Wary Of Trump Unpredictability, China Ramps Up Naval Abilities

BEIJING, (REUTERS): The PLA Navy is likely to secure significant new funding in China's upcoming defence budget as Beijing seeks to check US dominance of the high seas and step up its own projection of power around the globe. China's navy has been taking an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and new Chinese warships popping up in far-flung places. Now, with President Donald Trump..

China’s Panchen Lama says to uphold ‘glorious tradition’ of patriotism

BEIJING, (REUTERS): A youth named by China as the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, but reviled as a fake by many Tibetans, has pledged to uphold the “glorious tradition” of patriotism that holders of his position have followed, state news agency Xinhua said. Although officially atheist, China selected Gyaltsen Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama in 1995 in a drive to win the hearts and minds of Tibetans. Tibet’s current spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing brands a..

Donald Trump Calls Chinese ‘Grand Champions’ Of Currency Manipulation

WASHINGTON, (REUTERS): President Donald Trump declared China the "grand champions" of currency manipulation on Thursday, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analysing Beijing's foreign exchange practices. In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Trump said he has not "held back" in his assessment that China manipulates its yuan currency, despite not acting on a campaign promise to declare it a currency manipulator on his first day in office. "Well..

China Orders Courts to Record, Video All Trial Proceedings

China's highest court has ordered courts at all levels to record video footage of all trials, but lawyers say they fear the video could be used to target them for defending their clients in court. The Supreme People's Court issued new rules that come into effect on March 1 in a bid to "improve transparency in court proceedings," the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. "The whole process of all trials should be recorded via both audio and video, and voice recognition used in court text..

Hong Kong Jails Former Chief Executive For Misconduct Linked to Property Deal

Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang was jailed for 20 months by a court in the former British colony that found him guilty of failing to disclose significant conflicts of interest while in office. The city's High Court jailed Tsang after it found him guilty of concealing a property deal with businessman Bill Wong from the Executive Council (ExCo), the chief executive's cabinet, as it deliberated whether or not to grant him a license to run a digital radio channel. Tsang, 72, known..

China Building Third Aircraft Carrier, Plans To Build More

BEIJING, (PTI): China is building a third aircraft carrier based on American models as it seeks to fortify its claims in the disputed South China Sea and dominate the larger Indian Ocean region to realise its blue water aspirations. Chinese experts said China is on course to build 5-6 aircraft carriers. While the first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, is a refitted Soviet-era ship, the second is being built on the same model with more advanced facilities and is likely to enter service in..

US carrier group patrols in tense South China Sea

WASHINGTON, (REUTERS): A United States aircraft carrier strike group has begun patrols in the South China Sea amid growing tension with China over control of the disputed waterway and concerns it could become a flashpoint under the new U.S. administration. China’s Foreign Ministry on Feb. 15 warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty in the South China Sea. The U.S. navy said the force, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, began routine operations in the South..

US University’s Invitation To Dalai Lama Triggers Uproar

LOS ANGELES, (AFP): The decision of an university in California to have the Dalai Lama speak at this year's commencement ceremony has sparked uproar among Chinese students who see the choice as an affront. The University of California San Diego (UCSD) said it extended the invite to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader in an attempt to promote his message of "global responsibility and service to humanity". However, the San Diego chapter of the Chinese Students' and Scholars' Association and..

Indian-Origin Chancellor Rejects Chinese Students’ Call Not To Invite Dalai Lama

BEIJING, (PTI): A US university headed by an Indian-origin academician has rejected call by Chinese students to withdraw invitation to exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama but assured them that his speech would have nothing to with politics. Chancellor Pradeep K Khosla of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) met with three groups of Chinese overseas students, namely the Chinese Union, Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) and the Chinese Business Society, state-run Global..

Tibetan Protester Detained, Missing in Serthar

A young Tibetan protester detained last month in southwestern China’s Sichuan province is still missing after more than 40 days in custody, Tibetan sources say. Sonam Tashi, 20, was seized by police in Sichuan’s Serthar (in Chinese, Seda) county on Jan. 5 after staging a solitary protest in the county town, former political prisoner Golog Jigme told RFA’s Tibetan Service, speaking from Switzerland and citing sources in Serthar. “As he marched, he threw leaflets in the air and called..

Ex-leader of northern Chinese province sentenced for graft

BEIJING, (AP): The former Communist Party chief of the major northern Chinese province of Hebei has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on corruption charges, a court announced Wednesday, as President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign continues to claim high-profile targets. In handing down the sentence to Zhou Benshun, the Intermediate People's Court in the southeastern port city of Xiamen said he had been given relatively lenient treatment in return for cooperating with investigators and..

Seven Police Officers ‘Guilty’ of Assault on Pro-Democracy Politician

A court in Hong Kong on Tuesday found seven police officers guilty of assaulting pro-democracy politician Ken Tsang during the 2014 Occupy Central pro-democracy movement. Chief Inspector Wong Cho-shing, Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, Detective Sergeant Pak Wing-bun, police constable Lau Hing-pui, and detective constables Wong Wai-ho, Chan Siu-tan and Kwan Ka-ho were convicted by the city's District Court of kicking, punching, and stepping on Tsang after he was arrested and handcuffed during..

Tibetan Pilgrims Barred From Kirti Monastery by Chinese Police

Tibetans traveling from northwest China’s Gansu province to attend a large religious gathering in neighboring Sichuan are being stopped at the border and told they may not proceed by car, sources in the region say. No reasons were given for blocking the pilgrims’ journey to Kirti monastery in Sichuan’s Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Friday. “The police only said that no vehicles would be allowed to travel across the border,”..

Trump reaffirms ‘one China’ policy in call with Xi Jinping

BEIJING, (AP): President Donald Trump reaffirmed Washington’s long-standing “one China” policy in a call with Beijing’s leader, a move that could ease anger in China over his earlier suggestions that he might use Taiwan as leverage in negotiations over trade, security and other sensitive issues. More than two months after deviating from decades of American diplomacy regarding Taiwan by accepting a phone call from the self-governing island’s president, Trump appeared to be trying to..

China Says Attaches Great Importance To Ties After Receiving Donald Trump Letter

BEIJING, (REUTERS): China said on Thursday it attached great importance to China-U.S. ties after confirming it had received a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China commended Trump for sending Lunar New Year greetings to the Chinese people and said cooperation between the two countries was the only option. Trump sent a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday saying he looked forward to developing a "constructive..

Beijing’s ‘Invisible Hand’ at Work Ahead of Hong Kong Election

China has sent one of its most senior officials to drum up flagging support for its favored candidate in forthcoming elections for Hong Kong's next leader, according to local media reports. Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the standing committee of China's rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC) told businesspeople and politicians in neighboring Shenzhen last weekend that former second-in-command Carrie Lam is "Beijing's choice" for the next chief executive. According to local..

China to Vet All Online Content, Service and Equipment Providers

The Chinese government is planning a nationwide probe of all internet services, software, and hardware that might be considered a threat to national security, according to draft plans published this week. But online freedom of speech activists said the aim of the review is likely to further strengthen the ruling Chinese Communist Party's control over what citizens can see online ahead of a top-level meeting later in the year. According to draft plans issued on Feb. 4 for public consultation..

Netizen in China’s Sichuan Jailed Over Tweet About ‘Worst Smog in 2,000 Years’

Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have jailed an online activist who tweeted about the smog that shrouded the provincial capital Chengdu this winter for "spreading rumors." The netizen, identified only by the online nickname Xinhai, had sent out a post on social media claiming that the city had issued a "red smog alert" on Jan. 5, police in Chengdu said, according to local media reports. "The Chengdu city meteorological bureau has put out the first red alert in the..

Trump Impact? China Tests Missile With 10 Nuclear Warheads: Report

BEIJING, (PTI): China has reportedly tested a new version of a missile that can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads, signalling a major shift in its nuclear capability as Beijing gears up for a possible military showdown with the US under the leadership of President Donald Trump. The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out last month using 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles, or MIRVs, the Washington Free Beacon reported. The test of the inert warheads was monitored..

China Muzzles Media Over Billionaire Who ‘Disappeared’ From Hong Kong

China's state propaganda machine has moved to erase all mention of "disappeared" billionaire Xiao Jianhua from state media and internet sites, amid growing skepticism over his departure from the former British colony, a leaked document showed on Wednesday. "Please would all websites, including Weibo, WeChat, and mobile media apps, find and delete any news items relating to Xiao Jianhua or the Tomorrow Group," the propaganda ministry ordered media editors via a directive leaked online and..

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