H.E. Mr. Hu Zhangliang

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Sierra Leone                                     

The international community has been closely following the China-US economic and trade relations. Many Sierra Leonean friends also want to know about the truth. On 2nd June, 2019, the Chinese government issueda White Paper named China’s Position on the China-US Economic and Trade Consultations. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce what happened to the economic and trade relations between China and the United States.

  1. The US government while Trumpeting “America First” provoked the Economic and trade friction with China, which damages the interests of both countries and of the wider world

The current US administration has adopted a series of unilateral and protectionist measures, regularly wielded tariffs as a “big stick” and coerced other countries into accepting its demands. It has initiated frequent investigations against its main trading partners, causing disruption to the global economic and trade landscape. In August 2017, it launched a unilateral investigation under Section 301, issued a myriad of slanted and negative observations, and imposed additional tariffs and investment restrictions on China, provoking economic and trade friction between the two countries.

The three alleged main reasons for the US to provoke a trade war against China include: First, China has a large trade surplus with the US; second, China does not comply with WTO commitments; third, China acquires US technology through unfair means. But through simple analysis, one can easily find out that these three reasons are groundless or even absurd. First, the issue of trade balance is the result of international division of labor and global value chain distribution, and it cannot be discussed merely from a bilateral perspective. In 2017, China's current account surplus accounted for only about 1.4% of GDP, and in 2018 it was 0.1% to 0.2%, which is balanced basically. China maintainstrade surplus with the United States, but maintaining a deficit with other countries such as Japan etc..Second, the World Trade Organization and international community have given positive evaluations on China's WTO commitments. The US criticizes China for having not fully fulfilled her WTO commitments, but at the same time it has initiated trade sanctions against China according to its domestic laws, which is a clear violation of the WTO rules.

What should be pointed out in particular is that the US’s accusation of China’s intellectual property protection is also baseless. China attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property and has established an intellectual property legal system that conforms to international rules and adapts to China's national conditions.China attaches great importance to the leading role of judicial protection of intellectual property and has achieved remarkable results. The awareness of intellectual property protection among the Chinese people and enterprises has increased remarkably, the fees for the payment of intellectual property have been greatly increased, and the number of intellectual property applications and registrations has grown rapidly. The effectiveness of intellectual property protection in China has been widely recognized.

By imposing additional tariffs on Chinese goods exported to the US, the US administration impeded the two-way trade and investment cooperation and undermined market confidence and economic stability in the two countries as well as globally. The tariff measures have not boosted American economic growth. Instead, they have significantly increased production costs for US companies, led to domestic price hikes in the US, and had a negative impact on the livelihood of US citizens. A joint report by the US Chamber of Commerce and the Rhodium Group in March 2019 showed that, under the impact of China-US economic and trade friction, US GDP in 2019 and the next four years could decrease by US$64-91 billion per year, about 0.3-0.5 percent of total US GDP.

The trade protectionist measures taken by the US administration damage the multilateral trading system, seriously disrupt global industrial chains and supply chains, undermine market confidence, and pose a major threat to global economic recovery and sustainable increase.

  1. The China-US economic and trade consultations have experienced setbacks as the USrepeatedly breaches consensus and commitments.

China had advocated resolving economic and trade friction through negotiation and consultation from the very beginning. So far China has held 11 rounds of high-level economic and trade consultations with the US, demonstrating great goodwill and positive efforts.

However, the US government backtracked at least three times and tore up the consultation conclusions. The first backtracking: In early February when the two sides made consultations on trade imbalance among other major issues and made substantial progress as they reached preliminary consensus on expanding China’s imports of agricultural and energy products from the US.However, On March 22, 2018, the US government unveiled the so-called report on Section 301 investigation of China, falsely accusing China of “IP theft” and “forced technology transfer”, and subsequently announced an additional tariff of 25 percent on US$50 billion of Chinese exports to the US.

The second backtracking: On May 19, 2018, China and the US issued a joint statement, agreeing to refrain from fighting a trade war, to continue high-level communications, and to actively seek solutions to respective economic and trade concerns. The US publicly announced that it would suspend the plan for additional tariffs on Chinese goods.But on May 29, 2018, despite the opposition of its domestic business community and the general public, the US administration tore up the consensus just ten days after the joint statement, gratuitously criticized China’s economic system and trade policy and announced the resumption of the tariff program. Starting from early July 2018, in three steps, the US imposed additional tariffs of 25 percent on Chinese exports worth US$50 billionand additional tariffs of 10 percent on US$200 billion of Chinese exports, which, according to the US, would be raised to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.

The third backtracking: On December 1 the two heads of state had a meeting on the margins of the G20 Summit in Argentina. In accordance with the important consensus on economic and trade issues reached by them, the two sides agreed to halt new additional tariffs for 90 days to allow for intensive talks geared toward the full elimination of all additional tariffs. In the ensuing 90 days, the working teams of China and the US held three rounds of high-level consultations in Beijing and Washington D.C., reaching preliminary consensus on many matters of principle for the China-US economic and trade deal. But the more the US governmentwas offered, the more it wanted. With intimidation and coercion, on May 6, 2019, the US irresponsibly accused China of backtracking on her position with a view to shifting the blame for the inconclusive talks onto China. Despite China’s fierce opposition, the US raised the additional tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese exports to the US from 10 percent to 25 percent, which represented a serious setback to the economic and trade consultations. On May 13 the US announced that it had launched procedures to slap additional tariffs on the remaining Chinese goods, which worth around US$300 billion.

The US government should bear the sole and entire responsibility for this severe setback to the China-US economic and trade consultations. The US government’s accusation of backtracking levelled against China is totally call white black and black white. Historical experience has proven that any attempt to force a deal through tactics such as smears, undermining and maximum pressure will only spoil the cooperative relationship andlet go historic opportunities.

  1. China is committed to credible consultations based on equality and mutual benefit in order to safeguard common economic stability and development

Chinese government rejects the idea that threats of a trade war and continuous tariff hikes can ever help resolve trade and economic issues. The two countries should push forward consultations on the basis of equality, credibility, mutual respect, mutual benefit and good faith.

It is only natural for China and the US, the two largest economies and trading nations in the world, to experience some differences over trade and economic cooperation. China and US should enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation and manage differences. For the good of the common interests of the two countries and global trade order, both sides should resolve issues through dialogue and consultation,  respect the other’s core interestsand major concerns. It also means that one side should not cross the other’s “red lines”.The right to development for a country cannot be sacrificed, still the less can sovereignty be undermined.

Consultation calls for mutual understanding and genuine effort from both sides. Only by engagement with goodwill and a full understanding of the other’s position cansuccess be achieved. Otherwise, it will be hard to reach a sustainable and enforceable deal.The Chinese government has engaged inconsultations with the US with the utmost credibility and the greatest sincerity. But China will not accept any agreement that is arbitrarilyimposed on her.

  1. China will not give ground on issues of principle and China’s development will not be held back by any kind of challenges

Every country has its own matters of principle. During consultations, a country’s sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and any agreement reached by the two sides must be based on equality and mutual benefit. On major issues of principle, China will not back down. Both China and the US should see and recognize the differences between them in national development and the stage of development.Both sides should respect each other’s development path and basic systems and institutions.

China’s development may not be all smooth sailing, it will inevitably face various risks and challenges. But China is confident of meeting challenges head on, turning risks into opportunitiesand opening new chapters. China remains committed to its own cause no matter how the external environment changes. The fundamental solution to economic and trade tensions is to grow stronger through reform and opening up. With the enormous demand from the domestic market and deeper supply-side structural reform, the competitiveness of Chinese products and companieswill be comprehensively enhanced. China still has sufficient room for fiscal and monetary policy maneuvers. China can maintain sound momentum for sustainable and healthy economic developmentand enjoys bright prospects.

            A sound economic and trade relationship between China and the US meets the fundamental interests of the two peoplesand matters to the prosperity and stability of the world. Over the past 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China-US bilateral economic and trade cooperation has developed from small to large and from single dimension to multi-dimension, because China and the US have seized the historical opportunity of world economic integration and trade and investment liberalization as well as tapping into the enormous complementary advantages of the two economies.

            As His Excellency President Xi Jinping pointed out, cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US. It is hoped that the US can return to rationality, meet China in half way, pursue the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, manage differences, strengthen cooperation, and jointly promote the stable and healthy development of China-US trade and economicrelationsfor the well-being of both countries and the world.

BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- China issued a regulation on the practice scope of environment damage judicial expertise institutions and individuals, according to the Ministry of Justice Wednesday.

The regulation classified the practice scope into seven categories including the identification of contaminants and damage identification of air pollution, surface water and sediment, soil and underground water, coastal water, coastal zones and the ecosystem as well as other environmental problems.

Crucial parts in environment damage judicial expertise were clarified, such as the damage identification of animals and plants, damage to human health and damage to the ecosystem caused by air pollution, according to the regulation.

The regulation, issued by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, consists of 51 articles within eight chapters.

There are 111 institutions and over 2,500 appraisers for environment damage judicial expertise at present in China, said the Ministry of Justice.

China to strengthen credit checks of individuals, businesses

BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- China will strengthen credit checks of individuals and businesses and cut their evidentiary burden when applying for government approval or registration.

Under a pilot program initiated by the Ministry of Justice, the applicants will only need to promise that they meet the government requirements and be willing to bear legal liability for false information, instead of presenting related certificates or proof as required previously.

The administrative organs will directly handle the applications and examine their credentials in their database later, according to a plan for the pilot issued by the ministry.

Applicants who have poor credit records or make false promises may still need to submit the documents required for their applications, according to a ministry official.

Administrative organs will need to carefully check if the applicants keep their promises, according to the official, who added that those making false promises would be blacklisted.

The pilot program will run for half a year in 13 provincial-level regions and five departments under the country's cabinet, according to the plan.

9 IS militants killed in security operation in western Iraq

BAGHDAD, May 15 (Xinhua) -- A total of nine Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Wednesday in an operation by Iraqi forces in the western province of Anbar, the Iraqi military said.

The Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), backed by Iraqi and international coalition aircraft, conducted airdrop operations in a desert area in Anbar, a media office affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

The troops killed nine IS militants and destroyed their headquarters, as well as tunnels and caches of weapons and explosives, the statement said, adding the operation is still underway.

IS militants are still active in the vast Anbar desert which stretches to the border with neighboring countries of Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as many civilians have been kidnapped or killed by the extremist group recently.

The security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.

IS remnants, however, have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.

China encourages enterprises to enhance innovation capabilities

BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- China will further support local enterprises to increase their innovation capabilities as the country is embracing a new round of industrial reform and aiming for high-quality development, according to an executive meeting of the State Council.

The meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang Tuesday called for better use of fiscal and financial policies to inspire enterprises to enhance their input on research and development (R&D).

Preferential tax policies such as making R&D expenditures tax-deductible will be optimized while venture capitals are encouraged to further support corporate innovation.

Financial institutions are encouraged to provide more medium- and long-term loans to the manufacturing industry to facilitate business innovation.

In an effort to promote industrial transformation and upgrading and gain control of key and core technology, the country hopes to make its manufacturing industry more intelligent, environment-friendly and service-oriented as well as better integrate new infrastructure facilities such as Industrial Internet with technical advancements from the manufacturing sector.

The meeting noted that innovative resources like major scientific research facilities and basic research platforms should be more open to enterprises, and the commercialization of scientific and technological achievements must accelerate.

Enterprises are also encouraged to carry out international cooperation for innovation and participate in the development and revision of certain international standards, the meeting said.

KAMPALA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The Ugandan government said here Wednesday that Chinese-constructed Isimba and Karuma hydro power plants will reduce the generation tariff in the east African country by 17.45 percent.

Once the two power plants are commissioned and the power fully utilized, the generation tariff will reduce from the current 6.47 U.S. cents/kWh to 5.34 cents/kWh, said a statement of Uganda's ministry of energy and mineral development.

The 183MW Isimba Hydro Power Plant was commissioned in March while the 600MW Karuma Hydro Power Plant is under construction.

Uganda currently has a total installed generation capacity of 1,202MW, according to the ministry figures.

Roundup: African swine fever spreads to S. Vietnam as urgent measures being taken

HANOI, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The first three provinces in Vietnam's southern region, including the country's biggest pig-raising hub, have hit by African swine fever (ASF), forcing authorities and farmers to take urgent measures to curb the disease.

The presence of recent ASF outbreaks in the three southern provinces of Dong Nai, BinhPhuoc and HauGiang has shown the strong spread and the high danger of the animal disease, online newspaper Dang Cong San Viet Nam (Communist Party of Vietnam) under management of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee's Commission for Education and Information reported on Wednesday.

According to the HauGiang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, an ASF outbreak was reported in HauGiang's Chau Thanh district on May 14, after two outbreaks were detected in the province's Vi Thuy district on May 5 and April 11. HauGiang is the first province in the southwestern region, or the Mekong Delta, hit by ASF.

In HauGiang, over 15,000 households currently raise pigs with a total pig population of some 160,000, said the provincial department.

The first ASF outbreak in BinhPhuoc, a province in the southeastern region, was reported on May 8, among a group of seven pigs raised by a household in Dong Phu district. After that, two outbreaks were detected in the same district.

Dong Nai, Vietnam's biggest pig-raising locality with some 2.5 million pigs, spotted the first ASF outbreak on April 24 in Trang Bom district, and since then it has seen two more affected districts, local online newspaper VnExpress on May 13.

To date, five communes of three districts of Dong Nai have been stricken by ASF, leading to the forced culling of over 800 pigs,VnExpress quoted Vo Van Chanh, vice chairman of the provincial People's Committee, as saying.

"In March, seeing the spread of ASF in the northern and central regions, I decided to sell all 1,300 pigs. Then I planned to raise pigs again if the disease did not spread to Dong Nai, but now I have to leave my pigsties empty for a longer period of time," Nguyen Hieu, a farm owner in Trang Bom, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Since the first ASF outbreak was detected in early February in northern Hung Yen province, the disease has so far spread to 29 localities nationwide, mostly in northern and central regions.

ASF had occurred in 2,296 communes in 204 districts of 29 cities and provinces as of May 12 in Vietnam with more than 1.2 million pigs, or over 4 percent of the country's total pig population, being infected with the disease and culled, Vietnam News Agency quoted the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as saying on Monday.

Regarding possible reasons for the spread of ASF in Vietnam, both foreign and local experts said authorities have been making great efforts to strictly control the transport and trading pigs and pig products in areas with ASF outbreaks, but the efforts should be bigger.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health sent a delegation of experts to Vietnam to assess the situation of ASF in the country, Vietnam News Agency reported on March 19. The experts noted that low biosecurity and the habit of using kitchen leftover as pig feed of small pig-raising households are factors behind the disease's spread.

Local online newspaper Dan Tri (People's Knowledge) has quoted Vietnam's Department of Animal Health as saying that some Vietnamese people have not been aware of the danger of ASW, and wanted to secure their personal benefits, so they have not culled and buried infected pigs as required, but secretly slaughtered, transported and traded them, leading to the spread of the animal disease.

To cope with the ASF spread, the Vietnamese government has assigned and instructed relevant ministries, agencies and localities nationwide to take urgent measures.

During a teleconference held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung requested the involvement of the entire political system in the fight against ASF, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The deputy prime minister assigned the Agriculture Ministry to issue documents guiding the slaughter of pigs in affected areas under the supervision of veterinary agencies, and to partner with ministries and agencies concerned to outline policies to support farmers and businesses who have had their inflected pigs culled.

He also asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to work with ministries, agencies, and provincial People's Committees to purchase and slaughter pigs for cold storage to balance pork supply during the remaining months of this year.

Cities and provinces nationwide will be guided on how to build five national quarantine stations to ensure requirements for animal transportation in major localities along the north-south highway.

After Dong Nai was hit by ASF, Ho Chi Minh City has strengthened operations of inter-sectoral inspection delegations, and established three more checkpoints in areas bordering Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces, a leader of the Thu Duc Animal Quarantine Station in the city's Thu Duc district, told Xinhua. 

Quotes of the Day from Xinhua World News, May 15

NEW YORK -- Tariff increases are "damaging tactics that amount to nothing more than a tax on American families and their children."

Washington's tariff hikes against Chinese imports would inflict irreparable harm on American consumers and businesses, U.S. Toy Association said Tuesday.

 CANBERRA -- "I am not running for pope; I am running for prime minister," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Bill Shorten, leader of the Australian Labor Party, on Tuesday demanded that Morrison state his personal view on whether homosexuals go to hell, declaring that Australia needed a "prime minister for all people."

WASHINGTON -- "I have no idea why. But it seems very unfair to me."

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that it was "very unfair" for the Senate Intelligence Committee to subpoena his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., to testify for a second time about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

BAGHDAD -- "Neither the United States nor Iran want war and Iraq is in contact with both."

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Tuesday said Iran and the United States are not willing to enter a war, and Iraq is seeking to solve the crisis.

JUBA -- "I hope that this kind of result will motivate the parties to work even harder to implement the agreement because they can see clearly that their people have a keen desire for peace and support their efforts," David Shearer, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, said.

At least 70 percent of South Sudanese are feeling safe living in the country after the warring parties signed the revitalized peace agreement last year to end more than five years of conflict, a UN survey launched on Wednesday reveals.

Ethiopia hosts World Economic Forum on Africa next year

ADDIS ABABA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government on Wednesday signed an agreement with the World Economic Forum to host the World Economic Forum on Africa, which is slated for September next year.

The agreement was signed between the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President of the World Economic Forum, BorgeBrende, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Wednesday, the Ethiopian Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

The agreement between the Ethiopian government and the World Economic Forum came after the Ethiopian PM expressed his country's interest to host the regional edition of the forum during his meeting with the founder of World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab on the margins of this year's World Economic Forum held in January in Davos, Switzerland.

New batch of refugees leaves Syria's Rukban camp for gov't areas

DAMASCUS, May 15 (Xinhua) -- A new batch of civilians left the battered Rukban camp in southern Syria and reached government areas in central Syria on Wednesday, state news agency SANA reported.

Dozens of families arrived at the Jlaighim crossing in Homs Province from Rukban in the al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria near the Jordanian border.

It's the latest batch to leave the camp and reach government areas.

However, the evacuation of civilians from Rukban is going on slowly because of the presence of the U.S. forces in the al-Tanf area, SANA noted.

It also accused U.S.-backed rebels and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces of besieging the civilians in the camp.

The Rukban camp is home to 50,000 displaced Syrians, who are suffering from the harsh humanitarian situation because of the cold weather and lack of supplies.

Nigerian gov't forces kill 12 bandits in air strike

LAGOS, May 15 (Xinhua) -- An air strike launched by Nigerian government forces killed 12 armed bandits in Kamuku forest in the restive northern state of Kaduna, the military said on Wednesday.

The military operation on Tuesday also facilitated the release of 15 kidnapped victims, said IbikunleDaramola, spokesperson of the Nigerian Air Force.

He said the air strikes made the bandits to flee the location in disarray, thereby enabling the kidnapped victims to escape.

The spokesman assured that the military would continue to work with other security agencies to sustain its operations to flush bandits out of the restive northwest.

Criminal gangs involved in armed robbery, kidnapping, castle rustling have for many years used Kamuku forest, which borders Niger, ZamfaraKebbi and Kastina states, as a hideout.

Bandits suspected to be cattle rustlers have killed hundreds of people in villages across the northwest region. Several villages have been razed by the attackers who also kidnap for ransom. 

Uganda faces adverse effects of climate change

KAMPALA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Uganda is currently facing adverse effects of climate change and the situation, which has led to the loss of lives and property, seems to be worsening, a top government official warned on Tuesday.

Most parts of the country are facing severe food insecurity like in the semi-arid northeastern region also known as Karamoja, said Musa Ecweru, minister of state for refugees and disaster preparedness, while briefing Parliament on the situation in the country.

Eighty-five percent of the population in Karamoja are struggling to have a meal day and are adapting to eating wild fruits, according to him.

Government figures issued early this month indicated that over 3.5 million people in the eastern, northeastern, northern parts of the country and in the cattle corridor were on the verge of starvation.

He attributed this to the unpredictable weather pattern where prolonged dry spells have led to crop failure and affected animals, adding that short and destructive rain season leads to loss of lives and destruction of property.

There are some measures that the country can take to reduce the frequency and severity the intermittent weather patterns, according to Ecweru.

He further urged the country to prepare for climate change adaptation. 

Feature: English town proud to be "Western end of ancient Silk Road in Europe"

by Xinhua writer GuZhenqiu

MACCLESFIELD, Britain, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Walking on the cobbled streets in the center of Macclesfield in northwestern England, people can see historic signs related to "silk" almost everywhere.

Atop a monument, there's a sculpture of a piece of curving silk scarf covering the mouth of a big jar. The word "silk" is enshrined in the names of buildings and restaurants -- "Silk House" and "Silktown Fryer", not to mention the nearby Silk Museum.

With a population of more than 50,000, Macclesfield, located in Cheshire, is considered the Western end of the ancient Silk Road in Europe. It is also known as the "silk capital of England".

Macclesfield, once famous for its weaving industry, is known as the "silk capital of England". On the height of prosperity, a total of 71 silk mills were in operation in 1832. The town has four museums displaying a range of information and products from that period.  Among them, Paradise Mill is a working mill museum which demonstrates the art of silk throwing and Jacquard weaving to the public.

Macclesfield started to import spun silk from China more than 400 years ago, Pete Turner, clerk of Macclesfield Town Council, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

"Macclesfield used to produce the largest amount of finished silk product in the whole Europe," Turner said. "We are proud of being the Western end of the ancient Silk Road in Europe."    

The ancient Silk Road routes stretched from China through south and west Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Greece, Rome, and Britain. It was an ancient network of trade routes that connected the East and West, boosting the exchanges of the Chinese and other civilizations for many centuries.

"The people of Macclesfield are very proud of this silk heritage, with many still referring to Macclesfield as the silk town and the Macclesfield Town football team being known as the Silkmen," Turner said.

At present, the word "silk" continues to thread through Macclesfield's identity. Even the town's ring road is called The Silk Road.

In most of the gift shops in the town center, about three and a half hours driving from downtown London, the real ancient Silk Road is featured on tea cups and towels. A camel and a silk yarn were printed in a towel along a sketch ancient Silk Road map that starts from China and ends in England. 

By the narrow gate of her store, a woman shopkeeper was explaining to a customer: "In ancient times, camels carried goods overland to Europe along the Silk Road. And Chinese silk and tea were shipped to England across the English Channel."

"The Silk Road has been used for trade for thousands of years, and runs from Xi'an in (northwest) China to Macclesfield," reads a handwritten sentence printed on the towel. "Macclesfield became the biggest producer of finished silk goods in the world."

"I know the Silk Road," a six-year-old girl, whose name is Tracy, told Xinhua with her beaming mother by her side. "It begins in China, and camels and ships carried silk and tea to our country. It's very far and very difficult."

Turner, who has never been to China, is looking forward to a visit to the Asian country in the future and welcome more Chinese investment in the town, especially after Britain leaves the European Union. China is the source of silk that became the backbone of the town's economy over the past centuries.

"Macclesfield remains a thriving commercial town, home to global pharmaceutical and bio-med giant Astra Zeneca," he said. "Macclesfield also boasts a large number of creative industry businesses, working in design, promotion and production."

"We welcome working with Chinese organizations in the future and are happy to meet with delegates," he added.

British consumer credit complaints soar in FY 2018-19: watchdog

LONDON, May 15 (Xinhua) -- British complaints on consumer credit products and services grew by 89 percent in the fiscal year 2018-2019, which ended on March 31, according to an annual review released Wednesday by a financial watchdog.

The number of complaints on banking and credit reached 149,933 in the year 2018 to 2019, accounting for 39 percent of overall new complaints, according to data provided by Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), a British watchdog for settling disputes between consumers and financial service providers.

Meanwhile, consumer complaints on credit products and services rose by 89 percent in the financial year, compared with the same period one year earlier, which included soaring complaints on payday loans, installment loans and guarantor loans, up 130 percent, 360 percent and 152 percent, respectively.

"The past 12 months have been our busiest for five years. People brought more than 388,000 complaints to our service -- up 14 percent on the year before," said Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and chief executive of FOS.

"One of the trends behind them is the rise in complaints about consumer credit products and services -- which grew by a further 89 percent, following last year's 40 percent increase," Wayman added.

She said leaving customers struggling with unsustainable debt was unacceptable, and that it was vital to not "allow history to repeat itself." 

Chinese vice president meets Cambodian king

BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan on Wednesday met with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, who is here for the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations.

Noting that the two countries share profound traditional friendship, Wang said the bilateral relationship is at its best in history under the leadership of the two heads of state.

Asian countries should enhance cultural confidence, strive hand-in-hand for new development of Asia, and jointly build a community with a shared future for humanity, Wang said.

Sihamoni said the Cambodian side is willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in various areas and push forward bilateral relations to achieve further progress in the new era.

 

 

 

 

 

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Amb.Huaddressing participants during the opening ceremony, Health officials on the high table .

Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health, Dr Amara Jambai has says said China has been of immense help to Sierra Leone in the health sector.

He was speaking during a two day training workshop for leadership and management training organised by China CDC in collaboration with MOHS.

Declaring the training open at the Bintumani Hotel yesterday 29th May, Dr Jambai said this training is very important for the leaders in the hospitals because without good leadership, if even the staff has all the skills, they would not be able to overcome any problem.

“During the ebola scourge we were busy fighting ourselves at the beginning because we had no knowledge of what has befallen us.

However, today Sierra Leone health officials now have the experience to combat any outbreak because of the continuous training we have undergone in Public health.”

The CMO said this training of Leadership and Management Training in Global Health Security is one that his ministry is very happy about because it has brought the China and US CDC together with WHO and other partners to work together to help train the leaders in the various hospitals to get them in line for any outbreak in the future.

He called on the various health experts from across the country to take the training seriously and them that China has given the MOHS 29 scholarships in various medical fields to go and train in China.

Ambassador Hu Zhangliang in his address said no country can be totally secure and free of worry, when facing epidemics. He said from the beginning of 2014 to March of 2016, the outbreak of ebola scourge in West Africa was about 27,000 medical cases and more than 11,000 deaths.

“During the Ebola outbreak, China was the first international partner to dispatch health experts and medical aid to help the relevant countries fight against Ebola.

In this process, China donated a Biosafety Level-3 laboratory for disease control and prevention to Sierra Leone.”

The Ambassador said in the past four years, China CDC experts have kept in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone to maintain and run the P3 laboratory, conducted surveillance of the severe pathogens from patients with fever and diarrhea, trained local technical personnel, and provided technical support in the surveillance or emergency response.

“Today's training is one of the most important measures to help local health officers improve their competence and skills in leading and managing their healthcare teams. I'm proud of the contributions made by China CDC to our bilateral public health cooperation and to the promotion of health level of the local people, ”he said.

Ambassador Hu thanked the Ministry of Health and other international partners for their help and support to the Chinese CDC staff in the training, and said since 1973, the Chinese government has 20 batches of medical teams to Sierra Leone.

“Also, China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital and 34 Military Hospital, where China Medical teams have become very important medical workers in the country by helping these two areas develop.”

World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Sierra Leone, Evans Majani Liyosi said for them they are always ready to work with all groups to make sure that such outbreaks are combated.

“The lessons we learnt from the past is what we use to reshape the future and such training is what WHO is looking forward to because it helps prepare the ground for countries and partners to be able to work as a team whenever there is an outbreak.

All players must come onboard and be prepared for cross-border issues because these outbreaks will always spread in the future.”

Dr. Brigette Gleason representing US CDC said the collaboration between them has yielded so much positive results and said they will continue to work together.

“For us we concentrate on two areas – Surveillance and Workforce development, which is why we are happy that this leadership and management training is going. We have worked together in these two areas before and will continue to collaborate to put Sierra Leone in the right position for the future,” he said.

China CDC lead Dr Xiaofeng Liang said the training is in line with what happened in 2014 as they believe that Sierra Leonean doctors must be in the lead with the experience to manage any outbreak in the future.

He said about 30 participants will take part in the training and it will last for two days with facilitators coming from MOHS, China CDC,US CDC and WHO. FrontPage31052019.

 

 

 

New Chinese Ambassador Hu Zhangliang gives his first view of the relationship between China and Sierra Leone saying that the period between late March and early April is mid-spring in China, and it's his real delight to come to work in Sierra Leone again during this beautiful season.

“First of all, I would like to convey the cordial greetings and best wishes from H.E. Xi Jinping, President of China to his counterpart Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone. At the same time, I bring with me good wishes from the Chinese government and people to the government and people of Sierra Leone.”

Amb Hu said China and Sierra Leone enjoy a deep traditional friendship. On July 29, 1971, the two countries formally established diplomatic ties, and over the past 48 years, the bilateral relations have been developing smoothly with close high-level exchanges, deep political mutual trust and fruitful cooperation in economic, social and cultural fields. He said in 2016, China and Sierra Leone established a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

“Over the years, China has always been contributing what she can to help promote peace and stability in Sierra Leone, as well as help Sierra Leone in achieving independent and sustainable development without interfering in their internal affairs. In 2014, China was among the first to assist their Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters in the fight against ebola, demonstrating the true spirit of sharing weal and woe.”

The new Ambassador averred that Sierra Leone has always been firmly adhering to One-China policy and consistently giving its support on issues related to China's core interests and major concerns. The Chinese people will never forget that it was Sierra Leone and other friendly countries that helped China resume its legitimate seat in the United Nations in 1971. In a word, China and Sierra Leone are true, good friends with utmost respect that can go through thick and thin together.

“2018 has been a vital year in the development of Sino-Sierra Leone relationship. In late August and early September last year, President Bio paid a state visit to China and attended the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. The two heads of state held friendly and in-depth talks and reached important consensus on major bilateral issues, which provided political guidance and set out the blueprint for the development of China-Sierra Leone relations. During the visit, the two sides signed a number of important cooperation documents including the Memorandum of Understanding on the “Belt and Road” Initiative, laying a solid foundation for the broadening and deepening of cooperation in the future.”

Ambassador Hu said he felt proud to be assigned to Sierra Leone at this important stage of the development of China-Sierra Leone relations. And he has a sense of great responsibility, following the direction set out by the two heads of state, to work with his colleagues in the Embassy and friends from all walks of life in Sierra Leone, to make new progress in China-Sierra Leone friendly cooperation and produce more benefits to the two peoples.  He said the following three tasks will be his top priorities.

“Firstly, I want to continuously enhance the sincere friendship and political mutual trust between our two sides to make the foundation of our bilateral cooperation rock-solid as ever. The Chinese side will continue to follow the two major principles laid down by President Xi Jinping, namely, the principle of honoring sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and that of pursuing the greater good and shared interests among countries. China will also continue to abide by the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the prevailing norms of international relations and treat Sierra Leone with equality, sincerity, mutual understanding and pursue win-win cooperation. China fully respects the independent choice of development path and model by Sierra Leone and will never interfere in Sierra Leone's internal affairs. I fully believe that Sierra Leone will continue to respect China's core interests and firmly support China on its major concerns involving sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and dignity. Meanwhile, China will keep on strengthening communication and coordination with Sierra Leone on international affairs and jointly safeguarding the fundamental interests of each other and those of the developing countries.”

Secondly, the Ambassador said they will jointly implement the outcomes of 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit to bring more benefits to the two peoples. In September last year, FOCAC Beijing Summit was successfully held, uplifting China-Africa relations to a historical new height. He said at the summit, President Xi Jinping announced “Eight Major Initiatives” for China-Africa cooperation in the coming three years and counting, namely, industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care, people-to-people exchange, and peace and security. The “Eight Major Initiatives” highly correspond with Africa's current and future development needs, and for that reason, many Africans have likened it to a “timely rain” in supporting Africa's independent and sustainable development.

“The Chinese side has conducted active consultations with the Sierra Leonean side and will continue to do so with a view to indentifying areas and modes of cooperation, exploring feasible cooperation projects, and thoroughly studying how to better use the stock of and expand the increment in projects like agriculture, health and sanitation, human resources development and infrastructure construction etc. Through the implementation of the outcomes of FOCAC Beijing Summit, we wish to help the government and people of Sierra Leone in carrying out the New Direction Agenda proposed by President Bio for economic and social development.”

“Thirdly, we will jointly promote the building of the “Belt and Road”, build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future and a community with a shared future for humanity. As stressed by President Xi Jinping, the BRI is a significant move China has taken to fully open itself under the new conditions, and it embodies China’s commitment to sharing development opportunities and outcomes with more countries in the world. Since its inception six years ago, the BRI has received strong endorsement and warm support of the international community. So far, a total of 126 countries and 29 international organizations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China. All this sheds light on the fact that the BRI has been proven to be a popular and worthy cause that goes along with the trend of our times and responds to the shared aspiration of countries for development through mutually beneficial cooperation. Guided by the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the BRI aims at enhancing connectivity in policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people ties (Five Connectivities in short).”

Ambassador Hu Zhangliang said although certain countries and people have misunderstandings, misjudgments or even prejudice and smear on the BRI, the international community’s enthusiasm for participating in this initiative is not held back. The BRI, he said is a new “headstream of fresh water” for China-Africa cooperation that will bring more development resources and create greater room for cooperation for both sides. China and Sierra Leone have already made strides under the initiative, including but not limited to the exchange of development experiences, admission of a large number of Sierra Leonean students to study in China with the Chinese side providing more Government Scholarships to the Sierra Leonean side. He said the construction of part of the Freetown Ring Road (From Limkokwing University to Regent Village) funded by Chinese government grant, the construction of the Lumley Market Second Juba Bridge co-funded by the two governments and the Construction of the National Fibre Backbone Project etc., all of which illustrate the spirit of  the “Five Connectivities” and stand for great potential of cooperation between China and Sierra Leone within the framework of the BRI.

“I worked in Sierra Leone for three years from 2002 to 2005. 14 years later I am back again and find out that there have been so many important positive changes in this country, which fully demonstrate that the government and people of Sierra Leone are on the right path towards development and revitalization. I sincerely wish that Sierra Leone and its people will continue to make even greater achievements under the leadership of President Bio. I am full of confidence in the broad prospects of Sino-Sierra Leone friendly cooperation.

Sino-Sierra Leone cooperationbrings more benefits to the two peoples – Amb. Hu Zhnagliang

New Chinese Ambassador Hu Zhangliang gives his first view of the relationship between China and Sierra Leone saying that the periodbetweenlate March and early April is mid-spring in China, and it's his real delight to come to work in Sierra Leone again during this beautiful season.

“First of all, I would like to convey the cordial greetings and best wishes from H.E. Xi Jinping, President of China to his counterpart Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone. At the same time, I bring with me good wishes from the Chinese government and peopleto the government and people of Sierra Leone.”

Amb Hu said China and Sierra Leone enjoy a deep traditional friendship.On July 29, 1971, the two countries formally established diplomatic ties, and over the past 48 years, the bilateral relations have been developing smoothly with close high-level exchanges, deep political mutual trust and fruitful cooperation in economic, social and cultural fields. He said in 2016, China and Sierra Leone establisheda comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

“Over the years, China has always been contributing what she can tohelp promote peace and stability in Sierra Leone, as well as help Sierra Leone in achieving independent and sustainable development without interfering in their internal affairs. In 2014, China was among the first to assist their Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters in the fight againstebola, demonstrating the true spirit of sharing weal and woe.”

The new Ambassador averred that Sierra Leone has always been firmly adhering to One-China policy and consistently giving its support on issues related to China's core interests and major concerns. The Chinese people will never forget thatit was Sierra Leone and other friendly countries that helpedChinaresume itslegitimate seat in the United Nations in 1971. In a word, China and Sierra Leone are true, good friends with utmost respect that can go through thick and thin together.

“2018 has been a vital year in the development of Sino-Sierra Leone relationship. In late August and early September last year, President Bio paid a state visit to China and attended the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. The two heads of state held friendly and in-depth talks and reached important consensus on major bilateral issues, which provided political guidance and set outthe blueprint for the development of China-Sierra Leone relations. During the visit, the two sides signed a number of important cooperation documentsincluding the Memorandum of Understanding on the “Belt and Road” Initiative, laying a solid foundation for the broadening and deepening of cooperation in the future.”

Ambassador Hu said he felt proud to be assigned to Sierra Leone at this important stage of the development of China-Sierra Leone relations. And he has a sense of great responsibility, following the direction set out by the two heads of state, to work with his colleagues in the Embassy and friends from all walks of life in Sierra Leone, to make new progress in China-Sierra Leone friendly cooperation andproduce more benefits to the two peoples.  He said the following three tasks will be his top priorities.

“Firstly,I want to continuously enhance the sincere friendship and political mutual trust between our two sides to make the foundation of our bilateral cooperation rock-solid as ever. The Chinese side will continue to follow the two major principles laid down by President Xi Jinping, namely, the principle of honoring sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and that of pursuing the greater good and shared interests among countries. China will also continue to abide by the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the prevailing norms of international relations and treat Sierra Leonewith equality, sincerity, mutual understanding and pursuewin-win cooperation. China fully respects the independent choice of development path and model by Sierra Leone and will never interfere in Sierra Leone's internal affairs. I fully believe that Sierra Leone will continue to respect China's core interests and firmly support China on its major concerns involving sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and dignity. Meanwhile, China will keep on strengthening communication and coordination with Sierra Leone on international affairs and jointly safeguardingthe fundamental interests of each other and those of the developing countries.”

Secondly, the Ambassador said they will jointly implement the outcomes of 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit to bring more benefitsto the two peoples.In Septemberlast year, FOCAC Beijing Summit was successfully held, uplifting China-Africa relations to a historical new height. He said at the summit, President Xi Jinping announced “Eight Major Initiatives” for China-Africa cooperation in the coming three years and counting, namely, industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care, people-to-people exchange, and peace and security. The “Eight Major Initiatives” highly correspond with Africa's current and future development needs, and for that reason, many Africans have likened it to a “timely rain” insupporting Africa's independent and sustainable development.

“The Chinese side has conducted active consultations with the Sierra Leonean side and will continue to do so with a view to indentifying areas and modes of cooperation, exploring feasible cooperation projects, and thoroughly studying how to better use the stock of and expand the increment inprojects like agriculture, health and sanitation, human resources development and infrastructure construction etc. Through the implementation of the outcomes of FOCAC Beijing Summit, we wish to helpthe government and people of Sierra Leone incarrying out the New Direction Agenda proposed by President Bio for economic and social development.”

“Thirdly, we will jointly promote the building of the “Belt and Road”, build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future and a community with a shared future for humanity. As stressed by President Xi Jinping, the BRI is a significant move China has taken to fully open itself under the new conditions, and it embodies China’s commitment to sharing development opportunities and outcomes with more countries in the world. Since its inception six years ago, the BRI has received strong endorsement and warm support of the international community. So far, a total of 126 countries and 29 international organizations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China. All this sheds light on the fact thatthe BRI has been proven to be a popular and worthy cause that goes along with the trend of our times and responds to the shared aspiration of countries for development through mutually beneficial cooperation. Guided by the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the BRI aims at enhancing connectivity in policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people ties (Five Connectivities in short).”

Ambassador Hu Zhangliang said although certain countries and people have misunderstandings, misjudgments or even prejudice and smear on the BRI, the international community’s enthusiasm for participating in this initiative is not held back. The BRI, he said is a new “headstream of fresh water” for China-Africa cooperation that will bring more development resources and create greater room for cooperation for both sides. China and Sierra Leone have already made strides under the initiative, including but not limited to the exchange of development experiences, admission of a large number of Sierra Leonean students to study in China with the Chinese side providing more Government Scholarships to the Sierra Leonean side. He said the construction of part of the Freetown Ring Road (From Limkokwing University to Regent Village)funded by Chinese government grant, the construction of the Lumley Market Second Juba Bridge co-funded by the two governments andthe Construction of the National Fibre Backbone Project etc., all of which illustrate the spirit of  the “Five Connectivities” and stand for great potential of cooperation between China and Sierra Leone within the framework of the BRI.

“I worked in Sierra Leone for three years from 2002 to 2005. 14 years later I am back again and findout that there have been so many important positive changes in this country, which fully demonstrate that the government and people of Sierra Leone are on the right path towards development and revitalization. I sincerely wish that Sierra Leone and its people will continue to make even greater achievements under the leadership ofPresident Bio. I am full of confidence in the broad prospects of Sino-Sierra Leone friendlycooperation.