China with New Guinness Record for the World's Highest Bridge

China's Guinness list continues to rise and now has another record for building the highest bridge in the world, the Beipanjiang that crosses the border of the southwestern provinces of Guizhou and Yunnan.

It is a structure erected between mountains above the homonymous valley at 565.4 meters, or the equivalent of a 200-story skyscraper, according to press reports.

It measures one thousand 341 meters long and is in operation since December 2016 as part of an interprovincial highway.

The arcade of the bridge is even the second largest in the orb, having 720 meters in length.

Apart from obtaining the Guinness record, the Beipanjiang won this year the Gustav Lindenthal medal - known as the Nobel Prize for bridge construction - during the 35th International Conference on this type of works carried out in the United States.

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China denies meddling in US mid-term elections

Beijing doesn’t interfere in other nations’ internal affairs, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, rebuffing President Donald Trump’s earlier tweet accusing China of meddling in US elections.

The spokesperson, Geng Shuang, voiced China’s position while talking to reporters on Wednesday.

A day earlier, Trump wrote on Twitter that China is “actively trying to impact and change” the election “by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me.”

Shuang’s comments come on the heels of reports that Washington has ordered two Chinese state-run media outlets, Xinhua News Agency and Global Television Network to register as foreign agents in the US.

 
© CGTN

Several Chinese media outlets have already been forced to register under the controversial and outdated Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), introduced in 1938 to counter Nazi propaganda and used later during the Cold War. The US has since wielded the FARA rules against any foreign media it brands ‘propaganda tools’ and accuses of meddling in its domestic affairs.

FARA has recently come under fire from several rights and journalist groups, such as Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists, which blasted the US for applying the law to RT and the Qatar-based TV channel Al Jazeera. They called it “a dangerous precedent” and warned that it could lead to censorship.

The US and China are locked in a trade war. In a recent rise in tensions, Trump announced import tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Beijing vowed to retaliate by imposing duties on $60 billion worth of US goods, and by filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The US midterm election is scheduled for November 6. Up for grabs are all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate seats, and governorships in 36 states and three territories.

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China Retaliates Against Trump With Tariffs on $60B of US Goods

China’s Foreign Ministry said the U.S. steps have brought "new uncertainty" to talks between the two countries.

China said on Tuesday it had no choice but to retaliate against new U.S. trade tariffs, raising the risk that U.S. President Donald Trump could soon impose duties on virtually all of the Chinese goods that the United States buys.

RELATED: Trump To Aid US Farmers Suffering From His Trade War

The tariff rates will be levied at 5 and 10 percent, instead of the previously proposed rates of 5, 10, 20 and 25 percent, the Finance Ministry said on its website late on Tuesday.

China will impose a 10 percent tariff on U.S. products it previously designated for a rate of 20 and 25 percent. Liquefied natural gas (LNG), for example, was previously under the 25 percent tariff category but now will be subject to a tariff of 10 percent.

The new tariff measures will take effect on Sept. 24, the date when the Trump administration says it will begin to levy new tariffs of 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese products.

The tit-for-tat measures are the latest escalation in an increasingly protracted trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

The Chinese ministry announced tariff hikes hours after Trump said he was imposing 10 percent tariffs on about US$200 billion worth of imports from China, and threatened duties on about US$267 billion more if China retaliated against the U.S. action.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing later that the U.S. steps have brought "new uncertainty" to talks between the two countries.

"China has always emphasized that the only correct way to resolve the China-U.S. trade issue is via talks and consultations held on an equal, sincere and mutually respectful basis. But at this time, everything the United States does not give the impression of sincerity or goodwill," he added.

 

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Venezuela’s Maduro Pays Tribute to Mao, Meets China’s Xi on Trip to Deepen Ties

Xi said China would support the Venezuelan government's efforts to seek stability and development.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Friday in Beijing.

RELATED: China Expresses Confidence in Venezuelan People, Government Ahead of Maduro Visit

Maduro is in China on a four-day trip to discuss economic agreements and bolster his country's recently unveiled economic recovery plan. 

Li told Maduro that China supported Venezuela's efforts to develop its economy and improve people's livelihoods, and it was willing to provide what help it could.

While Xi told Maduro the two countries should promote mutually beneficial cooperation to take relations to a new stage, and consolidate political mutual trust, state television said.

Xi said China would support the Venezuelan government's efforts to seek stability and development.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro lays a wreath at the mausoleum of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing, China Friday. Photo: Reuters

Prior to his talks with Jinping and Keqiang, Maduro visited the Mao Zedong mausoleum to pay tribute to the Chinese leader. He honored Zedong by bowing three times in front of a wreath at the massive mausoleum facing Tiananmen Square and heaping praise on Communist China's founder, according to Channel Asia News.

"We are beginning this state visit in the best way because we have come to pay tribute to the great helmsman Mao Zedong...I was very moved because it really reminds of one of the great founders of a multipolar 21st century," Maduro said as he went on to praise Mao as a "giant of the homeland of humanity" and a "giant of revolutionary ideas."

Maduro's visit to China comes at the invitation of Jinping. He said the Chinese leader's vision of a "common destiny for humanity" is more than welcomed as it comes "without a hegemonic empire that blackmails, that dominates, that attacks the people of the world."

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Russia, China Start Biggest Military Drill Since Cold War

The Vostok 2018 exercise will be held from Sept. 11 to 17 in Russia’s Eastern Military District, a sparsely populated district close to country’s borders with China and Mongolia.

The Vostok 2018 exercise by the Russian military is witnessing the biggest military drill by the country in 37 years. Around 300,000 troops and tens of thousands of vehicles, aircraft, and warships are participating along with units from China in the exercise.

RELATED: Trump to China: Ready to Tariff Another US$267bn-Worth of Goods

The exercise kicked off on Tuesday along with a bilateral meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The meeting looks forward to strengthening ties between the two countries amidst U.S.-led sanction against Russia and a growing U.S.-China trade war.

Putin said Moscow has a “trusting relationship” with Beijing “in politics, security, and defense.” His Chinese counterpart commented that both countries would continue to “make joint efforts to… push the China-Russia relationship up to a new height.”

Xi Jinping, left, met Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Reuters

The three days meeting of the Easters Economic Forum in Vladivostok brought together the leaders of Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea along with 5,000 delegates from 60 countries.

The exercise is meant to test the capability of the Russian military. To this effect, the drill will include around 300,000 Russian soldiers and officers, including 6,000 airborne troops, over 1,000 warplanes, helicopters and drones, about 36,000 armor, and 80 combat and support ships. Compared to that, China’s participation seems minuscule with only 3,200 troops and 30 aircraft.

In a statement in August, Gen. Sergi Shoigu, supreme commander-in-chief of the Russian armed forces, said the games would be at an "unprecedented scale both in territory and number of troops involved."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the drills were justified given "aggressive and unfriendly" attitudes towards Russia by the NATO block.

The first two days of the drill will see planning and preparation while the actual events will start on Thursday and continue till the last day. The exercise will be spread across five army training grounds, four airbases and areas in the Sea of Japan, Bering Straits and Sea of Okhotsk.

NATO spokesperson Dylan White said that the military organization has been briefed about the exercise in May and it would monitor it. "Vostok demonstrates Russia's focus on exercising large-scale conflict. It fits into a pattern we have seen over some time: a more assertive Russia, significantly increasing its defense budget and its military presence."

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China Defends Opening and Reform, Despite U.S. Pressures

China's Ministry of Trade emphasized today this country will continue the reform and opening as well as protecting multilateralism, despite pressures from the United States on trade issues, highlights the local media today.

The spokesperson Gao Feng thus responded the accusations of Washington on alleged disloyal trade practices of Beijing.

Foreign trade activities of China have been done in strict compliance with the international multilateral trade system

since its entry to the World Trade Organization, assured the spokesperson.

According to Gao, economic and commercial cooperation China-United States, of mutually beneficial nature, has generated a notable growth for enterprises of both countries and for both peoples.

We hope the United States does not ponder the general situation based on the criteria of a reduced number of persons and does not mislead itself or the public, said Gao.

The spokesperson repeated the call to an equitable, honest and pragmatic dialogue with mutual respect and listen to the voices of industries and consumers, long-term cooperation and fundamental interests of both peoples to take the right decision.

According to Bloomberg news agency, president Donald Trump wants to go ahead with a plan to impose higher tariffs on Chinese imports valued in 200 billion dollars as son as next week.

If the new tariffs are enacted, it would be the greatest escalade in the trade war between the two biggest economies of the world, which according to the same source, creates even greater worry in the financial markets.

The head of the White House continuously accuses other nations, fundamentally the Asian giant, of taking advantage in trade with that country and boosts this aggressive tariff policy, criticized by the affected territories, U.S. economic sectors and mwembers of his own party.

The news on the possible enactment of more tariffs on China is published when trade conversations between Washington and Beijing do not show signs of progress, as those held last week in this capital showed little results.

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China hits back at Trump’s ‘absurd logic’ on N. Korea denuclearization

China has slammed US President Donald Trump’s “absurd logic” in blaming Beijing for an apparent delay in Washington’s denuclearization talks with North Korea. It follows Trump accusing China of “pressuring” Pyongyang.

Pressure has been mounting on Trump to explain why his much-vaunted talks with North Korea in June have yet to deliver any results, with Pyongyang failing to show any concrete steps towards its promise of denuclearizing the region.

The US president on Wednesday shrugged off any responsibility and instead sought to shift the blame onto Beijing – North Korea’s only ally in the region – citing its “tremendous pressuring” of Pyongyang.

READ MORE: Trump says ‘no reason’ for costly war games with South Korea, blames China for stalemate with North

“President Donald J. Trump feels strongly that North Korea is under tremendous pressure from China because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese government,” Trump said on Twitter.

He added that China providing North Korea with a series of other “commodities” is “not helpful.” 

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman hit back during a press briefing. “A lot of people, like me, feel that the US is first in the world when it comes to twisting the truth, and irresponsible and absurd logic,” she said. “This logic is not easily understood by all.”

Trump then seemed to take a more amicable tone as he said that – despite North Korea’s current failure to return concessions – there is “no reason” right now to spend loads of money on US military exercises with South Korea.

@realDonaldTrump

STATEMENT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

President Donald J. Trump feels strongly that North Korea is under tremendous pressure from China because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese Government. At the same time, we also know that China is providing North Korea with...

Trump took military commanders by surprise in June when, after talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, he announced that “provocative” drills with Seoul would be suspended.

In yet another episode of White House officials contradicting their leader, the comments were at odds with Defense Secretary James Mattis on Tuesday, who said the drills would not be suspended for the time being.

That was just a day after the announcement that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to North Korea would be canceled because of the peninsula’s failure to denuclearize.

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‘Most Americans have no idea’: With all eyes on Russia, China spends millions influencing US

China has unleashed a massive multi-pronged propaganda effort across the US, using a combination of money and influence to sway key policy and opinion-makers, says a new Congress-backed report.

Completed at the behest of US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the 39-page report focuses on United Front, an umbrella organization for Beijing’s soft power, which lead author says has dramatically expanded under the rule of Xi Jinping.

“United Front work serves to promote Beijing’s preferred global narrative, pressure individuals living in free and open societies to self-censor and avoid discussing issues unfavorable to the Chinese Communist Party, and harass or undermine groups critical of Beijing’s policies,” states the report.

READ MORE: China, North Korea & Iran may target US elections, Bolton says

According to the report, prominent US institutions, such as Johns Hopkins University, and think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, Brookings Institution and the Carter Center are either receiving funding directly from various arms of the Chinese government, or cooperating on projects financed by United Front.

"Beijing seeks to outsource its messaging in part because it believes foreigners are more likely to accept propaganda if it appears to come from non-Chinese sources," says the report.

The Chinese government is also nurturing a network of “grassroots” organizations, such as the 142 US-based Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSA) and over 100 Confucius Institutes. Nominally, these organizations promote cultural exchange, and access to Chinese language, connections and culture, but according to the report, in actual fact they serve as a front for intelligence recruitment and activities, and a vehicle for ruthless promotion of Chinese agendas, including in its dealing with geopolitical adversaries, such as Taiwan.

 
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) May 16, 2018. © Joshua Roberts 

"Most Americans and many members of Congress have no idea of the range of activities undertaken by this Chinese Communist Party web," Larry Wortzel, a member of the Congress commission told the Washington Free Beacon.

Wortzel said that Congress has been briefed about the findings, and called for more Chinese-backed organizations to be given the foreign agent designation, which would bring their intent out into the open.

Such complacency about China is made starker by paranoia over Russia, where even a casual connection to Moscow is sufficient for insinuations of treason. Prominent Democrat senator Dianne Feinstein, who has enjoyed close connections with the very quasi-governmental entities listed in the report, employed a Chinese spy on her staff for 20 years. The discovery of the agent has had almost no repercussions on her political career.

With China singled out as a political rival by Donald Trump, the current administration has tried to whip up a level of alarm. National Security Advisor John Bolton said that China was potentially involved in meddling in the upcoming US election. But so far, the concern has not taken hold, with the US media much impressed with the supposedly tangible villainy of Vladimir Putin over the nebulous Chinese threat.

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