Pope urges Chinese Catholics to show unity with Holy See

Pope Francis urged Chinese Catholics on Wednesday to show they are in full communion with the Holy See, amid what appears to be another stall in the Vatican’s long-standing attempts to reach a deal with Beijing over bishop nominations.
Francis made the comments during his general audience, noting that many Chinese Catholics will be marking a feast day dedicated to the Virgin Mary this week in Sheshan near Shanghai.
Francis prayed that all Chinese faithful “can live their faith with…
Source: SCMP – China

Help China overcome ‘weaknesses’ to become global tech power, ex-minister Wan Gang asks Hong Kong innovators

China has “weaknesses” hobbling its ambition to be a global tech power, former science and technology minister Wan Gang said on Wednesday in a candid assessment as he appealed to Hong Kong innovators to help fill the gaps and collaborate with their mainland counterparts.
The mainland still had room to improve in areas such as basic research, grooming of scientific talent, and forging international partnerships, said Wan, a vice-chairman of the country’s top advisory body, the…
Source: SCMP – China

Five things to watch out for during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to China

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel begins a two-day visit to China on Thursday.
During her trip she will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Merkel will also visit Shenzhen in southern China on Friday where her itinerary will include the opening of an innovation hub hosted by the German Chamber of Commerce and a trip to a Chinese start-up company.
Here are the main issues likely to crop up during her trip:
Merkel and Xi will discuss the next steps to safeguard the Iran…
Source: SCMP – China

Is the day of reckoning coming for China’s corporate bond market?

It’s a mixed bag – a green energy developer, a shoemaker, a telecom equipment manufacturer and a port on the border with North Korea.
But the businesses all have one thing in common: they’re among a rash of bond defaulters that has players wondering whether a day of debt reckoning in China’s US$2.8 trillion onshore corporate bond market is finally dawning.
At least 20 corporate bond defaults have occurred in China so far this year, with the latest coming on Monday from…
Source: SCMP – China

China’s foreign minister decries disinvitation from US military exercise

China’s top diplomat denounced a rebuke by the US military while in Washington, the latest test of a bilateral relationship already damaged by recriminations on the economic front.
The US military said it had disinvited China from a multinational military exercise to be held this summer in the Pacific as “an initial response” to what it called “China’s continued militarisation of the South China Sea”.
News of the withdrawn invitation, which broke shortly…
Source: SCMP – China

China orders farmers to grow more soybeans despite deal to buy more produce from US

Local authorities in China are encouraging their farmers to grow more soybeans despite the country’s agreement to buy more agricultural products from the United States.

Soybeans make up around two thirds of America’s agricultural exports to China and Donald Trump welcomed the promise from Beijing – as part of the deal to avert a trade war – as “one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years”.

The US president also tweeted that China…
Source: SCMP – China

Chinese vase left in attic shoebox priced at half a million euros for Sotheby’s auction

A Chinese vase discovered in a battered shoebox stuffed in an attic in France is set to be the star of a Sotheby’s auction next month.
Experts have identified the find as an exquisite porcelain vessel made for the 18th-century Qing dynasty Qianlong Emperor and the guide price for its auction on June 12 starts at €500,000 (US$590,000).
It was found by chance among dozens of other pieces.

“We didn’t like the vase too much, and my grandparents didn’t like it…
Source: SCMP – China

Confidante of China’s President Xi Jinping told Liu Xia in February she might soon be set free: sources

A senior Chinese police official trusted by President Xi Jinping visited the home of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo’s widow in February, and suggested that her eight-year house arrest might be over within a matter of weeks, sources said.

The unnamed official met Liu Xia, and her brother Liu Hui, at her home in Beijing during the Lunar New Year holiday, and told her she might be freed after the annual parliamentary sessions, which were held in March. The one condition was that…
Source: SCMP – China

Tesla responds to cuts in import tariffs by Beijing with price reductions for mainland customers

Tesla said on Tuesday night it had “adjusted the prices for Model S and Model X in mainland China”, as a result of China’s decision to cut car import duties. According to an announcement on its official WeChat account, the price adjustments had been circulated to all its stores on the mainland.
Tesla’s announcement followed one by China’s Ministry of Finance earlier in the evening, that it would slash import tariffs on vehicles and auto parts from July 1, echoing a…
Source: SCMP – China

Is China’s investment in infrastructure projects driving Western Balkan nations into debt?

Western Balkan nations are facing a growing debt risk, and China-led infrastructure development projects are partly to blame, the International Monetary Fund warned this week.
One example, according to an IMF report released on Monday, is Montenegro, which although having a relatively strong economy is coming under growing debt pressure.
The document highlighted the Bar-Boljare highway – a Beijing-funded project being built under the auspices of China’s “Belt and Road…
Source: SCMP – China

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