Chili peppers become “hot” commodity driving a prosperous industry in Zunyi, China’s Guizhou

(Source:People’s Daily Online)

In southwest China’s Guizhou Province, an industrial chain with chili peppers at its center has emerged to include seedling cultivation, chili pepper planting, processing, trade, research and development (R&D), and tourism, among other sectors.

A total of 1.4 million households in Guizhou’s rural regions have discovered that chili pepper planting can be a major source of income for them. The planting area for chili peppers in Guizhou has already exceeded 5.43 million mu (362,000 hectares) and 311 chili pepper processing factories in the area have seen robust growth.

Representatives from companies check on the growing progress of chili peppers at an intelligent chili pepper industry park in the Xinpu New District, Zunyi city, southwest China’s Guizhou Province. (People’s Daily Online/Li Liping)

Nowadays, chili peppers have become one of the 12 characteristic industries in Guizhou, and in the meantime thanks to chili pepper expos, which are held on a regular basis, more and more enterprises from both home and abroad have started to pay more attention to and invest in the chili pepper industry in Guizhou, helping the province in its drive to bring common prosperity to its rural residents and boost rural revitalization.

“In the past, after harvesting chili peppers, people would keep the seeds of high-quality chili peppers and choose not to buy chili pepper seeds for the next ploughing season. Now, they have to buy seeds before the ploughing season arrives,” said Liao Weiqin, a researcher from the chili pepper research institute of the Zunyi Agricultural Sciences And Technology Research Institute, attributing this change to the cultivation of new varieties of high-quality chili peppers.

Since a seed improvement project was started in 2013, Zunyi city has developed the Zunyi red cluster pepper, which is recognized as one of the best chili pepper varieties in China. In the meantime, over 50 chili pepper varieties of superior quality have been cultivated in the city.

Zunyi has also built a service system surrounding the seed industry. At an intelligent chili pepper industry park located in Xinpu New District of Zunyi, seeds of nearly 1,000 high-quality chili pepper varieties are displayed every year, and the best seeds will be selected, planted and promoted there.

Photo shows chopped chili pepper products for sale. (People’s Daily Online/Li Liping)

The city also established a technical service team in its Xinpu New District to facilitate chili pepper planting. Based on their experiments in the fields and analyses at labs, the scientific researchers have promoted the seeds among growers by following the standard that requires all seeds distributed to farmers to be of the same variety, with the seedlings being provided to farmers while managed and transplanted in a unified manner. “The chili pepper growers can receive skills training and technical assistance at every link of their chili pepper cultivation,” introduced Liao.

Zunyi has built a chili pepper seed breeding scientific research center, a chili pepper seed processing base and a chili pepper seedling breeding center, among other facilities, offering technical support in enhancing the market competitiveness of locally grown chili peppers. At present, the coverage of high-quality chili peppers at large-scale plantations has reached 100 percent, with over 80 percent of the seedlings being bred in a unified manner.

The chopped chili pepper in Guizhou is the soul of Guizhou cuisine and a seasoning used in the dishes of other culinary cultures in China.

“Our chopped chili pepper products have sold very well in Hunan Province in central China, and Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality in southwest China. They are even popular in countries in Southeast Asia,” said Wei Xiaoliang, director of operations at a food processing company in Guizhou.

“Chopped chili pepper products in Guizhou are fermented, which are different from those from other provinces, which are preserved,” Wei explained.

The use of traditional fermentation techniques and the fact that no additives are contained in the chopped chili pepper products are the core “selling points” for Guizhou’s chopped chili pepper products.

“About two to three years ago, our chopped chili pepper products started to enter the market. But as a matter of fact, we had been engaged in R&D for six years,” said Chen Rongqing, president of the same food processing company.

Citizens buy chili pepper products at an expo. (People’s Daily Online/Li Liping)

Over the course of six years, the company analyzed and carried out research on the techniques adopted by more than 100 local elderly craftsmen who were making chopped chili peppers. In addition to learning from these elderly craftsmen, the company in the meantime constantly improved its techniques regarding the making of chopped chili pepper products. At present, chopped chili pepper products from the company are used as a seasoning in dishes provided by more than 800 restaurants in Guizhou.

Covering an area of 605 mu, China’s “Chili Town,” located in the Xinpu New District, Zunyi, provides a smooth channel for the trade of chili peppers. Last year, the transaction volume completed at Chili Town exceeded 80 billion yuan ($11.6 billion). Nowadays, this Chili Town is home to 25 dried chili pepper trade companies, 14 cooperatives and 210 individual businesses, selling chili pepper products to localities across the country and even to 108 countries and regions around the world.

During the seventh Guizhou Zunyi International Chili Expo held in late August 2022, cooperation agreements on 44 projects regarding chili pepper production, processing and sales were signed, with a total value of 2.1 billion yuan.

Taiwan Allies Loud and Unambiguous in Tactical Silence

By Earl Bousquet

Any doubt that the United States had reversed its position on Taiwan from Strategic Ambiguity to Open Support for those advocating separation was put to rest in the Caribbean earlier this week, when a joint US-led delegation of US and Taiwanese officials visited Saint Lucia.

The official reason was to visit a ‘smart school’ on the island that’s funded by Taiwan, but behind that smart bit of soft diplomacy was another defiant show of a clenched fist by Washington intended to annoy Beijing.

Much like the intended slap-in-the-face visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that became the proverbial final straw that broke China’s back and repeated two weeks later by a four-member Congressional delegation, this week’s Caribbean visit by top Taiwanese and US officials further confirmed that Washington has stepped-up what Beijing regards as provocative actions that unmask all previous pretense to not support Taiwan’s separation from China – a red line for the People’s Republic of China (ROC) since 1949.

A press release from the Taiwan embassy in Saint Lucia on August 16 reported that “a delegation from the US Embassy in Barbados, led by Ambassador Linda Taglialatela” and including “delegations from Taiwan embassies” in Saint Kitts and Nevis (led by Ambassador Michael Lin) and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (led by Ambassador Peter Lan), “toured a smart classroom” funded by Taiwan, “to see first-hand how Saint Lucian teachers and students benefit from state-of-the-art learning technology.”

The joint USAID and Taiwan team also visited a Taiwanese-assisted demonstration farm on the island, “to view the achievement of hoop greenhouse, drip irrigation system and vegetables and fruits that demonstrate the agricultural cooperation between Taiwan and Saint Lucia to build up climate resilience.”

According to the Taiwan Embassy: “Taiwan pledged to continue working with Saint Lucia, U.S. and like-minded countries to explore further cooperation in the field of agriculture, education and more in Saint Lucia and the region.”

Neither the visit, nor its timing, were coincidental, as Taiwan is calling on all its remaining 14 allies to support Taipei and Washington in the current post-Pelosi stand-off that’s brought the US and China just one miscalculation closer to a possible nuclear war.

Taiwan has five Caribbean Community supporters (Belize, Haiti, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent & The Grenadines) which, with Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay represent over-half of Taiwan’s remaining support among United Nations Member-states, vis-à-vis 188 recognizing the PRC as the only ‘One China’ since 1971.

Interestingly, Washington says it doesn’t support Independence for Taiwan, but the Trump and Biden administrations had been openly doing everything to encourage the separatist leadership of the ruling Democratic People’s Party (DPP).

Also interesting is that all the major nations criticizing or lining-up against China over Taiwan also have diplomatic ties with the PRC, based on the One China policy that treats Taiwan as a breakaway province the mainland allows to rule itself once it’s politicians did not try to sever what the mainland considers its historic umbilical cord to the island.

Caribbean leaders, no doubt aware of where China stands on Taiwan, have traditionally remained loyal to whichever side they support.

Having lost seven of the 21 allies the DPP inherited since Madam Tsai Ing-wen was elected as the island’s home-rule president in 2016, Taipei’s foreign policy has been hot and heavy, fast-and-furious across the region.

During the Pelosi visit, St. Vincent & The Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves continued with a scheduled visit to the island – his 12th to date and 11th as PM; and Saint Lucia’s PM Philip J. Pierre offered online support for “self-determination for Taiwan”.

On the other hand, Barbados’ Ministry of External Affairs last week issued a statement on the China-Taiwan-US conundrum, saying Bridgetown – which recognizes the PRC – won’t engage in interference in China’s internal affairs.

Generally, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments, still reeling from the blistering and bruising externally-generated divisions over the war in Ukraine, have notably tended to refrain from helping fuel a fire that can consume the world.

Indeed, regional diplomacy has matured sufficiently after sixty years of independence for Caribbean leaders to be unwilling to continue to appear like or be described as pawns in a global geopolitical chess game.

The nine CARICOM member-states supporting China and the five with Taiwan are unlikely to be willing to be seen as Caribbean friends willing to help strangers burn a neighbor’s home.

Despite what some describe as “plausible denials”, Caribbean governments are being solicited and/or urged, if not expected, to take sides.

But it’s a reflection of their unwillingness to back any side in and winnable war that places humankind’s future at great risk of nuclear annihilation.

Ditto Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay – and all Taiwan’s remaining six allies outside this region: e-Swati (formerly Swaziland), the Holy See (Vatican), the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu.

The big fuss kicked-up by Washington over Taiwan is more than just a storm-in-a-teacup revved-up to hurricane standard by the USA in the waters around Taiwan, with distant backing from the UK and hawkish neighboring nations Washington hopes to engage in a US-led and NATO-backed multinational military response.

Unlike those who’ve turned the deliberately-confusing policy of Strategic Ambiguity on its head, the leaders of the nine CARICOM nations backing China and the five recognizing Taiwan have maintained a loud tactical silence that’s both strategic and unambiguous.

They are saying, beyond words, that they really do not want to be lulled-back into the age of ‘Ping-Pong’ or ‘Dollar Diplomacy’ when ties were traded with the highest bidder — a period when the Caribbean region provided good headlines for all the bad reasons.

The leaders are very-much aware of the African proverb ‘When elephants fight, the grass suffers…’ and in this case they do not want to see and won’t encourage the elephants to fight.

But will the elephants listen to their grassroots wisdom?

Only time will tell…

(Earl Bousquet is the President of the Saint Lucia-China Friendship Association and former Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of of Saint Lucia. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Taiwan independence now more distant than before Pelosi visit!

By Earl Bousquet

As if China’s response to the needling recent visit to Taiwan by the third most powerful politician in the United States government was not enough to awaken the world to the futility of encouraging or supporting the leadership of the island administration’s barely-shrouded and hardly-masked moves to breakaway from and sever all historical and political links with the mainland was not enough, last Sunday four US Congressional representatives did just the same.

And worse, they directly entered into talks about American political support for separatist sentiments in Taiwan and military support in the name of defense, publicly siding with those advocating breaking-away, while pleading ‘not guilty’ of treating the island like an independent nation defending its sovereignty.

The Sunday visit again exposed Washington’s failed efforts to continue to hide the political hypocrisy behind the US policy of Strategic Ambiguity that allows it to say it does not support independence, but to do everything to show the exact opposite – and it elicited an expected response that was both strategic and unambiguous: Beijing resuming tactical military exercises, but ambiguous about details.

Retired US admirals and generals in the pay of the military industrial complex are now feverishly calling on the Pentagon to engage militarily with China – and open-up another multi-billion-dollar war chest for the weapons manufacturers.

All of this because the current Taiwan administration is hell-bent on seeing the rest of the world go to war over its assumed right to pursue adventurous and reckless political pursuits that endanger the lives of hundreds of millions in neighboring nations, from Japan and (North and South) Korea to Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, India and Pakistan – and China.

In pursuit of its political goal, the current leadership in Taipei has opted to continue to provoke China by repeatedly inviting and accommodating US legislators to visit the island.

In the name of pursuing better for Taiwanese, the government has also opted to put the lives of the 24 million islanders at stake of paying the ultimate price of just one military miscalculation by either side.

These developments must be seen in the context of approaching elections in both Taiwan and the USA — the Pelosi visit preceding the November US mid-term elections that would see her lose her position as House Speaker if the Republicans win; and presidential elections in Taiwan in 2024, which outgoing president Tsai Ing-wen, now in her second term, won’t be able to contest, creating the need for an unidentified successor.

The US Democrats are trying to outdo the Republicans in rubbing Beijing the wrong way over Taiwan and Madam Tsai’s Democratic People’s Party (DPP) is trying hard to face voters with claims of demonstrated US and Western support for Taiwan’s independence.

Like in Ukraine, Washington continues to play hop-scotch with Taiwan insofar as the extent of military support it’s prepared to give, should the current stand-off come to a breaking point.

But there’s nothing strategically ambiguous about China’s demonstrated ability to successfully occupy Taiwan militarily, at whatever cost, to avoid political separation or a severing of the island’s historical umbilical cord with the mainland.

As the world knows, independence isn’t established by political declarations of intent or wishes of political leaders and parties, or elected local governments in non-independent territories.

But in Taiwan’s case, this traditional rule of the colonial thumb does not seem to apply, as far as the nations that built empires on the backs of colonies worldwide are concerned.

In pursuit of new neo-colonial and imperial expansion, the former colonial powers – including Japan that once colonized Taiwan — are today effacing history to make it appear the island has always been a ‘self-ruled dynamic democracy’ that China simply does not want to become independent.

Again, like in Ukraine where history has been scrubbed by the Western media to influence global public opinion against Russia, the mainstream global media continues to describe Taiwan as if it’s a nation struggling to defend its independence.

But the island has never been independent — and (believe it or not) independence has never been supported outright by Taiwanese.

Before the Pelosi visit, polls showed that only just over five percent (5%) supported independence, with most supporting ‘maintaining the status quo’ and less supporting ‘reunification’.

The current opposition Kuomintang Party (KMT), which originally exiled to Taiwan in 1949 with 1.5 million supporters after Chiang Kai-shek’s ruling forces lost the guerilla war by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), today supports closest of friendly and business ties with China.

While the DPP has been loudly touting independence for the past six years, it also quickly and largely reversed eight years of ultra-close cooperation with the mainland (initiated by the KMT under President Ma Ying-jieu between 2008 and 2016) that saw both sides flourish in trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts.

The Pelosi visit exposed Taiwanese citizens to the prospects of war and last Sunday’s quadruple repeat was sure to be seen by Beijing as an ultimate provocation.

Since the Pelosi visit, the DPP’s leaders and government spokespersons have insisted that “Only the Taiwanese people will decide on their independence.”

But those making this proclamation know, for sure, this is not and will likely never be the case.

Living for 73 years in the shadow of China’s insistence on peaceful reunification instead of a military confrontation over independence, Taiwanese have grown accustomed to and feel safer with the ‘status quo’ that allows for internal self-rule without formal separation.

China is still the island’s main trading partner and has suspended economic ties in several areas that have already started taking effect, spelling more possible bad news for the DPP ahead of the crucial 2024 elections that it considers it simply cannot afford to lose.

But it’s becoming clearer, by the day, that prospects for Taiwan’s independence are, without doubt and even with threats of war, more distant now than before the Pelosi visit.

(Earl Bousquet is the President of the Saint Lucia-China Friendship Association and former Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of of Saint Lucia. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Was the Pelosi squeeze worth the juice?

By Earl Bousquet

If the US ever wanted to poke China in both eyes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was always the best candidate, having a long and established record of breaking diplomatic protocol to embarrass Beijing.

As reported by the BBC’s Melissa Zhu on August 2 in an article entitled Nancy Pelosi’s Long History of Opposing Beijing: “Two years after protestors were crushed by Communist Party forces in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the then-California representative visited the capital city” and “Slipping away from her official escorts along with two other members of Congress, she went to the city square without the permission of her Chinese hosts” and “There, they unfurled a small, hand-painted banner which read: To those who died for democracy in China…”

But there was more to follow.

The BBC report continued: “At a meeting with then-Chinese Vice-President Hu Jintao in 2002, Ms Pelosi tried to pass him four letters expressing concern over the detention and imprisonment of activists in China and Tibet, and calling for their release, which he refused to accept…”

In addition, “Ms Pelosi opposed China’s bids to host the Olympic Games as far back as 1993 on the basis of its alleged human rights abuses.”

And further, “She was one of the lawmakers that unsuccessfully urged then-US President George W Bush to boycott China’s Summer Olympics opening ceremony in 2008.”

And now: “This year, the Speaker of the House again led calls for a ‘diplomatic boycott’ of Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympics over the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China…”

Thirty years later, Speaker Pelosi has done it again, this time defying political logic and flying to Taiwan despite China’s warnings it would respond seriously.

As a result of her visit, the crisis around Taiwan has entered near-unstoppable and irreversible phases: US deploying an aircraft carrier and warships to the same Taiwan waters where China had been exercising live military drills and Taiwan also launched its own live drills — clear indications that rather than better, thing can only get worse.

The rest of the world looks-on nervously as two of the world’s strongest nuclear-armed military powers trade warnings and threats over provocations and the US loudly encourages Taiwan to defy China — and expect its backing.

Those unaware of the history of the relationship between China and Taiwan would easily be confused into thinking the island is being taken advantage of by its giant neighbor without reason, or just because China wants to show its military might.

But since 1949, China has been saying it will intervene militarily anytime breakaway Taiwan Province’s political leaders try to unilaterally declare independence from the mainland.

The Pelosi visit was obviously one act from a playbook of provocations with political and military elements, including: the hasty US-led military buildup, making China’s response look like “a trial run for an invasion” and hopefully creating justification for the US to eventually lead an international military response in the name of “defending Taiwan”.

China’s long-promised response was undoubtedly provoked by Pelosi’s defiance of its repeated warnings that her visit would have been crossing a red line.

Now, China has issued a third ‘White Paper on Taiwan’ that’s fundamentally altered its stance on the future following any political reunification of the island and the mainland.

Now too, just like Ukraine, the bombs are flying and dropping around Taiwan and the US has mounted a military show of strength in the South and East China Seas, but has left Taiwan to face the music on its own.

The US, European Union (EU) and NATO encouraged Ukraine to play hardball with Russia back in February, but have also left Kyiv to fight its own battles while offering weapons support from a distance – and now it’s Taiwan’s turn.

Washington on Tuesday announced a new US $1 billion weapons support program for Ukraine – its 18th so far — just as a CBC report indicated an investigation had found only 30% of the nearly US $100 Billion worth of NATO weapons delivered to date has reached Ukrainian soldiers on its frontline, the remaining 70% “gone with the wind…”

Indeed, US military support to Ukraine has been deliberately limited to less-effective weapons compared to what Kyiv says it needs, as Washington is being calculatedly careful not to provide weapons that would reach Russia – and open the way for Moscow to also directly target America in retaliation for backing a proxy war in Ukraine.

Interestingly, preceding the Pelosi visit, despite the presence of US troops already there, Taiwan has also long been awaiting delivery of promised and purchased US military hardware.

The situation today is such that Chinese on both sides of the dividing strait have had to adjust, almost overnight, to the new reality of a catastrophic clash between nuclear-armed powers resulting in endless death and destruction across the region.

Citizens of Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and other neighboring Asian nations are also exposed to that danger and understandably-worried about possibly suffering irreparable and long-term collateral damage – and mush worse than after the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese islands of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945.

The uncertainty across Asia is underlined by the fact that never mind China having announced an end to its week-long drills around and above Taiwan, any error or miscalculation could ignite the feared spark.

Thanks to the Pelosi visit, Taiwan and the rest of the world are today less-than-a-step-closer to another unnecessary and costly war, each side expected to be supported by their allies everywhere, including the Caribbean, which has already started yet another externally-influenced foreign policy split in a region still struggling to find ways of preserving its independence on such global issues that don’t directly involve the Caribbean.

So, the big question is whether the Pelosi visit was worth what it’s brought to Taiwan, Asia and the world.

In other words: Was the squeeze really worth the juice?

(Earl Bousquet is the President of the Saint Lucia-China Friendship Association and former Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of of Saint Lucia. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Strategic Ambiguity 2.0

By Earl Bousquet

A strategy is a definite approach to an objective and ambiguity is the definite opposite – indirect, doubtful, uncertain and confusing — so the two are definitely out of sync.

So, when a nation decides to define its policy approach to anything as one of ‘Strategic Ambiguity’, it’s clear the strategic intent is to definitely to keep the rest of the world guessing endlessly, at best, or worse, forever confused.

The US has for decades defined its policy on Taiwan as ‘Strategic Ambiguity’ — clearly intended, from inception, to deliberately keep the world confused or uncertain about what Washington’s policy toward the island is.

Washington has always found new and different ways to devise explanations of and for its ever-readiness to treat Taiwan like an independent nation despite the fact it isn’t, while claiming its adheres to three bilateral diplomatic treaties signed since 1971 with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) recognizing there’s only ‘One China’, with Beijing as its capital.

Up to 1971, the United Nations (UN) recognized Taiwan as the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC), but the US decided that year to recognize the PRC — and the UN followed, today China being recognized by188 UN member-states, with only 14 recognizing Taiwan, five in the Caribbean, three in South America and the other seven spread-out between East Asia and the Pacific, Africa and Europe.

After 52 years existing without UN recognition, Taiwan remains an island, but not a nation or a country, as it never became independent.

The island, like Hong Kong, was originally part of China and was in fact ruled by Portugal and Japan until 1949, when the Kuomintang (KMT) forces led by Chiang Kai-shek fled the mainland to the nearby island after being defeated by the People’s Liberation Army (PRA) led by Mao Tse Tung.

After Chiang died in 1975 and Mao died in 1976, the KMT ruled Taiwan with the same iron fist as it did in China, until multiparty elections were allowed in 1987, intermittently won by the dominant KMT until the establishment of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) that became strong enough to defeat the KMT in local polls.

But the PRC has since 1949 insisted Taiwan is a breakaway China province and has treated it that way, always making it clear the island (and the 1.5 million Chinese who followed Chiang and the KMT) could rule itself — once it did not seek or pursue independence.

Beijing has always consistently promised it will take military action anytime Taiwan tries to seek independence – as it’s done several times before, with actions limited to the waters surrounding the island and the air above.

But ever since 2016 when the DPP’s Madam Tsai Ing-wen was elected as the island’s president, followed by Donald Trump a few months later, Strategic Ambiguity started getting a face, as Washington was no longer prepared to be strategically ambiguous in its approach to Taiwan.

During the 2016 Taiwan presidential election when candidate Tsai started promising to embrace and invite the US to help dismantle the fruitful all-round economic, political, trade, tourism and overall communications and people-to-people ties between the island and the mainland, outgoing President Barack Obama (and at least three ex-US Defense Secretaries) made it pellucidly clear the US would not acquiesce to Madam Tsai’s declared intent to invite Washington to support her party’s independence bid.

But the DPP won — and in six years there’s been nothing left that can be called ambiguous about the US strategy for Taiwan under her watch, with Washington’s support graduating from economic and diplomatic to more direct military cooperation, including the US supplying weapons and teaching Taiwanese how to prepare to fight China.

The Biden administration’s confusing interpretation of America’s Strategic Ambiguity policy was laid bare earlier this year when he said he would commit US troops to fight China if ever it attacked Taiwan, only to eat his words later.

Explaining his diplomatic booboo, Biden also said he did not support the planned visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, only to later again eat his words and support it.

Strategic Ambiguity has allowed Washington to be strategically ambitious by establishing stronger military ties with Taipei while stoking fears for a Chinese typical and occupation of the island.

But Beijing’s announcement – 16 minutes after the US House of Representatives Speaker landed in Taiwan — of four days of live naval and air force drills around and now extended for one month (to September 8 –offered a very clear and unambiguous indication of stage-one of many tactical options to be strategically implemented as part of its five decades of unambiguous preparation for a military response to any independence move by Taiwan.

Beijing has always said (loudly) – and is again showing – it’s determined not to allow what it considers a breakaway province to make a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, but in pursuit of its own expansion of its military presence in the South China Sea, Washington has embarked on its own military maneuvers by deploying an Aircraft Carrier and eight warships near Taiwan.

Contrary to the warmongering propaganda claiming that China wishes to decide who can visit Taiwan, or that Madam Pelosi’s visit was not the first (preceded 25 years ago by then US Speaker Newt Gingrich), or that China wants to ‘invade’ Taiwan like Russia was claimed to have done in Ukraine, or treatment of the current issue as one of a larger nation attacking a smaller one, China is only doing today what it said it would do, since 1949.

On the other hand, there’s been nothing ambiguous about China’s Taiwan strategy — except (perhaps) declaring what military strategies and tactics it would implement.

Meanwhile, Washington has chosen and decided to escalate instead of de-escalating the tensions that can eventually lead to a world war involving the two most nuclear-armed nation, leading most to ask now: Was the Pelosi visit worth what’s it’s yielded?

(Earl Bousquet is the President of the Saint Lucia-China Friendship Association and former Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of of Saint Lucia. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Caribbean Must Avoid Taking Sides In An Unwinnable War!

By Earl Bousquet

Just as the world entered the sixth month of the ongoing Ukraine war in Europe, the threat of another has exploded in Asia, featuring two nuclear powers dangerously saber-rattling over a coveted prize, a raging war of words and actions that threaten world peace, the Asian region as the new theater for possible war – and a non-independent territory being accorded international recognition and treated like a nation.

For over 72 years China-Taiwan matters were basically an ongoing internal affair on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait that divides the island from the mainland — and for just as long, successive elected administrations in the self-governed island of 25 million have harbored ideas and spoken of independence, but never formally pursued it.

Beijing has always insisted — since 1949 when Taiwan was occupied by Chiang Kai-Shek and the Kuomintang (KMT) fighters after losing the mainland war to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — that it will always treat the island as an offshore province (like Hong Kong), never allow its rulers to declare independence — and would surely respond militarily to any move by other nations to treat the island as an independent nation.

The United Nations (UN) has recognized only One China since 1971; and today, while 188 nations recognize China, only 15 recognize Taiwan — more-than-half in the Caribbean and Central America and five in CARICOM.

But despite their largely politically-based cross-strait historical political and ideological differences, China and Taiwan have demonstrated, time and again (and especially between 2008 and 2016, under an elected KMT administration in Taipei) that they can not only peacefully coexist, but can also work and play together, engaging in fruitful bilateral trade, tourism, communications and other developmental exchanges, to their populations’ mutual benefits.

Indeed, most Taiwanese are Chinese of mainland origin and can trace their grandparents to neighboring Fujian Province, across the strait of water that divides them.

But since taking office in 2016, the ruling Democratic People’s Party (DPP) has reversed the eight years of friendly ties between Taipei and Beijing and pursued a hardline, hawkish position against Beijing, virtually ending the flourishing trade and tourism ties developed by both sides during the KMT’s two terms.

But today, six years later and thanks to latest efforts to elevate Taiwan’s international diplomatic status, the world has been brought to the brink of nuclear calamity.

China and Taiwan have too much at stake to want to appear weak, but the risks are too great; and Taiwan is counting completely on promised (and expected) military support from Washington – and hopefully other powerful states – to mount any resistance to China’s overwhelmingly-superior armed air and naval forces.

The missiles are flying around Taiwan and world also faces another risk of another World War III, this time alongside Ukraine’s ongoing war.

Decades of diplomacy have given way to a new era of uncertainty that have led to an irreversible conflict between two nuclear powers unwilling to back down, no matter what.

Both contending superpowers face crucial elections of national import later this year and with respective accusations of ‘provocation’ and ‘over-reaction’, both sides are also being seen as willing to risk a global catastrophe on the altar of local politics.

Luck has prevailed and the world is still counting its Lucky Stars that nothing has led to direct clashes.

But the Planet’s future must not be determined by Luck and Chance, only and always by sober responses to stark realities that require determined actions and policies, including honoring mutual agreements, which both sides accuse each other of dishonoring.

The rest of the world will continue to debate whether the current situation could or should have been avoided, but nations large and small, near and far, have an added responsibility to avoid being dragged into taking sides in another distant and unwinnable war.

Nations of the world, including the Caribbean, have, for almost three years, had to contend with Food and Fuel price increases and greater levels of Global Food Insecurity.

Nations not directly involved therefore need to also examine their responses to this latest global crisis and avoid being lulled, by any side, to take a side in a dispute that none can influence the outcome of.

Beijing, Taipei and Washington will naturally expect, request or invite their diplomatic allies worldwide, including in CARICOM and the OECS, to take–side.

But, in this instance, it would be wiser for Caribbean nations to be guided by wise choices than instinctive knee-jerk reactions to usual disagreements between intransigent neighbors.

CARICOM and OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) nations have bilateral ties with all the major players and ties between close friends always ought to be based on honest mutual appreciation of their value in each case.

CARICOM is split right down the middle over Ukraine and while China enjoys a greater measure of support among member-states, the divide is still real; and all member-states also have equal ties with the USA, UK and the European union (EU) and NATO states that stand with the US against China.

Belize, Haiti, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & The Grenadines have stood with Taiwan over the years, just as Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Surinam and Trinidad & Tobago have stood by and with China.

Caribbean nations should therefore avoid again being seen and treated like cannon fodder in an unwinnable war of words and actions and instead allow good senses to prevail over making meaningless or fruitless, kneejerk responses.

A grand theater is at play in Asia, but this is not the world of movies and more attention should be paid to learning the countless lessons at hand from the region’s much-too-early response(s) to the Ukraine crisis, before taking sides and promoting – one way or another — continuation of what is already a dangerous threat to world peace and global stability.

(Earl Bousquet is the President of the Saint Lucia-China Friendship Association and former Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of of Saint Lucia. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Conspiracies on Xinjiang leveled against China to create hurdles to economic rise: Expert

By Muhammad Zamir Assadi

Conspiracies on Xinjiang are leveled against China to create hurdles to China’s economic rise, Hina Naveed, a researcher at the Overseas Chinese Association said at a dialogue organized by the China Study Center of COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) in Pakistan’s capital on Wednesday.

Her association has initiated a separate desk to study Xinjiang and its people.

Professor Shamsul Qamar, campus director of CUI, welcomed all the speakers to the dialogue and thanked the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan for its assistance in arranging the event.

Qamar said that China-Pakistan friendship is embedded deeply in the roots of both countries. He talked about the many CUI faculty and alumni who are working closely with Chinese academia and seeking education from leading Chinese universities.

Wang Shengjie, first secretary of the Chinese Embassy, gave the first keynote speech by presenting China’s viewpoint on its Xinjiang policy.

Calling Xinjiang a wonderful land, Wang talked about the beauty and cultural prosperity of Xinjiang. He said that many countries are suffering because of the war on terror. The main reason behind this is the spread of fake news through social media which creates panic and chaos among the general public. The only beneficiary of terrorism is the military-industrial complex.

Wang mentioned some quotes from Moin-ul-Haque, Pakistani ambassador to China, Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairman of Pakistani Senate’s Defense Committee Senator, and Zafar-ud-din Mahmood, former special envoy for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The quotes described Xinjiang as a land of beauty and peace that experienced a 25 percent increase of the Uygur population between 2010 and 2018.

Wang concluded by giving some suggestions for the improvement of the misunderstandings over Xinjiang such as strengthening policy communication, and promoting people to people connections and trade cooperation.

The GDP of Xinjiang was 1.38 trillion yuan ($202.72 billion) in 2020, and the region has major high speed rail projects and more than 21 airports. According to provided information, 20,000 mosques are currently present in Xinjiang where Islamic education is being taught to young Muslims leaving behind extremism.

Muhammad Nasir Khan, president of the Ex-Chinese Association Pakistan, mentioned fast economic development as the secret of Xinjiang and China’s success.

Nasir said that the Chinese government has paid a lot of attention to the development of Xinjiang and worked out several measures for bringing economic prosperity. He mentioned that the rights of all the ethnic groups in Xinjiang including Muslims are very well protected by the government and there has been a sharp decrease in terrorist attacks since 2016.

Tsui Yenhu, a professor at the Institute of Social-Cultural Anthropology, Xinjiang Normal University, in Urumqi, Xinjiang, was the last keynote speaker, joining the session via a video link from China.

The second session, which was the dialogue about China’s Xinjiang Policy, was moderated by Tahir Mumtaz Awan, head of the China Study Center.

Khizar Hayat from the Eurasian Century Institute in Islamabad completely rejected accusations made against China on Xinjiang, calling them false accusations.

Shabana Fayyaz, chairperson of the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at Quaid-e-Azam University, called academia an important player that can properly showcase reality to the people by reducing the perception gap between researchers and the public.

According to Fayyaz, not every foreign writer is portraying China in a bad light, but some are. She briefly explained the developmental projects initiated by China in Xinjiang, including poverty alleviation, providing fishing and shipping rights, and education and vocational training for the people.

Hamza Rifaat Hussain, a researcher at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, focused on the need to differentiate between separatism, secessionist tendencies, religious persecution and lack of international verification of information as the leading causes of false propaganda which is being created against China.

Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, CEO of the Asian Institute of Eco-Civilization Research and Development, said understanding China’s policy and its economic model will help other nations to deal with China in a better manner.

The discussion concluded with a question and answer session.

(Muhammad Zamir Assadi is a journalist of of Independent News Pakistan. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

U.S.-backed PGII initiative is old wine in new bottle

(Source: People’s Daily Online)

Cartoon by Tan Xiguang

At the 48th Group of Seven (G7) summit held in June this year, the U.S. and other G7 countries launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), and announced that G7 countries will aim to mobilize $600 billion by 2027 in global infrastructure investments while the U.S. has set a target to mobilize $200 billion for the PGII over the next five years to fund infrastructure projects in developing countries.

The seemingly generous initiative is merely an upgraded version of the so-called Build Back Better World (B3W). At the 47th G7 summit held last year, the U.S. proposed the B3W initiative and pledged to advance a global infrastructure initiative that was different from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, the B3W was not adopted by the U.S. Congress in the end and failed to help rebuild “a better world.”

The PGII initiative launched by the U.S. is just like old wine in a new bottle. It remains to be proven whether the initiative, repackaged on the basis of the failed B3W, will serve as a geopolitical tool created in the name of advancing infrastructure construction or indeed an initiative launched to improve people’s well-being.

What’s certain is that the international community hopes to see practical action and projects that deliver tangible benefits to people rather than empty promises.

Small village in China’s Tianjin produces more than half of world’s saxophones

(Source:People’s Daily Online)

More than half of the world’s saxophones are produced in Sidangkouzhong village in north China’s Tianjin Municipality. The small village, which has been dubbed China’s “Saxophone Village,” also produces various other Western musical instruments, including trumpets, trombones, and clarinets, with over 80 percent of them being exported to more than 10 foreign countries.

Photo shows musical instruments produced in Sidangkouzhong village. (Xinhua/Liu Weizhen)

From processing musical instrument parts and accessories for large companies to independently developing its own manufacturing techniques, the village has witnessed significant changes in its musical instrument manufacturing industry over the past decades.

Today, nearly 200 million yuan ($29.12 million) worth of musical instruments produced in the village are sold overseas every year to countries that include Germany, the U.S., Japan, and South Korea.

There are more than 40 musical instrument companies of different sizes based in the village, according to Huang Jinpeng, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Sidangkouzhong village branch.

About 8,000 people, including local villagers and migrant workers, work at local musical instrument factories, Huang said, adding that almost every household in the village has family members working at these factories.

Zhang Guomin, an executive of a local musical instrument company, disclosed that sales at his company have nearly doubled over the past decade.

A worker assembles musical instruments in a factory in Sidangkouzhong village. (Xinhua/Liu Weizhen)

“Many professional foreign tuba players have asked to try our products, and every instrument we send is inscribed with our logo, the model number, as well as the words ‘Made in China’,” said Ding Baohua, a sales manager at a musical instrument company in the village.

The burgeoning musical instrument manufacturing industry has not only increased the income of local people, but has made their life more colorful, and with more and more musical instruments being sold overseas, Western music culture has gradually been assimilated into local people’s everyday lives. Many villagers, especially people working at the musical instrument factories, have meanwhile also learned to play Western instruments.

“I’ve worked in the industry for several decades. I haven’t gone to a music school, but I have learned quite a lot over these years since I make musical instruments every day,” said Fu Guangcheng, a production manager at a musical instrument company in the village.

People working in the musical instrument manufacturing industry in the village have all learned basic knowledge and skills about playing the musical instruments they make, Fu added.

Chinese university uses big data to recommend roommates to incoming freshmen

(Source:People’s Daily Online)

Chengdu University in the city of Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, recently started to implement an innovative online system to help students who are going to study at the university soon to choose roommates and beds, the WeChat account of China Youth Daily reported on Wednesday.

The video grab shows the university’s online pre-enrollment system. (Source: WeChat account of the Information Office of the People’s Government of Chengdu)

After students fill in a questionnaire on the university’s online pre-enrollment system, the university will recommend fellow peers who have the similar hobbies, interests, and living habits to them as their potential roommates.

Students are asked to answer questions including whether they are good at or afraid of socializing, whether they snore in their sleep, and whether they mind someone eating food with a strong smell, such as durian and river snail rice noodles, in their dormitory.

Besides recommending roommates, the system also allows students to select their beds.

The university began the planning for such a system capable of enabling students to choose roommates and select beds with the help of big data analysis in 2020, according to a staff member at the university’s student dormitory management center.

With the online registration of freshmen starting on Aug. 23, the system was officially launched, the staff member said, adding that the system recommends three roommates to each student and that the recommendations are made according to an order of precedence as follows: classmates, students studying the same major, and students in the same faculty.

Nevertheless, the roommates recommended by the system are merely a suggestion, students can decide whether they want to follow the suggestion according to their own situation, said Wang Caiyan, an executive at the university’s student dormitory management center.