Ben's Feed
May 16, 2014

Cold-shouldered by West, Putin will hope for some China sympathy

BEIJING/MOSCOW, May 16 (Reuters) – Increasingly isolated by
the West over Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin will
hope for a sympathetic ear on a visit next week to China, which
is also being more assertive in its territorial disputes with
smaller neighbours.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made a big public show of
underscoring the importance of ties with Russia, and Moscow was
the first capital he visited after assuming the presidency last
year. Xi also attended the Winter Olympics in Sochi at Putin’s
invitation.

May 13, 2014

Japan, China to square off at regional security forum

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – A major regional security conference is shaping up as a face-off between Asia’s two biggest powers, as Japan sends its hawkish prime minister and China dispatches a feisty diplomat instead of the usual brass to counter Tokyo’s more assertive message.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office in 2012 promising to bolster the role of the nation’s military, will deliver the keynote address at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore at the end of the month.

May 9, 2014

China rebukes U.S. for demanding release of Tiananmen activists

BEIJING, May 9 (Reuters) – China rebuked the United States
on Friday for urging the release of activists detained after
attending a meeting about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests,
saying Washington had no right to demand that criminals be
freed.

Wednesday’s call by the U.S. State Department to release
prominent rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang and others drew a sharp
riposte from China’s foreign ministry, which regards U.S.
expressions of concern as unwarranted interference in its
internal affairs.

May 8, 2014

China blames Vietnam for sea collisions, but calls for talks

BEIJING/HANOI, May 8 (Reuters) – China accused Vietnam on
Thursday of intentionally colliding with its ships in the South
China Sea, but called for talks to end a bitter row sparked by
Beijing’s parking of a giant oil rig in contested waters.

A senior foreign ministry official in Beijing demanded that
Vietnam withdraw its ships after its southern neighbour asserted
that Chinese vessels used water cannon and rammed eight of its
vessels at the weekend near the rig. Hanoi said two vessels were
badly damaged and six people were wounded in the worst setback
to ties between the two Communist nations in years.

May 8, 2014

China urges talks, says no ‘clash’ with Vietnam

BEIJING/HANOI (Reuters) – China on Thursday rejected Vietnamese claims it acted aggressively in the South China Sea and called for a peaceful end to a bitter row sparked by Beijing’s parking of a giant oil rig in contested waters.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said no “clash” had taken place since the dispute erupted at the weekend. He was responding to Vietnam’s assertions that Chinese vessels used water cannon and intentionally rammed eight of its ships, seriously damaging two, and wounding six sailors.

May 8, 2014

China urges talks, says no “clash” in sea row with Vietnam

BEIJING/HANOI, May 8 (Reuters) – China on Thursday rejected
Vietnamese claims it acted aggressively in the South China Sea
and called for a peaceful end to a bitter row sparked by
Beijing’s parking of a giant oil rig in contested waters.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said no “clash”
had taken place since the dispute erupted at the weekend. He was
responding to Vietnam’s assertions that Chinese vessels used
water cannon and intentionally rammed eight of its ships,
seriously damaging two, and wounding six sailors.

Apr 26, 2014

Tokyo governor passes on Japan PM’s goodwill on China visit

BEIJING (Reuters) – Tokyo’s governor said on Saturday that he had passed on a message from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Chinese leaders that Abe wants relations to improve, during a rare high-level visit as bilateral ties continue to sour.

Governor Yoichi Masuzoe, who was Abe’s favored candidate during the governor election in February, said he delivered the message on behalf of Abe to China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang and former top Chinese diplomat Tang Jiaxuan.

Apr 23, 2014

China stops prominent rights lawyer from meeting German minister

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese police blocked a prominent human rights lawyer from meeting Germany’s deputy chancellor, the lawyer said on Wednesday, in the latest example of curbs on government critics in China.

Sigmar Gabriel was unable to hold talks with members of Chinese civil society during a visit to Beijing on Tuesday, though he declined to comment on why the planned meeting at the German embassy had not taken place.

Apr 22, 2014

China’s seizure of Japanese ship has pre-World War Two roots

BEIJING, April 22 (Reuters) – It all began with a pre-World
War Two contract between China’s then “ship king” and a Japanese
company to lease two Chinese freighters.

When the one-year lease was up in 1937, the ships were
nowhere to be found. That year also marked the start of a
full-scale war between China and Japan.

Apr 14, 2014

Anxious China emerges as diplomatic player in Afghanistan

KABUL/BEIJING (Reuters) – China is quietly preparing for a more robust role in the future of Afghanistan, concerned that the withdrawal of NATO troops will leave a hotbed of militancy on its doorstep.

The two countries are connected by a narrow mountainous corridor that is almost impassable, which meant Beijing could focus on mining and mineral deals in Afghanistan as Western forces battled Taliban insurgents. But officials say that China is emerging as a key strategic player.

    • About Ben

      "I started working at Reuters in 2002 as an equities reporter in Shanghai, before moving to Beijing in 2005 to work on the general news and politics file. My primary areas of coverage are China's relations with Southeast Asia and Taiwan, the development of China's military, and ethnic minority issues in China."
    • Follow Ben