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Xi says multi-party system didn't work for China

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China experimented in the past with various political systems, including multi-party democracy, but it did not work, President Xi Jinping said during a visit to Europe, warning that copying foreign political or development models could be catastrophic. China's constitution enshrines the Communist Party's long-term "leading" role in government, though it allows the existence of various other political parties under what is calls a "multi-party cooperation system". But all are subservient to the Communist Party.

Cuban opposition group says political arrests declined in March

Havana, Apr 1 (EFE).- The opposition Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation reported Tuesday a decline in the number of political arrests in March compared with earlier months, a situation it attributed to the Communist government's interest in showing "a better image" with an eye toward its talks with the European Union. In its monthly report, the commission reported slightly more than 800 "arbitrary arrests for political motives" during March, a lower figure than the more than 1,000 per month in December, January and February.

Disgraced China military officer sold 'hundreds' of posts: sources

By Benjamin Kang Lim and Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - A disgraced senior Chinese army officer is accused of selling hundreds of military positions, raking in millions of dollars, sources with ties to the leadership or military told Reuters, in what is likely China's biggest military scandal in two decades. In a renewed campaign on graft, Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to go after both powerful "tigers" and lowly "flies", warning that the issue is so severe it threatens the ruling Communist Party's survival.

China's Xi seeks peace in Europe but side-steps Ukraine

By Robin Emmott BRUGES, Belgium (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping told Europe on Tuesday that Beijing opposed intervention in other countries' affairs but he declined to directly criticize Russia for its annexation of Crimea. Xi also assured European leaders that China was a close ally committed to the continent's peace and prosperity.

In Brussels, China learns 'eurospeak' to seek influence

By Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - At the height of the euro zone crisis, a Chinese official quipped that Europe was being reduced to a "wonderful theme park" for tourists. That view no longer has much currency as Beijing recalibrates links with the world's biggest trade bloc. Beijing's growing realization that China needs strong influence in Europe's de facto capital, Brussels, has been cemented by President Xi Jinping's visit to the EU's institutions this week, the first ever by a Chinese leader.

China's Xi seeks 'win-win' in ground-breaking EU visit

China's Xi Jinping made a groundbreaking first visit by a Chinese president to European Union headquarters Monday, saying closer ties between the two partners -- which represent a quarter of the world's people -- were "a win-win". After a red-carpet day with Belgium's royals and a visit to a zoo hosting a pair of pandas on loan from Beijing, Xi got down to serious business in talks that touched on the crisis in Ukraine, human rights and quarrels over trade.

China's Xi turns to panda diplomacy to seek EU trade deal

By Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping will use two pandas to break the ice and soften European opposition to a free-trade deal with China during a visit to Belgium which starts on Sunday. As the first Chinese leader to visit the European Union's headquarters since Brussels established ties with Beijing four decades ago, Xi will also seek to send a message that China is a less confrontational partner, ready to resolve trade disputes.

Factbox: What's changed in Cuba's new foreign investment law

(Reuters) - Cuba's National Assembly on Saturday unanimously approved a new foreign investment law that the communist-run country hopes will attract badly needed capital, improve growth and create jobs. Accompanying regulations, which may differ from previous rules, will not be published for 90 days. Following are some differences between the current and the new law, and a summary of what remains unchanged. NEGOTIATION

WTO upholds challenge to China's limits on rare-earth exports

Beijing, Mar 27 (EFE).- China's government on Thursday lamented a World Trade Organization ruling that found its caps on exports of rare-earth elements, tungsten and molybdenum were unjustified. "China will keep enhancing its management of resource products under the WTO rules to preserve fair competition," an unnamed trade ministry official told the official Xinhua news agency. The WTO ruled Wednesday that restrictions on the exports of those raw materials, which are used to make high-tech products and sophisticated weapons, violate global trade rules.

Cuba plans big tax breaks to lure foreign investors

By Marc Frank HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba's communist government has drawn up a new foreign investment law that will cut the profits tax in half and exempt investors from paying it for eight years in an attempt to attract desperately needed capital into the economy. The National Assembly will meet on Saturday to approve the legislation that Cuba promises will offer investment security to foreigners and help further integrate the Caribbean island in the global economy.
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