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Feb 11, 2013

No New Year celebrations for Tibetans in center of unrest

XIAHE, China (Reuters) – Tibetans in a northwest part of China which has been a focus of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule marked a low-key lunar New Year on Monday, with many saying celebrations were inappropriate while the burnings continued.

At least 20 people have set themselves on fire in the region around Xiahe in Gansu province over the last year, according to exiles and rights groups. Xiahe is home to a large ethnically Tibetan population and also to the monastery at Labrang, one of the most important centers for Tibetan Buddhism.

Feb 9, 2013

Chinese give Year of the Snake a raucous, colourful welcome

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese welcomed the arrival of the Year of the Snake with raucous celebrations on Saturday, setting off a cacophony of firecrackers in the streets and sending fireworks blazing into the sky to bring good fortune.

Celebrations will carry on into the early hours of Sunday, officially the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Jan 29, 2013

China appoints new Tibet governor, hardline policies to remain

BEIJING (Reuters) – China appointed a new governor for remote and restive Tibet on Tuesday, naming a hardline ethnic Tibetan in a signal that the government has no plans to ease up on its tight control on the Himalayan region.

Losang Gyaltsen, 55, was elected at the end of the annual meeting of Tibet’s largely rubber stamp regional assembly, and replaces previous governor Padma Choling, according to an announcement by the official Xinhua news agency.

Jan 27, 2013

China keeps mum on Bo trial despite talk it could start Monday

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s government is giving no details on the trial of shamed senior leader Bo Xilai, the final chapter in its worst political scandal in decades, as speculation mounted the case could be heard as early as Monday.

A Beijing-backed Hong Kong newspaper, the Ta Kung Pao, reported on Friday that Bo’s trial would begin on Monday in the southern Chinese city of Guiyang.

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.

    • 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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