Thursday, August 3, 2017

Turkey, China Pledge Security Cooperation

VOICE OF AMERICA - August 03, 2017



Turkey to block anti-China media to dismay of Uighur activists

Uighur leaders fear Turkey's growing security cooperation with China will see the minority's plight forgotten

Areeb Ullah

MIDDLE EAST EYE - AUGUST 4, 2017

Turkey's Uighurs community has voiced fear and concern over plans to impose a media blackout on reports critical of China, following a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday.  Uighur activists fear a media blackout could lead to their plight "being forgotten" by the Turkish people after Cavusoglu agreed to stronger cooperation on security and counter-terrorism with China during the meeting in Beijing.  He said: "We take China's security as our security. We absolutely will not allow in Turkey any activities targeting or opposing China. Additionally, we will take measures to eliminate any media reports targeting China," he added.   The Uighur minority comes from the predominantly Muslim autonomous province of China, known officially as Xinjiang and locally as East Turkestan. Beijing has placed a series of restrictions on religious practice in the region and many have settled across the Middle East.  China used the meeting with Turkey to express its fears about ethnic Uyghurs fighting with militants in the Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

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Turkey to China: Your Security Is Ours

Sean Keeley

The National Interests - August 4, 2017

A week after a friendly naval visit to Istanbul from the Chinese navy, Turkey and China are continuing to cozy up, bonding over press censorship and promises of deepened security ties. Reuters:
Turkey regards China’s security as akin to its own and will move to stamp out any anti-China reports in its media, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, after meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. […]
“We take China’s security as our security,” Cavusoglu said, speaking through a Chinese translator during a joint news briefing with Wang in Beijing.
“We absolutely will not allow in Turkey any activities targeting or opposing China. Additionally, we will take measures to eliminate any media reports targeting China,” he added, but did not give details.
On one level, this is just the latest case of Turkey thumbing its nose at the West. No other NATO ally would equate its security interests with China’s, and no other supposed EU aspirant would openly tout its authoritarian control over the press. But for Turkey, this is all part of the game: as an alienated Ankara drifts ever further away from Europe, it continues to publicly demonstrate that it is not beholden to Western institutions or values, as Erdogan courts opportunistic allies and participates in military exercises with NATO’s enemies.

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Turkey promises to eliminate anti-China media reports

REUTERS - AUGUST 3, 2017

BEIJING (Reuters) - Turkey regards China's security as akin to its own and will move to stamp out any anti-China reports in its media, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, after meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.  China and Turkey have repeatedly vowed to step up cooperation on security and counter-terrorism, amid Beijing's concerns about ethnic Uighurs from its restive far western region of Xinjiang fighting with militants in the Middle East.  "We take China's security as our security," Cavusoglu said, speaking through a Chinese translator during a joint news briefing with Wang in Beijing.  "We absolutely will not allow in Turkey any activities targeting or opposing China. Additionally, we will take measures to eliminate any media reports targeting China," he added, but did not give details.  Uighurs are a largely Muslim, Turkic-language speaking minority from China's western Xinjiang region.  Hundreds, possibly thousands, keen to escape unrest in Xinjiang have traveled clandestinely via Southeast Asia to Turkey, with which many see themselves as sharing religious and cultural ties.  Beijing says some Uighurs then end up fighting with Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria. It denies accusations that it restricts the Uighurs' religious freedoms.  European leaders have been alarmed by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's crackdown on opponents since a failed coup attempt last year, and what critics see as his attack on free speech.  About 150 media outlets have been shut and around 160 journalists jailed, the Turkish Journalists' Association says.  Turkish authorities say the crackdown is justified by the gravity of the coup attempt, in which rogue soldiers tried to overthrow the government, killing 250 people, mostly civilians.  In 2015, Turkey angered China by expressing concern about reports of restrictions on worship and fasting by Uighurs in Xinjiang during the holy month of Ramadan. Turkish protesters have marched on China's embassy and consulate in Turkey over the treatment of Uighurs.  The two countries have also quarreled over Thailand's deportation of Uighur migrants back to China.  But Ankara is keen to tap into Beijing's ambitious Belt and Road infrastructure investment plan to link China with the rest of Asia and the world. Erdogan visited China in May when President Xi Jinping hosted his first Belt and Road summit.  "China is willing to work with Turkey to enhance the ancient spirit of the Silk Road, ... and in jointly promoting the Belt and Road plan unlock new cooperative potential," Wang added.

Turkey and China pledge security cooperation as ties warm

By Gerry Shih 

The Washington Post - August 3, 2017

BEIJING — Turkey’s top diplomat vowed Thursday to root out militants plotting against China, signaling closer cooperation against suspected Uighur militants hailing from China’s far west who have long been a sore point in bilateral relations.  Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters during a visit to Beijing that his government would treat threats to China’s security as threats to itself and would not allow any “anti-China activity inside Turkey or territory controlled by Turkey.”  Cavusoglu’s tough comments, which came after a meeting and warm handshakes with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, were seen as referring to China’s Uighur ethnic minority, a Turkic people who share cultural and linguistic ties with Anatolian Turks.  Turkey and China have in recent years pledged to cooperate on security and counter-terrorism efforts, though experts say such ties are also balanced by mutual suspicion. Relations between Ankara and Beijing have been strained by Turkey’s support for groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — a China ally — and its sheltering of Uighur refugees.

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Turkey And China Pledge Close Security Cooperation

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS August 3, 2017

Beijing (AP) -- Turkey has vowed to root out militants plotting against China as the two countries pledged to collaborate on a security issue that had been a source of friction.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday in Beijing that Turkey would treat matters of China's security as its own, signaling close cooperation and a tougher stance against suspected Uighur militants hailing from China's Xinjiang region. Uighurs share cultural and linguistic ties with Turks and many have sought asylum in Turkey.
Hundreds if not thousands of Uighurs who have fled China in recent years have traveled to Syria to join Islamic militant groups or simply escape persecution and find a new home.
Human rights groups have long accused Beijing of oppressing its Uighur population and inflaming a cycle of radicalization.

The Doklam Standoff: Some Basic Facts

Yao Yunzhu
Retired Major General, Chinese People’s Liberation Army

US-CHINA FOCUS - Jul 31 , 2017

The standoff between Chinese and Indian soldiers on a remote Himalayan plateau entered well into its 2nd month. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesmen delivered one strong wording statement after another, calling for the withdrawal of the Indian troops and warning against miscalculations and unrealistic illusions of the Indian side. The Chinese Defense Ministry spokesmen stressed the resolution of the People’s liberation Army to defend China’s territory, and declared military measures in response to the recent developments. Such strong response from the Chinese government has been rare. The India government, on the other hand, seemed to take the standoff as one of the reoccurring border skirmishes and thought it would come to pass as time goes on. India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar commented in his lecture in Singapore on July 11 that India and China could manage their differences that had arisen from time to time over their contested border.
However, the strong response from the Chinese government indicates that there is something different, which is more provocative and intolerable than before.

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商务部有关单位发布《中国对外贸易形势报告(2017年春季)》

 发布时间:2017-07-24

5月4日,商务部综合司和国际贸易经济合作研究院联合发布《中国对外贸易形势报告(2017年春季)》(以下简称《报告》)。报告回顾了2016年及2017年一季度中国外贸运行情况。2016年,在各方共同努力下,中国外贸实现回稳向好目标,进出口降幅收窄,结构优化,效益提升,新的发展动能不断积聚。2017年一季度,中国外贸延续回稳向好走势,进出口实现较快增长,结构继续优化,积极变化增多。
报告认为,当前中国外贸发展的挑战和压力突出体现在:一是外部需求回升的基础并不稳固;二是新一轮产业竞争更加激烈;三是贸易摩擦的影响进一步凸显。但同时也要看到,中国外贸发展长期向好的基本面没有变,进出口企业参与国际竞争具备一系列有利因素和条件。
报告指出,2017年中国外贸发展面临的环境有望略好于过去两年,但形势依然严峻复杂。今后一段时间中国进出口有望继续回稳向好,但不稳定不确定因素依然较多,实现全年回稳向好目标需要付出艰苦努力。面对外贸发展的新形势,各地区、各有关部门将深化落实国家支持外贸发展的各项政策,支持外贸企业创新发展,不断提高外贸发展的质量和效益。 

China is increasingly becoming key for Israel's high-tech industry

Israel has laid out the welcoming mat to Chinese companies and investors who may face more troublesome regulations and scrutiny elsewhere.  The first IPO (initial public offering) of an Israeli high-tech company on a Chinese stock exchange, Hong Kong, is expected within the year.

Ferry Biedermann; special to CNBC.com Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017

China's investors and markets are becoming increasingly important to Israel's economy, and in particular to its booming high-tech industry.
The first IPO (initial public offering) of an Israeli high-tech company on a Chinese stock exchange, Hong Kong, is expected within the year and Chinese investments in Israeli high-tech venture capital approached $1 billion in 2016, industry experts say.
"The Chinese stock exchange market will become another very viable option for Israeli companies looking for public funding," if the first IPO goes off successfully, Eli Tidhar of Deloitte Israel, told CNBC.
Tidhar heads what Deloitte calls its "Israel-China corridor". Israel has laid out the welcoming mat to Chinese companies and investors who may face more troublesome regulations and scrutiny elsewhere.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bringing Our Lost Brethren Back Home: Messianic Zionism, Settler-Colonialism, and the Lost Jews of Kaifeng

by Mohammad Turki Al-Sudairi

JADALIYYA - Jul 10 2015

The Kaifeng Jews of China–numbering at present some five hundred to one thousand in total–are one of the latest communities to garner the interest of right-wing messianic organizations connected to the settler-colonial movement in Israel. Over the last decade, messianic groups have intensified efforts to encourage the community to immigrate (aliyah) to Israel. This endeavor is making some headway. Messianic organizations, including Amichav (My People are Returning), its semi-successor Shavei Yisrael (Returners to Israel) and, in more supportive/facilitating roles, a number of Christian Zionist groups, see the Kaifeng Jews as “Lost Jews” and as such important assets. “Lost Jews” represent new sources of potential immigration to Israel. This is critical given the perception among such organizations that traditional sources of immigration–the United States, Europe and the former Soviet Union–are either exhausted, or spiritually or ideologically unsuitable. There is also a realization that a conclusive Jewish demographic majority within historical Palestine remains elusive. Encouraging the immigration of “Lost Jews,” a somewhat unconventional solution, partially addresses some of these issues. In addition, by virtue of their demographic utility, “Lost Jews” help further the settlement project in the West Bank (as well as Arab high-density areas within Israel like the Galilee), and undermine recourses to the two-state solution. Finally, messianic organizations espouse a cosmological view that associates the return of “Lost Jews,” including those of Kaifeng, to Israel as part of the “Ingathering of the Exiles” that will hasten the End of Days.

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How Taoist ideas brought a Syrian scholar to Beijing

By Liu Xiangrui

China Daily USA | 2017-03-24

Beijing-based Syrian scholar Firas Sawah cites Tao Te Ching when asked about his romance with China. The book not only brought him here but has also played an important role in his daily life.  Born in Homs, Sawah has been teaching at the department of Arab studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University for the past few years.  As Sawah recalls, he developed an interest in East Asian culture and philosophy in his youth. He read a book in college on Chinese philosophy, which is titled China Wisdom.  He found Taoist ideas especially interesting when he read on. He wanted to introduce Taoism to Arabic readers and eventually translated Tao Te Ching, the famous Taoist book attributed to Lao Zi, a scholar who may have lived in the 6th century.  "I did it (the translation) with love," says the 72-year-old.  In his eyes, the text has wise guidance for both social management and personal life. "I have read about religious ideas since the Stone Age. But when I came across Tao Te Ching, I thought to myself this is the solution to social problems nowadays. The text is very short and each time I read it, I discover something new."  The book was not only well received by readers in Syria, but also caught the attention of Chinese scholar Xue Qingguo when he traveled to Damascus in 2009 and came across Sawah's translation at a bookstore.  Xue, who also teaches at the department of Arab studies at the same university in Beijing, says he read different Arabic translations of Tao Te Ching earlier but liked Sawah's version best. 

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Cutting a Deal with China

China Heritage was launched on 15 December 2016 at the conference ‘Political Enchantments: aesthetic practices and the Chinese state’. That conference, organised by Gloria Davies 黃樂嫣 and Christian Sorace with the support of the Australian Centre on China in the World, was held at ANU House in Melbourne, Australia. Gloria and Christian invited me to present an opening address, the title of which was ‘Living with Xi Dada’s China — making choices and cutting deals’. At the end of my remarks I announced that John Minford and I had founded The Wairarapa Academy for New Sinology whereupon I formally launched our website, China Heritage.
I am grateful to Gloria and Christian for their kind invitation, and to the participants in the conference for their indulgent response. My thanks also to David Sheehy of Monash Arts for recording my speech, to Callum Smith, the designer of China Heritage who attended the conference, and to Lois Conner for allowing me to use her work here.

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China's New Challenge: How to Win the Soft-Power War

Kyle Haddad-Fonda 

THE NATIONAL INTERESTS - July 24, 2017

I taught at a Moroccan university in the spring of 2013, a period of time that happened to coincide with the apex of popularity of the Korean rapper Psy. On Friday afternoons, after the prayer had let out of the campus mosque, students would sometimes blare music on the central quad to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. The song they chose was always “Gangnam Style.”
My students often came to my office to discuss their plans to study abroad. Inevitably, the two most popular destinations were the United States and France. But the third choice surprised me: a remarkable number of my students hoped to spend a year in South Korea. Many of them, it turned out, liked to watch Korean television shows in their dormitories. And the university had recently concluded an agreement for a bilateral exchange program with Hannam University in Daejeon, which had simplified the process.

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Full Marx for Creativity: Reforming Political Education in China

How can academics make courses in ideology more compelling to today’s university students? 

Xiao Wei

SIXTH TONE - Jul 24, 2017

Every year, more than 7 million young people enter colleges across mainland China. Later, nearly 10 percent of them will continue their studies in graduate school. While at university, both undergraduate and graduate students alike must take compulsory classes on political and ideological theory.
In the minds of many Westerners, the very fact that Chinese students take obligatory Marxism classes is tantamount to brainwashing — but that’s a debate for another day. As a professor of Marxism, my primary concern is that the classes are not always interesting to students. In recent years, nearly everything about these courses, from their format to their content, has undergone radical change. Still, reforming the dull, dry, and didactic traditional teaching methods is no easy task.
The courses have undergone numerous changes since 1949. At present, undergraduates are required to take four such classes: Basic Principles of Marxism; Introduction to Mao Zedong Thought and Socialism With Chinese Characteristics; Modern Chinese History; and Ideological and Moral Cultivation and Basics of Law. Master’s students, meanwhile, take a course titled “Socialism With Chinese Characteristics: Theory and Practice,” and doctoral students take one called “Chinese Marxism and the Contemporary World.” In addition, there are several electives available to students seeking a more comprehensive overview of the topic.

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A Stark Choice for Cairo’s Chinese Muslims

As Egypt cracks down on Uyghur students, Chinese Muslims in Cairo are torn between economic opportunity and their faith.

By François Napoleon

The Diplomat - August 02, 2017

Sitting on cheap plastic chairs in front of a Chinese restaurant on a narrow street in Cairo’s Abbassia district, Ma Songhui seems to have lost his appetite – and for good reason.
Since July 4, scores of his Chinese classmates from Al-Azhar University – all of them Uyghurs from China’s northwest Xinjiang province – have been arrested by the Egyptian police. Those who managed to escape the raids are hiding in the capital or trying to leave the country, according to Sweden Uyghur Education Union President Nijat Turghun. All are afraid of being expelled to China, where they will be at risk of arbitrary detentions and torture.
“Many of their families in Xinjiang were visited by Chinese authorities a few weeks ago. There were pressures; barely veiled threats were made to force them to come home. And then the Egyptian police started raiding restaurants and residences of Uyghurs studying at Al-Azhar. Some have managed to escape, but we expect most to be deported,” said Ma, a 28-year-old Chinese Muslim from Linxia, in the province of Gansu.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

CCTV: Carrying the Reform to the End by the Propaganda/Publicity Department -19th Party Congress《将改革进行到底》 第一集 《时代之问》


The 19th Party Congress

This autumn, the Chinese Communist Party holds its most important political event in five years. The congress will select a new set of Party leaders and set policy direction for the next half-decade

TRIVIUM - JULY 27, 2017

What’s the big deal?
This autumn the Chinese Communist Party will hold its five-yearly Party congress. Likely to take place in October, this year’s congress will be the 19th since the CCP’s founding in 1921, and it will accomplish two important tasks:    

Setting the direction of policy for the next five years   
Selecting a new Party leadership

Much of the analysis around Party congresses focuses primarily on the second question, but the issue of policy direction is equally important for China’s trajectory.

How to Think About the Congress 
This year’s congress can be best understood as a referendum on Xi Jinping’s first term, which has seen Xi promote a conservative agenda that has attempted to reinsert the Party more forcefully into politics, society and the economy. The outcomes of the congress will indicate how successfully (or not) Xi has consolidated power, how much support there is for his agenda, and how this agenda will evolve in the coming years. In order to conceptualize the potential impact of the congress, we look at six questions:

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These Days, All Roads Lead To Beijing

The success of the new Silk Roads depends on delivering win-win scenarios

Peter Frankopan

Huffington Post - 07/28/2017 

When Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, at the beginning of September 2013, few thought it was anything but another ordinary visit. Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, had been to the Kazakh capital several times and usually talked about how he welcomed good relations with one of China’s neighbors to the west. But when Xi began his speech, it was obvious that something new was afoot. The Chinese president was offering more than the usual banal platitudes. He was talking about the future, and he was talking about a plan.  For more than 2,000 years, he said, the peoples who live in the heart of Asia had been able to coexist, cooperate and flourish despite “differences in race, belief and cultural background.” It was a “foreign policy priority,” he went on, “for China to develop friendly cooperative relations with the Central Asian countries.” The time had come, he said, to make economic ties closer, improve communication, encourage trade and enhance monetary circulation. The time had come, he said, for a “Silk Road Economic Belt” to be built. The time had come to breathe new life back into the old Silk Roads, a series of trade routes that once connected Asia, Africa and Europe.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Expansion of the United Front Under Xi Jinping by Gerry Groot

AUSTRALIAN CENTRE ON CHINA IN THE WORLD - 2015

Xi Jinping’s rule to date has  been characterised by, among other things, a return to the basics of Party rule as established by Mao. These include a renewed emphasis on United Front 统战 work, which Mao called one of the ‘three secret weapons’ 三个大法宝 (along with the armed forces and Party-building) that helped the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to power in 1949. (For an overview of the United Front, see the China Story Yearbook 2014: Shared Destiny, pp.128–132.) The year 2015 was the most important one since 1990 for the United Front, a collection of strategies overseen by the United Front Work Department (UFWD) 统战部 by which the Party seeks to strengthen its authority and legitimacy, especially among the more marginalised, independent, and minority sectors of the Chinese population.
Today, these include professionals such as lawyers, business managers, and ‘new capitalists’—whose co-operation is crucial for the success of China’s new economic policies—as well as historic United Front targets like religious believers and ethnic minorities including Tibetans and Uyghurs. The children of China’s nouveau riche are another relatively new focus along with Chinese studying overseas. Xi had previously stressed the importance of United Front work among Overseas Chinese, huaqiao 华侨, a category that now includes Chinese citizens living abroad (so-called ‘new huaqiao’).

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Israel touts growing cooperation with China, with advent of new air route

By Tamara Zieve

JERUSALEM POST - July 25, 2017

China’s Hainan Airlines has submitted a request to the Civil Aviation Authority to operate a route between Guangzhou in southern China and Ben-Gurion Airport, the Transportation Ministry announced on Tuesday.  This would be the third route Hainan Airlines – China’s fourth-largest air carrier and its largest privately owned one – would operate to Israel. It already operates four to five direct weekly flights between Beijing and Tel Aviv, in addition to the El Al flights between those destinations. Starting in September, Hainan Airlines will also operate three weekly flights between Shanghai and Tel Aviv.  Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said increasing the locations connected by direct flights is expected to provide help in realizing the enormous potential of inbound tourism from China and increase Israel’s exposure as a desirable tourist destination.

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Egypt Becomes the Guest of Honor in the 2017 China-Arab States Expo

PRNEWSWIRE - JULY 26, 2016

YINCHUAN, China, July 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Egypt is the Guest of Honor Country at the 2017 China-Arab States Expo to be held from September 6-9, 2017 in Ningxia, China. A very high-level Egyptian official delegation with a large number of business members will participate at the Expo, according to the Expo organizer. To foster closer trade and investment cooperation, the Egyptian and Chinese sides will jointly organize a series of business promotion activities, including Egyptian national exhibition hall of 1000 square meters, investment projects and tourism promotion and B2B meetings.  The Guest of Honor Country is the mechanism to encourage more active participation and one Arab country is invited to co-host each session of the China-Arab States Expo for larger exposure to develop more business between China and Arab states. So far, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan have successfully joined the Expo as the Guest of Honor Countries in previous sessions.

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Chinese envoy to Ankara: Sino-Turkish ties getting stronger

DAILY SABAH - July 1, 2017

Chinese ambassador to Ankara Yu Hongyang said that bilateral cooperation in many areas between Turkey and China is increasing rapidly. Speaking at an event in Ankara late on Thursday held for the 20th anniversary of the former British colony Hong Kong's return to China, Yu said Turkish-Chinese relations are growing, adding that Turkish-Hong Kong relations are also flourishing.  "As the Chinese-Turkish relationship has developed in a comprehensive and rapid manner, the business alliance between Turkey and Hong Kong is also rapidly increasing. Turkey opened a consulate general in Hong Kong in 1974, and established close economic, commercial and human relations with Hong Kong," Yu said.

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China: The Chinese-American Researcher Jailed in Iran Is Not a Chinese Citizen

Iran sentenced a Princeton Chinese-American graduate student to 10 years in jail on spying charges

By Charlotte Gao

The Diplomat - July 18, 2017

On July 16, Iran announced that a Chinese-American graduate student from Princeton University had been sentenced to jail for 10 years on spying charges. According to Reuters, the student is a dual national (U.S. and China). On July 17, China denied the claim and emphasized that the student is not a Chinese citizen.
According to Iran’s judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejeie, the jailed American academic Xiyue Wang, 37, “has been confirmed and verified” to be “involved in the infiltration project.”
The spokesman claimed: “Before his arrest he was able to digitally archive 4,500 pages of the country’s documents while under covert surveillance, ” and added that Wang had gathered highly confidential articles for U.S. and British institutions including the U.S. State Department, Princeton University, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the British Institute of Persian Studies.

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$1.5b China Loan for Iranian Rail Projec

Financial Tribune - Wednesday, July 26, 2017 

China signed a contract with Iran to finance the electrification of a 926-km railroad from Tehran to the eastern city of Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi Province with a $1.5 billion loan.  As per the agreement signed between the two sides in Tehran on Tuesday, the guarantee for the loan, which is to be granted by Exim Bank of China, will be provided by Iran’s Bank of Industry and Mine, IRIB News reported.  Ali Ashraf Afkhami, CEO of the Iranian bank, was quoted as saying by IRNA that the contract was signed after 16 months of negotiations.  The electrification project will be carried out by China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation, otherwise known as CMC.  A subsidiary of China General Technology Group, CMC is an international engineering contractor in transportation infrastructure, industrial facilities and power plants. In 2014, the company constructed the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed railroad, together with China Railway Construction Corporation Limited and Turkish companies.  Iran's deputy minister of roads and urban development, Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan, earlier said the project was worth €2.2 billion ($2.56 billion) and that two-thirds of the cost would be financed by the Chinese government at a very low interest rate.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

China becomes largest investor in Arab region

By Dong Feng

Global Times - 2017/7/23

China reportedly become the largest investor in the Arab region in 2016, with investment worth 199.63 billion yuan ($29.5 billion), representing 31.9 percent of market share, surpassing the US and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  In 2016, Arab countries attracted $30.8 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in total, the Xinhua News Agency reported on July 19, citing a report by the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corp.  China was followed by the UAE at 102.86 billion yuan or 16.4 percent, and the US at 47.37 billion yuan.  "The growth was driven by the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, considering the region is a crucial junction along the B&R route," Chen Fengying, a research fellow at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told Global Times on Sunday.  The Middle East region is eyeing economic transformation through industrial cooperation, an area in which China can make its own contribution, Chen said. For example, China and Egypt are preparing to establish a Special Economic Zone Development in Egypt to drive the development of the Arab country's trade and economy, she said.  "In terms of economic structure, China and Arab countries are highly complementary, which provides great potential for trade," Wang Jun, an expert at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times on Sunday, noting that China excels in industry and light industry and the Middle East region has abundant oil and gas.  Under the framework of the Belt and Road initiative, China will export labor and technologies to Arab countries and will also strengthen educational and people-to-people exchanges, Wang said.  Currently, Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE have already set up branches in the region, which are expected to increase investment in the future, Wang explained.

China seeks to proactively interfere with Middle East conflicts

THE DONG-A ILBO - July. 24, 2017

A passive country in intervening in Middle East issues by citing the principle of non-interference in foreign countries’ internal politics, China is now raising voice over various conflicts and moving to proactively arbitrate conflicts. Analysts say that the move is aimed at seamless implementation of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s external economic strategy "Belt and Road" and reflects Beijing’s commitment not to lose ground in its strategic competition with the U.S.     Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi invited and met with United Arab Emirates foreign minister Sultan Al Jaber in Beijing on Wednesday last week, and Qatar foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Friday when he said, “The Qatari situation should be resolved by the Gulf Cooperation Council without assistance from foreign forces.” “China has deep relations with both countries,” Li Guo-fu, director of the Center for Middle East Studies under the China Institute of International Studies, said, while calling both sides and effectively urging them to smoothly resolve the crisis. 

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Abbas: China can make contribution to peace process

Ahead of visit to China, PA chairman praises President Xi's proposal for peace with Israel.

Elad Benari

ARITZ SHEVA - 17/07/17

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who will visit China this week, told the Xinhua news agency in an interview on Sunday that he believes China could make a positive contribution to help achieve peace and stability in the Middle East and to promote the development of the political process in the region.
Abbas said that during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he will place an emphasis on the four-point proposal put forward by Xi in May 2013 for a solution to the conflict with Israel.
The Chinese proposal focused on an independent Palestinian state, negotiations as the only way to peace, the principle of "land for peace", and on guarantees the international community should provide for the progress of the peace process.

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Interview: Abbas says Palestine to discuss cooperation with China on Belt & Road Initiative

Xinhua| 2017-07-16

RAMALLAH, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said Palestine will discuss with China ways to carry out cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.  The president made the remarks during an interview with Xinhua here ahead of his state visit to China, which is slated for July 17-20.  It will be Abbas's fourth visit to China. He said Palestine thinks highly of the theme of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.  The forum, held in Beijing in May, took the theme of strengthening international cooperation and co-building the Belt and Road for win-win development, he added.  The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.  Abbas said Palestine believes that it is important to deepen its relationship with China, which is of special historic significance.  As a major country in the world, China plays an important role on the world and regional stage, Abbas said, adding that China could make positive contribution to helping achieve peace and stability in the Middle East and promoting the development of the political process in the region.  Abbas said he will give emphasis to the four-point proposal put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in May 2013 for the settlement of the Palestinian issue, as well as the proposals regarding Palestine that Xi raised in his address at the Arab League's headquarters in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, in January 2016.  Abbas hopes to exchange views with Chinese leaders on the Middle East during his upcoming visit to China, and to negotiate over anti-terrorism and anti-violence measures.  Palestine supports China's peaceful reunification, Abbas said.  The Palestinian president stressed that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict should be resolved through peace talks, and a permanent peace deal should be reached.  Palestine insists on building an independent state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, Abbas said.

China says it will host Israeli-Palestinian ‘peace symposium’

During meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, Xi Jinping says. Chinese will work ‘ceaselessly’ to end decades old conflict

By AFP July 18, 2017

BEIJING — China will host a symposium between Israel and the Palestinians later this year, a Chinese official said Tuesday, as Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to “ceaselessly” contribute towards peace in the region. Despite depending on the volatile Middle East for oil supplies, Beijing has long taken a backseat in its disputes. But China has stepped up its diplomatic engagement in the region in the past year, including offering to host talks on the Syrian conflict.  In a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, Xi reaffirmed China’s support of a two-state solution, with an independent, sovereign Palestinian state, bounded by the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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China is increasingly becoming key for Israel's high-tech industry

Israel has laid out the welcoming mat to Chinese companies and investors who may face more troublesome regulations and scrutiny elsewhere.     The first IPO (initial public offering) of an Israeli high-tech company on a Chinese stock exchange, Hong Kong, is expected within the year. 

Ferry Biedermann; special to CNBC.com Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017

China's investors and markets are becoming increasingly important to Israel's economy, and in particular to its booming high-tech industry.
The first IPO (initial public offering) of an Israeli high-tech company on a Chinese stock exchange, Hong Kong, is expected within the year and Chinese investments in Israeli high-tech venture capital approached $1 billion in 2016, industry experts say.
"The Chinese stock exchange market will become another very viable option for Israeli companies looking for public funding," if the first IPO goes off successfully, Eli Tidhar of Deloitte Israel, told CNBC.
Tidhar heads what Deloitte calls its "Israel-China corridor". Israel has laid out the welcoming mat to Chinese companies and investors who may face more troublesome regulations and scrutiny elsewhere.

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China calls for unity of all Syrians

BRICS POST - July 23, 2017

China is calling for a united Syria and is encouraging parties to the six-year conflict to work hard together toward a peaceful resolution.  Chinese Special Envoy for Syria Xie Xiaoyan reiterated his country’s position during his visit to Tehran where he met with Iranian officials.  He added that it was Beijing’s unwavering position that Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity be maintained.  China has long urged that all parties in Syria must effectively implement Security Council resolutions and that the international community should work simultaneously on the tracks of ceasefire, political negotiation, humanitarian assistance and counter-terrorism cooperation in order to promote the peaceful resolution of the civil war which has killed in excess of 400,000 people, according to UN estimates.  Xie was in Tehran from July 20 and left early on Sunday in a trip that stressed bilateral Chinese-Iranian ties and examined means to resolve regional crises.  “Iran is an important country in the Middle East which has a significant and unique influence on the Syrian issue,” he said.  He told reporters in Tehran that China had provided about $100.5 million of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.

Iran Gov’t Seeking Solution for Petrochem Issue With China

FINANCIAL TRIBUNE - July 22, 2017

The government is keen to help remove trade barriers between private-sector Iranian petrochemical exporters and Chinese buyers, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.  Domestic producers in recent months have faced difficulty cashing in on their petrochemical sales to China which, according to Zanganeh, is an economic and not a political issue.  The minister also told IRNA on Friday that the government is looking to liaise with Chinese officials to streamline the payments.  "The issue should be addressed by the private Iranian companies. But the government has stepped in to address the problem associated with delayed payments to petrochemical companies," Zanganeh said.  “It’s not clear [when financial barriers would be removed],” he added, noting that the issue requires the collaboration of Chinese authorities.

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Iranian, Chinese Diplomats Discuss Syrian Crisis

TASNIM NEWS - July, 24, 2017

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The director general of the Iranian Foreign Ministry's office for the Middle East and North Africa, Mohammad Irani, held talks with China’s special envoy to Syria Xie Xiaoyan on a range of issues, including the latest efforts to resolve the protracted crisis in Syria.  In the meeting held in Tehran on Sunday, Xiaoyan reiterated Beijing’s support for the independence and national sovereignty of Syria and said his country is resolved to combat terrorism and extremism across the world.  He further hailed the growing relations between China, Iran, and Syria and said his country is ready to boost cooperation in the fight against terrorism.  The Iranian diplomat, for his part, pointed to the common stance of Iran and China on the Syrian developments and stressed the need for closer Tehran-Beijing cooperation to help end the crisis in Syria and contribute to the Arab country’s reconstruction.  Syria’s warring sides have so far attended five rounds of peace talks brokered by Iran, Russia, and Turkey in the Kazakh capital of Astana. The fourth round of those talks in May produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.

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As Turkey and NATO Drift Apart, Russia, China, and Iran Stand to Gain

by Marc C. Johnson

NATIONAL REVIEW - July 19, 2017 

In Ankara, Recep Erdogan could position himself as a leader willing to stand up to Western powers. On paper at least, NATO is looking pretty healthy. From Tallinn on the Baltic to Dubrovnik on the Adriatic, Churchill’s Iron Curtain has more or less ascended from Eastern Europe, in no small part owing to the NATO expansion process begun after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. But if policymakers have confidence about the political stability and martial resolve of the former Warsaw Pact states, they are also disquieted by developments on NATO’s southern flank. Turkey, long a bulwark against Soviet (later Russian) adventurism, has started to look wobbly. Most of the concern within NATO’s leadership and in the halls of its member states’ parliaments can be traced back to one man: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014 and since then its president.

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China to build Africa's tallest skyscraper in Morocco

By Xie Zhenqi 

CGTN - 2017-07-23

A Chinese firm has signed a deal with local companies to build Africa's tallest skyscraper in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.   The deal was struck in Casablanca by China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and Morocco's BMCE Bank of Africa and Travaux Generaux de Construction de Casablanca, Morocco's leading construction company, the le360.ma news site reported. The 55-story tower will be 250 meters tall and use ecological and sustainable design concepts.   It will house offices, hotels and luxury apartments, according to the report.  The tower will be the highlight of a large-scale project to develop the Bouregreg Valley in Rabat, a key component of the 2014-2018 Integrated Development Program dubbed "Rabat, City of Light, Moroccan Cultural Capital."  The new project also involves the construction of several innovative facilities, including the Grand Theater of Rabat, the Arts and Culture House, the National Archives of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Archaeological Museum.

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Wang Yi Meets with Foreign Minister of Qatar: Talk about Gulf Crisis Again

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China - 2017/07/20

On July 20, 2017, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani of Qatar, who was in China for a working visit, and listened to the views of Qatar on the current Gulf crisis and further expounded China's propositions.  Wang Yi expressed that the current tense situation in Gulf region causes widespread concerns in the international community. A stable and harmonious Gulf region conforms to the fundamental interests of countries in this region, and is also the common expectation of the international community. As a mature regional organization, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has successfully solved many contradictions and differences. It is believed that the Gulf countries have the capabilities to well manage the current situation and address their differences and contradictions within the GCC framework. At present, all sides should exercise restraint, avoid further deterioration and escalation of the situation, and conduct face-to-face talks as soon as possible, so as to send out a positive signal of sticking to political and diplomatic settlement, and recover confidence of the outside world in the GCC.  Wang Yi said that opposing all forms of terrorism is a broad consensus of the international community. All Gulf parties can, on the basis of jointly fighting against terrorism and in the principle of mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, earnestly fulfill respective international obligations, and find a way to resolve the crisis through candid talks in a step-by-step manner, in a bid to reach new consensus of solidarity and harmony among the GCC member states.  Wang Yi stated that China appreciates and supports Kuwait's mediation efforts, and calls on the international community to help create necessary conditions and build a sound environment to resolve this crisis at the regional level. As a sincere friend of Arab countries, China stands ready to play a constructive role in promoting peace talks when needed by all parties.  Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani said that Qatar highly appreciates and fully endorses China's stance and propositions. Qatar hopes to resolve crises through negotiation and dialogue, and stands ready to launch constructive talks with the parties concerned on the premise of respecting sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and complying with international law, and gradually establish mutual trust, so as to address differences fundamentally. Qatar opposes all forms of terrorism and extremism, and has taken necessary measures to this end. Qatar will continue actively participating in international counter-terrorism campaign. China is a great power with considerable influence. Appreciating China's objective and fair stance on the Gulf crisis, Qatar is ready to maintain communication and coordination with China, and hopes China to continuously play a positive role.  Both sides also exchanged views on bilateral relations, and agreed to enhance practical cooperation in various fields under the framework of the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" and adopt more measures on facilitating personnel exchanges.

China ready to play constructive role in Qatar peace talks

BRICS POST -  July 21, 2017

China is a “sincere friend of Arab countries” and stands ready to play a constructive role in promoting peace talks if necessary, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told visiting Qatari foreign minister on Thursday.  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Beijing, calling on all parties to address their differences within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).  “All sides should continue restraint and conduct face-to-face talks as soon as possible, so as to avoid escalation of the situation, send out a positive signal in addressing the crisis through political and diplomatic means, and reassure the role of the GCC,” Wang said.  Calling the GCC “a mature regional organization which has successfully solved many disputes,” Wang expressed confidence that the Gulf countries have the capability to manage the current situation and address their differences within the GCC.

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MOSQUES IN SHANGHAI - PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA


1.     Huxi Mosque
The Shanghai Huxi Mosque is the first rebuilt mosque in Shanghai after the establishment of the Peoples' Republic of China. It demonstrates a strong Arabic/Islamic architectural style with traditional grounds and interior.
Address: China, Shanghai Shi, Putuo Qu, 常德路13283
Phone: +86 21 6277 2076
Metro Line - 7
2.     Fuyou Road Mosque (North Mosque)
The Fuyou Road Mosque was first built during the ninth year of Tongzhi during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The mosque was once the political, religious, and cultural center for Muslims in the area.
Address: 378 Fuyou Rd, Huangpu Qu, China, 200000
Phone: +86 21 6328 2135
3.     The Xiaotaoyuan Mosque
Formerly known as Islamic Western Mosque or Shanghai Western Mosque, is a mosque in Huangpu District, Shanghai, China. It is the largest mosque in Shanghai. It was first built in 1917 and then rebuilt in 1925. The mosque has been home to many Islamic schools throughout its existence and has contributed to the religious education of many Chinese Muslims throughout history.
Address: 52 Xiaotaoyuan St, LaoXiMen, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
Phone: +86 21 6377 5442
Metro Line –
4.     Shanghai Female Mosque
Address: No. 24, Xiaotaoyuan Street, Huangpu District, Shanghai Tel: 021-63775442
5.     The Songjiang Mosque  
Songjiang University Town – Old City – (formerly called the Real Religion Mosque, is a mosque in Songjiang District, Shanghai, China. It is the oldest mosque in Shanghai. You can see a mixture of Islamic and Chinese architecture due to the history and culture it has stood a part of since the last years of the Yuan Empire (1271-1368).
Address: 75 Gangbeng Alley, Songjiang Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 201600
Phone: +86 21 5782 3684
Metro Line - 9
6.     The Jiangwan Mosque
It is a mosque in Yangpu District, Shanghai, China
Address: 86 Zhengfu Rd, WuJiaoChang, Yangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200433
Phone: +86 21 3381 2066
Metro Line - 10
7.     Shanghai Pudong Mosque (上海浦清真寺) 
The Shanghai Pudong Mosque was first built in 1935, and the now rebuilt temple was expanded in 1935 by the Chinese government. The newly built mosque now covers an area of 1,650 square meters.  Attractions: Located in Pudong District, this mosque offers easy access for tourists. Inside visitors can find shops selling Islamic study materials and even Halal food items. The temple boasts a spacious courtyard and prayer hall, which can hold about 500 people during prayer.  Location: 375 Yuansheng Road, Pudong District, Shanghai (上海市浦新区源深路375). You can show this address to the taxi driver. You can also reach this mosque through the 975 bus line. The nearest metro station is Yuan Shen Road Station on Line 6.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Why Does China Have Women-only Mosques?

Michael Wood

WORLD RELIGION NEWS - 28 Jun 2017

Traveling, writing, and filming for the last 35 years between the Mediterranean and the Yellow Sea, I have often had occasion to reflect on how frequently the Muslim world is misunderstood, in its beliefs, but also in its customs and practices. 
It’s amazing, isn’t it, how often an expert claims to talk about Islam as if it were monolithic? Sometimes you might even think the Wahhabis spoke for the majority, when actually they are a minority in a vast sea of faith with myriad points of view. 
The Islamic world is wide and various, its points of view almost as numerous as its people. And Islam in China, with its long tradition of women-only mosques, provides a good illustration. In the middle of the plain of the Yellow River in Henan province is the city of Kaifeng. The old capital of the Song Dynasty, 1,000 years ago, it was one of the greatest cities anywhere in the world before the 19th Century – and a meeting place of peoples and faiths. In the narrow alleys of the old town are Buddhist and Daoist temples, a shrine to the Goddess of Mercy, always teeming with people. There are Christian churches, and Muslim mosques – both religions came in the 7th Century (China has some of the oldest Muslim communities outside the Near East). Most fascinating though, are the women-only mosques, and even more surprising is that they have female prayer leaders – women imams. During the Ming Dynasty in the late 1300s, the Muslim community – previously favored guests – suddenly became an anxious and oppressed minority. Responding to the shock of the alien Mongol occupation, the early Ming rulers waged a chauvinistic war against non-Han peoples. Minorities now aroused hostility and suspicion and were subject to a brutal policy of assimilation – the Muslims were told they must marry Han people and not among themselves. So the 15th Century was almost catastrophic for Chinese Islam. But in the late 16th Century things improved and among the Muslims a new cultural movement began, a revival of Islamic culture and education. A century later Chinese Muslim philosophers were able to write erudite books showing how you could be a loyal Muslim and also loyal to the Chinese state. And at this point, at the grassroots, men realized how important women could be in preserving and transmitting the faith. So women’s mosques grew out of a double movement in the Chinese Muslim world – the need to preserve the community, and the desire for women’s education. The main women’s mosque in Kaifeng is close to the central men’s mosque, across an alley lined with food stalls with steaming tureens and white-capped bakers making the local spiced bread. The prayer leader here is Guo Jingfang, who was trained by her father, an imam at the men’s mosque. She took me through Kaifeng’s winding alleys, stopping on the way to hold animated chats with neighbors and to pick up an order from the local cake maker, until finally we came to the ornamental gate of what looked like a little Confucian temple. Inside was a tiny flagged courtyard with a tiled roof festooned with vines and yellow flowers. This is Wangjia Alley mosque, said to be the oldest surviving women’s mosque in Kaifeng, built in 1820. The prayer hall is scarcely more than a spacious living room covered with carpets and chairs. It could hardly fit more than 50 people but it is one of the loveliest places of worship I have seen anywhere. Outside, in dappled sunlight, we met members of the community and their prayer leader. Once a factory worker, she came from a religious family and after five years of study had become an ahong – a woman prayer leader – though she sees her main job simply as teaching women to read the Koran. We stood in the courtyard and chatted away. Guo Jingfang saw women’s mosques as a Chinese tradition but especially strong in Henan – there are 16 in Kaifeng and dozens more in the countryside around, along with small teaching schools in the big city, Zhengzhou, and in some smaller towns. Further afield, there are many more down south in Yunnan and in the north, but not in Muslim Xinjiang, where they follow a more traditional Central Asian brand of Sunni Islam. Guo Jingfang and her friends in Kaifeng think that the schools came first, and then became full mosques in the 18th Century. Education still has a big role today, from basic teaching to copying texts. “In some places in the Muslim world it is not allowed, but here we think it a good thing. Women have had a better status here since 1949 and this is part of it.” One of the women mentioned the progressive ideas of the Islamic Association of Kaifeng, which gets men and women to work together on new education projects. “China is changing and these are good things for the future,” she said. Later, in the main women’s mosque, everyone joined in the prayers, and the men in our crew were invited too, visitors from afar. There were 30 or so women, young and old, in colored and embroidered headscarves, lime-green, scarlet, black spangled with silver stars. After a period of calm reflection, Guo Jingfang lifted her hands and began singing. Then facing the congregation, she started the prayers. It was beautiful and simple, the sounds of the street receding so you could almost hear a pin drop. I felt privileged to be there. The Muslim community has had its ups and downs in China. Today, as in the Ming Dynasty, they are anxious to demonstrate their loyalty, as rumors come of dissent in the far west in Xinjiang – keen to point out that the old Muslims, the Hui, are loyal Chinese, just as the Han are. But what began as a response to the patriarchy of traditional Chinese society, and to the historical situation of Islam under the Ming and the Manchus, has now also become a feminist issue. China was isolated for much of the 20th Century, so these women-only mosques were untouched by the waves of radical Islam which came after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Now the wheel is turning again and what is seen as completely normal here in Kaifeng is being taken up in other parts of the world. Iran accepted women’s mosques not so long ago. There are women’s mosques in Berlin and Amsterdam, in Lebanon and Bukhara and even in Sudan. An African-American woman recently led prayers in the USA’s first-ever women’s mosque in Los Angeles. In the UK, the Bradford Muslim Women’s Council only recently announced a plan to build the UK’s first women’s mosque. To many Muslims I have spoken to, men and women, the movement is an inevitable necessary and renewing phase in the history of Islam… And if the goal is the renewal of spiritual life then the gorgeous little mosque in Wangjia Alley carries a lesson for us all. On my travels over the years – to the Sufis in Konya (Turkey) or Sind (Pakistan), shrines like Nizamuddin in Delhi, Chishti in Ajmer (Rajasthan), or Ibn al-Arabi in Damascus, the timeless calm of Al-Azhar (Cairo), the passion of Karbala (Iraq) – I have always been struck by how full of rich difference the world of Islam is. And among those unforgettable experiences the women’s mosques in Kaifeng will have a very special place.
Traveling, writing, and filming for the last 35 years between the Mediterranean and the Yellow Sea, I have often had occasion to reflect on how frequently the Muslim world is misunderstood, in its beliefs, but also in its customs and practices.

Read more at World Religion News: "Why Does China Have Women-only Mosques?" http://www.worldreligionnews.com/?p=38705

China's Last Empire: A Rich Age for Muslim Culture

Is There a Match for Tech Between China and Israel?

KNOWLEDGE@WHARTON - Jun 20, 2017
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 

Catherine Leung is a principal and co-founder of MizMaa Ventures, a Hong Kong-based investment firm that focuses exclusively on Israeli technologies. Leung formerly was vice chairman of JPMorgan Asia investment banking for 20 years until 2015, where she spearheaded efforts in Greater China. During her tenure, JPMorgan was named the best foreign investment bank in Hong Kong at various times by The Asset magazine and also FinanceAsia. She has been involved in many high-profile IPOs, mergers, acquisitions and other transactions. In this Knowledge@Wharton interview, Leung shares her views on technology, innovation and the opportunities for collaboration with Israel’s tech industry.
An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

Knowledge@Wharton: Israel is well-known for its tech prowess and rich start-up culture. Hong Kong, meanwhile, is one of the world’s largest financial centers, and so it seems like the two would be a great match just on the face of it. In fact, the name of your company, MizMaa, is a combination of two Hebrew words that mean East and West. Why did you make the change from investment banking and why the focus on Israel today?

Catherine Leung: You only have so long of a working life, I would say. People can say, I want to stop [working] at 50, people can say I want to stop at 60, some people don’t stop at 70, it depends on what your perspectives are, but there is going to be a limit to the work life. And I think that having done 20 years of investment banking gives me plenty of perspective, plenty of experience and plenty of scars and celebrations and victories. Where the world is now, the most interesting thing I think is actually tech.

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FOCUS: Is Iran the new China for steel billet?

Juan Weik  

META BULLETIN - July 05, 2017  

Iranian steel billet has been quietly gaining market acceptance in Southeast Asia because of its low prices, just as it happened with China-origin product a few years ago, but can it dominate the region?

In the past several months, transactions involving Iranian billet had been concluded on and off in Southeast Asia – the world’s largest import region for the semi-finished steel product – at $10-15 per tonne below prices of cargoes of other origin. Until recently, Thailand was the only country that regularly imported billet from Iran in this part of the world. But the low prices of cargoes from the Middle Eastern country have piqued the interest of buyers in places such as Malaysia and Indonesia. "It’s just too cheap to ignore," one buyer source in Southeast Asia told Metal Bulletin. This is strikingly similar to the story of Chinese billet, which first attracted the attention of a handful of importers in the Philippines around the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 before spreading to the entire region, displacing shipments from South Korea, Russia and other countries in the process. Loopholes The similarities between Chinese...

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FOCUS: Is Iran the new China for steel billet? – Part 2

Juan Weik

META BULLETIN - July 05, 2017 
 
In this second segment of a two-part feature, Metal Bulletin looks at the implications of two cargoes of Iranian steel that encountered roadblocks into Southeast Asia, and what may lie ahead.


Shifting trends The fact that more Iranian cargoes are making their way to Southeast Asia shows that Iranian steelmakers have jumped on to the export bandwagon ever since the Middle Eastern country opened up to international trade early last year. The country shipped 5.53 million tonnes of steel products abroad during the Iranian year ended March 20, of which 3.74 million tonnes consisted of semi-finished products. It aims to increase its steel exports to 8 million tonnes in the current Iranian year, which ends on March 21, 2018. Meanwhile, China’s steel exports have been sliding on a year-on-year basis since the end of 2016 because of plans to cut capacity being pushed forward by the country’s central government and, more recently, a crackdown on mills that produce substandard steel. In January-May this year, China exported 34.19 million tonnes of finished steel – a steep fall of 26.1% from 46.28 million tonnes over the same period...

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Modern Silk Road project to set ground for stronger Turkey, China political ties

MEHMET ÇELIK

SABAH DAILY NEWS - JUNE 24, 2017

The One Belt, One Road project which will significantly contribute to Sino-Turkish economic and trade ties, is also expected to set foundations for enhancing diplomatic ties between Beijing and Ankara, analysts suggest

As part of Turkey's new approach to foreign policy after the April 16 referendum and a series of official visits abroad, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the Chinese capital of Beijing to attend the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) forum, an initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. Turkey's active support for the project, which aims to increase the connectivity of trade routes between Asia and the European continent through 65 countries, will also enhance Sino-Turkish political relations and mutual cooperation in social and cultural areas, analysts suggest.

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Chinese academic: Xinjiang claims untrue, President Erdoğan knows real situation


Ali Unal

 
Chinese Academic Manyuan Dong, vice president of the China Institute of International Studies, said claims about the mistreatment of minorities in Xinjiang are not true, and that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan knows about the environment, rights and freedom issues in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region better than anyone and therefore, Turkish journalists can ask him directly about the real situation.
The Chinese Embassy in Ankara organized a conference titled "The Situation of Ethnic Groups and Religions in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China" on June 20 with the participation of academics and experts from China. Speaking at the conference, Chinese Academic Manyuan Dong said that most of the news that circulates in Turkish media outlets about Xinjiang claiming that members of the Uyghur minority are forced to change their names or forced to break their fast do not reflect the truth. "Xinjiang is a place where various ethnic and religious groups have lived in harmony throughout history and all the minorities and religious groups have had the right to practice their religion freely since the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region was established in 1955." He added that "Turkish President Recep Tayyyip Erdoğan who has been to Xinjiang twice knows the environment in Xinjiang better than anyone, thus Turkish journalists can also ask him questions about freedom of religion in China directly, if they find our statements unsatisfactory."

Friday, June 30, 2017

Trump Cools on China

Dimitri Alexander Simes


Donald Trump’s administration is gradually losing patience with China. Over the past week, it adopted a new and more confrontational posture towards Beijing, including possible tariffs on steel. These moves mark a reversal from the president’s earlier approach to China, which sought to recruit the People’s Republic as a partner in solving regional issues, most notably on North Korea.
As a candidate, Trump took a critical tone on China. Speaking about America’s trade deficit with the country at a May 2016 rally in Indiana, the New York billionaire declared, “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.” Throughout the election season, he promised to outmaneuver Beijing if elected. “You can win against China if you're smart,” he told a South Carolina audience in July 2015.
Upon taking office, however, Trump appeared to prefer collaboration over confrontation with Beijing. After meeting with the Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago in early April, Trump expressed optimism about finding common on North Korea and trade. Beyond positive words, the president backed away from some of his tougher campaign proposals in order to cultivate China. He decided against labeling the People’s Republic a currency manipulator, citing the need to gain its support on North Korea.

How Zbigniew Brzezinski Shaped US-China Relations

Dr. Brzezinski played an instrumental, but often overlooked, role in the normalization of U.S.-China relations.

By Chi Wang

The Diplomat - July 01, 2017

Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski passed away on May 26. In the wake of his passing, I was initially surprised by how little fanfare surrounded the news of his death, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been. After all, Dr. Brzezinski had always been a humble and private man, not seeking praise or attention for his countless accomplishments. His legacy, however, should not be forgotten. The impact he made on the United States and China should be remembered and given the attention it deserves.
Dr. Brzezinski should be remembered as a respected political strategist, influential adviser, and global scholar. He pursued his endeavors with great integrity, honesty, and humility. Some of his key accomplishments can best be embodied by the text of the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to him by President Jimmy Carter in 1981, which read:
Zbigniew Brzezinski served his country and the world. An author and architect of world affairs, his strategic vision of America’s purpose fused principle with strength. His leadership has been instrumental in building peace and ending the estrangement of the Chinese and American people. But above all, he helped set our nation irrevocably on a course that honors America’s abiding commitment to human rights.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship, 2017-18

Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship 

ISRAEL-ASIA CENTER

The Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship develops and invests in future leaders in Israel-Asia relations by providing Israeli and Asian students studying in Israel with the high-level access, contacts, skills-set and support network necessary to build long-term, strategic partnerships between Israel and Asia in their professional fields.
The 8-month program is part-time and is designed to supplement students’ existing university study programs in Israel.

The Israel-Asia Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a shared future between Israel and Asia. We develop and invest in the future leaders of Israel-Asia relations, and are growing dynamic networks to maximize their continued engagement and build new paradigms of cooperation.
What we do
Our programs to date:
Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship
An 8-month program focused on building future leaders in Israel-Asia relations.
75% of our alumni are now directly engaged in strengthening Israel-Asia relations in their professional fields, across 10 countries in Asia and securing tens of millions of dollars in investment from Asia to Israel.
Israel-Asia Events
The Israel-Asia Center holds thought leadership events exploring the future of Israel-Asia relations, and the biggest challenges facing Asia in the next decade and how we can work together to co-innovate solutions.
Scholarships to Asian students
The Israel-Asia Center provides a limited number of scholarships to Asian students to study MBAs in Israel – as part of special tracks on the Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship that also include seed funding for Israel-Asia ventures, or employment with Israeli/Asian companies after the program.
Israel-Asia Micro Grants
Powered by Start-Up Nation Central, Israel-Asia Micro Grants provide alumni of the Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship with ongoing engagement opportunities and seed funding for events, ventures and other initiatives connecting Israel and Asia in different areas of innovation and entrepreneurship.

http://israelasiacenter.org/