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Xi calls for strengthening cooperation in Northeast Asia for regional peace, prosperity
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called on countries in Northeast Asia to seize the historical opportunity and conform to the trend of the times to strengthen cooperation in the Russian Far East and Northeast Asia for a better future of the region.
He made the remarks while addressing the plenary session of the fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East.
"Under new circumstances, we should join hands and strengthen cooperation to promote peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region," Xi told the forum, which was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon.
Xi proposed that countries in Northeast Asia should build up mutual trust to safeguard regional peace and tranquility; deepen cooperation to achieve mutually-beneficial and win-win outcomes; learn from each other to consolidate their traditional friendship; and take a long-term perspective to realize integrated and coordinated development.
"A harmonious, united and stable Northeast Asia with mutual trust conforms to the interests of all countries and the expectations of the international community and is also significant for safeguarding multilateralism and promoting a more just and equitable international order," Xi said, noting that the international situation is now undergoing profound and complicated changes with rising power politics, unilateralism and protectionism.
The Chinese president said that the six Northeast Asian countries account for 23 percent of the global population, and their gross domestic product make up 19 percent of the global economy.
As a member of Northeast Asia, China has always upheld the concept of peaceful development to create a harmonious and friendly neighboring environment; participated in regional cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect and in a constructive manner; and endeavored to promote exchanges and dialogues while taking into consideration the concerns of all parties, Xi said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping returned to Beijing on Wednesday night after attending the fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Xinhua)
Putin proposes signing peace treaty with Japan by year-end
Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested on Wednesday that Russia and Japan sign a peace treaty by the end of the year without any preconditions.
A signed peace treaty would better position the two countries to solve their outstanding issues from the past several decades, Putin told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a plenary session during the fourth Eastern Economic Forum.
During Abe’s address at the forum, he said the absence of a peace treaty between the two countries was abnormal and suggested a change was as due.
Russia and Japan have rival claims to a cluster of Pacific Islands known in Russia as the Southern Kurils, and in Japan referred to as the Northern Territories.
The territorial spat has prevented both sides from signing a post-World War II peace treaty, thus hindering diplomatic and trade relations between the two.
In September 2017, Putin and Abe agreed to conduct joint economic activities on the controversial islands and prioritized projects in aquaculture, electricity, greenhouse facilities, garbage disposal and tourism. (Xinhua)
Mainland resident permit applications skyrocket among Taiwanese
Over 22,000 Taiwan residents applied for residence permits to live on the Chinese mainland by September 10th, said An Fengshan, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council on Wednesday.
On September 1, a new regulation went into effect making Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan resident eligible to apply for Chinese mainland resident permits.
Resident permit holders will be able to register vehicles, apply for a driver's license, take professional qualification exams and purchase tickets online.
The new regulation provides added convenience in terms of study, work and daily life on the mainland, An said, noting the number of people applying for the permit indicates the regulation offers benefits and has been well-received by Taiwan compatriots including business people, young entrepreneurs, teachers and students. (Xinhua)
European Parliament questions US 'America First' policy
European Parliament members regret the “America First" policy from the US, which has led to pulling out from international agreements and has launched trade wars, they said in a resolution on Wednesday.
Approved by 490 to 148, with 51 abstent votes, the resolution affirms the EU-US relationship is a key guarantor for global stability, but the choice of a one-sided "America first" policy has eroded relations between the two powers and harmed the interests of both parties.
"Unilateral moves only weaken the transatlantic partnership," the resolution states.
The recent US decision to pull out of key international agreements, such as the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate agreement, has put common values between the partners at risk.
The resolution suggests establishing a Transatlantic Political Council, to be led by the head of EU diplomacy and the US Secretary of State to allow the powers to consult on foreign and security policies. (Xinhua)
Trump authorizes sanctions against US elections meddling
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on Wednesday to punish any foreign interference in US elections, a latest attempt by the administration to show its resolution to fight against elections meddling, said US officials.
The order will direct the intelligence community to assess if any foreign individual, entity or country has interfered in a US election, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told reporters at a conference call held at Wednesday noon.
After an up-to-45-day assessing period, the gathered information will be passed to the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, who also have 45 days to decide if they should go forward with the sanctions, explained National Security Advisor John Bolton who joined the call.
The sanctions will be automatically triggered if any foreign interference has been found, said Coats.
The sanctions could include blocking the assets of the individuals and entities within the US jurisdiction, prohibiting US individuals and entities from engaging in transactions with or investing in the entities involved.
Apple shows off its most expensive iPhone yet
Apple unveiled three new iPhones on Wednesday, including its biggest and most expensive model yet, as the company seeks to widen the product's appeal amid slowing sales.
CEO Tim Cook showed off the Apple XS, which has a bigger screen than the one on last year's dramatically designed model, the iPhone X. It'll cost about $1,000. A bigger version will be called the iPhone XS Max, which looks to be about the size of the iPhone 8 Plus, though the screen size is much larger. This one will cost almost $1,100, topping last year's iPhone X, which at $1,000 seemed jaw-dropping at the time.
As with the iPhone X, the new phone has a screen that runs from edge to edge, an effort to maximize the display without making the phone too awkward to hold. The screen needs no backlight, so black would appear as truly black rather than simply dark.
This even-bigger iPhone, which will be available on Sept. 21 — with orders open the week before — represents Apple's attempt to feed consumers' appetite for increasingly larger screens as they rely on smartphones to watch and record video, as well as take photos wherever they are.
The iPhone X also got rid of the home button to make room for more screen and introduced facial-recognition technology to unlock the device. (AP)
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And now for the Question of the Day.
What is the national flower of Russia?
Today's quote is from German-born physicist Albert Einstein.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Terry Guanlin Li, Raymond Mendoza, and Lance Crayon)