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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Xinhua News Agency

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Chinese Exports Accelerate Even as Trade War Escalates

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world's two major economic powers ramp up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on Aug. 23.In a statement on its official website late on Wednesday, China's commerce ministry criticised the U.S.

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China Blames U.S. for "largest-scale trade war"

China says forced to respond to U.S. tariffs. The United States and China slapped tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion worth of each other's imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the "largest-scale trade war" as the world's two biggest economies sharply escalated their conflict. Hours before Washington's deadline for the tariffs to take effect, U.S. President Donald Trump upped the ante, warning that the United States may ultimately target over $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the total amount of U.S. imports from China last year.

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Asian Shares, Oil Fall as US-China Trade Spat Escalates

Asian shares fell to a 2-1/2 week low on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump cranked up trade tensions by going ahead with tariffs on Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to immediately respond in kind.Fears of a global trade war added to pressure on oil prices, which extended Friday's big fall, while the dollar retreated from near 3-week highs against the safe haven yen.Spreadbetters suggested a subdued start for European shares, with FTSE futures off about 0.1 percent. U.S.

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China Busts Gangs Smuggling Scrap Steel

Customs in China's southeastern Fujian province broke up five gangs smuggling scrap steel in a late-night operation on Monday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.A total of 28 criminal suspects were held in Xiamen, Quanzhou and other cities in the coordinated operation, in which 3,237 tonnes of scrap steel was seized.The gangs had been buying the scrap in China, the world's biggest steel producer, since 2017 and sending it to Southeast Asian countries, Xinhua said.Amount of scrap smuggled was put at around 50,000 tonnes, worth some 78 million yuan ($12.2 million), as gangs sought to cash

U.S., China Stumble into the Thucydides Trap: Kemp

The United States and China have fired the opening shots in a trade war that may be hard to stop. Washington has published a target list of 1,300 items imported from China worth an estimated $50 billion that would be hit with an extra tariff of 25 percent (“Notice of determination”, USTR, April 3). Beijing has responded with a target list of 106 items imported from the United States worth a similar amount that would be hit by the same ad valorem tariff (“China retaliates for U.S. tariffs”, Reuters, April 4).

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China Hammers US Goods with Tariffs

China has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, escalating a dispute between the world's biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminium and steel. The tariffs, to take effect on Monday, were announced late on Sunday by China's finance ministry and matched a list of possible tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by China on March 23. Soon after the announcement, an editorial…

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Expanded Shanghai Port Starts Trial Operations

Shanghai Yangshan port, the world's busiest container port, has completed the latest part of its fourth-phase expansion for pilot operation, state media reported on Sunday. The port on Sunday started operating the newly installed 10 bridge cranes, 40 rail cranes and 50 automated guiding vehicles, Xinhua news agency reported without saying when the expanded part of the port is expected to be fully operational. State television hailed Shanghai Yangshan as the world's largest automated port.

South China Sea Disputed Areas Map courtesy AFP

Vietnam Urges "Fair" Ruling from Court Handling S. China Sea Case

Vietnam has called for an international tribunal in The Hague to deliver a "fair and objective" ruling in an arbitration case lodged by the Philippines that challenges China's expansive claims in the South China Sea. In a carefully worded statement two days after the court announced July 12 as the verdict date, Vietnam's foreign ministry said it hoped the ruling would provide a basis for peacefully resolving rows. Vietnam is not a direct party to the case but stands to gain if the verdict favours Manila.

CNOOC's LNG imports. Photo:Xinhua

China's CNOOC Expands Fujian LNG Terminal

China's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer CNOOC has started building two storage tanks at a receiving terminal in Fujian province for the super-chilled fuel, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The new tanks are part of a plan to increase the receiving capacity at the terminal in the southeast coastal province to 6.3 million tonnes a year, Xinhua said. The tanks are each able to store 160,000 m3 of LNG are part of a $3.7 billion in LNG projects that the Fujian government plans for the province to supply city gas to Fuxhou, Putian, Quanzhour, Xiamen and Zangzhou.

Photo Courtesy: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Indonesia Blows Up 23 Foreign Fishing Boats

Indonesian authorities sank 23 foreign fishing boats on Tuesday (Apr 5), saying they were "operating illegally in the archipelago's vast waters in continuation efforts for anti-poaching", China's Xinhua news agency reported. Indonesian coast guard authorities blew up 23 foreign vessels this week after charging them with fishing illegally in the country’s waters, bringing the number of vessels destroyed by the Government under the policy to more than 170. Maritime and Fisheries…

China's Yangtze River Map Wikipedia

China Braces for "Severe" Flooding on Yangtze River

Severe floods are expected on China's Yangtze River this year due to a strong El Nino weather pattern, state media said, raising the risk of deaths and damage to property and crops along the country's longest waterway. The El Nino conditions are the strongest since records collection began in 1951, and resemble a 1998 weather pattern that flooded the river and killed thousands, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday, citing vice minister of water resources, Liu Ning. "Precipitation in the upper…

Image: Piraeus Port Authority

Greece Okay's China's Cosco Improved Bid

The state privatization fund Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) of Greece has accepted a “significantly improved” offer from China’s Cosco Group for the state’s majority stake in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP). “HRADF’s board of directors accepted the improved offer made by COSCO Group (Hong Kong) Ltd in the context of the tender for the sale of the 67 percent of Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) shares,” an HRADF statement said. The Chinese group submitted on Wednesday…

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Ship Carrying 458 People Sinks in Yangtze River

A passenger ship carrying 458 people sank in the Yangtze River in central China after encountering what the rescued captain said was a storm and strong winds, the government’s Xinhua News Agency reported. The ship, which departed from the eastern Chinese city Nanjing and is bound for Chongqing Municipality in southwest China, sank "within one or two minutes" after being caught in a cyclone, according to the ship's captain and chief engineer. The accident occurred at the Damazhou waterway in the middle reaches of Yangtze River, according to the Changjiang Maritime Safety Administration (MSA).

 Map showing disputed territory in the South China Sea. Credit: NPR.org

China Slams G7 Criticism on South China Seas

China has strongly hit out at the G7 nations for blaming it for tensions in East and South China seas, warning that the country is ready to respond if its sovereign rights and territorial integrity are infringed. Beijing accused G7 members of bias, ignoring the facts and irresponsibility as it rejected a statement made by the group targeting, but not naming, China over maritime tensions. "What the G7 members have said and done are too far from the facts," Hong Lei, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Chinese Premier to Attend Europe Summit, sign Russia Energy Deal

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend a summit of European and Asian leaders on a trip starting next week that will also include a visit to Germany and the signing of energy and high-speed rail deals with Russia, the government and state media said. Li's Oct. 9-16 swing through the continent is the second this year, and culminates in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in the Italian city of Milan, the foreign ministry said in a statement. It comes as the former British colony of Hong Kong has been rocked by pro-democracy demonstrations…

Photo: Xinhua

Shanghai 6th Best Shipping Center Globally

Shanghai has moved up the rankings of the world’s top shipping centers to sixth place, surpassing Dubai thanks to Free Trade Zone regulations and the Belt and Road Initiative, according to a report and index looking at the importance of the world’s key shipping centers. The Xinhua-Baltic Exchange International Shipping Centers Index 2015 was jointly published Friday by Xinhua News Agency and the London-based Baltic Exchange, an independent provider of ocean freight index. The…

China Port Blast: Photo taken from a youtube video

China to Investigate Deadly Port Blast

Chiness president Xi Jinping promised a “thorough investigation” after huge explosions in the world’s 10th largest port- Tianjin - killing at least 50 people and disrupting operations. The Chinese government faces pressure to reveal the mystery chemical or explosives. The cause for the blasts is being investigated by China while top foreign and local companies are assessing the damages caused to them. A team of 217 nuclear and biochemical materials specialists from the Chinese military began work at the site on Thursday, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Image: Youtube Video

Tianjin Port Death Toll Rises to 114

Rescue crews have found 114 bodies, with 95 people still missing, 85 of whom are firefighters, after two huge explosions  China’s Port of Tianjin where dangerous chemicals and goods are stored late Wednesday night, Xinhua news agency reports. Chinese authorities are still trying to ascertain what exactly caused a potent mix of chemicals to ignite. Authorities had earlier said that the warehouse contained calcium carbide, potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate. The local media say that hundreds of tonnes of highly poisonous cyanide were being stored at the warehouse.

Rescuers work at the accident site after a coal mine collapsed in Tiechanggou township, China's Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi

16 Die in Coal Mine Accident in China

Sixteen workers were killed after a coal mine collapsed in China's far western region of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, highlighting the poor safety standards in the world's biggest coal producing country. The accident occurred in the regional capital of Urumqi on Friday night when 33 workers were underground, the report said citing local officials. Eleven workers were injured and six escaped, it added. The report did not identify the name of the coal mine and said the cause of the accident is being investigated.

Map by UNESCO

British Maritime Industry Eyes China’s One Belt, One Road Plan

China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and Economic Belt development vision has takers in UK maritime sector, reports Xinhua News Agency. Both countries expected to improve bilateral maritime cooperation in the "Belt and Road" initiative, chairman of Maritime London Lord Mountevans said. ‘All maritime roads lead to London’ stated moderator Doug Barrow, chief executive of promotional body Maritime London, organiser of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) event. CMA CGM, the third biggest container operator globally…

Lu Wei, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China speaks at the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Forum. Photo: Chinese Government

China Rolls Out International Undersea Cable with ASEAN, Plans Information Harbor

China is building its first international undersea cable that will carry information and data flow between the country and the ASEAN nations, says Xinhuanet. Its also setting up Information Harbor for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The government run China Unicom, one of the main telecommunications providers in the country, is cooperating with Myanmar's telecommunications operators to build the underwater cable, said Jiang Zhengxin, vice general manager of China United Telecommunications Corp, parent of China Unicom.

Maritime claims in the South China Sea Image by Wikipedia

China Completes lighthouses construction in disputed South China Sea

China has completed the construction of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as tensions in the region mount over Beijing's maritime ambitions. A completion ceremony was held for the lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef in the Spratly islands, Xinhua said late on Friday. The United States and the Philippines have opposed the construction. China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year…

Li Keqiang, Premier of the People's Republic of China

China, Kazakhstan to Ink $10 bln in Deals

China is expected to sign 30 cooperative agreements worth $10 billion with Kazakhstan as Premier Li Keqiang begins his first official visit to the country, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday. Xinhua did not give details, but quoted Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping as highlighting a joint-venture logistics base and urging interconnectivity with highways, railways, ports, air routes, oil and gas pipelines. "The Sino-Kazakh cooperation is developing rapidly.

Tug boat tragedy

21 dead, 1 missing after tug sinks in Yangtze

Chinese authorities have confirmed that 21 people were killed and one is still missing after a tug boat undergoing sea trials sank in the Yangtze River, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday. The boat had 25 people on board when it sank on Thursday and three were rescued. Xinhua reported on Friday that seven or eight foreigners were on the boat, including citizens of Singapore and Japan. A French citizen may also have been among the missing. Sembcorp Marine Ltd…

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China's COSCO Group Returns to Profit

China Ocean Shipping Group Co (COSCO) returned to profit in 2014 after three years of losses, state media said on Saturday, citing an interview with the group's chairman. The state-backed shipping conglomerate, which controls China COSCO Holdings Co Ltd , had a profit of 5.04 billion yuan ($809.26 million) last year, said Ma Zehua, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Operating revenues were up 2 percent year-on-year, said Xinhua without providing a figure, while COSCO's asset to liability ratio fell 4.4 percentage points to 55.4 percent at the end of 2014.

Piracy in Somali Basin Surges

According to a May 14 report from the Xinhua News Agency, The European Union (EU) naval force protecting shipping off Somalia said that the number of pirate ships operating between the Seychelles and the Somali coast has skyrocketed in the last three months. The EU force, along with NATO and others, has interrupted and dismantled over 60 pirate groups and processed roughly 400 suspected pirates in the last 12 weeks alone -- three times the number of piracy groups recorded last year according to an EU NAVFOR official. (Source: Xinhua News Agency)