Ben's Feed
Jun 19, 2013

China’s Xi tells Vietnam wants peace in South China Sea

BEIJING, June 19 (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping
told his visiting Vietnamese counterpart of Wednesday that
maintaining peace and stability in the contested South China Sea
was vital for both countries, who should remember their
traditional friendship.

Beijing’s assertion of sovereignty over a vast stretch of
the South China Sea has set it directly against Vietnam and the
Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to
other parts of the sea, making it Asia’s biggest potential
military troublespot.

Jun 19, 2013

North Korea repeats offer for nuclear talks

BEIJING (Reuters) – A top North Korean diplomat repeated an offer for international talks over his country’s disputed nuclear program during a meeting in China on Wednesday, saying the denuclearization of the peninsula was the “dying wish” of North Korea’s founder.

The Beijing trip by First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan comes just days after North Korea offered talks with the United States to ease tension that spiked this year when the North threatened the United States and South Korea with nuclear war.

Jun 13, 2013

In first response to Snowden, China skirts direct comment

BEIJING (Reuters) – China refused to be drawn on Thursday on revelations of U.S. electronic surveillance and on the American in Hong Kong who leaked the information, and a senior source said Beijing does not want to jeopardize recently improved ties with Washington.

China has been on a long holiday since National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden told Britain’s Guardian newspaper and the Washington Post last week of the agency’s programs to monitor data at big companies such as Google Inc and Facebook Inc.

Jun 11, 2013

In Asia, dissidents worry that U.S. may share Prism data

SINGAPORE/BEIJING, June 11 (Reuters) – Dissident and
opposition groups in Asia, including those supported by the
United States, are voicing concern over reports that Washington
may have monitored and collected their conversations and

Some of these groups include legitimate political parties,
others are dissidents given U.S. assistance. But they are
worried that data collected by the National Security Agency
(NSA) and the FBI from U.S. Web giants like Google Inc,
Facebook Inc and Yahoo inc could some day be
used against them.

Jun 11, 2013

China’s latest ‘sacred’ manned space mission blasts off

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese manned spacecraft blasted off with three astronauts on board on Tuesday on a 15-day mission to an experimental space lab in the latest step towards the development of a space station.

The Shenzhou 10 spacecraft was launched from a remote site in the Gobi desert in China’s far west at 5:38 p.m. (0938 GMT) under warm, clear blue skies, in images carried live on state television.

Jun 7, 2013

China grants dissident’s brother passport ahead of Xi-Obama meet

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has granted passports to the mother and eldest brother of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng which they hope to use to visit him in the United States, the brother said in Friday, a concession by Beijing ahead of a Sino-U.S. summit.

The treatment of Chen Guangcheng’s family has received prominent attention from the United States, especially as Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama meet this week in California.

Jun 5, 2013

China hits back at EU over solar panel duties

BEIJING (Reuters) – China launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe in European wine on Wednesday in response to the European Union’s decision to impose duties on imports of Chinese solar panels, as tensions increased between two of the world’s biggest trading blocs.

The EU will impose duties on imports of Chinese solar panels from Thursday, but announced a dramatically reduced initial rate after pressure from some large member states in the hope of reaching a negotiated settlement with Beijing.

Jun 3, 2013

Blaze at locked Chinese poultry slaughterhouse kills 119: state media

BEIJING (Reuters) – A blaze at a locked poultry slaughterhouse in northeast China killed at least 119 people on Monday with several still unaccounted for, officials and state media said, triggering online outrage in a country with a grim record on fire safety.

The fire broke out just after dawn near Dehui in Jilin province. The provincial government said it sent more than 500 firefighters and more than 270 doctors and nurses to the scene, evacuating 3,000 nearby residents as a precaution.

May 30, 2013

Chinese media rejects accusation of pressure on EU in solar row

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese state media rejected on Thursday European accusations that China was pressuring the European Union to drop plans to impose import duties on Chinese solar panels, adding EU member states had a right to disagree with the tariff.

The EU’s trade chief, Karel De Gucht, bluntly told China this week it was wasting its time trying to put pressure on him to drop the duties plans.

May 30, 2013

Chinese wonder why their tourists behave so badly

BEIJING (Reuters) – From faking marriage certificates to get honeymoon discounts in the Maldives to letting children defecate on the floor of a Taiwan airport, Chinese tourists have recently found themselves at the center of controversy and anger.

Thanks to microblogging sites in China, accounts of tourists behaving badly spread like wildfire across the country, provoking disgust, ire and soul-searching.

    • 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