China launches largest natural uranium mining project

Work on a natural uranium production project in Ordos, North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China’s largest so far, started on Friday, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) told the Global Times. The project will help to ensure the nation’s supply of a key mineral resource.  

The project is being conducted by CNNC, with investment of about 1.5 billion yuan ($206,82 million), said a report by China Media Group. It will have the largest capacity and highest construction level of any domestic natural uranium production site.  

The project will use the latest green and digital mining systems and technologies, realizing lower emissions, sustainable development and remote monitoring, said CNNC. 

Natural uranium is known as the material basis for the nation’s nuclear industry development, and is an important strategic resource and energy mineral for ensuring national security. 

According to a survey released by China Nuclear Energy Association on April 15, 2024, China currently has 55 commercial nuclear power units in operation with a total installed capacity of 57.03 million kilowatts, ranking third in the world following the US and France. 

Data from the National Energy Administration shows that China’s electricity generated by nuclear power reached 58.08 million kilowatt-hours from January to May this year, up 2.3 percent year-on-year. 

Rail cargo transport sets new records in June, empowers H1 foreign trade

China's railway operator said that the nation's railway freight volume and turnover reached new highs in June, cementing the foundation for an economic recovery and foreign trade rebound. 

The remarkable progress showed the steady advancement of China's railway transport sector, Sun Zhang, a railway expert at Shanghai Tongji University, told the Global Times on Sunday, adding that it also highlighted the irreplaceable and prominent role of railway transport. 

In June, China's railway system transported 332 million tons of cargo, up 6.1 percent year-on-year, and achieved freight turnover of 266.5 billion ton-kilometers, up 5.3 percent year-on-year, said China Railway via its official social media account on Sunday.

China's railway freight volume -- No.1 in the world -- surpassed the total volume of the US and Russia, which ranked second and third.

Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng told a press conference on July 10 that the total length of China's operating railways reached 159,000 kilometers as of the end of 2023, with high-speed railways surpassing 45,000 kilometers.

Li noted that a basic railway framework with "six arteries, seven corridors and eight channels" has been formed, which covers links among China's major economy clusters, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and other outbound railway routes, and specific regional railway connections. 

China set a new record for foreign trade in goods in the first half of 2024, with a year-on-year increase of 6.1 percent to 21.17 trillion yuan ($2.9 trillion), data released by the General Administration of Customs showed on Friday. 

In terms of international railway transport, China Railway said that 1,719 China-Europe freight trains were operated in June, up 15 percent year-on-year, and they carried 180,000 standard containers, up 11 percent year-on-year. 

In the first half of 2024, the China-Laos Railway, the flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative, facilitated 2.783 million tons of cross-border cargo, up by 20.7 percent year-on-year. 

ASEAN remained China's largest trade partner during the first half year, with bilateral trade reaching 3.36 trillion yuan, up by 10.5 percent year-on-year.

"The so-called 'decoupling' from China launched by some Western countries affected China's foreign trade volume, but new export paths formed by international railways to Southeast Asia and Central Asia can make up the loss," said Sun.

China issues plan to support low-carbon transformation of coal-fired power

China has issued an action plan to promote the low-carbon transformation of coal-fired power, with plans to diversify financing channels and grant preferential loan policies to qualified projects.

The plan also includes improving carbon-reduction-related technologies for coal-fired power, as well as new infrastructure construction. This will help to ensure China's energy security amid the global green energy transition, experts said.

The plan, co-issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration (NEA), will enhance financial support for coal-fired power low-carbon transformation projects. This will be based partly on funds raised via ultra-long special treasury bonds, and there will be policy support based on local conditions.

Coal-fired power low-carbon transformation projects will be encouraged to diversify their financing channels through methods such as issuing green bonds or applying for technology transformation loans.

Financial support and preferential loan policies will boost financing, and more private funds may be directed into the field of coal-fired power low-carbon transformation, Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Monday.

Data from the NEA showed that from January to May this year, China's total installed power generator capacity reached 3.03 billion kilowatts, up 14.1 percent year-on-year. About 1.4 billion kilowatts came from coal-fired power generators, indicating the irreplaceable role of coal in China's energy structure.

However, China is still making efforts in the green energy transition. The nation's green energy consumption accounted for 26.4 percent of overall energy consumption, 11.0 percentage points more than the level in 2012, a spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

The plan also noted that by 2025, the first batch of coal-fired power low-carbon transformation construction projects will all have started, and the carbon emissions of the related projects will be reduced by around 20 percent compared to the average carbon emissions level of similar coal-fired power units in 2023.

By 2027, the low-carbon coal-fired power generation technology route will be further expanded, with significant reductions in construction and operating costs, and the carbon emissions will see a decline of about 50 percent from the level in 2023, according to the plan.

Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin School of Administration, told the Global Times on Monday that low-carbon transmission of coal-fired power could be commenced in fields such as thermal efficiency utilization, carbon capture and electricity transmission.

"The low-carbon transformation of coal-fired power will make China's green energy transition process more smooth and more moderate," Cong noted.

Drainage of 210-million-cubic-meter standing water starts after breached dike at Dongting Lake sealed off

Drainage of 210-million-cubic-meter standing water in the flooded Tuanzhou dike region due to spillover from the rain effected Dongting Lake in Central China’s Hunan Province fully started on Tuesday morning, after the breached dike was successfully repaired late on Monday night, thanks to on-site rescuers racing against time to plug the 226-meter breach within 77 hours, well ahead of schedule. 

Drainage equipment was promptly dispatched and deployed to the flooded Tuanzhou township, Huarong county in Hunan Province. As of Tuesday morning, a variety of submersible equipment, electric pumps, along with other necessary drainage tools had been delivered to the Tuanzhou embankment to carry out drainage operations. 

At around 7 am on Tuesday, a team specializing in handling waterlogging from the Hunan provincial firefighting and rescue force arrived at the Tuanzhou embankment to start drainage work.

China’s National Fire and Rescue Administration also dispatched firefighting and rescue forces from Central China’s Hubei Province, Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality and Guizhou Province to the scene on Tuesday morning to provide cross-provincial support. 

Drainage work deployment began on late Monday night to lower the level of the standing water within the flooded Tuanzhou dike region, in order to reduce the flood control pressure on a 14.35-kilometer-long embankment. 

Multiple cases of dike piping were identified along the embankment on Monday morning, with more than 300 armed police officers, firefighters, and other rescue personnel urgently dispatched to address the situation, effectively and promptly controlling the piping hazard. 

As of Monday evening, a total of 24 hazardous incidents such as piping and water seepage reported along the embankment had all been resolved, Zhu Dongtie, director of Hunan Provincial Department of Water Resources said during a press briefing on Monday evening, noting that as the time extends, the pressure on the embankment will increase considerably.

On late Monday night at 10:31 pm, rescue personnel successfully sealed the breached dike at China’s second-largest freshwater lake, from which a total of 210 million cubic meters of water, equivalent to the volume of water of 15 West Lakes, remained within the Tuanzhou dike region, flooding 47.64 square kilometers out of the region, forcing six villages and one community with a total of 7,680 residents to vacate their homes. 

In order to alleviate the flood defense pressure on “the second line of defense” and quickly restore normal activity within the flooded Tuanzhou dike region, there remains an urgent need to lower the water level inside the embankment and discharge remaining floodwater. 

Experts suggested that the daily drop in water level should not exceed 30 centimeters in a bid to drain the standing water as quickly as possible meanwhile ensuring the safety of the dike, Central China Television (CCTV) reported on Monday. 

Calculated according to the area of 50 square kilometers of Tuanzhou dike region, the daily volume of drainage is estimated to be around 15 million cubic meters of water. Since the terrain of Tuanzhou dike region is characterized by being higher on both sides and lower in the middle, the standing water in the higher terrain will be drained faster while water pooling in lower terrain will be drained more slowly, with approximately a total of 17 days needed to drain all the water in the region, according to CCTV. 

China’s Ministry of Water Resources has required to thoroughly implement all follow-up response measures including continuously analyzing and assessing potential risks such as the prolonged high-water levels as well as the piping, seepage and slope failures at the Dongting dike and other dikes. 
Local officials also reminded the public to remain vigilant for new flood warnings during the drainage process, noting that emergency response tasks remain complex and challenging. 

PLA Navy's second 10,000 ton-class hospital ship starts South China Sea medical rounds

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's second 10,000 ton-class hospital ship recently embarked on a voyage to islands and reefs in the South China Sea to conduct medical rounds and rescue exercises, with experts saying on Thursday that the vessel will enhance the PLA Navy's logistics capabilities and provide extra public security goods to the international community.

The hospital ship Silkroad Ark set out from a naval port in Zhanjiang, South China's Guangdong Province on Wednesday to conduct medial rounds in the South China Sea, including islands and reefs of Xisha Qundao (also known as Xisha Islands) and Nansha Qundao (also known as Nansha Islands) such as Yongxing Dao (also known as Yongxing Island) and Yongshu Jiao (also known as Yongshu Reef), as well as islands and reefs along the southern coast of the mainland, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.

During the voyage, troops stationed on islands and reefs will board the hospital ship to receive diagnoses and treatment, and the ship's medical staff will also disembark from the ship to make rounds of visits to the troops' combat positions, CCTV reported.

The vessel will also conduct exercises for rescuing the wounded at sea, the report said.

The mission demonstrates that the Silkroad Ark is now in active service with the PLA Navy, observers said.

The Silkroad Ark is the second 10,000 ton-class far-seas capable hospital ship domestically developed by China, after the Peace Ark. The Silkroad Ark shares the same design as the Peace Ark but has a larger displacement and a longer endurance, according to CCTV.

In wartime, it will conduct maritime rescue and evacuation missions, while in peacetime, it will engage in medical rounds for residents and troops on islands and reefs, deliver international humanitarian aid services, join major disaster relief and emergency medical rescue operations, as well as participate in foreign military medical exchange and cooperation missions, CCTV reported.

Amid tensions in the South China Sea, the Silkroad Ark's voyage will provide strong logistics support and boost the morale of Chinese frontline personnel, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Thursday.

The move will also demonstrate China's actual jurisdiction and control over the islands and reefs in the South China Sea, the expert said.

Chinese military expert Zhang Junshe told the Global Times on Thursday that the Silkroad Ark and the Peace Ark will enable the PLA Navy to deploy two hospital ships in two different regions, contributing to overall combat readiness.

Both vessels are far seas-capable, meaning that they can sail to other parts of the world and provide humanitarian aid, fulfilling China's international obligations as a responsible major country, Zhang said.

GT investigates: Who’s the Philippine NGO that is inciting Filipino civilians to launch new round of staged provocation near China’s Huangyan Dao?

After recruiting journalists and "fisherfolk" to launch infringing activities in the South China Sea, the Philippines is about to play a new round of trick in staging another incident. Philippine media outlets recently reported that a Filipino non-governmental organization called Atin Ito, or "This is ours," is planning to rally a group of so-called Philippine fisherfolk to travel to the waters around China's Huangyan Dao (also known as Huangyan Island) in an attempt to use "fisherfolks" as "human shields, " to initiate a fresh round of provocation in the South China Sea and deliberately engage in "sadfishing" to the international community.

The Global Times noted from publicly available information that this so-called Filipino civic organization is, in fact, a "hired gun" fed by the US and long sponsored by US organizations. Atin Ito has continuously stirred up troubles in South China Sea and has been exerting its influence in the Philippine government's decision-making on the issue.

This organization's plan of direct involvement in the frontline of the South China Sea conflict further exposes the increasing interference from countries outside of the region, like the US, as they incite the Philippines to "step on the gas" toward confrontation in the South China Sea.
Upcoming publicity stunt

Multiple Philippine media outlets have recently covered the plan of this publicity stunt. Philippine news website rappler.com reported on May 8 that Atin Ito, a coalition that counts fisher and farmer groups, civic organizations, fisherfolk, and youth activists among its members, will travel to Huangyan Dao from May 14 to 17.

Rafaela David, one of the lead convenors of the coalition, said in a press conference on May 8 that "this is not a sightseeing excursion to seek out Chinese marine vessels or a provocation to incite conflict." However, this coalition also invited international observers to join the voyage to monitor and document the situation in the region and "witness firsthand the challenges faced by Filipinos in those waters."

David contradicted herself in her performance art by stating, "By mobilizing civilians and engaging in peaceful activities within our EEZ, we reclaim our space and assert our territorial integrity in a manner that champions peace and diplomacy."

According to Philippine media, about 200 participants are expected to join the mission, among them fisherfolk, volunteers, journalists, and observers. They are scheduled to set out from the Philippines on May 15 and trespass into waters adjacent to China's Huangyan Dao, bring supplies to Filipino fisherfolk, and deploy "symbolic buoys" bearing a provocative message: "The West Philippine Sea is ours."

This is not the first time that the Atin Ito has conducted so-called peaceful activities in the South China Sea, as this coalition had also organized dozens of fishing ships and a marine training vessel carrying Philippine civilians to bring Christmas gifts to local Philippine military personnel on islands and reefs in the region, according to Philippine media reports.

Ding Duo, deputy director of the Institute of Maritime Law and Policy at the China Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times that Atin Ito's latest plan to stir up troubles around Huangyan Dao at a larger scale will likely first have Philippine fishing vessels staying from a distance, as they would need to coordinate with the Philippine Coast Guard and journalists to take staged photos.

The coalition will likely then play the staged show of "resupply," as they could have fishing vessels coordinate with Philippine governmental ships to conduct infringing activities, Ding predicted, noting that it is also possible that civilian vessels rallied by the organization will trespass into waters restricted by China under the demand of the Philippine Coast Guard, directly disrupt law enforcement operations by the China Coast Guard, or disrupt normal fishing activities by Chinese fisherfolk.

While this scheduled infringing plan seems big under the propaganda of the Atin Ito coalition and the Philippine media, its actual scale might fall short significantly. A source close to the matter told the Global Times that while the plan allegedly rallied over 100 civilian vessels, the fact is that only about 10 ships or so will likely end up joining the publicity stunt, with most of them operating in waters not far away from the Port of Masinloc.

The source said that Philippine government ships are expected to arrive in designated waters in the early morning of May 15, then the civilian ships will hold a regatta for entertainment near the Port of Masinloc. After that, these ships will scatter, with two Philippine commercial ships carrying journalists and social activists heading toward Huangyan Dao on May 16 and return to the Philippines on the same day.

Atin Ito is expected to hold a press conference in Manila on May 17 to continue to hype this farce, the source said.

Ding said that this organization's activities often fall short of expectations and follow fixed patterns. They usually hype up their activities beforehand, make high profile forecasts on domestic media and social media platforms, and instigate nationalist sentiments. At the same time, the organization also raises donations through its website, urging for supplies to Philippine fishing ships operating around China's Huangyan Dao and Ren'ai Jiao (also known as Ren'ai Reef). In addition, this organization also makes various publicity stunts, including live shows, press conferences, and seminars in a bid to increase its political presence.
'Hired gun' by US military

Although it publicly claims to be an independent Philippine organization pursuing peace, the actions of the Atin Ito coalition are more akin to a "hired gun" serving the US strategy in the South China Sea. In fact, its ability to coordinate resources within the Philippines, as well as its intricate relationships with pro-American figures in the US military and Filipino politics, all highlight that it is far from a simple Filipino civil organization.

In a recent field interview in the Philippines, Global Times reporters noted that similar to many Western civil organizations that serve political purposes, Atin Ito excels at expanding its influence in a people-friendly manner. For example, it manufactures and sells exclusive brand accessories, handicrafts, or tourist souvenirs. Through this method, it raises funds for activities, promotes its image, and advocates its political stance.

Ding said that, "the Atin Ito coalition seems to be a so-called non-profit civil organization, as it intentionally downplays its political color in its official website introduction and propaganda campaign, but in fact, it has a certain political background. This is first reflected in the fact that the actual leader of the organization, Rafaela David, is also the chairman of the Akbayan Party in the Philippines. Although this political party is relatively small in the Philippine political arena, it has been using various political issues in the Philippines to increase its presence and influence in recent years. Atin Ito and the Akbayan Party present a complementary relationship, as the Akbayan Party provides political resources for the activities of Atin Ito, and the activities organized by Atin Ito can increase the exposure of Rafaela David, granting her more political benefits."

Philippine media reports showed that the Akbayan Party has been an active participant and organizer of many anti-China demonstrations in the Philippines, and Atin Ito was often present at these events. In return, the Akbayan Party actively gathers Philippine political figures to support the activities of Atin Ito.

Philippine media Palwan News reported in March that Philippine political figures such as Senator Risa Hontiveros, former ambassador Victoria Bataclan and civilian opinion leaders, as well as representatives from the British, Australian, Dutch, Swedish, and European Union embassies attended a photo exhibit and film screen held in Manila that month, when Altin Ito announced Huangyan Dao as a potential destination for its next mission of "delivering aid to fisherfolk." This highlighted the close ties between the coalition and the party.

In addition, the militaries of the Philippines and the US also do not hide their relations with Atin Ito. The Philippine Star, on May 3, reported that, Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, a Philippine Navy spokesman, voiced support on May 2 for Atin Ito's upcoming "civilian supply mission" to Huangyan Dao. "And so long as they abide by all the guidelines given by the government, we support all activities, civic society," he said.

Philippine naval vessels or Philippine Coast Guard vessels were also often seen accompanying Atin Ito's activities in their previous activities in the South China Sea, Philippine media reports showed.

A report titled America's Project Myoushu and the Philippine's Atin Ito Coalition is gearing up for a proof of concept that may lead us to war published on the Philippine-based Asian Century Journal in December 2023 asked, "Who is funding the Atin Ito Coalition and their operations? A marine convoy like this involves a tremendous amount of logistical planning and support not to mention the financial means to undertake one." It further questioned, "Who are the people behind the Atin Ito Coalition? They claim it's a civil society group aiming to further our country's vital security interests yet they defy our National Security Council's advice."

Citing an article titled Lighting Up The Gray Zone by US Air Force Captain Benjamin Goirigolzarri published on the US Naval Institute's website, the Asian Century Journal report said that the US established a new strategy in the South China Sea called Project Myoushu, which is a derivative of the US Naval Institute's Maritime Counterinsurgency (COIN) Project tailored specifically to counter China's "dominance" in the South China Sea. The project previously hyped the China Coast Guard's law enforcement operations in the South China Sea, attempted to incite public opinion and push for governments of countries in the South China Sea to become hard on China, and damaged the peace China and other countries in the region have created.

The Asian Century Journal report deduced that the Atin Ito Coalition is indeed a joint US-Philippines effort, as the Project Myoushu is described as an independent, civil society-led initiative that maintains separation from potential public perceptions of bias and bureaucratic obstacles that can hinder government-led efforts.

Further evidence the report provided is that the Project Myoushu as a concept was presented only in Manila in January 2023 at a conference hosted by local think tank Stratbase, and the report suggested that Stratbase is funded by the US. "So, there they are hiding in plain sight where no one is looking -- America's manipulative hands still pulling the Philippine government's strings," the report said.

Underestimated China's determination

Whether it is the so-called Philippine non-governmental organizations such as the Atin Ito coalition, or Project Myoushu behind it, their operating patterns are nothing more than orchestrated shows and staged behaviors to exert public opinion pressure on China, undermine China's efforts of pursuing peace in the South China Sea, and try to force China to make concessions over its sovereignty in the South China Sea issue. However, the Philippine politicians with these calculations clearly underestimated China's determination and will to safeguard its sovereignty.

Ding said that Atin Ito's plan cannot reach its goals. Given China's ability to safeguard sovereignty and maritime rights on Huangyan Dao, no matter what form or scale the Philippines uses to infringe and provoke, it will definitely be met with strong countermeasures.

Videos released by Philippine media showed that when dealing with the Philippines' infringement actions in waters off Huangyan Dao, the China Coast Guard's law enforcement forces have rich methods. During the handling process, a series of measures including verbal warnings, navigation route restrictions, and warning shots with water cannons were used based on different situations. Such law enforcement actions were conducted in accordance with laws and regulations, and were reasonable, powerful, but also restrained. It shows that China will resolutely safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, and will not give the Philippines any space for hype from a legal perspective.

Chen Xiangmiao, director of the World Navy Research Center at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times that some fanatics in the Philippines are driven by a revanchist mentality and repeatedly stage "the Farmer and the Snake" scenarios, attempting to copy the Ren'ai Jiao model - pursuing territorial sovereignty in the name of so-called fishing boat replenishment. In this regard, China's patience definitely has limits.

The normalization of the Philippines' trespasses is seeing confrontation replacing dialogue and cooperation as the main line for China and the Philippines to resolve conflicts over Huangyan Dao. The Marcos Jr administration's tough actions may earn diplomatic applause from the US and the West, but the frequent and tense confrontations on the frontline have also restrained the huge military, police and diplomatic energy of both the Philippines and China. Other than wasting economic investment and escalating the risk of unexpected events at sea, such moves have no other valuable benefits, Chen said.

China remains engine for global growth and attractive destination for investment: FM

China's stable economic growth and opening-up will continue to make the country an engine for global growth and promising destination for foreign investment. China welcomes foreign enterprises to continue to invest in the country, deepen their presence and be successful, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday.

The remarks came following the European Commission recently upgrading its forecast for China's 2024 economic growth to 4.8 percent, up by 0.2 percentage points compared with its previous projection.

In the first quarter of the year, the Chinese economy got off to a strong start, with GDP growth hitting 5.3 percent year-on-year. In April, the country's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the domestic manufacturing sector was reported at 50.4. Last month, the country's foreign trade soared 8 percent to 3.64 trillion yuan, hitting a new high compared with corresponding historical period, official data showed.

The upward recovery momentum has made the international community positive on the Chinese economy and increase investment in China. Recently, international financial institutions including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS have upgraded their forecasts for China's economic growth this year.

The Asian Development Bank data estimated China will account for 46 percent of growth in developing Asia in 2024-25.

Foreign investors' confidence in China is on the rise. The country improved its ranking as an attractive destination to invest over the next three years, jumping to the third place from the seventh in 2023, and continuing to lead emerging markets, according to a report recently released by consulting firm Kearney.

China seeks development amid continued opening-up, and welcomes the world to share China's opportunities, Wang said at a regular press conference. China's stable economic growth and continuous opening-up will make the country a global economic growth engine and a promising investment for companies from all countries, said the spokesperson.

GT Voice: Innovative ways needed to move China-Japan-S.Korea trilateral cooperation forward

While external forces have complicated relations among China, Japan and South Korea, the new challenges facing regional economic development have also spurred them to seek new avenues for cooperation in the current global political and economic landscape. This has been a key factor in the increasing signs of warming trilateral cooperation.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Business Federation and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade plan to co-host a trilateral business summit later this month in Seoul, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday.

The gathering has been held since 2009 with the goal of expanding Northeast Asian economic cooperation and exchanges. Most recently, the event was held in 2019 in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Although the resumption of the gathering has not been officially confirmed, the eagerness of South Korea to advance trilateral cooperation is palpable. However, the future of trilateral cooperation will ultimately depend on the determination of Japan and South Korea to expand their cooperation and their ability to resist pressure from the US.

There is no question that China, Japan and South Korea possess the necessary foundation for economic and trade cooperation. Enhancing economic cooperation among the three countries is not only essential for regional development, but will also be crucial in promoting peace and prosperity in East Asia and globally. However, it is geopolitical factors, rather than economic considerations, that have impeded their collaboration.

As a result of the recent "decoupling" push by the US, Japan and South Korea, as key Asian allies of the US, have aligned their stance with the US on various issues, including taking a tough approach toward China in areas such as supply chains, science and technology. However, this misjudgment has had a significant impact on their own economies and trade.

For instance, South Korea's exports decreased 7.4 percent year-on-year in 2023, and it also recorded a trade deficit of $18 billion with China in 2023, its first such bilateral shortfall with China in 31 years, according to media reports.

Facing growing economic pressure and risks from following the US "decoupling" push, Japan and South Korea appear to be reassessing the significance of their relationships with China and are more inclined to enhance communication with China.

However, to achieve effective trilateral communication and cooperation, Japan and South Korea need not only to demonstrate sincerity in improving relations, but more importantly, the three parties need to find innovative ways to collaborate amid the US push for "decoupling" and "breaking chains," as failure to do so will result in consequences for all parties involved.

Enhancing mutual trust and promoting cooperation can only be achieved through the establishment of more frequent dialogue and communication mechanisms. In order to resist US pressure, China, Japan and South Korea could lessen their reliance on a single external market by enhancing cooperation within a multilateral framework. One way to achieve this is by expediting negotiations for the China-Japan-South Korea free trade agreement to broaden collaboration in trade, investment, technology exchanges and environmental protection. Additionally, cooperation could be bolstered within the ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea mechanism to promote the growth of the entire region.

In terms of mitigating risks, China, Japan and South Korea could focus on diversifying their supply chains by identifying alternative sources and improving the connectivity of their internal supply chains.

Additionally, they can address external pressures through policy coordination and information sharing, while also fostering cultural and talent exchanges to seek mutually beneficial solutions that uphold their respective national interests.

Moreover, the three can strengthen cooperation in some non-sensitive or non-strategic areas, such as environmental protection, climate change, renewable energy and public health.

Only by working together can the three countries achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. There is no alternative. Despite the challenges, it is crucial to resist the pressure by the US as a way to promote cooperation and avoid losses by the three parties. As East Asia remains the most vital engine of the global economy, the way in which these three countries collaborate will significantly influence global development.

Tagging ‘overcapacity’ on Chinese new energy products groundless; a pretext to implement trade protective measures: NDRC

Chinese economic officials have slammed the hyped “overcapacity” tag on Chinese new energy products on Friday, calling it “a carefully crafted narrative trap created by some countries with the aim of making it a pretext to implement trade protective measures.” While voicing strong objection to the action, they also warn against its dire consequences, which will disrupt the stability and smooth flow of global supply chains, hinder the global green transition and eventually backfire on the initiators of trade protectionism.

For some time, certain officials and media outlets in some countries have intensively accused China’s new energy products of “overcapacity.” These hypes are attempts to set the stage for unilateralism and the implementation of trade protection policies, according to an article posted on Friday on the WeChat account of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner.

Those allegations on China’s new energy products do not hold ground as they are neither in line with facts nor economic rules, the NDRC article said, while rebutting every piece of the fallacy with solid proof and data.

With regards to the claim that “the overcapacity of China’s new energy exports was a result of insufficient domestic market and thus have to sell to the global market at a low price,” the NDRC blasted it with a reference to the fundamental law of international industrial division and cooperation.

Take the US exports as an example, it noted. About 80 percent of high-end chips produced in the US are destined for export, and the country is also the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, while one-fifth of US agricultural products are shipped to China, however, the US has not been accused of exporting “overcapacity” in these areas. In contrast, China’s new energy vehicle (NEV) exports only represented 12.5 percent of its total output last year, showing that China's new energy products currently mainly satisfy domestic demand.

It is also key to view the global supply-demand relationship from a developmental perspective, or the demand of global market and its development potential, the NDRC said, lambasting the claim that “China’s new energy capacity has surpassed global demand, making other countries unable to absorb.”

The NDRC highlighted a bunch of data by IEA which showed that the forecasted global demand for NEVs and power battery by 2030 will be almost five times from China’s capacity in relevant industries in 2023. In terms of the cumulative photovoltaic installed capacity, the projected global demand by 2030 is calculated to be around 9 times from China’s capacity in 2023. All underscore huge room for future demand growth.

On the one hand, the advantage is built upon a vast domestic market, a complete industrial system, intense market competition and continuous technological innovation under market mechanism, the NDRC pointed out. On the other hand, individual country has been encouraging and supporting the growth of relevant industries amid global green transition, and in particular the US is providing prodigious subsidies and tax incentives to new energy industries through legislation such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

There isn't a “China overcapacity,” but a US overcapacity of anxiety stemming from a lack of confidence and smears against China, Lin Jian, spokesperson from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press briefing on April 30.

During US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s recent visit to China, he pointed finger at China over the so-called “unfair trade practices and the potential consequences of industrial overcapacity to global and US markets,” naming some industries including electric vehicles, batteries, and solar panels. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently reiterated in an interview with Reuters the "overcapacity" in China, claiming that the so-called overcapacity in China is not only a problem faced by the US, but also by Europe, Japan, India and Mexico.

It is indeed despicable and hypocritical for nations to proclaim that addressing global climate change is their “noble mission,” while simultaneously adopting protectionist measures under the pretext of “overcapacity” to suppress the development of new energy industries in other countries, according to the NDRC article.

Such actions not only undermine the global efforts to combat climate change but will also backfire, the NDRC warned, while citing a list of examples from the past decades that show that there’s no winner out of trade protectionism.

Also, the moves could wreak havoc on the stable operation of global new energy industry supply chains, creating “blockages,” “choke points,” and “breakpoints” that affect the efficiency of economic operations and may even trigger various potential risks, the NDRC stressed.

“Economic globalization has become a major trend. Countries are interdependent and integrated into a community of shared interests. Being open and inclusive, and pursuing win-win cooperation is the only correct choice,” the NDRC article concluded, urging countries to oppose the politicization of economic and trade issues or make them security issues, advocate for “tearing down walls rather than building them, for openness rather than isolation, for integration rather than decoupling, and promote the construction of an open world economy.”