This is People's Daily Tonight, your news source from China.
US starts returning troops home from Syria, says White House
The Trump administration has started returning US troops home from Syria, the White House said on Wednesday.
"We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign," said White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders in a statement, claiming that America has "defeated the territorial caliphate."
All US State Department personnel are being evacuated from Syria within 24 hours, reported Reuters after the White House announcement, citing an anonymous administration official.
The official also revealed that the time-frame for the troops withdrawal from the war-torn Arab country is expected to be between 60 and 100 days. (Xinhua)
More China-US trade talks under plan for January
China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday more trade talks between China and the US are under plan in January, adding that both sides exchanged views on arrangements for negotiations in the latest vice-ministerial level call.
The potential for trade cooperation between the two countries was huge and the nature of win-win cooperation would not change, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in a regular briefing.
China and the United States had held a vice-ministerial level telephone call on bilateral trade and economic issues, China's Commerce Ministry said in a short statement on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, China's major State-owned grain stockpiler said it has resumed buying US soybeans, with a trade war truce between Beijing and Washington reached earlier this month. (China Daily)
Chinese envoy calls for international help for West, Central Africa in combating organized crime
A Chinese envoy to the United Nations (UN) on Wednesday urged the international community to help West and Central African countries with capacity building so that they are better equipped to take the helm in tackling transnational organized crime.
At a Security Council meeting on peace and security in Africa, Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, said the criminal activities that transit through countries in West and Central Africa seriously undermine these countries' development and social stability and fuel crime, violence and terrorism.
"The international community should, while fully respecting their ownership, help them formulate anti-drug trafficking strategies, develop greater enforcement capacity, and effectively tackle the scourge and other forms of transnational organized crime," he said.
Particularly, with regard to anti-drug trafficking, international cooperation should be scaled up on the basis of broad participation and shared responsibility, with a focus on clamping down on drug consumption market to curb drug production and trafficking at source. (CGTN)
MOFA: Canadian citizen under 'administrative penalty' for working illegally in China
Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that a Canadian citizen, named Sarah McIver, has been taken into "administrative detention" for "working illegally" in China.
"The Canadian citizen is on administrative penalty by public security organization for illegal employment," said Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the ministry, at a regular press conference.
China and Canada are holding "smooth" consular communication on the matter, Hua noted.
Two other Canadian nationals have been detained in China last week on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endangered China's national security". (CGTN)
US Senate poised to vote to keep government running into 2019
The US Senate was prepared to vote Wednesday on legislation to temporarily fund the government, a key step toward averting a federal shutdown after President Donald Trump backed off his demand for money for a border wall with Mexico.
Senators were poised to approve the measure, which would keep government running to Feb. 8, but voting stalled amid negotiations on other provisions. The House is also expected to move before Friday's deadline, when funding for a portion of the government expires. Without resolution, more than 800,000 federal workers would face furloughs or be forced to work without pay, disrupting government operations days before Christmas.
While the White House indicated Trump was open to reviewing whatever Congress could pass, Trump did not immediately weigh in on the short-term plan. (AP)
38 Chinese brands shine in influential list
A total of 38 Chinese brands have been ranked on the newly released 2018 edition of the World's 500 Most Influential Brands list from brand consulting and research firm World Brand Lab on Dec 19. Brands from 28 countries are included in the list, with Amazon, Google and Apple grabbing the top three spots.
State Grid, Tencent and Haier are the three Chinese companies with the highest rankings, landing at the 30th, 39th, and 41st spots respectively on the full list.
The list, published annually since 2004, tracks three key indicators: market share, brand loyalty and global leadership.
China ranks fifth on a sub-list, Top 10 Countries with the Most Brands Selected, with 38 entries in 2018, up one from last year and two from 2016. Representative brands include State Grid, Tencent, Haier, ICBC and Wuliangye. (China Daily)
US imposes sanctions on 22 Russian individuals, entities
The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on 18 Russian individuals and four entities, according to a statement issued by the US Department of Treasury.
The sanctions were in response to "Russia's continued disregard for international norms," said the statement.
According to the statement, 15 of 18 individuals are members of Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), whom the United States accused of involving in "attempting to interfere in the 2016 US election, efforts to undermine international organizations through cyber-enabled means, and an assassination attempt in the United Kingdom."
The United States also imposed sanctions on four entities and several individuals related to Russian effort to interfere with political and electoral systems worldwide, said the statement. (Xinhua)
And that's People's Daily Tonight. Thanks for joining us.
(Produced by Qu Qiuyan and Wang Xiangyu)