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All posts by RWZ

CNA: China Cut Orders; Lithuania’s Century-Old Brewery Switched to Taiwan

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that, affected by the diplomatic turmoil between Lithuania and China, Lithuania’s oldest brewery Volfas Engelman lost all Chinese orders last fall. CEO Marius Horbačauskas said that Volfas entered the Taiwan market in mid-2020. In the first year, sales volume was about 8,000 liters. However, in 2021, the volume surged to 180,000 liters, a 23-fold increase. Though not wanting to get involved in politics, Volfas was informed near the end of last summer that the Chinese Internet and the media were criticizing Lithuanian products, and they were boycotted in the Chinese market. In the end, Volfas Beer was notified in October that all orders by the end of the year were cancelled. Marius said that 30 years ago, Lithuania fought and sacrificed to break away from the Soviet Union and restore freedom and independence, so it is easy to sympathize with other nations who have experienced similar experiences. Smaller countries have different needs and behavioral patterns and therefore it is easier for them to understand each other.

Source: CNA, January 17, 2022
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/aipl/202201170363.aspx

Chosun: Survey Showed the U.S. to be the Most Trusted Country in South Korea

South Korea’s largest newspaper Chosun recently reported in its Chinese Edition that Seoul National University’s Institute of Asian Studies published the “2021 Korean People’s Asian Awareness Survey Results Analysis Report” in the latest issue of “Asia Briefings.” The Institute commissioned the public opinion survey agency Korea Research to conduct a questionnaire survey on the favorability of 20 major countries including the United States, China, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, Thailand, and Vietnam. The survey results showed that, in  a multiple choice questionnaire, 71.6 percent of the respondents chose the United States as a “trustworthy country.” In contrast, Japan and China were selected by 13.3 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, ranking 19th and 20th among the 20 countries to become the countries least trusted by Koreans. The United States (69.2 percent) is the top country that “South Korea should cooperate with.” The proportions of those choosing China and North Korea are 6.9 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. Japan (1.1 percent) is even behind North Korea. On South Koreans’ favorability (on a scale of 1 to 100) toward 20 major countries, the United States ranked first at 65.9, followed by Sweden (59.5) and Germany (58.1). Among Asian countries, Singapore (54.1) ranked highest, followed by Taiwan (51.3) and Mongolia (50.1). China (35.8) was 18th, North Korea (33.8) was 19th, and Japan (33.6) was 20th.

Source: Chosun, January 12, 2022
https://cnnews.chosun.com/client/news/viw.asp?nNewsNumb=20220156539

Global Times: Afghan Ambassador to China Announced Resignation

Global Times recently reported that, on January 10, the Afghan ambassador to China, Javid Kaim, announced his resignation on his personal Twitter. In a handover letter accompanying the tweet, he said he and some other embassy staff had not been paid for the past six months. According to the handover letter, he himself left the Afghan Embassy in China on January 2 this year. In the letter, he gave a brief introduction to the structure and planning of the Embassy. He said that he would use remote means to assist in the handover. According to him, most of the diplomats in China appointed by the former Afghan government left China after the Taliban entered Kabul on August 15 last year. Since “the Embassy has not received salaries from Kabul for the past six months,” Kaim said, they set up a committee to specifically address the funding issue. The letter also stated that he had settled all the salaries of local employees before January 20. Unpaid diplomats also received a sum of money to cover expenses in China. He said that, as of January 1, 2022, about $100,000 remained in the account of the Afghan Embassy in China. Kaim also mentioned that he had left the keys to five embassy cars in his office. All the doors of the Embassy were closed, except for a local operator who could answer questions. The door key was placed at the Qatari Embassy in China. At the end of the letter, Kaim said China was “well informed” about this. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had taken note of Ambassador Qaim’s remarks.

Source: Global Times, January 11, 2022
https://world.huanqiu.com/article/46MIXNigNVz

The Paper: Evergrande Moved out of Its Shenzhen Headquarters Building

The Well-known new Chinese news site The Paper recently reported that the Evergrande Group has moved out of its Shenzhen Headquarters building and the “Evergrande Group” sign at the building has also been removed. According to sources familiar with the matter, Evergrande withdrew from the building in December 2021. Most of its working staff at the headquarters has moved back to Guangzhou to work. Sources revealed that, in order to cut costs, Evergrande completed the lease cancellation procedures quickly. However, based on the registration and filing information of commercial entities at the Shenzhen Market Supervision Bureau, Shenzhen remains the registered city for the Group. Evergrande officially moved its headquarters from Guangzhou to Shenzhen in mid-2017. At that time, its headquarters campus ground sat in the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base. The location was in the Hongshuwan luxury residential area, which occupies the central area of the city of Shenzhen. By sales, the China Evergrande Group is the second largest property developer in China . It ranked 122nd on the Fortune Global 500.

Source: The Paper, January 10, 2022
https://m.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_16219349

CNA: Taiwan Will Add One Billion Dollars to its Fund for Business with Lithuania

The Primary Taiwanese news agency, the Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that, in order to strengthen its relationship with Lithuania, the National Development Council will not only set up a US$200 million investment fund for Central and Eastern Europe; it will do more. The Council just announced that it will provide a financing fund of US$1 billion to promote bilateral business cooperation between Taiwan and Lithuania through the two funds. The Council explained that the National Development Fund will supply the US$200 million Central and Eastern European Investment Fund. The Central Bank will provide the US$1 billion in financing to fund to the Export-Import Bank of China.  If the above-mentioned funds are not enough, the government can add more funding. In October last year, when the Taiwan economic and trade delegation visited Lithuania, Taiwanese companies and Lithuanian manufacturers held 240 talks leading to follow-up cooperation and development projects. When President Tsai Ing-wen spoke on New Year’s Day, she mentioned the launch of the “Strengthening European Links Program.” Taiwan will start with Lithuania, and will try its best to promote industrial cooperation and trade links that benefit both sides. As for when the two major funds can be launched, the Council revealed that budgets have been prepared and the administrative procedures will be completed soon. However, it is necessary to see whether there are administrative procedures to be carried out in Lithuania. “The idea is as soon as possible.” At present, many Lithuanian companies have expressed interest in areas such as the laser industry, the semiconductor industry, chip manufacturing and a number of others.

Source: CNA, January 11, 2022
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/firstnews/202201115018.aspx

CNA: Taiwan Sets up Fund to Invest in Lithuanian Industries

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that the Taiwanese Representative to Lithuania said that the Taiwan National Development and Reform Commission will set up a US$200 million “Taiwan Central and Eastern European Investment Fund” to invest in Lithuanian industries. The initial plan will give priority to the technology sector and the relevant details will be discussed with the Ministry of Economic Innovation of Lithuania. Initial investments will focus on industries that will strategically benefit both parties and will start to operate in a few months. The Taiwanese central bank will support the new fund. After last year, when Lithuania  allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in the country under the name “Taiwan,” it has been facing pressure from China to reverse its decision. However, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that he had not been consulted on the naming issue. The spokesperson for Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis confirmed that the Government of Lithuania looks forward to developing business, scientific, technological and cultural relations with Taiwan, and that the people of Lithuania and Taiwan are close because of shared values and an open society based on the foundation of innovation.

Source: CNA, January 5, 2022
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/firstnews/202201055013.aspx

Lianhe Zaobao: North Korea Announced it Will not Participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that the North Korean Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sports sent a letter to the Chinese Olympic Committee, the Beijing Winter Olympics, the Paralympics Organizing Committee, and the General Administration of Sports of China. The letter said that, due to the conspiracy activities of hostile forces as well as the global epidemic of infectious diseases, North Korea could not participate in the coming Winter Olympics Games. The North Korean Ambassador to China conveyed the letter when he met with the responsible officials of the General Administration of Sports of China. North Korean also pointed out in the letter that the United States and its followers are trying to hinder the smooth holding of the Beijing Winter Olympics. North Korea sent the letter to the General Administration of Sports of China on the day when they tested a hypersonic missile. In theory, North Korean athletes can still participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics as individuals, but based on North Korea’s travel ban, their athletes won’t be able to go abroad to participate in the competition.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, January 7, 2022
https://www.zaobao.com.sg/realtime/china/story20220107-1230472

Global Times: Japan Signed New Agreement with the U.S. after the Australian Agreement

Global Times recently reported that the Japanese and American governments signed a cooperation research agreement on defense equipment after the “Security Consultative Committee” (2+2) meeting attended by the foreign affairs and defense cabinet officials of the two sides. The agreement is aimed at countering the development of new weapons such as hypersonic missiles that China and North Korea have advanced. The joint statement of the meeting issued by both Japan and the United States repeated some of the same information about many negative China-related issues, such as the human rights concerns related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong, the importance of peace and stability in Taiwan, the East and South China Sea issues, the Senkaku Islands being subject to the Japan-US Security Treaty, as well as other issues. This was the first Japan-US “2+2” meeting since Fumio Kishida took office as Prime Minister of Japan. It is worth noting that just one day before, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a video conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and signed a historic defense and security cooperation agreement. Before that, Japan had only signed such an agreement with the United States. The Australian Agreement was viewed as a blatant interference in China’s internal affairs, against the backdrop of China’s rising military and economic power.

Source: Global Times, January 7, 2022
https://world.huanqiu.com/article/46IsIXTegrG