2017/12/13

Japanese Scholars’ Views About The Nanjing Massacre

Today is the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing massacre, also is the fourth public memorial day of the Nanjing massacre victims.
 
  image credit: internet

80 years ago, in for more than 40 days, Nanjing had become a hell on earth.

13th December, 1937, Japanese invaded Nanjing for over 40 days, 300000 creatures was murdered.

The Japanese historical revisionists, however, have been trying to downplay the outrageous atrocities by claiming that the number of those killed was not as many as 300,000, or even completely denied that the massacre ever happened at all.

"Some claimed that the Nanjing Massacre was fabricated by the victorious nations to avenge Japan during the Tokyo Trials. But the fact is that the evidence about the Nanjing Massacre is both plentiful and irrefutable," said Masataka Mori, a former professor of Irenology at Shizuoka University.

"Eleven Nanjing Massacre survivors as well as witnesses from third-party countries testified during the trials, and there have also been plenty of written evidences, such as documents about the refugee camps and diaries of witnesses," he said.

"The historical revisionists have been using various methods, such as disguised displacement of concept, to distort the truth about that part of history," said Tamaki Matsuoka, a former primary school teacher who spent the past 30 years collecting and passing on the truth about the Nanjing Massacre.

She said one of the fallacies often mentioned by the ultra-right forces in Japan, who have tried to cover up the Nanjing Massacre, was that Nanjing "only had a population of 200,000 people" and thus the number of victims couldn't have been as high as 300,000.

"The fact is that the number 200,000 was rushed out by the Japanese troops and the puppet regime at that time in only three days and only covered the population of the refugee settlement, or international safety zone, which occupied about one-eighth of the Nanjing city," she said.

"This is a typical disguised displacement of concept. The ultra-right forces never mentioned that the number referred to the population of the safety zone, but just clinched to the number 200,000," she said.

Yutaka Yoshida, a professor from Hitotsubashi University, said that according to a letter of the Nanjing government on Nov. 23, 1937, there were some 500,000 people living in the city, and it was obviously wrong to claim there were only 200,000 people in Nanjing.

"Records from two charity organizations, Chongshan Hall and Red Wan Association which buried the bodies of the victims, showed that the two charities alone dealt with some 150,000 bodies, let alone the many other people who were killed by the side of the Yangtze River and whose bodies were dumped into it. It was a close estimation that some 300,000 were killed," said professor Mori.

Matsuoka stressed that the Japanese troops' notorious contest of killing 100 people using a sword, which had been questioned by ultra-right forces, including former defense minister Tomomi Inada, was indubitable.

Enroute to capturing Nanjing in 1937, two Japanese officers named Toshiaki Mukai and Tsuyoshi Noda held a contest to see who would be the first to succeed in killing 100 people with his sword.
"The competition was featured several times in Japanese newspapers including the Mainichi Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun at that time. The two soldiers also bragged about their killings later in Japan to their families," said Matsuoka.

While some ultra-right forces claimed that only Chinese soldiers were killed and it was "rightful" in the war, Matsoka said that in most cases the victims were Chinese civilians according to testimonies of Japanese veterans that she interviewed over the years.

"Evidences about the Nanjing Massacre have been fully proven by studies of both Chinese and Japanese scholars," said Atsushi Koketsu, professor emeritus of Yamaguchi University in Japan.

But why were such groundless denials of the massacre gaining popularity in Japan?

In Koketsu's opinion, it was partly due to the Japanese government's attempt to revise the pacifist constitution.

"The pacifist constitution was based on Japan reflecting upon the war, and those who were opposed to the Constitution resorted to denying facts about Japan's war crimes and its victimization of other countries," he said.

Another reason is that some Japanese people could not accept China's development in economy and other areas, and tried to kindle anti-China sentiment by questioning the authenticity of Nanjing Massacre, he said.

Masataka Mori said it was also due to the Japanese government's attempts to whitewash the war crimes in school textbooks.

"As the historical facts about the war history have disappeared from textbooks, the young people could hardly get to know about the true history, and have easily been brainwashed," he said.
In Koketsu's opinion, China and Japan could not build real mutual trust unless reconciliation was achieved by Japan squarely facing the history.

"We have to learn from the history and only by doing so can we preserve peace and create a better future," he said.

He also called upon the young people to learn more about history.

"Being indifferent to history is being indifferent to your own destiny. It's our responsibility as scholars, politicians and the media to pass on these messages to the younger generations," he said.

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2017/12/12

The External Impact of U.S. Tax Policy

The U.S. Senate on Dec. 2nd passed the Republican bill on a party-line vote whose main feature was a drastic tax cut for corporations.
So what China will do to cope with its potential impact
 
image credit: internet

WHAT IS IT?
The bill aims to reduce tax rates from 35 percent to 20, the lowest level in three decades.

Personal income tax will be reduced, the tax system simplified and a one-time tax levied at a lower rate on American companies transferring overseas assets.

The House of Representatives passed its own version of tax reform legislation last month, containing significant differences from the Senate version. Congressional Republicans are now working on an agreement on the final tax legislation before Christmas.

Critics have blasted the tax bill, as the biggest beneficiaries will be the wealthiest individuals and corporations, with average earners seeing their taxes lowered initially, but increasing over the next few years.

"The tax bill is tilted heavily toward wealthy individuals and corporations, so it is not likely to help the middle class that much," Darrell West, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution, told Xinhua.

THE IMPACT
Some economists have warned that a more attractive corporate environment in the U.S. may pose challenges to China's competitive position, at a time when its labor costs are rising.

"[There are] no worries for more enterprises choosing to start business in U.S., as many more factors, including comprehensive cost, other than the tax rate shape the overall U.S. business environment," said Zhou Yuan, managing director of Boston Consulting Group.

The legislation will give U.S. companies a tax cut on repatriating deferred profits held overseas and make dividends received from companies overseas exempt from tax, sparking concern of capital outflow.

"Combined with the effect of lower corporate tax, we believe it will encourage overseas U.S. firms to send back their profit. It may even produce a wave of profit repatriation," said Prof. Zhu Qing with the School of Finance at Renmin University of China.

But analysts noted that the impact would be limited as China's efforts in lowering corporate cost and creating a fair business environment will attract more foreign businesses.

China has rolled out a slew of measures to ease or lift foreign investment restrictions in its financial markets. In its latest move, foreign businesses will be allowed to own up to 51 percent of shares in joint ventures in securities, funds or futures, with the cap phased out over three years.

WHAT TO DO
Zhu Guangyao, vice-minister of finance, said at a forum that China would "take proactive measures" in response to the U.S. tax reform.

Zhu said China should set policies based on coordination with other countries to boost labor productivity and help people become better off.

According to Liu Shangxi, head of the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, China should continue to carry out its VAT reform in response to the U.S. tax bill.

"One of our current priorities is to deepen VAT reform that targets a more market-oriented scheme for resource allocation and build a fair investment environment for enterprises," Liu said.

As the most significant tax overhaul for two decades, VAT is replacing the business tax, which has been in place for 60 years, streamlining procedures and avoiding repetitive taxes.

"China should further streamline VAT brackets to encourage fair market competition, which in a sense reduces taxes for many enterprises," Liu said.

Though the U.S. bill's impact of the tax overhaul on China is perceived to be quite limited, "The external impact of tax policy change in the world's largest economy cannot be overlooked," the professional said.

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2017/12/11

Investors Called for Steepest Rate Hikes Since 2006

Economists of Wall Street are telling investors to prepare for the biggest tightening of monetary policy in more than ten years.

With the world economy heading into its strongest period since 2011, Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. predict average interest rates across advanced economies will climb by at least 1 percent next year in what would be the largest increase since 2006.

As for the quantitative easing that marks its 10th anniversary in the U.S. next year, Economics predicts net asset purchases by the main central banks will fall by a monthly $18 billion at the end of 2018, from $126 billion in September, and turn negative during the first half of 2019.

That reflects an increasingly synchronized global expansion finally strong enough to spur inflation, albeit modestly. The test for policy makers, including incoming Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, will be whether they can continue pulling back without derailing demand or rocking asset markets.

“2018 is the year when we have true tightening,” said Ebrahim Rahbari, director of global economics at Citigroup in New York. “We will continue on the current path where financial markets can deal quite well with monetary policy but perhaps later in the year, or in 2019, monetary policy will become one of the complicating factors.”

   image credit: Internet   
A clearer picture should form this week when the Norges Bank, Fed, Bank of England, European Central Bank and Swiss National Bank announce their final policy decisions of 2017. They collectively set borrowing costs for more than a third of the world economy. At least 10 other central banks also deliver decisions this week.

The Fed will dominate the headlines on Wednesday amid predictions that it will raise its benchmark by a quarter of a percentage point. Outgoing chair Janet Yellen is set to signal more increases to come in 2018. On Thursday, the SNB, BOE and ECB will make decisions in quick succession although each is forecast to keep rates on hold.

There will likely be more activity next year as Citigroup estimates the advanced world’s average rate will reach its highest since 2008, climbing from 0.4 percentage point to 1 percent. JPMorgan projects its gauge to rise to 1.2 percent, a jump of more than half a percentage point from 0.68 percent at the end of this year.

Citigroup expects the Fed and its Canadian peer to move three times and the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Norway once. JPMorgan is forecasting the Fed will shift four times.
 
   image credit: Internet   
                                                       
Behind the shift are expectations that the world economy will expand around 4 percent next year, the best since a post-recession bounce in 2011. Among the accelerators: falling unemployment, stronger trade and business spending, as well as a likely tax cut in the U.S.

The International Monetary Fund predicts consumer prices in advanced economies will climb 1.7 percent next year, the most since 2012, although it remains below the 2 percent most central banks view as price stability.

The global tightening will still leave rates low by historical standards and central banks may ultimately hold fire if inflation stays weak. Neither the ECB nor the BOJ are currently expected to lift their benchmarks next year.

Past and ongoing bond buying will cushion the withdrawal of stimulus elsewhere, as will easing by some emerging market central banks. Russia and Colombia may this week follow Brazil in cutting their benchmarks.
 
                                                                                                                                            image credit: internet
                                                                                                   
While BOE Governor Mark Carney and ECB President Mario Draghi pivoted away from easy money without roiling financial markets, the calm may not last. The Bank for International Settlements warned this month that policy makers risk lulling investors into a false sense of security that elevates the risk of a correction in bond yields.



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2017/12/08

China, Maldives to increase Belt and Road cooperation

China and the Maldives agreed to jointly promote the Belt and Road Initiative to energize bilateral ties on Thursday.

The consensus was reached during talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom of the Maldives, held at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.

image credit: internet

The two presidents witnessed the signing of 12 agreements, including a memorandum of understanding on the Belt and Road construction, a free trade agreement and agreements on the economy, human resources, oceans, environment, health care and finance.

Xi told Yameen that the Belt and Road Initiative squares with the development strategies of the Maldives. He said that China regards the Maldives as an important partner in the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. "China is willing to dovetail the development strategies with the Maldives and share opportunities to realize common prosperity," Xi said.

Proposed by Xi in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries. Yameen is the first president of an Asian country to visit China since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in October.

Xi said the bilateral relationship has entered a fast-track in recent years as the two countries established a comprehensive forward-looking partnership. He called for senior contact and policy communication to develop bilateral ties.

The Chinese president also encouraged the two sides to share their experience in state governance and promote exchanges between government departments, political parties, legislative bodies and judicial organs. He said the two countries should jointly crack down on crime, terrorism and drug trafficking, while expanding exchanges and cooperation in tourism, culture, education, health care and at local levels.

"China stands ready to work with the Maldives to jointly deal with climate change to realize green, low-carbon and sustainable development," Xi said. He said that he hoped the Maldives would continue to support China's cooperation with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Yameen congratulated Xi on the success of the 19th CPC National Congress and his re-election as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. He said that he believed that the Chinese people will achieve their two centennial goals. Yameen said the Maldives viewed China as "amongst our closest friends, most trusted and most dependable partners." He said that Xi's visit to the Maldives in 2014 brought bilateral ties to a new level and that he appreciated China for its strong support. "The Belt and Road Initiative has greatly helped the development of many small and medium countries," he said.

Yameen said the Maldives adhered to the one-China policy. "On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of forging diplomatic ties, the Maldives is willing to deepen friendship and consolidate bilateral cooperation on infrastructure construction and in areas important to people's livelihood," Yameen said. "The Maldives looks forward to seeing China play a bigger role in international affairs and is ready to enhance coordination with China in this area."


Prior to the talks, Xi held a red-carpet welcoming ceremony for Yameen, who is here for a state visit from Wednesday to Saturday.  

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