Ben's Feed
Jan 26, 2013

China’s Chongqing mayor says has banished Bo Xilai’s influence

BEIJING (Reuters) – The mayor of the scandal-plagued southwestern Chinese metropolis of Chongqing said on Saturday that local authorities had banished the malign influence of the city’s former top official Bo Xilai, and vowed never to never allow a repeat of his crimes.

Once a contender for China’s top leadership, Bo was ousted in the biggest political scandal in two decades last year following his wife’s murder of a British businessman, Neil Heywood.

Dec 31, 2012

China academics warn of “violent revolution” if no political reform

BEIJING (Reuters) – A prominent group of Chinese academics has warned in a bold open letter that the country risks “violent revolution” if the government does not respond to public pressure and allow long-stalled political reforms.

The 73 scholars, including well-known current and retired legal experts at top universities and lawyers, said political reform had not matched the quick pace of economic expansion.

Dec 4, 2012

Nobel laureates urge China to release jailed prize winner Liu

BEIJING (Reuters) – A group of 134 Nobel laureates including the Dalai Lama and author Toni Morrison have written to Chinese Communist Party chief and president-in-waiting Xi Jinping urging that he release detained Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife.

Liu, a veteran dissident involved in 1989 pro-democracy protests crushed by the Chinese army, won the prize in 2010. He was jailed the year earlier and is serving an 11-year sentence. His wife Liu Xia is under house arrest.

Nov 30, 2012

Blind China activist’s nephew gets three years in jail

BEIJING (Reuters) – A court in eastern China sentenced the nephew of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng to three years and three months in jail on Friday for intentional infliction of injury, in a case likely to refocus attention on China’s human rights and legal system.

Chen Kegui had been held incommunicado by police for over six months and was denied access to his choice of lawyers. Both his family and human rights advocates have called the case illegitimate.

Nov 29, 2012

Chinese police plan to board vessels in disputed seas

BEIJING/MANILA, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Police in the southern
Chinese island province of Hainan will board and search ships
which illegally enter what China considers its territory in the
disputed South China Sea, state media said on Thursday, a move
likely to add to tensions.

The South China Sea is Asia’s biggest potential military
trouble spot with several Asian countries claiming sovereignty
over waters believed to be rich in oil and gas.

Nov 21, 2012

China promotes conservative to propaganda minister

BEIJING (Reuters) – China appointed on Wednesday a loyal ally of President Hu Jintao to become propaganda minister and promoted one of its most senior female leaders to Communist Party chief of the northern port city of Tianjin.

The new propaganda minister, Liu Qibao, formerly the party boss of southwestern Sichuan province, replaces Liu Yunshan, who was last week raised to the Standing Committee following a once-every-five-year party congress that unveiled a generational leadership change.

Nov 17, 2012

China says does not want South China Sea overshadowing summit

BEIJING (Reuters) – A regional summit opening in Cambodia this weekend should not be overshadowed by a dispute over the South China Sea as the situation is under control and countries involved can resolve differences themselves, a top Chinese diplomat said on Saturday.

China’s assertion of sovereignty over the stretch of water off its south coast and to the east of mainland Southeast Asia has set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to parts, making it Asia’s biggest potential military trouble spot.

Nov 16, 2012

China’s premier-in-waiting schooled in free thought

BEIJING (Reuters) – Where other top Chinese leaders can only stand around and look awkward in the presence of English-speaking dignitaries, premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang stands out for his casual and disarming command of the language.

Li’s English skills say more about the man who will run the world’s second-largest economy than just an ability to schmooze U.S. CEOs and European prime ministers – they were learned as a part of a surprisingly liberal university education.

Nov 16, 2012

China names conservative, older leadership

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party unveiled an older, conservative leadership line-up on Thursday that appears unlikely to take the drastic action needed to tackle pressing issues like social unrest, environmental degradation and corruption.

New party chief Xi Jinping, premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang and vice-premier in charge of economic affairs Wang Qishan, all named as expected to the elite decision-making Politburo Standing Committee, are considered cautious reformers. The other four members have the reputation of being conservative.

Nov 15, 2012

PENPIX: Don’t expect dramatic change from China’s new leaders

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party unveiled its new top leadership team on Thursday, another all-male cast of politicians whose instincts are to move cautiously on reform.

Xi Jinping took the helm of the party, heading a team of seven members in the new Politburo Standing Committee, the peak decision-making body which will steer the world’s second-largest economy for the next five years.

    • 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