China’s president in India for summit amid Kashmir tensions

1 / 4
Chinese President Xi Jinping is received upon arrival in Chennai, India. (AP)
2 / 4
Chinese President Xi Jinping waves to the gathering as he arrives in Chennai, India, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP)
3 / 4
Indians hold a banner welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping outside the airport in Chennai, India, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP)
4 / 4
China's President Xi Jinping looks on upon his arrival at the airport in Chennai, India, October 11, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 11 October 2019

China’s president in India for summit amid Kashmir tensions

  • Xi was greeted at the Chennai airport by Tamil Nadu state Gov. as a cultural group beat drums and blew horns
  • India’s foreign ministry said Xi and Modi will meet in the seaside temple town of Mamallapuram later Friday and Saturday

MAMALLAPURAM: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in India on Friday for meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a time of tensions over Beijing’s support for Pakistan in opposing India’s downgrading of Kashmir’s semi-autonomy and continuing restrictions on the disputed region.
Xi was greeted at the Chennai airport by Tamil Nadu state Gov. Patwarilal Purohit as a cultural group beat drums and blew horns.
India’s foreign ministry said Xi and Modi will meet in the seaside temple town of Mamallapuram later Friday and Saturday.
Their one-to-one meeting in Wuhan in China in April last year also was preceded by tensions caused by a 10-week standoff between their armed forces on the Bhutan border.
Mamallapuram is decorated with arches studded with fruits and green vegetables. Hundreds of young children in traditional dress carrying posters with photographs of Xi and Modi waited for hours to greet the Chinese leader.
The town was under tight surveillance, with thousands of security personnel. Mamallapuram is 55 kilometers (35 miles) south of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state.
China claims some 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles) of territory in India’s northeast, while India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin Plateau in the western Himalayas. Officials have met at least 20 times to discuss the competing border claims without making significant progress.
The two countries fought a border war in 1962. 
India also is concerned about China’s moves to build strategic and economic ties with its neighbors, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and the Maldives.
Tensions in Kashmir, which is divided between Pakistan and India but claimed by both, have escalated since August, when India downgraded the semi-autonomy of Indian-administered Kashmir and imposed a security and communications lockdown.
China supported Pakistan in raising India’s actions at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. China said India should not act unilaterally in Kashmir, a portion of which China also controls.
Xi arrived two days after hosting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing.
India says Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. “China is well aware of our position. It is not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India,” India’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
Lalit Mansingh, a former Indian ambassador to the United States, said he expected an overview of relations by the two leaders and “instructions on how the relationship should proceed.”
He said the diplomatic damage the Chinese inflicted over India’s action in Kashmir has been done. “This is not going to be undone. India has stuck to its position and received international support,” he said.
China for its part resents India’s hosting of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 and took refuge in India.
The Tibetan Youth Congress in a statement on Friday urged Prime Minister Modi to take up the Tibetan issue with Xi during the summit. “TYC condemns the Communist government of China and its president as long as the Communist Party continues to suppress the struggle of the Tibetan people,” it said.
China says Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, although many Tibetans say they were essentially independent for most of that time. Communist troops took control of the region in 1950 after a brief military struggle.
Referring to India’s support for China’s position on Tibet, Mansingh said that India backs China’s territorial integrity. “China will not keep on challenging our territorial integrity. Otherwise we will have to have to take a different view on the issue,” he said.


Philippines cracks down on clandestine COVID-19 clinics

Updated 29 May 2020

Philippines cracks down on clandestine COVID-19 clinics

  • Intelligence, immigration officials investigating illegal facilities that catered mostly to foreigners

MANILA: The Philippines has intensified its crackdown on uncertified medical facilities offering treatment to people, particularly foreigners, with COVID-19 symptoms.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to help the Philippine National Police (PNP) track down foreign nationals behind the illegal clinics.
“It seems that clandestine medical clinics catering mostly to foreign nationals have sprouted and have been operating without proper authority,” Guevarra told reporters.
He said the facilities could have compromised the health of those who had undergone treatment.
“I’ll therefore ask the NBI and the BI to help the police in locating other similar underground clinics and the people running them, and if warranted, to file the appropriate charges against them,” he added.
Guevarra issued the order following a raid on Tuesday on an illegal clinic catering to Chinese patients in Makati City. Arrested in the operation were Chinese nationals Dr. David Lai, 49, and Liao Bruce, 41.
The clinic was reportedly operating without a permit, while the arrested did not have a license to practice medicine in the country.
Seized from the site were swab sticks, vials, syringes and boxes of medicine with Chinese labels — believed to be unregistered with the Food and Drug Administration.
Last week, law enforcers also swooped on a makeshift hospital for Chinese patients in the Fontana Leisure Park in Clark, Pampanga province.
The raid came after police received information that a COVID-19 patient was “undergoing medical attention” in a Fontana villa.
Arrested during the raid were Chinese nationals Liu Wei, who reportedly supervised the facility, and Hu Shiling, allegedly a pharmacist. Both were released on the same day without charge.
Immigration officials on Thursday said the duo had been placed on their watch list to prevent them from leaving the country while an investigation is underway.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said intelligence operatives will trace four of the patients, and are looking into the case of the Chinese nationals arrested in Makati.
“I’ve instructed our intelligence division to investigate if these alleged Chinese doctors are legally staying in the country,” he said.
“Should we find they violated our immigration laws, they’ll be charged with deportation cases before our law and investigation division,” he added.
“Even if no criminal charges were filed against them, they can be charged for immigration law violations if we can establish that they violated the conditions of their stay in the country.”
If criminal charges are filed, however, the BI will only deport them after their cases have been resolved or they have served their sentences, if convicted.
Opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros called for the “immediate deportation and blacklisting” of the Chinese nationals because of their “blatant disregard of our laws.”
She added that while the Philippines is working hard to protect its people from the virus, “these criminals freely roam and pose a danger to public health.”