Bureau Chief, Vietnam
John's Feed
Feb 3, 2013

Analysis: China and Japan seek to dial down tensions, but risks remain

TOKYO/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Two Japanese F-15s scramble as a Chinese plane nears the disputed islands: one in the lead, the other providing cover.

They issue radio warnings to leave the area, but are ignored.

Visual wing-tipping signals go unheeded.

The Japanese pilots consider their last option: firing warning shots – a step Beijing could consider an act of war.

Jan 28, 2013

Dead end trail to Bo trial in China’s south

GUIYANG, China (Reuters) – China scotched reports that disgraced politician Bo Xilai’s much anticipated trial would open on Monday, amid chaotic scenes at a courthouse packed with expectant journalists in the south of the country.

A report last week in a Beijing-backed Hong Kong newspaper prompted dozens of reporters to travel to the sleepy city of Guiyang expecting to cover the trial of the man who was once considered a contender for China’s top leadership. The paper has been known to reliably report news Chinese state media won’t touch.

Jan 8, 2013

Guangdong chief offers deal in Chinese paper censorship row: source

GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) – The Communist Party chief of Guangdong province stepped in to mediate a standoff over censorship at a Chinese newspaper on Tuesday, a source said, in a potentially encouraging sign for press freedoms in China.

The source close to the Guangdong Party Committee said Hu Chunhua, a rising political star in China who just took over leadership of Guangdong province last month, had offered a solution to the dispute that led to some staff at the Southern Weekly going on strike.

Dec 22, 2012

Plight of teen prompts education debate, protest in China

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – As the end of middle school approached this year, Zhan Haite, 15, faced two choices: attend vocational school in Shanghai in the fall or move to her ancestral home in distant Jiangxi province to take the high school entrance exam and study there.

Taking the test and going to senior high school in cosmopolitan Shanghai, where she had lived since she was four, was not an option.

Dec 9, 2012

Analysis: As China’s clout grows, sea policy proves unfathomable

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Imagine if the U.S. state of Hawaii passed a law allowing harbor police to board and seize foreign boats operating up to 1,000 km (600 miles) from Honolulu.

That, in effect, is what happened in China about a week ago. The tropical province of Hainan, home to beachfront resorts and one of China’s largest naval bases, authorized a unit of the police to interdict foreign vessels operating “illegally” in the island’s waters, which, according to China, include much of the heavily disputed South China Sea.

Dec 9, 2012

As China’s clout grows, sea policy proves unfathomable

SHANGHAI, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Imagine if the U.S. state of
Hawaii passed a law allowing harbour police to board and seize
foreign boats operating up to 1,000 km (600 miles) from
Honolulu.

That, in effect, is what happened in China about a week ago.
The tropical province of Hainan, home to beachfront resorts and
one of China’s largest naval bases, authorized a unit of the
police to interdict foreign vessels operating “illegally” in the
island’s waters, which, according to China, include much of the
heavily disputed South China Sea.

Dec 6, 2012

China’s new boss Xi hits nationalist note with talk of “revival”

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – In his first three weeks as China’s Communist Party boss, Xi Jinping has shown himself to be more confident, direct and relaxed than his predecessor – but also quick to invoke nationalistic themes to win public support and legitimacy.

He has at least twice spoken publicly, and in heroic terms, about national “rejuvenation” and the “revival of the Chinese nation”. The phrase has been uttered by all of Xi’s predecessors as party boss, but his frequent usage so early in his tenure is intended to “create cohesion” through nationalism, said Li Weidong, a political commentator and former magazine editor.

Dec 5, 2012

“Board and search” sea rules likely had Beijing’s sign-off: official

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – New Chinese regulations allowing police to board vessels deemed to be trespassing off the southern island of Hainan were a provincial-level initiative, but Beijing likely signed off on them, an official said on Wednesday.

China is in an increasingly angry dispute with several of its neighbors over claims to parts of the oil and gas-rich South China Sea, including the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

Dec 5, 2012

China’s “board and search” sea rules likely had Beijing’s sign-off: official

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – New Chinese regulations allowing police to board vessels deemed to be trespassing off the southern island of Hainan were a provincial-level initiative, but Beijing likely signed off on them, an official said on Wednesday.

China is in an increasingly angry dispute with several of its neighbors over claims to parts of the oil and gas-rich South China Sea, including the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

Nov 15, 2012

China’s new leaders could have reform thrust upon them

BEIJING (Reuters) – However ploddingly China’s new leaders might like to reform the world’s second-largest economy and the way they govern, pressures set to build over the next decade will likely force great change upon them.

President-in-waiting Xi Jinping and the next premier, Li Keqiang, were anointed on Thursday as the top leaders of the Communist Party, only the second time the party has managed a peaceful transition since it took power in 1949.