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…

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…

Chinese Coast Guard Boarded Taiwan Ship After Deadly Boat Incident

Taipei, Taiwan —  Chinese coast guard officials briefly boarded a Taiwanese ship Monday, Taipei said, after Beijing announced it would step up patrols following a boat incident in which two Chinese nationals died. The boat was carrying four Chinese nationals when it capsized last week near Taiwan’s Kinmen islands while pursued by the Taiwanese coast guard. All four onboard were thrown into the water and two of the crew later died. The two rescued were detained in Kinmen — a territory administered by Taiwan but located just five kilometers (three…

China Tells Ukraine It ‘Does Not Sell Lethal Weapons’ to Russia

Beijing —  China’s foreign minister has told his Ukrainian counterpart that Beijing does not sell lethal weapons to Russia for its war against Ukraine, a statement said Sunday. Wang Yi told Dmytro Kuleba during a meeting on the sidelines of a major security conference in Munich on Saturday that China “does not take any advantage of the situation and does not sell lethal weapons to conflict areas or parties to the conflict,” according to a foreign ministry readout. China says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict but…

China Increases Patrols Near Taiwan’s Kinmen Archipelago After 2 Fishermen Die

BANGKOK —  China is stepping up patrols in the waters off the coast of Taiwan’s Kinmen archipelago, days after two of its fishermen drowned while being chased by the Taiwanese coast guard, which accused the boat of trespassing. The Chinese coast guard’s Fujian division will regularly monitor the waters off the southern coast of the city of Xiamen — a few kilometers from Kinmen — to strengthen maritime law enforcement, said the coast guard’s spokesman, Gan Yu, in a statement Sunday. Fishermen from Taiwan and China regularly sail that stretch…

In Wake of Deaths, China Says Fishing Around Taiwanese Islands Cannot Be Restricted

beijing —  There are no off limits or restricted areas for fishing around a group of Taiwanese islands close to China’s coast and Beijing reserves the right to take further measures after two Chinese nationals died near the islands, the government said. Taiwan on Thursday defended the actions of its coast guard after two people on a Chinese speedboat, which got too close to a frontline Taiwanese island, died when their boat overturned while trying to flee a coast guard ship. Two others survived. Taiwan, the self-governing island that China…