China signals no let-up in its aggressive diplomacy

China signals no let-up in its aggressive diplomacy

BEIJING, Sept 29 (Reuters) - China signalled on Thursday no let-up in its combative approach to foreign policy in a third term for Xi Jinping as leader despite criticism from many Western diplomats that the so-called Wolf Warrior stance has been counterproductive. As relations with the West have soured over issues from trade and human rights to COVID-19, Chinese diplomats have often been confrontational on the public stage, including on social media, a stridency that some critics see as intended for a domestic audience that nonetheless hurts its foreign ties. "We Chinese will not capitulate. We will not sit and…
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Prominent Chinese commentator urges COVID experts to ‘speak out’

Prominent Chinese commentator urges COVID experts to ‘speak out’

BEIJING, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Prominent Chinese commentator Hu Xijin said on Sunday that as China ponders its COVID-19 policies, epidemic experts need to speak out and China ought to conduct comprehensive research and make any studies transparent to the public. Hu's unusual call on Chinese social media for candour and transparency earned him 34,000 likes on the popular Twitter-like microblog Weibo, as well as frank responses from netizens in a normally tightly policed internet quick to censor voices deemed a risk to social stability. China's top leaders warned in May amid the COVID lockdown of Shanghai and widespread restrictions…
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China urges dialogue, consultation after Putin’s warning to West

China urges dialogue, consultation after Putin’s warning to West

BEIJING, Sept 21 (Reuters) - China's foreign ministry urged all parties to engage in dialogue and consultation and find a way to address the security concerns of all parties after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West over what he described as "nuclear blackmail". China's position on Ukraine is consistent and clear, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular media briefing on Wednesday. Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two and warned that Moscow would defend itself with the might of all its vast arsenal if faced with a nuclear threat from the…
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UPDATED: Taiwan denounces China’s peaceful ‘reunification’ pledge

UPDATED: Taiwan denounces China’s peaceful ‘reunification’ pledge

TAIPEI/BEIJING, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Taiwan will never allow China to "meddle" in its future, the government said on Wednesday, after a Chinese government spokesperson said Beijing was willing to make the utmost effort to strive for a peaceful "reunification" with the island. China claims democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory. Taiwan's government rejects China's sovereignty claims. China has been carrying out military drills near Taiwan since early last month, after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, including firing missiles into waters near the island, though the activities have since scaled back. Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China's Taiwan…
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U.S., Canadian warships sail through Taiwan Strait, second in a year

U.S., Canadian warships sail through Taiwan Strait, second in a year

 (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy warship and a Canadian frigate carried out a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, the U.S. and Canadian militaries said, an operation which comes amid heightened military tensions between Beijing and Taipei. China condemned the mission, saying its forces "warned" the ships. In recent years, U.S. warships, and on occasion those from allied nations such as Britain and Canada, have routinely sailed through the strait, drawing the ire of China, which claims Taiwan over the objections of the island's democratically elected government. In a statement, the U.S. Navy said its Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile…
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Chinese official warns against touching foreigners after monkeypox case

Chinese official warns against touching foreigners after monkeypox case

A top Chinese health official has warned locals against touching foreigners, a day after China recorded its first monkeypox infection. In a post on Weibo, the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Wu Zunyou advised against "skin-to-skin contact with foreigners". The post drew controversy, with some labelling it as racist. Comments on the original post have since been disabled from the platform. "In order to prevent possible monkeypox infection and as part of our healthy lifestyle, it is recommended that 1) you do not have direct skin-to-skin contact with foreigners," said Mr Wu on…
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China eases some border entry rules for foreign tourists

China eases some border entry rules for foreign tourists

BEIJING, Sept 19 (Reuters) - China's government on Monday issued draft rules aimed at making it easier for some foreigners to enter China for visits to tourism sites along the Chinese border. Travel groups organised by tour agencies in border areas in China can choose their port of entry and exit "flexibly", the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said in a statement, without giving specifics on locations and dates. China has shut its borders to foreign tourists since the outbreak of the new coronavirus in 2020, with only specific groups of foreign nationals allowed to enter the country, such as…
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Pope arrives in Kazakhstan, says ‘always ready’ for China visit

Pope arrives in Kazakhstan, says ‘always ready’ for China visit

Pope Francis said on Tuesday he was willing to go to China at any time but had "no news" to offer over speculation he might meet Chinese President Xi Jinping while both are in Kazakhstan. Francis arrived in Kazakhstan after a six-hour flight from Rome at the start of a three-day trip to attend a peace meeting of world religious leaders. Francis, who suffers from a knee ailment, for the first time on his trips used a finger ramp to exit the plane and enter the terminal on a wheelchair. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev greeted the pope briefly at the airport before the pope travelled in…
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China declines to say if Xi will meet Putin and Modi at summit

China declines to say if Xi will meet Putin and Modi at summit

China's foreign ministry declined to say whether President Xi Jinping will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin or Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation regional security bloc summit this week. The summit will take place in Uzbekistan from Sept. 15. The foreign ministry was asked about Xi's plans during a daily news briefing on Tuesday. via Reuters
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Xi to meet Putin in first trip outside China since COVID began

Xi to meet Putin in first trip outside China since COVID began

LONDON/BEIJING, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Xi Jinping will leave China for the first time in more than two years for a trip this week to Central Asia where he will meet Russia's Vladimir Putin, just a month before he is set to cement his place as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. The trip, Xi's first abroad since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shows he is confident about both his grip on power as he heads for a third term in office and about his role as a world leader at a time of renewed great power…
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WATCH: Earthquake in China’s Sichuan kills more than 40, shakes provincial capital

WATCH: Earthquake in China’s Sichuan kills more than 40, shakes provincial capital

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck China's Sichuan province on Monday, the strongest to hit the region since 2017, killing more than 40 people and shaking the provincial capital of Chengdu and more distant provinces. Forty-six people were killed in the quake, Chinese state media Xinhua reported on Tuesday, citing local authorities at a press briefing. https://twitter.com/BNONews/status/1566925996237922308 Some roads and homes near the epicentre were damaged by landslides, while communications were down in at least one area, state television reported. No damage to dams and hydropower stations within 50 km (31 miles) of the epicentre was reported, although damage to the provincial grid…
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UPDATED: Earthquake in China’s Sichuan kills 21; Fatal earthquake in Afghanistan

UPDATED: Earthquake in China’s Sichuan kills 21; Fatal earthquake in Afghanistan

BEIJING, Sept 5 (Reuters) - A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck China's Sichuan on Monday, the strongest to hit the region since 2017, killing at least 21 persons and shaking the provincial capital of Chengdu and other provinces. Some roads and homes near the epicentre were damaged by landslides, while communications were down in at least one area, according to state television. No damage at dam and hydropower stations within 50 km (31 miles) of the epicentre has been reported. The epicentre was at Luding, the China Earthquake Networks Centre said, a town in the mountains about 226 km southwest of…
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CanSino’s inhaled COVID-19 vaccine gets emergency use approval in China

CanSino’s inhaled COVID-19 vaccine gets emergency use approval in China

HONG KONG, Sept 4 (Reuters) - China's CanSino Biologics Inc said on Sunday that its recently developed COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by the country's drug regulator for emergency use as a booster, potentially benefiting its business. The inhaled version of Cansino's adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccine has obtained the green light from the National Medical Products Administration, the company said in a filing on Sunday. "The approval will have a positive impact on the company's performance if the vaccine is subsequently purchased and used by relevant government agencies," CanSino said. The company cautioned, however, that it will face fierce competition from…
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China’s Shenzhen extends COVID curbs but stops short of full lockdown

China’s Shenzhen extends COVID curbs but stops short of full lockdown

SHENZHEN, China, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Some districts of China's southern tech hub Shenzhen extended curbs on public activities, dining out and entertainment venues on Friday, but city officials stopped short of a full lockdown as they try to rein in rising COVID cases. Restrictions in the central business district of Futian and Longhua, home to a major campus of Apple AAPL.O iPhone assembler Foxconn 2317.TW, have been extended until Sunday, while residents in several areas across the city were asked to work from home if possible. Most of Shenzhen's nearly 18 million residents are now under COVID controls amid…
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China accuses Taiwan’s ruling party of attempting to hype tensions after drone shooting

China accuses Taiwan’s ruling party of attempting to hype tensions after drone shooting

BEIJING, Sept 2 (Reuters) - China's foreign ministry on Friday said Taiwan's ruling party was attempting to hype tensions, after the self-governed island shot down an unidentified civilian drone this week. "The Democratic Progressive Party's attempt to hype-up tensions does not mean anything," spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular briefing, in response to a question about the shooting of the drone. Taiwan downed the drone when it buzzed a Taiwanese-controlled island off the Chinese coast on Thursday. Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said the shooting was the most "appropriate" thing to do after repeated warnings, adding that China should exercise…
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Chengdu locks down 21.2 million people as Chinese cities battle COVID

Chengdu locks down 21.2 million people as Chinese cities battle COVID

SHENZHEN, China, Sept 1 (Reuters) - One of China's biggest cities, Chengdu, announced a lockdown of its 21.2 million residents as it launched four days of citywide COVID-19 testing, as some of country's most populous and economically important urban centres battle outbreaks. All residents in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, were ordered to stay largely at home from 6 p.m. on Thursday, with households allowed to send one person per day to shop for necessities, the city government said in a statement. Chengdu is the largest city to be locked down since Shanghai was shut for two months earlier…
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UPDATED:EU, responding to UN report, condemns rights violations in China

UPDATED:EU, responding to UN report, condemns rights violations in China

BRUSSELS, Sept 1 (Reuters) - The European Commission, responding to a U.N. report that China may have committed crimes against humanity in its Xinjiang region, said on Thursday that it strongly condemns human rights violations in the country. "We are currently assessing the content of the report and we will be issuing reaction in good time," a European Commission spokesperson told a news briefing. "But, as we have said before, the EU strongly condemns human rights violations in Xinjiang and other parts of China - in particular the persecution of the Uyghurs and other persons belonging to national or religious…
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China sets October start for congress seen as Xi coronation

China sets October start for congress seen as Xi coronation

BEIJING  (Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party will hold its five-yearly congress beginning on Oct. 16, with Xi Jinping poised to secure an historic third leadership term and cement his place as the country's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. The Politburo announced the start date for the congress, which typically lasts about a week and takes place mostly behind closed doors at the Great Hall of the People on the western side of Tiananmen Square in central Beijing. Xi, 69, has steadily consolidated power since becoming party general secretary a decade ago, eliminating any known factional opposition to his…
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Populous Chinese cities including Shenzhen ramp up COVID curbs

Populous Chinese cities including Shenzhen ramp up COVID curbs

Several big Chinese cities escalated COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, with Shenzhen closing more businesses and Dalian locking down millions, renewing economic uncertainty and delaying the start of the school year for some. The fresh measures, scheduled to last just a few days for now, reflect China's insistence on its so-called "dynamic COVID zero" policy that aims to quash every outbreak as and when they happen. The stakes are higher for China's already wobbly national economy compared to earlier this month, when the lockdowns were mostly in smaller cities. Further major escalation or prolongation of curbs in big metropolises, such as…
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China says COVID has exacerbated decline in births, marriages

China says COVID has exacerbated decline in births, marriages

 (Reuters) - China's National Health Commission said COVID-19 has contributed to the decline in the country's marriage and birth rates that has accelerated in recent years due to the high costs of education and child-rearing. Many women are continuing to delay their plans to marry or have children, it said, adding that rapid economic and social developments have led to "profound changes". Young people relocating to urban areas, more time spent on education and high-pressure working environments have also played their part, it added. Demographers have also said that China's uncompromising "zero-COVID" policy of promptly stamping out any outbreaks with…
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Macau to limit numbers of gaming tables, machines for casino operators

Macau to limit numbers of gaming tables, machines for casino operators

HONG KONG, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Macau has fixed a limit of 6,000 gaming tables and 12,000 gaming machines for new casino operators early next year, as well as minimum income levels for each operator, the government in the world's biggest gambling hub said on Friday. With their contracts set to expire at the end of the year, the territory's six licensed operators, Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM China, SJM Holdings 0880.HK, Melco Resorts MPEL.O have to rebid for their spots. The government kicked off the highly anticipated bidding process in July, when it said global gaming operators…
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China customs drops some COVID reporting for international arrivals; quarantine remains

China customs drops some COVID reporting for international arrivals; quarantine remains

BEIJING, Aug 26 (Reuters) - China still requires international passengers to take pre-departure COVID-19 tests and quarantine upon arrival, the customs office said on Friday, a day after dropping some reporting requirements for travellers clearing customs. China, which has shortened the quarantine period and removed some testing and self-isolation requirements for inbound international travellers, still has some of the world's most stringent COVID-19 policies. Chinese customs on Thursday said it had removed the requirements for travellers to report COVID tests, previous infections and vaccination dates when they clear customs, to make entry more convenient. "This is not an easing of…
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China faces heatwave havoc on power, crops and livestock

China faces heatwave havoc on power, crops and livestock

SHANGHAI, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Extreme heat in China played havoc on Wednesday despite lower temperatures in some regions, with authorities across the Yangtze river basin scrambling to limit the damage from climate change on power, crops and livestock. China's heatwave, stretching past 70 days, is its longest and most widespread on record, with around 30% of the 600 weather stations along the Yangtze recording their highest temperatures ever by last Friday. The southwestern region of Chongqing has been hit especially hard, with one resident, Zhang Ronghai, saying that both his water and his power had been cut after a…
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Taiwan saw off China before and retains resolve to defend itself, president says

Taiwan saw off China before and retains resolve to defend itself, president says

Taiwan saw off China's military six decades ago when its forces bombarded offshore Taiwanese islands and that resolve to defend the homeland continues to this day, President Tsai Ing-wen told a visiting group of former U.S. officials on Tuesday. Tensions between Taiwan and China have spiked over the past month following the visit to Taipei by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China staged war games near Taiwan to express its anger at what it saw as stepped up U.S. support for the island Beijing views as sovereign Chinese territory. Meeting a delegation of former U.S. officials now at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Tsai referred to China's…
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Chinese censors change ending of latest ‘Minions’ movie

Chinese censors change ending of latest ‘Minions’ movie

Censors have altered the ending of the recent animated film Minions: The Rise of Gru for its domestic release in China, social media users across the country noticed over the weekend. The editing is yet another example of Chinese authorities editing a popular Hollywood film to make it more politically correct, leading some viewers to lament the changes. According to posts and screenshots from the movie shared on Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter, censors tacked on an addendum in which Wild Knuckles, a main character in the heist film, was caught by police and served 20 years in jail. Gru, a…
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China’s Sichuan extends power curbs until Aug.25 as heatwave drags on

China’s Sichuan extends power curbs until Aug.25 as heatwave drags on

SHANGHAI, Aug 22 (Reuters) - China's Sichuan province will extend curbs on industrial power consumers until Aug. 25 as it tries to deal with dwindling hydropower output and surging household electricity demand following a long heatwave, financial news service Caixin said. Sichuan, a major hydropower generator, already imposed consumption restrictions on industry from Aug. 15 to Aug. 20, but extended the curbs for another five days on Sunday as temperatures continued to linger at around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), Caixin said. It cited firms in the battery industry as saying that industrial power users in the cities of…
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China issues first national drought alert, battles to save crops in extreme heatwave

China issues first national drought alert, battles to save crops in extreme heatwave

SHANGHAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - China has issued its first national drought alert of the year as authorities battle forest fires and mobilise specialist teams to protect crops from scorching temperatures across the Yangtze river basin. The national 'yellow alert', issued late on Thursday, comes after regions from Sichuan in the southwest to Shanghai in the Yangtze delta have experienced weeks of extreme heat, with government officials repeatedly citing global climate change as the cause. The alert is two notches short of the most serious warning on Beijing's scale. In one of the Yangtze's important flood basins in central China's…
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China to send troops to Russia for ‘Vostok’ exercise

China to send troops to Russia for ‘Vostok’ exercise

Chinese troops will travel to Russia to take part in joint military exercises led by the host and including India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan and other countries, China's defence ministry said on Wednesday. China's participation in the joint exercises was "unrelated to the current international and regional situation", the ministry said in a statement. Last month, Moscow announced plans to hold "Vostok" (East) exercises from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, even as it wages a costly war in Ukraine. It said at the time that some foreign forces would participate, without naming them. China's defence ministry said its participation in the exercises was part…
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Chinese military will send troops to Russia for joint exercise

Chinese military will send troops to Russia for joint exercise

BEIJING, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Chinese troops will travel to Russia to take part in joint military exercises led by the host and including India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan and other countries, China's defence ministry said on Wednesday. China's participation in the joint exercises was "unrelated to the current international and regional situation", the ministry said in a statement. Last month, Moscow announced plans to hold "Vostok" (East) exercises from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, even as it wages a costly war in Ukraine. It said at the time that some foreign forces would participate, without naming them. Its last such…
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China to discourage abortions to boost low birth rate

China to discourage abortions to boost low birth rate

China will discourage abortions and take steps to make fertility treatment more accessible as part of efforts to boost one of the world's lowest birth rates, its National Health Authority said. Support measures from taxation and insurance to education and housing would be improved and implemented, with local governments encouraged to boost infant care services and family friendly workplaces, according to guidelines published on the authority's website. The authority said it would carry out reproductive health promotion to enhance public awareness while "preventing unintended pregnancy and reducing abortions that are not medically necessary." China's fertility rate of 1.16 in 2021…
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Broad swathe of China swelters in high temperatures

Broad swathe of China swelters in high temperatures

SHENZHEN, China, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Several regions of China including the major southwestern city of Chongqing baked in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) on Saturday, while the country's national observatory continued its red alert for high temperatures. In Zhejiang, home to many factories and exporters, a meteorological official said that the eastern province has broken its previous record for high temperature days this year, with 31 days above 35 degrees Celsius and 16 days above 38 degrees Celsius. Along with Chongqing, which saw temperatures up to 42.1 degrees Celsius weather on Saturday, Hubei, Hunan, Shandong, Anhui, Xinjiang,…
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China’s Xi plans foreign trip including meeting Biden

China’s Xi plans foreign trip including meeting Biden

Chinese officials are planning a possible trip by Xi Jinping to Southeast Asia in November for what could be the leader's first foreign trip since the COVID-19 pandemic and include a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, the Wall Street Journal reported. Biden's team has long sought and has not yet confirmed an in-person meeting between the two leaders to lower tensions as the two countries spar over Taiwan, trade and a host of other issues. The White House is continuing to work on doing so, according to one person familiar with the matter, who said Biden remains open to…
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Hacker offers to sell data of 48.5 mln users of Shanghai’s COVID app

Hacker offers to sell data of 48.5 mln users of Shanghai’s COVID app

BEIJING, Aug 12 (Reuters) - A hacker claims to have obtained the personal information of 48.5 million users of a COVID health mobile app run by the city of Shanghai, the second claim of a breach of the Chinese financial hub's data in just over a month. The hacker with the username as "XJP" posted an offer to sell the data for $4,000 on the hacker forum Breach Forums on Wednesday. The person provided a sample of the data including the phone numbers, names and Chinese identification numbers and health code status of 47 people. Eleven of the 47 reached…
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Parts of China’s Hainan extend COVID lockdown, Lhasa in Tibet tightens curbs

Parts of China’s Hainan extend COVID lockdown, Lhasa in Tibet tightens curbs

SHANGHAI, Aug 12 (Reuters) - A few cities in China's tourism hub Hainan extended lockdowns on Friday, with some of the measures expected to last through the weekend, while Lhasa in Tibet also tightened restrictions, among the latest curbs to contain COVID clusters in the country. Under the "dynamic COVID zero" policy that aims at quickly stopping each outbreak from spreading, local governments have imposed shorter lockdowns where people were barred from unnecessary movements for a few days or weeks until clusters were contained within narrower areas. Such lockdowns were less painful than the two-month virus battle fought by Shanghai…
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Mystery virus in China leaves at least 35 people sick

Mystery virus in China leaves at least 35 people sick

Dozens of people have been infected by a new, animal-derived virus in eastern and central China. The novel Langya henipavirus (LayV) was detected in 35 patients in the Shandong and Henan provinces. Many suffered fever, headaches, vomiting and a cough. Researchers believe the patients contracted the virus from animals, and there is currently no evidence that it can transmit among humans, scientists said in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week. There have been no known deaths from LayV. The cases have not been “very serious” and there is “no need for panic,” said Prof…
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China withdraws promise not to send troops to Taiwan if it takes control of island

China withdraws promise not to send troops to Taiwan if it takes control of island

BEIJING, Aug 10 (Reuters) - China has withdrawn a promise not to send troops or administrators to Taiwan if it takes control of the island, an official document showed on Wednesday, signalling a decision by President Xi Jinping to grant less autonomy than previously offered. China's white paper on its position on self-ruled Taiwan follows days of unprecedented Chinese military exercises near the island, which Beijing claims as its territory, in protest against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit last week.  China had said in two previous white papers on Taiwan, in 1993 and 2000, that it "will not send troops or…
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China extends military drills around Taiwan after Pelosi visit

China extends military drills around Taiwan after Pelosi visit

TAIPEI/BEIJING, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Chinese navy ships remained active off both Taiwan's east and west coasts on Wednesday morning, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters, as Beijing kept up military drills in protest against last week's visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A furious China has extended its largest-ever exercises around the self-ruled island it claims as its own beyond the originally scheduled four days. The drills last week have included ballistic missile launches, some of which flew over the island's capital Taipei, and simulated sea and air attacks in the skies and seas surrounding Taiwan. Video released by…
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Biden ‘concerned’ as China extends military drills around Taiwan

Biden ‘concerned’ as China extends military drills around Taiwan

China announced new military drills around Taiwan on Monday, eliciting concern from U.S. President Joe Biden, a day after the scheduled end of Beijing's largest exercises to protest last week's visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China's Eastern Theatre Command said it would conduct joint drills focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations - confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would keep pressure on Taiwan's defences. Taiwan's foreign ministry condemned the move, saying China, which claims the self-governed island as its own, was deliberately creating crises. It demanded Beijing stop its military…
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China announces fresh military drills around Taiwan

China announces fresh military drills around Taiwan

China's military announced fresh military drills on Monday in the seas and airspace around Taiwan - a day after the scheduled end of its largest ever exercises to protest against last week's visit to Taipei by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China's Eastern Theatre Command said it would conduct joint drills focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations - confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would continue to maintain pressure on Taiwan's defences. Taiwan's foreign ministry condemned the move, saying China was deliberately creating crises. It demanded Beijing stop its military actions and "pull back from the edge". "In the…
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China shortens suspensions for international flights linked to COVID cases

China shortens suspensions for international flights linked to COVID cases

Aug 7 (Reuters) - China has shortened the suspension time for inbound international flights on routes found to have COVID-19 cases starting on Aug. 7. The country's aviation regulator said in a statement on Sunday that flights on a route with an identified coronavirus case will be suspended for one week if 4% of passengers test positive, and two weeks if 8% of passengers test positive. Previously, the aviation regulator's policy was that if five passengers tested positive, the airline's flights for that route would be suspended for two weeks. The suspension will last for four weeks if 10 or more passengers…
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In first visit to China, South Korean foreign minister seeks to reassure Beijing over U.S. ties

In first visit to China, South Korean foreign minister seeks to reassure Beijing over U.S. ties

SEOUL, Aug 8 (Reuters) - South Korea foreign minister Park Jin is set for his first visit to China on Monday as President Yoon Suk-yeol's government seeks to reassure Beijing about their relationship despite stronger ties with the United States and tensions over Taiwan.  Park is scheduled for a three-day stay in the eastern port city of Qingdao, during which he will hold talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Seoul's foreign ministry said. Park is the first high-level official to travel to China since Yoon took office in May.  His trip comes after Beijing expressed outrage over U.S. House Speaker Nancy…
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UPDATE – Taiwan says Chinese planes, ships carry out attack simulation exercise

UPDATE – Taiwan says Chinese planes, ships carry out attack simulation exercise

TAIPEI, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Taiwan officials said Chinese aircraft and warships rehearsed an attack on the island on Saturday, part of Beijing's retaliation for a visit there by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that has also seen it halt talks with the United States on issues including defence and climate change. Pelosi's brief visit this week to the self-ruled island that China regards as its territory infuriated Beijing and prompted unprecedented military drills that have included ballistic missiles fired over the capital, Taipei. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of taking "irresponsible steps" by halting key communication channels with…
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China warns that its temperatures are rising faster than global average

China warns that its temperatures are rising faster than global average

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's average ground temperatures have risen much more quickly than the global average over the past 70 years and will remain "significantly higher" in the future as the challenges of climate change mount, a government official said. In its annual climate assessment published this week, China's weather bureau described the country as "a sensitive region in global climate change", with temperatures rising 0.26 degrees Celsius (0.47 degrees Fahrenheit) a decade since 1951, compared to the global average of 0.15 degrees. "In the future, the increase in regional average temperatures in China will be significantly higher than the world," said…
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Beijing halts high-level military dialogue with U.S., suspends other cooperation

Beijing halts high-level military dialogue with U.S., suspends other cooperation

BEIJING, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Beijing announced on Friday that it was halting cooperation with the United States in a number of areas, including dialogue between senior-level military commanders, in retaliation for the visit this week to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China's foreign ministry also said in a statement that it was halting climate talks with the United States, as well as cooperation on cross-border crime prevention and on repatriating illegal migrants, among eight specific measures. China's military on Friday conducted air and sea combat drills to the north, southwest and east of Taiwan and continues "to test the…
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ASEAN warns on risk of Taiwan ‘miscalculation’, ready to help dialogue

ASEAN warns on risk of Taiwan ‘miscalculation’, ready to help dialogue

PHNOM PENH, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Southeast Asia's regional bloc ASEAN warned on Thursday of a risk that volatility caused by tensions in the Taiwan Strait could lead to "miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers". The Association of Southeast Asian Nations made the remarks in a statement from foreign ministers after its chair, Cambodia, had urged all sides to de-escalate tension over Taiwan. The meeting in Phnom Penh of the 10-nation bloc, which is being attended by a string of other countries including China and the United States, has been overshadowed by developments in Taiwan following the…
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UPDATED: China fires missiles in largest ever drills in waters off Taiwan

UPDATED: China fires missiles in largest ever drills in waters off Taiwan

TAIPEI, Aug 4 (Reuters) - China fired multiple missiles around Taiwan on Thursday as it launched unprecedented military drills a day after a visit by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the self-ruled island that Beijing regards as its sovereign territory. Soon after the scheduled start at 0400 GMT, China's state broadcaster CCTV said the drills had begun and would end at 0400 GMT on Sunday. It said the exercises, the largest ever by China in the Taiwan Strait, would include live firing on the waters and in the airspace surrounding Taiwan.  China's Eastern Theatre Command said it had completed…
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Patriotic fervour erupts on Chinese social media over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

Patriotic fervour erupts on Chinese social media over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

BEIJING, Aug 3 (Reuters) - The sight of the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving in Taiwan late on Tuesday was too much to bear for many mainland China internet users, who wanted a more muscular response from their government. "Going to bed yesterday night, I was so angry I could not sleep," blogger Xiaoyuantoutiao wrote on Wednesday. "But what angers me is not the online clamours for 'starting a fight', 'spare the island but not its people'...(but that) this old she-devil, she actually dares to come!" China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has never renounced the use of…
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FACTBOX-Economic sanctions China has imposed on Taiwan over Pelosi visit

FACTBOX-Economic sanctions China has imposed on Taiwan over Pelosi visit

BEIJING, Aug 3 (Reuters) - China on Wednesday suspended exports of natural sand to Taiwan and halted imports of fruit and fish products from the self-governed island as U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in a trip condemned by Beijing. In a warning salvo ahead of Pelosi's visit, Chinese customs had suspended imports from 35 Taiwanese exporters of biscuits and pastries since Monday.  In January-June, China's imports from Taiwan reached $122.5 billion, up 7.3% from a year earlier, Chinese customs data showed. Top imported goods included integrated circuits and electronic components. NATURAL SAND China's commerce ministry said exports of…
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UPDATED: Pelosi departs Taiwan, capping visit that infuriated China

UPDATED: Pelosi departs Taiwan, capping visit that infuriated China

TAIPEI, Aug 3 (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan on Wednesday after pledging solidarity and hailing its democracy, leaving a trail of Chinese anger over her brief visit to the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own. China demonstrated its outrage over the highest-level U.S. visit to the island in 25 years with a burst of military activity in surrounding waters, summoning the U.S. ambassador in Beijing and halting several agricultural imports from Taiwan. Some of China's planned military exercises were to take place within Taiwan's 12 nautical mile sea and air territory, according…
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UPDATE – Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, voicing U.S. ‘solidarity’ as China fumes

UPDATE – Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, voicing U.S. ‘solidarity’ as China fumes

TAIPEI, Aug 2 (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday on a trip she said demonstrates American solidarity with the Chinese-claimed self-ruled island, but China condemned this first such visit in 25 years as a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Pelosi and the rest of her delegation disembarked from a U.S. Air Force transport plane at Songshan Airport in downtown Taipei after the nighttime landing on a flight from Malaysia to begin a visit that risks pushing U.S.-Chinese relations to a new low. They were greeted by Taiwan's foreign minister,…
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China says politicians who ‘play with fire’ on Taiwan will pay, finds Russian support

China says politicians who ‘play with fire’ on Taiwan will pay, finds Russian support

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday that those U.S. politicians who "play with fire" on the Taiwan issue will "come to no good end", according to a ministry statement. He did not specify any U.S. politician. China has expressed opposition to a potential visit to Taiwan by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday that Russia views U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's expected visit to Taiwan as a "provocation" aimed at pressuring Beijing. In a press briefing, Zakharova said that Russia supporters Beijing's One China principle, and opposes…
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Several Chinese warplanes fly close to median line of Taiwan Strait – source

Several Chinese warplanes fly close to median line of Taiwan Strait – source

Several Chinese warplanes flew close to the median line of the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Tuesday morning, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters, as tensions mounted on news U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set to visit Taiwan during the day. The source said several Chinese warships have stayed close to unofficial dividing line since Monday, adding that Taiwan had dispatched aircraft to monitor the situation. Taiwan's defence ministry was not immediately able to respond to a request for comment. The source said both Chinese warships and aircraft "squeezed" the median line on Tuesday morning, an unusual move the person described as "very provocative." Neither side's…
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China warns its military will ‘not sit idly by’ if Pelosi visits Taiwan

China warns its military will ‘not sit idly by’ if Pelosi visits Taiwan

China said on Monday that its military "not sit idly by" if U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan. The latest warning was issued during a Chinese foreign ministry regular briefing. Spokesperson Zhao Lijian also said that because of Pelosi's status as the "No. 3 official of the U.S. government", a visit to Taiwan, which China claims as its own, would "lead to egregious political impact". Pelosi was set to kick-off a tour of four Asian countries on Monday in Singapore amid intense speculation that she may risk the wrath of Beijing by also visiting self-ruled Taiwan. via Reuters
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Chinese rocket falls to Earth, NASA says Beijing did not share information

Chinese rocket falls to Earth, NASA says Beijing did not share information

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Chinese rocket fell back to Earth on Saturday over the Indian Ocean but NASA said Beijing had not shared the "specific trajectory information" needed to know where possible debris might fall. U.S. Space Command said the Long March 5B rocket re-entered over the Indian Ocean at approximately 12:45 p.m. EDT Saturday (1645 GMT), but referred questions about "reentry’s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal impact location" to China. "All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices and do their part to share this type of information in advance to allow reliable predictions of potential debris…
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As U.S. defends Ukraine at U.N., China warns against challenge over Taiwan

As U.S. defends Ukraine at U.N., China warns against challenge over Taiwan

UNITED NATIONS, (Reuters) - China accused the United States of double standards at the United Nations for challenging Beijing's sovereignty over Taiwan while emphasizing the principle of sovereignty for Ukraine after Russian forces invaded. A day after Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned U.S. President Joe Biden in a phone call against playing with fire over Taiwan, deputy U.N. Ambassador Geng Shuang reinforced the message during a meeting on Ukraine at the 15-member U.N. Security Council. "While some country has repeatedly emphasized the principle of sovereignty over the issue of Ukraine, it has incessantly challenged the sovereignty of China over Taiwan, and even…
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Fears over Chinese rocket debris falling to Earth, EASA predicts southern European most at risk

Fears over Chinese rocket debris falling to Earth, EASA predicts southern European most at risk

The remnants of a massive Chinese rocket are expected to fall to Earth on Saturday and may affect Maltese airspace, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has warned. EU space surveillance and tracking experts estimate that debris generated by the 20-tonne rocket will enter the Earth’s atmosphere between Saturday and Sunday. The debris will fall to Earth in an uncontrolled entry, making it impossible for experts to precisely calculate where exactly the rocket remnants will land.  But the EASA believes that Malta is among the countries that should be on alert. Debris may also land in airspace belonging to Bulgaria,…
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Don’t ‘play with fire’ over Taiwan, China’s Xi warns in call with Biden

Don’t ‘play with fire’ over Taiwan, China’s Xi warns in call with Biden

WASHINGTON/BEIJING, (Reuters) - Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned against playing with fire over Taiwan in a call with U.S. President Joe Biden, highlighting Beijing's concerns about a possible visit to the Chinese-claimed island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Those who play with fire will perish by it," China's foreign ministry quoted Xi as telling Biden in their fifth call as leaders. "It is hoped that the U.S. will be clear-eyed about this."  Xi said Washington should abide by the "one-China principle" and stressed that China firmly opposes Taiwanese independence and outside interference. Biden told Xi U.S. policy on Taiwan had not changed and…
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U.S. carrier strike group returns to South China Sea amid Taiwan tensions

U.S. carrier strike group returns to South China Sea amid Taiwan tensions

HONG KONG, July 28 (Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier and its strike group have returned to the South China Sea after a port call in Singapore, deploying in the disputed region as tensions with China rise over a possible visit to Taiwan by congressional leader Nancy Pelosi. Officials with the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet confirmed the deployment of the USS Ronald Reagan to the vital trade route but did not comment on questions about tensions over the trip by Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. "USS Ronald Reagan and her strike group are underway, operating in the South China…
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