Is it Xi’s Turn to be Written into China’s Communist Party Constitution?
Nectar Gan, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
Communist Party leader Xi Jinping could see his name enshrined in the Party’s theoretical pantheon this autumn, sources say, with an eponymous ideological “banner term” likely to be written into the Party’s constitution at its National Congress. Such a move would place Xi on a par with late leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, and analysts said that would speak volumes about his consolidation of power. However, with the Party’s 19th National Congress still more than half a year away, there is still time for possible resistance and intense horse-trading within the top echelon of power. The Party Congress will mark the end of Xi’s first five-year term in power and see a major reshuffle of the Party’s top leadership.
Fidel and Raúl Castro’s Youngest Sister, Agustina, Passes Away
Cafe Fuerte, HAVANA TIMES
Agustina del Carmen Castro Ruz, the youngest of Fidel and Raúl Castro’s siblings, passed away this Sunday in Havana aged 78 years old, close family sources have confirmed. Agustina’s death took place at about 7 a.m., the result of a bout of pneumonia. She had suffered from Alzheimers and her disease had become worse in recent months, to the point that she could no longer identify family members. Fulfilling her last wish, her remains were cremated. The family is waiting for their sister Enma Castro Ruz, who is living in Mexico, to arrive in order to hold the private funeral. A mass of remembrance was offered this Sunday at a church in Havana.
Russia, North Korea Sign “Labor Immigration” Accord
Elizabeth Shim, UPI
Russia and North Korea are deepening bilateral relations with a “labor immigration agreement.” The development reflects a general trend of increased cooperation between the two countries that recently included plans to increase railroad cooperation and boost study abroad exchanges for North Korean students. Russia is also one of the top destinations for North Korea’s forced laborers, who are sent to work in labor-intensive industries in the country to earn foreign currency for the Kim Jong-un regime. It’s estimated about 40,000 North Koreans now work in the country. North Korean laborers often work in unsafe conditions, and are susceptible to accidents, suicide or falling prey to disease at work sites in Russia, Africa and the Middle East.
Missing Taiwanese Man May Be in China
Chris Horton, THE NEW YORK TIMES
The disappearance of a Taiwanese activist for human rights and democratic causes has raised fears that he may have been detained by the Chinese authorities. The man, Lee Ming-cheh, has not been heard from since last Sunday morning, when he boarded a flight from Taipei to Macau, according to friends and relatives. Mr. Lee had crossed from Macau into mainland China, but his whereabouts have been a mystery since then, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, a cabinet-level agency that deals with China-related issues, said recently. China has issued no statements about Mr. Lee.
Democrats Question Potential Kushner Deal With China’s Anbang
Robert Schmidt, BLOOMBERG
Five Democratic lawmakers are raising ethics concerns about a Chinese conglomerate’s potential investment in a Manhattan office building owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser. The lawmakers asked the White House in a March 24 letter to explain whether Kushner was involved in any talks about the possible partnership with China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. They also asked for additional details on Kushner’s divestment from his family’s company, Kushner Cos. “This deal, if executed, would appear to present a clear conflict of interest,” the lawmakers wrote to Stefan Passantino, White House deputy counsel. Anbang has “close ties to the Chinese state,” they added.
Venezuela’s Maduro Admits to Humanitarian Crisis—Calls on UN for Help
Carlos Camacho, LATIN AMERICAN HERALD TRIBUNE
Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro admitted Friday on live television that the country has a shortage of medicines, which in turn necessitates help from the United Nations. “I request the support of the United Nations to regularize the situation with medicines,” he said during a televised event. “I have asked for support from the United Nations in order to tend to the social and economic wounds that the economic war has inflicted on our people, as well as the abrupt fall in oil prices, in order to regularize everything that has to do with medicines and in order to strengthen the health care systems,” Maduro added.