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China Appreciates Estonia's Efforts in Dovetailing its Development Strategy with the Belt and Road Initiative


SOFIA, July 8: China appreciates Estonia's efforts in dovetailing its development strategy with the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made these remarks while meeting with his Estonian counterpart, Juri Ratas, and the two sides pledged to enhance cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The development of China-Estonia relations is enjoying sound momentum, Li said at the meeting, which was held on the eve of the seventh leaders' meeting of China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries.

China is willing to intensify high-level contact with Estonia and consolidate political mutual trust, so as to lay a solid foundation for upgrading bilateral ties, Li said.
China, he added, appreciates Estonia's efforts in dovetailing its development strategy with the Belt and Road Initiative.

Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to achieve policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes and build a new platform for international cooperation.

China and Estonia have achieved new outcomes in their cooperation in such areas as energy and third-party market exploration, said the Chinese premier.
China, he added, supports its e-commerce companies in strengthening cooperation with their partners in Estonia, welcomes Estonia to play an active role in expanding China-Europe freight train services, and stands ready to strengthen cooperation in such areas as agriculture, transportation and logistics.

Li also voiced the hope that the two countries will further cement their traditional friendship, enhance people-to-people exchanges and consolidate public support for bilateral ties.

For his part, Ratas said Estonia-China relations are witnessing vigorous development, with bilateral practical cooperation in energy and third-party market making smooth progress.

Estonia is willing to work with China to step up high-level contact and tap deeper into their cooperation potential, said Ratas, adding that his country looks forward to enhancing cooperation in Belt and Road construction, China-Europe freight train services and interconnectivity projects, as well as in such emerging industries as e-commerce and digitization.

The two countries have carried out good exchanges of experience on agriculture, Ratas said, adding that Estonia welcomes China to import more of its high-quality agricultural products.

Estonia, he added, is also willing to strengthen cooperation with China in people-to-people exchanges and tourism.

Forum on the Belt and Road Legal Cooperation Held in Beijing Promoting International Rule of Law by Enhancing Cooperation


Beijing, July 3: During 2 and 3 July 2018, over 350 delegates from governments, international and regional organizations, private sectors and academic institutions attended in Beijing, China the Forum on the Belt and Road Legal Cooperation jointly held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and China Law Society, with Mr. Kong Xuanyou, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, and Mr. Chen Jiping, Executive Vice-President of China Law Society, as Co-Chairs of the Forum, and conducted extensive, in-depth and productive discussions under the theme of “Jointly Build the Belt and Road: Rules and Coordination”.

2. In 2013, President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Five years on, this Initiative has received positive response and broad support from the international community. Over 100 countries and international organizations have participated in this Initiative and have already achieved productive outcomes. The BRI is a Chinese proposal for the world. It has become a platform for open and inclusive cooperation and a global public good jointly developed by parties from different regions, at different development stages, and across different cultures and law systems.

3. As the BRI continues to develop, in addition to strengthening “hard” connectivity in physical infrastructure, there is a growing need for “soft” connectivity in legal infrastructure, rules and regulations. In this context, it is necessary to come together to discuss issues concerning legal cooperation, in order to provide better legal support and safeguards for the BRI.

Promoting international rule of law by enhancing cooperation under the BRI

4. The international rule of law is an important institutional guarantee for upholding state sovereignty, maintaining world peace and promoting common development. It reflects the shared pursuit by all countries of such ideas and values as sovereign equality, peace, inclusiveness, win-win cooperation,fairness and effectiveness. A sound legal environment is an essential prerequisite to the smooth progress of the BRI process.

5. Since its very inception, the BRI has always followed the principle of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits”, which is consistent with the fundamental principles of international law and the basic norms of international relations with the UN Charter as the core.

6. Legal cooperation, as an indispensable field of and link for international cooperation under the BRI, should be developed on the basis of the principle of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits” as well.

7. It is recommended that all parties participating in the BRI develop multi-level, multi-channel and comprehensive legal cooperation by exploring the establishment of cooperation mechanisms, identifying priorities through consultation, making action plans progressively, solving legal issues effectively and building consensus constantly, in order to lay a solid legal foundation for the BRI.

8. International and regional organizations have an important part to play in legal cooperation under the BRI, with their strengths in institutional networking, expertise and human resources. It is recommended that the parties participating in the BRI further strengthen cooperation with these organizations in relevant fields.

9. We believe that the BRI provides a new platform for implementing and a new momentum for promoting the international rule of law. As the BRI and the related legal cooperation continue to develop, the international rule of law will be improved and enriched, both in theory and in practice.
Abiding by and improving relevant international rules-based systems

10. The BRI aims to provide a platform for international cooperation characterized by equality, mutual benefit, openness, inclusiveness and transparency, and on the basis of international conventions, bilateral treaties and other international rules. As the BRI continues to develop, it is necessary to develop new rules and improve the rules-based systems in accordance with the circumstances and needs of all parties.

11. We support the parties participating in the BRI in their efforts to enhance the connectivity and compatibility between technical standards systems in the construction of infrastructure and other fields. They should take account of their particular circumstances and their developmental needs, draw upon applicable international standards, and explore jointly and on equal footing the proper standards for cooperation, in order to deepen international cooperation under the BRI.

12. In recognition of the crucial role of trade and investment in driving economic growth, we call for concerted efforts by all participants, in order to uphold the multilateral trading system and avoid and oppose any form of unilateralism and trade protectionism. We support the parties participating in the BRI in their efforts to conclude agreements on trade and investment, to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, increase market access, and gradually reduce and eliminate barriers to trade and investment.

13. We support the parties participating in the BRI in their efforts to promote cooperation on laws related to financing, taxation, transportation, intellectual property rights, environmental protection, labor, anti-terrorism, the fight against transnational crimes and so on, so as to build a framework of rules and systems for the BRI that would feature stability, fairness, transparency and non-discrimination.

14. We support the parties participating in the BRI in their efforts to conduct multilateral and bilateral cooperation on accounting and auditing supervision, and to harmonize standards and provide equivalency in accounting and auditing, in order to provide structural safeguards for cross-border investment and financing activities and financial market connectivity.

15. The parties participating in the BRI are encouraged to cooperate in areas of civil and commercial laws and regulations on the basis of international general practice in civil, commercial matters, in order to reduce conflict of laws.

16. The parties participating in the BRI are encouraged to enhance cooperation on rules related to visa application and custom clearance, in order to facilitate cross-border movement of people and goods.

17. We call on the parties participating in the BRI to jointly strengthen anti-corruption cooperation, on the basis of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and other international conventions as well as bilateral treaties, in order to ensure integrity in the BRI process.

Actively preventing and properly settling disputes

18. As an essential safeguard for the BRI, efforts will be made to settle trade and investment disputes in the implementation of the BRI projects, fairly protect the legitimate rights and interests of all parties, and foster a business environment under the rule of law featuring stability, fairness, transparency and predictability.

19. We recommend that the parties participating in the BRI work together to prevent legal risks and avoid disputes effectively.

20. We support the parties participating in the BRI in their efforts to strengthen consultation and cooperation and resolve disputes through existing domestic and international dispute settlement mechanisms or institutions. Efforts should be made to explore the feasibility of establishing dispute settlement mechanisms or institutions that meet the needs of the BRI, including further discussion on establishing, if appropriate, treaty-based mechanisms or institutions, to prevent and resolve disputes.

21. We support the parties participating in the BRI in their efforts to deepen cooperation in judicial affairs and law enforcement, including exploring the establishment of cooperation mechanisms to strengthen mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters and to promote service of judicial documents as well as investigation and evidence collection in civil and commercial matters. The parties participating in the BRI are encouraged to strengthen exchanges and cooperation regarding the ways and means of settling disputes other than by judicial settlement, such as mediation, arbitration and so on.

22. We stand for the settlement of disputes in an equitable, efficient and convenient way and appreciate the efforts made by countries to explore the establishment of diversified mechanisms of dispute settlement that allow judicial settlement, mediation and arbitration to play their appropriate and effective roles.

Advancing legal exchange under the BRI

23. Parties participating in the BRI, international and regional organizations, civil society and the academia are encouraged to conduct diversified legal exchange, share good and latest practices and facilitate cooperation in areas relating to the legal system, legal culture and legal education.

24. The legal service industries in the parties participating in the BRI are encouraged to strengthen consultation and exchange of information and to promote cross-border cooperation, so as to provide high quality and efficient services to governments and enterprises.

25. Parties participating in the BRI, international and regional organizations, civil society, research institutions and the private sectors are encouraged to jointly work on training legal professionals and capacity building.

26. We welcome China’s provision of funding to implement the “Belt and Road Legal Cooperation Research and Training Programme”, in order to support legal exchange and capacity building among the parties participating in the BRI.

27. The parties participating in the BRI are encouraged to develop mechanisms to exchange legal information and practice data, such as establishing an online platform for foreign law ascertaining and sharing, and an exchange platform on judicial cases.

28. The parties participating in the BRI are encouraged to jointly establish a database, for public access, of bilateral and multilateral treaties concluded and acceded to by the parties participating in the BRI.

Way Forward

29. We suggest that further discussions under the theme of the BRI legal cooperation be conducted in appropriate forums in the future.

30. We call for respect for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law, and for advancement of the BRI legal cooperation on the basis of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. We also call for contribution to building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind and a world that enjoys enduring peace, comprehensive security, and common prosperity, and is open and inclusive as well as clean and beautiful.


BRI: China Launches a Freight Train Service from Bayannur in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to Tehran, Iran


Tehran, Iran: China on Thursday launched a freight train service that connects its northern regions to Iran’s capital Tehran in what could be a major connectivity project of vital importance to the flow of trade between the two countries under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).  The freight train service would take cargoes from Bayannur in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to Tehran.

China sent an inaugural train toward Iran carrying 1,150 tonnes of sunflower seeds. It would travel a distance of around 8,000 kilometers through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and would arrive in Iran within two weeks.

The new train route will shorten transportation time by at least 20 days compared with ocean shipping, according to a report by Xinhua news agency.

Bayannur is China' biggest sunflower seed production area. The city exports about 180,000 tonnes of sunflower seeds every year, with 90 percent of them headed for Middle Eastern, European and US markets, the report added.

The launch of a train service to Iran comes as the United States is preparing to impose what President Donald Trump has described as a tough regime of sanctions against the country. 

Establishing new train routes toward the Islamic Republic is accordingly seen as a gesture by Beijing that it wants to maintain trade with its biggest trade partner even when the sanctions are put into effect.

“While the United States is now urging foreign companies to wind down their operations in Iran, China appears to be doing the opposite,” wrote the Washington Post in an analysis.

“Thursday’s launch of a freight train connection was only the latest measure that Beijing has taken to intensify trade relations with Iran, and there seem to be no plans so far to give in to US demands.” 

In February 2017, China also launched a long-distance train service that would take cargoes from its east to Iran through a route of above 10,000 kilometers - what could be one of the world's longest rail routes.

A train sent through the key connectivity project took 14 days to reach Iran after travelling through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

The shipment period was almost a month less than the sea route from Shanghai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.

Iranian officials have indicated that the ultimate aim is to extend the rail route to Europe, positioning Iran on a key stretch to the continent, the Guardian wrote in an analysis on the development.

These are seen as part of China’s efforts to revive the ancient Silk Road – a trans-Asian trade route that connected the east to Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.

Source: Press TV

Renmin University to Start First Belt and Road Graduate School in Sept at Suzhou City


Beijing, May 1: China's Renmin University will starrt first Belt and Road graduate school in September 2018 at Suzhou city in Jiangsu province. Founded by Beijing-based Renmin University of China, the school aims to cultivate high-end international talent and future leaders from countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative who are passionate about Chinese culture and have a deep understanding of China’s development path, models and experiences, the director of the university’s development planning branch, Zhu Xinkai, said.

The Belt and Road School, at the university’s Suzhou campus in Jiangsu province, plans to enroll 50 to 100 students from Belt and Road countries and regions in September, Zhu said, adding enrollment numbers will gradually increase.

The two-year program will offer master of laws degrees to international students, who will be exempt from tuition, accommodation and medical insurance fees, he said.

There will be four majors: Chinese politics, Chinese economy, Chinese law and Chinese culture.

The number of international students from Belt and Road countries and regions studying in China rose 11 percent last year to 317,200. They remained the largest source of international students in China, accounting for about 65 percent of the total, according to the Ministry of Education.

Some 66,100 Chinese students studied in Belt and Road countries and regions in 2017, up 15.7 percent from 2016, with 3,679 sponsored by the Chinese government.

China had signed 45 agreements on educational cooperation with Belt and Road countries and regions by April 2017. Diplomas issued by Chinese universities and the higher education institutions in 24 of the countries and regions were mutually recognized as of March last year, the ministry said.

The Belt and Road Initiative, with Investment of 6 trillion USD, aims  to build a vast network of new trade routes across the globe, multiple high-speed rail networks to penetrate Europe, massive ports across Asia and Africa and a series of free-trade zones.

More than 86 countries and international organizations signed the 102 Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese government to jointly build BRI projects.More than 86 countries and international organizations signed the 102 Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese government to jointly build BRI projects.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative Paves Way for Development Opportunities for Nepal, Eurasian Region: Experts


KATHMANDU, Feb. 12: Nearly 100 experts from different countries, investors, traders and business community members attended the one-day seminar entitled "Strengthening cooperation to promote the construction of the Belt and Road" organized by Nepal China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCCI) in Kathmandu on February 11,2018.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has paved the way for new opportunities for Nepal to realize its dream of development and economic prosperity, government officials and experts said stating that the Belt and Road Initiative will bring opportunities in multiple fields including trade, connectivity, physical infrastructure development, tourism and investment, they pointed out the need of concrete mechanism for implementation.

"We have chalked out strategies and plans to implement the initiative but I believe Belt and Road Initiative is a much broader concept. We should have three tracks of approach, including the government one, business to business approach including private sector and knowledge-based approach to gain maximum benefits," Shanker Das Bairagi, Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said after inaugurating the event.

Stressing that Nepal is a land-locked and least development country, the foreign secretary said that it needs the cooperation of neighbors, especially China, to upgrade its status to a developing country.

Nepal and China had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Belt and Road Initiative on May 2017 in Kathmandu. Introduced by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

Addressing the function, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said that development of the Belt and Road Initiative needs sincerity and resolution and the vision of all parties.

"China is willing to work closely with Nepal to seize the historical chance to develop concrete cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and bring China-Nepal relations to a new height," Yu said.

On the occasion, she pointed out various points to enhance the cooperation, namely strengthening policy coordination and consolidate mutual trust, expanding connectivity and sharing experience for economic development, promoting the unimpeded trade, deepening the financial integration and constructing the road for innovation, strengthening the people-to-people bond for mutual learning.

Experts were of view that there is a need of sincerity and political commitment for the implementation of the initiative from the Nepali side.

They pointed out that Nepal's government should focus on some basic pre-requisites like connectivity, infrastructure development, reforms in laws, and policy amendments among others.

Dr Rajesh Kazi Shrestha, President of Nepal China Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "We are eager to welcome investment under the Belt and Road Initiative in various possible sectors like hydropower, agriculture, trade related infrastructure, tourism, herbs and herbal products, natural resources and service sectors."

Nepal is a significant partner of China's Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by in 2013 by President Xi Jinping. The trillion dollars project aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa based on ancient land and maritime trade routes.


Standard Chartered, China Development Bank to Fund Corporate Finance Projects in Belt and Road Region


Beijing, Feb.7: The Standard Chartered Bank, British multinational banking and financial services company, will facilitate financing worth USD20 billion by 2020 to support the Belt and Road Initiative, aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa based on ancient land and maritime trade routes.

In this regard, China Development Bank and Standard Chartered Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalising a strategic partnership that aims to facilitate trade and investment relating to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and UK Prime Minister Theresa May witnessed the signing in Beijing last week.

The strategic partnership reflects the long-term commitment of both parties to support the Belt and Road Initiative, which is intended to promote economic cooperation among countries along the land and maritime routes from and through Asia to the rest of the world.

The MoU will enable China Development Bank, a policy financial institution under China’s State Council, to make available up to RMB10 billion in aggregate in the next five years to Standard Chartered to facilitate Belt and Road Initiative projects.

Standard Chartered, which has a deep and long-standing presence in 45 of the markets along the proposed Belt and Road Initiative routes, will use this facility to support loans that will fund corporate finance projects and trade finance transactions in those locations. Standard Chartered will make the drawdown decisions, and take the credit risk of the borrowers.

Standard Chartered was involved in over 50 projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative in 2017.

Hu, Huaibang, Chairman of China Development Bank, commented: “China Development Bank has committed to set up special lending schemes worth RMB 250 billion to support Belt and Road Initiative projects during 2017-2019. The Belt and Road Initiative benefits the long-term development of the nations along the route. Leveraging Standard Chartered’s rich expertise and extensive network in Asia, Africa and the Middle East will enable China Development Bank to further enhance the commercial viability and sustainability of those projects.”

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC, commented: “It’s an honour to partner with China Development Bank to boost lending in support of the Belt and Road Initiative. This MoU brings us closer together, and offers more flexibility of funding, especially RMB funding, to support projects along the Belt and Road Initiative routes. Through cooperation, financial institutions can not only pool together and optimise the usage of financial resources, but help clients mitigate or avoid risks.”

Chinese, Russians Swimmers Cross Heilong River to Promote Sports Exchanges, Friendship


Beijing, July 17:  More than 300 people from China and Russia swim across the "Black Dragon," or Heilong River, on July 16, 2017.

Aged between 18 and 65, swimmers from the two countries work in different fields.

The event is meant to promote sports exchanges and consolidate the friendship of between China and Russia. The activity also commemorates the 51st anniversary of Chairman Mao Zedong's famed swim across the Yangtze River.

thumbnail China and Russia Swimmers Consolidate the Friendship

The Heilong River marks the border between China and Russia along the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang.

Islamabad,July 14 : China Cultural Heritage week concluded in Pakistan's capital city Islamabad on July 14 , offering opportunity for Pakistani public to enjoy different kinds of Chinese artworks.

The event was organized by Embassy of China, China Culture Center in collaboration with Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

China Cultural Heritage Week at PNCA Islamabad in Pakistan

The exhibition was titled Inheritance and Innovation Exhibition of Dalian Jinpu New Area Intangible Cultural Heritage.Different kinds of Chinese artwork such as Jinzhou Modern Folk Painting, Chinese Paper-Cutting, Bird-Worm Seal Script, Dough Modeling as well as Ceramic Handicrafts were presented during week-long exhibitions that continued from July 7 to July 14.

 China Cultural Heritage Week in Pakistan

In the concluding ceremony of China Cultural Heritage week, China Cultural Centre has donated some of the precious art work to the National Gallery of PNCA.

Some of the art work includes Chinese Calligraphy, a book: The art of Chinese seal script, Chinese Shan Shui Painting, Color ceramic bowl, Paper cuttings.

 China Cultural Heritage Week in Pakistan

Director General PNCA Syed Jamal Shah was the chief guest in the concluding the ceremony.

He highly appreciated the efforts made by the China Cultural Centre in introducing Pakistan to Chinese art and culture.

China Cultural Heritage Week in Pakistan

Bishkek, (Kyrgyzstan), July 7: One Belt, One Road and Xinjiang," an exhibition of works of art on paper made from the bark of the mulberry tree opened Tuesday in Bishkek, capital city of Kyrgyzstan, featuring Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Chinese calligraphy and painting

Wei Baoshan, senior secretary of the Xinjiang Academy of Chinese Painting greeted guests and showed off his calligraphic skills at the opening ceremony.

"This is one of the oldest craft on earth, a living relic of civilization and the greatest invention on the ancient Silk Road, which spread to Central Asia and Europe," said the Chinese artist.

The form of art also serves as a witness of political, economic and cultural exchanges between ancient China and the country of Central Asia, Wei said.

Wei emphasized the excellent properties of paper made from mulberry tree bark, explaining that the antiseptic material absorbs water well, is made of high tensile and will not fade for a thousand years.

"It is extremely valuable and won great favor among ancient artists. Western scientists call the paper an outstanding creation that came from the East," he said.

In 2017, the Xinjiang Academy of Chinese Painting organized a series of exhibitions in order to publicize the culture of the northwestern Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang and to promote exchanges in the field of culture and art between countries along the Silk Road.

The organizers have held a number of events dedicated to the theme, and the Bishkek exhibition is the latest.

The exhibition is organized with material support from the Chinese National Art Foundation and with the assistance of the Xinjiang Economic Newspaper, Contimost magazine and Bishkek Humanities University.

Sourcce by news.xinhuanet.com

SANTIAGO, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Since learning Mandarin became possible in Chile 12 years ago, more than 10,000 students have been introduced to the Chinese language, local daily El Mercurio reported on Wednesday.SANTIAGO, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Since learning Mandarin became possible in Chile 12 years ago, more than 10,000 students have been introduced to the Chinese language, local daily El Mercurio reported on Wednesday.


The Chinese language is taught at 16 city-run schools in five regions of the country these days, half of them in the southern region of Biobio, due to "a regional initiative to get closer to China," Karina Pina from the Education Ministry told the daily.

Apart from learning a language that many believe will be in increasing demand as China becomes a leading global power, studying Chinese has the added benefit of increasing students' cognitive and artistic skills in other areas, said Pina.

"Constructing and understanding Chinese characters promotes a high degree of creativity in students, which expresses itself beyond the level of language," she said.

What's more, students who study Chinese "achieve a degree of cultural openness," and acquire "a broader vision of the world," she said.

In 2004, when Santiago hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, Chile and China signed an agreement to promote Chinese language learning. The program kicked off in 2005 at three city schools, with the goal of having 100 Chileans speaking Chinese by 2010.

Last year, 1,704 Chilean students enrolled in Mandarin classes, and this year, China sent 18 professors to teach at schools around Chile.

Chinese-language professors are provided by Hanban, the department of China's Education Ministry in charge of promoting Chinese as a second language abroad, through its network of Confucius Institutes, two of which operate in Chile, one at the Catholic University and the other at the University of Santo Tomas.

A little more than a decade since the Chinese-learning program began, Education Ministry has established a certification program to certify students who have achieved a certain level of linguistic skill, making them eligible to apply for scholarships to study in China.

The Ministry aims to have the country's secondary school students graduate with at least an intermediate level of Mandarin, "the level required to apply for the scholarships China's government offers to study there," said Pina.
Source by: news.xinhuanet.com

KATHMANDU, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Wednesday appealed to the general public to adopt a healthy lifestyle by making Yoga a part of their lives.

PM Deuba made the remarks when addressing a mass Yoga demonstration ceremony held in the capital Kathmandu on the occasion of the 3rd International Day of Yoga.

Claiming that Yoga helps maintain peace and harmony, he asked all to be healthy and prosperous through regular Yoga practice.

"Yoga is an ancient discipline which is essential for both mental and physical health. Yoga helps to have healthy body and health mind and in overall, a balanced life," Deuba said.

Along with the general Yoga practitioners, the prime minister also attempted the soothing "Om" chanting and expressed commitment for building a healthy society. Dressed in Nepali formal dress, Deuba also demonstrated standing Yoga postures to encourage the participating Yoga enthusiasts.

This is the second year the Nepal government formally celebrated the International Day of Yoga, which was declared by the United Nations in 2015.

Ministers, members of Parliament, dignitaries and hundreds of people from different walks of life jointly performed Yoga postures despite heavy rainfall since early morning.

Yoga has been gaining wide popularity in Nepal in recent years. It is regarded as an invaluable gift of ancient tradition and most essential for a healthy life.

Yoga instructor Mohan Man Shrestha told Xinhua on the spot, "I am teaching Yoga since last 10 years. If we continued Yoga every day, we should never visit hospitals or doctors. It's good for both physical and mental health."

"I am 64 years old but I have never taken any medicines or visited hospitals. It has been possible only through Yoga," added Shrestha.

According to instructors, maximum of the Yoga practitioners in Nepal are women. They gather in local Yoga centers or available spaces every morning and practice different postures.

Since health problems like gastritis, diabetes and uterus ailments are quite common among Nepalese, they regard Yoga as a perfect medium to fight such diseases.

Source by: news.xinhuanet.com


ALMATY. KAZINFORM - Kazakhstani fashion designers are expected to participate in the upcoming Milan Fashion Week F/W 2017-2018, Kazinform reports.


Milan Fashion Week is the third week on fashion calendar. Kazakhstan will be represented by 5 fashion brands at the event. 

Kazakhstani designer Ayazhan Zhaksybai believes it is very important to create a brand that will be competitive at the global market. 

Unfortunately, in her words, many Kazakhstani designers start small. 

"They [designers] develop their brands with the focus on inner market and plan to go global in the future. However, I think this is the wrong approach. It is crucial to prepare your product for international market. This is exactly what we are doing right now. We are developing a clothing, an accessories and a jewelry brand," Ms Zhaksybai said. 

She believes that the Milan Fashion Week is a chance for Kazakhstani brands to access the global market. 

"This is of paramount importance for the development of our product," the designer added. 

In order to boost competitiveness of Kazakhstani fashion companies, the country enlisted the help of foreign specialists. One of them Pitusa Bolano delivered a workshop on how to create design popular among consumers.

"We've demonstrated Kazakhstani designers and producers how to develop collections suitable for European market. Kazakhstan stands a good chance to enter the global market thanks to excellent quality of its products," Ms Bolano said.

Source by: inform.kz


Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and China Chamber of Export and Import of Food Products Sign Cooperation


Beijing, Aug 3, IRNA : Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and China Chamber of Export and Import of Food Products signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on economic cooperation for the promotion of food business between the two countries. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of international conference on dried fruits, which kicked off on Thursday for duration of 2-day in the city of Guangzhou, sprawling port and capital of Southern China's Guangdong province.
Iran and China
Head of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce Assadollah Asgar Ouladi in a speech explained economic cooperation situation between Iran, China and presented figures concerning world export of pistachio and Iran's share in this market.
The conference is held with the aim to improve exchange process between companies active in dried fruits and promotion, development of nuts industry in China.
It is expected that experts from different countries would share their experiences in the conference.
On the sidelines of the conference an exhibition will be held by companies active in dried fruits industry and among them five Iranian companies will present their products.
Source: IRNA

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Doing a Significant Work for the Development of the Silk Road

Silk Road Fund

Baku, July 19:  Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are doing a significant work for the development of the Silk Road.

Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan Aydin Aliyev made the remarks during the trilateral meeting of Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey, with participation of First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Georgia Dimitry Kumsishvili, Minister of Customs and Trade of Turkey Bulent Tufenkci on July 19, Trend reported.

Aydin Aliyev stressed that the three countries pay special attention and carry out large-scale work in the spheres of increasing freight traffic and ensuring energy security in the region.

In turn, Turkish Minister of Customs and Trade Bulent Tufenkci said that the construction of the Turkish part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, which is an important part of the historical Silk Road is planned to be completed by late 2017.

The Minister added that in the past, there were certain problems with the project implementation but they have already been fixed.

The three sides signed declaration on establishment of a permanent commission that will help improve relations between the customs structures of the three countries, as well as business and customs authorities in the region.

The customs bodies of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey will jointly work on the development of transit cargo transportation, invest in the modernization of customs services, and create mechanisms for the exchange of information on subjects and goods passing through the borders of the three countries, in accordance with the declaration.

Moreover, the customs services of Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an agreement on the creation of an electronic system for the exchange of information on transit transport by road.

The new Silk Road project, which involves over 60 countries with a population of 4.5 billion people, runs through an area of 40 million km2.

 Turkey, which is located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, is one of the leading countries participating in the Silk Road and the corridor of the Silk Road will connect Europe with Central Asia through Turkish Anatolia and will be brought to China.

Currently, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are working on the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway.

The BTK railway is being constructed on the basis of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey intergovernmental agreement. The main purpose of the project is to improve economic relations between the three countries and gain foreign direct investment by connecting Europe and Asia.
The project implementation began in 2007 and construction began in 2008.

The line is intended to transport one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight at the first stage. This capacity will then reach 3 million passengers and 17 million tons of cargo. 

The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey amounted to almost $1.2 billion in the first half of 2017, between Azerbaijan and Georgia-$270.35 million, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan.

China's Digital Economy Surges to 22.6 trillion yuan ($3.35 trillion) in 2016, Drives Engine of Economic Growth


Beijing, July 19: China's booming digital economy had been serving as a major engine for the country's economic growth.

China's digital economy surged 18.9 percent in 2016 to 22.6 trillion yuan (3.35 trillion U.S.

dollars), according to a white paper issued by China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The expansion was much faster than that of China's overall economy, which grew 6.7 percent in 2016.

Digital economy accounted for 30.3 percent of China's total gross domestic product (GDP) over the year, said the white paper. Taking its spillover effect into account, digital economy contributed 69.9 percent to the GDP in 2016, it added.

Digital economy, also known as the Internet economy, is based on digital computing technologies, comprising new business models such as e-commerce, cloud computing and payment services.

Technology is functioning as a driver of revenue and enabler of new business models for many Chinese companies, including China e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com.

China's digital economy grew significantly higher than the overall economy, becoming a major engine of growth, said the paper.

CAICT expects China's digital economy to be valued at 32 trillion yuan and account for 35 percent of the whole GDP by 2020, before taking up over half of the country's GDP by 2030, according to the white paper.

China has made a point of promoting digital economy as part of its measures to upgrade the economy, and the central and local governments had identified digital economy as "major development strategy."

At the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016, China put digital economy high on the agenda, making it part of the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth for the first time.

In March this year, Report on the Work of the Government called for more efforts to deepen the development of "Internet Plus" and accelerate the growth of digital economy. This is the first time that "digital economy" was referred to in such a report.

And the central government is to formulate and issue a strategic plan for promoting digital economy, according to the State Council executive meeting held on July 12.

Local governments had also geared up for digital economy, with Guizhou, Jiangsu, and Anhui among others, having made provincial-level plans to make their economy more digitalized.

For example, southwestern Guizhou aims to make added value created by digital economy grow 20 percent annually and carve up at least 30 percent of the province's GDP by 2020.

Digital economy has become an area where China's economic transformation and industrial upgrading can achieve major breakthrough, said MIIT Minister Miao Wei in April.

Miao pointed to smart manufacturing, industrial Internet, sharing economy, and the digitalization of traditional industries as areas that should be boosted.

The development of China's digital economy, however, is imbalanced, with the service sector adopting the digital economy more extensively than the primary and secondary industries, said Lu Chuncong, president of Communications Policy and Economics Research Institute, CAICT.

Regulation of market access does not suit the development of digital economy, said Lu, calling for establishing a mechanism of negative list where all market players can enter digital economy on an equal footing.

Source: (Xinhua)

China's Silk Road Unlikely to Derail India-Japan Relations

Silk Road Fund

Amid speculations that Japan could jump on China’s "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) bandwagon, Indian experts project a grim possibility of such venture.

New Delhi, July 18:  A meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg, Germany this weekend triggered speculation that Japan could be joining OBOR ["One Belt, One Road"] — China’s trade and development strategy that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries via land and sea.

The Japan News quoted Prime Minister Abe as saying “It (OBOR) has potential. We hope the initiative will contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity by adopting ideas held by all in the international community. We want to cooperate in that respect.”
This statement was widely construed as an affirmation of Japan’s desire to participate in the Chinese with the intent of reaping dividends for its domestic companies as well as to gain a voice within a big-ticket project. It was also seen as Japan’s tactical pressure on the US as a key ally joining a Chinese-led initiative could force President Donald Trump to reconsider his stance on withdrawing from the Asia-Pacific region.

Earlier in March this year, China had organized a grand summit in Beijing to showcase its plans to build OBOR – a network of trade routes that will connect Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. India and Japan were also invited along with 65 other countries. While India flatly refused to participate, Japan, after initial reluctance, had agreed to send a low-key delegation to the summit. Around 60 countries have so far agreed to be part of the project, with a cumulative estimated investment of as much as $8 trillion.

Indian experts say while Japan did attend the OBOR Summit in Beijing, there still remains an open-ended debate within Japan over their level of engagement. “There is no concern for India as we still don’t know what level of engagement Japan is eyeing in the project. There is a significant domestic lobby within Japan, particularly industry people, who want to take part in the project as it makes business sense for them. But, Prime Minister Abe hasn’t committed anything so far and he is coming to India later this year where we will get a very clear idea of what’s going on. Also, even if Japan wants to get involved in the OBOR, we can’t prevent or object to it. What matters is that Japan is also involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor. We have a strategic partnership with them,” K.V. Kesavan, Distinguished Fellow at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation told Sputnik.

India’s key concerns stems from the fact that a 3,000 km stretch of the project passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region which lies in the Kashmir region over which both India and Pakistan has territorial claims. India is also threatened as it feels that China is encircling it through a web of sea and land route under the garb of commercial projects, which could be used as military facilities as well.

Nevertheless, experts say it would be premature to speculate any impact of Japan’s seemingly changed stance on OBOR on India-Japan strategic partnership which is mainly aimed at containing the military rise of China. The two countries along with the US are currently part of the ongoing annual Malabar naval exercise in the Indian Ocean.

Source: Sputnik

AIIB Receives Third Triple-A Credit Rating from S&P Global Ratings


Beijing, July 18: S&P Global Ratings ("S&P") announced it has assigned the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) its highest possible rating and a stable outlook. According to its press release, S&P has provided its 'AAA/A-1+' long- and short-term issuer credit ratings to AIIB.

S&P stated: "The ratings reflect our opinion that over the next three-to-five years AIIB will establish a track record and significantly enhance its operational setup, supporting our assessment of its very strong business profile and its extremely strong financial profile."

The full press release announcing S&P’s decision is available here.

The document entitled "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Assigned 'AAA/A-1+' Rating; Outlook Stable", dated July 18, 2017 is entirely the copyright of, and is reproduced with the permission of S&P.

The contents of such document are the property of S&P and subject to the disclaimers contained in such document. By accessing the above-described document, the user acknowledges the disclaimer.

AIIB makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of this document, and accepts no liability for the consequences of your placing any reliance on it.

China's New Economy Picking up Steam Amid Steady Growth


BEIJING, July 17 : China on Monday reported steady growth of 6.9 percent for the first half of 2017, though the figure was overshadowed by reform progress and performance in new economic sectors.

Consumption and service, together with the innovation-driven new economic sectors, are taking up larger roles in the economy, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).


The high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors are leading the country's industrial growth, with year-on-year output increases of 13.1 percent and 11.5 percent in the first half, respectively, compared with a 6.9 percent rise in overall output.

"New economic strength is on the rise," said Xing Zhihong, a spokesperson with the NBS.

In the first six months, up to 45.6 percent of the total industrial investment went into technological improvement, paving way for future industrial upgrades, according to Xing.

Online sales of physical goods, one of China's major new business patterns, rose 28.6 percent to 2.37 trillion yuan (about 350 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 13.8 percent of the country's total retail sales.

An NBS survey into China's 40,000 small and micro-firms, crucial businesses in the country's pursuit of new and inclusive economic growth, showed that the business climate index of these firms reached a two-year high of 96.5 percent in the second quarter.

Wu Yibing, joint head of China of Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings, told Xinhua that his company wanted to increase investment in China's new economic sectors as Temasek was optimistic about China's ongoing economic transition.

He named a few new economic sectors which he described as "very attractive," including high-tech, non-banking finance, life science and consumption.

"Investment into these industries has witnessed better performance than the company's overall investment portfolio," he said.


Progress is also being made in the country's supply-side structural reform and growth engine shift, according to the NBS.

The service sector, already accounting for 54.1 percent of the overall economy, expanded 7.7 percent year on year in the first half, outpacing a 3.5 percent increase in primary industries and 6.4 percent in secondary industries, NBS data showed.

In the same period, the contribution of domestic demand to GDP growth reached 96.1 percent, 0.3 percentage points higher than the first quarter level, a trend much in line with China's efforts in growth model shift.

Meanwhile, industrial capacity utilization stood at 76.4 percent in the first half, up 3.4 percentage points from a year ago.

In terms of de-stocking in the property market, the floor space of unsold homes were down 9.6 percent at the end of June.

Growth in property development investment continued to decelerate to 8.5 percent in Jan.-June, down from 8.8 percent during the first five months, adding to evidence that China's property market is running out of steam amid government cooling measures to quash potential asset bubbles.


The ongoing economic transition and structural reform sparked optimism on China's future growth outlook.

"China's economy is operating within a reasonable range, maintaining stable, coordinated and sustainable development, laying a solid foundation for achieving the annual target," Xing said.

In the second quarter, GDP growth was steady at 6.9 percent year on year, flat from the first quarter, but well above the government's annual growth target of 6.5 percent.

Looking ahead, Xing said more positive changes were on the way and that the firming would be consolidated by improvement in the real economy and expansion of both external and domestic demand.

During a two-day National Financial Work Conference that ended Saturday, China unveiled reform plans to improve the financial sector's capabilities to serve the real economy while guarding against systemic risks.

Nomura Securities said in a report after Monday's data release that given the data, it was raising the forecast for the third-quarter growth to 6.8 percent from the previous 6.6 percent, and the annual growth forecast to 6.8 percent from 6.7 percent.

The forecast of a gradual growth slowdown due to a weakening property sector, possible moderation of domestic demand as well as uncertainties over external demand remained valid, the report said.

Source by: Xinhua



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Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education Held at Air University, Islamabad


Islamabad, July 17: The first Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education was held at Air University, Islamabad, to boost greater cooperation between the academia of the two countries under China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) which has added new momentum to the time-tested China Pakistan cooperative partnership.

Education experts, scholars,researchers, policy makers and students from China and Pakistan attended the forum, jointly organized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and China Association of Higher Education. 

 China Forum on Higher Education1

The forum started with a welcome note from the Vice Chancellor, Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir and a scholarly exposition of the theme by Lt. Gen. (R) Muhammad Asghar, Consultant CPEC at HEC.

Speaking at the forum Ms.Xiaomei Wang,the leader of the Chinese educational delegation, highlighted the need for greater cooperation between the academia of China and Pakistan. She also the policy makers to boost academic exchanges and joint research projects between between Higher Education bodies of the two countries for scientific collaboration in various areas.

 China Forum on Higher Education2

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

Highlighting the educational opportunities under China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) in his inaugural address,Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said “CPEC means Pakistan’s entry into the global supply chain,”.

 Ahsan Iqbal further said that the current government is fully supportive of higher education commission aimed at capacity building of existing HEIs ( higher education institutes) to prepare suitable human resource for CPEC and promote cultural harmony between the two countries.

 China Forum on Higher Education3

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

He also appreciated the efforts of the Higher Education Commission for building CPEC University Alliance and CPEC Consortium of Business Schools. “These efforts will help build collaborative linkages and intellectual connectivity which symbolize the spirit of CPEC,” he said. The minister welcomed the Chinese Scholars to Pakistan which he hoped will explore new avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries.

 China Forum on Higher Education4

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

Earlier, in his address, the Executive Director of HEC, Dr Arshad Ali thanked the Minister for his wholehearted support for higher education, which he emphasized in not a goal but a pre-requisite in a knowledge-based economy. The Forum focused on three areas: National Role and Contribution in Improving Quality of Higher Education; Ensuring Quality with Large-scale Increase in Access; and Balancing Quality of Higher Education in Diverse Regions. 

 China Forum on Higher Education5

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

The one-day forum on “Challenges of Equitable Access and Quality in Higher Education” was also addressed by eminent speakers from the higher education bodies of the two countries, and attended by a large number of educationists and students.

By Muhammad Arif

China-Tech: World's First Production Line for High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Starts Mass Production

Sci & Tech

Baotou,(China), July 17: The world's first production line for high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) fuel elements has started mass production at China North Nuclear Fuel, headquartered in Baotou in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The 200,000 spherical fuel elements were made Monday, marking a transition from a test production line to an industrial one, according to Wang Shoujun, president of China National Nuclear Corporation, parent company of China North Nuclear Fuel.

China is cementing its leading position as a manufacturer of HTGR fuel elements, Wang said.

With a designed capacity of 300,000 spherical fuel elements per year, the production line will provide fuel for the demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant being built at Shidaowan, near Rongcheng city in Shandong Province.

China has independent intellectual property rights for the production line, which was put into operation in 2016. The HTGR is best known for its inherent safety design.

Pakistan Offers to Connect CPEC with SCO'S Approved Routes for Regional S Connectivity, Cooperation


ISLAMABAD, Feb. 7: Pakistani supports the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) connectivity initiatives and offers to connect the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with SCO's six approved routes to enhance region’s connectivity for economic integration.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday expressed these views while talking to visiting Secretary General of SCO Rashid Alimov in Islamabad.

The connection is expected to greatly enhance their vitality to become a conduit for linking Eurasian landmass, China, Russia and Central Asia with the Arabian Sea, said the prime minister.

This is the first visit of SCO secretary general after Pakistan gained full membership of SCO.

The prime minister also expressed support for various SCO initiatives including the establishment of SCO Development Bank, SCO Development Fund, SCO Business Council, SCO Inter-bank Consortium and SCO's initiative on Small and Medium Enterprises.

He also expressed support for the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure and reiterated Pakistan's strong opposition to the three evils of terrorism, extremism and separatism.

Pakistan became full member of the SCO in June 2017, which groups China, Russian, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

The prime minister reiterated Pakistan's commitment towards "Shanghai Spirit" of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development.

The secretary general appreciated Pakistan's active participation in all SCO activities and said the inclusion of new members like Pakistan has greatly strengthened SCO which has emerged as a true cross regional and cross continental organization playing a multifaceted role in the world politics.

He said the SCO can enormously benefit from Pakistan's experience in successful combating the menace of terrorism, narcotics and drugs as well as its economic strengths and connectivity potentials.

Pakistani’s Minister for Communications Hafiz Abdul Karim during a meeting with SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov on Tuesday said Pakistan’s entry into Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) would further strengthen its relations with member states of the organization.

“Expansion of road infrastructure in SCO will help bring economic, political stability in the region as well as improve security situation of the regional countries,” said the communications minister.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional cooperation group, was founded at a Summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), linking Gwadar Port of Pakistan to the Chinese province of Xinjiang ,is the centerpiece of China's Belt and Road Initiative connecting Eurasia with Africa through land and sea routes.

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