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China will appoint Guo Shuqing, icon of liberal market, as the next governor of the central bank

in ASIA/ECONOMY/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

China is likely to name Guo Shuqing, a key figure in China’s market reform camp as the next central bank governor. Guo, the current chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, is currently ahead of the other candidates for the post including Jiang Chaoliang, the Hubei party secretary; Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the People’s Bank of China and Liu Shiyu, the chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission said one source, who declined to be named. If the appointment of Guo, 61, who holds similar liberal views to the retiring governor Zhou Xiaochuan, is confirmed in the coming weeks, it will ensure the presence of a well-known market believer in President Xi Jinping’s economic team  a development that could help to shore up confidence that Xi is not totally sidelining market liberalisation. Guo was a deputy central bank governor and the chief of State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe), the agency that runs China’s capital control and foreign exchange reserves, from 2001 to 2005.

He became chairman of China Construction Bank in 2005 after his predecessor was toppled for graft. In that role he restarted the bank’s joint-stock restructuring and floated its shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai. “Both Zhou and Guo have a liberal streak in their thinking and both understand market economics very well,” John Wong, a professorial fellow at the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore, said. Guo’s experiences in different posts as a scholar, a banker, a provincial governor and a regulator had made him “politically very shrewd”, he said, another critical skill that is needed to navigate the vested interests within the government and to seek compromise and consensus. In the latest institutional move, for instance, China decided to create a financial development and stability committee that is likely to be headed by a vice-premier. The central bank will have an office to run the day-to-day affairs of the agency. “Guo is of the same vein [as Zhou in understanding what China needs],” Fraser Howie, director of Newedge Financial in Singapore, said. “The problem though is, as Zhou states, too much interference and fear from other ministries.”

MEFA condemns Greece intervention in Albania’s Interior Affairs

in EUROPE/POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEFA) expresses the deepest indignation for the provocative langùage and unprecedented intervention characterizing the statement issued one day ago by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Greece. Through an official statement issued on Friday the MEFA denounced the violation of the diplomatic practice by the Greek authorities through the involvement in a domestic political debate.  Through an official statement issued on Friday the MEFA denounced the violation of the diplomatic practice by the Greek authorities through the involvement in a domestic political debate. Involvement in the domestic political debate in Albania and the fact that these issues, currently under consideration by the justice institutions, are mentioned in this statement constitutes a violation of the diplomatic practice and the spirit of good neighborhood and strategic relations between two countries.

19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China to plan for political reform

in ASIA/POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will map out overall reform measures about the country’s political system and other systems, a spokesman for the congress said Tuesday. Based on the systematic review of achievements and experience of reform in the past, the congress will strive to address outstanding issues that have emerged in practice and work out overall reform measures, Tuo Zhen told reporters. “We will unswervingly move toward the goal of improving and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernizing China’s state governance system and capability”, Tuo said.  “All the achievements China has made in reform and development since the launch of reform and opening up nearly four decades ago will not be possible without political system reform, and this will remain the case in the future”, he said. The spokesman said China has achieved major and historic achievements in political system reform, which have provided important guarantee for deepening reform in other fields and created better conditions for economic and social development. China will not copy and replicate the models of other countries in political system reform, the spokesman said. “Our unique cultural traditions, unique historic experience and unique national conditions determine that we must pursue a path of development suited to our own features”, he said.

Oil jumps on fears of new Iran sanctions, Iraq conflict

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Oil markets jumped on Monday on concerns over potential renewed US sanctions against Iran as well as conflict in Iraq, while a falling US rig count supported prices there. Traders said that worries over renewed US sanctions against Iran were pushing prices up. US President Donald Trump struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal on Friday, defying both US allies and adversaries by refusing to formally certify that Tehran is complying with the accord even though international inspectors say it is. Under US law, the president must certify every 90 days to Congress that Iran is complying with the deal. The US Congress will now have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the pact. During the previous round of sanctions against Iran, some 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil supplies were cut off global markets. While analysts said they did not expect renewed sanctions to have such a big impact again, especially as the United States would likely act alone, they did warn that such a move would be disruptive.

US Angry at IRGC over Battle with Daesh

in POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

A former Iranian foreign minister attributed the US plan to designate the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps as a terrorist organization to the IRGC’s effectual war against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group which he said benefits from the backing of Washington. Without the IRGC’s advisory support for Baghdad and Damascus, Daesh would have undoubtedly dominated Iraq and Syria, Head of the Founding Council and Board of Trustees of the Islamic Azad University Ali Akbar Velayati told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, after a meeting with Syria’s ambassador to Iran. That is why the Americans, namely the sponsors of Daesh militants, are angry at the IRGC, he said, adding that they are unable to harm the IRGC, underlining the Iranian nation’s unity and support for the IRGC and the country’s territorial integrity.

 

Hassan Rouhani said that Iranian government was determined to develop friendly ties with neighboring countries

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed that his government was determined to develop cooperation friendly relations with neighboring countries, including Armenia, and there were no restrictions on this. In a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan on Tuesday, Rouhani described the two countries’ relations and cooperation positive, saying, “Development of relations with Armenia, as a friend and neighboring country, has always been important for Iran”. Referring to the historical, cultural and civilization relations of Iran and Armenia in the region and the common positions of the two countries in various international stages, the president noted, “Today, political, social and cultural relations of Tehran and Yerevan are in good conditions, but in the field of business and economic relations and cooperation, more effort is needed to maximize the potentials of developing relations to serve the two nations”.

Israeli minister hits out at Trump for stalling on US embassy move

in POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

A Israeli minister has broken ranks to criticise Donald Trump for failing to deliver on his election campaign promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, after the Trump administration suggested over the weekend there was little chance of the mission being relocated in the near future. Ze’ev Elkin, minister for Jerusalem affairs and environmental protection, said keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv would not advance peace and warned Israel could approve further construction in the occupied Palestinian territories.

 

 

 

U.S. and Turkey announced travel restriction in sign of deteriorating alliance

in POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The increasingly strained alliance between Turkey and the United States took a sharp downward turn Sunday when both governments abruptly announced they were canceling most visitor visas between the countries, sowing confusion among travelers and exposing a widening rift between the NATO partners. The crisis began when the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, announced it was immediately suspending all non­immigrant visa services at diplomatic facilities across Turkey. The move appeared to be retaliatory, coming days after the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrested an employee of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul.

 

Turkey asks US for ‘immediate action’ in providing visa services to Turkish citizens

in POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the morning of Oct. 9, following the U.S.’s decision to halt visa services in the country, according to sources. During the meeting, two general directors of the ministry asked the U.S. official to secure “immediate relief” to the unjust treatment of Turkish citizens, sources told the Hürriyet Daily News. Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ümit Yalçın spoke on the phone with U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass late on Oct. 8, following the U.S Embassy statement announcing suspension of visa services. Sources say Ankara’s suspension of all non-immigrant visa services at Turkish diplomatic facilities in the U.S. in retaliation at the U.S. visa move will go into effect late on Oct. 9. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has already removed the e-visa application section for the U.S. from its official website.

 

Nabih Berri: “Holding the elections on time has become a confirmed issue and the polls will definitely be organized”

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Speaker Nabih Berri assured that the next parliamentary elections will be held in time, as the Western embassies reported that they have warned against any new extension of the term of the legislature.

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