Bureau Chief, Vietnam
John's Feed
Mar 13, 2013

Dead pigs in China river spotlight heedless industry

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – The rotting bodies of about 6,000 pigs in a river that supplies tap water to Shanghai has drawn attention to an ugly truth – China’s pig farms are often riddled with disease and one way or another, sick animals often end up in the food chain.

Authorities have found traces of a common pig virus in some of the animals floating in the Huangpu River this week, and industry insiders say farmers likely dumped them, common in an industry which has no system of compensation for losses from disease.

Mar 11, 2013

China’s Xi flexes muscle, chooses reformist VP: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – A reformist member of China’s decision-making Politburo, Li Yuanchao, is set to become the country’s vice president this week instead of a more senior and conservative official best known for keeping the media in check, sources said.

Li’s appointment would be a sign that new Communist Party leader and incoming president Xi Jinping’s clout is growing, a source with ties to the leadership said. Xi fended off a bid by influential former president Jiang Zemin to install propaganda tsar Liu Yunshan in the job, the source said.

Mar 6, 2013

China eyes residence permits to replace divisive hukou system

BEIJING, March 6 (Reuters) – China’s new leaders are
planning a system of national residence permits to replace the
household registration or ‘hukou’ regime, a government source
said, a vital reform that will boost its urbanisation campaign
and drive consumption-led growth.

The hukou system, which dates to 1958, has split China’s 1.3
billion people along urban-rural lines, preventing many of the
roughly 800 million Chinese who are registered as rural
residents from settling in cities and enjoying basic urban
welfare and services.

Mar 5, 2013

China hikes defense budget, to spend more on internal security

BEIJING (Reuters) – China unveiled another double-digit rise in military expenditure on Tuesday, but for a third year in a row the defense budget will be exceeded by spending on domestic security, highlighting Beijing’s concern about internal threats.

Spending on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will rise 10.7 percent to 740.6 billion yuan ($119 billion), while the domestic security budget will go up at a slightly slower pace, by 8.7 percent, to 769.1 billion yuan, according to the budget released at the opening of parliament’s annual meeting.

Feb 4, 2013

Analysis: China, Japan seek to dial down tension, but risk remains

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.

Feb 4, 2013

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.

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.