America and China spar over the Taiwan Strait

america and china spar over the taiwan strait

To chinese nationalists, keen to see America pushed from their country’s backyard, the words of a foreign-ministry official have brought hope. Describing the Taiwan Strait as international waters is a “false claim”, the spokesman said on June 13th. China, he insisted, has “sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction” over the waterway. His words were aimed at America, which calls it international waters and often angers China by sailing warships through it. Soon “the dragon will fight the tiger” in the strait, a Chinese academic warned in an online article. The strait…

Hong Kong’s most famous floating restaurant sinks

hong kongs most famous floating restaurant sinks

The iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant had sat in Hong Kong’s Aberdeen harbour for 46 years. Built in the style of an imperial palace, it attracted locals, tourists and celebrities. But it was losing money when it closed in 2020. On June 14th it was towed away. Wherever it was heading, it never made it: the vessel sank on June 18th. Some saw a metaphor in its demise. China’s Communist Party has undermined Hong Kong’s democratic institutions in recent years. Jumbo represented a more hopeful era, now gone. Listen to this…

China’s Political Surveillance System Keeps Growing

chinas political surveillance system keeps growing

Advertisement While countries in North America and Europe are gradually lifting pandemic restrictions, vaccine passports, and COVID testing requirements, China continues to implement relatively strict measures to eliminate COVID-19 cases within its borders, despite the World Health Organization warning that such an approach is unsustainable. Through harsh lockdowns and stringent testing requirements in multiple regions of the country, China racked up high economic costs and severe impacts on its residents’ livelihoods in the first half of 2022. The COVID-zero strategy that China implements relies on a digital identification: the health…

What ‘Zhong Sheng’ Says About China’s Perceptions of the Ukraine Conflict

what zhong sheng says about chinas perceptions of the ukraine conflict

Advertisement Pundits have gone to great lengths to project their interpretations of Chinese perceptions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sadly, few examine exactly what China communicates about the conflict. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) focuses mainly on placing the blame for the conflict squarely on the West while also offering tepid support for Russia. These views represent an evolution of cooperation between Russia and China, with a recent communique vowing that the “friendship between the two States has no limits.”  But of course, there are limits. In analyzing the…

Albanese to meet Macron in Paris for ‘important reset’ of Australia’s relationship with France

Prime minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed he will visit France to meet President Emmanuel Macron, and is considering travelling to Ukraine, during next week’s trip to Europe for the Nato summit. Albanese said he was also looking forward to “having further dialogue” with the Chinese government, but admitted the relationship would remain “problematic” for some time, despite a recent end to the freeze on diplomatic relations. “Already there have been some improvements but it’s a long way to go,” the prime minister told the ABC’s 7.30 program. Albanese will on…

After the freeze: can Australia and China rekindle relations?

Australia and China’s defence ministers have met in person for the first time since China froze its communications with high-level Australian politicians in early 2020. Foreign affairs and defence correspondent Daniel Hurst speaks with Jane Lee about the key tensions that remain unresolved between the two countries now that the freeze is over. How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know The Guardian

Chinese city stripped of ‘civilised’ title after attack on female diners

The northern Chinese city of Tangshan has been stripped of a national honorary title as the fallout from the assault of four women at a restaurant earlier this month continues. The civilisation office of the Communist party of China’s central committee announced on Wednesday it had decided to remove Tangshan from the list of “national civilised cities” – the highest recognition for a Chinese city. “The honour of a civilised city belongs to all citizens and cannot be smeared or desecrated,” said China City News, a news outlet under the…

From China With Love: Xi’s Birthday Call to Putin

from china with love xis birthday call to putin

Advertisement What did China’s President Xi Jinping do on his 69th birthday? The birthday boy called up his “bosom buddy,” Vladimir Putin, to reassure the Russian leader that “bilateral relations have maintained a sound development momentum in the face of global turbulence and transformations.” Xi pledging Moscow more support on “sovereignty and security” is tantamount to the Chinese leader disdainfully dismissing all earlier warnings from the West that China risked major reputational damage by not condemning the Kremlin. But what is more worrying for the leaders in the West is that…

China’s mental-health crisis is getting worse

chinas mental health crisis is getting worse

It is no surprise that demand for psychotherapy is increasing in China. Take the residents of Shanghai, who recently suffered through months of lockdown. Now they are free to move about, but still constantly tested for covid-19, with a positive result landing them in an isolation centre. Much of China’s population has experienced some form of lockdown this year. If the virus is not causing enough anguish, there is also the struggling economy. China’s youth-unemployment rate has shot up to 18.4%, the highest on record. Don’t complain too much, though,…

Police investigated over response to attack on female diners in Tangshan

Five police officials in the northern Chinese city of Tangshan are being investigated over their handling of a vicious attack on a group of women at a restaurant. The provincial discipline commission of Hebei province said the five, including the district head of the Lubei police force, Ma Aijun, were accused of “seriously violating discipline and law”. Hebei province’s public security bureau announced separately on Tuesday that Ma’s deputy, Li, had been removed from his post. The violence against four women at a barbecue restaurant on 10 June was widely…

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