Chinese Automaker BYD Looking for Mexico Plant Location, Executive Says

MEXICO CITY —  Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD is looking for a location in Mexico to set up a factory aimed at boosting the company’s share of the local market, BYD Americas CEO Stella Li told Reuters on Wednesday. The company expects to choose a location for the plant, which is set to have a production capacity of 150,000 cars annually, by the year’s end, Li said. BYD outpaced former market leader Tesla in EV sales globally in the fourth quarter of 2023, and auto industry officials say its push…

Malaysia Court Reinstates Abuse of Power Charges Against Ex-PM Muhyiddin

Kuala Lumpur —  A Malaysian appeal court on Wednesday reinstated charges of abuse of power against opposition leader and former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, state news agency Bernama reported. A Kuala Lumpur high court had thrown out the four charges and acquitted Muhyiddin in August, ruling those had not detailed his alleged offences. Muhyiddin, who led Malaysia for 17 months between 2020 and 2021, had pleaded not guilty and had called the charges politically motivated. However, a three-member Court of Appeal bench on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the case against…

North Korean Missiles Used by Russia Against Ukraine Are Products of Sanction Loopholes

Washington —  The discovery of a North Korean missile in Ukraine that had more than 200 components from U.S. and European companies revealed loopholes that North Korea uses to evade sanctions, said analysts. North Korea is operating its arms factories at full capacity to supply Russia with weapons needed to fight Ukraine, said South Korean Defense Minister Shin Wonsik at a news briefing on Monday. South Korea estimates Pyongyang sent about 6,700 containers to Russia since September, Shin said, according to South Korean media. The U.S. puts the number even…

US Lawmakers, Officials Voice Concern About Chinese Police on Kiribati

washington —  U.S. lawmakers are voicing concern about the Pacific island nation of Kirabati’s use of police from China for security, just as the U.S. State Department warns that such cooperation could bring new risks to Kiribati, a neighbor of Hawaii. On Friday, Eeri Aritiera, Kirabati’s acting police commissioner, told Reuters that a Chinese police delegation will rotate through the island nation to “provide assistance” to Kiribati’s Community Policing program and IT department. Aritiera says the island nation of more than 115,000, whose closest island is about 2,100 km (1,305…

China Users on Banned Social Platforms Need Protection, Advocates Say

washington —  Rights advocates are urging international social media platforms to do more to prevent Chinese authorities from obtaining the personal information of users. The call comes after two popular Chinese social media influencers alleged on X and YouTube that police in China were investigating their followers and had called some in for questioning. Social media platforms such as X and YouTube and thousands of websites — from The New York Times to the BBC and VOA — are blocked in China by the country’s Great Firewall. But increasingly, even…

Renewal of US-China Science and Tech Pact Faces Hurdles

STATE DEPARTMENT —  With a science and technology agreement between the United States and People’s Republic of China due to expire Tuesday, the State Department said it is negotiating to “amend, extend, and strengthen protections within” the agreement but declined to specify if the U.S. would extend the deal. “We are not able to provide information at this time on specific U.S. negotiating positions or on whether the agreement will be extended past its current expiration date,” a State Department spokesperson told VOA. The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement is…

Chinese Airlines Can Boost US Flights to 50 Per Week, US Says

WASHINGTON —  Chinese passenger airlines will be allowed to boost their weekly round-trip U.S. flights to 50 starting on March 31, up from the current 35, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Monday, returning the market to nearly one-third of pre-pandemic levels. The approval “is a significant step forward in further normalization of the U.S.-China market in anticipation of the Summer 2024 traffic season,” the USDOT said. More than 150 weekly round-trip passenger flights were allowed by each side before restrictions were imposed in early 2020 due to the COVID-19…

2 Exiled Chinese Bloggers Warn of Police Interrogating Their Followers

SHANGHAI —  Two prominent Chinese bloggers in exile said that police were investigating their millions of followers on international social media platforms, in an escalation of Beijing’s attempts to clamp down on critical speech even outside of the country’s borders. Former state broadcaster CCTV journalist Wang Zhi’an and artist-turned-dissident Li Ying, both Chinese citizens known for posting uncensored Chinese news, said in separate posts Sunday that police were interrogating people who followed them on social media, and urged followers to take precautions such as unfollowing their accounts, changing their usernames,…

China’s C919 Jet Displayed at Singapore Air Show, But It’s Not Ready to Compete 

singapore —  China’s C919 single-aisle jet made its international debut at the Singapore Airshow, attracting masses of visitors and hundreds of orders, but analysts say it still has a long way to go before it can compete with aircraft from market leaders Boeing and Airbus. The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has received over 1,000 orders for the jet, mostly from Chinese airlines. A lack of international certification means the aircraft cannot operate commercially in most countries unless they recognize certifications by China’s civil aviation regulator. During last week’s…

Vietnam Has High Hopes for Increasing Food Exports to China 

washington —  Vietnam expects to increase its agricultural exports to China this year as the two countries have agreed to review regulations opening the market to greater quantities of poultry, fish and fruits. Pham Thi Huan, the founder of Ba Huan Corp. in Ho Chi Minh City, one of Vietnam’s largest poultry and egg suppliers, said she would welcome greater access to China’s market of 1.4 billion consumers. “My company has not exported chicken meat or eggs into China mainland. Lifting this ban will open doors to my company and…