandong province. The wood will serve as physical basis for the study of ancient local geography.

The fossil was uncovered during a renovation of the pond. According to one villager,named Han Xinzheng, he spotted a piece of wood that looked like fossil. Therefore, he scooped it up and brought it to someone who could confirm.

Weighing 1 kilogram, the fossil is as large as an average man’s palm, with a thickness of 7 to 8 centimeters. Compared with ordinary stones, the fossil is lighter. It has a resonance when knocked.

“Such fossils have been found in Jiaozhou before, but this piece is darker than ones we’ve seen previously,” said Wang Lei, president of a local museum. Wang said the fossilized wood is of great value for ancient geographical study, helping scholars to learn the climate,species variety and geological situation of the area during the time the fossilized wood formed.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

RISKS IN CHINA’S EXCHANGE RATE AND PROPERTY MARKET WERE EXAGGERATED: PBOC

People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, said that stabilizing property prices at the sacrifice of the RMB exchange rate is undesirable, and vice versa. The PBOC believes that risks in both China’s exchange rate and property market have been exaggerated.

The central bank offered its explanation in the “China Monetary Policy Report of Quarter 3, 2016,” issued on Nov. 8. The report was a response to public debate over the government’s choice between depreciating the RMB against the USD, and managing the runaway housing market.

According to the report, monetary policy is restricted by international asset pricing and exchange rate in the open macro environment. With rapid economic development, China’s residential wealth, especially housing assets, has been growing at a high speed. It is estimated that the financial assets of Chinese citizens have been expanding over 20 percent each year since the late 1970s, while the expansion of housing assets is twice the speed of residential financial growth. Internationally, the rapid growth of stock assets tends to have a great impact on the economy, which is closely related to real estate.

The report said that to stabilize the exchange rate at the expense of the property market is to tighten monetary policies to eliminate asset bubbles, and to raise the exchange rate through high interest. However, the PBOC believes that such passive deleveraging is a hard process that comes with high risks, and the stabilization of the exchange rate will also be difficult to achieve.

Meanwhile, easing the monetary policy and backing property prices will further contort the economic structure and accelerate debt accumulation, which will make a structural adjustment a much lengthier and costlier process.

“Both measures have exaggerated the risks in their respective fields, and are not desirable,” the report concluded. The PBOC will maintain a prudent and moderate monetary environment, utilizing macroprudential policy to stabilize the financial system.More importantly, structural reforms must be carried out to boost market confidence and vitalize the economy, said the PBOC.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)