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China

China’s top diplomat visits Vietnam ahead of likely Xi trip

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected in Vietnam Friday, paving the way for a possible visit by President Xi Jinping this month.

Wang will co-chair the 15th session of the Vietnam-China Bilateral Cooperation Steering Committee, an annual event, with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the Chinese foreign minister will have talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son and greet Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Vo Van Thuong. 

Xi – who is also the Chinese Communist Party General Secretary – was originally expected to visit Hanoi in October or November for talks with his counterpart Trong, who was in Beijing last year. Instead, Xi traveled to San Francisco for November’s APEC summit and a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden. His Vietnam visit is now expected to take place from Dec. 14-16.

Since Trong’s 2022 China trip Vietnam has elevated its relations with the U.S. to a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” putting it on a par with China, along with India, Russia and South Korea. This week Vietnam also conferred its top partnership ranking on Japan during a visit to Tokyo by its president Vo Van Thuong.

Courting Vietnam

Improved relations with Vietnam are likely to help the U.S. and Japan diversify supply chains and reduce their reliance on a politically and economically turbulent China. That in turn seems to have prompted Beijing to seek even stronger ties with Hanoi.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong raise a toast after witnessing a signing ceremony of a dozen bilateral agreements following their official talks at the VCP’s Headquarters in Hanoi on November 5, 2015. (Reuters)

Carl Thayer, a Vietnam analyst and emeritus professor at the Australian Defense Force Academy in Canberra, said when Xi visits Hanoi he will likely want to discuss the same issues with Trong that U.S. President Joe Biden raised with the Vietnamese leader during their September meeting:

“[I]mproving the efficiency and stability of bilateral supply chains, creating better conditions for Chinese businesses to invest and operate in Vietnam, enhancing cooperation in e-commerce and the digital economy, increased science and technology joint research, education and training exchanges, … green development and climate change response, public health cooperation, protection of water resources along the Lancang-Mekong River, cross-border tourism and cultural exchanges, and coordination on international issues.”

China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner with bilateral trade rising 5.5% last year to US$175.5 billion, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao also visited Vietnam this week pledging to deepen trading ties and open the Chinese market to more agricultural imports.

Despite an improving trade relationship, Vietnam and China have clashed frequently over territorial claims in the South China Sea. Hoang Viet, an expert on the issue, told Radio Free Asia that Beijing is likely to tone down its rhetoric, in order to avoid souring top level relations.

“In anticipation of Xi Jinping’s visit to Vietnam, China may exercise maximum restraint to create a more moderate atmosphere,” he said.

Despite their differences in the South China Sea, China and Vietnam have been holding joint patrols between their navies and coast guards in the Gulf of Tonkin in November and December.

Beijing and Hanoi said the patrols aimed “to carry forward the traditional friendship and deepen mutual trust between the two countries, as well as further promote mutual understanding between the two militaries.”

Edited by Elaine Chan and Taejun Kang.

RFA Vietnamese contributed to this story.

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Canberra ties the knot with Washington

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Canberra ties the knot with Washington

Abstract

Australia has shifted its strategy towards favoring the United States over China due to increasing fear of Chinese power and the competitive Indo-Pacific environment.

The ‘riding two horses’ strategy adopted by Canberra over the past 25 years has shifted in favor of the US alliance to counter China’s growing power. Previous prime ministers sought to balance relations between China and the US, with Kevin Rudd aiming for ‘true friendship’ with China while also promising military intervention if needed. Tony Abbott’s approach was driven by ‘fear and greed’, and John Howard acknowledged the benefits of a relationship with both countries.

However, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed a desire to strengthen the US alliance and cooperate with China while also engaging in Australia’s national interest. This shift is evident in actions such as sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait and introducing legislation to facilitate the AUKUS security partnership.

The Indo-Pacific environment has become more competitive, leading Australia to prioritize fear over greed in its alignment. As China’s GDP continues to rise and may overtake the US by 2030, Canberra’s strategy is likely to continue favoring alignment with Washington due to the lack of a viable alternative for addressing its fear of China’s power.

Read the complete article on East Asia Forum

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2024 China IIT Reconciliation: Appointment Through IIT App Opens on February 21st

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Annual IIT reconciliation for 2023 must be done from March 1 to June 30, 2024. Final tax settlement appointments must be made after February 21, 2024. The process involves checking and reporting on IIT paid and deducted in 2023 to calculate refundable or supplementary tax.


Annual IIT reconciliation for the year 2023 is required to be made during the period from March 1 to June 30, 2024. For those who need to make the final tax settlement between March 1 to March 20, they need to make an appointment after February 21, 2024.

On February 1, 2024, the State Taxation Administration (STA) issued the Announcement on Matters Relating to the Final Settlement of Individual Income Tax on Consolidated Income for the Year 2023 (the Announcement), clarifying matters related to the annual individual income tax (IIT) reconciliation for the year 2023.

Annual IIT reconciliation, or annual IIT settlement, is a process applied to individual taxpayers on their comprehensive income (an individual’s combined income of wages and salaries, remuneration from labor services, author’s remuneration, and royalties), to make sure their IIT paid in the previous tax year is accurate.

During the process, individual taxpayers will need to recheck their IIT paid and deducted in the tax year, calculate the refundable or supplementary tax payable, report to the tax authorities, and make the tax settlement.

In this article, we introduce key issues related to the annual IIT reconciliation in 2024 and the key changes as compared to previous years.

After the end of the year 2023, a resident individual is required to consolidate his/her four types of comprehensive income, namely wages and salaries, remuneration for personal services, author’s remuneration, and royalties obtained from January 1 to December 31, 2023, to compute the final tax payable amount. The taxpayer needs to deduct the prepaid tax amount in 2023 to obtain the tax refundable or the tax to be made up amount. Further, the taxpayer is required to declare to tax authorities for a tax refund or tax to be made up.

Tax Refundable or Tax to Be Made Up = [(Annual Comprehensive Income – RMB 60,000- Special Deductions – Special Additional Deductions – Other Deductions Determined Pursuant to the Law – Qualified Public Welfare And Charitable Donations) × Applicable Tax Rate – Quick Deduction] – Prepaid Tax Amount

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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The Year of the Dragon brings record-breaking travel and consumption during the 2024 Chinese Spring Festival

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The Chinese New Year holiday saw a remarkable recovery in the tourist industry, with travel numbers and revenues exceeding 2023 and pre-pandemic levels. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism reported unprecedented growth, showcasing the industry’s resilience despite the COVID-19 pandemic.


The tourist industry registered significant growth during this year’s Chinese New Year (CNY) holidays, the first to be completely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the latest figure released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, both travel numbers and tourism-related revenues reached unprecedented levels, surpassing figures registered during the 2023 Chinese New Year while also surpassing pre-COVID-19 levels.

Rebound in domestic and international travels

According to the data released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Sunday, domestic tourism registered a remarkable performance during this year’s eight-day celebration.

The data reveals a significant surge in domestic trips, totaling 474 million trips made across the country from February 10 to February 18, marking a notable increase of 34.4 percent compared to the same period in 2023. This figure attracted special attention as it was a 19 percent rise compared with that in 2019.

The surge in travel within the country was facilitated by traditional transportation models, such as railways, civil aircraft, and waterways. Additionally, this year there has been also an increase in travelers embarking on independent road trips, partially due to the current rise in popularity of electric cars in China. This trend was further encouraged by the government’s efforts to stimulate the purchase of these vehicles as a way to boost domestic consumption. To cater to this trend, provinces ensured the temporary deployment of additional recharging stations in service areas, ensuring a seamless travel experience for travelers.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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