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Nov 18, 2014

Hard diplomacy ahead despite China showing its softer side

BEIJING (Reuters) – From a military rules-of-the-road agreement with Washington to $20 billion in loans for Southeast Asia, Beijing has set aside the tensions of recent years to present a softer side to the world in the last week.

But proof of whether President Xi Jinping is serious about narrowing differences that have marked his first two years in office will depend on how China’s festering disputes are managed in the months ahead.

Nov 13, 2014

G20 deal on shell companies ‘only discussion’: China

BEIJING/BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) – A G20 deal aimed at cracking down on companies masking their ownership is “only at the discussion stage”, China said on Thursday, dealing a blow to hopes an agreement will be signed off by world leaders this weekend.

A working group at the Group of 20, under host Australia’s Attorney-General’s Department, has been seeking agreement on how to improve beneficial ownership transparency and combat the use of shell companies that can hide ill-gotten money or avoid taxation.

Nov 13, 2014

China to lift aid to Pacific, sees cooperation with Taiwan allies

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping will offer a broad aid package to Pacific island nations at a summit in Fiji next week, a foreign ministry official said on Thursday, adding that there was also room to work with six island states not invited because of ties to Taiwan.

The tiny states of the Pacific Ocean have been a source of diplomatic intrigue between China and Taiwan for decades, with each accusing the other of using “dollar diplomacy” to win recognition.

Nov 8, 2014

China says hopes Japan can create favorable atmosphere for talks

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Saturday it hopes Japan can create a favorable atmosphere for an expected meeting between the two countries’ leaders, a day after the two sides signaled willingness to put a bitter row over disputed islands on the back burner.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks at a briefing ahead of a meeting by leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group in Beijing.

Nov 7, 2014

China, Japan set aside isle row, paving way for leaders to meet

BEIJING/TOKYO (Reuters) – China and Japan agreed on Friday to work on improving ties and signaled willingness to put a bitter row over disputed islands on the back burner, paving the way for their leaders to meet at an Asian-Pacific summit next week.

The agreement, ahead of an expected ice-breaking chat between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the gathering in Beijing, signals a thaw in ties between the world’s second- and third-biggest economies.

Nov 6, 2014

China on best behavior for APEC, but guests may not be

BEIJING (Reuters) – From territorial disputes with neighbors to rivalry with the United States, China is setting aside some of its biggest foreign policy challenges to prevent discord at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders that it hosts next week.

What’s not clear is whether the guests will behave as well.

One potential hotspot is the conflict in Ukraine, as U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are both coming for the meeting.

Nov 5, 2014

China says probe into disgraced security chief could take time

BEIJING (Reuters) – The investigation into China’s former domestic security chief is expected to take a long time but the government is committed to releasing details to the public, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Zhou Yongkang is by far the highest-profile figure caught up in President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption. He is the most senior Chinese official to be ensnared in a graft scandal since the Communist Party took power in 1949.

Oct 27, 2014

China, Vietnam say want lasting solution to sea dispute

HANOI/BEIJING (Reuters) – China and Vietnam agreed on Monday to use an existing border dispute mechanism to find a solution to a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, saying they did not want it to affect relations.

The two countries have sought to patch up ties since their long-running row erupted in May, triggered by China’s deployment a drilling rig in waters claimed by the communist neighbors, which lead to confrontation at sea between rival vessels and violent anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam.

Oct 18, 2014

Companies look for more fairness as China eyes legal reforms at key meeting

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is set to unveil key legal reforms this week that will try to limit the influence local officials have on court cases, a move being closely watched by company executives who hope it will make the legal system more impartial.

The announcement is expected at the end of an Oct. 20-23 meeting of the ruling Communist Party elite, which has made the “rule of law” the theme of the gathering. The meeting, called a plenum, comes at a time when slowing economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy is raising the prospect of more commercial disputes.

Oct 15, 2014

China likely to expel disgraced security chief from party-sources

BEIJING, Oct 15 (Reuters) – China’s disgraced former
domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, looks set to be expelled
from the ruling Communist Party at a key meeting next week,
sources said, possibly paving the way for his formal
prosecution.

Zhou is the most senior party member to have been targeted
in a corruption probe since the Communists swept to power in
1949, and President Xi Jinping has made fighting graft a
cornerstone of his administration.

    • 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."
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