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China’s Councilor arriving for boundary talks next week

Beijing:China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi arrives in India on March 23 on a two-day visit for boundary talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and to prepare for the upcoming visit to Beijing by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May.

Mr. Yang’s visit to India was confirmed by The Hindu last month, though both sides were earlier looking at the possibility of holding talks towards the end of February. The dialogue between the two Special Representatives is expected to take place early next week.

Highly placed sources said that though it was Mr. Doval’s turn to arrive in Beijing for talks on the boundary issue, the Chinese side was inclined to send Mr. Yang to New Delhi. The Chinese wanted to reciprocate New Delhi’s special gesture conveyed through Mr. Doval’s arrival in Beijing ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to India last September, the sources said.

The 17th round of talks on the frontiers was held in New Delhi last year between Mr. Yang and Mr. Doval’s predecessor, Shivshankar Menon. Despite China’s strong protest, Mr. Modi’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, has not stalled the momentum of growing ties between New Delhi and Beijing, following President Xi’s visit, the sources said.

Yet the Chinese have conveyed that though the situation on the borders is being successfully managed, the resolution of the boundary question is a time-consuming exercise. Analysts say that the recent changes in personnel brought about by the President Xi in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as part of spiralling anti-corruption campaign may have a positive spinoff impact on keeping the borders calm.

The Chinese perception of a two-speed relationship, where rapid development of the economic relationship would coexist with incremental progress on the boundary issue, was evident during Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent media conference. Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) — China’s parliament — Mr. Wang said, “At the moment the boundary negotiations are in the process of building up small, positive steps.”

He added: “It is like climbing a mountain. The going is tough, that is only because we are on the way up.” With an early breakthrough not in sight, Mr. Wang advocated overall development of the China-India ties, as this would impart a positive momentum to the resolution of the border row. “This is one more reason why we should do more to strengthen China-India cooperation so that we can enable and facilitate the settlement of the diplomatic question.”

Regarding talks, both sides are in the middle of a three-stage process of defining a framework for resolving their differences in the western, middle and eastern sectors. Armed with an agreement in 2005 on the guiding principles, it is envisaged that the talks will culminate in the delineation of the border on the ground and maps.

While the preparations for Mr. Modi’s visit have commenced in earnest, both sides are trying to focus on a few areas, including railways, where solid progress is possible, rather than have a thin spread of too many items on the agenda.
  • Published in World
Jackie Chan lends voice to Beijing's Olympic bid

Jackie Chan lends voice to Beijing's Olympic bid

Internationally acclaimed movie star Jackie Chan has joined in the recording of a song 'Wake up Winter' that will be used to promote Beijing's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The first people to officially hear the song will be the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission during their March 24-28 visit to Beijing, reports Xinhua.

"Wake up Winter is actually a call to people around the world with an incessant eagerness for the Olympic spirit and a longing for friendship between people and countries," said songwriter Wang Pingjiu.

A large number of well-known musicians both from across the globe have been involved in the making of the song.

It's not Chan's first foray into Olympic singing. The action star performed 'We Are Ready', recorded and released a year before the beginning of the 2008 Summer Olympics here. He also sang at the Closing Ceremony of those Games.
  • Published in Entertainment
Free meal for beautiful women in this Beijing Restaurant

Free meal for beautiful women in this Beijing Restaurant

Beijing: A restaurant in Zhengzhou, capital of China's Henan province, is offering a special deal in which women who achieve the highest scores in terms of beauty get a free meal. The offer, called "Pay by Beauty", was launched by a restaurant specialising in "huoguo" -- traditional dishes -- where a group of plastic surgeons selects the lucky ladies for a free lunch, the Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday. To win, the contestants have to scan their faces on a machine located inside the restaurant and the image is automatically sent to a team of specialists who will score the faces according to professional patterns. The scores can be seen by all applicants on the second floor of the restaurant where every five women who get a higher score every 30 minutes will get a free meal. It is not the first time that a Chinese restaurant has made such offers to attract more customers. Another restaurant in Chongqing municipality offers customers discounts or free meals depending on their weight. In the case of males, the greater their weight the greater the discount, although customers who exceed 140 kg will automatically receive a feast on the house. Women who weigh less than 34.5 kg will also get the same prize. A restaurant in Shanghai also offers discounts to the tallest customers.
  • Published in Off Beat

Jackie Chan's son Jaycee prosecuted on drug charge

Beijing: Kungfu superstar Jackie Chan's 32-year-old son Jaycee Chan was today prosecuted here for allegedly providing a venue for drug users. The prosecution of Jaycee, an actor and singer, has come three months after he was formally arrested on suspicion of accommodating drug users. He was arrested along with Ko Chen-tung, 23, a Taiwanese movie star also known as Kai Ko.

Beijing police detained many people for drug offences, including Jaycee and Chen-tung on August 14. The duo were tested positive for marijuana and admitted to taking the drug.
The arrests were made following complaints from local residents. Police had also seized more than 100 grams of marijuana from Jaycee's residence, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

Chen-tung was released on August 29 after 14 days of administrative detention. According to Chinese law, those involved in providing locations for others to take drugs face sentences of up to three years. The transporting, manufacturing or trafficking drugs can attract the death penalty.

Born to Jackie Chan and his wife, a Taiwanese actress Lin Feng-Jiao, Jaycee was raised in Los Angeles. He did not pursue studies after two semesters and has a penchant for luxury cars. Drug abuse among Chinese celebrities has become a hot topic as a number of TV and film stars have been arrested in this connection.

Jackie, an influential member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a legislative body, was appointed as goodwill Ambassador for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009 to promote anti-drug education in
  • Published in World

Hundreds of Chinese said fighting alongside Islamic State in Middle East

Beijing: About 30 Chinese people are fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Monday, a rare tally that is likely to fuel worry in China that militants pose a threat to security.

China has expressed concern about the rise of Islamic State in the Middle East, nervous about the effect it could have on its Xinjiang region. But it has also shown no sign of wanting to join US efforts to use military force against the group.

Chinese members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) are traveling to Syria via Turkey to join the Islamic State, also known as IS, the Global Times, a tabloid run by China's ruling Communist Party's official newspaper, the People's Daily, said.

"According to information from various sources, including security officers from Iraq's Kurdish region, Syria and Lebanon, around 300 Chinese extremists are fighting with IS in Iraq and Syria," the Global Times reported. Chinese officials blame the ETIM for carrying out attacks in Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people. But the government has been vague about how many people from China are fighting in the Middle East.

In July, China's envoy to the Middle East, Wu Sike, cited media reports when he said about 100 Chinese citizens, most of them from the ETIM, were in the Middle East fighting or being trained. China says ETIM militants are also holed up along the ungoverned Afghan-Pakistani border and want to create a separate state in Xinjiang, though many foreign experts doubt the group's cohesiveness.

Instead, human rights advocates argue that economic marginalization of Uighurs and curbs on their culture and religion are main causes of ethnic violence in Xinjiang that has killed hundreds of people in the past two years. China has criticized the Turkish government for offering shelter to Uighur refugees who have fled China through southeast Asia and said such a channel creates security risks.
  • Published in World

China Coal mine fire kills 24 workers, 52 injured

Beijing: At least 24 workers were killed and 52 others injured on Wednesday when a fire broke out in a coal mine in China's northeastern Liaoning province soon after a mild earthquake jolted the region. The fire was noticed in the early hours at the coal mine under Hengda Coal, a subsidiary of Fuxin Coal, a major producer in the province. 24 workers were killed in the accident, state-runXinhua news agency reported. Fuxin Coal said the rescue is over and all the injured workers have been hospitalized.

"Some of the injured are still in critical conditions and might need to be transferred to bigger hospitals in the provincial capital of Shenyang," a medical worker with the general hospital run by the mine company told Xinhua. The victims mostly suffered burns and respiratory damage, she said.

Fuxin is some 200 km northwest from Shenyang. It will take around three hours to transfer the victims. Before the fire broke out, a 1.6-magnitude quake was monitored at a city near the coal mine. Local government is investigating connections between tremor and the fire. Hengda Coal has halted operations in all of its mines for safety checks. The company employs more than 4,600 people.

Built in 1978, the Fuxin mine is one of the largest coal producers in northeast China with an annual production of 1.5 million tons. The Fuxin Coal has some 4,660 employees. It's not the first time such an accident has happened in the mine. Last year, eight workers were killed during a gas leak in a Fuxin Coal.

  • Published in World

16 killed in China coal mine accident

 Beijing: At least 16 people were killed and 11 others injured after a coal mine collapsed in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Saturday.

 The accident happened in the regional capital of Urumqi late Friday night when 33 workers were underground. Six of them managed to escape, Xinhua reported, citing a statement issued by the Xinjiang Administration of Coal Mine Safety. The injured workers have been hospitalised. The cause of the accident is being investigated, the safety watchdog said.

  • Published in World
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