Tag Archives: China

China Foreign Minister ‘We’ll Help Ease Africa Debt Burden’

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently declared that China will work with other G20 members to implement the debt service suspension initiative to ease Africa’s debt burden.

Minister Wang made the remarks when he responded to a question asked by an African journalist at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual Chinese national legislative session on Sunday, May 24th.

According to Minister Wang, who is concurrently a State Councillor (equivalent of Deputy Prime Minister) of China’s cabinet, China and Africa are good brothers who have shared weal and woe together.

He said, “our people, having fought shoulder-to-shoulder for national liberation, are partners for common development. A few years back, we were together fighting Ebola.”

He stated that he fully agreed with the AU Commission Chairperson in saying that “Africa and China are friends and, more importantly, comrades-in-arms. Nothing can change or damage this friendship”.

Minister Wang made it clear that in the battle against COVID-19, China and Africa have again stood by each other.

‘Treat Workers Well or Risk Losing Your Firms’ NLC Threatens Chinese Quarry Operators

Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Ogun State has threatened showdown with Chinese quarry operators who allegedly treat Nigerian workers “like animals.”

The NLC expressed worry that many quarries owned by Chinese companies in the state treat their workers badly in terms of condition of service and remuneration, deploying what they termed “use-and-dump tactics.”

The NLC State Chairman, Emmanuel Bankole spoke at the weekend during a meeting with representatives of the quarry owners at the NLC Secretariat, Abeokuta.

The meeting which was facilitated by the State chapter of Nigeria Union of Mine Workers (NUMW) was attended by the Federal Comptroller of Labour, Comrade Anthony Olawoyin, the Federal Mining Officer, Bunmi Ayelabola, and the Chairman of the State NUMW, Comrade Fasiu Abiola.

According to the NLC Chairman, the quarry operators, apart from poor condition of service, have no adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect workers from hazards.

“Information at our disposal revealed that many quarries owned by the Chinese, operating in the State hire Nigerians for cheap labour. They hire and fire at will; they use Nigerians as casual workers.

“The NLC law says a company is only allowed to employ a worker as casual staff for six months, after which such worker must be made a staff; but these quarries employ Nigerians for more than 27 years as casual workers,” he said.

Bankole alleged that many of the quarries do not allow their workers to unionise, saying “Unionisation is a fundamental human right that nobody and no employer can take away. If people are willing to unionise, you cannot take it away from them. They are free to unionise, to join any union of their choice.”

“The NLC shall take this no more, we are ready to contend with you (quarry owners). This is Nigeria and we will not allow anybody under any guise to come to Nigeria and use Nigerians anyhow they want. This is a country that is governed by rules and regulations.

“This meeting is not to witch hunt anybody but we are doing this for our country. It is because Nigeria is good, that they (Chinese) are here to do business. If Nigeria is not conducive, they will go back to their country. But this is our own country, and we have nowhere to go. This is why we owe it a duty to protect the weak,” Bankoke said.

While responding, one of the representatives of the quarry operators, Fase Olukayode denied the allegations.
Olukayode, a consultant to CCECC quarry, a Chinese company said, “As far as we are concerned, these allegations are not true. For the quarries that I’m consulting for, we have union, we have union leaders on our sites and there is no way the union will be looking at the Chinese maltreating our people; this is not possible,” he said.

Covid-19: China Reports Zero New Cases for the First Time Since January

China on Saturday reported zero new coronavirus infections for the first time since it started reporting data in January , a day after Communist Party leaders celebrated “ major achievements” in the virus fight .

The virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year , but cases have dwindled dramatically from the peak in mid- February as the country appears to have brought the virus largely under control .

The official death toll in the country of 1 . 4 billion people stands at 4 , 634 , well below the number of fatalities in much smaller countries .

However , doubt has been cast on the reliability of China ’ s numbers and the United States has led the charge in questioning how much information Beijing has shared with the international community.

The milestone comes a day after the opening of China ’ s rubber – stamp parliament , the National People’ s Congress , where Premier Li Keqiang said the country had “ made major strategic achievements in our response to COVID- 19 . ”

However , he warned that the country still faced “ immense ” challenges.

Authorities in Wuhan have come under fire for reprimanding and silencing doctors who first raised the alarm about the virus late last year , and repeated changes to counting methodology have cast further doubt over China ’ s official data.

Beijing has strenuously denied accusations of a cover up , insisting it has always shared information with the World Health Organisation (WHO ) and other countries in a timely manner.

Since first emerging in Wuhan the virus has spread across the world , claiming more than 335 , 000 lives globally

US To Sanction Chinese Firms For Human Rights Abuse

The United States Department of Commerce has said on Friday that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies for human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region.

“These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the Commerce Department said in a statement.

The sanctions followed China’s move to impose a national security law to quash the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called a “disastrous proposal.”

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co. will be sanctioned “for engaging in human rights violations and abuses,” while the Commerce Department penalized seven companies for enabling surveillance in Xinjiang.

All nine entities are now subject to restrictions on exports from the US, the Commerce Department said.

Washington has been increasingly active in its criticism of China’s treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and in October blacklisted 28 entities involved in rights violation in the region.

The House of Representatives and Senate need to reconcile similar acts approved last year that would seek sanctions on officials over abuses, and restrict exports of surveillance and other equipment seen as assisting in repression in Xinjiang.

Uighur activists and witnesses say China is seeking to forcibly integrate the ethnic group. Beijing argues that it is offering vocational training in a bid to discourage extremism.

Tensions are also growing between the world’s two largest economies after President Donald Trump accused China of misleading the world on the origins of the coronavirus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Covid-19: Divorce Rate Rises In China

Divorce rates in China have risen significantly because ‘couples are spending too much time together at home’ during coronavirus self-isolation, according to register offices across the country.

Over 300 couples have scheduled appointments to get a divorce since February 24, said Lu Shijun, the manager of a marriage registry in Dazhou, Sichuan Province of south-western China.

Officials believe the sharp increase of divorce requests could be caused by the fact that partners have spent too much time in close quarters under quarantine.
‘The divorce rate [in the district] has soared compared to before [the coronavirus outbreak],’ Mr Lu told the local press.

‘Young people are spending a lot of time at home. They tend to get into heated arguments because of something petty and rush into getting a divorce,’ Mr Lu explained.

Another factor could be a result of delayed applications due to the council offices closing for nearly a month during the coronavirus epidemic.

Marriage registration offices in Xi’an of Shaanxi Province in north-western China have also seen an unprecedented rise of divorce appointments since re-opening on Mar rise of divorce appointments since re-opening on March 1, according to reports.

One district office received 14 requests in one day, hitting the upper limit set by the local council, a registration officer told newsmen.

Officials in Fuzhou, Fujian Province of southern China, have adjusted the number of divorce appointments to 10 couples a day after receiving an overwhelming amount of requests.

Scientists have been debating about whether spending time in close quarters is beneficial for couples.

A 2018 study found couples who lived together before marriage had lower divorce rates in the first year, compared to couples who didn’t. But higher divorce rates appeared after people living with their spouses for five years or longer.
Another research showed living together could protect lovers against getting a divorce.

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