It’s time to reform global trade rules, says France’s Macron

admin   •   May 31, 2018   •   2921

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends the OECD ministerial council meeting on “Refounding Multilateralism” in Paris, France, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday (May 30) said it was time for the world’s biggest economic powers to start talks on reshaping World Trade Organization rules to prevent current tensions spiraling into trade wars.

Macron’s comments before the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) came as the European Union faced less than 48 hours to win an exemption from U.S. tariffs on European aluminum and steel.

“This is about a complete update of global competition rules,” Macron said, advocating multilateralism at a time when the risk of tit-for-tat trade measures threatens to derail global growth.

The French leader wants the EU, United States, China and Japan to draw up a blueprint for WTO reform in time for the next G-20 meeting in Argentina at the end of the year.

Macron has painted himself as a defender of global co-operation – what he calls “strong multilateralism” – and sought to dissuade leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin from going it alone on issues from diplomacy to trade and the environment.

Trump has effectively engineered a crisis in the WTO’s system of settling global disputes by vetoing all appointments of judges to its appeals chamber. — Reuters

Japan’s Crown Prince Akishino formally declared heir to the throne

Marje Pelayo   •   November 9, 2020

TOKYO, Japan — Japan formally declared Crown Prince Akishino heir to the throne on Sunday (November 8).

Prince Akishino is Emperor Naruhito’s younger brother who has taken over the throne after his father Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s abdication in April citing health reasons, the first in two centuries.

Prime Minister Yuga Yoshihide and representatives were present at the ceremony.

Under the Japanese law, female heirs are not allowed to inherit the Chrysanthemum throne so Naruhito’s daughter 18-year-old Princess Aiko is ineligible. 

This brings Akishino, 54, next in line to the throne followed by his 14 year-old son Hisahito and Akihito’s younger brother, 84-year-old Prince Hitachi.

The ceremony was originally scheduled in April but postponed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

China suspends entry of non-Chinese travelers from PH to prevent imported cases of COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — China announced it is temporarily closing its borders to non-Chinese nationals from the Philippines in a move to prevent entry of fresh cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The announcement was made by the Chinese Embassy in Manila on Thursday (November 6) through its official social media platforms to notify Filipinos and foreign nationals in the country who intend to travel to China.

“The suspension is a temporary response necessitated by the current situation of Covid-19,” the statement said.

Similar entry ban was also imposed on British and Belgian nationals.

The entry restriction applies to all non-Chinese nationals in the Philippines regardless of whether their visas or residence permits are still valid.

It added that all Chinese embassies and consulates in the Philippines would no longer issue certified health declaration forms to those affected by the entry ban.

“The above-mentioned measures will be assessed in accordance with the evolving situation and any adjustment will be announced accordingly,” the embassy said.

Meanwhile, members of the diplomatic service or holders of C-visas are not covered by the ban including international transport workers such as airline crews. Those who were given a visa after November 3 will also not be affected.

However, foreign nationals visiting China for emergency needs may apply for a visa in Chinese embassy and consulates.

Joint oil exploration with China won’t compromise Phl position on WPS — Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration stands firm that the Philippines’ position will not be compromised should a joint oil exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea pushes through.

This is in relation to the country’s arbitral award on the disputed territory against China.

“First, this lifting of the moratorium is an exercise of our sovereign rights. In no way it weakens the arbitral decision, and our MOU to explore a joint development program or cooperation with China, in no way that it weakens or gives away our sovereign rights,” noted Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Energy (DOE) to lift the suspension and once again issue a resume to work notice for service contractors for oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

“Although sovereign rights are defined as exclusive rights, that exclusive rights may be shared to others. The decision to share it is part of the sovereign rights,” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. –MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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