China media praises tone, outcome of Trump-Xi summit

China’s President Xi Jinping makes a speech during a business leaders event with US President Donald Trump at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017. (AFP/Jim Watson)
Updated 10 November 2017
0

China media praises tone, outcome of Trump-Xi summit

BEIJING: Chinese state media on Friday praised the tone and outcome of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing, saying he and Chinese President Xi Jinping were setting a new blueprint for handling relations and managing their differences.
Trump pressed China to do more to rein in North Korea on Thursday and said bilateral trade had been unfair to the United States, but praised Xi’s pledge that China would be more open to foreign firms. The two also oversaw the signing of about $250 billion in commercial deals.
“Although the differences that had been pestering bilateral ties have not instantly disappeared, the most important takeaway from their talks in Beijing has been the constructive approach to these issues the two leaders demonstrated,” the official China Daily said in an editorial.
“Both expressed their willingness to work with, instead of against, the other in dealing with the differences between their two countries, in particular over trade and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear program,” it added, using North Korea’s formal name.
China lavished attention on Trump and his wife Melania during their visit, with Xi personally chaperoning them on a tour of the Forbidden City, part of what the Chinese government referred to as a “state visit plus.”
Trump came to China pledging to ask Xi to play a bigger role in reining on North Korea, whose repeated nuclear and missile tests have angered both Washington and Beijing.
Xi, at least in public, went no further than reiterating China’s determination to achieve denuclearization through talks.
“China has tried its utmost, even at the sacrifice of Sino-North Korean relations,” influential tabloid the Global Times wrote in its editorial.
“Trump has gradually learned that Beijing is indeed making selfless contributions to promoting the denuclearization of the peninsula. He can’t demand more.”
China has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing United Nations sanctions against North Korea, which does some 90 percent of its trade with China, but that more efforts need to be made to get everyone back to the negotiating table.
Su Xiaohui of the Foreign Ministry think-tank, the China Institute of International Studies, wrote in a front page commentary of the overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily that Sino-US cooperation was the only correct choice for both countries. “A new blueprint for China-US relations is gradually unfolding,” Su wrote.


Facebook hires former UK deputy PM Nick Clegg as head of global affairs

Updated 19 October 2018
0

Facebook hires former UK deputy PM Nick Clegg as head of global affairs

  • Facebook is enlisting the veteran of EU politics to help with increased regulatory scrutiny and challenges to its reputation
  • Clegg described the new job as ‘an exciting new adventure,’ after 20 years in British politics

LONDON: Facebook Inc. has hired former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to lead its global affairs and communications team, as the social network deals with a number of scandals related to privacy, fake news and election meddling.
The appointment makes Clegg, former leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats and deputy to David Cameron in the 2010-2015 coalition government, the most senior European politician ever in a leadership role in Silicon Valley.
Facebook said Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg were closely involved in the hiring process, and started talking to Clegg over the summer.
“Our company is on a critical journey. The challenges we face are serious and clear and now more than ever we need new perspectives to help us though this time of change,” Sandberg said on a Facebook post congratulating Clegg.
Clegg, 51, succeeds Elliot Schrage and will report to Sandberg beginning on Monday. He will move to California with his family in the new year.
He was ousted as deputy prime minister after the Conservatives won a majority in 2015 in an election that saw his Liberal Democrats suffer a significant loss of support.
Clegg, whose appeal to younger voters was critically damaged when he broke a promise not to raise student tuition fees, lost his own seat in Britain’s parliament in an election last year.
He apologized in 2012 for breaking his promise on student charges, saying “I will never again make a pledge unless as a party we are absolutely clear about how we can keep it.”
Clegg is joining a company that has apologized for its mistakes and has promised to do better on many occasions, for example for breaching its users’ trust.
“Throughout my public life I have relished grappling with difficult and controversial issues and seeking to communicate them to others,” Clegg said in a Facebook post.
“I hope to use some of those skills in my new role“
Clegg, a strong advocate of Britain’s membership of the European Union, said it was a “wrench” to be leaving the public debate at a crucial time in Brexit, but added that key decisions would pass to parliament, of which he was no longer a member.
He will join his Liberal Democrat colleague Richard Allan at the social network.
Allan, a member of parliament between 1997 and 2005 who now sits in the upper house, is Facebook’s vice president of public policy for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Clegg has discussed online security and privacy, both when in office and more recently in newspaper articles.
“I’m not especially bedazzled by Facebook,” he said in an article in the London Evening Standard in 2016.
“While I have good friends who work at the company, I actually find the messianic Californian new-worldy-touchy-feely culture of Facebook a little grating.”
He also said he was not sure that companies such as Facebook really pay all the tax they could, although he added that was as much the fault of governments that still hadn’t got their tax act together.
Schrage, who led the social network’s response to its several scandals, stepped down from the role in June after a decade with the company. Schrage will stay as an adviser, Facebook said.
Facebook has faced a barrage of criticism from users and lawmakers after it said last year that Russian agents used its platform to spread disinformation before and after the 2016 US presidential election, an accusation Moscow denies.
In March, the company faced new scrutiny over how it protects personal information after acknowledging that the data of up to 87 million people ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.