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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.

Mar 5, 2013

China hikes defense budget, to spend more on internal security

BEIJING (Reuters) – China unveiled another double-digit rise in military expenditure on Tuesday, but for a third year in a row the defense budget will be exceeded by spending on domestic security, highlighting Beijing’s concern about internal threats.

Spending on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will rise 10.7 percent to 740.6 billion yuan ($119 billion), while the domestic security budget will go up at a slightly slower pace, by 8.7 percent, to 769.1 billion yuan, according to the budget released at the opening of parliament’s annual meeting.

Mar 3, 2013

China’s graft-fighting Xi tells party future is on the line

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party will only be able to mark its 100th birthday in eight years time if officials can learn from the selfless sages of the past, party chief Xi Jinping said in remarks published on Sunday, taking another swipe at corruption.

Xi, who will take over the reins of state power from outgoing President Hu Jintao at this month’s annual full session of parliament, has made fighting pervasive graft a central theme since assuming the top job in the party and military in November.

Mar 3, 2013

China services growth at 5-month low in Feb: NBS PMI

BEIJING (Reuters) – Growth in China’s increasingly important services sector expanded at its slowest pace in five months in February, reinforcing the view that the recovery in the world’s second-largest economy remains modest.

China’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) stood at 54.5 according to a statement from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), down from January’s 56.2 and the slowest pace of expansion since September 2012 – the low point of China’s recent economic downturn.

Mar 3, 2013

China services growth at five-month low in February: NBS PMI

BEIJING (Reuters) – Growth in China’s increasingly important services sector expanded at its slowest pace in five months in February, reinforcing the view that the recovery in the world’s second-largest economy remains modest.

China’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) stood at 54.5 according to a statement from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), down from January’s 56.2 and the slowest pace of expansion since September 2012 – the low point of China’s recent economic downturn.

Mar 2, 2013

A push for change in China as new leaders take the helm

YUANGUDUI, China (Reuters) – For Chen Qiuyang, the new Chinese leadership that formally takes over this month can radically improve her life by doing just one thing: providing running water in her village in a remote corner of the northwestern province of Gansu.

“We have to carry water from the well on our shoulders several times day. It’s exhausting,” Chen, who looked older than her 28 years, said in Yuangudui village, resting on a stool outside her home after completing another trip to the well.

Mar 1, 2013

Exclusive: Chinese trader accused of busting Iran missile embargo

By William Maclean and Ben Blanchard

(Reuters) – A Chinese businessman indicted in the United States over sales of missile parts to Iran is still making millions of dollars from the trade, say security officials who monitor compliance with Western and U.N. sanctions.

These officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the businessman, Li Fangwei, has earned at least $10 million from illegal sales to Iran since his indictment by the New York County District Attorney in 2009.

Feb 28, 2013

New top diplomats in China signal focus on U.S., Japan, North Korea

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is signaling that it is keen to get on top of troubled ties with the United States, Japan and North Korea with the likely appointment of two officials with deep experience of these countries to its top diplomatic posts.

Current Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, ambassador to Washington from 2001-2005 and a polished English speaker, is tipped to be promoted to state councilor with responsibility for foreign policy, three independent sources said. China has only five such councilors and the post is senior to that of foreign minister.

Feb 28, 2013

New top diplomats in China signal focus on US, Japan, N.Korea

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is signalling that it is keen to get on top of troubled ties with the United States, Japan and North Korea with the likely appointment of two officials with deep experience of these countries to its top diplomatic posts.

Current Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, ambassador to Washington from 2001-2005 and a polished English speaker, is tipped to be promoted to state councillor with responsibility for foreign policy, three independent sources said. China has only five such councillors and the post is senior to that of foreign minister.

    • 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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