China to Set up Hainan Free Trade Zone by 2020, Port by 2025
China aims to establish a free trade zone in Hainan by 2020 and will encourage multinationals to set up their international and regional headquarters in the province, state news agency Xinhua reported citing a government document. The guidance was jointly issued by the ruling Communist Party and State Council, Xinhua said. It comes after President Xi Jinping announced on Friday that the country would grant foreign firms greater economic freedom in the southernmost province. Known for its sandy beaches and resort-lined coast…
Japan, China Agree Trade War Will Harm Global Economy
Japan and China agree that a trade war will have serious consequences for the world economy, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Monday after a high-level economic dialogue between the world's third- and second-largest economies. Concern is growing about a trade row between China and the United States in which the two nations have threatened each other with tariffs. Japan has been criticised by U.S. President Donald Trump on trade and been hit with tariffs on steel and aluminum, but it has not yet threatened counter-tariffs.
Philippines Eyes Exploration Deal with China in S.China Sea
The Philippines is looking to seal a pact with China within a few months to jointly explore for oil and gas in a part of the busy South China Sea waterway claimed by both countries, a Philippine official said on Monday. In February, the two countries agreed to set up a special panel to work out how to jointly explore for offshore oil and gas in areas both sides claim, without needing to address the touchy issue of sovereignty. "We're trying to see if we can achieve an agreement…
Xi Says Wants S. China Sea Issue Resolved Peacefully
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday China has always insisted the dispute in the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully through talks. Freedom of passage in the South China Sea has never been a problem and will never be a problem Xi said, during a visit to Singapore. (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)
UN Sanctions North Korean Ship for Illegal STS Oil Transfer
The United Nations has blacklisted a North Korean ship for receiving oil in an October transfer that breached U.N. sanctions, as first revealed by Reuters. Reuters in December reported that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea, which relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning, by transferring cargoes at sea. European security sources told Reuters that a Russian vessel conducted a ship-to-ship transfer with the North Korean-flagged Sam Ma 2 tanker in open seas during October.
Indonesia Partners with China on Maritime
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged increased maritime cooperation during the formers visit to China. According to the statement, China and Indonesia agreed to strengthen strategy and policy communication, advance maritime infrastructure connectivity, deepen cooperation in industrial investment and major project construction, and enhance practical cooperation to develop a "maritime partnership" together. Beijing has already pledged $40 billion in funding for ports…
Obama Calls on China to 'Peacefully' Address South China Sea
U.S. President Barack Obama urged China to peacefully resolve its maritime disputes with neighboring countries and to maintain freedom of navigation in the region, a reference to the ongoing dispute in the South China Sea, the White House said in a statement on Friday. In talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping alongside the Nuclear Security Summit on Thursday, Obama discussed U.S. support for human rights in China and called for the ability of companies to be able to compete fairly in China, it said. (Reporting by Susan Heavey)
Panama Invites China and Taiwan for Canal Ceremony
Taiwanese President-elect Tsai Ing-wen and Chinese President Xi Jinping have both been invited to the inauguration ceremony of the newly expanded Panama Canal on June 26. Tsai Ing-wen's invitation from its Panamanian diplomatic ally is drawing local media attention as Chinese leader Xi Jinping has also been invited to the same event. Aside from focusing on the possibility of a "Tsai-Xi" meeting on the sidelines, Panama's intentions need to be scrutinized with regard to a possible resumption of a diplomatic recognition tug-of-war across the Taiwan Strait.
China, Vietnam to Look Beyond Sea Disputes
Vietnamese Communist leader Nguyen Phu Trong and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to make joint efforts to manage the South China Sea row. Both countries agreed to friendly negotiations, and the possibility of joint development projects to settle their differences over the resource rich South China Sea. Among the proposals put forward by Li Keqiang include joint inspections with Vietnam in the waters at the mouth of the Beibu Gulf. The waters of the Beibu Gulf, which borders Guangxi and northern Vietnam, have not been completely delineated.
China & S. Korea Restate Opposition to Nuclear Weapon Development
Chinese President Xi Jinping with South Korean President Park Geun-hye Thursday reiterated firmly opposed to the development of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, while undertaking efforts to complete FTA negotiations before the end. Xi Jinping's visit aimed at strengthening trade and diplomatic relations between the two countries, but also intended to South Korea that China will continue to put pressure on North Korea for its nuclear program. Two in talks with reporters after a brief meeting said they strongly oppose the development of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula.
China Investigating Former Ningbo Port Chairman
China is investigating the former chairman of Ningbo Port Group, manager of one of the world's busiest ports, the country's top graft-busting body said, naming the latest target of an anti-corruption drive ordered by President Xi Jinping. Xu Huajiang, who resigned from the firm last month, is being investigated on "suspicion of serious violations of the law", according to a brief statement by China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) on its website on Monday. In China, "serious violations of the law" usually connotes graft. The CCDI did not provide additional details. Ningbo Port is the world's sixth busiest based on 2013 container throughput volume, according to the World Shipping Council.
China holds Maritime Silk Road seminar
A two-day international seminar on beefing up maritime trade infrastructure in Asia opened on Wednesday in southeast China's Quanzhou City in Fujian Province. Since Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in his speech in the Indonesian parliament in October 2013, the initiative has drawn the attention of the international community. Over 280 academics and experts from 30 countries have been invited to discuss proposals to build a "21st Century Maritime Silk Road".
Malacca Begins Work for International Port
Soon after China identified Malaysia's Malacca as part of its 21st Century Maritime Silk Route economic belt (MSR), an international shipping port is being planned for the state. The existing port in Malacca would be expanded to meet international standards, informed the Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, as per a report in the Star. A vast opportunity awaits Malacca under MSR, and the government will start with the port expansion as part of the initiative, the minister added.
China Launches First Maritime Silk Road Cruise Liner
China has launched its first cruise liner to sail via its ambitious transcontinental initiative Maritime Silk Road (MSR) on its maiden voyage during which it will visit three South-East Asian nations. The liner has scheduled stops in Vietnam, the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia before eventually reaches Kuantan Port in Malaysia. The cruise liner set off from the Beihai port in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The 135-m-long 20-m-wide modern cruise ship can accommodate about 400 people and is equipped with wireless Internet access.
China Charges State-owned Shipyard Ex-head with Taking Bribes
The former chairman of Chinese state-run shipyard Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has been charged with taking bribes, prosecutors said on Friday, the latest official to be swept up in President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption crackdown. The Supreme People's Procuratorate said in a notice on its website that Gu Tiquan, former board chairman of the Shanghai-based shipyard, would be prosecuted. It did not give details. Hudong-Zhonghua is a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp, one of the largest shipbuilding conglomerates in the country.
Billion-dollar MoU for Shipping Finance
On October 26, 2015 in the presence of President Xi Jinping and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, ING Bank NV and The Export-Import Bank of China signed a three year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The objective of the MOU is to further strengthen the cooperation between the two parties in the financing of Chinese built ships, both new and second hand, as well as selected offshore projects for a total amount of $1 billion, ING said. Stephen Fewster, Global Head of Shipping Finance ING Bank said, “We are very pleased with this next step in building a deeper relationship with The Eximbank of China. China is one of the leading nations in the shipbuilding industry and many of our clients own Chinese built ships.
China Probes Executives of CSIC, COSCO
China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) and China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco) are being probed in China’s national anti-corruption scheme, according to a report in the Reuters. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) has not named any company executives as targets for individual inspection. CCDI is the highest internal-control institution of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The watchdog did not name any executives as targets for individual inspection in its statement…
China Planning $100 bln Merger of Sinochem, ChemChina
Chinese state-owned chemical companies Sinochem Group and ChemChina are in discussions about a possible merger to create a chemicals, fertilizer and oil giant with almost $100 billion in annual revenue, reports Reuters. The deal was reportedly proposed by China’s central government. “The government has given the mandate to let Sinochem lead in this potential merger with ChemChina,” said a source. The combination of the two Chinese rivals is part of a broader strategy by the regulatory…
China's Ying Kou Port Group chairman sentenced to 14 years for bribery
The chairman of China's Ying Kou Port Group was sentenced to 14 years in prison for accepting around 26.8 million yuan ($3.86 million) in bribes, said the official Xinhua news agency on Saturday. President Xi Jinping has waged a widespread campaign to wipe out systemic corruption since he came to power in late 2012. Since 2002 Gao Baoyu, who was also the party secretary of Ying Kou, abused his position by accepting bribes for appointments, the agency said. The verdict, handed down by a court in the northern city of Anshan, was not appealed. Ying Kou and Gao could not be immediately reached for comment. On Friday, China's state prosecutor formally accused former deputy head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office Gong Qinggai with bribery and abuse of power, setting the stage for his trial.
Japan to Resume Maritime Talks with China in Tokyo
China and Japan have agreed to hold a meeting in Tokyo next Monday to discuss the development of a maritime crisis management mechanism according to Japanese defense sources. The maritime crisis management system will be aimed at averting unwanted clashes around the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, reports China's news agency Xinhua. The defense departments of the two sides reached consensus over this issue about two-and-a-half years ago, but further talks have been stalled following Japan's declaration of nationalizing three of China's Diaoyu Islands. The consensus included scheduling regular meetings and setting up a hotline between the defense departments, as well as using the same radio frequency between ships and flights.
UN Blacklists Dozens over North Korean Smuggling at Sea
The United Nations Security Council blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping companies on Friday over oil and coal smuggling by North Korea, boosting pressure on Pyongyang as leader Kim Jong Un plans to meet with his South Korean and U.S. counterparts. The council's North Korea sanctions committee acted on a request by the United States, designating 21 shipping companies -- including five based in China -- 15 North Korean ships, 12 non-North Korean ships and a Taiwanese man. The…
Inmarsat welcomes President Xi to London Headquarters
Inmarsat welcomed the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping to its London headquarters, as part of the President’s historic State Visit to the UK. The visit reflects the close working relationship between Inmarsat and China. China was one of the eighty-six countries that came together to found Inmarsat with a maritime safety mandate and over thirty five years later Inmarsat continues to contribute to safety and security in Maritime and Aviation and more recently during disaster situations in China.
China Building Its First Polar Expedition Cruise Ship
China has begun building its first polar expedition cruise ship, state news agency Xinhua reported Saturday, as the country looks to shipping lanes opened up by global warming to extend President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road initiative to the Arctic. Construction of the 104.4-meter vessel, equipped with an advanced electric propulsion and control system for navigating sea ice, was expected to be completed by August 2019, Xinhua reported. China released its first official Arctic policy white paper in January…