A SECOND OPINION, The China Daily
Abrupt as it was, United States President Donald Trump’s dismissal of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state came as no real surprise. There has been speculation for a long time about a parting of ways, as the entire world witnessed them differ on Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the Paris climate agreement, among other things.
Thanks in part to what Trump described as a “different mindset” and “different thinking,” Tillerson often seemed at odds with his boss during his 14-month tenure. Many believe his replacement, CIA director Mike Pompeo, will at least speak as one with the president on US foreign policy, something Trump seems to be counting on to get his way, saying they “have a very similar thought process” — words that will sound ominous to many given some of Trump’s previous remarks and his country’s habit of hasty action.
While coherence may seem an upside, it will be quite another story if the new secretary of state is simply a yes-man enabling impetuous deeds in pursuit of a set agenda.
Pompeo’s hawkish stance toward China, along with his military background, have already alerted US foreign policy watchers here to the likelihood of further frictions ahead, given the differences that already exist in bilateral relations and the complexity of many issues on which they have divergent views.
This may not necessarily put China and the US on a collision course. But bilateral ties may get rockier at the hands of a combative and bombastic Trump and Pompeo double act.
In his farewell speech, Tillerson left the White House and his successor with a question that needs serious deliberation: How should the two countries deal with one another over the next 50 years to avoid conflict?
China said on Wednesday that it hopes to continue working with the US on hotspot issues and urged that relations not be viewed as a zero-sum game.
Certainly, right now, the two countries need to continue to communicate and work together with other parties to secure the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Although there are already concerns that the hawks have taken over US security and foreign policy decision-making and what that might entail.
However, while the intended audience might be taken in by appearances, it will be better to concentrate upon the details as they unfold, rather than trusting to general impressions.
New watchdog good for consumer rights protection: China Daily editorial
China Central Television marks World Consumer Rights Day on March 15 each year with an annual gala that uses investigative reporting to name and shame unscrupulous retailers. Many brands, both domestic and foreign, have come under fire for either their shoddy goods or poor after-sale service and been forced to apologize and offer customers compensation.
Millions of Chinese consumers like to watch the program as it strikes a chord with them even though they know product quality problems cannot be solved overnight.
The fact that the vast rural areas are still being plagued with fake and shoddy products, which pose risks to the health and welfare of consumers there, points to the urgency of tackling such problems through improved governance and law enforcement.
Premier Li Keqiang stressed the importance of a sound business environment for high-quality development and called for more efforts to maintain market order in his report on government work on March 5, saying the government will work to increase the supplies of premium products and services through improved quality certification and strengthened oversight of food, drugs, and consumer and industrial products, among other things.
As part of the restructuring of government departments announced on Tuesday, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and the China Food and Drug Administration are to be dismantled and their functions incorporated into one new supervisory department.
The new State market regulatory administration that is being set up will shoulder the responsibility for market supervision and management, market entity registration and market order, including examination and testing, certification and accreditation, with a specific supervisory body affiliated to it to keep a watchful eye on pharmaceutical drugs, a particularly sensitive area given their importance to people’s well-being.
The history of consumer rights protection is often viewed as specific legal and administrative responses to quality-related crises and emergencies. For instance, the tainted milk scandal in 2008, which sparked public outrage, led to an overhaul of the industry and upgrading of the country’s product tracking system. The latest moves aim to try and prevent such crises and better meet people’s demands for safe, quality goods.