Chinese and US flags flutter near The Bund, in Shanghai, China. File/Reuters
Gulf Today Report
The US State Department said on Friday it has ended five cultural exchange programmes with China, calling them “soft power propaganda tools.”
Earlier, China's securities regulator said on Friday that US legislation that threatens to kick Chinese firms off its exchanges is "clearly discriminatory" and politically driven, but China is still willing to talk.
The US Congress passed legislation on Wednesday that would force Chinese firms to delist from US exchanges unless they abide by US accounting rules. It is expected soon to be signed into law by US President Donald Trump.
The US State Department said on its website it had “terminated” the Policymakers Educational China Trip Programme, the US-China Friendship Programme, the US-China Leadership Exchange Programme, the US-China Transpacific Exchange Programme and the Hong Kong Educational and Cultural Programme.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a statement that the "Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act" is "clearly discriminatory" and not based on professional grounds.
The Act would force US-listed companies to prove that they are not controlled by a foreign government, and require companies name Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials on their boards, and disclose whether their articles of incorporation contains any charter of the CCP.
"We firmly oppose such acts of politicizing securities supervision," CSRC said.
The US State Department further said that the programmes had been set up under the auspices of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act — a 1961 law signed by President John F. Kennedy and aimed at boosting academic and cultural exchanges with foreign countries.
“While other programmes funded under the auspices of the MECEA are mutually beneficial, the five programs in question are fully funded and operated by the (Chinese) government as soft power propaganda tools,” the statement said.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the move. Attempts to reach representatives for the programs singled out by the State Department were not immediately successful.
The United States and China said they made progress in trade talks that concluded on Friday in Beijing that Washington called “candid and constructive” as the world’s two largest economies try to resolve a bitter, nearly nine-month trade war.
US FedEx Corp on Friday again apologised and blamed Washington’s ban on Huawei for being “unclear” as Beijing deepened an investigation into why the delivery firm was holding up packages meant for the telecoms equipment maker.
Chinese firms, willing to buy American agricultural products, have asked for prices from US firms and will sign commercial contracts, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a news conference.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the embassy would be in a temporary office while a permanent location is prepared.
The Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, Lt Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, said that private parties and meetings are responsible for the rise in COVID-19 cases.
Abu Dhabi continues to top the list created by data crowd-sourcing website Numbeo as the safest city in the world for the fifth year in a row with 88.46 %. It is a testament to the security and stability the UAE enjoys, confirmed Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police.
The system is part of RTA’s efforts to make use of modern and smart technologies in delivering better services to public parking users in Dubai. Currently, there are 190,000 paid parking slots in Dubai out of a total of 550,000.