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Jun 3, 2010

Australian Chinese man missing after Shanghai protest

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese-born Australian activist, who changed his name to get round a ban on his return, has been missing for more than a day after making a one-man protest in Shanghai, a campaign organiser said on Thursday.

Zhang Xiaogang, originally from China’s southern province of Guangdong, is a computer engineer who became a human rights and democracy campaigner after 1989. He now works as a taxi driver in Australia to give him more time for activism.

Jun 1, 2010

Old charge resurfaces against prominent Tibetan

BEIJING (Reuters) – A leading Tibetan collector of antiquities has been in detention nearly five months, his lawyer said on Tuesday, and faces charges dating back over a decade that critics fear may be politically motivated.

Karma Samdup was due to face trial on Tuesday for excavating and robbing ancient tombs — a charge brought and dropped in 1998 — but lawyer Pu Zhiqiang said he arrived at the court to find the hearing was postponed indefinitely.

Jun 1, 2010

China’s Wen to talk energy, elections in Myanmar

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrives in Myanmar this week to discuss trade, security and the military-run country’s upcoming elections, in Beijing’s highest-level call on its neighbour for nearly a decade.

Energy-rich but diplomatically isolated Myanmar is preparing to roll out the red carpet for Beijing which has proved a staunch ally and reliable source of funds and arms. Deals including some in the oil sector will be signed, sources in both countries said.

Jun 1, 2010

Key political risks to watch in China

BEIJING, June 1 (Reuters) – China weathered the global
economic downturn with robust growth, but this has generated
new risks and concerns over trade imbalances, currency policy
and the overheating of the domestic economy.

Following is a summary of the key risks for China:

* TRADE AND CURRENCY DISPUTES

Relations between Washington and Beijing have thawed after
a tense start to the year, but with both countries still
worried about growth as the euro zone crisis threatens the
world economy, there is room for disputes over trade
protectionism or China’s currency controls to flare up again.

May 26, 2010

U.S.-China climate talks "useful" but no new ground

BEIJING, May 26 (Reuters) – Talks between the world’s top two carbon emitters this week did not cover new ground, U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern said, with Beijing and Washington apparently still struggling to bridge differences blocking a global deal.

Stern was in Beijing as part of a delegation to the high-level China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and met counterparts including Xie Zhenhua, China’s top climate negotiator, and members of his team.

"I don’t think new ground, I think we were working on the issues that we have been working on," Stern said on Wednesday.

"But nothing negative either. I think it was useful conversations," he told reporters.

Stern said no meaningful global deal could be reached without the participation of the two countries that together account for more than a third of man-made emissions. [ID:nnLH642998]

He was speaking the day after Xie all but ruled out a binding global deal before 2011 — echoing gloom from European Union and United Nations climate officials. [ID:nTOE64O059]

Deep divisions over which countries are responsible for cuts, how deep they should be, and who should pay for them scuppered hopes of reaching a binding global deal at last year’s Copenhagen conference and continue to dog negotiations.

China and the United States have signed a slew of deals to increase cooperation on clean energy but the costly and politically controversial work of tackling emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses has proved harder.

Beijing wants the United States to take on legally binding emissions cutting targets, and Xie has said its failure to do so risked undermining European and Japanese commitments.

The U.S. wants China, as the world’s top emitter and a major emerging economy, to take on stronger commitments itself. Stern said the United States would support a legally binding deal if it set equal conditions for all major players.

"Our position has always been that we are supportive of a legally binding agreement but … the same elements have to be legally binding with respect to all the major players," he said.

Last year’s summit produced only the non-binding Copenhagen accord, since signed by more than 110 countries, which pledges $30 billion from 2010-2012 to help the poor face the impacts of climate change, such as floods, drought and rising seas.

Stern said Europe, Japan and the United States were working on funding plans but declined to give details on what amounts different countries might provide or when the funding would flow.

Like other negotiators, including the European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, he also emphasized the importance of progress in other less headline-grabbing areas like forest conservation, technology and adaptation to a warmer world.

"Whether you end up with a legally binding agreement or not a legally binding agreement, the fundamental components are quite similar, so I am more focused on making progress on those issues that I just talked about," Stern said.

(Editing by Paul Tait)




May 26, 2010

U.S.-China climate talks “useful” but no new ground

BEIJING, May 26 (Reuters) – Talks between the world’s top
two carbon emitters this week did not cover new ground, U.S.
climate envoy Todd Stern said, with Beijing and Washington
apparently still struggling to bridge differences blocking a
global deal.

Stern was in Beijing as part of a delegation to the
high-level China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and met
counterparts including Xie Zhenhua, China’s top climate
negotiator, and members of his team.

May 25, 2010

China all but dashes hope of climate deal this year

BEIJING (Reuters) – A senior Chinese climate official said on Tuesday that negotiators aim to seal a binding global pact on warming by the end of 2011, a blow to any lingering hopes the world could reach a deal at talks this year in Mexico.

Xie Zhenhua, who led China’s delegation to fractious negotiations in Copenhagen last year, said the only target for a December gathering in coastal Cancun city was a “positive result.”

May 21, 2010

Foxconn employee dies in 10th fall this year

BEIJING (Reuters) – An employee of tech firm Foxconn died on Friday after falling from a building in the southern manufacturing hub of Shenzhen, the tenth such fall since the start of this year, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Foxconn, whose clients include Apple and Sony Ericsson, has faced criticism from labor groups over the welfare of its employees after the spate of apparent suicides. The firm could not immediately be reached for comment despite repeated phone calls and emails.

May 20, 2010
via Global News Journal

China and the Cheonan

Photo

Mourners for deceased sailors from the Cheonan

The news conference dragged on for 20 minutes as several dozen journalists in the room tried to rephrase the only question they wanted an answer to, but China’s foreign ministry wasn’t biting.

South Korea had announced earlier in the day that after a long investigation with international participation, it was sure that a North Korean torpedo had sunk a navy warship, the Cheonan, in March, with a loss of 46 lives.

May 19, 2010

Beijing Olympics beat terror threats and unsafe sex – report

BEIJING (Reuters) – Thorough planning enabled Beijing Olympics organisers to stave off threats to the 2008 Games ranging from bioterrorism to unsafe sex, a joint Chinese-United Nations report said on Wednesday.

Security forces dealt with several potential biological, chemical and explosive attacks, including an incident in which packages containing white powder were sent to five unidentified embassies in Beijing, the report said.

    • About Emma

      "I moved to Afghanistan in late 2010 after nearly six years reporting from China, initially covering energy issues and more recently writing about political and general news. I have also worked in Spain and Britain."
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