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Ambassador Wang Lixin: China Firmly Opposes Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s Visit to China’s Taiwan Region

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On 3 August, Ambassador Wang Lixin received interview by several Maldivian local media and expressed the Chinese side’s strong position on Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to China’s Taiwan region as followings:

On 2 August, in disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited China’s Taiwan region. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence”. China firmly opposes and sternly condemns this, and has made serious démarche and strong protest to the United States.

There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. This has been clearly recognized by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 of 1971. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, 181 countries have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. The one-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations.

In 1979, the United States made a clear commitment in the China-U.S. Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations — “The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.” Congress, as a part of the U.S. Government, is inherently obliged to strictly observe the one-China policy of the U.S. Government and refrain from having any official exchanges with China’s Taiwan region. China is all along opposed to the visit to Taiwan by U.S. congressional members, and the U.S. executive branch has the responsibility to stop such visit. Since Speaker Pelosi is the incumbent leader of the U.S. Congress, her visit to and activities in Taiwan, in whatever form and for whatever reason, is a major political provocation to upgrade U.S. official exchanges with Taiwan. China absolutely does not accept this, and the Chinese people absolutely reject this.

The Taiwan question is the most important and most sensitive issue at the very heart of China-U.S. relations. The Taiwan Strait is facing a new round of tensions and severe challenges, and the fundamental cause is the repeated moves by the Taiwan authorities and the United States to change the status quo. The Taiwan authorities have kept seeking U.S. support for their independence agenda. They refuse to recognize the 1992 Consensus, go all out to push forward “de-sinicization”, and promote “incremental independence”. The United States, for its part, has been attempting to use Taiwan to contain China. It constantly distorts, obscures and hollows out the one-China principle, steps up its official exchanges with Taiwan, and emboldens “Taiwan independence” separatist activities. These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it.

The position of the Chinese Government and people on the Taiwan question has been consistent. It is the firm commitment of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people to resolutely safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is the common aspiration and sacred responsibility of all Chinese sons and daughters to realize the complete reunification of the motherland. The will of the people is not to be defied, and the trend of the times cannot be reversed. No country, no forces and no individual should ever misestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese Government and people to defend state sovereignty and territorial integrity and to achieve national reunification and rejuvenation. China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the U.S. Speaker’s visit. All the consequences arising therefrom must be borne by the U.S. side and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

The one-China principle is the prevailing consensus of the international community and a widely-accepted basic norm in international community. It is also the political foundation of China’s relations with Maldives. China values its friendship with Maldives and places importance on developing our bilateral relations. The Maldivian Government has a longstanding commitment on the one-China principle and does not support “Taiwan independence”. China highly appreciates this position. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Maldives. We hope that both sides will uphold the original good will of establishing the diplomatic ties, continue to carry forward the traditional friendship, deepen the bilateral cooperation, support each other on issues of our respective core interests and major concerns and work together to further promote development of China-Maldives future-oriented comprehensive and friendly partnership. We believe the Maldivian Government will continue to firmly support China on issues concerning its core interests and support China’s efforts in defending sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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Chief of Defence Force inducted into International Fellows Hall of Fame

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Chief of Defence Force Major General Abdulla Shamaal has been inducted into the International Fellows Hall of Fame at the National Defence University (NDU) in Washington, DC, United States (US).

Major General Shamaal received the award at the International Fellows Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at the Sydney Sheraton Grand Hotel. Lieutenant General Michael Plehn, the President of the NDU, presented the certificate and memento of induction into the International Fellows Hall of Fame.

Major General Shamaal is the first Maldivian to be awarded the honour. He and four others from four countries have been awarded the honour. He completed a Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies from the NDU in 2012 and was awarded the Distinguished Honour Graduate of the course.

The International Fellows Hall of Fame was established in 1999. The purpose of the programme is to provide a prestigious and visible means of honouring NDU graduates who have attained through merit the highest positions in their nation’s armed forces, service component, or government, or who have held an equivalent position in a multinational organisation. The members of the International Fellows Hall of Fame are recognised in a formal ceremony on the NDU campus. Their photographs are displayed in Marshall Hall in the Hall of Fame area.

 

Source: psmnews

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Management plans to be implemented this year for two protected areas in Baa Atoll

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The Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office has stated management plans will be formulated and implemented this year for two more areas in the atoll declared as protected areas.

Baa Atoll currently has 10 protected areas, of which three areas have a management plan. These three areas are Hanifaru, Olhugiri and Mendhoo region.

The Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office revealed management plans are being formulated for two more areas, to be implemented this year. As such, management plans are to be implemented this year for the areas of Angafaru and Goidhoo Koaru.

Angafaru was declared protected on June 6, 2009. The protected area includes Dhonfanuthila, Dhiguthila and Mahaanagaa. The area used to be a breeding ground for both grey and white tip reef sharks. However, reef shark numbers have dramatically decreased from the site due to overfishing

Goidhoo Koaru, located on the northern side on the inhabited island of Goidhoo, was declared protected on June 5, 2011. This area has the highest biodiversity and largest mangrove forest within Baa Atoll. It is one of the largest mangrove ecosystems within the nation and has a high biodiversity population of mangrove associated vertebrates and invertebrates. This site is also a popular roosting site for migratory birds such as the Ruddy Turnstone and Northern Shoveler.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has declared Baa Atoll as a biosphere reserve for an additional 10 years. UNESCO has instructed the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office to formulate and implement effective management plans for all protected areas in the region.

 

Source: psmnews

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World Bank welcomes proposed changes to GST

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The World Bank has welcomed proposed changes to Goods and Services Tax (GST) and has expressed support to the Government of Maldives in implementing economic reforms.

The Maldives Public Expenditure Review (PER) report published by World Bank noted the economy of Maldives is on the verge of recovery after an unprecedented shock caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. The report said key reforms can enhance the quality of public spending, strengthen debt management and debt transparency and collect more revenues to finance the development needs of the Maldives.

Furthermore, the report highlighted much of the increase in public spending and debt over the past five years has financed investments in basic services and infrastructure, especially housing. and while these investments can boost long-term growth, making public spending more efficient, transparent, and targeted towards the neediest groups, it is essential to contain the rapid rise in spending and debt. Such reforms are particularly important because economy is highly vulnerable to external shocks such as a global recession and climate change-induced natural disasters, noted the World Bank.

Regarding the report, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer said the report supports the efforts to reduce the risks to public finances and ensure that public money is well spent in order to secure a more resilient and prosperous future for all Maldivians.

Many of the reforms proposed in the PER intend to make the distribution of public spending more equitable. In the housing sector, for example, implementing income-based targeting would help improve the financial viability of the Rent-to-Own program while also promoting home ownership. As for public sector wages, the National Pay Commission could consider consolidating or eliminating most of the allowances that drive inequity and cap the overtime allowance. The new Public Service Pay Framework is a key first step in the right direction but strengthening wage bill controls and other related reforms is also needed to ensure that the reform is successful. Finally, reforms to eliminate double pensions in the civil sector and improve the coverage of the pension system are needed to ensure that both current and future retirees can benefit from the generous scheme.

The PER is a core analytical product of the World Bank which assesses the quality of government spending and identifies key fiscal reforms that countries need to undertake to achieve better growth and development outcomes. It is the first PER for the Maldives since 2002.

Source: psmnews

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