President Xi Jinping on Monday voiced the hope that Hong Kong and Macao will further develop themselves by embracing the nation’s cause of reform and opening-up.

Compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao are expected to continue participating in the country’s reform and opening-up with sincere patriotism and pioneering spirit, attain the greater development of the two special administrative regions (SARs) by promoting the development of the country, and jointly work for the national rejuvenation, Xi said when meeting with a delegation from the two SARs.

Hong Kong and Macao still hold unique positions, have unique strength and will play an irreplaceable role in reform and opening-up in the new era, he stressed.

The delegation is visiting Beijing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. Vice Premier Han Zheng also attended the meeting.

At the meeting, members of the delegation, including Carrie Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR, and Chui Sai On, chief executive of the Macao SAR, expressed a high degree of recognition of the country’s cause of reform and opening-up and the “one country, two systems” principle. They also offered proposals on how to advance the cause and implement the principle.

Fully recognizing the contributions made by Hong Kong and Macao compatriots and extending sincere gratitude to them, Xi said the reform and opening-up over the past four decades was a cause that Hong Kong, Macao and the mainland complemented one another on and prospered together with, while the two regions integrated their own development into the overall development of the country.

“We should fully understand the roles that Hong Kong and Macao will play in the country’s reform and opening-up in the new era, and support them in seizing opportunities and riding the momentum to foster new advantages, play new roles, achieve new development and make new contributions,” he said.

Xi said he hopes Hong Kong and Macao can contribute to the country’s comprehensive opening-up in a more proactive manner, take the lead in attracting capital, technology and talents, and take part in national high-quality economic development and the new round of high-level opening-up.

Xi said that Hong Kong and Macao should integrate themselves more proactively into the country’s overall development while honing their abilities to foster new momentum for economic growth.

Xi said that Hong Kong and Macao should participate in national governance more proactively, stressing that compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao should improve their systems and mechanisms for enforcing China’s Constitution and the basic laws of the two SARs in line with the “one country, two systems” principle.

Xi called on the two SARs, by taking advantage of their extensive connections with the outside world, to proactively push for more international people-to-people exchange, spread fine traditional Chinese culture and tell China’s stories as well as stories related to the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle.

He noted that efforts should be made to create more opportunities for young people in Hong Kong and Macao and help them overcome difficulties in their studies, employment and starting up of businesses.

While stressing that Hong Kong and Macao will have bright prospects, Xi expressed his hope that compatriots in the two SARs can work together with the mainland to open up new prospects in the “one country, two systems” cause, create a better life for themselves and strive to realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

At the beginning of the meeting, Xi shook hands with members of the delegation and had a group photo with them.

US Senator Marco Rubio proposed legislation on Monday to prevent Huawei from enforcing its patents in the US, after the Chinese company chased Verizon Communications Inc. for over $1 billion in patent license fees. Under his proposal, Huawei would “not be allowed to seek relief under US law with respect to US patents, including bringing legal action over patent infringement.”

Rubio, a notorious anti-China Senator, was called by the Washington Post “one of the loudest Republican critics of President Trump’s policies on China.” Although his remarks have been always full of arrogance, prejudice and deep hostility toward China, the fresh idea he put forward was absolutely “brilliant.” We are all for it and eager to witness it enter into force.

Just imagine. If Washington adopts Rubio’s bill and ignores China’s basic patent rights, why should China value US patents? If the US casts away rudimentary credibility and respect, why should China strenuously follow the rules of the game? If Rubio’s suggestion becomes law, the US may provide China with perfectly justifiable reasons to strike back.

China’s total intellectual property purchases in 2018 reached $35.6 billion, of which $8.64 billion were paid to the US. Thanks to Senator Rubio, China stands a chance of saving nearly $9 billion every year. What a massive expenditure!

But how ridiculous and pathetic it will be!

On June 13, just after Huawei raised its claim against Verizon, Rubio tweeted wrathfully that “Huawei has become a patent troll. This is an attempt by them to retaliate against the US by setting the stage for baseless, but costly, patent claims.”

Huawei’s 2018 annual report suggests that the company had obtained 87,805 authorized patents by the end of 2018, of which 44,434 were licensed by foreign countries. In particular, 11,152 core patents were granted in the US. Rubio may not believe in China, but many of Huawei’s patents were acknowledged by his own country. If they are “baseless,” as he claimed, what are not?

The US has built an intellectual property system brick by brick, but it is now destroying it with double standards and self-importance.

The country has been clamoring for the world’s attention for China’s so-called technology theft, but it is now attempting to rob.

In a bid to crack down on a normal Chinese enterprise, it is trying to tear off its last fig leaf. The US is moving in the opposite direction to what it has often proclaimed. If Rubio’s proposal really takes effect, will there be any order in the world?

The US is losing its self-proclaimed righteousness about intellectual property. If anyone must be called a “patent troll,” Rubio and the US fully deserve the title.

There are two lines in Huawei’s annual report: Our technology patents are valuable to the global information society, including the US. Huawei pays attention to protecting its intellectual property rights and respecting those of others.

Senator Rubio, and other US political elites like him, should read the sentences carefully and ponder the meanings they convey.

Since establishing diplomatic relations 55 years ago, China and France have provided the world a model of friendship featuring mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

In recent years, unilateralism and populism have been on the rise globally. The flow of global trade and the existing world order have taken a hard hit.

China and France, as well as the whole of Europe, must remain steadfast in upholding multilateralism and tackling global challenges.

China has long been an advocate for multilateralism on the global stage, actively promoting multilateral cooperation through such programs as the Belt and Road initiative (BRI).

Beijing and Paris have also kept their promises to contain global warming despite Washington’s departure from the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Deepening pragmatic cooperation and abandoning zero-sum games are key to enriching China’s relations with France and Europe.

Over the past several decades, bilateral win-win cooperation has been evident in the development of nuclear power, aerospace and also automaking.

Trade between China and the European Union in the first half of 2018 exceeded $322.5 billion, up 13 percent year on year, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.

China and France are set to expand collaboration in such fields as agriculture, energy, advanced manufacturing and artificial intelligence, said China’s Ambassador to France Zhai Jun recently.

Furthermore, bilateral ties are expected to receive a boost, with Beijing pledging to carry on with an even bolder reform and opening-up policy.

Last year, China unveiled a shortened negative list for foreign investment to broaden market access, cutting the number of items down to 48 from 63. In the meantime, the overall tariff rate on imported goods was lowered from 9.8 percent to 7.5 percent.

China has also been taking steps to open up its financial and service sectors.

Moreover, the BRI has provided Europe exciting new opportunities. As of August 2018, China Railway Express has set off more than 10,000 trains, reaching 43 cities in 15 European countries.

The Belt and Road initiative embodies solidarity, mutual trust, inclusiveness and a disposition to learn from each other, and China’s grand infrastructure and connectivity initiative to drive global development is catching on in Europe.

As a Chinese saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And reads one French proverb, “Little by little, the bird makes its nest.”

Enriching China’s ties with France and Europe requires patience and perseverance.

As long as all sides are willing to meet each other halfway, the possibilities are endless, no matter how long and rough the road may be.

Xinhua

China has recruited 41 percent more cadet pilots for aircraft carrier fighter jets this year than 2018, a significant move according to Chinese military analysts noting how it provided increased talent reserve for Chinese carriers.

The 41 percent increase is significant and comes at a time when China’s aircraft carrier sector is undergoing rapid development, an anonymous military expert told the Global Times on Sunday.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s annual pilot recruitment ended in early July with nearly 20 percent more cadet pilots enrolled year-on-year. The numbers also revealed a 41 percent enrollment increase of cadet pilots for carrier-based fighter jets, the PLA Daily reported on Friday.

China’s sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is in operation. A second carrier is expected to be ready for service soon, while a third one is under construction.

“China has been training more pilots for aircraft carriers for some time now, and this upward trend will continue to guarantee warship operations,” the military expert said, noting that China will not only have more carriers in the future, but the sizes will be bigger, enabling them to carry more aircraft, thus requiring more pilots.

Flying a carrier jet is widely known to be difficult. Many pilots who signed up for the carrier recruitment program did not pass the early selection rounds.

Over 4,500 pilots passed initial selection round earlier this year, almost twice the amount from 2018, which was roughly 2,600.

For the closing round last year, 800 pilots made it to the final selection, but exactly how many were enrolled was not announced.

Photo: IC

A “miscellaneous US troop” last week published an open letter addressed to US President Donald Trump. They maliciously attacked the People’s Republic of China led by the Communist Party of China (CPC). They said that China is “increasingly taking actions that imperil the US and our allies,” criticized US policy of “engagement” with China and asked the Trump administration “to stay the course on your path of countering Communist China.” Among the 130 signatories of the letter, many are retired military officers and former intelligence officers.

The purpose of the letter is to counter another recent open letter titled “China is not an enemy” signed by over 100 US experts on China and former US ambassadors to China. The latest open letter attacked almost every issue, including trade, human rights, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Belt and Road Initiative. The letter said China suppresses freedom and liberty and encouraged the US to strengthen “alliances with like-minded democracies” to defeat China. The world clearly understands what an overall China-US confrontation means. The global economy and globalization will be impacted. At the very least, Asia will face serious uncertainty.

If the US is really going to “defeat” China and lead the confrontation to a life-or-death struggle, a war may become a real risk. Is the US society ready to face such a consequence?

Those 130 people are obsessed with extreme geopolitical games. They separate themselves from the reality that the world pursues peace and development, and that people around the world want good lives. All they want is China-US strategic confrontation.

But they have made several serious misjudgments.

First, they misread China. Their description of China and the CPC shows that their understanding of China is influenced by their stance and values. China’s development is regarded as evil. They proposed to wantonly treat China, a large, prosperous and complicated country. They completely ignored China’s contributions to world peace and development. The country they described has nothing to do with the real China.

Second, they misunderstood the US. They followed their experiences to antagonize China but fail to see that the US is interest-driven. As the trade war goes, the losses of the US are challenging the sustainability of the country’s trade policy.

The strategy proposed by military and security officials toward China only represents one dimension of US attitudes. The mainstream popular will of Americans doesn’t want trade isolationism or militarism.

Third, they misjudged the world. They attempted to unite democracies to defeat China. But why would those countries stand by some American geopolitical extremists against the world’s second largest economy? Most US allies have complex and diverse relations with China. The era when countries aligned for political and military confrontation is over. Since they realize how selfish the US is, none of them will take the wrong side.

The open letter is arrogant and malicious, full of shallow hearsay. Today’s world is not built on hatred. Some people may be incited by the letter’s propaganda, but others are concerned what the world will be like if people do as that letter says.

The letter makes us realize that there are supporters of extreme stances toward China in the US. China must accelerate strengthening itself with rational foreign policies and increasing capabilities to deal with false accusations. This is the best counterattack to the letter and other similar challenges.

The history of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China shows that multiple religions have long coexisted there, with one or two predominant, and the region’s religious structure is characterized by blending and coexistence, a white paper said Sunday.

Xinjiang has multiple religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. It has 24,800 venues for religious activities, including mosques, churches, Buddhist and Taoist temples, with 29,300 religious staff, said “Historical Matters Concerning Xinjiang” released by China’s State Council Information Office.

“Xinjiang always upholds equality for all religions, showing neither favoritism towards nor discrimination against any religion and allowing no religion to be superior to any other religion,” said the white paper.

Believers and non-believers enjoy equal rights and obligations, and all law violators, whatever their social background, ethnicity, and religious belief, will be punished in accordance with the law, the white paper said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday signed and issued an order of special pardons for nine categories of criminals on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The decision of granting the special pardons had been adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, at a bimonthly session which closed Saturday.

The nine categories of criminals who are serving their sentences effective before Jan. 1, 2019, will be pardoned, according to the order. They include:

1. Those who fought in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the Chinese People’s War of Liberation;

2. Those who fought in wars to safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity after the founding of the PRC in 1949;

3. Those who made fairly big contributions to the advancement of the country’s major projects after the founding of the PRC and received honors of provincial and ministerial level or above, including “Model Workers,” “Advanced Workers,” and “May 1 Labor Medals;”

4. Those who used to be on active service and received first class merit citations or higher-level awards;

5. Those who were sentenced to less than three years in prison or have less than one year of remaining prison terms for acts of excessive defense or acts to avert danger in emergencies that exceed the limits of necessity;

6. Those aged 75 or above who have serious physical disabilities and are unable to take care of themselves;

7. Those who committed crimes when they were under 18, and were sentenced to less than three years in prison or have less than one year of remaining prison terms;

8. Female prisoners who have been bereaved of their spouses and have to take care of their underage children or children with serious disabilities who are unable to care for themselves; they are eligible only under the condition that they were sentenced to less than three years in prison or that their remaining jail terms are less than one year;

9. Those granted a parole who have undergone more than one fifth of their parole probation periods, or who received a public surveillance sentence.

Criminals who fall into the above nine categories but are found in any of the following situations shall not be pardoned, according to the order:

1. Those who fall into the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th categories listed above, but committed embezzlement, acceptance of bribes, servicemen’s transgression of duties, intentional homicide, rape, robbery, kidnap, arson, explosion, spreading hazardous substances, organized crimes of violence, mafia-natured organized crimes, trafficking in narcotic drugs, crimes of endangering national security, terrorism, or were convicted as principal criminals or recidivists of other organized crimes;

2. Among criminals falling into the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 9th categories, those who have more than 10 years of remaining prison terms to serve, and who are still serving life imprisonment or in the suspension period of death penalty;

3. Those who had been pardoned but were subject to criminal punishment again for crimes;

4. Those who refused to admit their guilt, repent and mend their ways;

5. Those who are deemed an actual threat to society after evaluation.

Prisoners who meet the above-mentioned requirements on June 29, 2019 will be released upon court ruling, according to the order.

Tsai Ing-wen announced her resignation as the chair of the Democratic Progressive Party late Saturday, to take responsibility for the party’s performance in Taiwan’s local elections. Photo: VCG

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) inner-party primary result is not a representation of the will of the people among those on the island since participation was extremely low, said a Chinese mainland expert on Taiwan studies.

The DPP announced on Thursday the regional leader of the island, Tsai Ing-wen, had won the DPP primary poll by nearly 35.7 percent, defeating former head of the Taiwan administrative authority Lai Ching-te by 8.2 percentage points, chinatimes.com reported on Thursday.

Although Tsai still needs approval from the DPP’s executive committee to become the official candidate, her nomination is almost certain to be ratified for the upcoming 2020 election in January.

According to the announcement, the result was determined by a public opinion phone survey that included 16,051 respondents, and involved 8,056 calls to landlines, and 7,995 calls to mobile phones.

“The sample was really small compared to the population in Taiwan [about 23 million], and Tsai only got less than 36 percent among them to win the primary poll. This shows the DPP has really low support among the people on the island,” said Li Fei, a professor with the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, to the Global Times on Thursday.

Voters on the island are not interested in participating in the “election,” especially after the poor performance from the DPP during the past four years, said Li.

According to the Beijing Daily, Tsai manipulated public opinion by including cellphone users into the primary polls and postponing the poll date that was originally scheduled for late March, to secure her party nomination.

Earlier this week, Tsai showed support on her Facebook account for the violent demonstrations in Hong Kong, which harm city’s stability.

The DPP is good at using Taiwan’s so-called “democracy” as a tool for elections, Li said.

Tsai has been assertive against the Chinese mainland with her strong pro-separation stance since she won the 2016 election, which brought tension and uncertainty to Cross-Straits relations.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday reiterated his opposition to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, known as the “Deal of the Century,” in the high-level meetings of his Fatah Party in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

While addressing Fatah’s Central Committee, Abbas said that “our position in the past is our position now and has never changed: we will not accept the Deal of the Century and will not accept the Manama workshop,” referring to the US-led economic workshop held last month in Bahrain.

Commenting on Israel’s withholding of the Palestinian tax revenue, Abbas said the Palestinian leadership will not accept the money transfers made by Israel if it was not paid in full.

He also condemned the recent Israeli excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem, saying “the excavations taking place in the occupied city of Jerusalem are a very serious issue, and we must not allow the Israelis to continue to tamper with the eternal capital of Palestine.”

Abbas said that a few of issues will be discussed during the Fatah meeting, on top of which are the recent events in Lebanon in the aftermath of the Lebanese labor minister’s decisions against companies hiring Palestinian workers.

“We do not want any tensions or escalation with Lebanon, and we want to foil any attempt by anyone who wants to destroy the excellent relations between us and our brothers in Lebanon,” he explained.

The president added that the meeting will also discuss the recent official visits of Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Ishtaye to Jordan and Iraq.