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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Australia seeks stable ties with ‘great power’ China, minister says

Australia seeks stable ties with ‘great power’ China, minister says

SYDNEY, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Australia is aiming for a stable relationship with China despite differences, especially on trade, Australia's foreign minister said, as she called on Beijing to use its influence as a great power to help end the war in Ukraine. Australia's ties with its largest trading partner are at a low after disputes over a number of issues, including the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, trade and Australian accusations of Chinese interference. "I think it is a long road on which many steps will have to be taken by both parties to a more stable relationship," Foreign…
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China blockade would be act of war, Taiwan would not surrender, official says

China blockade would be act of war, Taiwan would not surrender, official says

TAIPEI (Reuters) - A Chinese blockade of Taiwan or the seizure of an offshore island would be considered an act of war and Taiwan would not surrender, a senior Taiwanese security official told Reuters using unusually strong and direct language. While Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and others in her administration have repeatedly said that while they want peace they would defend themselves if attacked, the details of what Taiwan would consider an attack warranting a response have generally been left unsaid, given the many scenarios. Chinese military action might not be as straightforward as a full frontal assault on Taiwan:…
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U.S. sending ‘dangerous signals’ on Taiwan, China tells Blinken

U.S. sending ‘dangerous signals’ on Taiwan, China tells Blinken

NEW YORK (Reuters) - China has accused the United States of sending "very wrong, dangerous signals" on Taiwan after the U.S. secretary of state told his Chinese counterpart on Friday that the maintenance of peace and stability over Taiwan was vitally important. Taiwan was the focus of the 90-minute, "direct and honest" talks between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, a U.S official told reporters. "For our part, the secretary made crystal clear that, in accordance with our long-standing one-China policy, which again has…
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China’s ex-justice minister faces life in jail amid purge of security officials

China’s ex-justice minister faces life in jail amid purge of security officials

BEIJING, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Former Chinese Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua, who had led several high-profile investigations into corruption, has been jailed for lifefor accepting bribes, state media said on Thursday, as a purge of officials intensified ahead of a key Communist Party congress. Fu, 67, was handed a suspended death sentence that will be commuted to life imprisonment after two years, with no possibility of parole, according to state media. Fu was deputy head of the Ministry of Public Security before becoming justice minister in 2018, and had led many high-profile investigations and crackdowns including a probe about a…
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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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Biden says U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion

Biden says U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said U.S forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, his most explicit statement so far on the issue, something sure to anger Beijing. Asked in a CBS 60 Minutes interview broadcast on Sunday whether U.S. forces would defend the self-ruled island claimed by China, he replied: "Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack." Asked to clarify if he meant that unlike in Ukraine, U.S. forces - American men and women - would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden replied: "Yes." The interview was…
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Xi says ‘colour revolutions’ must be prevented

Xi says ‘colour revolutions’ must be prevented

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan, Sept 16 (Reuters) - China's Xi Jinping said on Friday that the world had entered a new period of turbulence and that partners such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Central Asian leaders should prevent foreign powers from instigating "colour revolutions". Xi, on his first trip outside China since early 2020, told a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the ancient Uzbek Silk Road city of Samarkand that they should support each other to deter foreign meddling. "The world has entered a new period of turbulent change, we must grasp the trend of the times, strengthen…
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China banned from viewing Queen Elizabeth lying-in-state – BBC

China banned from viewing Queen Elizabeth lying-in-state – BBC

LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The Chinese delegation visiting London to attend Queen Elizabeth's funeral on Monday will not be allowed to view her coffin at the lying-in-state vigil inside parliament, the BBC reported on Friday. Some parliamentarians had raised concerns about inviting representatives from China after several British lawmakers were sanctioned by Beijing for criticising alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang. China denies any such abuses. The BBC said, without citing sources, that it understood the Chinese government delegation had been banned from attending the lying-in-state after the speaker of the lower house of parliament had refused access to…
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Vatican sought Xi-Pope meeting in Kazakhstan, China declined – source

Vatican sought Xi-Pope meeting in Kazakhstan, China declined – source

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE, (Reuters) - The Vatican told China that Pope Francis was willing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping while both leaders where in the Kazakh capital but China said there was not enough time, a Vatican source said. The source gave no details on how or when the Vatican approached China, with which it is involved in a delicate dialogue over the status of the Roman Catholic Church in the country. The source said the Vatican made "an expression of availability". The Chinese side said they "appreciated the gesture" but that there was no free time on…
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Iran to join Asian security body founded by Russia, China

Iran to join Asian security body founded by Russia, China

Iran has moved a step closer towards becoming a permanent member of a China and Russia-dominated Asian security body, as Tehran seeks to overcome economic isolation imposed by U.S. sanctions. Foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Thursday said Iran had signed a memorandum of obligations to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which is holding a summit this week in Uzbekistan. The body, formed in the 2001 as a talking shop for Russia, China and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia, expanded four years ago to include India and Pakistan, with a view to playing a bigger role as counterweight to Western influence…
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UPDATED: Putin to Xi: Russia values China’s ‘balanced position’ on Ukraine

UPDATED: Putin to Xi: Russia values China’s ‘balanced position’ on Ukraine

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday praised China's Xi Jinping for his "balanced" position on the conflict in Ukraine and scolded the United States for what the Kremlin chief said were provocations over Taiwan. Xi, on his first trip outside China since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, met Putin in the ancient Uzbek Silk Road city of Samarkand where they will attend a summit of The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Speaking at their first face-to-face meeting since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began, Putin praised Xi for his position on the war in Ukraine but also…
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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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EU aims to ban products, imports made with forced labour – document

EU aims to ban products, imports made with forced labour – document

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Products made with forced labour or those imported into the 27-country European Union will be banned under draft rules, according to an EU document seen by Reuters, a move driven by EU lawmakers concerned about human rights in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. However, the European Commission's draft rules are less far-reaching than what EU lawmakers have proposed due in part to legal constraints. The EU executive, which will announce its proposal on Tuesday, will need to thrash out details with lawmakers and EU countries before the rules can become law. "Such prohibition should apply to products…
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On COVID alert, more Chinese cities advise residents to stay put for holiday

On COVID alert, more Chinese cities advise residents to stay put for holiday

BEIJING, Sept 7 (Reuters) - More Chinese cities advised residents on Wednesday to avoid unnecessary trips for the upcoming holiday long weekend, adding to COVID policies that are keeping tens of millions of people under lockdown and exacting a growing economic toll. Nanjing and Wuxi, major cities in eastern China's Jiangsu province, recommended residents not leave town during the Saturday-Monday mid-autumn festival, echoing similar advisories made by other cities this month. China reported a slight uptick in new cases for Sept. 6 to 1,695 - low by global standards - but its "dynamic zero" COVID policy to stamp out every…
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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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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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Five years of European support to Maltese businesses in China

Five years of European support to Maltese businesses in China

Mainland China is one of Malta’s trading partners, and intellectual property rights are a defining factor in generating such trade. IP Key China is a long-standing project directed by the European Commission, implemented and co-funded by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). It has provided substantial support to intellectual property (IP) cooperation and political dialogue between the EU and China to build a level playing field for EU rightsholders. Europe exports technology and know-how, but if unprotected, EU businesses can fall victim of infringements. Intellectual property right (IPR) protection and enforcement is a major challenge for EU businesses wishing…
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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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Taiwan vows to counterattack if China’s forces enter its territory

Taiwan vows to counterattack if China’s forces enter its territory

TAIPEI, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Taiwan said on Wednesday it would exercise its right to self defence and "counter-attack" if Chinese armed forces entered its territory, as Beijing increased military activities near the democratic island. Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own, has held military exercises around the island this month in reaction to a visit to Taipei by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Taiwanese defence officials said China's "high intensity" military patrols near Taiwan continued and Beijing's intention of making the Taiwan Strait separating the two sides its "inner sea" would become the main source of instability…
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U.S. warships transit Taiwan Strait, first since Pelosi visit

U.S. warships transit Taiwan Strait, first since Pelosi visit

WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Two U.S. Navy warships sailed through international waters in the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the first such operation since a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enraged China which regards the island as its territory. The U.S. Navy, confirming a Reuters report, said cruisers Chancellorsville and Antietam were carrying out the ongoing operation. Such operations usually take eight to 12 hours to complete and are closely monitored by China's military. 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…
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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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Taiwan proposes large rise in defence spending amid escalating China tensions

Taiwan proposes large rise in defence spending amid escalating China tensions

TAIPEI, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Taiwan proposed $19 billion in defence spending for next year on Thursday, a double-digit increase on 2022 that includes funds for new fighter jets, weeks after China staged large-scale war games around the island it views as its sovereign territory. China carried out its largest-ever military exercises around the democratically governed island after a visit this month by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The trip infuriated Beijing, which saw it as an attempt by Washington to interfere in China's internal affairs. The overall proposed defence budget by President Tsai Ing-wen's Cabinet sets a 13.9% year-on-year…
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Honda considering decoupling supply chain from China

Honda considering decoupling supply chain from China

TOKYO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd is considering building a separate supply chain that would reduce its dependence on China, the Sankei newspaper reported on Wednesday, in what would be a high profile move by a major Japanese manufacturer. Many big Japanese companies have built extensive production hubs in China but have recently seen output snarled by COVID-19-related lockdowns. There are also deepening worries about the impact of tensions between the United States and China. Nearly 40% of Honda's automobile production took place in China in the last financial year. Honda would continue to keep its supply…
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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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Adidas CEO to leave next year as China sales take a hit

Adidas CEO to leave next year as China sales take a hit

Adidas AG announced the surprise departure of Chief Executive Officer Kasper Rorsted next year, forcing the search for a new leader as the German sporting goods company reels from years of lockdowns and consumer boycotts in China.  The Adidas board and Rorsted have “mutually agreed” that he would hand over the top job in the course of next year, according to a statement Monday. Rorsted, whose contract was renewed in 2020 for five years, will remain CEO until a successor has been appointed to ensure a smooth transition.  via Bloomberg
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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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German dependence on China growing ‘at tremendous pace’, research

German dependence on China growing ‘at tremendous pace’, research

BERLIN, Aug 19 (Reuters) - The German economy became more dependent on China in the first half of 2022, with direct investment and its trade deficit reaching new heights, despite political pressure on Berlin to pivot away from Beijing, according to research seen by Reuters. At the same time, growth in German exports to China weakened significantly, the German Economic Institute (IW) said in its study, citing economists pointing to a trend towards more local production in the Chinese market. "The German economy is much more dependent on China than the other way round," said Juergen Matthes, who authored the…
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U.S. Air Force secretary: China’s actions around Taiwan increase risk

U.S. Air Force secretary: China’s actions around Taiwan increase risk

TAIPEI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said on Friday that China's actions around Taiwan increase the level of risk and he hoped that China's behaviour returns to the norms that were established before. China, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, has been staging military exercises this month to show its anger about a visit to Taipei of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, blaming Washington for the tension. Kendall, speaking to reporters on a teleconference from the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam as part of a trip to the region that will also…
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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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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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Taiwan says 15 Chinese aircraft crossed Taiwan Strait median line

Taiwan says 15 Chinese aircraft crossed Taiwan Strait median line

TAIPEI, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Fifteen Chinese aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, Taiwan's Defence Ministry said, as China carried out more drills near the island Beijing claims as its own. China's military said it carried out more exercises near Taiwan on Monday as a group of U.S. lawmakers visited the Chinese-claimed island and met President Tsai Ing-wen, who said her government was committed to maintaining stability. The five U.S. lawmakers, led by Senator Ed Markey, arrived in Taipei on an unannounced visit late on Sunday, the second high-level group to visit following that of U.S. House…
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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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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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Latvia, Estonia withdraw from China cooperation group

Latvia, Estonia withdraw from China cooperation group

VILNIUS (Reuters) - Latvia and Estonia withdrew from a cooperation group between China and over a dozen Central and Eastern European countries on Thursday, following in the footsteps of Baltic neighbour Lithuania which withdrew last year. The move comes amid Western criticism towards China over escalating military pressure on democratically ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, and Beijing's strengthening of ties with Russia during the invasion of Ukraine. Relations between Lithuania and China worsened after the former allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy late last year. Latvia's Foreign Ministry said the country's continued participation in…
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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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UPDATED: Taiwan says detected 21 Chinese aircraft, 6 ships in Taiwan strait

UPDATED: Taiwan says detected 21 Chinese aircraft, 6 ships in Taiwan strait

TAIPEI, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Defence Ministry said it had detected 21 Chinese military aircraft and 6 Chinese naval ships in and around Taiwan Strait on Thursday. The threat of force from China has not decreased but Taiwan will not escalate conflict or provoke disputes, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Thursday, as a source told Reuters the number of warships in the Taiwan Strait was "greatly reduced". Furious about a visit to self-ruled Taiwan last week by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China had earlier extended its largest-ever exercises around the island it claims as its own beyond the…
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South Korea, China clash over U.S. missile shield, complicating conciliation

South Korea, China clash over U.S. missile shield, complicating conciliation

SEOUL, Aug 11 (Reuters) - China and South Korea clashed on Thursday over a U.S. missile defence shield, threatening to undermine efforts by the new government in Seoul to overcome longstanding security differences. The disagreement over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system emerged after an apparently smooth first visit to China by South Korea's foreign minister this week. China, contending THAAD's powerful radar could peer into its airspace, curbed trade and cultural imports after Seoul announced its deployment in 2016, dealing a major blow to relations. South Korea's presidential office said on Thursday the system stationed in the…
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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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Trade war with China could cost Germany six times as much as Brexit – Ifo

Trade war with China could cost Germany six times as much as Brexit – Ifo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany would face costs almost six times as high as Brexit if it and the European Union were to shut China out of their economies, the Ifo institute said on Monday, citing the results of a study. The biggest losers of a trade war with China would be the automotive industry with a 8.47% loss of value-added, manufacturers of transport equipment with a 5.14% loss and mechanical engineering with a 4.34% loss, the Ifo said. The authors of the study, commissioned by the vbw industry association, said companies should pivot towards other countries to reduce dependency on…
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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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