Growth in CO2 emissions leaves China likely to miss climate targets

China is off track on all of its core 2025 climate targets, despite the fact that clean energy is now the biggest driver of the country’s economic growth, analysis has found. After years of extraordinarily rapid growth, China is now grappling with a slowdown that is causing ripples internally and internationally. The government has supercharged the growth of the renewable energy industry but it has imultaneously poured stimulus funds into construction and manufacturing, and continues to approve coal power. China’s total energy consumption increased by 5.7% in 2023, in the…

Cost of raising children in China second-highest in world, thinktank reveals

China is one of the most expensive places in the world to raise a child, outstripping the US and Japan in relative terms, a prominent Chinese thinktank has said. A report released on Wednesday by the Beijing-based Yuwa Population Research Institute found that the average cost of raising a child in China until the age of 18 is 538,000 yuan (£59,275) – more than 6.3 times as high as its GDP per capita, compared with 4.11 times in the US or 4.26 times in Japan. For children brought up in…

China needs to do more on ‘silent crisis’ of debt, says World Bank official

China holds the key to speeding up debt relief and ending the “silent crisis” that is holding back attempts to tackle poverty in the world’s poorest countries, a senior World Bank official has said. Ayhan Kose, the Bank’s deputy chief economist, said Beijing needed to be more active in negotiations to provide financial support for those countries already in, or close to, debt distress. Kose said China’s emergence as a significant creditor country over the past 15 years meant it needed to take responsibility for making a post-pandemic debt relief…

Taiwan chases Chinese coast guard boat away from frontline islands amid heightened tensions

Taiwan on Tuesday drove away a Chinese coast guard boat that entered waters near its sensitive frontline islands, one day after China’s coast guard boarded a Taiwanese tourist boat amid an escalating dispute sparked by a fatal capsize last week. A Chinese coast guard boat, numbered 8029, entered Taiwan’s waters near Kinmen on Tuesday morning, Taiwan’s coast guard said, adding that it dispatched a boat and used radio and broadcast to drive away its Chinese counterpart, which left the area an hour later. Taiwan’s coast guard said it will continue…

Yang Hengjun will not appeal suspended death sentence in China, family says

Australian writer Yang Hengjun will not appeal against the suspended death sentence imposed by a Chinese court, with his family saying further legal challenges would be detrimental to his welfare. Yang was found guilty on espionage charges in China in February after spending five years in prison. He will still face the prospect of life behind bars at the end of a two-year suspended death sentence. In a letter written by Yang’s family and friends, they said they supported the imprisoned writer’s decision to waive his right to appeal. “There…

‘Little by little, the truth is being discovered’: the archive rescuing China’s forbidden films

On the wall of an unassuming second- floor room in Newcastle University sits a map, Blu-Tacked, unframed. At first glance it looks like any other map of China. But on closer inspection, the cities labelled on the map are not just the major urban centres. They are the places that have hosted important film festivals over the years, the details of which are annotated in colour-coded text. Covering the final years of the so-called golden era of the scene, the map shows dozens of film festivals that used to be active across China. There was…

China coast guard boards Taiwan tourist boat in escalation of tensions

China’s coast guard has boarded a Taiwanese tourist vessel, as tensions continue to escalate in the waters between China’s mainland and Taiwan’s Kinmen islands after a capsizing killed two people last week. The Taiwanese sight-seeing ferry King Xia was carrying 11 crew and 23 passengers on a tour around Kinmen’s main island on Monday when it was intercepted by two Chinese coast guard patrol vessels. Six officers boarded the King Xia and asked to inspect the documentation of the crew, before disembarking about 30 minutes later, Taiwan’s Coast Guard Authority…

Australia detains alleged key player in North Korean tobacco smuggling scheme after US request

A Chinese national has been quietly arrested and detained in Australia for 11 months at the request of US authorities investigating an alleged tobacco smuggling conspiracy that generated an estimated A$1.1bn (US$700m) in revenue to North Korea. Jin Guanghua, 52, was arrested by the Australian federal police in Melbourne last March. Described in US court documents as an Australian resident, Jin was kept in custody in Melbourne for several months before being transferred to immigration detention while awaiting extradition. The Federal Bureau of Investigation alleges Jin and others conspired for…

China offers to deepen security ties with Hungary

China has offered to deepen security cooperation with Hungary, underscoring Budapest’s warming ties with Beijing just as Hungarian officials snubbed a visiting delegation from Washington. Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, met China’s minister of public security, Wang Xiaohong, on Friday. In comments published by China’s official Xinhua news agency over the weekend, Wang said he was hoping to “deepen cooperation in areas including counter-terrorism, combating transnational crimes, security and law enforcement capacity building under the belt and road initiative”. The aim, according to the Chinese minister, would be “to make…

‘It’s legalised robbery’: anger grows at China’s struggling shadow banks

Wang Jin felt sure that he could invest in Sichuan Trust, an institution that was part of one of what he describes as the “four pillars” of China’s financial system: banks, securities, insurance and trusts. Promised a return on his investment of 8.3%, he handed over 1.6m yuan (£178,000) in 2019. “The trust had a state licence, so we believed in its integrity,” Wang (not his real name) recalls. Unluckily for him, in May 2020, the company said that it would be unable to repay 20bn yuan of investments. Protests…