Ex-spy Chapman to hoist Russian flag on disputed Kuril Islands.
Former spy Anna Chapman turned TV host will arrive on the disputed Kuril Islands in March to hoist the Russian flag and make a film about the life of local residents, Russian media have reported.
Chapman will be part of the delegation of the youth arm of Russia's ruling United Russia party, Molodaya Gvardia (Young Guard). She was named a member of the group's public council in late December.
The group plans to open its headquarters on Kunashir, the second-largest of the four islands disputed between Russia and Japan. Chapman has been tasked with hoisting the Russian flag on the island, which is well seen from Japan.
During the trip, Molodaya Gvardia plans to make a film on the life on the islands and the development of the region.
"Japan says the Russian government does not take care about the Kuril Islands, and we will give them this film," the Russian tabloid Life News quoted the group's leader Timur Prokopenko as saying.
Four sparsely populated islands (Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai) in the Kuril chain between Japan's northern island of Hokkaido and Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula were annexed by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II but are still claimed by Japan.
The dispute over the islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan, has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal peace treaty.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 24, 2011 13:58:05 GMT -5
Russia says U.S. meddling in Kuril dispute 'unacceptable'
Washington's attempts to interfere in a dispute between Russia and Japan over the Kuril Islands are "unacceptable," the Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesman said on Thursday.
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned U.S. ambassador to Moscow John Beyrle to express concern over the U.S. statements in support of Japan's territorial claims on the islands amid Tokyo's recent tough rhetoric.
"We consider it totally unacceptable to attempt to meddle in this matter, which is bilateral," Alexander Lukashevich said, adding such action did not contribute to finding a "constructive solution" to such a sensitive problem.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 26, 2011 16:41:07 GMT -5
Russia to deploy units on Iturup, Kunashir Islands - defense minister (Update 1)
Russia will deploy military units on Iturup and Kunashir, part of the Kuril Islands, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Saturday.
"We will most likely base in two military towns on two islands - Iturup and Kunashir," Serdyukov told journalists in Vladivostok, Russia's Far East.
The defense minister said his trip to the Far East is aimed at analyzing how the machine gun-artillery division will be "integrated" with the Russian forces located in Vladivostok, Sakhalin and Kamchatka.
"The grouping will be changed by its structure. It is highly likely that staff will be slightly cut but it will be reinforced by the newest communications systems, electronic warfare and radar stations," Serdyukov said.
Earlier this month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow will increase its military presence on the South Kuril Islands to "ensure the security of the islands as an unalienable part of Russia."
A General Staff official said that S-400 missile defense systems could possibly be deployed to the islands to protect them from possible attacks.
TOKYO (AFP) – Japan on Wednesday branded Russia's plans to deploy anti-ship cruise missiles on disputed islands off Tokyo's northern frontier "very deplorable".
Vice-foreign ministers from the two countries met in Tokyo for a regular "strategic dialogue" to discuss ties strained by the territorial row over the Kurils that has been unresolved since World War II.
The meeting came a day after Russia's Interfax news agency reported Moscow was planning to deploy additional weaponry including anti-ship cruise missiles and air defences on the disputed islands.
"Russia's military build-up on the four northern islands is totally incompatible with our country's position and it is very deplorable," Japan's top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, told a regular news briefing.
At the half-day diplomatic meeting, the Russian side said that the military build-up was aimed at "reducing the military manpower through modernisation of weaponry," Jiji news agency reported.
The chief cabinet secretary said: "We will remain consistent in asserting our country's position on the islands and strive to realise it."
Edano also said at a briefing earlier Wednesday that Japan was "watching Russian military activities in the Far East as a matter of course."
The disputed Kuril islets, called the Northern Territories by Japan, were seized by Soviet troops in the days after Japan's surrender in World War II, and the row has prevented both sides from signing a peace treaty.
The row flared up anew in November when President Dmitry Medvedev paid an unexpected visit to one of the four islands, followed by a series of trips there by other top Kremlin officials.
Tokyo and Moscow have since been engaged in a heated war of words that continued during a tense February 11 exchange in Moscow between Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 10, 2011 13:26:11 GMT -5
Bulgaria, Chinese Province Jiangsu Launch Economic Cooperation.
Novinite.com Business | March 10, 2011, Thursday
Bulgaria's government has signed an economic cooperation memorandum with a second Chinese provice, Jiangsu, after establishing close ties with Zhejiang in 2010.
The document aimed at boosting the trade and investment ties between Bulgaria and one of China's richest and most developed provinces Jiangsu was signed in Sofia on Thursday between Bulgarian Deputy Economy Minister Evgeni Angelov and the Director General of the Jiangsu Department of Commerce Zhu Min.
On June 15, 2010, Bulgarian Economy Minister Traicho Traikov signed a similar agreement with the Department of Commerce of the Zhejiang province seen as a breakthrough in the economic relations between Bulgaria and China. The governments of Bulgaria and Zhejiang are currently moving ahead with a project for a large-scale joint industrial zone in Bozhurishte near Sofia.
"We are assisting for arrival of more Chinese companies and investments in Bulgaria at every single step, for example with respect to investments in Bulgarian industrial zones," stated Deputy Minister Angelov during the signing ceremony, as cited by the press service of the Economy Ministry.
Jiangsu Commerce Department head Zhu Min is quoted as saying that the conditions and incentives offered in the Bulgarian industrial zones are better than in many industrial zones in China, which is set to make Bulgaria's industrial options internationally competitive.
The delegation of China's Jiangsu province is in Bulgaria on three-day visit, and includes both provincial government officials and representatives of Chinese companies working in energy automation, IT, optics, photovoltaics, among others.
In addition to Deputy Economy Minister Angelov, Bulgaria was represented in the talks with the Jiangsu delegation by the two CEOs of "National Company Industrial Zones" Kiril Nikolov and Valeri Andeev, and the head of the InvestBulgaria Agency Borislav Stefanov.
The Bulgarian government has stressed the favorable business climate and investment conditions in the country, and the efforts of the state to make it even more attractive.
The Bulgarian representatives have pointed out that the project for the Bozhurishte Industrial Zone near Sofia is carried out in cooperation with the Zhejiang province but is also opened for other partners. The Bozhurishte project saw a particular boost in September 2010 when Deputy Economy Minister Angelov traveled to China for talks on its specifics.
The Bulgarian government has further told the Jiangsu delegation that it is ready to form a joint venture with the second Chinese province it starts formal ties with for investments in both the Bozhurishte Industrial Zone, and in other projects in major Bulgarian cities, ports, and commercial water routes.
It has pointed out that state subsidies for the transport and logistics sector in the country can help Chinese producers and traders bring their goods to the huge EU and wider European market.
The economic cooperation memorandum between Bulgaria and Jiangsu provides for closer ties between the business sector and governments of both parties, including by providing incentives, carrying out promotional projects, setting up joint ventures in the private and state sector, opening commercial representations, helping the connections between small and medium-sized enterprises.
Jiangsu is China's most densely populated province. In 2009, it was second in terms of its contribution to the Chinese GDP, with a 10.2% share. It features highly developed machine building, electronics, telecommunications, chemical industry, textile, metallurgy. In 2009, Jiangsu companies invested over USD 1 B abroad.
The EU is China's largest trading partner, and China is Bulgaria's largest trading partner in Asia. In the first 11 months of 2010, the Bulgarian-Chinese trade amounted to USD 825 M, with a negative balance for Bulgaria. However, according to government date, Bulgaria's export to China increased by 83% year-on-year, while its import from China grew by only 1.7%.
The Economy Ministry points out that Bulgaria exports to China mostly copper and copper alloys, scrap, aluminum, lead, manganese ore, electric equipment. China's exports to Bulgaria consist of consumer goods, machinery, and equipment.
According to preliminary data of the Bulgarian National Bank, China's investments in Bulgaria in 1996-2010 amounted to only EUR 15 M. In 2010, Bulgaria was visited by 6 400 Chinese citizens, while only 441 Bulgarians traveled to China.
Bulgarian Deputy Economy Minister Evgeni Angelov (right) and the Director General of the Jiangsu Department of Commerce Zhu Min (left) signed an economic cooperation deal in Sofia. Photo by Economy Ministry press service
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 12, 2011 12:03:17 GMT -5
If it goes, lets hope it blows east, towards the US.
Radiation control ordered in Far East amid Japanese meltdown fears.
Russian sanitary and consumers rights watchdog ordered to closely monitor radiation levels in Russian Far East following controversial reports of possible leak from a nuclear reactor in Japan.
Gennady Onishchenko, Russia's chief sanitary official, ordered to use all available equipment as the majority of Japanese NPPs ae situated along the coast, hit by a powerful quake and tsunami waves on Friday.
"Almost all [Japanese NPPs] are located on man-made banks and islands," Onishchenko said. "Quite a few officially confirmed nuclear incidents occurred in the past few years in Japan, some of them caused nuclear-polluted gas and liquids to leak."
"In the past years, about 20 accidents [at Japanese nuclear plants] were registered, some even led to human casualties. We are worried about that," he said.
Increased radiation levels were registered at the Fukushima nuclear plant in northeast Japan as power shortages caused the reactor to overheat, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said. People living within the 10-km range from the plant were told to evacuate.
In some parts of the plant, radiation levels rose up to 1,000 times above the norm, and are about eight times above the norm outside the station, the Kyodo news agency said on Saturday.
The state of emergency was declared at the station.
In an attempt to ease pressure which is building up inside the reactor, plant employees will perform a controlled release of radioactive gas from the reactor's containment structure on Saturday.
Japanese official gave controversial comments on the accident. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano did not confirm reports of leak but said that emergency services "should be prepared for the worst-case scenario."
In a phone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said there were no signs that any radioactive substance leaked into the environment.
But Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda said a small leak from a reactor in Fukushima was possible, the Kyodo agency said.
Japan has more than 54 nuclear energy units in operation, and about one quarter of all energy produced in the country comes from nuclear power plants.
At least 388 people are officially listed as dead, and hundreds are missing in Japan after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck about 373 km (232 miles) north-east of Tokyo on Friday afternoon, sparking a series of tsunamis.
Several aftershocks occurred shortly after the initial quake. The strongest was measured at 7.1 on the Richter scale.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 13, 2011 14:10:59 GMT -5
Japan's Fukushima quake-hit nuke plant under control - UN nuclear watchdog (Wrapup 2)
Japanese specialists have been able to bring under control the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, damaged by Friday's devastating earthquake and posing the risk of a radiation leak, a source at the UN nuclear watchdog told RIA Novosti over the phone on Sunday.
The tremor, which struck the country's northeast, was the most powerful ever recorded in Japan, registering nine points on the Richter scale and causing a 10-meter tsunami wave that swept away people, houses and cars.
The Fukushima Number One nuclear power station, about 250 km (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, was hit by a blast on Saturday. The explosion at the first nuclear unit destroyed the reactor turbine building, blowing away its walls and roof, but the local authorities said the reactor itself was not damaged. A steel container covering the reactor has protected it from the blast, they said.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said early on Sunday that the plant's third nuclear unit also posed the risk of an explosion.
"The situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is currently under control. Japanese specialists are currently taking truly heroic efforts to solve problems at the nuclear power plant damaged by the earthquake. They are timely and fully informing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," the source said.
"The nervousness over these developments has abated and I believe that the accident is most likely to remain qualified at level 4 on the international INES scale," the source said.
The international INES scale runs from 1 (anomaly) to 7 (major accident). According to the IAEA's definition, a level-4 accident is defined as having "local consequences," such as a "minor release of radioactive material."
The Japanese government's spokesman has said that the radiation at the third nuclear unit of the Fukushima nuclear power plant remained at the normal level.
EARTHQUAKE, TSUNAMI DEATH TOLL
The death toll from a devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on Friday may climb to over 10,000 people in the Miyagi prefecture alone, local police chief Naoto Takeuchi said on Sunday.
The Japanese government scrambled to control overheating reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and some 180,000 people joined more than 350,000 earlier evacuees by moving out of a 20-kilometer radius from the plant a day after one of its reactors partially melted on Saturday, the Kyodo news agency reported.
The number of people who have died or remain unaccounted for exceeds 2,000 and over 600 bodies have been found in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures on the Pacific coast, the agency said, referring to the police.
Also, local authorities have been unable to contact tens of thousands of people, and at least 20,820 buildings have been fully or partially damaged in quake-hit areas, the agency said.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan early on Sunday instructed the government to boost the number of Self-Defense Forces personnel sent to quake-hit areas to 100,000, one of the largest ever for an SDF operation, the agency said, referring to Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.
RUSSIA SENDS RESCUERS TO QUAKE-STRICKEN JAPAN
Japan has agreed to accept a team of Russian rescuers to join the search for survivors of Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, a spokeswoman for Russia's Emergencies Ministry said on Sunday.
"An Il-76 plane of the Russian Emergencies Ministry is preparing to fly to Japan to deliver about 50 rescuers, three relief and rescue vehicles and the necessary equipment," Irina Andrianova said.
Russia will provide this kind of help to Japan for the first time.
To the latest developments in Japan now where there's been a second blast at the Fukushima nuclear plant. 11 people were injured in the explosion. The reactors are said to be intact at the moment. And officials claim there hasn't been a change in the radiation levels since the latest incident took place. At least 22 people have already been exposed to radiation - after an earlier explosion following Friday's devestating tremor and tsunami. Officials say the possibility of another blast is now unlikely. People within a 20km radius of the reactor have been evacuated to safety.
There had been warnings of a three-metre high tsunami moving towards the northeast coast of Japan caused by a strong aftershock. We're now getting reports that the alert has been lifted. Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called it the worst crisis since World War II. RT's Ivor Bennett is in Sendai, one of the towns worst-affected by the huge wave.
3rd, More Serious Explosion Jolts Japan's Fukushima N-Plant.
Novinite.com World | March 15, 2011, Tuesday
A third explosion, more serious than the previous two, has reportedly occurred at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which has been badly damaged by Friday's devastating earthquake.
The No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant experienced the latest explostion early Tuesday morning local time. Thus, all three reactors at the plant have affected by the damages from Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake in just four days as water pumps failed to cool down the ultra-hot fuel rods in the nuclear facility.
Officials from Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the plant owner, said the 6:14 a.m. explosion, unlike the two before, took place in the unit 2 reactor at or near the suppression pool in the primary containment vessel, where water and radioactive elements are collected. That raised the possibility of damage to the layers of protective steel.
The explosion - more serious than the earlier ones which occurred in reactor 1 on Saturday and reactor 3 on Monday - was followed by a brief drop in pressure in the vessel and a spike in radioactivity outside the reactor, the company said, as cited by The LA Times.
The explosion has led TEPCO to evacuate all nonessential personnel from the Fukushima nuclear power plant leaving only 50 out of 1 400 employees on the spot in the nuclear complex located only 250 km north of Tokyo.
Utility officials there reported that four out of five water pumps being used to flood the unit 2 reactor had failed and that the other pump had briefly stopped working. As a result, the company said the fuel rods, normally covered by water, were completely exposed for a couple of hours, hastening the partial meltdown of them that most experts think is underway.
According to a report by the Kyodo News agency, the fifth pump was later restarted and seawater mixed with boron was again injected in a desperate bid to cool the reactor, but the fuel rods remained partially exposed and ultra-hot. On Tuesday morning, Tokyo Elecric said that 2.7 meters of the rods were still exposed.
The other four pumps were thought to have been damaged by a blast Monday that destroyed a building at the nearby unit 3 reactor, Kyodo reported. That blast, like one on Saturday at unit 1, was caused by a buildup in hydrogen generated by a reaction that took place when the zirconium alloy wrapped around the fuel rods was exposed to steam.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that injections of seawater into units 1 and 3 had been interrupted because of a low level in a seawater supply reservoir, but the seawater injections were later restored.
The ability of workers to assess the damage was hindered by fears that another explosion might occur.
After Monday's explosion at unit 3, Japanese government officials were quick to assert that it did not damage the core containment structure, and they said there would be little increase in radiation levels around the plant. But the explosion prompted Japan's nuclear agency to warn those within 12 miles to stay indoors. The blast also injured 11 people, one seriously.
The string of earthquake- and tsunami-triggered troubles at the Fukushima Daiichi plant began Friday, when a loss of grid power (caused the earthquake) followed by a loss of backup diesel generators (caused by the tsunami) led to the failure of cooling systems needed to keep reactor cores from overheating.
Radiation Wind to Hit Tokyo within 10 hours - France.
Novinite.com World | March 15, 2011, Tuesday
The French embassy in the Japanese capital has warned in an advisory that a low level of radioactive wind could reach Tokyo within 10 hours.
In a statement published on its site the embassy said its citizens living near the nuclear reactors should remain at home, with air conditioning switched off and try not to panic.
Radiation levels near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant soared in the early hours of Tuesday following another explosion at an overheating reactor.
The risk of further releases of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains "very high," Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday. In addition to an explosion at the No. 2 reactor, the building housing the No. 4 unit -- which had been shut down before Friday's earthquake -- was burning Tuesday morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano announced.
The plant's owners, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, evacuated all but about 50 of their workers from the plant following Tuesday's explosion at the No. 2 reactor.
Radiation levels at the plant have increased to "levels that can impact human health," Edano said -- between 100 and 400 millisieverts, or as much as 160 times higher than the average dose of radiation a typical person receives from natural sources in a year.
Evacuations have already been ordered for anyone living within 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) of the plant, and Edano said anyone between 20 and 30 kilometers (between 12.5-18.6 miles) should remain indoors.
'Catastrophic' radiation exposure, more blasts at Fukushima nuclear reactor.
Japan's Prime Minister has addressed the nation as fears intensify about a possible nuclear meltdown at a power-plant struck by last Friday's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. The company running the Fukushima nuclear power plant has admitted meltdown is a possibility following 2 fresh explosions at the complex. There are also fears of radioactive leakage with reports of damage to the structure protecting the reactor.
Russia's Zhirinovsky calls on Japanese to move to Russia.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the colorful and flamboyant leader of Russia's LDPR party, has called on Japanese to leave "the dangerous islands" and move to the unpopulated Russian territories, the newsru.com website reported on Sunday.
Zhirinovsky, 64, also deputy speaker of the lower house, offered Russian government to start talks with Japan over Japanese nationals' migration to Russia.
"In this case we do not share any islands, we offer the way to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe," newsru.com quoted Zhirinovsky as saying. "Russia will even benefit if such hardworking people join us," he added.
The politician said he was serious since "the Japanese nation is under the threat of extinction in the near future."
Zhirinovsky's statement came in the wake of a 9.0 - magnitude tremor, which struck the Japan's northeast on Friday. The quake triggered a 10-meter tsunami wave that swept away people, houses and cars.
In late February Zhirinovsky invited Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to move to Moscow.
In his address to Gaddafi, he said: "I invite you to make Moscow your place of permanent residence."
Authorities and the population in Russia's Far East are closely watching reports from Japan, where nuclear specialists are struggling to bring Fukushima power plant under control, as a major disaster could affect the whole region.
There is a general public fear that the plant damaged by the powerful earthquake last week could blow up and release radioactive cloud similar to what happened with the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. With westward wind, it would take only about a day for the contaminated cloud to reach Sakhalin Island, where some half a million people live.
Residents in Sakhalin have been preparing for a possible disaster. Local medical equipment shops have put in urgent orders for additional portable radiation detectors after their stock sold out over the weekend. Demand for potassium iodide, a drug which can be used as protection from radiation poisoning, has also surged.
People are afraid that either Japanese or local authorities may be downplaying the danger posed by Fukushima plant and are preparing for the worst.
Meanwhile, local authorities are constantly monitoring the radiation levels, which remain normal so far. They are also prepared to start evacuation from the Kuril Islands, the closest Russian territory to Japan, at any minute.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 18, 2011 13:57:44 GMT -5
Moron...don't invite citizens of a country that technically is still at war with Russia.
Russia ready to provide jobs for Japanese in Far East - Medvedev.
Russia is ready to provide employment in Siberia and Russia's Far East for Japanese left homeless by last week's earthquake and tsunami, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.
A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan last Friday, leaving some 6,405 dead and 10,259 missing, according to most recent updates.
"We should consider using part of the labor potential of our neighbor, especially in sparsely populated areas of Siberia and the Far East," Medvedev said.
So far, 165 Russian specialists are involved in rescue efforts in Japan. Medvedev said Russia was ready to send more aid and accommodate victims in Russian sanatoriums.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday that Russia was ready to help Japan extinguish fires at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, were a nuclear meltdown is feared following a series of blasts.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 21, 2011 16:01:21 GMT -5
China's Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying: Chinese Companies Need Good Atmosphere to Do Business in Eastern Europe.
Author: Ivan Dikov Interview | March 21, 2011, Monday
Exclusive interview of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) with H. E. Fu Ying, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.
Mrs. Fu's area of responsibilities as Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China includes: Europe, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan-related foreign affairs, translation and interpretation.
Fu was born in China's Hohhot, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China in January 1953. In 1978-1982 she was a Staff Member and Attaché in the Chinese Embassy in the Socialist Republic of Romania. In 1982-1985, she served as an Attaché, Department of Translation and Interpretation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). In 1986-1990, Fu was the Third Secretary, Second Secretary and Deputy Office Director, Department of Translation and Interpretation, MFA. In 1990-1992, she served as the Deputy Office Director and First Secretary, Department of Asian Affairs, MFA. In the period 1992-1993, she was a Staff Member of United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia. In 1993-1997, she was a First Secretary, Office Director and Counselor at the Department of Asian Affairs, of China's Foreign Ministry. In 1997-1998 Fu joined the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia as a Minister Counselor. In 1998-2000, she was China's Ambassador to the Philippines. In 2000-2003, Fu worked as the Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of China's Foreign Ministry. In 2003-2006, she was China's Ambassador to Australia. In 2006-2009, she served as China's Ambassador to the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, before becoming Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in 2009.
Fu is a graduate of the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute and the University of Kent. She is married, with one daughter. Vice Minister Fu was in Bulgaria on March 20-21, 2011, for talks with Bulgaria's Foreign Minsiter Nikolay Mladenov and Bulgarian government officials.
During the China-EU High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (HED), some EU leaders said the EU hoped China would follow fair trade, respect intellectual property rights (IPR) and abide by its WTO obligations. Do you think such concerns by the European Commission and EU members are justified?
China accepted more rigorous conditions than other developing countries when it acceded to the WTO in 2001. Since then, China have strictly followed relevant WTO regulations and honored its responsibilities and obligations while enjoying its due rights.
By conducting free trade and granting equal treatment to Chinese and foreign products, China provides many business opportunities to foreign enterprises. Over the past 10 years, China has reduced its average tariff from 15.3% in 2001 to 9.8% and opened up more than 100 service sectors. Its export and import grow by 4.9 and 4.7 folds respectively.
China became the world's second largest importer in 2010, importing more than US.4 trillion in goods, or 10% of the world's total trade. If China's WTO accession can be seen as a milestone in its reform and opening-up endeavor, then the ensuing 10 years is a period of common prosperity for China and the rest of the world.
When commenting the third HED held in Beijing at the end of 2010, Vice President of the European Commission Joaquín Almunia said that the EU and China reached important agreement both at the strategic level and on substantive matters. He said, "the European Union and China are global partners that have much to gain from each other. It is in our interest to develop economic relations that are mutually beneficial." I agree with what he said.
This HED was constructive, as the two sides had a candid exchange of views on issues of each other's concern, such as cooperation on high-tech trade, stronger IPR protection, energy conservation and emission control.
The Chinese government takes IPR protection very seriously as a national strategy. The Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy was formulated in 2008. With the establishment and improvement of relevant laws and regulations in the past two decades, China has put in place a fairly full-fledged and relatively advanced IPR protection system, covering as many fields as its counterparts in Europe.
It is true that there is still room for improvement in law enforcement. And improvement is taking place. We have conducted many special campaigns against internet IPR and copyright infringement. We also need to raise people's awareness on IPR protection.
I believe all these will be better along the way. The Chinese government will continue to create a stable and well-managed business environment and better protect foreign investors and rights holders. We hope to have the continued cooperation and supervision of foreign businesses throughout our efforts.
In fall 2010, some Western media such as the New York Times and the Deutsche Welle as well as the German Council on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations of Germany warned against the so-called intrusive investment from China in Eastern Europe, saying that China is exploiting the economic crisis to buy influence and strategic position in this region. Some in Western Europe is accusing Chinese companies of using the Chinese government's unfair national assistance and price dumping to win tenders and contracts. How do you view such accusations?
There was a heated debate among Chinese scholars about foreign investment in China in the early days of reform and opening-up, in particular in the early 1990s when foreign investment surged in China. Many people found it hard to understand, let alone accept the government policy of attracting foreign investment, fearing that it may jeopardize China's interests. But there is no such debate today.
China has benefited a lot from foreign investment in the past 30 years or so. It has boosted China's economic and social progress, improved people's livelihood and helped the Chinese people learn new things and look at the world in a new way.
China's enduring social and political stability, in turn, guarantees the interests of foreign investors. An important reason for them to invest in China is the high profit they always get in the Chinese market. Some reports at the Davos World Economic Forum held not long ago pointed out that despite certain complaints about China's investment environment, China remains the most profitable and most attractive market for European businesses.
Nowadays Chinese businesses have begun to show interests in investing in the European market. However, by the end of 2009, China's investment in the 13 countries in Central and Eastern Europe was only 0.25% of China's total investment overseas and 10% of China's investment in the EU. Central and Eastern European countries are friends of China. And China values economic cooperation and trade with them on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. These countries need technologies and investment in infrastructure and energy, and this is what China can offer.
In China, the government's role is to serve the businesses, not to make decisions for them. Companies make investment overseas independently in a market economy. It is only natural that Chinese companies win the bid for some projects thanks to the quality yet affordable Chinese equipment as well as applicable Chinese technologies. There is nothing unfair about it.
Contrary to what you said about the concern over Chinese investment, what I hear from Central and Eastern European countries are words of welcome, saying that there is too little, not too much Chinese investment. But Chinese companies do face some difficulties in the European market.
For one thing, they are not familiar with the political, legal and social environment in Europe and do not have adequate managerial expertise, therefore need help from local companies and legal protection.
For another, some European media accuse them of ulterior motives. This dampens their investment enthusiasm. As a result, they would rather head for elsewhere for opportunities, since the investment environment in Europe is not considered favorable. We try to convince these companies that the reports by some individual journalists do not represent the view of Europe as a whole.
What I am saying is that Chinese companies need to have a good atmosphere to do business in Central and Eastern Europe. And I hope that Bulgaria and other friendly countries will give them more support.
At the China-EU Summit last October, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao asked the EU not to join the US and some other major countries in urging the RMB to appreciate. Do you think that the EU better understand China's position on this "currency battle"?
The RMB appreciated 55% between 1994 when China started the exchange rate reform and the financial crisis in 2008. But China's trade surplus increased rather than decreased during this period. The exchange rate reform was suspended during the financial crisis, yet our trade surplus fell. This shows that there is no sure correlation between a country's exchange rate and its surplus.
Whether a country runs deficit or surplus depends upon the international division of labor and the trade structure. At the moment, the moment is not ripe yet to have a sharp RMB appreciation. Let me also take this opportunity to underscore that the exchange rate is a sovereign issue. For China, a country in the process of financial reform, exchange rate reform cannot be completed overnight.
Some countries tend to blame China and the RMB exchange rate for their own domestic problems. This view has been refuted by a number of prominent economists, including Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz. Should the RMB appreciate drastically, myriads of Chinese exporting companies, whose profits margin are as low as 2% to 3%, would go out of business. China's social stability will bear the brunt of a problematic economy, and the EU will have nothing to gain from that. I hope that the EU, as China's major trading partner, would understand China's position.
China has taken measures to help restore financial stability to countries in the euro zone. What does a stable euro and euro zone mean to China's long-term interests? And what do you think can still be done to maintain the stability of the euro?
China supports the EU integration process consistently and values China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. We are willing to work together with the EU to handle global challenges, including the international financial crisis.
Not long ago, some EU countries ran into a sovereign debt crisis. Out of friendship with European countries and the overall interests of China-EU relations, China bought the government bond of Greece, Iceland and Spain.
Chinese leaders also pledged that China will keep holding and, in light of the evolving situation, buy more new bond. This is also in the interest of China, since our economic growth is largely dependent upon a stable external environment.
I've accompanied several Chinese leaders in their visits to Europe since last year. A consistent message was sent through all these visits, that is, China firmly supports European countries in tackling the sovereign debt crisis, as well as the stability in the euro zone. China believes that a stable euro is indispensable to sound China-EU cooperation. We are confident that the EU and euro zone countries can maintain the stability of the euro.
During the Beijing Olympics, you said that the West should not "demonize" China. Do you think the West is still "demonizing" China now? Is it an upward or downward trend?
At a press conference of the just-concluded annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said that it was difficult to be a Chinese.
After the outbreak of the debt crisis in Europe, some European friends hoped that China would extend a helping hand, yet some European media claimed that China's buying of the government bond of European countries had its hidden agenda and was a threat. Then, to buy or not to buy, this is a question. It seems that there will always be some one pointing fingers at us whether we buy it or not. This is hard to understand.
Western media has growing coverage of China today, many of which are self-contradictory though. On one hand, they ask China to expand domestic demand; on the other hand, they accuse China of consuming too much resources. On one hand, they accuse China of having no freedom of press; on the other hand, they blame rising nationalism among Chinese netizens for expressing dissatisfaction with the West. On one hand, they insist that China shoulder international obligations together with Europe; on the other hand, they call for maintaining EU's arms embargo on China. China finds these contradictory views confusing.
After the outbreak of recent turmoil in North Africa, some Western media tried every means to seek "revolution" in China. As it turned out, those at the center of the so-called "protest" in Beijing are the foreign journalists. It has been a joke among the Chinese people.
The root cause of these problems is that the West does not accept China's political system. Though there are at best mixed results among developing countries with the Western system, the West keeps finding faults with China as long as it is considered "different".
For China, stability is the precondition for development and the very foundation of everything we do. Stability is like the number "1" in figures as large as 100, 1,000, 1,000,000 or even 100,000,000, while development is the many "0"s that follow. Without the "1", no matter how many "0"s there are, it amounts to nothing but zero. China will not allow anyone or anything to stir up social turmoil and upset social stability.
I know you once worked in Bucharest. Can you tell us how China views the Balkan region from the political and diplomatic perspective? Is West Balkan still seen as a region of great instability?
I used to travel to Bulgaria when I worked in Romania early in my diplomatic career. The trip this time brings back many fond memories.
Despite the long distance between China and the Balkans, we have been enjoying friendly relations with countries in the region. And the friendship among the peoples endures in spite of the ups and downs we each encounter in our respective countries. This has not come easily and should be cherished.
Thanks to our joint efforts, China and countries in the region have maintained friendly exchanges and close cooperation in international and regional issues over the years. China respects Balkan countries' independent choice of development path. And countries in the region are committed to the One China policy. We both want to further deepen pragmatic cooperation in the political, economic and cultural fields on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. I am optimistic about the prospect of this relationship.
West Balkan countries are committed to European integration and a peaceful settlement of problems through dialogue. I am confident that countries in the region and their peoples are fully capable of addressing their problems to promote peace, stability and common prosperity of this region.
Bulgaria is the second country in the world to recognize the People's Republic of China, and the year 2009 marks the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. Vice President Xi Jinping visited Bulgaria in October 2009 and met with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. His visit is seen as a prelude of further exchanges between the two countries. How do you evaluate China's relationship with Bulgaria now? Bulgaria hopes to see more Chinese investment and presence in major economic cooperation projects. What are the projects that China is most interested in?
Vice President Xi Jinping visited Bulgaria in October 2009, the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. He had a good talk with President Georgi Parvanov and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov during his visit and reached broad consensus with them on further developing our traditional friendship and conducting pragmatic cooperation across the board. This consensus is either implemented or in the process of being implemented.
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Premier Wen Jiabao had a meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA last September and charted the course for further growth of bilateral relations. I think this relationship is good, and can be even better compared with the expectation of the leaders and the people of both countries.
I wish to make a special mention to a recent event as a symbol of China-Bulgaria friendship. As the situation in Libya deteriorated, the Chinese government organized an all-out evacuation campaign, and successfully evacuated 35,860 Chinese nationals out of Libya after working round the clock for nine days and eight nights.
We also received friendly assistance from Bulgaria in this process, as 10 Chinese citizens left Libya onboard the special plane of the Bulgarian government. I want to take this opportunity to thank the government and people of Bulgaria again for this testament of friendship.
The recent years have seen smooth progress in economic cooperation and trade between China and Bulgaria. Many Chinese companies have invested in Bulgaria, including large companies like Huawei Technology, ZTE and Great Wall Motor as well as some small and medium sized private companies. For instance, Wiscom System and Polar Photovoltaics jointly built a solar power station in Ihtiman, which is already on grid.
Since the beginning of this year, a number of Chinese companies have come to Bulgaria to seek cooperation in wind power and solar power projects. Shanghai, Guangdong and other localities in China have also shown an unprecedented interest in Bulgaria in infrastructure, renewable energy and local specialties. I hope cooperation in these areas will materialize and bring more tangible benefits to our peoples.
TsarSamuil: Bbq is basic slavic right
Aug 3, 2018 10:18:31 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: @ussrstrong: I blame general low activity on social medias, all the people sit there today
Oct 10, 2018 12:53:50 GMT -5
reznik: @proto-Orchid: very true. What's worse, is that the system is designed specifically to keep those people dormant in their echo chambers. Nothing new to learn for them there, just stupid cat videos and such. Sad.
Oct 14, 2018 5:48:26 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Its the substitute for going out, meeting and spending your time with friends in real life. Its just part of the story. When I was younger I remember people were meeting to play team sports, but today you see completely autistic people jogging with iPhone.
Oct 14, 2018 18:18:38 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Then they come back home, put pictures on Instagram or Facebook to show off how they spent their time jogging, and as mental satisfaction they get few likes or hearts, or whatever social medias have today, which is a measure of how good their life is. Sick
Oct 14, 2018 18:21:43 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: Sto Latz! Today marks 100 years of Polska! May there be 100 more! Wish I could have gone to the Independence March to celebrate this year, of all years. Theres always the next one to look forward to...
Nov 11, 2018 6:56:57 GMT -5
prawiomir: Hello. : )
Nov 25, 2018 17:19:11 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: The latest flare up in the Ukraine-Russia conflict is painful to watch. Two brothers pit against one-another by foriegn elites, for what? Money and power... Sad.
Nov 30, 2018 3:17:07 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Seems like its loosing momentum? lets hope...
Dec 29, 2018 9:15:04 GMT -5
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To Ms. Yuliya Ryaskina Please place this email to concerning Managemen
Feb 27, 2019 23:01:32 GMT -5
Marcinko: Looking for contacts to research Marcinko name in Slovakia.
Jun 3, 2019 0:37:57 GMT -5
White Cossack: Nikolov, my dear.. What's up
Jul 28, 2019 9:08:27 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Bought a 3rd book shelf, for some reason I'm crazy about buying lots of books..
Aug 12, 2019 15:49:41 GMT -5
kooratz: I don't shout , it's considered rude, here in the US. I do shout a few things though, for one, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, IS RUINING OUR NATION!
Sept 13, 2019 20:32:33 GMT -5
imgur.com/a/IsoPl Kozacke Riesenie ak chceme prevziat vladu musime dat narodu ,viacej nez sluby.Musime im dat zaruku ze nasa vlada nebude ovladat ludi,ale ze bude sluzit narodu.Tato zaruka bude
Nov 28, 2019 11:30:45 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: A guy keeps spamming casino links every day, I have to ban him constantly, I wonder what his post count would be otherwise, approaching mine?
Jan 10, 2020 14:27:01 GMT -5
Borrka: Anybody here? Where are the old regulars!?
Mar 15, 2020 10:48:19 GMT -5
Bully: On FB, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok etc.
Apr 19, 2020 4:29:09 GMT -5
gioblack94: Hello,I'm the representative of the Bulgarians and the main coordinator of Bulgaria of a movement called:"The slavic movement".Our mission is to create a slavic union and we welcome everybody who wants to join our cause:https://discord.gg/gMh2Zm
May 18, 2020 9:10:02 GMT -5