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Xi urges Abe to improve China-Japan ties

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Xi Jinping

Da Nang (Vietnam), Nov 12: Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take more “practical actions” to improve bilateral ties and properly manage differences in a “constructive way”.

“To improve China-Japan ties, the key is mutual trust,” Xi told Abe on the sidelines of the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Saturday.

He urged the Japanese side to take more practical actions and adopt more specific policies to reflect the strategic consensus reached by the two countries, which reaffirms that China and Japan are cooperation partners, not threat to each other.

As China and Japan are neighbours and major economies in Asia and the world, a stable development of China-Japan relationship conforms to the interests of both sides and also has an important influence on the region and the world at large, Xi said.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the normalisation of diplomatic relations between China and Japan, and next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

He suggested the two countries promote regional economic integration, and push for cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative at an early date.

The two sides should continue to increase exchanges on culture, media and youths, and can also strengthen people-to-people bond through carrying out cooperation on Olympics as China will host the Winter Olympic Games in 2022 and Japan will host the Summer Olympics in 2020, Xi added.

Abe extended his congratulations on the success of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which was held last month, and on Xi’s re-election as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

He said the Japanese side was willing to work with China to push for the development of the strategic mutually-beneficial relationship between the two countries by marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship next year.

Japan hopes to increase high-level exchanges with China, carry out reciprocal economic and trade cooperation, and explore cooperation in connectivity and under the Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

Abe also agreed to deepen exchanges on tourism, culture, youths and Olympics.

IANS

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Nepal, China sign 8 deals worth $2.24bn

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nepal china ties

Beijing, June 20: Nepal and China on Wednesday signed eight agreements worth $2.4 billion on the second day of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit.

These agreements were reached between the two governments and private sectors where Chinese investors will put money on developing hydroelectricity, water resources, cement factories and fruit cultivation and farming.

The signing ceremony took place at the Nepal Embassy here.

Additional memorandum of understandings will be signed on Thursday after delegation-level talks between Oli and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.

Oli, who arrived here on Monday on his five-day-visit, will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday afternoon at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

This is Oli’s first official visit to China after returning to power in February and second foreign trip after India.

IANS

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US withdraws from ‘biased’ UN Human Rights Council

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Donald Trump

Washington, June 20: The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday. 

The US envoy Nikki Haley told the UN, the body is “hypocritical and self-serving” and “makes a mockery of human rights”.

Last year, Haley accused the council of “chronic anti-Israel bias” and said America was reviewing its membership, a BBC report said.

Constituted in 2006, the council invited flak for allowing countries with questionable human rights records to be members.

Following this United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres regretted the Donald Trump’s administration decision.

“The Secretary-General would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council,” reported Xinhua news agency quoting spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying in a note to correspondents.

“The UN’s human rights architecture plays a very important role in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide,” the note said.

The move comes amid sharp criticism over the Trump administration’s policy of separating child migrants from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad has called the policy “unconscionable”.

Haley announced the US’s intention to exit the council at a joint news conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

She described the council a “cesspool of political bias”, but stressed: “I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments.”

Last year, she told the council it was “hard to accept” that resolutions had been passed against Israel yet none had been considered for Venezuela, which at the time witnessed the killing of dozens of protesters during political turmoil.

Israel is the only nation that is subject to a permanent standing agenda item, meaning its treatment of the Palestinians is scrutinised at a regular basis.

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UN chief regrets as US exits ‘biased’ Human Rights Council

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations, June 20: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres regretted the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), said his spokesman on Tuesday.

“The Secretary-General would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council,” reported Xinhua news agency quoting spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying in a note to correspondents.

“The UN’s human rights architecture plays a very important role in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide,” the note read.

Earlier, announcing the country’s withdrawal from the UNHRC, US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley described the body as “hypocritical and self-serving” and one that “makes a mockery of human rights”.

According to a BBC report, Haley last year accused the council of “chronic anti-Israel bias” and said the US was reviewing its membership.

Formed in 2006, the council has been criticised for allowing countries with questionable human rights records to be members.

The move comes amid intense criticism over the Trump administration’s policy of separating child migrants from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

UN human rights chief Zeid bin Ra’ad has called the policy “unconscionable”.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch also condemned separation of families, and called President Trump’s human rights policy “one-dimensional”.

Reacting to the US’ exit from the global rights body, Ra’ad said in Geneva that the US withdrawal is “disappointing, if not really surprising.”

“Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back,” Zeid said.

Haley announced the US intention to quit the council at a joint news conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

She called the council a “cesspool of political bias”, but stressed: “I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments.”

Last year, she told the Council it was “hard to accept” that resolutions had been passed against Israel yet none had been considered for Venezuela, which at the time saw dozens of protesters killed during political turmoil.

Israel is the only country that is subject to a permanent standing agenda item, meaning its treatment of the Palestinians is regularly scrutinised.

IANS

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