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Assange sues Ecuador for violating 'fundamental rights'

‍WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sued the Ecuador government on Friday for violating his "fundamental rights" and limiting his access to the outside world while in asylum at its London embassy.The 47-year-old Australian's legal action comes with speculation mounting that Ecuador is preparing to end its standoff with the British government by terminating his high-profile stay.Assange found refuge in the embassy in 2012 after a British judge ruled he should be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault.That case has since been dropped but Assange fears being extradited to the United States to face charges over the WikiLeaks website's release of troves of sensitive US government files.WikiLeaks said its legal counsel Baltazar Garzon would launch a legal case against the government for "violating [Assange's] fundamental rights and freedom."Britain's Press Association news agency said the case is expected to be heard in Ecuador next week.WikiLeaks said its move comes almost seven months after Ecuador "threatened to remove his protection and summarily cut off his access to the outside world, including by refusing to allow journalists and human rights organizations to see him."Julian Assange speaks to media from the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London, May 19, 2017. /VCG PhotoIt added that the embassy was requiring Assange's visitors -- including journalists and lawyers -- to disclose "private or political details such as their social media usernames."Ecuador confirmed blocking Assange's internet and mobile phone access in March after accusing him of breaking "a written commitment" not to interfere in Ecuador's foreign policies.A protocol governing Assange's stay at the embassy -- revealed by Ecuadoran Internet site Codigo Vidrio and never denied by the country-- warns that further breaches will lead to "termination of asylum."The website reported that the embassy intends to stop paying for Assange's food and medical care in December.Under the protocol, Assange is to have his access to the Internet via the embassy wifi.Garzon told a press conference in Ecuador on Thursday that Assange was suing Ecuador Foreign Minister Jose Valencia over his "inhuman" living conditions at the embassy.Valencia said on Friday that Ecuador would "respond in an appropriate manner, in respect of the law."Ecuador "has full legal support for its position, because the protocol was adopted in accordance with international rules and Ecuadoran law," the minister said.Garzon told reporters in Quito that Assange was living in "an inhuman situation, because the solution that should already have been reached by the involved states is extending over time."US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in March 2017 that arresting Assange for leaking sensitive US government files was a "priority."‍(Top image: Julian Assange raises his fist prior to addressing the media on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London, May 19, 2017. /VCG Photo)(AFP)

Chinese premier pledges joint efforts with Greece to promote practical cooperation

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday pledged to initiate joint efforts between China and Greece to push for new achievements in practical cooperation marked by port projects in Piraeus.Li made the remarks during a meeting with his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, on the sidelines of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Brussels.Li called Greece a reliable friend and partner of China. He said China has attached great importance to its relations with Greece.He said the Chinese side is happy to witness the end of Greece's bailout program and that the country has opened a new chapter in socio-economic development.China is ready to join efforts with Greece to intensify high-level exchanges, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and achieve win-win results, to lift their comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level, he said.The Chinese side is willing to work with Greece to implement the cooperation agreement on the construction of the Belt and Road, Li said.China will encourage its enterprises to invest and develop in Greece, increase imports competitive agro-products as well as deepen financial cooperation with the country based on the principles of commercialization and sustainability, Li pledged.As countries with ancient civilizations, China and Greece should continue to enhance dialogue between different cultures, blaze the trail for the diversified development of human civilization, and create a lasting impetus for mutual understanding and common development between the two countries, Li said.Tsipras said the dialogue and cooperation between Greece and China are far-reaching, as both are countries with ancient civilizations that have made significant contributions to oriental and western civilizations.China has stood together with Greece in times of difficulty, he said, adding that his country is now striving to advance socio-economic development, which produces vast room for Greece and China to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation.The Greek side believes that the port projects in Piraeus will drive Greece-China cooperation in logistics and connectivity. Greece is ready to take this opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation and exchanges in economy, trade, and investment, within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, to achieve shared prosperity, he said.(Cover: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Brussels, October 19, 2018. /Photo via PACIFIC DAILY)

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The Belt and Road

2018 Silk Road Business Summit to be held in Zhangjiajie City on October 16, 2018

On September 29, the press conference of 2018 Silk Road Business Summit in Zhangjiajie city was successfully held in Changsha, Hunan Province. Leaders from the China Association for Friendship, Hunan Sub-council of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Zhangjiajie Municipal Government, Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC), and more than 30 mainstream media representatives attended the press conference. The announcement was made for the summit to be held in Zhangjiajie city on 16-17 October 2018. The summit is to actively respond to the Belt and Road Initiative, to build a multilateral economic and trade platform, to promote the formulation of international standards and the building-up of the Belt and Road brands, to explore the new mode of cultural exchange, to create the international tourist attractions, to facilitate the synergy of cultural industries, cultural undertakings, and cultural tourism as contribution to the development of a shared future for the world. The abundant resources of SRCIC will uplift Hunan province in its advantages in the Belt and Road construction and in its strategy of “Innovation Leads and Open Policies for Rise” to expedite Hunan province as an important inland hub of the Belt and Road.  The Zhangjiajie Summit is the 3rd silk road business summit organized by SRCIC, following the successful summits in 2016 and 2017. It’s the first summit with its venue in a city away from Xi’an. The summit in Zhangjiajie city will give a full play to the city’s unique natural resources, ecological culture, and its tourist economy.By report, Silk Road Urban Alliance Roundtable: Belt and Road International Cooperation on Tourism is scheduled at the summit. Themed with strengthening the tourist cooperation and facilitating the Belt and Road construction, the participants are expected to share views on setting up mechanisms for the Silk Road Urban Alliance and have in-depth discussion on promoting tourist and economic development. The summit will release consensuses, international standard proposals and tourist destination development strategies.Over the five years, the Belt and Road Initiative has gained strong support from the Belt and Road countries. International commercial associations and enterprises are important participants in the Belt and Road construction. SRCIC, one of the summit organizers, is the first transnational business confederation named after the Belt and Road and mainly composed of national chambers of commerce from the Belt and Road countries. Since its establishment in 2015, SRCIC is devoted to narrating the Belt and Road stories, initiating the Belt and Road voices, and facilitating the cultural exchanges in building up pragmatic platforms for win-win cooperation. Currently SRCIC has 129 organizational members from 79 countries, including state-level business organizations and millions of affiliated enterprises. SRCIC serves as a bridge connecting enterprises and governments, providing a cooperative platform between business associations and SRCIC members. It plays a vital role in advancing economic and social development with an emphasis on international collaboration and global governance.According to the plan, the annual silk road business summits are to be held in different SRCIC member countries for bigger influence and popularity, and for building up more cooperative platforms to benefit SRCIC commercial association members and enterprise members. (ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Belt and Road Initiative paves way for win-win cooperation between China and Czech

By APD Writer He WeiIn July last year, the first China-EU freight train departed from Prague, captial of Czech,to Yiwu, a city in east China’s Zhejang Province. The new cargo train service marked the official launch of “the Belt and Road Initiative” in Czech. Thanks to joint efforts of both sides, the economic and trade ties between China and Czech Republic is heading for a bright future.During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, two months before the opening, China signed the Memorandum of Understanding to Jointly Coordinate and Promote Cooperation and Project Implementation with Czech. According to the memorandum, more efforts will be made to set up a China-Czech Cooperation Center under the Belt and Road initiative, a key project bank and a cooperation platform, integrate domestic and foreign resources, as well as adjoin and implement projects On the sidelines of the The Working Conference of China-Czech Jointly Coordinating and Monitoring Cooperation Plan and Projects under the Framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Liu Jielei, vice chairman of the Czech-China Friendship Association, told the Asia Pacific Daily (APD) that besides geographic advantage, Czech enjoys a sound investment environment because of its stable domestic policies, friendly policy toward China, lower business taxes and labor cost than that of in other European countries.The "Yixin’ou (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe) cargo train, which began in Yiwu, was hailed as an important bridge linking Asian and European continents and a signficiant achievement in the early stage of the initative by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xu Jie, general manager of Rongsheng Travelling (Czech) Investment Co., Ltd., said because of its important location, they have launched two projects including the Czech-Chinese Technology Business District (CCTBD) project and the South Moravia Chinese Herbal Spa Project in Prague during the past two years, stressing that initial success has been achieved thanks to the initiative.Transalated by Hu Yahui(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)