China welcomes Duterte’s remarks on navigation freedom / China Daily
China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said today that China welcomed remarks made by Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte inviting Chinese research vessels to pass through the waters of Benham Rise, an area about 160 miles to the northeast of the island nation where Chinese survey ships were spotted last year. Duterte stated yesterday that he had ordered his country’s military to erect “structures” in the area to assert his country’s sovereignty. “You go there and tell them straight that this is ours, but I say it in friendship,” he said. However, Duterte backed off from his previous hawkish comments, saying, “Let us not fight about ownership or sovereignty at this time because things are going great for my country.” Hua responded that China fully respects the Philippines’ continental shelf rights over Benham Rise, that such rights have never been challenged by China, and that the two countries have already communicated over the issues “in a friendly manner.” These comments were made ahead of Vice Premier Wang Yang’s trip to the Philippines from Thursday to Sunday, during which he will meet with Duterte and attend the opening ceremony of the China-ASEAN Tourism Year.
Top South Korean presidential candidate demands China stop retaliation over THAAD / Reuters
Moon Jae-in, a South Korean politician who is expected to become the country’s next president, called on China to stop economic retaliation against South Korean firms over THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system that was deployed last week. Without making official announcements, China appears to have taken various measures against South Korean firms, including ordering travel agencies to stop selling trips to South Korea, and suspending construction of a planned amusement park by the Korean conglomerate Lotte. A presidential election will take place in South Korea before May 9, following the impeachment and dismissal of its former president, Park Geun-hye, last week.
- Five years on, why are China’s political stars shying from the limelight? / SCMP
- Trump’s top China expert isn’t a China expert / Foreign Policy (paywall)
- China’s internet censorship under fire – but proposal against controls gets…censored / SCMP
- Statue of Marx, funded by China, will stand in German city of his birth / NYT (paywall)
- The lone voices of dissent in China’s political wilderness – CPPCC delegates who are “willing to say it as they see it,” even if their suggestions are unlikely to be implemented / SCMP