Month: March 2019

ation and safety officials Daniel Elwell, Robert

US senators sharply questioned regulatory officials on Wedne

sday about the Federal Aviation Administration’s reliance on Boeing Co’s engineers to cert

ify the safety of the company’s new 737 Max 8 aircraft, which was involved in two fatal crashes in the past five months.

A self-certification procedure called Organization Designation Authorization came under scr

utiny at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s aviation subcommittee in Washington. Testifying wer

e Daniel Elwell, acting FAA administrator; Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Saf

ety Board; and Calvin Scovel III, Transportation Department inspector general.

For decades, the FAA has delegated some authority for certifying new aircraft to the manufacturers, reducing government costs.

After the crashes of Lion Air in Indonesia in October and Ethiop

ian Airlines this month, which killed a total of 346 passengers and crew members, critics have ci

ted the self-certification process as evidence of an overly cozy relationship between the FAA and the industry.

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Event planned to fete PLA Navy’s 70th anniversary

More than 60 countries will send naval delegations to participate in the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Peo

ple’s Liberation Army Navy in late April, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.

The celebration will showcase the progress of the PLA Navy and its growing capabili

ty in safeguarding China’s overseas interests as well as regional and world peace, an expert said.

The multinational naval event will take place in Qingdao, Shandong province, in late Ap

ril, said ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian. April 23 is the 70th anniversary of the PLA Navy’s founding.

The naval event will include high-level dialogues, an international fleet review, military band performances, cultural and sports e

xchanges as well as other activities, Wu said. Some nations will send military ships to participate in the fleet

review, though details are still in the works and will be announced at a later date, he added.

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Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, director of the Center for Secur

Cooperation at the ministry’s Office for International Military Cooperation, said that comp

ared with other branches of the military, the PLA Navy plays a relatively larger role in protecting China’s overseas inter

ests and maintaining security in key sea lanes such as the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.

“The PLA Navy is at the forefront of proving that the Chinese milita

ry is an open, cooperative and competent force for peace,” he said, adding that the PLA Navy has f

requently participated in humanitarian rescue missions, naval escorts, joint exercises and exchanges in past years.

“Through these non-war military operations, the Chinese Navy has also improved its capability and operability in dis

tant waters,” Zhou said. “Many security issues around the world require global efforts, and as its capability impr

oves, the PLA Navy can play a bigger part and contribute more to global maritime security.”

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In a spectacular display of indecision, the House of Comm

ons has voted against remaining in the EU and every version of leaving the EU,” tweeted James Cleverly, the Conservative Party’s deputy chairman.

Nevertheless, some proposals fared better than May’s deal had done two weeks ago, and parlia

ment was due to hold more indicative votes on Monday after refining the options most likely to secure a majority.

Many Conservative eurosceptics had made clear they would only c

onsider supporting May’s deal if she gave a firm commitment to resign, hoping a new leader

would be more sympathetic to their views when negotiating the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party,” May told a meeting of Conservative lawmakers (MPs).

“I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new lead

ership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.”

But within hours of May’s offer, the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority gov

ernment, said it would vote against the deal if May brought it back a third time.

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While May was addressing her lawmakers, MPs in the mai

n chamber debated eight other Brexit options, ranging from leaving abruptly with no deal to revoking the divorce altogether.

While there was no majority support for any, the option calling for a referendum on any depa

rture deal, and another suggesting a UK-wide customs union with the EU, won more votes than May’s deal did two weeks ago.

Oliver Letwin, a Conservative former cabinet minister who led parliament’s unusual power grab, said it ha

d been expected that none would immediately win a majority, and lawmakers would have another chance on Monday.

The uncertainty around Britain’s most significant political and economic change since W

orld War II has left allies and investors aghast. Sterling dipped after Wednesday’s events.

If May’s deal were to pass, her office said there would be a contest to replace her after May 22, when Britain would leave the EU.

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She would also become the fourth Conservative prime min

ister in a row to have fallen foul of divisions over Europe within her centuries-old party, following David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

Most voters think the Brexit negotiation has been handled badly and there may now be a slight majority for staying in the EU, rec

ent polls suggest. Many Conservative MPs say May herself has caused the chaos by not negotiating harder with the EU.

“It was inevitable and I just feel she’s made the right decision. She has actually read the m

ood of the party, which was a surprise,” said Conservative lawmaker Pauline Latham.

Over two decades since her debut appearance at Wimbledon, Chinese legend Li

Na still remembers her awkward introduction to the iconic London tournament.

Li first competed there in the girls’ singles in 1998, and was tripped up by the switch f

rom hard courts to grass, not to mention the All England Club’s famous sartorial etiquette.

“I had no clue at all on how to play on grass,” Li recalled at Tuesday’s The Road to Wimbledon junior training camp in Beijing.

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Five Chinese women are ranked in the world’s top 50, spear

headed by No 18 Wang Qiang, who this week reached the Miami Open quarterfinals to

become the first Chinese to go that far at the premier mandatory event since Li’s run to the final in 2014.

Li is delighted to see her compatriots mixing it with the world’s best, but said she expects more.

“It’s good to have a group of girls in the top 50, but the resources they enjoy today make me believe they could do better,” she said.

With more advanced coaching and training methods, WTA

CEO Steve Simon reckons China will unearth the next Li sooner rather than later.

“The chances of finding the next Li Na are very bright; it’s just a matter of time,” he said earlier this month in Shenzhen.

The return of The Road to Wimbledon, a tailor-made tournament for under-14 players, f

or its fourth year in China is part of the latest effort to deepen the domestic talent pool.

It began on Monday with a weeklong trial camp overseen by Dan Blox

ham, head coach of the All England Club. The best performers will be picked to compete at a nat

ional tournament in Nanjing in May, which will decide China’s representatives at the global final at Wimbledon from Aug 11-17.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first overseas visit in 2019

  levated China’s ties with Italy, Monaco and France to a new level, and injected new impetus into China-Europe compreh

ensive strategic partnership, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.

  When the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, Xi’s Europe tour, hailed b

y the international community, is dedicated to deepening partnership for cooperation, improving global governance, and uphol

ding multilateralism, which shows China’s sense of responsibility as a major country, Wang said.

  In six days, the Chinese president attended over 40 events during his visit to five cities including Rome, Palermo, Monaco, Nice a

nd Paris, Wang noted, adding that it is a trip of friendship, cooperation and exploration that has delivered fruitful results.

  FRIENDSHIP & MUTUAL BENEFIT

  This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-Italy comprehensive strategic

partnership, and next year will witness the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic relations.

  At meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Xi agreed with them to further i

ntensify high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, and elevate bilateral relations, Wang said.

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Three government ministers quit their posts so they could

back the motion. Richard Harrington, who resigned as a junior business minister, accused the government of “playing roulette with the lives and liveli

hoods of the vast majority of people in this country” by failing to resolve Britain’s Brexit impasse.

The government said it was disappointed by the vote, claiming it “upends the balance

between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.”

But it also conceded that the new votes might be a way to break the months-long Brexit gridlock. May said she would “engage

constructively” with the results of the process, though sahe said she was skeptical that it would produce a decisive result.

The move raises the chances that Britain will tack toward a softer Brexit, and is likely to be welcomed by th

e EU. Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, tweet that it was an “opportunity to build a cross-party coope

ration leading to an enhanced political declaration & a closer future relationship!”Earlier in the day, May ack

nowledged, “with great regret,” that her deal still lacked “sufficient support” to be approved as of Monday.

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But by allowing Tsai Ing-wen, the island’s “pro-independe

ence” leader, to stop over in Hawaii on her way back to the island after an eight-day tour of thr

ee Pacific island nations this week, Washington is breaching all established protocols and violating the 1979

Joint Communiqué. Beijing lodged “stern representations” with Washington on Thursday against Tsai’s transit in Hawaii.

“We have consistently and resolutely opposed the United States or other countries which

have diplomatic relations with China arranging this kind of transit,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ge

ng Shuang said in Beijing. Beijing has urged Washington not to send “Taiwan independence forces any wrong signal”, Geng said.

The method behind fluctuating policy of US

When the US intends to maintain good relations with the mainland, it significantly reduces the

use of or even refrains from mentioning the Taiwan Relations Act. But when Washington wants to put pressure on Beijing to fina

lize a deal or sign a trade agreement in its favor, it promptly resorts to using the Act. At times, even the island’s a

uthorities stir up trouble, prompting the US to use the Act to try and browbeat or incite the mainland.

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