22 February 2020


China opens AIIB, sends chills to US

KONFRONTASI - China on Saturday officially launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which is seen as an emerging rival to powerful Western-led financial institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The AIIB – that had been formally established on last December - was launched in a lavish ceremony led by China’s Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The initiative is viewed as part of Beijing’s efforts to change the unwritten rules of global development finance.

China formally arrests secretly held rights lawyers for subversion

KONFRONTASI-China formally arrested several Chinese human rights lawyers on suspicion of subverting state power after months of secret detention, one of their colleagues said on Tuesday, the latest move by authorities to crack down on dissent.

President Xi Jinping's administration has tightened control over almost every aspect of civil society since 2012, citing the need to buttress national security and stability.

Oil prices inch closer to $30 a barrel over China econ. slowdown

KONFRONTASI - Oil prices at international markets have taken another tumble as concerns continue to grow about China's economic growth slowdown and persistent supply glut.

During trading around midday in London on Monday, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February was sold at USD 32.87 a barrel, showing a decrease of about 68 cents compared to its price at Friday's closing level, AFP reported.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for February delivery also shed 45 cents to be sold at USD 32.71 per barrel.

Suspected arsonist held in China after bus fire kills 17

KONFRONTASI-Chinese police arrested a man suspected of starting a bus fire on Tuesday that killed 17 people, state media reported.

Bus fires are not uncommon in China, where regulators have blamed some recent blazes on flawed auto design. In 2013, a bus fire blamed on a suicidal man killed 47 in the coastal city of Xiamen.

Flames engulfed the bus in front of a furniture store in the northern region of Ningxia. Thirty-two people were injured.

China ‘concerned’ over Mideast tension after Saudi cuts Iran ties

KONFRONTASI - China has voiced concerns over the escalation of tensions in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran, which strongly condemned Riyadh’s execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

“Like the international community, China is highly concerned about the developments and expresses concern that the relevant event may intensify conflict in the region,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in a news briefing on Monday.

Corruption case causes China Telecom shares to fall

KONFRONTASI - The value of China Telecom’s shares has dropped as much as 9 percent after revelations about head of the company being under investigation as the latest high-profile target in a corruption crackdown.

The firm, which is one of China's big three telecommunications companies, saw its shares trade as low as HK$3.62 ($0.47) on Hong Kong's stock market on Monday compared to the previous closing of HK$3.73, AFP reported.

As market closed on Monday, the drop narrowed to 1.34 percent, with the shares ending at HK$3.68.

China, Russia and the South China Sea

BEIJING-We are seeing the emergence of a dual power structure in Central Asia, with China as the dominant economic power and Russia as the big security player.

Or, as Alexander Gabuev, senior associate and the chair of the Russia in the Asia-Pacific program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, told Foreign Policy: “China would be the bank and Russia would be the big gun.”

China says graft suspects abroad abuse system to prolong cases

KONFRONTASI-Chinese corruption suspects who have fled abroad have been abusing legal systems of host countries to prolong their cases in what is a big challenge to China's efforts to get them back, a top anti-graft official said on Thursday.

In an unusual effort at transparency, Liu Jianchao, who runs the secretive corruption watchdog's team trying to repatriate graft suspects, told foreign reporters China had to respect the laws of other countries in trying to get those people returned.

China Kecam Dalai Lama soal ISIS

KONFRONTASI - Gara-gara menyerukan dialog dengan kelompok militan ISIS, tokoh spiritual Tibet, Dalai Lama dikecam China. Perlu diketahui, pada awal pekan ini, surat kabar Italia La Stampa memuat pernyataan Dalai Lama yang menyerukan digelarnya dialog dengan kelompok militan ISIS sebagai solusi vital bagi terciptanya perdamaian.

Pernyataan Dalai Lama tersebut dikecam oleh salah satu pejabat China yakni Ketua Komite Urusan Etnis dan Agama dari Badan Penasehat Parlemen China Zhu Weiqun.

IMF approves China's yuan as reserve currency

KONFRONTASI-The International Monetary Fund has approved China's yuan into its elite reserve currency, in a decision described as "an important milestone" for the world's second largest economy.

With the decision, the yuan, also known as the renminbi, will join the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound next year in the list of currencies the IMF uses as an international reserve asset.