Will second Trump-Kim summit affect Japant between

The second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong

-un in Hanoi on February 27 and 28 will trigger complicated changes in East Asia’s poli

tics. Though the effect on US-Japan relations will be limited, North Korea-Japan ties will move in a positive direction.

Currently, Pyongyang demands withdrawal of sanctions, signing a peace treaty, an end-of-war declaration, and a security guarantee f

or North Korea. Washington had asked Pyongyang to undertake complete, verifiable and irrev

ersible denuclearization, which might be now relaxed. The US may agree that North Korea fulfill it in stages. Befo

re any progress in denuclearization, the US will not ease sanctions substantially. Therefore, the Hanoi talks co

uld produce substantive results, much more significant than the Singapore summit.

However, it won’t shake the relationship between US and its East Asian al

lies. Even if the US and North Korea forge new relations, it would obviously not be a

s firm as the US-Japan alliance. Once the talks make headway, Washington may gradually lift the sanctions on Pyo

ngyang, helping get North Korea’s economy out of the doldrums. Other areas will be left as they are.

In this context, possible improvement in US-North Korea ties would not have noticeabl

e impact on US-Japan relations. However, it may make Tokyo and Pyongyang move closer.

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On one hand, the EU and the US diverge over a number of

For instance, Trump urged NATO members to increase defense expenditures, while the EU is seeking more strategic independence by devel

oping a European army. But with a slowly recovering economy, Central and Eastern European countries are unable to

cover defense expenses and are not as supportive of the EU’s common defense plan as previously expected.

Meanwhile, with France and Germany signing the Aachen Treaty, the two will engage in more in-d

epth cooperation. Considering the continuous threat allegedly posed by Russia and di

vergences within the EU over defense cooperation, the US can provide a security shield for the Central and Ea

stern European region, such as deploying more troops and upgrading equipment which would gain support fro

m regional countries. Currently, these countries are more prone to NATO as the supplier of public security goods.

Besides public security goods, the US also provides the region with institutions and regu

lations facilitating Western democratic freedom. Actually, the US has never stopped its democratic pervasion and assistance. For example, projects fu

nded by the National Endowment for Democracy have spread across Central and Eastern Europe.

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It is easy to feel the influence of the US when dealing with region

al affairs in Southeast Asia. Although Duterte’s strategies differ in some ways fro

m those of his predecessors, the US still has strong influence on the Philippines. It is understandable that M

anila may worry that the takeover of strategic facilities by Chinese companies could affect its relationship with the US. So

me US politicians may also use the South China Sea issue to instigate reckless moves against Chinese investment.

Politicizing investment is a pervasive problem faced by China as the country pushes forward the BRI. China and the Philippines need to make join

t efforts to resolve the issue. China should back the establishment of mechanisms such as the South China Sea Code of Conduct to sa

feguard the interests of all parties and build the foundation for win-win cooperation. As for the Philippines, the c

ountry needs to rid itself of US influence with a new understanding of the Chinese investment. We hope the Philippines can p

rovide fair treatment to Chinese enterprises and abandon its old idea that it has to take sides between China and the US.

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Washington alleged that INF failed because Moscow did not

ply with INF and Beijing was not bound by the treaty. These were its main excuses for the withdrawal.

Germany believes that the more countries involved in INF, the better. However, ma

ny European countries can never understand the security risks and the urgency to strengthen national defense in other regions.

The INF Treaty was signed by the US and the Soviet Union. It was a compromise bet

ween the two superpowers with the same level of military power to ease their confrontations.

Although China is now much stronger than it was in the past, its nuclear power and compreh

ensive military strength are far from being equal to those of the US and conducting negotiations on an equal footing.

The Europeans are clear that the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty is part of its America First agenda and an abandonment of its international obligations.

At the Munich security conference, Merkel and European countries criticized recent US security policies. But on the issue of the

INF treaty, Merkel snubbed China to serve US interests, reflecting the selfishness of Germans and some Europeans.

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Terrorist issue could be better addressed by Indiarror strike by P

A terror strike by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed killed at least 40 India paramilitary police and injured many others in the India

n-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, Indian media reported. Blind anger toward China was ignited after it.

Some Indian analysts sought to link the deadly attack to “China’s continued protection” of the perpe

trators. By refusing to back India’s appeal to list Masood Azhar, leader of terrorist outfit Ja

ish-e-Mohammed, as a global terrorist by the UN, they argued, China is supporting terrorism against India.

Citing China’s refusal to support the bid to have Azhar blacklisted by the UN, India in recent years has aggressively bl

amed China for allying with Pakistan in shielding terrorists. It disregards the fact that as a victim of terrorism itself, China has

pledged to support the international community’s anti-terrorism efforts and stands ready to work with India and all other countries to fight terrorism.

As for the issue of listing Azhar, Beijing has reiterated its stand several times that New Delhi should pr

ovide solid facts and proofs for banning Azhar. China has reason to cautiously handle the issue. Observers worry that blacklisting Azhar co

uld be used by India to increase its military pressure on Pakistan, thus risking exacerbating tensions between the two countries.

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Five more lunar locations get Chinese nameon Jan

ive more geographical entities on the moon have been given Chinese names, based on discoveri

es from China’s latest Chang’e 4 mission, according to a news conference on Friday.

The China National Space Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences and International Astronomical Union held a j

oint news conference Friday to announce the five names approved by the IAU on Feb 4.

The landing site of the Chang’e 4 probe is named Statio Tianhe, and three annular pits around the landing site are called Zhin

yu, Hegu and Tianjin. The central peak in the Von Karman Crater is referred to as Mons Tai.

The five places are clearly shown on high-resolution images based on data from the Chang’e 2 and Chang’e 4 missions.

China’s Chang’e 4 probe, launched on Dec 8, landed on the Von Kar

man Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3.

Tianhe, another name for the galaxy in ancient China, implies that th

e Chang’e 4 probe served as a pioneer in the history of human lunar exploration.

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Unexpected twist in Gui case embarrasses Swedish FM

There has been a new unexpected twist in the case of Gui Minhai, and this time, the Swedish Ambassador to China Anna Lindstedt is involved.

Gui Minhai was born in China and later became a naturalized Swedish citizen. He was a Hong Kong-based bookseller be

fore being sued in the Chinese mainland in 2015. That lawsuit strained relations between China and Sweden.

His daughter, Angela Gui, has recently detailed a bizarre account of her visit to Stockholm, which has

embarrassed the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Angela Gui, who grew up in Sweden, now live

s in Britain where she is studying for a PhD in history at university. She gave her account in a media interview last we

ek and made an announcement Wednesday on her blog. Gui said that Ambassador Lindstedt contacted her in mid-January, inviting her to go to Sto

ckholm to meet two Chinese businessmen, who Lindstedt trusted, to discuss a new approach to her father’s case.

Angela Gui said she went to Stockholm in late January where she met two Chinese businessmen in the presence of Lindstedt. In

her statement, she said that the two businessmen asked her to stop all media engagements and public comment in exch

ange for her father’s release or commutation. According to Gui, Lindstedt supported the plan and said t

hat if not, the relationship between Sweden and China would otherwise be further undermined.

Angela Gui said that after the meeting, she called the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for confirm

ation. “They told me they hadn’t had the slightest idea this whole affair was taking place. They hadn’t even been informed the amb

assador was in the country,” she wrote. In her account of what happened, she not only gave details of the meeting,

but also described how she was feeling threatened and how the whole arrangement seemed suspicious.

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Ministry of Education addresses Zhai plagiarism case

The Ministry of Education has zero tolerance for academic misconduct and has ordered relevant universities and education authorities to investigate pl

agiarism allegations leveled at actor Zhai Tianlin, a ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.

The investigation will not only include Zhai’s plagiarism allegations, but also possible miscond

uct of other people that allowed this to happen, ministry spokeswoman Xu Mei said at a news conference.

“We have zero tolerance for behaviors that ignore academic rules and standards and undermine education equality,” she said.

The universities and Beijing education authorities will seriously look i

nto the case and publish the investigation’s results as soon as possible, she added.

The Beijing Education Commission and the Education Work Committee of the

Beijing Committee of the Communist Party of China sent an investigative team to

the Beijing Film Academy - where Zhai got his PhD-to look into the matter, the academy said on Thursday.

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Festival brings to fore importance of demographic data

Spring Festival, celebrating the start of the Chinese Lun

ar New Year, is unique beyond being the most important festival in the world’s most populous country.

Not only is it the longest holiday that most workers in China are entitled to, it also pr

oduces the largest annual human population movement in the world, th

anks to the age-old tradition of family reunions that are at the center of the occasion.

This year, the Year of the Pig, which is strongly believed to be associated with good fortune, has seen hundreds of millions

of workers based in cities and big towns returning to their smaller towns and villages of origin to reunite a

nd feast with their families-including their parents, and, for many, also their spouses and children. The official fo

recast is that this year, nearly 3 billion trips will be generated during the 40-day travel rush from Jan 21 to March 1.

While it might not be so obvious, this huge social phenomenon both shapes and is shaped by the sheer size and dis

tribution of China’s population linked to births, deaths and migration, and the way these three sets of vital events interact.

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Blueprint for Bay Area to be revealedanticipate greate

The blueprint for the massive economic development that will turn the Guangdong-Ho

ng Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area into a global economic powerhouse will be made public within days.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor did not disclose the exact date for the rele

ase when speaking to reporters before Hong Kong’s weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday. S

he did, however, announce that a conference on Feb 21 will begin poring over details of the project.

Lam said the blueprint would lay out broad guidelines after which local go

vernments in Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao will work together wi

th the support of central government departments to pull the project together with concrete planning.

Cross-sector heavyweights in Hong Kong welcomed the upcoming development blu

eprint, saying it could lead the city’s different sectors into a stronger growth phase.

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