China to Send More Pandas to US, Jump-Starting New Era of ‘Panda Diplomacy’ 

BEIJING —  China’s Wildlife Conservation Association is working with the National Zoo in Washington in an arrangement that could bring more pandas back to the United States, signaling improving diplomatic relations between the two superpowers. China has lent its beloved bears to zoos in various countries over the years as goodwill animal ambassadors and also fostered a modern Sino-U.S. “panda diplomacy” with the gesture. “Relevant Chinese institutions have signed agreements with the Madrid Zoo in Spain and the San Diego Zoo in the United States on a new round of…

Leaked Hacking Documents Offer Window Into Pervasive Chinese Surveillance

Chinese police are investigating an unauthorized and highly unusual online dump of documents from a private security contractor linked to the nation’s top policing agency and other parts of its government — a trove that catalogs apparent hacking activity and tools to spy on both Chinese and foreigners. Among the apparent targets of tools provided by the impacted company, I-Soon: ethnicities and dissidents in parts of China that have seen significant anti-government protests, such as Hong Kong or the heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang in China’s far west. The dump…

Chinese Survey Ship’s Maldives Visit Could Trigger Security Concerns

BEIJING —  A Chinese research ship is set to arrive in the Maldives on Thursday, global ship-tracking data showed, just three months after a similar vessel visited the Indian Ocean and sparked New Delhi’s security concerns. The visit follows January comments by a U.S. think tank that China’s navy could “leverage the insights gained from these missions” for deployment of naval forces, a claim Beijing calls part of a concocted image-smearing “China threat” narrative. The Xiang Yang Hong 03, owned by a research institute that reports to China’s natural resources…

US Lawmaker Who Chairs China Committee Arrives in Taiwan

taipei, taiwan —  U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher, who chairs the House of Representatives select committee on China, arrived in Taiwan on Thursday with a delegation of other lawmakers and will meet senior Taiwanese leaders. Gallagher, who is being accompanied by four other lawmakers on a trip ending Saturday, has been a strong friend of Chinese-claimed Taiwan and a fierce critic of China. “The delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders and members of civil society to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, and other significant issues of mutual…

China’s Inviting Sympathetic Foreign Media to Xinjiang Can Backfire

hong kong —  Albanian Canadian scholar Olsi Jazexhi seemed to be the perfect foreign writer for the Chinese government to invite to Xinjiang, its westernmost province and home to the ethnic Uyghur Muslim minority so mistreated by Beijing that its critics have called it cultural genocide. “My initial intention was to visit Xinjiang myself to investigate and to prove the West wrong,” Jazexhi tells VOA. During an interview for a journalist visa at the Chinese Embassy in Tirana, Albania, in 2019, he says he told the consular official, “I want…

US Moves to Shore Up Ports from Cyberattacks

The White House is moving forward with reforms aimed at shoring up cybersecurity at U.S. ports, some of which may already be in danger of falling under the sway of hackers linked to China. President Joe Biden Wednesday is set to issue an executive order assigning responsibility for cybersecurity at ports and other maritime facilities to the U.S. Coast Guard, with the goal of making sure minimum security requirements are put in place as quickly as possible. The order also will allow the Coast Guard to conduct cyber safety inspections…

Chinese Australian Blogger Waives Appeal of Suspended Death Sentence in China

The family of a Chinese-born Australian writer who was convicted of spying and given a suspended death sentence says he will not appeal. Yang Hengjun has been in custody since he was arrested in the southern city of Guangzhou on a flight from New York in 2019. He was sentenced earlier this month in a Beijing court, nearly three years after he was tried in a secret hearing. His family and close friends issued a statement Wednesday saying Yang has decided to waive his right to appeal his sentence because…

US Sees China Taking ‘Concrete Steps’ to Counter Drug Trade

washington —  A high-level meeting between the top U.S. homeland security official and his Chinese counterpart is giving Washington reason to hope that current talks may eventually help stem the flow of drugs such as fentanyl into the United States. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas met with Chinese Public Security Minister Wang Xiaohong in Vienna on Sunday for talks focused on stopping the spread of fentanyl and the chemicals used to make the powerful synthetic opioid. A U.S. readout of the meeting with the People’s Republic of China official…

Taiwan Says Chinese Naval Forces Board Taiwan Tourist Boat

Taiwan says a tourist boat from the self-ruled island was boarded by the Chinese coast guard. Taiwan’s coast guard says the boat carrying 34 passengers and crew was boarded for just over 30 minutes while it was on a sight-seeing trip near the Kinman archipelago, located just off the southern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen but controlled by Taiwan. Kuan Bi-ling, the head of Taiwan’s Ocean Affairs Council, told reporters Tuesday in the capital Taipei that China’s actions harmed people’s feelings, created panic and went against the best interests of…

Former Bank of China Chairman Indicted for Bribery in Anticorruption Drive

BEIJING —  The former chairman of the Bank of China has been indicted on bribery charges, prosecutors said Monday, adding to a long list of business and government officials who have been brought down by Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s yearslong anticorruption drive. Liu Liange is accused of taking advantage of his positions at the Bank of China and previously as president of the Export-Import Bank of China, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said in a statement posted on social media. He has been charged with helping others with loans and personnel…