Ben's Feed
Mar 19, 2013

China’s new diplomats signal thaw with Japan, keeping US at bay

BEIJING, March 20 (Reuters) – New Chinese leader Xi
Jinping’s appointment of two top diplomats last week displays a
desire to repair relations with long-time rival Japan after
months of disruption, while keeping the United States and its
strategic pivot to Asia at bay.

Yang Jiechi, a hard-nosed former ambassador to Washington,
has been named the state councillor in charge of the foreign
ministry, its top post. A fluent English-speaker, he firmly
believes the United States should stay out of regional Asian
affairs such as the South China Sea dispute.

Mar 15, 2013

China’s Li Keqiang, a premier schooled in free thought

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s new premier, Li Keqiang, stands out for his casual and disarming command of English in contrast with some other top leaders who can stand around looking awkward in the presence of English-speaking dignitaries.

On Friday, delegates to China’s rubber stamp parliament voted Li in as premier almost unanimously in the Great Hall of the People.

Mar 14, 2013

China envoy says there was no $8 billion South Sudan aid offer

BEIJING (Reuters) – China never promised South Sudan $8 billion in development funds when South Sudanese President Salva Kiir visited Beijing in April, but much more than this could be offered if the country achieves lasting peace, a senior diplomat said on Thursday.

South Sudan’s government announced the figure following the trip, and until now Beijing has neither confirmed nor denied it.

Mar 14, 2013

China envoy says there was no $8 bln S.Sudan aid offer

BEIJING, March 14 (Reuters) – China never promised South
Sudan $8 billion in development funds when South Sudanese
President Salva Kiir visited Beijing in April, but much more
than this could be offered if the country achieves lasting
peace, a senior diplomat said on Thursday.

South Sudan’s government announced the figure following the
trip, and until now Beijing has neither confirmed nor denied it.

Mar 14, 2013

China urges Vatican to drop Taiwan ties day after pope elected

BEIJING (Reuters) – China hopes for improved ties with the Roman Catholic Church, it said on Thursday, a day after the election of the new pope, but it stressed the Vatican must take the initiative and end diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

China’s 8-12 million Catholics are divided between the Communist Party-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, that has installed bishops without Vatican approval, and an underground church, whose members meet in private, wary of state control.

Mar 14, 2013

Newsmaker: Chinese President Xi raised by elite, steeled by turmoil

BEIJING (Reuters) – Four years ago in Mexico, China’s new president provided a rare glimpse of a leader who was born into a revolutionary aristocracy and came of age in the tumult of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.

On Thursday, Xi Jinping sported the dark suit and cautious public mask that is the uniform of the party leadership as he took his place as the head of state after delegates to China’s rubber stamp parliament voted him in almost unanimously at the cavernous Great Hall of the People.

Mar 14, 2013

Chinese President Xi raised by elite, steeled by turmoil

BEIJING (Reuters) – Four years ago in Mexico, China’s new president provided a rare glimpse of a leader who was born into a revolutionary aristocracy and came of age in the tumult of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.

On Thursday, Xi Jinping sported the dark suit and cautious public mask that is the uniform of the party leadership as he took his place as the head of state after delegates to China’s rubber stamp parliament voted him in almost unanimously at the cavernous Great Hall of the People.

Mar 10, 2013

Bellicose N.Korea forces China to shift stance on old friend

BEIJING (Reuters) – Six months ago China’s state media was lauding North Korea as a great place to invest as both countries tried to promote a cross-border economic zone.

One nuclear test, a long-range rocket launch and much sabre-rattling later and China is a central player in new U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, something Chinese experts say marks a major shift in Beijing’s policy toward its impoverished neighbour.

Mar 10, 2013

Analysis: Bellicose North Korea forces China to shift stance on old friend

BEIJING (Reuters) – Six months ago China’s state media was lauding North Korea as a great place to invest as both countries tried to promote a cross-border economic zone.

One nuclear test, a long-range rocket launch and much sabre-rattling later and China is a central player in new U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, something Chinese experts say marks a major shift in Beijing’s policy toward its impoverished neighbor.

Mar 7, 2013

About 60,000 could lose homes for controversial China dams

BEIJING (Reuters) – China expects 60,000 people to lose their homes in the remote southwest if a series of four dams along the country’s last free-flowing river gets the go-ahead, a local official said on Thursday in the first government estimate for relocations.

Outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao, a geologist by trade and populist by instinct, vetoed the dams in Yunnan province on the UNESCO-protected Nu River, known outside China as the Salween, in 2005, after an outcry from environmentalists.

    • 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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