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China Reform Monitor - No. 1264
Beijing restores ties after Norway respects China China grants Pakistan warships to guard Gwadar
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
January 5, 2017
After visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende told Premier Li Keqiang Oslo would adhere to the One China Policy and respect China's "core interests and major concerns," both sides announced they would normalize diplomatic relations. Li said China and Norway will start negotiations for a free-trade deal,the official China Daily reports. China and Norway relations soured in 2010 when the Nobel Prize Committee awarded its Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo. Since then commercial and political ties between the two countries have been in stand-still. It has taken Norway six years to learn "not to anger China," said an editorial in The Global Times. “Norway has been watching as European countries develop ties with China while it stands on the side by itself. Norway has probably underestimated China's ability to take revenge, and seems to have learned its lesson 'deeply.”' An editorial in the People's Daily said: “Both countries can welcome a great future as long as Norway keeps its promises and pushs forward cooperation with China."
The president of Venezuela's National Council of Commerce and Services says 60 percent of the Chinese business community in southeast Bolivar state has been looted including more than 400 Chinese-owned businesses. "They were leaving, and they are leaving with nothing. This is a Chinese community which risked its capital bringing products from Brazil, because this was the agreement with the governorships, " he said in comments carried by El Universal. The looting of Chinese-owned shops, supermarkets, and warehouses over a weekend was triggered by the government's withdrawal and exchange of 100-bolivar notes, the Wall Street Journal reports. China has asked the Venezuelan authorities to protect those Chinese who continue to be threatened.
At a ceremony in Guangzhou, Beijing handed over two naval ships to the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency to be deployed at Gwadar to address the threat of a seaborne attack on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pakistan’s Secretary Defense Zamirul Hasan Shah attended the ceremony and welcomed the induction of new naval vessels into the fleet, Pakistan’s Daily Ausaf reports.
Cambodian officials have seized 1.5 metric tons of illegal ivory and animal parts hidden in a timber shipment destined for China from Mozambique, the Bangkok Post reports. Cambodian customs officials made the bust while searching shipping containers on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Hidden behind rare timber logs they found 1.3 metric tons of African elephant tusks, 10 cheetah skulls, 82 kg of animal bones and 137 kg of pangolin scales. "This is a huge case with too many dead elephants. We should be seeking justice for these animals," Kdov Nuch, customs director at Kandal dry port where the interception was made, Bangkok Post reports.
[Editor’s Note: Fueled by Chinese demand, Cambodia is now the center of a lucrative and ecologically disastrous illegal wildlife trade. Demand for animal parts, especially in China, has decimated the populations of many rare African species including elephants, rhinos, and the reclusive pangolin. Pangolin scales and rhino horn are both are falsely touted as cures for numerous ailments, including cancer, in traditional Chinese medicine.]
After three hours of deliberation, Taiwan's Legislature has passed an amendment to put same-sex marriage in the Civil Code, signaling the first step in legalizing gay marriage, the China Post reports. A sentence was added to the original clause stipulating that "an agreement to marry shall be made by the male and female parties in their own cord; An agreement to marry in a same-sex marriage, shall be made by the two parties in their own cord." Civic groups supporting and opposing same-sex marriage gathered outside the Legislature prior to the bill’s screening. With the Legislature set to go into recess soon discussions on the controversial bill will not take place until next April. "The ruling party has knowingly disregarded the fact that a silent majority of the public opposes the bill. This has initiated hatred and instability in society," said Kuomintang representative Liao Kuo-tung, who condemned the proposed legalization.