Have the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks reached a 'dead end?'

Editor's Note:

In the book Life and Death in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, journalist Ma Xiaolin recorded a question raised by a Palestinian man during a protest on May 4, 1999: "The May 4 has arrived, but where is our country? Tell me, where is Palestine?" According to the Oslo Accords signed between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Israel, this date was meant to herald the end of a five-year transitional autonomy period and the achievement of Palestinian independence. However, this dream has remained elusive. The negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis have long been at a standstill, resulting in a deadlocked peace process. Why is it so difficult for both sides to make concessions? How have internal conflicts and competition hindered the peace talks?

Failure of Oslo Accords

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was established in 1964. The most powerful and influential faction within the PLO has been the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah). The PLO's founding aim was to liberate the entire Palestine amid a struggle with Israel, but due to changing regional and international circumstances, as well as consecutive defeats in the first four Middle East wars, the organization gradually abandoned this goal and, instead, sought a political solution to the Palestinian issue. In 1974, it was recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people at the Arab League Summit.

In November 1988, the PLO issued the "Declaration of Independence," announcing the formal establishment of the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. However, at the same time, they also recognized several resolutions, including the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan, indirectly acknowledging Israel's right to exist and accepting the two-state solution to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

However, in December 1987, an Israeli truck driver entered the Gaza Strip and caused the deaths of four Palestinians. This incident sparked the first mass Palestinian uprising and led to the formation of armed organizations such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

Under the mediation of the international community, the PLO and the Israeli government signed the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, also known as the Oslo Accords, in 1993. They later signed several agreements including the Gaza-Jericho Agreement. The "Oslo model," therefore, gradually emerged as a way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The PLO recognized Israel's right to exist, and Israel recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. Both sides embarked on the Oslo peace process, with the core "land for peace" principle.

The signing of the Oslo Accords sparked a wave of optimism in Israel and the Middle East, leading to a thawing of relations between Israel and some Arab countries, achieving some initial progress in the pursuit of peace. The Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 as an interim government, implementing phased limited autonomy in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Israel Defense Forces also withdrew from most of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The then Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, and former Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for their efforts.

However, many Palestinians were dissatisfied with the Oslo Accords as they believed that the agreement did not grant them statehood, but rather provided for a phased autonomy for a vague Palestinian entity. The right-wing in Israel was also opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. In order to obstruct the peace process, a Jewish extremist massacred 29 Palestinians in Hebron in 1994.

On November 4, 1995, the then Israeli prime minister and leader of the left-wing Labor Party, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated by a fanatic Israeli Jew. Some analysts argue that Rabin was the only figure with enough influence to rally public support for the peace process. However, others pointed out that although the Israeli left-wing agreed to the establishment of a Palestinian state, their vision of a Palestinian nation was one far from being a fully sovereign state and was largely focused on civil governance.

The timetable for the final status negotiations between Palestine and Israel was already outlined in the Oslo Accords, but it was not until September 1999 that the negotiations officially began. Due to the complex nature of the issues involved, such as national, sovereignty, security, economic, and religious disputes, it was difficult for either party to make concessions.

Additionally, the negotiations faced obstacles from extremist forces and frequent changes in the political landscape. In July 2000, the Camp David Summit between Palestine and Israel ended in failure. Just two months later, amid heightened tensions in Israeli-Palestinian relations, Ariel Sharon the leader of Israel's right-wing Likud party, made a forceful visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, leading to a large-scale armed conflict and the Palestinian people launching a second uprising.

Since then, peace talks have repeatedly resumed and stalled, rendering the Oslo Peace Process virtually defunct. The international community has proposed solutions such as the "Arab Peace Initiative" and the "Roadmap for Peace in the Middle East," but none have successfully been implemented.

Refugees after building separation barrier

Jerusalem, a holy city in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, has had a tumultuous history. Due to its unique status, the United Nations (UN) once designated Jerusalem as a separate entity under a special international regime administered by the UN. In the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, Jerusalem was divided, with East Jerusalem, including the Old City, coming under the control of Transjordan (now Jordan), and West Jerusalem under Israeli control. However, after the third Arab-Israeli war in 1967, East Jerusalem also came under Israeli control.

By then, Israel had gained a strategic advantage over the Arab camp, and the influence of the "Greater Israel" ideology was gradually expanding. There were also significant differences between Israelis and Palestinians regarding the status of Jerusalem. In 1980, Israel declared Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital, but this declaration was rejected by a United Nations Security Council resolution that same year. Currently, most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem. To ensure control of East Jerusalem, Israel implemented a policy of "de-Arabization" in the region, continuously eradicating Arab elements and restricting the residency rights of Arab residents. Additionally, Israel began promoting the establishment of Jewish settlements and the construction of a separation wall in the area to reinforce its Jewish character.

Land is a key point of contention between Palestine and Israel, and the expansion of Jewish settlements is a major method used by Israel to occupy land, divide Palestinian territory, control water resources, and expand defense depth. Jewish settlements are closed military zones. Palestinians are not allowed to enter without special permission. There is a modern road network connecting various Jewish settlements and cities in Israel. These roads generally bypass Palestinian villages, and are often restricted to Palestinians, thus dividing the Palestinian-controlled areas into isolated islands. The two largest of these areas are the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

While occupying land, Israel has also implemented a security barrier plan. The barrier, approximately 8 meters high and 700 kilometers long, consists of fences, ditches, barbed wire, electronic surveillance systems, and patrol roads. The separation wall was originally earmarked for construction along the 1967 armistice line (the "Green Line") to separate Palestinian areas from Israel. However, the actual construction of the separation wall extends into Palestinian territory, sectioning off 9.4 percent of the West Bank for the Israeli side, and nearly 25,000 Palestinians are forced to live in a closed area between the "Green Line" and the separation wall.

During the 1996 elections, due to concerns over "Palestinian extremists conducting terrorist attacks" and disappointment with the peace process advocated by the Labor Party government, the Israeli people voted for the Likud, which pursued a hardline policy. During Likud's tenure, the trend of advocating for the annexation of the West Bank and opposing Palestinian statehood increasingly became a political practice in Israel. Since his return to power in 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu has taken a tougher stance on the Palestinian issue. In February 2017, the Israeli parliament passed a controversial bill legalizing all unauthorized Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

At the same time, the Palestinian refugee issue presented another challenge in the final status negotiations between Israel and Palestine. After the first Arab-Israeli war, a large number of Palestinian Arabs were displaced and became refugees. The initial generation of Palestinian refugees dates back many years and, and many of the original refugees are now in their fifth generation. By 2016, the number of registered Palestinian refugees with the UN had reached 5.9 million. The Palestinian side believes that Israel should bear the primary responsibility for the refugee issue and advocates for the right of all refugees to return to Palestine. However, Israel denies this claim and, in order to maintain the Jewish character of the state, does not recognize the right of Palestinian refugees to return and instead advocates for their local resettlement. Israel also controls the borders of Palestine and even prohibits refugees from entering the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and does not issue them entry visas.

Numerous internal contradictions within Palestine

In addition to the major differences between Palestine and Israel on issues such as the status of Jerusalem, Jewish settlements, border delineation, and Palestinian refugees, there is also a fierce power struggle within the Palestinian territories between secularism represented by the Palestinian Authority and Islamic fundamentalism represented by Hamas. Some analysts believe that the Palestinian national movement is constrained by internal conflicts and is unable to effectively respond to Israel.

Due to the declining influence of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections and gained the power to form an autonomous government. Hamas' position on key issues such as the nature of the Palestinian state, its attitude toward Israel, and internal power distribution are in stark contrast to those of the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority is committed to establishing a secular, democratic, and pluralistic modern nation-state, while Hamas aims to establish an Islamic state. The Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel and advocates for the establishment of an independent state through negotiations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. On the other hand, Hamas refuses to recognize the legitimacy of any Jewish state, opposes negotiations, and insists on using armed struggle to eliminate Israel and establish a state on historic Palestinian land from the Mediterranean Sea to the West Bank of the Jordan River.

The rise of Hamas has changed the political landscape of Palestine. In 2007, a large-scale armed conflict erupted between Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip, resulting in Hamas seizing control of the territory. This division led to Palestine being split into two parts, with Fatah ruling the West Bank of the Jordan River and Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip. Hamas insists that "resistance and holy war" are the only way for Palestine to achieve liberation and independence. They have employed tactics such as tunnel digging to infiltrate Israel and launch attacks on civilians, as well as repeatedly firing rockets into Israeli territory. These acts of violence against civilians have become a serious obstacle to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and have led the US, the UK, and other countries' designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

In response to the extremist violent acts by Hamas and others, Israel has retaliated with military strikes, severely damaging the local socio-economic conditions and caused a severe humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, essentially turning it into "the largest open-air prison in the world." In addition to the discord between Fatah and Hamas, internal conflicts within the Palestinian Authority are also important factors affecting the unity of the Palestinian people. The stagnation of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, the deterioration of the economic and social living standards, and issues of corruption have undermined the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority and the authority of the older generation of leaders.

Analysts point out that the Second Intifada, which began in September 2000 as a major Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, indicates that the younger generation of leaders within the Palestinian Authority has started to challenge the older generation of leaders, intensifying power struggles over succession. This infighting weakens the secular nationalist camp, limits the ability of Palestinian leaders to control the situation and negotiate with Israel, and creates conditions for the rise of radical Islamic forces.

China releases first blue book on Xinjiang's human rights and legal protections

China released the 2023 Report on Xinjiang's Human Rights and Legal Protections, which is Xinjiang's first blue book of its kind, on Wednesday in Urumqi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, comprehensively demonstrating the efforts and achievements of promoting high-quality development of human rights cause in Xinjiang in Chinese modernization drive.

The newly released blue book is the first book led by scholars that examines Xinjiang's human rights and legal protections as well as future directions of the people in Xinjiang from an academic perspective, which is groundbreaking, Chang Jian, director of the Human Rights Research Center at Nankai University, told the Global Times on Wednesday at the 2023 Idea and Story Sharing Conference: Promoting High-Quality Development of Human Rights Cause in Xinjiang in Chinese Modernization Drive, where the blue book was published.

Erkin Tuniyaz, chairman of the people's government of Xinjiang region, revealed at the event that currently the overall social situation in Xinjiang remains stable, and there have been no incidents of violent terrorism for nearly seven years. The public's sense of security has reached an unprecedented level. In the eyes of tourists, Xinjiang has become "a place with the best public security management, the safest social environment and the most secure stability." The number of tourists to Xinjiang has increased from 48.6 million in 2012 to 260 million this year, reaching a historic high.

Over the past decade, Xinjiang's GDP has increased from 0.84 trillion yuan ($0.12 trillion) in 2013 to 1.77 trillion yuan in 2022, doubling in size. Per capita disposable income has increased from 13,700 yuan in 2013 to 27,000 yuan in 2022, with an average annual growth rate of over 8 percent. Many economic indicators have outperformed the national average, and the people of all ethnic groups are richer with more development opportunities.

For many years, more than 70 percent of the local fiscal expenditure has been used to guarantee and improve people's livelihoods. The average life expectancy has increased from over 30 years at the establishment of the autonomous region to 75.65 years today, according to a senior official.

The official added that Xinjiang attaches great importance to the excavation, inheritance, and protection of the excellent traditional cultures of all ethnic groups. For example, Uygur Muqam art, Uygur Meshrep and the Kirgiz epic Manas have been included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The promotion and standardized use of the national common language has been vigorously promoted in Xinjiang, and the languages and scripts of all ethnic groups have been widely used in education, judiciary, administration and social public affairs.

According to Erkin, in recent years, Xinjiang has actively expanded the ways for people of all ethnic groups to acquire religious knowledge and translated and published religious scriptures in multiple languages. Xinjiang has built a new campus for Islamic theological colleges and established eight branch campuses in Ili, Hotan, Kashi, and other areas, cultivating a group of high-quality Islamic talents. In particular, for religious activity venues such as mosques, Taoist temples, and Buddhist temples that have been in disrepair for a long time, Xinjiang has effectively improved their conditions by respecting the wishes of religious believers. This has been achieved through new construction, renovation, and expansion, ensuring the unhindered continuation of regular religious activities.

Practice has shown that the development of human rights in Xinjiang is in line with China's national conditions and the reality of Xinjiang, meeting the expectations of people of all ethnic groups, as well as the basic spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Erkin said.

However, some countries turn a blind eye to the increasingly prominent human rights issues in their own countries, and wear colored glasses to criticize the human rights situation in Xinjiang, using human rights issues to interfere in China's domestic affairs, Erkin noted.

The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are the ones who know best whether the path of human rights in Xinjiang is right or not. The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have the most say in whether the human rights situation in Xinjiang is good or not, the regional senior official remarked.

Chang stated that some countries in the international community have weaponized human rights issues to strategically contain China, desperately smearing China's human rights situation. Xinjiang, as a focus of attention, has been falsely portrayed as a region with "forced labor," despite the fact that cotton harvests are good, mechanization levels are high, and efforts have been made to improve the employment rights of the people.

In this context, we have proactively released the blue book to show the outside world and help them understand, how the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang live, showing them experiences of individuals and personal stories. This can clarify the facts and enable the international community to see the true situation of human rights protection in Xinjiang, Chang stressed.

About 200 experts and scholars in the field of human rights from universities and research institutions inside and outside Xinjiang, media journalists, representatives of relevant departments and people sharing their personal stories attended the event on Wednesday.

By sharing touching stories and personal experiences, 10 representatives from various industries and fields in Xinjiang truly demonstrated the development and progress of Xinjiang's human rights cause.

Chinese speed skaters hoping to shine on home ice

The head coach of China's speed skating team said that she has been trying to instill a champion mentality among the young athletes, as the team held an open training session at the Capital Skating Oval in Beijing on Monday.

The team has been gearing up for the 2023-2024 ISU Speed Skating World Cup, an international tournament consisting of six events. The season begins on Friday in Obihiro, Japan and will end on February 4 in Quebec City, Canada. The skater with the most points in a given distance at the end of the series is the World Cup winner in that distance.

Chinese skaters will leave for Japan on Tuesday for the first leg of the world cup series and they are excited to make their mark in the second leg which will take place at Beijing's National Speed Skating Oval, or "Ice Ribbon," from November 17-19.

Li Yan, the head coach, told the Global Times that she expects more young players will make breakthroughs in the new season.

"We've been working hard to improve the overall strength of the team in the past year. We want to develop the champion mindset within our team in practice and competition," said Li.

The team is led by Gao Tingyu, who broke the Olympic record to win the men's 500m in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. It was also China's first gold medal in men's speed skating in the Winter Olympic Games. 

In addition to the short distance, China has made up ground in the medium- and long-distance races. In the 2023-24 season, four Chinese skaters have qualified for each of the women's 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m and 5000m events. In the men's 500m, 1000m and 1500m, four skaters have also secured their spots respectively. 

Meanwhile, two skaters will compete in the men's 5,000m and 10,000m, the events for which China failed to qualify in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. 

"We have realized our primary goals of having more male skaters participating in international long-distance events and improving women's long-distance results. Our objective is to forge ahead and change the status quo and we will take it one step at a time," Li noted. "We are also enhancing the athletes' capability of competing in multiple events, which is a trend of speed skating development."

Foreign coaches Jan Bos from the Netherlands and Alexander Rumyantsev from Russia also joined the team to help the skaters.

Li Qishi, who took her first world cup victory in 2014, told the Global Times after training that the participation of more young skaters has given fresh impetus to the team. 

"I think this is good for the development of speed skating in China. With more young skaters to compete in international events, there will be opportunities to create better results," said Li, adding that she has improved her starting recently. 

Young skater Liu Bin told the Global Times that Gao has set a good example of self-discipline and he will try to find his feet in the coming event. 

The world cup in Beijing is the first major international tournament held at the "Ice Ribbon" since the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. 

As one of the legacies of Beijing 2022, the "Ice Ribbon" has opened to the public after the Games.  

"I look forward to our skaters achieving better results on the home ice and we're excited to revisit the fast and furious atmosphere created by the cutting-edge venue," Li said. 

Taking advantage of the legacy of Beijing 2022, more international winter sports events have come to China and provided young skaters with opportunities to progress. 

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final will take place in Beijing from December 7 to 10. Currently, the Chinese figure skating team is gearing up for the fourth leg of the figure skating series, which will be held in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality from November 10 to 12. 

Meanwhile, the third leg of the 2023-24 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup will take place in Beijing from December 8 to 10. China's short track speed skaters wrapped up the first two legs with four golds, one silver and one bronze. 

Olympic champion Su Yiming will take part in the second leg of the 2023/2024 FIS Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard Big Air World Cup, which will be held at Shougang Big Air in Beijing from November 30 to December 2.

The 2024 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships will take place in Shanghai from January 30 to February 4, 2024.

Pakistan: Ambassador participates in Sichuan Agricultural Expo cementing cooperation

Pakistani Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque inaugurated the Pakistan National Pavilion and attended the opening ceremony of the 9th Sichuan Agricultural Expo in Chengdu on October 28. Hu Yun, vice governor of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, presided over the opening ceremony.

The exhibition hall introduced famous tourist attractions in Pakistan and more than 10 Pakistani companies showcased some agricultural products. The exhibition hall attracted great interest from participants.

Pakistan is the guest of honor of this expo. The ambassador emphasized in his speech that Pakistan and China have established a solid bilateral relationship based on political mutual trust, strategic communication and practical cooperation. He also stressed the close cooperation between Pakistan and Sichuan, including through their sister cities.

Pakistan's participation in the 2023 CIIE will inject new impetus into the ongoing agricultural cooperation between Pakistan and China. Recently, the two sides reached five important agricultural agreement on the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures, granting Pakistan access to the $30 billion market for cooked beef, dairy products, chili peppers, cherries and other livestock products, which will help Pakistan expand its exports to China.

BRI builds up connectivity for ASEAN prosperity

Editor's Note:

Over the past decade, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), following the guiding principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, has grown into a global platform where countries along the routes work together to promote people's wellbeing and give a further boost to global development. Infrastructure facilities built under the BRI connect countries in the Southeast Asia region to the global supply chain, whether through maritime or overland transportation. 

As the BRI celebrates its 10th anniversary, Global Times reporters Hu Yuwei, Li Xuanmin and Hao Shuangyan interviewed diplomats and politicians from China and ASEAN countries to learn about the highlights of the cooperation achievements over the past decade and their expectations for high-quality BRI construction in the next decade.

Kao Kim Hourn,

Secretary-General of ASEAN 

ASEAN and China have been working closely together over the past 32 years, from 1991 until 2023, and the partnership has consistently been elevating. ASEAN and China share close geographical proximity, cultural ties and historic connections. There are extensive mechanisms in place between China and ASEAN at all levels, from political, security, economic to social culture. This is quite important for us.

China-ASEAN relations are now at their highest level. Since 2009, China has been the largest trading partner of ASEAN. ASEAN is a very large trading partner for China as well. China has been a strong supporter of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, a very important instrument for resolving our differences and promoting friendly relations between us. 

ASEAN has a huge plan on connectivity, so we have been able to take advantage of the opportunities and the cooperation with China on the BRI. These projects are certainly supporting the ASEAN integration as we work to increase our finance, and increase connectivity between our region and China.

Hou Yanqi,

Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN

ASEAN, as the priority direction and important partner in the joint construction of the BRI, has achieved fruitful cooperation results with China in the past 10 years. I believe there are several important reasons for this. Firstly, China and ASEAN are connected by mountains and rivers, and have a close relationship. They are also comprehensive strategic partners, with solid political and public support for cooperation in various fields. 

Secondly, we have always adhered to the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. We have also promoted development through openness and achieved win-win outcomes through cooperation. We have achieved complementary advantages in high-quality construction of the BRI. 

Thirdly, China and ASEAN are both determined actors with visions. We prioritize commitments and implementation, ensuring that the achievements of the BRI are tangible and substantial. 

ASEAN has a superior geographical location and plays an important role in the process of regional economic cooperation. 

However, it also faces development bottlenecks, such as insufficient infrastructure investment and relatively lagging regional connectivity. The implementation of the BRI has played an important role in breaking these bottlenecks and fully unleashing the development potential of ASEAN.

Ouyang Yujing,

Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the earliest countries to support and participate in the BRI. With the  support of the leaders of both countries, the high-quality construction of the BRI between China and Malaysia has achieved fruitful results. 

According to Malaysian data, China's direct investment in Malaysia reached $12.5 billion in 2022, accounting for one-third of Malaysia's foreign direct investment. 

Flagship projects such as the "Two countries, Twin Parks" and the East Coast Rail Link are progressing solidly, providing strong impetus for China-Malaysia economic and trade cooperation. 

China and Malaysia should continuously enhance the level of high-quality construction of the BRI, focusing on cultivating cooperation growth points in areas such as electronics and electrical, digital economy, green development, new energy, high-end manufacturing, and modern agriculture. 

We hope both sides can upgrade cooperation toward innovation, intelligence, digitalization and green development. It is believed that under the strategic guidance of the leaders of both countries, we will see more achievements and better benefits for the people of both countries.

Marzuki Alie, 

former speaker of the House of Representative of Republic of Indonesia

I believe that President Xi Jinping's address to the Indonesian parliament in 2013 was very significant, not only for Indonesia-China relations, but also for international cooperation. China demonstrated a cooperative disposition that will yield mutual benefits. I believe it is essential for the Indonesian government to respond to the China-proposed initiative at that time.

In 2023, it will have been exactly 10 years since I presided over the Indonesian parliament during Xi's visit. 

That year was definitely an important year, and over the past 10 years, the cooperation between China and Indonesia has increased in a variety of areas. China and Indonesia's inclusive economic cooperation, transfer of technology and knowledge, infrastructure and connectivity, as well as cultural and educational exchanges can serve as a model for mutually beneficial cooperation and joint development among other developing countries.

US unable to rationally view China’s technological strides

When it comes to China's latest advancement in chips, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that "it won't be surprising ... The US can always tighten its sanctions regimes and strengthen the safeguards to slow the proliferation. But commerce will almost always force out technological secrets." This seems to be a habitual reluctance of the US to face up to China's technological advancement, who believes that China's capabilities are not yet up to par, and can only develop relying on others' intellectual property or technical secrets.

Essentially, such view looks at technological progress of the world from a racist perspective, as if the slight technological progress of other nations is due to theft or the US' leaked secrets; otherwise, it's impossible for other nations to innovate. But in fact, China's investment in research and development, represented by Huawei, has been world-leading over the years.

In this article, Bloomberg also cites examples to prove that "no one has a monopoly on innovation." China was once advanced in techniques concerning silk, papermaking and porcelain, but they were eventually introduced to the West. Thus, the breakthrough of Huawei's semiconductor is merely part of "a long history of the spread — or theft — of what we now call intellectual property." Is the US media thinking about that such interpretation from the view of history can make the readers better accept the so-called "theft of intellectual property?"

Globalization has brought the proliferation of knowledge and some technologies around the world. However, everyone who masters technology wants to control it, and there are rare cases of active technology shares. Not to mention the complete patent laws and intellectual property laws to protect the interests of inventors in the modern society. 

In this regard, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times, "If a country wants to achieve development through the natural spread of technology, it is either very difficult, or it is meaningless to wait until the technology is backward."

Although the US has imposed various technological blockades on China, China still relies on its own efforts to continuously make breakthroughs. 

On the contrary, the US, the largest monitoring and espionage country, keeps stressing the protection of intellectual property rights, while employing hegemonic means to suppress advanced companies in other countries.

It is in essence contradictory that the American media criticizes China's independent innovation as "misguided attempts" and "belligerence," and advocates "technical blockade" at the same times. Of course, the US wants to maintain its hegemony that is reflected in all aspects, including technology, but no country can restrict the development of new technologies by companies in another country, and no company in the world can become world-leading through theft.

Over the years, China's technology advancement has been astonishing, and has even surpassed that of Western countries in many fields. It has aroused many doubts from these countries, suspecting that China has secretly stolen their technology and trying to discredit China. These countries are purely envy of China, and also underestimate China.

Lü believes that China and Chinese companies  including Huawei, have developed some technologies that are more advanced than that of American companies. The US neither has an edge in chip manufacturing nor in craftsmanship. We will prove that the high walls they have built are ultimately ineffective. Because what China's technical progress relies on is the leading manpower and material investment, rather than the leaked information of the US. How can China steal the technology that the US does not have at all?

Moreover, the author also mentioned that "If China and the US continue to use trade and technology in a zero-sum game of world domination, we are all likely to end up on the zero end of the equation." In fact, what the US does is not just zero-sum game, but negative-sum game. Because zero-sum harms others and benefits oneself, negative sum harms others but brings no benefit to oneself.

Some technical patents are actually mutually beneficial. For instance, electronic products manufactured in many countries include Huawei's patents and technologies, while some parts of Huawei may also use Western technologies and products. It is a driving force of technological progress in the world.

But if the US continues its bandit logic, it will only go nowhere. In the end, all countries are interconnected in the era of globalization, which determines that this kind of robber thinking will not work anymore. Jointly promoting the development of science and technology through cooperation is also a trend that the US can't stop.

"As to what choice the US government will make, we still have to wait. We can't expect the US decision-makers to always be smart, especially for the current administration," Lü added.

British politicians' plan to replace Chinese teachers motivated by cynical political expediency

Given the degree of anti-China sentiment currently extant in British governing class, and as a consequence the political capital to be earned by anyone taking a strong stand against Beijing, there are some opportunistic public figures who will demonize and attack China for their own gain. 

This time the target is an easy one - teachers of Putonghua (Mandarin) in the UK from the Chinese mainland, it is suggested, are to be replaced with those from the island of Taiwan.  

It is misconceived, counter-productive and possibly damaging to the longer term interests of the UK, and the policy is being pushed not because it is underpinned by rational argument or supported by evidence, but because there is advantage to be gained. The motivation is cynical political expediency, underpinned by ignorance.

It is not even a new story. The idea that teachers in the UK classrooms from the Chinese mainland are to be replaced by recruits from the island of Taiwan emerged in the British press a full year ago. This idea has been repeated because the country's new Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan, allegedly now favors it. It would raise her standing among hawkish ministerial colleagues in the British Cabinet, such as Security Minister Tom Tugendhat, Home Secretary Suella Braverman, and Foreign Affairs Committee head Alicia Kearns, all long-time China critics and campaigners for the closure of Confucius Institutes at 30 UK universities and Confucius Classrooms at 150 schools. 

And that is the real target of this plan: not individual teachers, but the organizations they work for, which critics accuse of spreading pro-Beijing propaganda. Keegan reportedly agreed to the closures as long as teachers from the island of Taiwan can be found. 

Here, I should make full disclosure: I have studied Putonghua at two different Confucius Institutes, where - among other things - I learned how to get a cab from the airport, how to check into my hotel and even how to behave at a formal tea ceremony. What was lacking in my classes was any form of indoctrination. Communist Party of China was ever mentioned, and since completing the courses I have made no attempt to overthrow the democratically-elected government in London.

The very idea of these institutes being nests of spies is ridiculous, and would be laughable if the situation was not so serious. If the UK closed these cultural operations, it would suffer most. Knowledge of China in the UK and the ability to speak Putonghua is very poor, though it has improved. Businesses are slowly starting to realize that to trade with China they need to better understand China.

The Confucius Institutes scattered around the world are no different to similar bodies set up by other nations.

Imagine an organization which promotes a nation's language and culture internationally through a network of shared educational facilities, helping promote understanding between countries and spreading its values in a context of mutual respect and benefit.

Now imagine this organization is the British Council, formed in 1934 to encourage the learning of the English language and British "value." It has spent several billions of pounds promoting arts and culture, and educational exchanges internationally.

On a political whim, the body which does the same for China is under threat: an egregious act of cultural vandalism and political spite.

These organizations represent international soft power, the non-coercive shaping of attitudes and opinions through exposure and interaction; manipulating the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. 

And Britain could certainly do with some wider engagement and understanding of China. An article in the political magazine The Spectator last year revealed the startling level of incompetence within the Foreign Office, where there were only 41 speakers of Putonghua in the entire department of 17,000 staff. Such a paucity of experience and knowledge about the world's most populous nation, and its second greatest economy, is reprehensible. But to compound this failing by promoting a policy which will further impoverish Britain's resources in this vital area is unforgivable. Similarly, replacing teachers from the Chinese mainland with teachers from the island of Taiwan will dilute the lived experience and knowledge which is so vital an asset from which students can learn. A concentration of experience across a narrow range of tutors introduces a risk of group think, not a wider world view. Businesses believe that students looking for work are better equipped for the future if they speak Mandarin.

The UK needs to create better conditions to learn about China, not diminish them. It is in its own interests to understand, even if some do view China as a rival and competitor. One can only hope that the proposal is nothing more than political posturing by the education minister, more to do with party political symbolism, than a serious policy, for if it goes ahead it is likely to prove an egregious act of self harm.

China forms all-weather remote sensing monitoring system for all waters, islands: top aerospace authorities

China’s space technology was deeply applied in the country’s various industries in 2022, forming an all-weather remote sensing monitoring system for infrastructure including all sea areas and islands under its jurisdiction, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said on Wednesday during the release of the Blue Book of China Aerospace Science and Technology Activities. 

China has developed a series of satellites for ocean color, marine dynamics and surveillance, which have formed the capability of continuously and frequently covering observations of global waters, and have achieved remarkable results in applications in areas including island management, marine resource investigation and supervision, marine environmental monitoring and forecasting.

In 2022, China's marine satellites continued to carry out remote sensing inspections of key islands and reefs. In particular, they strengthened monitoring of the waters around Huangyan Island, Diaoyu Island and all the islands of Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Islands, providing important data support for the management of sea areas and comprehensive management of the islands.

China's marine satellites also continued to carry out remote sensing detection of key islands and reefs in 2022, in particular strengthening the monitoring of the waters around Huangyan Island, Diaoyu Island, as well as the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Islands, providing a significant basis for the utilization of waters and coastal islands, the report noted.

In addition, China’s marine satellites are also carrying out global ocean observation and forecasting, providing services for global marine dynamic environment monitoring, marine forecasting and disaster monitoring, as well as remote sensing monitoring of global sea level changes.

China's marine satellites have successfully provided important data and technical support for monitoring and warnings for fires, typhoons and storm surges at home and abroad.

Lin Mingsen, director of the National Satellite Ocean Application Service, said China will further strengthen the integration of artificial intelligence, big data and other technologies with satellite remote sensing systems, so as to provide high-quality marine satellite public service products and promote the level of marine management in China.