China

China sanctions 11 US officials in response to Hong Kong sanctions
China

China sanctions 11 US officials in response to Hong Kong sanctions

China imposed sanctions on 11 Americans in retaliation for similar restrictions imposed by Washington over an alleged effort to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy.China’s sanctions targeted Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Pat Toomey; Congressman Chris Smith; Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth; National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman; and Michael Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House.“In response to the U.S.’s wrong behaviors, China has decided to impose sanctions on those individuals who behaved badly on Hong Kong-related issues,” the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian, said.On August 7, The U.S. said that it was placing sanctions on 11 Chinese officials and their allies in Hong Kong.The sanctions target Hong Kong Specia...
China continues to be largest coal producer while making speeches about clean environment
China

China continues to be largest coal producer while making speeches about clean environment

Over the years China has received much applause for its clean environmental speeches at climate change and environmental events. However, the data released by China Coal Transport and Distribution Association's (CCTDA) shows that the coal used by coastal power plants at five major Chinese utilities hit 488,800 tonnes during the last week of March, more than double from a record low seen on February 10.The Chinese government, despite making speeches about the road to have a clean environment, reportedly plans to add coal storage facilities in 2020 to ensure stockpiles at or above 15 days' normal supply for coal-driven power plants.In 2019, the country's coal consumption was up by 1 per cent over the previous year, marking the third consecutive annual rise in coal use.China is also permittin...
Chinese hotel builder abruptly liquidates business in UK
China

Chinese hotel builder abruptly liquidates business in UK

A Chinese conglomerate which has built hotels for Hilton and Travelodge has abruptly liquidated its UK subsidiaries reportedly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.CIMC is a global business with regional offices in the UK, US and Australia and the main head office in Southern China. The main UK business, CIMC Modular Building Systems and its development arm first set up to promote the modular system have both been placed in voluntary liquidation by managing director Jason Taylor.“The impact of the pandemic has been so wide and so deep that it has become impossible to survive without taking some fairly drastic steps,” a source said.CIMC MBS lost pound 2.5 million in 2018. During that year it delivered nearly 900 modules creating 1,317 hotel or student rooms.CIMC has supplied ready-built rooms from ...
China loses landmark WTO dispute against EU over market-economy status
China

China loses landmark WTO dispute against EU over market-economy status

In a landmark development, China has lost a dispute to the European Union at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for a market economy status, as the former allowed the dispute to lapse.China spent four years fighting for market-economy status, a designation that would give it stronger footing with commercial partners while also curtailing their ability to retaliate over trade disputes.The Chinese government allowed a landmark World Trade Organization dispute — aimed at forcing the European Union to recognize it as a market economy in trade investigations — to lapse on June 15.The case was initially brought in 2016 and China lost an interim ruling on the matter last year.A note by the WTO Secretariat said: "At the request of China, the panel suspended its work on 14 June 2019 (WT/DS516/13). ...
National Security Law will bring Chinese system to Hong Kong: Report
China

National Security Law will bring Chinese system to Hong Kong: Report

The Hong Kong national security legislation will effectively bring China’s legal system to the city and will give power to the Chinese government to apply pending law without the approval of Hong Kong's legislature, say critics.Beijing is yet to confirm the legislation's relevant clauses, however, officials have indicated that those in breach of the law, could be extradited to the mainland for trial."This national security legislation shows that the Communist Party has lost its patience and confidence in 'one country, two systems', as well as the Hong Kong people and our administration," Civic Party opposition lawmaker Tanya Chan said."This is a warning and a reminder to Hong Kong people about who is the boss," Chan said.China says the law is aimed at tackling separatist activity, subversi...
Trump administration blacklists dozens of Chinese entities over human rights, military allegations
China

Trump administration blacklists dozens of Chinese entities over human rights, military allegations

The United States Commerce Department on Saturday said that it would add as many as 33 Chinese firms and institutions to an economic blacklist for aiding Beijing spy on China’s Muslim minority groups or for their alleged ties to China's military.The blacklisting came as Communist Party rulers in Beijing on Friday unveiled details of a plan to impose national security laws on Hong Kong.The Trump Administration named nine entities for complicity in alleged human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in western China.The list included seven companies that assist Beijing in high-technology surveillance in the region, the Commerce Department said in a statement.Separately, the Department targeted 24 Chinese commercial and government entities based in China, Hong Kong, and t...
Singapore needs a certain proportion of foreign workers, say observers
China

Singapore needs a certain proportion of foreign workers, say observers

About 90% of Contractor PQ Builders team that does ground construction work are made up of foreigners. The Singaporeans who are part of the team are in supervisory roles.“Bringing in foreign workers is not as cheap as people think”, Peh Ke-Pin owner of the company said.A construction worker typically earns about S$800 a month in basic pay, but each worker costs at least double that.“It’s not that much more expensive to hire a local,” Peh said adding that he is willing to pay between S$2,000 to S$3,000 for a local, but there are still no takers when he puts out the job advertisements.This may be due to the current notion of what construction work entails.Some Singaporeans have said that with higher pay and career advancement, they might consider working in the construction industry, but the...
Singapore needs a certain proportion of foreign workers, say observers
China

Singapore needs a certain proportion of foreign workers, say observers

About 90% of Contractor PQ Builders team that does ground construction work are made up of foreigners. The Singaporeans who are part of the team are in supervisory roles.“Bringing in foreign workers is not as cheap as people think”, Peh Ke-Pin owner of the company said.A construction worker typically earns about S$800 a month in basic pay, but each worker costs at least double that.“It’s not that much more expensive to hire a local,” Peh said adding that he is willing to pay between S$2,000 to S$3,000 for a local, but there are still no takers when he puts out the job advertisements.This may be due to the current notion of what construction work entails.Some Singaporeans have said that with higher pay and career advancement, they might consider working in the construction industry, but the...
Vietnam ratifies free trade deal with European Union
China

Vietnam ratifies free trade deal with European Union

Vietnam ratified a free trade agreement with the European Union on Monday that will cut or eliminate 99% of tariffs on goods traded between the Southeast Asian country and the bloc, and provide Vietnam with a much-needed post coronavirus pandemic boost.Deputies in the National Assembly voted by over 94% in favour of the European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).The EVFTA, expected to take effect in July, is the European Union's second deal with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian nations (Asean) after Singapore, and one of few with a developing country.Vietnam will have a transition period of up to 10 years for some imports, such as cars.It will open up Vietnam's services, including post, banking and shipping and public procurement markets, align some standards and pro...
Iraq confirms full compliance with OPEC crude oil production cuts
China

Iraq confirms full compliance with OPEC crude oil production cuts

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil on Saturday reconfirmed its full commitment to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude oil production cuts, saying that all member states should stand unified to revive the oil market.“Iraq reconfirms its full adherence to the agreement out of a firm belief that all member states of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil producers should yield to a unified stance in order to revive the oil market, through finding effective solutions to restore its stability and balance,” Oil Ministry Spokesman Assem Jihad said.“Iraq believes in working with a spirit of solidarity with other oil-producing countries in order to restore stability and balance to global oil markets,” he added.Jihad further expressed that Iraq never...