Geely reveals Volvo China production plans

Chinese car maker Geely plans to begin production in China of Volvo S60 cars and XC90 SUVs once it completes the purchase of the Swedish brand from US auto giant Ford.

Geely reveals Volvo China production plans

Daniel Dai, vice president of Geely Automobile revealed the firm’s plans in a discussion with Swedish business website at Geely’s production plant in Ningbo, south of Shanghai.

“By assembling in China we can bring down the cost of the Volvo models,” he said, indicating that further models could soon follow.

Geely had previously made known its intention to examine the option of widespread Volvo production in China.

“Our low cost position will benefit Volvo while it will continue to be a premium brand,” said Daniel Dai.

Zhejiang Geely Holding signed a deal at the end of March to buy Volvo Cars from Ford. The US car maker agreed to sell its Volvo unit for $1.8 billion, less than a third of the $6.4 billion Ford paid for Volvo Cars in 1999.

Daniel Dai expects the final paperwork to be signed in four to five months.

Volvo Cars already has a production facility in China, where it has linked up with local firm Chang’an Automoble to make S40 cars and a version of the S80 sedan.

Volvo has 22,000 employees worldwide, including 16,000 in Sweden.

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China derides Copenhagen democracy meet as ‘political farce’

China on Tuesday blasted a democracy conference in Copenhagen attended by Taiwan's president and a Hong Kong activist alongside Danish government officials this week, qualifying it a "political farce".

China derides Copenhagen democracy meet as 'political farce'
Demonstrators gathered outside the Copenhagen Democracy Summit on Tuesday. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit was held Monday and Tuesday in the Danish capital and organised by the Alliance of Democracies, an organisation targeted by Beijing sanctions in March and founded by former NATO boss Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

In addition to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod also participated in the forum by video link, which Beijing said violated “the one-China principle.”

“This summit is a political farce,” the Chinese embassy in Denmark wrote in a statement published on Tuesday. “Inviting those who advocate Taiwan and Hong Kong ‘independence’ to the meeting violates the one-China principle and interferes in China’s internal affairs,” it said.

“Some hypocritical western politicians are good at meddling in other countries’ internal affairs and creating divisions and confrontation in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’. They are bound to fail,” it added.

At the conference on Monday, Kofod said it was “deplorable” that Beijing had imposed sanctions on 10 European individuals and organisations in response to EU sanctions on Xinjiang officials over their actions against the Uyghur Muslim minority.

Like most countries, Denmark applies the one-China principle — under which Beijing bars other countries from having simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taipei — though it does maintain relations with Taiwan.

Cut off politically from the rest of China since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the territory is self-governing but is not recognised by
the United Nations.

Beijing considers Taiwan a rebel province that will one day return under its control, by force if necessary.

China’s sabre-rattling has increased considerably over the past year, with fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers breaching Taiwan’s air defence zone on a near-daily basis.

“Our government is fully aware of the threats to regional security, and is actively enhancing our national defence capabilities to protect our
democracy,” Tsai told the conference in a video address on Monday. US President Joe Biden is expected to present his China strategy soon, as
calls mount for him to publicly commit to defending Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack.