Posts Tagged ‘China’

ASEAN, China to work on maritime Code of Conduct

Trade ties have significantly improved and tensions over the South China Sea have eased since Xi called Duterte’s October 2016 visit to Beijing a “milestone” in China-Philippine relations [Xinhua]

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to begin work on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, the media in the Philippines reported Wednesday.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou was in the capital Manila on Tuesday to meet with his Philippine counterpart to discuss security issues in the South China Sea, and the two said that discussions over the Code would begin in early March.

China and the Philippines were involved in a territorial spat over rights to that body of water two years ago.

In 2015, the International Court of arbitration in The Hague ruled that China’s historic claims to most of the South China Sea were invalid.

China called the ruling a farce and said it would not recognize it as it was issued unilaterally, and initiated by the former Philippine government.

But in June 2016, Rodrigo Duterte became president, effectively reversing tension over the South China Sea territorial disputes.

On Tuesday, Kong and Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Enrique Manalo issued a statement which reaffirmed freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea.

The two countries have established a Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) to deal with the South China Sea maritime territory.

“There were intensive discussions on mutually beneficial joint initiatives and consensus on the convening of technical working groups in the areas of fisheries, oil and gas, marine scientific research and marine environmental protection, and political security, in the framework of the BCM,” a statement jointly issued by both diplomats said.

Last year, the two countries signed a $1.7 billion trade deal.

In the meantime, ASEAN and Chinese defense officials are planning to hold their first joint naval drills in the South China Sea later in 2018.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

Chinese car sales bounce back

People wearing breathing masks are seen on a pedestrian bridge in downtown Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 22, 2014 [Xinhua]

Sales of Chinese cars increased 11.6 per cent year on year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said Friday.

CAAM says the two-digit jump happened because of reduces sales between 2016 and 2017 when the government introduced new policie and sales tax mechanisms.

But the Chinese car manufacturing industry is now focused on new energy vehicles (NEVs) as a part to reduce the impact on the environment.

The government says 38,000 NEVs were sold this past January.

China is planning to drastically raise the number of new-energy vehicles it produces in order to hit two million by 2020, Industry and Information Technology Minister previously said Miao Wei.

The government hopes that by 2025, at least one in every five cars sold in China will be a new energy model.

This would quadruple the number the number of new-energy vehicles produced.

In 2016, the country produced over half a million new energy vehicles and sold over one million, local media reported citing the ministry.

China has for years struggled to curb heavy air-pollution in the capital, caused by high-emission vehicles.

Beijing will also ban high-emission vehicles, Chinese officials have said.

According to the Chinese capital’s newly revised extreme weather emergency response mechanism which began in December, these vehicles will be restricted from roads when the city issues red or orange smog alerts – the city’s two most serious weather and pollution alerts.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

China pushes for a greener Beijing

Beijing regularly issues color coded warning as air quality worsens in the capital and other areas [Xinhua]

In a bid to combat persistent smog and pollution in its capital city, the Chinese government will expand urban green areas in Beijing by 600 hectares.

The Beijing Gardening and Greening Bureau said that would increase the total green area percentage of the city from 46.2 to 48.3 per cent.

The government will also build “five urban forests, 21 small green spaces, 10 leisure parks and 100km of healthy green ways,” Chinese news agency Xinhua has said.

Increasing green spaces is believed to improve air quality.

Every winter, Beijing faces an air pollution crisis; authorities have put in place a color code system to indicate the dangers pollution has on the city residents.

China’s color code alerts include red – as the most dangerous and lethal, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

The red code is triggered when the city anticipates four consecutive days of heavy air pollution, including two days of severe air pollution.

A red alert is also issued if the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches 500, local media have said.

In addition to curbing the use of vehicles and applying stricter pollution controls to construction sites and those that use coal as an energy source, the government is fast-tracking the manufacturing of “green” cars.

In 2017, nearly 800,000 such “green” vehicles were sold on the Chinese market.

“New energy vehicle production jumped 53.8 percent to 794,000 units last year, up 53.8 percent from the previous year,” the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said.

This comes as the Chinese government seeks to adopt a two-tier approach to environmental safety and boost its automotive industry.

Beijing is also going to reclaim forests that have been transformed to agricultural lands.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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