Senior HSI director Kelly O'Meara said no anim

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PARIS, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's Bank of Communications launched a branch here on Tuesday as it plans to step up its support to growing Chinese investment in Europe.

Shortly after the launch of its Paris branch, the bank will set up branches in Rome and Luxembourg, Niu Ximing, the bank's chairman, said here Tuesday, adding it aimed to increase the number of its foreign branches to about 25 by 2020.

The establishment of the Bank of Communications in Paris reflects the growing dynamism of financial cooperation between China and France, said Zhai Jun, the Chinese Ambassador to France. According to the ambassador, four Chinese banks have successively established their branches in Paris since 2011.

The president of the regional council of Ile de France, Valerie Pecresse, welcomed the arrival of the bank at its official opening ceremony on Tuesday.

The Bank of Communications, China's fifth-largest listed bank by assets, posted a net profit of about 52.6 billion yuan (7.61 billion U.S. dollars) in the first nine months of this year, with an annual growth of 1.03 percent.


Barking at their rescuers Stephon Marbury Olympics Jersey , labradors, beagles and mongrels desperately scrambled out of rusty cages in South Korea: saved from the dinner plate by a deal with dog-meat farmer Kim Young-Hwan.

In the face of falling demand, Kim agreed to close his establishment in exchange for compensation from US-based Humane Society International (HSI). The dogs are bound for a new life in adoptive homes in the West.

He is the 10th canine-meat farmer to accept such an offer in three years. The exact sums are confidential, but each deal requires hundreds of thousands of dollars once adoption costs are included.

""This business is doomed... I wanted to quit before it's too late Stephen Curry Olympics Jersey ,"" Kim said.

The 56-year-old had 170 dogs at his farm in Namyangju, north of Seoul.

""The price has plummeted in recent years,"" he told AFP. ""I'm barely making ends meet these days. Plus I've been harassed by animal rights groups all the time. It's such a hassle.""

The push by animal rights activists, including many overseas groups Scottie Pippen Olympics Jersey , to outlaw dog meat consumption in the South has sparked mixed reactions and accusations of Western hypocrisy.

- 'Lambs or rabbits' -

South Koreans are believed to consume about one million dogs a year as a summertime delicacy, with the greasy red meat -- which is invariably boiled for tenderness -- believed to increase energy.

The tradition has declined as the nation increasingly embraces the idea of dogs as pets instead of livestock, with eating them now something of a taboo among young South Koreans.

Nevertheless, activists have stepped up campaigns to ban dog consumption Russell Westbrook Olympics Jersey , with online petitions urging boycotts of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics over the issue and protests in Seoul.

Such lobbying has provoked angry debates over what many describe as cultural double standards.

""I don't eat dogs, but I am disgusted by those who preach that only animals deemed cuddly enough or friendly enough by Westerners deserve to live,"" read one online comment.

One fifth of the South's 50 million people own pets, mostly dogs and cats Paul George Olympics Jersey , said another netizen, but for many of the rest, dogs were ""no more special than lambs or rabbits"".

Similar debates have emerged in other Asian nations where dogs are eaten.

Polls show South Korean public opinion is divided.

According to a survey this year 70 percent of South Koreans do not eat dogs, but far fewer -- about 40 percent -- believe the practice should be banned.

It also found 65 percent support raising and slaughtering dogs in more humane conditions.

There is currently no law on how to treat or slaughter canines in the meat trade in South Korea. But while farmers have urged Seoul to include dogs under livestock welfare regulations Patrick Ewing Olympics Jersey , animal rights groups oppose doing so, seeking complete abolition instead.

- Suffer and love -

At Kim's rundown farm, dogs sat behind tarnished brown rusty bars, their bowls filled with soupy scraps.

Housed in pairs Michael Jordan Olympics Jersey , they spent up to a year in cages about two square metres and reeking of excrement before being sent to slaughterhouses.

Senior HSI director Kelly O'Meara said no animals should endure such awful conditions, and dogs in particular had ""a special place"" for people as they are often pets.

South Koreans are believed to consume about one million dogs a year as a summertime delicacy Dogs are seen in cages at a dog farm during a rescue organised by the Humane Society International (HSI) in Namyangju on the outskirts of Seoul The push by animal rights activists, including many overseas groups Magic Johnson Olympics Jersey , to outlaw dog meat consumption in the South has sparked accusations of Western hypocrisy

""That has certainly been the case in the West, but in Asia we see more and more people having dogs as companion animals too,"" she told AFP.

Each such farm closure -- one of HSI's most expensive initiatives -- is broadcast live online.

But Ahn Yong-Geun, a food and nutrition professor at ChungCheong University in Cheongju LeBron James Olympics Jersey , questioned whether such organisations would condemn larger-scale beef or pork industries -- which have lobbying power and broad public support -- ""in the same angry, aggressive fashion"".

""The activists won't get as much excitement from donors about a pig rescue project or a cow rescue project, although these animals have just as much capacity to suffer and love as dogs,"" said Ahn Larry Bird Olympics Jersey , a vocal critic of the push to ban dog meat.

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