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2023 APEC: Xi, Biden tackle pressing issues

Leaders agree to initiate more contacts on military, AI, climate, air travel, exchanges

President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden agreed to enhance dialogue and cooperation in various fields during a summit on Wednesday, with both sides pledging to initiate intergovernmental talks on artificial intelligence, step up counter-narcotics cooperation and jointly tackle the climate crisis.

These consensuses between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies were reached during their hourslong meeting at Filoli, a historic estate south of San Francisco, California. The summit included several sessions, a working lunch and a brief walk after the lunch.

The two presidents agreed to, on the basis of equality and respect, resume high-level military-to-military communication. This includes the China-US Defense Policy Coordination Talks and the China-US Military Maritime Consultative Agreement meetings, as well as telephone conversations between theater commanders.

They also agreed to commit to working toward a significant increase in scheduled passenger flights early next year, and expand educational, student, youth, cultural, sports and business exchanges.

President Xi Jinping meets with US President Joe Biden at Filoli Estate in the US state of California, Nov 15, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

They welcomed recent positive discussions between special climate envoys from Beijing and Washington. These included plans for national-level actions to reduce emissions in the 2020s, common approaches toward a successful COP28 and operationalization of the Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s.

The two presidents also stressed the importance of both countries treating each other with respect and finding ways to live alongside each other peacefully. They also emphasized maintaining open lines of communication, preventing conflict, upholding the United Nations Charter, cooperating on areas of shared interest and responsibly managing competitive aspects of the relationship.

During Xi’s first visit to the United States in six years, he told Biden that there are two options for China and the US in this era of global transformation that is unseen in a century. The two sides can either enhance solidarity and cooperation and join hands to meet global challenges and promote global security and prosperity, or they can cling to the zero-sum mentality, provoke rivalry and confrontation, and drive the world toward turmoil and division.

President Xi Jinping meets with US President Joe Biden at Filoli Estate in the US state of California, Nov 15, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

The two choices point to two different directions that will decide the future of humanity and Planet Earth, he said.

“For two large countries like China and the US, turning their back on each other is not an option,” Xi stressed.

“It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other. And conflict and confrontation have unbearable consequences for both sides.”

He went on to say that major-country competition is not the prevailing trend of current times and cannot solve the problems facing China and the United States or the world at large.

“Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed, and one country’s success is an opportunity for the other,” he said.

The president said that China will not take the old path of colonization and plundering, or the wrong path of seeking hegemony with growing strength as it forges ahead with the Chinese path to modernization, adding that it does not export its ideology or engage in ideological confrontation with any country.

He stressed that China does not plan to surpass or unseat the US, and, likewise, the US should not scheme to suppress or contain China.

The two nations are fully capable of rising above their differences and find the right path to get along, as long as both sides respect each other, peacefully coexist and pursue win-win cooperation, he said.

While recalling pledges made by Biden during their meeting in Bali, Indonesia, last year, Xi highlighted the necessity for Beijing and Washington to assume a new vision and build five pillars of China-US relations.

The first pillar, he said, is to jointly develop a right perception of each other. Beijing is consistently committed to having a stable, healthy and sustainable relationship with Washington. Meanwhile, the nation has interests that must be safeguarded, principles that must be upheld and red lines that must not be crossed.

Second, he called upon both nations to manage their differences effectively, saying that they should look for ways to build bridges to meet with each other halfway. Beijing and Washington should appreciate each other’s principles and red lines, and refrain from flip-flopping, provocation and crossing lines, the Chinese president said.

Third, both countries should work together to promote mutually beneficial cooperation, the president said. He underscored the broad common interests between China and the US, including in such traditional areas as the economy, trade and agriculture, as well as in such emerging areas as climate change and AI.

Both sides should make full use of restored and new mechanisms in foreign policy, economics, finance, commerce, agriculture and other fields, and carry out cooperation in such areas as counter-narcotics, judicial affairs, law enforcement, AI, and science and technology, he added.

Fourth, the Chinese president called upon both sides to jointly shoulder responsibilities as major countries, saying that they should lead by example, step up coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues, and provide more public goods for the world.

He also appealed for stronger people-to-people exchanges, which serve as the fifth pillar.

Xi elaborated on China’s principled position on the Taiwan question, calling for the US side to take real action to honor its commitment of not supporting “Taiwan independence”, stop arming Taiwan and support peaceful reunification.

China will realize reunification, and this is unstoppable, he stressed.

He pointed out that US actions against China regarding export controls, investment screening and unilateral sanctions seriously hurt China’s legitimate interests.

Stifling China’s technological progress is nothing but a move to contain China’s high-quality development and deprive the Chinese people of their right to development, he said.

It is important that the US side take China’s concerns seriously and adopt tangible steps to lift its unilateral sanctions to provide an equal, fair and nondiscriminatory environment for Chinese businesses, he said.

Biden, in his opening remarks at the summit, said his meetings with Xi have always been “candid, straightforward and useful”.

“I think it’s paramount that you and I understand each other clearly, leader to leader, with no misconceptions or miscommunication,” Biden said.

“We also have a responsibility to our people — and the world — to work together when we see it in our interest to do so. And the critical global challenges we face, from climate change to counter-narcotics to artificial intelligence, demand our joint efforts.”

He later tweeted on the social media platform X that the two leaders “made real progress” during the talks.

China successfully launches Tianhui-5 satellite

(Xinhua) — China successfully launched a satellite on Wednesday from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China’s Shanxi Province.

A modified version of the Long March-6 carrier rocket carrying the satellite Tianhui-5 lifted off at 6:50 a.m. (Beijing Time).

The satellite has entered its preset orbit. It will be used for geographic mapping, land resource survey, scientific experiments and other missions.

The launch was the 494th mission undertaken by the Long March rocket series.

Global AI Governance Initiative: A Chinese proposal to shape the future

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming societies and economies around the world. With great opportunities come great risks. How can humanity reap the benefits of AI while mitigating potential harms? China has put forward its vision for global AI governance, reported Global Times.

In a keynote speech at the 2023 Belt and Road Forum, President Xi Jinping announced China’s Global AI Governance Initiative. This proposal aims to promote the sound, orderly, and secure development of AI worldwide.

The initiative rests on a foundation of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. It stresses equal emphasis on development and security for all countries. Building consensus through dialogue and cooperation is key. The goal is for AI to benefit humanity and contribute to a shared future.

People must be at the centre of AI governance. Technologies should be developed to serve human civilisation. The initiative upholds national sovereignty and mutual respect between countries. It opposes ideological divides or monopolies that could manipulate public opinion and infringe on sovereignty.

Open, fair and efficient governing mechanisms are proposed. Developing countries should have greater representation in AI governance. The United Nations could potentially establish an international AI governance institution. Specific principles are suggested around data, algorithms, ethics and more.

AI brings both promise and peril. It requires responsible governance to create a better future. China has contributed its vision and wisdom. Through extensive consultation and joint efforts, shared benefits can be achieved. Together, we can shape AI that empowers humanity.

10 years on, fruitful Belt and Road cooperation moving to new stage

(Xinhua) — After fruitful ten years of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday announced new moves to usher the initiative into another “golden decade” with relentless efforts to achieve modernization for all countries and build an open and inclusive world.

From further improving connectivity to supporting an open world economy, Xi unveiled eight major steps to bring Belt and Road cooperation to a new stage of higher-quality and higher-level development in a keynote speech at the opening of a high-profile forum.

Xi vowed to speed up high-quality development of China-Europe Railway Express and, together with other parties, build a new logistics corridor across the Eurasian continent linked by direct railway and road transportation.

China will enter into free trade agreements and investment protection treaties with more countries and remove all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector, Xi said.

Both signature projects and “small yet smart” livelihood programs will be promoted with more financing support. Two Chinese policy banks will each set up a 350 billion yuan (48.75 billion U.S. dollars) financing window, and an additional 80 billion yuan will be injected into the Silk Road Fund, according to Xi.

The president also pledged more commitment into green development, scientific and technological innovation, people-to-people exchanges, integrity-based Belt and Road cooperation, and the institutional building for international Belt and Road cooperation.

The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held on Tuesday and Wednesday was the most significant celebration for the 10th anniversary of the BRI.


Attendees of the opening ceremony spoke highly of Xi’s speech.

“It was an inspiring speech. It delivered clear messages on the future of the Belt and Road cooperation and how China’s robust economic growth will benefit the world as well as foreign investors like us,” said Atakan Bozkurt, chief executive officer of Burger King China.

“President Xi’s vision is appreciated by so many people in the world,” said Vito Rosario Petrocelli, president of Italy BRICS Institute. “The BRI is the best initiative to make the Global South better and can give a lot of opportunities to developing countries and play a very big role in protecting the environment.”

Ismail Hakki Musa, ambassador of Türkiye to China, said few imagined that the BRI would have such influence and force to transform the world in economic, infrastructure and development areas. “Today everyone is aware of the fact that this is an unprecedented achievement.”

Xi consecutively proposed building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in 2013. The pairing later came to be known as the BRI.

Over the past 10 years, the BRI has evolved from ideas into actions and from a vision into reality.

Speeding trains and trucks have become trade symbols in the new era, just like camel caravans in the past. Hydro stations and wind plants have helped in removing the development bottleneck for developing countries. Brand new airports, harbors, and industrial parks have brought fresh momentum to regional growth.

By promoting the Belt and Road cooperation, China is pursuing modernization not for itself, but for all developing countries through joint efforts.


“Global modernization should be pursued to enhance peaceful development and mutually beneficial cooperation and bring prosperity to all,” Xi said.

So far, more than 150 countries and over 30 international organizations have signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements, with the initiative extending from the Eurasian continent to Africa and Latin America.

Jiri Paroubek, former prime minister of the Czech Republic, said the Belt and Road will help many countries of the developing world to increase their development, and also the living standards of the people.

The BRI transcends differences between civilizations, cultures, social systems, and stages of development, and has opened up a new path for exchanges among countries, and established a new framework for international cooperation, Xi said.

Looking back at the past decade, Xi said the achievements demonstrate that the Belt and Road cooperation is on the right side of history. “It represents the advancing of our times, and it is the right path forward.”


“China can only do well when the world is doing well. When China does well, the world will get even better,” Xi said, noting that China, opening its door even wider to the world, has become a main trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions and a primary source of investment for more countries.

Xi said that win-win cooperation is the sure way to success in launching major initiatives that benefit all, and that the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit is the most important source of strength for Belt and Road cooperation.

“Ideological confrontation, geopolitical rivalry and bloc politics are not a choice for us. What we stand against are unilateral sanctions, economic coercion and decoupling and supply chain disruption,” said the Chinese president.

“Today the world needs a common and collective approach to tackle the tremendous challenges we all have, and I think the BRI puts everyone in connection,” said Miguel Moratinos, high representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations.  

Sri Lanka and Pakistan Journalists Forums Sign MOU in China

In a significant development aimed at fostering collaboration and cooperation in the field of journalism, the Sri Lanka China Journalists Forum and the All-Pakistan Journalists Association came together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The signing ceremony took place at the Communication University of China during the Global Journalists Salon organized by the All China Journalists Association.

The MOU signing was a momentous occasion attended by journalists from more than 15 countries and witnessed by Mr. Tao, the Director of the International Department of the All China Journalists Association.

The key provisions of the MOU include:

 Journalist Training Programs: Both parties commit to encouraging the development of and participation in journalist training programs, strengthening the skills and knowledge of journalists from Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Support for Journalism Schools: The MOU seeks to promote cooperation between journalism schools in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, enhancing the educational landscape for aspiring journalists.

News Awards: The two parties will offer support for and participate in activities related to news awards, including the selection of winners, recognizing journalistic excellence.

Collaboration on Delegations: They will prepare letters of invitation for each other’s journalist delegations and assist with procedures such as visa applications, facilitating easier exchange of ideas and experiences.

Business Activities and Itineraries: The MOU envisions cooperation in planning business activities, suggesting itineraries, and finding translators for delegations, ensuring productive interactions.Consultation on Themes and Visits: The parties will decide through consultation the theme and itinerary of a given visit, tailoring their interactions to mutual interests.

Expenses: Both parties will hold consultations regarding expenses for food, accommodation, travel, and translating services, ensuring transparency and fair arrangements.

The MOU takes effect upon signing by both parties and is effective for a period of five years. It includes a provision for automatic renewal, unless either party provides a minimum of six months formal notice to terminate the agreement at the end of its current term.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Mr. Zaheer Alam, President of the All-Pakistan Journalists Association, and Mr. Sudewa Hettiarachchi, who serves as the Treasurer of the Sri Lanka China Journalists Forum, on behalf of their respective organizations.

China at 74: A Beacon of Hope for Global Cooperation

by Nalin Aponso (President, Sri Lanka China Journalists Forum )

On the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on October 1, 1949, we take a moment to reflect upon the extraordinary journey this nation has embarked upon, and the pivotal role that interpersonal relationships have played in shaping its progress. The modern history of China is a testament to unwavering determination, visionary leadership, and a steadfast commitment to eradicating poverty while fostering prosperity, both within its borders and far beyond.

China’s ascent to a global powerhouse has been shepherded by a series of visionary leaders, with President Xi Jinping assuming the mantle in 2012. Under his stewardship, China has achieved remarkable milestones, with the elimination of extreme poverty standing out as a particularly remarkable achievement. This monumental feat underscores the Chinese government’s resolute dedication to enhancing the living conditions of its citizens, ensuring that no one is left behind.

The magnitude of this accomplishment cannot be overstated. In a nation with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, the eradication of extreme poverty demanded meticulous planning, precisely targeted policies, and an unflinching commitment to the principles of social justice. China’s success in this endeavor exemplifies the efficacy of its governance model and its ability to respond effectively to the needs of its populace.

China’s commitment to improving lives extends well beyond its own borders. President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) serves as a testament to China’s dedication to cultivating robust interpersonal relationships with nations across the globe. Through BRI, China has invested significantly in infrastructure development, trade connectivity, and cultural exchange, particularly along the envisioned routes. This initiative holds the potential to transform the economic prospects of participating nations and heralds an era of shared prosperity. It underscores the notion that progress should not be the preserve of a single nation but a collective endeavor that benefits all.

In Sri Lanka, we have borne witness to the palpable impact of the BRI. Projects such as the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port have not only bolstered our infrastructure but have also generated employment opportunities for our citizens. These initiatives stand as a testament to the enduring friendship between our two nations and our shared belief in prosperity through collaborative efforts.

Understanding the intricacies of Chinese politics and actively engaging with China are indispensable steps toward fostering a more equitable and harmonious global order that values shared ideals. China’s role on the world stage has expanded significantly in recent decades, and its influence in shaping the international system is undeniable. It is incumbent upon us to emphasize a few imperative points.

In today’s interconnected world, no nation can exist in isolation. Understanding Chinese politics is paramount because China plays a pivotal role in international affairs, influencing global economics, security, and diplomacy. Engaging with China signifies active participation in the global discourse and cooperative action on global challenges.

The cultivation of mutual understanding and trust is essential for peaceful coexistence and cooperation among nations. By comprehending the intricacies of China’s political system, its historical context, and its objectives, other nations can foster more meaningful dialogues and establish stronger relationships with China rooted in trust and mutual respect.

Despite differences in political systems and cultural values, there exist shared ideals such as peace, stability, economic prosperity, and respect for human rights. Engaging with China on these common values can contribute to the creation of a more equitable world order where cooperation prevails over conflict.

Many of the world’s most pressing challenges, including climate change, pandemics, and terrorism, necessitate international cooperation. China’s active involvement is indispensable in effectively addressing these issues. A profound understanding of Chinese politics facilitates more effective collaboration in finding global solutions.

China stands as a global economic giant, and its economic policies have far-reaching implications for the world economy. Engaging with China on trade and economic matters is essential for achieving fairness, transparency, and sustainability in the global economic framework.

Understanding China’s political motivations and objectives can play a pivotal role in preventing or resolving conflicts. Diplomacy and dialogue serve as key tools in managing disputes and ensuring global peace in an increasingly complex world.

China’s active participation in international organizations and forums, such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, underscores the importance of engaging with China to fortify multilateralism. These institutions are crucial in upholding global norms and rules.

It is imperative to underscore that understanding Chinese politics and actively engaging with China are not mere options but essential prerequisites for forging a more equitable world order. By fostering deeper comprehension, nurturing mutual trust, and advancing shared values, nations can collaborate to create a global milieu where cooperation, equity, and respect for diverse perspectives culminate in a more harmonious world for all. Engaging with China is a critical stride toward realizing this noble aspiration for a shared, equitable world order.

As President of the Sri Lanka China Journalists Forum, I am heartened by the burgeoning interpersonal relations between our nations. Educational and cultural exchanges, media collaboration, and the growing number of Chinese tourists visiting Sri Lanka all contribute to cultivating greater understanding and friendship.

On this auspicious occasion of China’s National Day, let us celebrate the remarkable journey of the People’s Republic of China and the pivotal role of interpersonal relationships in shaping its destiny. Let us also recognize the Chinese government’s unwavering commitment to eradicating poverty domestically and its resolute dedication to enhancing the livelihoods of nations worldwide through the Belt and Road Initiative. As we look to the future, may our two nations continue to labor together in the spirit of cooperation, friendship, and shared prosperity! Happy 74th Anniversary, People’s Republic of China!!

Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka Celebrates National Day with Dignitaries in Colombo

The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka held its annual National Day celebration program yesterday in a grand event in Colombo, graced by the presence of the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Qi Zhenhong. The celebration was attended by numerous foreign heads of missions in Colombo and prominent political leaders, including former Presidents Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maithripala Sirisena, and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Ambassador Qi Zhenhong, in his address, underscored the significance of this celebration in strengthening the ties between China and Sri Lanka, emphasizing shared values that lay the foundation for a prosperous future.

The event served as a testament to the enduring friendship between China and Sri Lanka, with dignitaries from both nations coming together to mark this special occasion. The National Day celebration showcased cultural performances, traditional Chinese cuisine, and a display of China’s rich cultural heritage.

The Chinese Embassy’s initiative to host this grand celebration program not only underscores the importance of diplomacy but also signifies the deep-rooted friendship between the two nations, which continues to grow stronger with each passing year.

In a symbolic gesture of unity and camaraderie, the event witnessed the attendance of former Presidents Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maithripala Sirisena, and the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who all extended their warm wishes to the Chinese government and its people.

The celebration provided a platform for diplomats, political leaders, and citizens from both nations to reaffirm their commitment to fostering mutually beneficial relationships, echoing Ambassador Qi Zhenhong’s call for shared values that pave the way for a brighter future.

The Chinese Embassy’s National Day celebration in Colombo serves as a reminder of the enduring bond between China and Sri Lanka, promising continued collaboration and shared prosperity in the years to come.

The following images were captured during the event by the Sri Lanka Chian Journalists Forum

Chinese Ambassador Commends Strong Ties and Donates School Supplies in Seethawaka

Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong delivered a heartfelt speech recently during the School Supplies Donation Hand-over Ceremony in Seethawaka. Ambassador Qi reflected on the historical importance of the region and praised the enduring friendship between China and Sri Lanka.

In his address, Ambassador Qi began by acknowledging the historical significance of Seethawaka as a critical base for Sri Lankans in their fight against Portuguese colonialists. He also paid tribute to Comrade Philip Gunawardena, a renowned Sri Lankan statesman and a dear friend of China, who contributed significantly to the China-Sri Lanka friendship.

Ambassador Qi emphasized the deep-rooted and enduring relationship between China and Sri Lanka, describing them as “good neighbors who respect and trust each other, good partners who benefit each other, and good friends who help each other.” He stressed that this friendship has continued to strengthen, regardless of changes in the international, regional, or domestic landscape.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by Sri Lanka in its development journey, Ambassador Qi expressed his confidence in the strong leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. He assured that China would continue to support Sri Lanka in achieving sustainable development, overcoming poverty, and safeguarding its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national dignity.

Ambassador Qi highlighted the importance of the current year for China-Sri Lanka relations, noting recent high-level visits. Prime Minister Gunawardena’s successful visit to Yunnan was mentioned, along with President Wickremesinghe’s upcoming visit to Beijing. He emphasized the need to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of both nations and to bring tangible benefits to the people.

Turning to the importance of education, Ambassador Qi underscored the shared values of China and Sri Lanka in respecting teachers and valuing education as keys to a brighter future. He announced a generous donation from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, consisting of 11,000 school supplies and 43,000 meters of school uniform fabric, valued at over one hundred million rupees. This donation will support underprivileged children in their pursuit of education.

Ambassador Qi expressed his sincere gratitude to the Prime Minister’s Office staff for their dedicated efforts in making the distribution a success. In his closing remarks, he addressed the students, emphasizing their role as the future of Sri Lanka and the China-Sri Lanka friendship. He encouraged them to study diligently and uphold the expectations placed upon them, as they contribute to the development of their country and the strengthening of the friendship between the two nations.

The ceremony was marked by a strong sense of camaraderie and gratitude, symbolizing the enduring friendship between China and Sri Lanka and their shared commitment to education and development.

12,000 School Bags and 43,000 Meters of Uniform Fabric Given to Promote Education

In a heartwarming ceremony recently at Hanwella Rajasinghe Central College, President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena joined hands to distribute a generous donation from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The donation included 12,000 school bags filled with stationery and other study materials, as well as 43,000 meters of school uniform fabric.

The event, attended by local officials, educators, and delighted students, showcased the strong bilateral ties between Sri Lanka and China and underscored the commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for Sri Lankan youth.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his gratitude for China’s continuous support and said, “Education is the foundation upon which a nation’s future is built. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ generous donation will go a long way in supporting our students and encouraging their educational aspirations.”

PM Dinesh Gunawardena also spoke at the ceremony, highlighting the importance of s