China welcomes US-Russia talks on arms control but sees no reason to participate in negotiations

Beijing will not discuss a nuclear weapons treaty but welcomes arms control talks between the US and Russia, China’s Foreign Ministry said, pouring cold water on Donald Trump’s claim that Beijing was open to negotiations.

Washington hopes to begin drafting a nuclear weapons treaty with Moscow at a meeting in Geneva on Wednesday. China, however, will not take part in the summit, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

“At the moment, we see no reason or preconditions for China’s participation in such discussions,” he said at a press briefing on Tuesday. He stated that “Russia has also repeatedly expressed its understanding regarding China’s position on this issue.”

China fully supports any talks on the issue, but believes the world’s two leading nuclear powers should take the lead in non-proliferation negotiations, Geng added.

Also on rt.com China, Russia… ‘we all have to get rid’ of nukes, Trump says amid reports he eyes arms control deal...

The announcement will likely deflate Washington’s stated goal of inking a trilateral accord that includes Beijing. US President Donald Trump tweeted in December that he was “certain” he would discuss arms control with his Russian and Chinese counterparts “at some time in the future.”

In May, Trump claimed that Beijing “would very much like to be part” of a three-way deal with the US and Russia, going so far as to say that the Chinese were “more excited about it than [about] trade.”

Former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT in April that it seemed unlikely that China would agree to talks, given Washington’s record for tearing up past agreements, such as the Iran nuclear deal and the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty.

“The US is not agreement capable,” he said. “Any agreement we make is simply not going to be honored by the US side.”

Also on rt.com Three-way deal: Trump says China wants to join nuclear pact with US, Russia...

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China threatens to sever ties with any US firm linked to selling weapons to Taiwan

The Chinese foreign ministry has warned that American firms would be banned from doing business in China if they are involved in any arms deals with Taiwan.

“In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on US companies involved in arms sales to Taiwan,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Monday. “The Chinese government and Chinese companies will not cooperate and do business with these US firms,” he added.

Answering reporters’ questions, Geng said the details about such companies and the timeline of any penalties against them will not be disclosed at present.

Beijing warned Washington last week “not to play with fire” and to cancel a planned $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan, accusing the US of interfering in China’s domestic affairs.

Also on rt.com China threatens sanctions against US companies selling weapons to Taiwan...

The Pentagon is looking to make a major sale of weapons to Taiwan, including 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, as well as mounted machine guns and ammunition.

The planned arms sale would violate Beijing’s ‘One China’ principle, which views Taiwan as an integral part of China.

Relations between Beijing and Taipei have deteriorated since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the island’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, took office in May 2016. China suspects her of seeking formal independence with support from Washington.

The Taiwanese leader, who arrived in New York City on Friday on a two-night “transit” stop on her way to visit four Caribbean nations, dismissed the Chinese criticism of both her visit and the arms deal.

“We don't need our neighbor to make irresponsible remarks,” she told reporters, according to Taiwan's official Central News Agency.

Also on rt.com Hypocrisy at its finest: US wants to arm Taiwan while sounding alarm about China’s influence...

Tsai has also rejected Chinese pressure to reunite Taiwan and China under the “one-country, two-systems” framework that governs Hong Kong.

She said: “Hong Kong’s experience under ‘one country, two systems’ has shown the world once and for all that authoritarianism and democracy cannot coexist.”

Beijing has urged Washington to abide by the ‘one China principle’ and to “not allow Tsai Ing-wen’s stopover, cease official exchanges with Taiwan, and refrain from providing any platform for separatist Taiwan independence forces.”

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Russia, China, Iran & Venezuela developing crypto to challenge US financial control – study

A new report by the American Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) says the US’ geopolitical adversaries are deploying blockchain technology to help avoid sanctions and counter US financial power.

According to the FDD, with the increase of adoption of cryptocurrencies around the world, efforts are underway to build new systems for transferring value that work outside of conventional banking infrastructure.

Governments in Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela are experimenting with the technology that underpins the crypto market, said the report. They are prioritizing blockchain technology as a “key component of their efforts to counter US financial power.”

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“Russia, Iran, and Venezuela have initiated blockchain technology experiments that their leaders paint as tools to offset US financial coercive power and increase sanctions resistance. China is also wary of US financial power and the ever-present threat of sanctions against Chinese officials,” the study finds.

The efforts of the four nations go beyond mere sanctions evasion, according to the report, which said that they “seek to reduce the potency of unilateral and multilateral sanctions by developing alternative payment systems for global commerce.”

Also on rt.com Iran plans launch of national cryptocurrency to ditch dollar in oil trade...

The authors of the report noted that the US position of influence is not necessarily permanent.

“Technology has created a potential pathway to alternative financial value transfer systems outside of US control. The target timeline may be two to three decades, but these actors are developing the building blocks now. They envision a world in which cryptocurrency technology helps them eclipse US financial power, much the way that the dollar once eclipsed the British pound.”

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‘Don’t play with fire’: Beijing warns US over Taiwan

China strongly warned Washington against shipping weapons to Taiwan, and urged the US to consider the “gravity” of the issue after the Pentagon authorized selling tanks to Taipei.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi blasted Washington for allowing arm sales to Taiwan during his trip to Hungary on Friday.

“We urge the US to fully recognize the gravity of the Taiwan question… [and] not to play with fire on the question of Taiwan,” he told reporters via an interpreter, cited by Reuters.

Beijing considers Taiwan its territory and opposes its recognition as an independent country. The US, which does not formally recognize Taiwan in accordance with the ‘one-China principle’, had made diplomatic overtures towards the island nation under President Donald Trump. In 2016, he became the first US leader in more than 30 years to speak over the phone with his Taiwanese counterpart, Tsai Ing-wen. The move prompted a protest by Beijing.

Also on rt.com China threatens sanctions against US companies selling weapons to Taiwan...

Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that it had authorized the sale of M1A2T Abrams tanks and FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Taiwan. China heavily criticized this decision, saying it undermines the ‘one-China principle’, and demanded to “immediately cancel” the potential sale.

The row over Taiwan adds to the tensions between the US and China, sparked by the ongoing trade war.

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Heavy Rain, Floods In China Force Evacuation Of Nearly 80,000

Beijing: The heaviest average rainfall to lash a swathe of southern and eastern China in more than half a century brought torrential rain and floods, destroying houses, damaging crops and forcing the evacuation of nearly 80,000 people, state media said.

Even more rain is expected, state television said on Thursday, after average rainfall in the affected areas this week was recorded as 51% higher than in the corresponding periods of previous years, and the largest since 1961.

State television showed images of half-submerged buildings and flooded streets in some of the worst-hit areas. Trains along the Beijing-Guangzhou railway were delayed after rising waters blocked a bridge in the southern province of Hunan, it added.

The latest episode has caused losses of 2.69 billion yuan ($392 million), with 126,100 hectares (311,600 acres) of farmland damaged and 1,600 homes collapsed, the Ministry of Emergency Management has estimated.

 
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Chinese VP Says World Cannot Shut China Out

“China’s development can’t shut out the rest of the world. The world’s development can’t shut out China."

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan took an indirect jab at the United States during his opening address to the World Peace Format Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

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The Chinese Vice President pointed out the faults of the U.S. administration’s pressure on China, while highlighting the fact that Beijing plays a critical role in the world’s economic development. “China’s development can’t shut out the rest of the world. The world’s development can’t shut out China,” Wang stated.

Wang also warned against “protectionism in the name of national security”, without mentioning the United States, and called major powers to make more contributions to global peace and stability.

The Trump administration has accused China of engaging in unfair trade practices that discriminate against U.S. firms, forced technology transfers and intellectual property rights theft, all charges Beijing has denied.

Both sides have leveled increasingly severe tariffs on each other’s imports.

China has also been angered by U.S. sanctions against Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] over national security concerns.

Wang, who is extremely close to Chinese President Xi Jinping and who only rarely speaks in public, reiterated China’s commitment to opening up.

The world needs China just as much as China needs the world, said Wang, who became vice president last year having previously lead Xi’s fight against deep-rooted corruption.

“Large countries must assume their responsibilities and set an example, make more contributions to global peace and stability, and broaden the path of joint development.” he said.

“Development is the key to resolving all issues,” Wang told an audience that included senior Beijing-based Western diplomats and former European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

Top representatives of the United States and China are organizing a resumption of talks for this week to try to resolve the year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

The two sides have been in communication by telephone since last month’s G20 summit, when U.S. President Donald Trump and Xi agreed to relaunch talks that had stalled in May.

Talks between the two sides broke down in May after U.S. officials accused China of pulling back from commitments it had made previously in the text of an agreement that negotiators said was nearly finished.

The two countries have been at loggerheads over a series of other issues, from human rights to the disputed South China Sea and U.S. support of self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by China as its own.

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Cuban Residents in China Condemn US Hostility

Cuban residents in China on Monday denounced the intensification of the hostile policy by the United States against their country and the objective of further hindering development with measures that tighten the economic, financial and commercial blockade on the Caribbean island.

During a meeting at the Cuban Embassy in Beijing, that community condemned Washington's efforts to suffocate the island nation with actions aimed at hindering progress and increasing deficits in all spheres of society. However, they expressed their conviction that it is another test that Cubans will pass again with more unity and initiatives to counter the White House's maneuvers.

'The blockade is like a wall through which we have to go on our own with intelligence and patience. We have to be united so that domestic decisions become the master key to open the doors to prosperity,' the journalist Abel Rosales told Prensa Latina.

He noted that this hostility forces Cuba to create its own path to development, and predicted its end sooner or later 'in light of the strength of good actions'.

Meanwhile, Chef Miguel Nicolao called on his compatriots to remain aware, united and to continue to work as they have done so far, because during the six decades of the Cuban Revolution, it has always been under the US siege and it has always resisted it.

'More than one thousand like (President Donald) Trump have passed and they have not been able to defeat Cuba. I don't think this will do,' said Nicolao, who demanded an end to all punitive measures taken by the US Government.

Similar statements were made by Anaisy Antunez, who also urged to redouble the struggle against the blockade and condemned the damage caused to all citizens in Cuba and abroad.

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Xi Jinping Urged Trump To "Show Flexibility" Over North Korea Sanctions

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping urged US President Donald Trump to "show flexibility" towards North Korea, including the "timely" easing of sanctions, at the G20 summit last week, China's foreign minister said Tuesday.

Xi "pushed for the US to show flexibility and meet the DPRK (North Korea) halfway, including the timely easing of sanctions against the DPRK and finding a solution to each other's concerns through dialogue," Wang Yi told reporters.

 

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