Correcting ‘historical injustice’ to allow Palestinian state: China

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands at the end of their joint press conference in Beijing on Thursday. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Updated 13 April 2017
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Correcting ‘historical injustice’ to allow Palestinian state: China

BEIJING: Palestinians must be allowed to build an independent state, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday after meeting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, who pushed Beijing to do more in the Middle East peace process.
Chinese envoys occasionally visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories, though China has traditionally played little role in Middle East conflicts or diplomacy, despite its reliance on the region for oil.
Wang told a joint press briefing with Al-Maliki that 70 years after a UN resolution was passed on a plan for a Jewish state, Palestinians are still being prevented from having their own independent country.
“This is unfair. This kind of historical injustice must be corrected. It cannot continue,” Wang said.
It was time to overcome inertia and restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, he said.
Maliki said Palestinians appreciated and welcomed China’s efforts to facilitate peace.
“And we do encourage China to do more of this kind of approach, in order to see peace ultimately achieved in our region,” he added.
Beijing has traditionally had a good relationship with the Palestinians.
The Middle East, however, is fraught with risk for China, a country that has little experience navigating the religious and political tensions that frequently rack the region.
China’s President Xi Jinping told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March that peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine would be good for both parties and the region, and that it was favored by the international community.


Huawei CFO gets bail; China detains ex-Canadian diplomat

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer (CFO), is seen in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters December 6, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 17 min 34 sec ago
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Huawei CFO gets bail; China detains ex-Canadian diplomat

  • A Canadian citizen has been detained in China, Canada said on Tuesday

VANCOUVER, British Columbia: A Canadian court granted bail on Tuesday to a top Chinese executive arrested at the United States’ request in a case that has set off a diplomatic furor among the three countries and complicated high-stakes US-China trade talks.
Hours before the bail hearing in Vancouver, China detained a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in apparent retaliation for the Dec. 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and daughter of the company’s founder.
After three days of hearings, a British Columbia justice granted bail of $10 million Canadian ($7.5 million) to Meng, but required her to wear an ankle bracelet, surrender her passports, stay in Vancouver and its suburbs and confine herself to one of her two Vancouver homes from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The decision was met with applause in the packed courtroom, where members of Vancouver’s Chinese community had turned out to show support for Meng.
Amid rising tension between China and Canada, Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed Tuesday that a former Canadian diplomat had been detained in Beijing. The detention came after China warned Canada of consequences for Meng’s arrest.
“We’re deeply concerned,” Goodale said. “A Canadian is obviously in difficulty in China. ... We are sparing no effort to do everything we possibly can to look after his safety.”
Michael Kovrig, who previously worked as a diplomat in China and elsewhere, was taken into custody by the Beijing Bureau of Chinese State Security on Monday night during one of his regular visits to Beijing, said the International Crisis Group, for which Kovrig works as North East Asia adviser. His employer said it had received no information about him since his detention.
Canada had been bracing for retaliation for Meng’ arrest. The Canadian province of British Columbia canceled a trade mission to China amid fears China could detain Canadians to put pressure on Ottawa over Meng’s detention.
 “In China there is no coincidence,” Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said of Kovrig’s detention. “Unfortunately Canada is caught in the middle of this dispute between the USand China. Because China cannot kick the US they turn to the next target.”
Earlier in the day, China vowed to “spare no effort” to protect against “any bullying that infringes the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi didn’t mention Meng by name. But ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Wang was referring to cases of all Chinese abroad, including Meng’s.
Washington accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. It says Meng and Huawei misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
On Tuesday, US State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters in Washington “the charges against Meng pertain to alleged lies to United States financial institutions” about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.
“It is clear from the filings that were unsealed in Canada, Meng and others are alleged to have put financial institutions at risk of criminal and civil liability in the United States by deceiving those institutions as to the nature and extent of Huawei’s business in Iran,” Palladino said.
Meng has denied the US allegations through her lawyer in court, promising to fight them if she is extradited to face charges in the United States.
“We have every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will reach a just conclusion in the following proceedings,” Huawei said in a statement.
“As we have stressed all along, Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including export control and sanction laws of the UN, US, and EU. We look forward to a timely resolution to this matter.”
Huawei, the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and Internet companies, is the target of US security concerns. Washington has pressured other countries to limit use of its technology, warning they could be opening themselves up to surveillance and theft of information.
The US and China have tried to keep Meng’s case separate from their wider trade dispute and suggested Tuesday that talks to resolve their differences may resume.
But President Donald Trump undercut efforts to distinguish between trade talks and the Huawei case. In an interview with Reuters, he said Tuesday that he would consider intervening in the Justice Department’s case against Meng if it would be in the interest of US national security or help forge a trade deal with Beijing.
Roland Paris, a former foreign policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, called Trump’s comments troubling.
“Canada is acting in good faith, according to the law, in response to a US extradition request,” Paris tweeted.
The Chinese government said its economy czar had discussed plans with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer for talks aimed at settling the two countries’ differences. Lighthizer’s office confirmed he had spoken by phone with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
The news that trade negotiations may resume lifted stock markets around the world.
The United States has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports in response to complaints Beijing steals American technology and forces US companies to turn over trade secrets.
Tariffs on $200 billion of those imports were scheduled to rise from 10 percent to 25 percent on Jan. 1. But Trump agreed to postpone those by 90 days while the two sides negotiate.