Education rights of children living in extremely high-altitude pastoral region guaranteed thanks to assistive policies in Xizang

The Sinopec Primary School of Baingoin is dubbed as "the school closest to the sky."

The school, built by state-owned Sinopec as an aiding project, sits 4,700 meters above sea level in the small, remote county of Baingoin in Nagqu in Southwest China's Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region.

It bestows the most precious gift to children of pastoral region - education.

Despite the harsh and desolate local environment, the school functions as a complete educational complex, boasting a standard playground, nearly 30 modern classrooms, and dormitory buildings featuring glass greenhouse for students. The primary teaching building is constructed in the Tibetan architectural style, resembling a Tibetan palace. 

Recently, during a visit to the school, a Global Times reporter saw both girls and boys chasing basketballs around the playground. One class was engaging in traditional Tibetan Guozhuang dance under the guidance of their teacher. As the sun began to set, the fragrance of Tibetan incense wafted through the glass greenhouse and greenery-filled teaching buildings, where in a classroom, some young students learned how to write the Chinese character for "answer."

In 2009, with the support of China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), the construction of the Baingoin Sinopec Primary School began. It was officially completed and put into use in 2012, greatly motivating the enthusiasm of local pastoral families to send their children to school and contributing to the development of education in Baingoin county.

Initially, the school was designed to accommodate approximately 800 students and operate with a semi-boarding model. 

"Because the students come from remote areas and their parents are often occupied with work, ensuring their safety and daily habits is essential," explained Ngawang Wangdu, the principal of Sinopec Primary School, told the Global Times.

However, as the initial capacity could not meet demand, the school successfully applied for a second phase of expansion from both the government and Sinopec headquarters, allowing for the accommodation of more students. 

Presently, the school hosts 1,323 students, with 600 of them residing on the school premises. 

"Lower-grade students are predominantly day students, while those in grades three to six primarily reside at the school," the principal said. "The school operates throughout the entire year despite summer or winter vacations, leading to students spending an extended time at the school."

A fourth-grade student, Padma Gyaltsen, appears slightly smaller than his peers. Fluently and articulately speaking Putonghua (Standard Chinese), he stated that his class schedule includes English, Chinese, mathematics, Tibetan language, music, information technology and physical education. 

"I find the conditions here to be exceptional. The meals in the cafeteria are delicious, and the teachers help you solve any difficulties in life," he shared with the Global Times. 

Padma Gyaltsen's family lives on a pastoral ranch, which takes two hours to reach by car from the county. Nowadays, pastoralists also place great importance on their children's education. Therefore, Padma Gyaltsen and his cousin were brought to the county town at an early age to attend kindergarten and primary school. 

"Before boarding at the school, I resided in a rented apartment, and was taken care of by my aunt," he said.

After becoming a resident student, Padma Gyaltsen adapted well and achieved outstanding grades. During his free time, he enjoys playing basketball. 

"I like Kobe Bryant the most, and when I heard about his passing, I cried for a day," he mentioned. 

"I feel like all the boys and girls in my class are my friends, and my classmates are like my brothers and sisters," he added, expressing his desire to become a special police officer, similar to his uncle.

The school receives various forms of support, including national special policies, Xizang special education policies, and assistance from the China Petrochemical Corporation. This support is directed toward enhancing hardware facilities, equipment, and software improvement.

The school places a strong emphasis on student living conditions and safety management, implementing various measures, noted Ngawang Wangdu, the principal. Additionally, its boarding system provides an opportunity for students from economically disadvantaged families. Parents also understand the school's favorable policies and efforts, and there are no dropouts, he said.

After graduation, all students have a 100 percent placement rate in higher education, and outstanding students may have the opportunity to be enrolled into schools in Lhasa or other much more developed regions in China such as Beijing.

The school is dedicated to providing high-quality education while ensuring the safety and well-being of its students, all with the aim of achieving the goal of satisfying the educational needs of the local population, Ngawang Wangdu said.

Guillaume Guibe, a French engineer working for Sinopec in Beijing, visited the school in 2022 and shared his experience with Global Times. He expressed that he had initially envisioned children studying in tents but was pleasantly surprised by the actual conditions. He was even able to converse with a student in English. 

"For the Xizang region, the third pole of our planet, miracles of nature stand everywhere, and the people here are also creating miracles," Guibe mentioned in his vlog.

US exploits Ukraine crisis to advance geopolitical agenda in leaderless Europe

Since February 24, 2022, the beginning of the hostilities in Ukraine, the European Union  has planned to give €20 billion ($21 billion) of aid to Kiev but failed to reach its strategic goal of defeating Russia economically and militarily. It turns out that the side effects of such politics damage European security, not Russia.

Initially, Brussels planned simultaneously to choke Russia with economic sanctions and provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) with a broad spectrum of weaponry for fighting against the Russian troops. After 18 months of war, the reality is very different from what was expected. The Russian troops being outnumbered by UAF nevertheless move forward. According to Russian and foreign military sources, the UAF has lost up to 300,000 soldiers. Officially Kiev mobilized 1 million citizens against Russia. But Kiev needs not only new soldiers. It also needs newer weapons, which Europe must bear the cost for. 

UK, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Spain transferred to Ukraine many tanks, Leopard 2 and Challenger 2, and other models. France and Italy gave rockets and armored vehicles. Despite all of this, the Ukrainian counteroffensive has gotten bogged down. 

Ukraine uses 90,000 155-mm artillery shells per month. EU promises to give 1 million shells and for the time being Kiev got only 224,000. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas of Estonia confessed: "It is possible that we might not be able to reach it." High Representative of EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell noted that the EU doesn't have enough materials to produce artillery rounds and has to import them. Borrell agreed it weakens the strategic security of the EU.

Figures confirm his confession. Only 18 percent of all defense investment in the EU is made in partnership with other member states. European countries prefer to cooperate with non-European actors who have cheaper resources and logistics. 

European armies have problems with producing modern tanks, aircraft, and air defense systems. EU economics was nourished by cheap Russian energy resources and now they are cut off. German economics being for a long period a locomotive for the united Europe is now slowing down. It's an omen that weaker Western European economies (France, Spain and Italy) will soon face hard times, too.

Earlier Europe was one of the pillars of international political order. Now Europe is a puppet of Washington and losing geopolitical influence. European states have no resources for maintaining their presence in other parts of the world because all their attention is directed to Ukraine. Brazil needs Portugal no longer, and former French colonies in Africa refuse to be Paris' property and are eager to cooperate with non-European countries like China and Russia. British and Spanish influence in Africa and South America is also dwindling. 

The control over Africa and South America once turned Europe into a powerful entity. Leaving these regions, now Europe says farewell to its influential geopolitical status and becomes second-range countries.

The US makes the EU give more generous aid to Ukraine but for the EU it means more economic and political damage. Europe is leaderless. Who "owns" European security strategy? The UK is closer to the US than the EU. France and Germany could potentially lead Europe but they have acute discrepancies about security issues. The French want the rearmament of European countries to be conducted with Europe-made weapons. The Germans insist Europe's military industry isn't capable of meeting the deadline. Berlin proposes to buy weapons from the US. Europe is leaderless because it's ruled by Washington.

Since the 1990s, the East European countries (Poland, Czechia, Romania and Slovakia) have had an American "Trojan horse" on the European continent. Their geopolitical function is to be a buffer between Europe and Russia and a bridgehead for American presence to deter possible cooperation between Moscow and Western Europe. Poland,  Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia are talking not with their own voice but are echoing the US'. Ridiculously, Western Europe has been turned into the second "Trojan horse" by Washington. Using the Ukraine crisis as a cover, Washington has subjected Europe to American geopolitical interests.

Cutting off tech cooperation only makes everyone worse off

Gina Raimondo, Commerce Secretary of the US, has left China "with optimism" after a four-day visit, during which she had high-level talks with Chinese officials. To re-open lines of communication in the economic and business sector after five years of stagnation is, to some extent, "progress." The world has heard clearly that Washington does not "intend to decouple from China or work to 'hold back' the world's second-largest economy." 

When she told the media that actions speak louder than words, the Secretary ought to know that this could be the same expectation from the Chinese side. How will the US proceed with its numerous export control measures and carry out its executive order on outbound investment in sensitive technologies of critical sectors? What will be the actions that could turn those much repeated words like "no intention to hold back China" into reality?

In the eyes of ordinary Chinese, what the US has been doing in recent years is exactly holding China back by all means, including cutting off technological exchanges and cooperation. The motive is obvious, because to strangle the runner-up is a time-honored trick written in the playbook of the US. But not only does this mentality and the behavior that follows run counter to the law of technology revolution, it does not seem to work out. What is worse, it is not beneficial to the overall development of human society. 

As a coincidence, on the day when Ms. Raimondo was departing from China, Huawei, the Chinese tech giant sanctioned by the US, launched the latest version of its smartphone. The chip in it is wholly Chinese-made. This might frustrate those behind the Huawei-ban. And it should also serve as a reminder that technological progress is governed by its own law. At a time when the world is so closely interrelated and innovative ideas are abundant everywhere, it is almost impossible to stifle anyone. Same as the Wolf Amendment to ban scientific cooperation with China in space didn't stop China from achieving rapid progress in aeronautics back in the day, the export control on high-end chips today will not stop China from acquiring cutting-edge technologies.

Given that China is already a key, indispensable player in global technological exchanges, it is almost impossible to cut off all ties with the country. Any such attempt might spill over to affect the international society. Take 5G in Europe as an example. According to a 5G Observatory Report sponsored by the European Commission, Cyprus now ranks first in the EU with a 100 percent population coverage of 5G, whereas the levels of 5G coverage in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Belgium, and Romania are relatively low. The UK is no exception. What is the difference in real-life experience? Well, in Cyprus you could surf at a speed as fast as you could imagine, while in London, you just have to wait on the line.

How come the difference? Cyprus is one of the countries in Europe that made its own choice to install the most suitable communication equipment, provided by Chinese suppliers. It did not follow the Commission's recommendation or the so-called Prague Proposals led by the US warning governments not to rely on 5G technology that may be "influenced by a third country." Some governments may choose to blindly follow the decisions of other countries and forcibly cut off scientific and technological cooperation due to political reasons. But it is their people that will bear the cost of technological regression.

The same mentality of holding China back is coming to the front row again as the Biden administration is considering whether to renew US-China Science and Technology Agreement (STA). This 44-year-old accord has paved the way for sound interactions between the two countries and was meant to promote progress of science and technology for both sides and the world. Ever since 1979 and under the STA framework, China and the US have jointly participated in the world's largest nuclear fusion project, and strengthened cooperation in climate change, environmental protection and public health. Mutual trust and understanding was built up, and solutions to global challenges were explored. This is the kind of arrangement that benefits all and hurts none. The renewal, as what should happen, is the right choice.

However, sticking a shining label of "anti-China" to their forehead, some US politicians blindly put geopolitical competition at the top of their game, ignoring the actual interests of the US government and people. Even though scientists have warned many times that cutting off scientific research links between China and the US due to so-called "security concerns" may slow down the efforts in biotechnology, clean energy, telecommunications and other key areas in the US, the China-hawks are reluctant to truly figure out who is to benefit from cooperation with China. 

Any wise head can understand that scientific and technological cooperation will stimulate more inspiration and motivation in various ways. What the US should consider is how it can rely on its own scientific and technological strength and talent advantages to maintain its competitive edge, rather than imposing sanctions and isolating others. It is fine if the US is feeling well in its small yard of national security. But who knows when the fences surrounding that yard will be torn down, by the mighty torrent of time?

EU’s anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs is sheer protectionism

Just days after Chinese electric vehicles shone at IAA Mobility in Munich, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles. She claimed Chinese EVs are cheaper because of heavy government subsidies. "Europe is open for competition. Not for a race to the bottom," she said. 

This is not true.  

China had ended all EV subsidies by 2022, while European carmakers still enjoy fiscal support from the government including tax benefits and incentives. Those Chinese companies who have come out ahead in Europe have survived fierce competition at home. UBS analysts concluded that, after an extensive assessment of all the components pulled from BYD's Seal model, 75 percent of the auto parts, ranging from batteries to power semiconductors, were made in-house. BYD enjoys a sustained 25 percent cost advantage over legacy competitors. 

Chinese EVs have won the market with advanced technology, integrated supply chain and scale effects. It is innovation which helps bring down the price and makes products more competitive. Chinese EV producers can compete in Europe without artificially keeping the price low because the European price of their cars is significantly higher than the Chinese price. And the European price of Tesla's Model 3 is even lower than BYD's Seal. 

The Chinese EV industry has got to where it is today thanks to consistent commitment to openness, innovation and hard work. Strangely enough, the EU, a champion of free market and open trade since its birth, has chosen to close its door. China Chamber of Commerce to the EU issued a statement, urging the EU to translate its commitment to market openness into tangible measures, ensuring a fair, impartial and non-discriminatory business environment for foreign companies. 

Welcoming Chinese carmakers to Germany just a week ago, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, "Competition should spur us on, but not scare us." However, the EU seems pretty scared, given all the restrictive measures and endless talks of risk and de-risk. With all the "risks" from different values, dependencies, and so on, decision-makers in Brussels are labeling competitive foreign cars as risks. 

When European companies are ready to improve themselves and face the competition, European leaders are taking a different path. As far as a spokesperson for the German Association of the Automotive Industry is concerned, an anti-subsidy investigation cannot solve the existing challenges. More importantly, European consumers will be deprived of high-end, lower-price vehicles due to their leaders' protectionist choice.  

If the EU is truly open to competition, it should encourage automakers of the two sides to cooperate. Taking protectionist actions violates WTO rules, hurts consumers' interests, and most unfortunately, shows a lack of will to improve. There is more than one way to be competitive and ultimately defend one's interests, such as innovating, simplifying rules, etc. But protectionism is never the right choice. It will not produce excellence, but start a race to the bottom. 

Escalating India-Canada spat highlights hypocrisy of US values-based alliances

In June of this year, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Sikh leader as well as a Canadian citizen, was shot dead in Canada. Canada recently accused India of being involved in the assassination and kicked out an Indian diplomat, who Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly described as the head of the Indian intelligence agency in the country. In response, India promptly announced that it had expelled a senior Canadian diplomat based in India, rejecting Canada's allegations and calling them "absurd and motivated."

In recent years, disputes between India and Canada have been centered around the Sikh community in Canada, which opposes the Modi government and advocates for Sikh rights. The Sikh community is a minority ethnic group in India with a population of just over 20 million. In Canada, which is one of the largest immigrant settlements for Sikhs worldwide, the Sikh community wields significant political, commercial and economic influence. The resurgence of the separatist Khalistan movement in recent years has become a major point of contention between India and Canada, severely impacting their bilateral relations. The ongoing tussle between the two countries has put India-Canada relations further at stake.

Observers generally believe that the lack of a meeting between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 summit in New Delhi is a signal of danger in the relationship between the two countries. Now, both countries are escalating mutual accusations and expelling diplomats, further exposing the vulnerability of the so-called value-based alliance system led by the US.

Western countries claim to be defenders of human rights and often criticize other nations for their human rights issues. Their praise for India's so-called "democracy" is primarily driven by geopolitical interests and the desire to include India in their anti-China alliance. Western elites are well aware of the substantial differences between India's so-called "democracy" and their own. Many individuals in the West do not support India's religious and minority policies.

Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University, told the Global Times that the West, especially the US, in recent years has been waving the banner of common values of democracy and freedom, attempting to develop comprehensive cooperation with India in order to contain China. They are willing to turn a blind eye to what they think are India's human rights abuses and infringement on domestic ethnic minorities, which exposes the hypocrisy of the Western alliance with India based on their so-called common values.

Noticeably, whether Westerners genuinely consider India as a democratic country like themselves is questionable. It's just that currently India is useful to Westerners, so they take advantage of the situation, said Zhao Gancheng, a research fellow from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.

As a key member of the Western alliance and a long-standing ally of the US, Canada has played an important role for the US in establishing a so-called rules-based international order and promoting its Indo-Pacific Strategy. However, the alliance currently being formed by the US, including India, is facing increasing embarrassment. This once again demonstrates the vulnerability of the US in building such alliances and the inappropriateness of ideological alliances in the context of the development trends of the times, neglecting the diversity of national interests. Both India and Canada have expelled senior officials from each other, and if the India-Canada relationship continues to deteriorate, the US might quickly step in to "mediate." After all, for the US, intervening in Canada's affairs is a familiar and easy task.

China-CEEC BRI cooperation an exemplary model

Editor's Note:
Over the past decade, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), following the guiding principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, has grown into a global platform where countries participating in it work together to promote people's well-being and give a further boost to global development.

As the BRI celebrates its 10th anniversary, Global Times reporters Yin Yeping, Wang Wenwen and Ma Mengyang interviewed diplomats and scholars to learn about achievements of the cooperation in Greece, Hungary and Serbia over the past decade and their expectations for high-quality BRI construction in the next decade.

Xiao Junzheng, Chinese Ambassador to Greece
The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. China and Greece are comprehensive strategic partners with a history of friendly exchanges dating back thousands of years. In the 51 years since establishing diplomatic relations, both countries have fearlessly navigated the changing international landscape.

China and Greece have consistently upheld the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual learning, engaging in fruitful cooperation. The two countries have become an exemplary model of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between nations of different scales, systems, national conditions and civilizations.

With the joint efforts of both China and Greece, the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries has yielded fruitful results.

Since China COSCO Shipping took over the management of the Piraeus Port, the port has experienced a remarkable transformation. The container throughput has grown from 880,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) in 2010 to over 5 million TEUs today, making it a leading port in the Mediterranean.

This development has directly created over 3,000 job opportunities for the local community and indirectly generated more than 10,000 additional jobs.

In the future, China and Greece can further strengthen their commitment to the comprehensive development plan for Piraeus Port, enhance cooperation in customs trade and facilitation of clearance procedures, advance the construction of port logistics parks, and make new contributions to maintaining the stability of the China-Europe industrial and supply chains, promoting economic integration in the Balkans, and advancing the EU integration.

The concept of green development is increasingly being reflected in the cooperation projects between the two sides.

Chinese-produced new energy vehicles have successfully entered the Greek market this year. China and Greece have strengthened their strategic alignment in technology development under the framework of the China-Greece Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation and the Belt and Road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan.

Simultaneously, both China and Greece should continue their efforts in strengthening mutual cultural exchange and learning. Perseverance in this endeavor will serve as a lasting example of cultural exchange and mutual understanding for the world. Together, both sides can draw upon the wisdom of ancient civilizations to seek solutions for contemporary challenges.

Throughout Greece's successive governments, there has been a strong emphasis on fostering relations with China. Following the re-election of the New Democracy Party government, they have continued to support both the co-development of the BRI and cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries.

I believe that in the future, under the guidance of the high-quality construction of the BRI, both sides will further promote the realization of China's modernization model and Greece's enhancement of its national competitiveness. Together, both sides will nurture new areas of cooperation such as green development and the digital economy, bringing greater prosperity to the people of both countries.

Norbert Csizmadia, a Hungarian expert in economic strategy
As a member of the EU, Hungary is the first country to bridge the gap between the West and the East. We place significant emphasis on fostering strong cooperation not only in terms of investments and infrastructure development but also in technology, culture, education and green financial initiatives. We are focused on the future with more connectivity.

There are six key areas of economic cooperation between China and Hungary, with a particular emphasis on collaboration within the Belt and Road Initiative. This focus has not only been prominent in recent years but will continue to be a priority. We believe that the era of Eurasia has arrived and consider it a crucial direction for the future. Furthermore, we firmly believe in peaceful and harmonious cooperation.

If we examine the global construction based on geographical divisions, it becomes evident that we are living in a multipolar world order. China is more and more important. For instance, in 2019, 49 percent of global economic growth was attributed to China and Southeast Asian countries, and China alone accounting for over 30 percent of global economic growth. Looking at a map of China, one can observe the geographical stretch from Beijing to Shanghai shares similarities with Central and Eastern European countries -- from the Baltic area to the Adriatic Sea. This underscores the ongoing focus on the same geographical regions, particularly the small countries within Central and Eastern Europe.

Hungary has a population of around 10 million, which is comparable to that of a single Chinese city. The importance of cooperation cannot be understated. The collaboration between Central and Eastern European countries and China spans over a decade, encompassing diverse fields such as education and investments. Hungary maintains robust political stability, unlike some other countries which have disengaged from Chinese cooperation in the past two years. While political changes have occurred in certain nations, Hungary has maintained a consistent direction for over 13 years, especially in terms of its objectives. I believe this political stability serves as a powerful force for the future.

Katarina Zakic, head of the Regional Center "Belt and Road" in Belgrade, the Institute of International Politics and Economics
Since the beginning, it was very clear that the BRI is something extraordinary that doesn't happen every day. We knew that it would be a huge project and a huge undertaking by China, to develop it and to fund it.

This year marks its 10th anniversary. When we look at the results, they are really impressive. Regarding the investments, we are reaching $1 trillion. What other countries have invested so much in one project throughout a 10-year period? Most projects don't even last 10 years. Around 40 million people worldwide do not have the burden of extreme poverty in which they were living before these projects.

In general, China has achieved excellent results. We are impressed by the results in transportation infrastructure and especially the types of the countries in which they were conducted. Those were the countries that needed those infrastructure projects. One of the reasons that I have always been extremely grateful for this project is China's idea that each country should nominate the project it wants to conduct. And we would very much appreciate China's assistance in those regards.

Serbia is in Europe, but it's not an EU member. This is our strategic situation, because for many years, we are still trying to become an EU member. Our cooperation with China and the successful results are partially due to this fact that we are not an EU member. If we were a member the politics within the European Union would affect our relations with China.

We have comprehensive cooperation with China. We have relations on very high political levels. We have signed with China the comprehensive strategic agreement. We also have excellent cooperation on an economic level, especially regarding the loans and the investments that we have, not only throughout the BRI, but also throughout the China-Central and Eastern Europe cooperation framework.

Not only political and economic relations are on a high level, but also people-to-people and cultural relations are on a very high level. All these elements help Serbia become the pillar of China's projects and China's relations in the Western market. Serbia didn't have any kind of suspicions or negative reactions toward deepening our cooperation. Each government, starting from 2008, just built up that operation. We are in a way complementing each other. We respect each other's policies. Even in some cases when we have some kind of problem, for example, on an economic level or regarding the investments, there was always an understanding that we should speak about the problem and resolve it. In this way, within the Balkan countries, we are distinct.

MPs’ Taiwan visit brings embarrassment, test to Australian government

A cross-party delegation of six Australian lawmakers started their four-day visit to the island of Taiwan on Monday. At this critical juncture when China and Australia are endeavoring to improve their strained ties, the provocative behavior of Australian lawmakers is a test for Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Looking back over the past three years, China-Australia relations have transitioned from a frozen winter to a warm spring, although each step has come with its ups and downs. China and Australia held a high-level dialogue earlier this month. The Australian government has recommenced the visa process for Chinese group travelers. China has dropped anti-dumping tariffs on Australian barley imports. Albanese will also reportedly pay a visit to China later this year. These series of positive signals are a result of the bottoming out of bilateral relations after being damaged by the previous Morrison government.

Currently, the mutual trust between the two countries is still somewhat fragile, and the thawing of relations without trust can hardly be sustained. If China and Australia join hands, the improvement of ties is foreseeable, but if one side intentionally obstructs the process, it may add hurdles to this process.

By playing the Taiwan card, these MPs aim to create troubles in bilateral relations, seek international attention and gain political capital.

Qin Sheng, executive research fellow at the Center for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that Taiwan could only get a rubber cheque from these MPs. Although Taiwan said that the visit demonstrates Australia's support for the island as well as its contribution to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, this rhetoric does not change anything.

"The Taiwan visit will only bring embarrassment to the Albanese government, because it could disrupt its configuration of China policy. Since Albanese took office, his China policy has been somewhat consistent without many twists and turns. But there are still unresolved issues between China and Australia, such as the wine dispute. China is unlikely to discuss this issue with Australia against the backdrop of Australian MPs' Taiwan visit," said Qin.

Qin added that this shows that Albanese's China policy could be jeopardized by party politics to some extent. This makes it hard for Albanese to make a stance toward this matter - he does not want to displease these politicians in his country, but he does not want their behavior to impede the positive trend of China-Australia relations either said Qin.

Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Centre of East China Normal University, believes that the visit to Taiwan by these MPs can easily be considered the official behavior of the Australian government by the outside world, which deserves vigilance of the Albanese government. 

"If Albanese truly wants to mend ties with China, he should oppose, condemn and then rein in the rogue behavior of MPs visiting Taiwan," Chen told the Global Times.

Any country that engages with China knows that the Taiwan question is about China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the first red line that must not be crossed. On the Taiwan question, Australia once followed the US closely to provoke China. In 2021, then Australian defense minister said it would be "inconceivable" for Australia not to join the US should Washington take action to defend Taiwan, and Home Affairs Department Secretary Mike Pezzullo warned drums of war are beating. Australia had stepped into the strategic pathology of "sacrificing its own interests in exchange for the interests of the US." With Washington's playbook in hand, Canberra often thought of its China policy on behalf of Washington, but it turned out that Australia's national interests do not equal those of the US. The more dedicated and loyal Canberra is, the more it will be placed at the position of a stepping stone. In matters that concern China's core interests and Australia's future, the Australian government has no room for mistakes. 

"Australia must firmly reject being instrumentalized or even weaponized by the US," said Chen, adding that Albanese and his team should continue with their rational China policy.

The US bears responsibility for the resurgence of the Israel-Palestine conflict

On Saturday, Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), launched a large-scale surprise attack on Israel, resulting in a significant number of casualties and penetrating multiple military bases and Israeli settlements. Israel immediately declared that Israel is now "at war" and vowed to "take revenge" on the Hamas militants. This event is undoubtedly the most serious conflict between Israel and Palestine in over a decade, with both sides trapped in a vicious cycle of violence, jeopardizing the fragile geopolitical stability in the Middle East.

The re-eruption of the Israel-Palestine conflict is regrettable, and both sides bear responsibility. Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and its refusal to accept the "two-state solution" serve as the root causes of the conflict. However, new dynamics in the Palestinian, regional and international situation have acted as the trigger for this latest outbreak.

Firstly, Hamas launched the attack in retaliation for the hardline policies and extremist actions of Israel's far-right government against the Palestinians. Since the Netanyahu government came to power, it has consistently challenged the Palestinian redline and ultimately fueled Palestinian anger. Hamas named this military operation the "Al-Aqsa Flood," highlighting its religious significance and revengeful intent.

Secondly, Hamas sought to counter the marginalization of the Palestinian issue. Recently, Saudi Arabia has been negotiating a "normalization" deal with Israel and has come close to an agreement brokered by the US. Saudi Arabia holds a prominent position in both the Arab and Islamic worlds, and once it establishes diplomatic relations with Israel, the Palestinian cause is likely to be greatly impacted.

Furthermore, Hamas aimed to maintain its leadership position in the armed resistance movement of Palestine. In recent years, Palestinian armed resistance has been led primarily by emerging small-scale militant groups like the "Lions' Den" in the West Bank, challenging Hamas' leadership among Palestinians. It was necessary for Hamas to defend its leadership position through a major, attention-grabbing attack.

Lastly, the economic situation in the Gaza Strip was on the brink of collapse, motivating Hamas to seek a way out for survival. 

Judging from the background of the incident, it is clear that the US also has a looming presence and certain responsibility in the bloody conflict.

First of all, the US abandoned justice by supporting Israel in its conflict with Palestine and condoning Israel's behaviors, which eventually led to this tragedy. Since the beginning of this year, the US, which claims to be the mediator for peace in the Middle East and the most important ally of Israel, has not fulfilled its obligation to promote justice and prevent tensions from escalating. Instead, it has become an accomplice in stirring up the conflict between Palestine and Israel.

Second, the Biden administration has chosen a time like this to desperately push for the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, with the main purpose of boosting Biden's votes in next year's election. It has been acting poorly in Middle East affairs. Therefore, the Biden administration is trying to expand the results of the Abraham Accords to highlight the "fruits of peace" in the Middle East. However, such a "peace in the Middle East" that the US has been showing off has led to an unprecedented threat to the survival of the Palestinians and ultimately led to a bloody conflict. The current escalation of tensions and violence proves that a Middle East peace plan without the two-state solution will only intensify conflicts and hinder peace.

Finally, the US has its own intentions by pushing to improve relations between the Arab countries and Israel - to establish a new political and military alliance against Iran, enhance its ability to control the situation in the Middle East, and, take a longer view, to try to create a coterie to marginalize China's influence in the Middle East.

The "peace" promoted by the US in the Middle East is likely to bring more divergences, contradictions and conflicts to the region. If the US continues to have a bias toward Israel, it will lead the peace process in the Middle East astray, and the Israel-Palestine conflict will recur once and again, while peace in the Middle East will become only castles in the air.