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Nov 16, 2011

Japan sees investment opportunities in Myanmar

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Tokyo sees growing investment opportunities in Myanmar as the reclusive state embarks on political and economic reforms, citing its strategic location between India, China and Southeast Asia, a senior Japanese official said on Wednesday.

But any investments must be gradual with Japan not ready to resume full-fledged trade and aid, said Kimihiro Ishikane, deputy director-general of Japan’s Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau.

Nov 16, 2011

No BRICS expansion wanted for now: Brazil

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Brazil does not want to see the “BRICS” group of emerging countries enlarged for the time being, but does want the developing world to be given a greater say in international bodies, the country’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Antonio Patriota told Reuters in an interview that the BRICS grouping — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — was fine as it was, brushing off a suggestion Indonesia may be admitted to the club.

Nov 14, 2011

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei faces new hurdles in tax case

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities are setting hurdles for artist-activist Ai Weiwei to pay a bond that would let him appeal a tax fine his backers have called a political vendetta, threatening to complicate his legal battle, one of his lawyers said Monday.

Ai, whose secretive 81-day detention this year sparked worldwide attention, has until Wednesday to lodge collateral that would allow him to contest a 15 million yuan ($2.4 million) fine for tax evasion, which he denies.

Nov 13, 2011

China unlikely to budge on thorny South China Sea

BEIJING (Reuters) – Pressured at home and increasingly sensing a concerted regional effort to contain its territorial claims, China will be in no mood to make concessions on vast areas of the disputed South China Sea at two key east Asian summits in Indonesia this week.

China has the most extensive historic sovereignty claims in the potentially oil and gas rich South China Sea, including uninhabited atolls near the equatorial northern coast of Borneo.

Nov 13, 2011

China unlikely to budge on thorny South China Sea dispute

BEIJING (Reuters) – Pressured at home and increasingly sensing a concerted regional effort to contain its territorial claims, China will be in no mood to make concessions on vast areas of the disputed South China Sea at two key east Asian summits in Indonesia this week.

China has the most extensive historic sovereignty claims in the potentially oil and gas rich South China Sea, including uninhabited atolls near the equatorial northern coast of Borneo.

Nov 3, 2011

China completes first space docking test

BEIJING (Reuters) – China successfully carried out its first docking exercise on Thursday between two unmanned spacecraft, a key test of the rising power’s plans to secure a long-term manned foothold in space.

The Shenzhou 8 spacecraft joined the Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) 1 module about 340 km (211 miles) above Earth, in a maneuver carried live on state television in the early hours of the morning.

Oct 27, 2011

China welcomes consensus reached at EU debt talks

BEIJING (Reuters) – China welcomed on Thursday the consensus reached at the European Union’s summit to tackle the euro zone debt crisis and supported measures taken by the bloc that could help the region’s recovery.

Beijing, with its big holdings of European sovereign debt, is one of the main bystanders waiting to see if Europe can provide debt relief for Greece, which risks a default that could trigger a deeper crisis in Italy and other bigger euro zone economies.

Oct 27, 2011

Loved and hated China TV tower to open next year

BEIJING (Reuters) – The much-delayed but striking steel, concrete and glass headquarters for Chinese state television is expected finally to fully open in the new year, said Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, whose firm designed the building, on Thursday.

The skyscraper, described by its chief architect Ole Scheeren as a “loop folded in space,” is two towers sloped together and joined by a gravity-defying canopy equivalent to 80 stories in height.

Oct 27, 2011

China state news agency welcomes EU summit outcome

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s official Xinhua news agency said the outcome of the European Union’s summit to tackle the euro debt crisis was “positive but filled with difficulties,” adding the deal showed that Europe could surmount its economic woes.

The commentary from Xinhua did not amount to a full-fledged Chinese government reaction to the Brussels summit, but the state news agency broadly reflects official thinking, suggesting that Beijing could send a positive signal.

Oct 25, 2011

Looming China fosters Taiwan identity in independence heartland

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (Reuters) – Tsai Chin-sheng’s voice rises with emotion when asked whether he feels Taiwanese or Chinese. Then he utters the response that Beijing fears most.

“Of course I’m pure Taiwanese. I’m not Chinese. We are not a province of China. We are our own country,” Tsai said in thickly accented Mandarin through teeth stained red from chewing betel nut, a popular stimulant.

    • 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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