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Jul 24, 2012

China plays cards close to chest in military transparency bid

TONGZHOU, China, July 24 (Reuters) – China showed off an
elite helicopter unit to foreign media on Tuesday in its latest
bid to address concerns about its growing military might amid
increasingly aggressive moves to assert its sovereignty over the
South China Sea.

China organises annual tours of military bases to try to
assuage those concerns and to answer criticism over a perceived
lack of transparency, but officials refused to answer any
contentious questions.

Jul 19, 2012

China strengthens Africa ties with $20 billion in loans

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday offered $20 billion in loans to African countries over the next three years, boosting a relationship that has been criticized by the West and given Beijing growing access to the resource-rich continent.

The loans offered were double the amount China pledged for the previous three-year period in 2009 and is the latest in a string of loans to the poverty-stricken nation.

Jul 15, 2012

China frigate heads home, averts S.China Sea standoff

MANILA/BEIJING, July 15 (Reuters) – A Chinese frigate
grounded in disputed waters close to the Philippines was
refloated on Sunday and headed back home, averting a possible
standoff with the Philippines navy amid rising tensions in the
strategically key South China Sea.

The South China Sea has become Asia’s biggest potential
military flashpoint as Beijing’s sovereignty claim over the huge
area has set it against Vietnam and the Philippines as the three
countries race to tap possibly huge oil reserves.

Jul 15, 2012

China frigate heads home, averts new Philippines row

MANILA/BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese frigate which ran aground in disputed waters close to the Philippines managed to extricate itself on Sunday and was heading home, averting a possible standoff with Philippine vessels amid rising tensions in the strategic South China Sea.

The South China Sea has become Asia’s biggest potential military flashpoint as Beijing’s sovereignty claim over a huge, looping area has set it against Vietnam and the Philippines as the three countries race to tap possibly huge oil reserves.

Jul 8, 2012

China pollution protest ends, but suspicion of government high

SHIFANG, China (Reuters) – Lao Zhou splutters with rage when asked if he believes government promises to scrap plans for a copper refinery near his home in southwest China, a project which has sparked violent protests.

“They’re liars!” the ruddy-faced farmer exclaims, spitting out his words in thickly accented Mandarin. “Nobody believes they won’t build it eventually.”

Jul 4, 2012

China frees 21 detained over pollution protests

SHIFANG, China (Reuters) – A Chinese city has released 21 people who were detained after a clash between police and residents protesting against a metals plant they feared would poison them, city officials said on Wednesday, the second unusual official concession in two days.

Thousands of people in the southwestern city of Shifang took to the streets over the past three days against the government’s plans to allow the building of a copper alloy plant, the latest unrest spurred by environmental concerns in the world’s second-largest economy.

Jul 3, 2012

China city scraps alloy plant after protests

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese city scrapped plans for a copper alloy plant on Tuesday after three days of protests by residents who feared it would poison them, in the latest unrest spurred by environmental concerns in the world’s second-largest economy.

The government of Shifang in the southwest Sichuan province, which initially said it would only suspend the project by Shanghai-listed Sichuan Hongda, caved in to pressure and announced the project would be stopped.

Jul 3, 2012

China protest against alloy plant enters third day

BEIJING (Reuters) – Residents in a city in southwest China took to the streets for a third day on Tuesday, demanding the government scrap plans for a copper alloy project they fear will poison them, in the latest unrest spurred by environmental concerns.

The show of defiance in Shifang in Sichuan province has persisted despite authorities saying they have temporarily halted work on the plant and threatening to punish organizers of the protests if they do not give themselves up.

Jun 26, 2012

China has forced refugees back to Myanmar conflict zone: group

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities have forced back into Myanmar some ethnic Kachin refugees who have fled across the border to escape civil war, and China is denying basic care to many who remain, a human rights group said on Tuesday.

Myanmar’s government is in talks with autonomy-seeking Kachin rebels, and more than a dozen other ethnic minority rebel groups, to try to end all its decades-old conflicts.

Jun 12, 2012

U.N. optimistic on U.S. aid for North Korea, food still a problem

BEIJING (Reuters) – The United Nations is optimistic it can get the United States to provide aid for isolated North Korea where chronic problems with its agriculture remain a huge stumbling block to development, the top UN official in the country said on Tuesday.

The United States said in April it would not go forward with planned food aid to North Korea, after the impoverished nation’s unsuccessful launch of a long-range missile which Washington had warned would have consequences.

    • 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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