Executive Salaries at China’s Largest State Firms Linked to “Party Building” Efforts
Salaries of executives at China’s largest state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will be directly linked to their performance on tests by the ruling Communist Party to assess their “party building” efforts, state media said on Tuesday. Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has overseen a push to re-establish the party in Chinese business and institutions, stating that a “key few” loyal and talented officials should play a greater role in leading the country. These efforts, often described as efforts to strengthen party discipline, dovetail with Xi’s war on graft, a multi-year campaign to target offenders at all levels.
China Defends North Korea Trade After Its Trucks Haul Missiles
Matthew Brown, ABC NEWS
China defended its trade practices on Tuesday after Chinese-made vehicles were seen towing ballistic missiles during a North Korea military parade despite international sanctions against selling military hardware to Pyongyang. Saturday’s parade honoring North Korea’s country’s founder, Kim Il-sung, came amid heightened tensions over the country’s nuclear ambitions. It featured a senior official, Choe Ryong-hae, warning of “all-out war” if North Korea is attacked. Photos provided by the North Korean government showed the submarine-launched missiles being pulled by trucks bearing the logo of the Chinese company Sinotruk.
North Korea “Will Test Missiles Weekly,” Senior Official Tells BBC
North Korea will continue to test missiles, a senior official has told the BBC in Pyongyang, despite international condemnation and growing military tensions with the US. “We’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,” Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC’s John Sudworth. He said that an “all-out war” would result if the US took military action. Earlier, US Vice-President Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the US. Mr. Pence arrived in Seoul on Sunday hours after Pyongyang carried out a failed missile launch. Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC that North Korea believed its nuclear weapons “protect” it from the threat of US military action. “If the US is reckless enough to use military means it would mean from that very day, an all-out war,” he said.
The Hidden Messages in North Korea’s Military Parade
Max Fisher, THE NEW YORK TIMES
North Korea’s military parade on Saturday, more than rallying its citizens, appeared intended to send a message to the rest of us: the country is seeking a program sophisticated enough to fire a guaranteed nuclear retaliation in any war, including one day against the United States. In 2013, when North Korea unveiled a map with a war plan for nuclear strikes against major American cities, “we all fell out of our chairs laughing,” said Melissa R. Hanham, an analyst at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif. After a series of breakthroughs, including those shown on Saturday, they’re not laughing anymore, Ms. Hanham said: “The more they roll out, the more it looks like that is their actual plan.” That plan was conveyed in four missile systems that were paraded for the first time, two of which were new altogether.
Taiwan Gives Chinese Asylum Seeker Temporary Housing
Taiwan’s immigration department said Tuesday that it has provided temporary accommodation to a Chinese dissident who left his tour group intending to apply for political asylum in democratic Taiwan. Zhang Xiangzhong abandoned his fellow travelers on April 13, one day after arriving in Taipei on a package tour. He said he hoped to stay on the self-governing island to promote democracy on the Chinese mainland, which is ruled by the authoritarian Communist Party. Taiwan stopped offering political asylum to Chinese citizens to discourage illegal immigration and a string of plane hijackings in the 1990s by mainland citizens wanting to flee to Taiwan. The Taiwanese government says it sometimes offers long-term residence permits on a case-by-case basis.
US Carrier Not Near North Korea After All
David Jackson, USA TODAY
Turns out the United States didn’t have a strike carrier group near the Korean Peninsula in recent days amid tensions with North Korea. While President Trump said last week he had sent an “armada” as a warning to Kim Jong-un’s government, the carrier USS Carl Vinson and strike force warships were headed instead to the Indian Ocean for joint exercises with the Australian Navy, more than 3,000 miles from Korean Peninsula. The White House said it based its statements on guidance from the Defense Department.
Venezuela Slams Nations for “Meddling” Over Protest Call
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez has criticised as “rude meddling” a joint communique by 11 Latin American countries calling on Venezuela’s government to “guarantee the right to peaceful protest.” The 11 countries also condemned the death of six people in anti-government marches this month. The opposition is planning a mass protest for Wednesday. The government has called on its supporters to hold rival marches. Venezuela is deeply divided between those who support the government of the socialist President Nicolás Maduro and those who blame him for the country’s economic crisis and want him gone from power. Regional elections originally due to be held in December 2016 were postponed by the electoral council to 2017, but a date has not yet been set. Municipal elections are also due to be held in 2017.
Venezuela Quintuples Bolivarian Militias as Maduro Opponents Prepare for “Mother of All Protests”
Frederic Puglie, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The priest had just told parishioners to “go in peace” at the end of Mass on Easter Sunday when a truckload of heavily armed national guardsmen rolled past the 18th-century St. Philip Neri Cathedral in this small city outside Caracas. It was yet another reminder that in Venezuela, a country on the brink of political and economic collapse, peace may be an even scarcer commodity than food and medicine. That is particularly true in Los Teques, which for the past two weeks has been a hotbed of protests against embattled socialist President Nicolás Maduro. Confrontations continued to escalate over the weekend, with local residents burning tires and the Bolivarian National Guard launching tear gas bombs against residential buildings on Saturday night. Ostensibly to prevent looting, the guard on Sunday further “militarized” several neighborhoods, where it patrolled streets in armored vehicles.