• China expands amphibious forces in challenge to U.S. beyond Asia
    HONG KONG, July 20 (Reuters): China launched its military build-up in the mid-1990s with a top priority: keep the United States at bay in any conflict by making the waters off the Chinese coast a death trap. Now, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) is preparing to challenge American power further afield.   China's shipyards have launched the PLA Navy's first two Type 075 amphibious assault ships, which will form the spearhead of an expeditionary force
  • Cinemas in China begin to reopen after six-month coronavirus closure
    SHANGHAI, July 20 (Reuters): Some cinemas in Chinese cities from Shanghai to Chengdu reopened on Monday after a six-month closure, raising hope that the world's second largest movie market can start to recover from painful losses during the coronavirus pandemic.   Chinese authorities last week said they would allow movie theatres in low-risk areas to resume operations in a restricted fashion, a long-awaited piece of news for a leisure industry that has seen many oth
  • Democracy activist Joshua Wong launches bid for Hong Kong legislature
    HONG KONG, July 20 (Reuters): Prominent Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong applied on Monday to run for a seat in the Chinese-ruled city's legislature, raising the prospect of a battle with authorities after being barred from running in previous polls.   Wong is one of more than a dozen young, more confrontational politicians who outshone old guard democrats in unofficial opposition primaries this month in what many saw as a protest vote against a national sec
  • Chinese artist holds his tongue in protest of pandemic censorship
    SHANGHAI, July 20 (Reuters): To protest censorship during the COVID-19 outbreak, a Chinese artist known as Brother Nut kept his mouth shut for 30 days, using metal clasps, gloves, duct tape and other items.   In the project - #shutupfor30days - he also sealed his mouth with packing tape with "404", the error code for a webpage not found, written across it, a nod to the blocking of online content that is common in China for sensitive issues.   "
  • US, China trade barbs in Myanmar as South China Sea rift deepens
    HANOI, JULY 19 (REUTERS): China's embassy in Myanmar on Sunday accused the United States of “outrageously smearing” the country and driving a wedge with its Southeast Asian neighbors over the contested South China Sea and Hong Kong, as tensions mount between the superpowers. Responding to U.S. claims Beijing was undermining the sovereignty of its neighbors, the Chinese embassy said U.S. agencies abroad were doing "disgusting things" to contain China and h
  • Hong Kong demands Taiwan officials sign 'one China' document for visa renewal - source
    TAIPEI, July 17 (Reuters): Taiwanese officials in Hong Kong have been told their visas will not be renewed unless they sign a document supporting Beijing's claim to Taiwan under its "one China" policy, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.   The move comes after Taipei criticised a new security law imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing, and opened an office in Taipei this month to help people who may want to leave the Asian financial centre.
  • 'India wants peace but no guarantee of outcome of China talks'
    Leh/New Delhi, July 17 (IANS): India wants peace but there is no guarantee of the final outcome of talks with China, said Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday in eastern Ladakh region as he reviewed the ground situation of troops in the hostile border areas.   India and China are engaged in military and diplomatic deliberations to de-escalate the tense situation at the border areas on the LAC. The two countries are locked in a 10-week-long standoff at multiple poin
  • U.S. to back nations whose South China Sea claims China violated
    WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters): The United States will support countries that believe China has violated their maritime claims in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday but stressed doing so in multilateral and legal forums.   "We will then go use the tools that we have available and we will support countries all across the world who recognize that China has violated their legal territorial claims as well – or maritime claim
  • China vows retaliation after Trump ends preferential status for Hong Kong
    WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters): President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to Hong Kong's special status under U.S. law to punish China for what he called "oppressive actions" against the former British colony, prompting Beijing to warn of retaliatory sanctions.   Citing China's decision to enact a new national security law for Hong Kong, Trump signed an executive order that he said would end the preferential economic treatment for the city. &n
  • U.S. says room for sanctions in response to China in South China Sea
    WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters): The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia said on Tuesday that the United States could respond with sanctions against Chinese officials and enterprises involved in coercion in the South China Sea.   "Nothing is off the table ... there is room for that. This is a language the Chinese understand - demonstrative and tangible action," David Stilwell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told a Washington think tank when asked if
  • Japan accuses China of pushing territorial claims during COVID-19 pandemic
    TOKYO, July 14 (Reuters): Japan's annual defence review accuses China of pushing its territorial claims amid the coronavirus pandemic and suspects Beijing of spreading propaganda and disinformation as it provides medical aid to nations battling the disease.   China "is continuing to attempt to alter the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea," Japan said in the defence white paper, approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government on
  • U.S. rejects China's claims in South China Sea, adding to tensions
    WASHINGTON/BEIJING, July 14 (Reuters): The United States on Monday rejected China's claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea, drawing criticism from China which said the U.S. position raised tension in the region, highlighting an increasingly testy relationship.   China has offered no coherent legal basis for its ambitions in the South China Sea and for years has been using intimidation against other Southeast Asian coastal states, U.S. Secretary
  • China raises flood response to 2nd-highest level
    BEIJING, JULY 12 (IANS): China on Sunday raised the emergency response for flood control to Level II, the second-highest in the response system, as heavy rains continued to lash vast stretches of the country.   Since July 4, alert-triggering floods have been observed in 212 rivers nationwide, among which 19 topped previous water level records, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) as saying.   By Sunday afternoon, floods in 27 provincia
  • Anti-China sentiment to benefit Samsung mobile biz in India: Analysts
    SEOUL/NEW DELHI, July 12 (IANS): As anti-China sentiments grow in India after the ban on 59 apps and a public boycott of Chinese-made goods, Samsung Electronics is expected to increase its presence in the Indian smartphone market, industry analysts have said.   The fluid market situation offers new opportunities for various smartphone makers, especially the non-Chinese ones, to realign their strategies and regain the lost market share in the face of fierce Chinese competitio
  • Over 600,000 Hong Kongers cast 'protest' vote against new security laws
    HONG KONG, Jujly 12 (Reuters): Hong Kong's opposition camp said on Sunday that over 600,000 citizens in the Chinese-ruled city cast ballots over the weekend in primaries it cast as a symbolic protest vote against tough national security laws imposed by Beijing.   The unofficial poll will decide the strongest pro-democracy candidates to contest elections in September to Hong Kong's Legislative Council. Then, they aim to seize majority control for the first time f
  • "It's a very emotional time": Hong Kongers pack memories for new life overseas
    HONG KONG/LONDON, July 9 (Reuters): When college graduate Wong, 23, leaves Hong Kong to escape Beijing's new national security law, it will be his friends, the stunning views over Victoria Harbour and the city's famous dim sum he will miss the most.   Wong is joining a flood of fellow Hong Kongers fleeing what they see as a more authoritarian era under the legislation, which punishes acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces with
  • In echo of Mao era, China's schools in book-cleansing drive
    BEIJING, July 9 (Reuters): As schools reopened in China after the COVID-19 outbreak, they have thrown themselves into a nationwide exercise to remove books deemed politically incorrect, deepening Chinese President Xi Jinping's push to instil patriotism and ideological purity in the education system.   A directive from the Ministry of Education last October called on elementary and middle schools to clear out books from their libraries including "illegal" a
  • Smog causes an estimated 49,000 deaths in Beijing, Shanghai in 2020 - tracker
    SHANGHAI, July 9 (Reuters): Air pollution has caused an estimated 49,000 deaths and $23 billion in economic losses in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai alone since Jan. 1, 2020, according to a "clean air counter" launched by environmental groups on Thursday.   The online tool launched by the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), Greenpeace Southeast Asia and IQAir Air Visual, measures smog in 28 major cities worldwide and uses mod
  • Angering China, Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong, extends visas
    SYDNEY, July 9 (Reuters): Australia said on Thursday it was suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in response to a new security law imposed there and announced measures to attract businesses from the Asian financial hub, provoking an angry response from Beijing.   Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the law introduced last week in Hong Kong was a fundamental change of circumstances and Australia would suspend the extradition agreement.   "There
  • China converts Hong Kong hotel into new national security office
    HONG KONG, July 8 (Reuters): China opened its powerful national security office in Hong Kong on Wednesday, turning a hotel near a city-centre park that has been one of the most popular venues for pro-democracy protests into its new headquarters.   The office, which operates beyond the scrutiny of local courts or other institutions, will oversee the Hong Kong government's enforcement of the sweeping national security legislation that Beijing imposed on the city last