ntal programs and inaugurated several large-scale infrast

projects, including highway, railway, airport and power stations. However, in the face of local protests, the effectiveness of Modi’s economic package, delivered just a few months before the

election, seemed very suspicious. Interestingly, because of the tremendous opposition against the Bill and the frustrating situation on the g

round, BJP’s top local politician who was defending the bill changed his tune almost as soon as Modi left.

Clearly, Modi’s twin election trick, which comprised both nationalistic and developmental ele

ments, was clearly at work during his visit to disputed South Tibet. However, sacrificing the pa

instakingly earned mutual trust and progress in Sino-Indian relations for the sake of ephemeral political benefits seems unwise.

Even though India and China have so far held 21 rounds of talks to resolve the border dispute, and Modi and President Xi have met at least four times in 2018 to bring b

ilateral ties back on a stable footing, the border issue remains the single-most sensitive topic between the two countries. While

the dispute between China and India remains too large to be resolved altogether, both sides would better carefully manage it.

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Japan aims to expand political clout by creating global military

In April and July, Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), a m

ilitary logistics pact, with Canada and France respectively. The Japanese government will tr

y to get it approved by the National Diet this year. Canada and France are also advancing domestic procedures for its approval.

The agreement will enable the provision of food, fuel and military supplies between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and Fren

ch and Canadian armies. Japan has also inked ACSAs with the US, the UK, Australia and India. Why did Japan sign such an agreement?

After WWII, especially in the late 1960s when Japan became an economic powerhouse, it was no longer satisfied with its status as a military microstate.

In the mid-1980s, Japan accelerated the pace to push its SDF onto the world stage with the aim of becoming a major political power.

In 1996, Japan signed the ACSA with the US, followed by one with Aus

tralia in 2010. After the new security law took effect on March 29, 2016, Ja

pan amended the two ACSAs, which enabled more flexible provision of ammunition in wartime between the signatories.

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Japan’s ambition is to become a global political power. But

litical and diplomatic means alone cannot support Japan’s global ambitions. A military presence at the global level is needed if Japan is to expand its political clout.

Compared with old European powers like the UK and France, Japan’s military influence in Europe is jerkwater. But it is different after Japan signed military pa

cts with these countries – Japan’s political influence is increasing because of the support of military powers.

With the influence of the UK and France declining in the Asia-Pacific region, their military activities can get

the support from Japan via the ACSA, which will immensely boost Japan’s military clout. These European countries will not look at Ja

pan through the military lens, which will effectively strengthen Japan’s political might.

Meanwhile, exchange of military provisions will help enhance people-to-people exchanges between Japan and these countries, ex

erting Japan‘s cultural influence in these countries and beyond. Even if Japan fails to become a permanent member of the UN Security Co

uncil, it can still play a major role in the world. This has been part of the global strategies of the Abe administration.

We can see that Japan signing ACSAs with six countries is not just for defense and military purposes, it’s part of an overall plan to influence economics, po

litics, military and culture, which is a long-term strategic mind-set of the Japanese government.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed the hope on Febru

that China should be involved in international disarmament efforts. “We would of course be glad if such talks were held not j

ust between the United States, Europe and Russia but also with China,” said Merkel at the 55th Munich Security Conference.

Her remarks were clearly directed against Washington and Moscow’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee,

who was also present at the conference, reiterated that “we [China] are opposed to the multilateralization of INF.”

The INF treaty concerns Europe and Germany’s interests. The US took the lead in abandoning INF, resulting in the collapse of the arms control system.

It is understandable that Berlin is anxious, but Merkel’s hasty call for Beijing is rath

er inappropriate. Her words disrespect China’s interests and wishes, and objectively encourage Washington to quit irresponsibly.

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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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Let’s reap potential of China-Myanmar cooperation transitio

Since Myanmar embarked on its political transition, political elites in the country have championed that peace is the premise for econo

mic and social development. In the first two years of the government led by National League for Democracy (NLD), Nay Pyi Taw devoted a lot

of efforts to promoting national reconciliation with the hope of making a major breakthrough and consolidating public su

pport. Regrettably, results are not satisfactory. The NLD government is currently locked in a stalemate over national reconciliation.

It has also performed poorly in boosting the economy and improving people’s lives. Main economic in

dicators suggest that since the NLD government assumed power, Living standards haven’t su

bstantially improved, and more economic problems have surfaced to plague the country. One of the main rea

sons why the NLD lost seats in the 2018 elections is the government’s lackluster economic performance. If the ec

onomy doesn’t improve, it will inevitably affect the NLD’s potential for victory in the 2020 election.

Therefore, the NLD government is now attaching increasing importance to economic and livel

ihood issues. It has issued a string of policies to attract foreign investment. Take the new Mya

nmar Companies Act. Under the law, foreigners are permitted to take up to a 35 percent stake in local companies and bu

sinesses with foreign stakes of more than 35 percent will be classified as a foreign company, which facilitates co

operation between foreign investors and local businessmen and will help attract more foreign investment.

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he increased bank lending could match the real econom

The monetary authority has rolled out a series of policies in recent mont

hs to ensure adequate liquidity in the financial sector and accelerated loan issuance to co

mpanies. The measures include a new lending facility, called the targeted medium-term lending facility, which was in

troduced in December to encourage commercial banks to increase lending to small and private firms.

The central bank further cut the required reserve ratio for financial institutions by 1 percentage point in January and inj

ected another 800 billion yuan of capital into the market. That followed four reserve ratio cuts last year.

Supported by the liquidity, the average interest rate in financial mark

ets had already declined by January, which actually provided much cheaper funding t

o commercial banks and borrowers in the corporate sector, Sun said.

Accompanied by the credit boost, growth of the broad money sup

ply, or M2, accelerated in January to 8.4 percent from 8.1 percent at the end of December, t

he central bank said. Government bond issuance, meanwhile, has also picked up since the start of this year.

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ercent from 8.1 percent at the end of December, the central

It’s hard to say that China entered a new cycle of credit expansion,” said Zhang Ming, chief eco

nomist at Ping An Securities. “For the whole year, the overall financing growth and money supply is expected to stabilize.”

Fast credit expansion means higher pressure on companies to repay debt and interest, and the space for sustainable credit growth i

s limited, given the current leverage level. Total outstanding debt has exceeded 250 percent of GDP, Zhang said.

The good news is that credit has been channeled effectively into the production sector, such as manuf

acturing and high-tech, and the healthier credit structure can support the overall economic r

estructuring reform, said Ruan Jianhong, head of the central bank’s statistics and analysis department.

hina and the United States will continue economic and trade consultations in Washington ne

xt week, after reaching consensus in principle on major issues during their high-level Beijing talks, State media reported.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the two sides had in-depth communication on topics of mutual concern including tec

hnological transfers, intellectual property rights protection, nontariff barriers, the service industry, agr

iculture, the trade balance and an implementation mechanism, as well as on particular issues of concern to China.

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Hopefully, the discussions over the past three month

hs have helped both sides to better understand each other’s concerns and fostered greater mutual trust.

That the feel-good atmosphere that has prevailed since the January discussions in Washington has been mai

ntained by this round of talks was evident as the negotiations are to continue in the US capital next week. This welcome dev

elopment was confirmed by Xi, who said he hoped the discussions would carry forward the positive momentum as i

t conformed to the interests of both countries to strengthen their cooperation.

Although it is probably too hasty to interpret from this that a deal is imminent given s

ome of the US demands, it is to be hoped that the just-concluded negotiations have laid the groundwork for

next week’s discussions to establish a framework for a resolution to the trade dispute, so that a meeting between Xi and T

rump, which is regarded as necessary to finalize any deal, can be scheduled for this purpose as soon as possible.

New progress on the outstanding difficult issues is imperative as the trade frictions have not been good for either country, despite claims to the contrary.

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Between each April and October, villagers from Dingri Cou

unty usually set up black tents at the foot of Mount Qomolangma, providing tourists accomodation as a means of earning money.

Though ordinary visitors can’t go beyond the monastery, it won’t affect them from appreciating the mountain.

“The new tent camp for ordinary tourists can still allow them to clearly see the 8,800-meter-plus mountain,” Kelsang said.

Travelers who have a climbing permit can go to the base camp at an altitude of 5,200 meters. Kelsan

g said the mountaineering activities have been approved by the regional forestry department.

Decades after the epic climb to the world’s peak, Tibetans at the f

oot of Mount Qomolangma have conquered poverty by receiving professional and am

ateur mountaineers and tourists, who have also posed an environmental challenge to the mountain.

To conserve the environment surrounding Mount Qomolangma, China c

arried out three major clean-ups at an altitude of 5,200 meters and above last spr

ing, collecting more than eight tonnes of household waste, human feces and mountaineering trash.

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