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National Day celebrated amid hope for better life




In an agricultural expo garden in the city of Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, more than 20 giant paddy “paintings” unfolded in a 200-hectare field, accompanied by rows of red national flags near the field.

An array of activities including exhibitions, a shopping festival and tourism promotion events were planned during the National Day holiday at the expo garden, attracting many citizens to visit and experience rural leisure tourism.

A citizen surnamed Luo brought her son to a themed exhibition on grain production, for him to “take a close look at the farming culture, the scientific and technological achievements of modern agriculture, and understand how difficult a harvest could be.”

Celebrations were held nationwide for the National Day.

In the Chinese capital of Beijing, at around 6 a.m. Saturday, some 200,000 people from all walks of life gathered at the Tian’anmen Square and its adjacent areas for a grand flag-raising ceremony.

“With the government’s good policies on agriculture, we have changed from a low-income household to a family living a moderately prosperous life,” said Zhang Dan, who watched the Tian’anmen Square flag-raising ceremony. He hails from Nanyang City, central China’s Henan Province, with the crops of wheat and corn a main source of income.

Chinese citizens enjoy a week-long holiday for the National Day. Yet some are still working on the frontline.

In a COVID-19 virus detection lab in Quannan County, east China’s Jiangxi Province, Zhong Le was still working during the holiday. Her husband sent her several photos of their son playing in a garden.

“It’s a pity that I can’t accompany my family during the holiday. As a medical worker, I feel happy to see all the smiling faces on social media and that my family members and friends can travel safely,” she said.

As the night closed in, over 400 villager-turned-performers in the Party’s revolutionary base of Jinggangshan in Jiangxi, arrived in the open-air Red Army Theatre.

They put on a large-scale live-action performance about the Party’s revolution stories in front of tourists from all over the country.

“I do farm work in the day and play in the show with my wife, which has not only increased my income, but also enriched my life,” 51-year-old Qiu Rongping said.

At a community service center of Liuyang City, central China’s Hunan Province, Yang Ruixian, 73, and nine other neighbors born in October celebrated birthday together Friday evening.

“With a strong motherland, we live a happy life today,” Yang said. It was the eighth year in a row for the community to hold the collective birthday party for residents.

“Such activities bring residents together and arouse patriotism among them,” said Liu Ying, Party chief of the community.


Source: xinhua

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Nasheed: Chairperson must find a way for MDP to move forward with two factions





The emergence of two factions within the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is no reason for members of one faction to leave the party, and the party’s chairperson Fayyaz Ismail must find a way to move forward with both factions, states MDP’s leader and Parliament speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

The deepening rift within MDP – fueled by the difference of opinion between the party’s two top leaders Nasheed and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih – had been at the forefront of the ruling party’s recent presidential primary, which President Solih won over Nasheed with 61 percent of votes.

Nasheed has refused to support President Solih as MDP’s presidential candidate, and has called for the formation of a 50,000-member separate branch within the party under the name ‘Fikuregge Dhirun’ – which had been his campaign slogan for the primary.

In an interview to Dhivehi Channel on Tuesday night, Nasheed said that MDP must accept its current state, and that the party’s chairperson must find a way to move forward with both factions, in order to prevent further division.

“The ‘Fikuregge Dhirun’ branch can be run within MDP. This is useful. The primary mission of the branch must be to restore MDP to its ideology, its principles, its philosophy, and its values. MDP clearly has two factions. I believe the party’s chairperson is a capable individual. He must know how to manage two factions. He would know,” he said.

Nasheed said that MDP would always do whatever was necessary to ensure victory, and that the person in the position of the party’s chairperson would always be someone who knows it well.

Nasheed also shared his concerns over the recent MDP primary. He said that the voters had been people on a “doctored” list and that the removal of 39,000 members ahead of the election was evidence of that. He also said that unregistered voters had voted in the election.

The allegations made by Nasheed regarding the removal of 39,000 members has been repeatedly denied by MDP.

Speaking about the upcoming presidential election, Nasheed said that all political leaders in Maldives must give careful consideration regarding the election. He said that he would do whatever necessary to ensure a peaceful change in government.

Nasheed had held MDP’s ticket in all presidential elections after the introduction of the multi-party system, until a now-overturned conviction disqualified him from the presidential election in 2018. MDP’s congress, with the backing of Nasheed himself, decided to present the ticket to President Solih – who went on to win the election.

In his victory rally after the MDP primary, President Solih invited Nasheed to work together with him. However, Nasheed refuses to support him.


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World Insights: U.S. influence in Mideast declines due to biased policies





CAIRO, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — The United States is attempting to enhance its presence in the Middle East through visits and military cooperation. However, its influence on the region has been dwindling due to decades-long wars wreaking havoc on regional peace and development, its “unfair policies” on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and other factors, Egyptian analysts said.


In the name of democracy and freedom, the United States has waged cruel wars in the Middle East, causing huge casualties and displacing a huge number of people. Observers believe U.S. military intervention has nothing to do with its so-called democracy, but aims for its own global and regional hegemony.

The “main reasons for the U.S. pursuit of rebuilding a new Middle East” are to benefit from the large oil reserves in the region, control international navigation lines, and secure Israel; and the United States has been trying to achieve its goals through falsely spreading the principles of democracy and freedom, Egyptian political expert Akram Hossam told Xinhua recently.

The United States is obsessed with maintaining a unipolar system by maximizing its military and political power. And its failed military intervention in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen has destroyed its image as a democracy, he said.

“The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq dealt a blow to U.S. democratic theories and showed that the Western power could use power and interventions unwisely to the extent it causes instability,” he added.

The U.S. botched retreat from Afghanistan, as well as its military withdrawal from Iraq and Syria, signaled that Washington had stumbled over its Mideast policies, said Hamid Faris, an international relations professor at Misr University for Science and Technology.

The Mideast policies pursued by the current White House are of no difference from the former administrations. Despite the wars in the region, the United States has never achieved security, stability and prosperity as it had promised, Faris added.


Despite calling for a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the United States as a one-sided mediator has no way to increase chances of securing a peace deal, according to analysts.

In the eyes of Palestinians, the United States has been flagrantly backing Israel’s assaults. Former U.S. President Donald Trump, in particular, orchestrated the transfer of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and cut aid for the main UN program for Palestinian refugees, Hossam said.

On Monday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken the ongoing escalation of tensions between Palestine and Israel.

As part of his three-day Mideast trip, Blinken arrived in Israel on Monday to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before traveling to Ramallah to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.

His visit seems to ease the tensions on the surface; nonetheless, assuming a weak and unfair mediating role, his country has not presented anything new to serve the Palestinian cause in the past few years, according to Hossam and Faris.

Faris described Washington as one of the struggling parties, but not a broker of a fair settlement based on the two-state solution.

Mokhtar Gobashy, vice chairman of Cairo-based Arab Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, doesn’t expect the U.S. diplomat’s visit to bring tangible results for the settlement of the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict, though it “might lead to a surface calm for the interest of Israel.”

Washington is reassessing its role in the Middle East amid changing geopolitical landscapes and “is keener now to return to fill in a political vacuum in the Middle East,” Gobashy said.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Cambodia continues to pursue independent foreign policy: FM





PHNOM PENH, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — Cambodia continued to pursue an independent foreign policy that upholds its core interests, guarantees sovereignty and peace, and boosts economic ties, Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said Wednesday.

Sokhonn, who is also a deputy prime minister, made the remarks while briefing the National Assembly’s Commission on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Media on “Cambodia’s Foreign Policy in the New Context of World Order.”

“Over the last five years, the world has continued to evolve to an international system with a global, multipolar and complicated nature,” he said. “This evolution has led to profound, rapid, uncertain and precarious transformations.”

On international and regional contexts, he highlighted the rivalry of superpowers with a myriad of security, economic and development alliance and initiatives across the regions, and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On domestic front, he cited Cambodia’s successful control of COVID-19, great accomplishments of its ASEAN chairmanship in 2022, active and sincere endeavors in the capacity of ASEAN Chair and Special Envoy to address the Myanmar issue.

Sokhonn also underlined a set of foreign policies to which the kingdom will continue to adhere, in light of the fierce competition and uncertainties in the international relations.

Among them are the upholding of Cambodia’s core interests in compliance with the constitution; a proactive diplomacy to guarantee sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, peace and socio-economic development; the implementation of an independent foreign policy in line with the objectives and principles of the charters of the United Nations and ASEAN; and the strengthening of economic ties with both existing and new partners.

Source(s): Xinhua

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