China’s economic ties with EU take hit as investment falls and distrust rises

After years of growth, China’s trade ties with its biggest partner, the European Union, seem to be foundering, with frictions growing over a range of issues from steel overcapacity to market access, human rights and the South China Sea.
The tensions were apparent at the end of last year when Brussels and Beijing were due to hold the annual China-EU High-Level Economic Dialogue but the meeting never took place, sources told the South China Morning Post. 
There was also no joint…
Source: SCMP – China

China’s Somali pirate-catching commando gets a hero’s welcome back home

A Chinese navy officer who led a mission last year to rescue a merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden, which also resulted in the capture of three pirates, has been honoured as a hero in his home city, according to local media reports.
Gong Kaifeng was visited by the vice-mayor of Fuzhou, in eastern China’s Jiangxi province, on Wednesday, and praised for his achievements on the high seas, news website reported.
In April, Gong and 15 of his colleagues from Dragon Commando –…
Source: SCMP – China

China rolls out three-year plan to tackle poverty in Xinjiang

China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang is planning a poverty relief scheme targeting its 22 poorest counties, state-run Xinhua reported on Sunday.
Xinjiang, a huge region bordering Central Asia, has long been a security focus for Beijing, which has led a massive security clampdown there after deadly bouts of ethnic violence it blames on local Uygur extremists.
The three-year poverty relief plan would target counties in the Xinjiang prefectures of Kashgar, Hotan, Kizilsu and Aksu, and…
Source: SCMP – China

Chinese officials given a rocket over ‘Wanted’ posters for firework bandits

A team of officials tasked with enforcing a firework ban in a central Chinese county have been admonished for putting up “Wanted” posters for two alleged offenders, according to a Shanghai-based news website.
Several notices printed with photographs of the suspects and offering a 10,000 yuan (US$1,600) reward for information leading to their arrest were put up in a residential estate in Shuangfeng county in Hunan province on Friday, the first day of the Lunar New Year,…
Source: SCMP – China

The guardians who keep watch over Beijing’s Forbidden City

In an age of facial recognition technology and wall-to-wall surveillance cameras, one of Beijing’s biggest tourist attractions still relies on people to keep it secure.
Li Quanhe is one of a squad of security officers who quite literally make sure the doors of the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, stay open day after day for the millions of tourists who visit it each year.

Li’s day starts at about 7.30am as it has done for the last 38 years, when he and his team push…
Source: SCMP – China

Trump versus China: is this the dawn of a second cold war?

Donald Trump certainly seems intent on reigniting old rivalries with China and Russia after he fired salvoes attacking the countries on an economic, political, military and ideological level not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union.
In several recent policy statements – the state-of-the-union address, the national defence strategy, the national security strategy and nuclear posture review – the US president has suggested that China, along with Russia, are major rivals, which,…
Source: SCMP – China

Huge fire engulfs Tibet’s Jokhang Temple raising fears over future of sacred Buddhist structure

A fire at one of Tibet’s holiest Buddhist temples on Saturday raised fears for the future of the monastery as investigators tried to determine the cause of the blaze.
The fire at Jokhang Temple, a Unesco World Heritage Site in the capital Lhasa, started at 6.40pm but was soon brought under control, Xinhua reported.
“The fire was quickly extinguished, there were no casualties and order has been restored in the area,” the state-run Tibet Daily reported, adding that the region…
Source: SCMP – China

Aerial photos ‘point to new Chinese signals hub’ in the heart of the South China Sea

China could be turning an artificial island in contested South China Sea waters into an intelligence hub as it seeks to exert control over the region, according to a Washington-based think tank.
The CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said the northeastern corner of Fiery Cross Reef was now equipped with a communications or sensor array bigger than those found on other artificial islands in the Spratlys.
It based the finding on a comparison of its own satellite images and aerial photos…
Source: SCMP – China

China’s South China Sea islands won’t stop lawful patrols, US Navy says

American forces will continue to patrol the South China Sea wherever “international law allows us”, a senior US Navy officer said aboard a US aircraft carrier on Saturday.
Lieutenant Commander Tim Hawkins said the US Navy had carried out routine patrols at sea and on air in the strategic waters for 70 years to promote regional security and guarantee the unimpeded flow of trade crucial for Asian and US economies.

“International law allows us to operate here, allows us to fly…
Source: SCMP – China

China vows to strike back as US talks tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminium

China vowed on Saturday to retaliate after the US Department of Commerce proposed hefty tariffs on imports of Chinese aluminium and steel, with observers warning of further tit-for-tat trade action between the world’s two biggest economies.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said the conclusions from a US departmental national security review of the steel and aluminium industries were baseless because China, among other exporters to the United States, had proved its products did not…
Source: SCMP – China

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