Category Archives: China

'A very scary movie': how China snatched Gui Minhai on the 11.10 train to Beijing

Revealed: details of the extraordinary detention of the Hong Kong bookseller as he sought help from Swedish diplomats

The 11.10am to Beijing left on time, gliding out of Shanghai’s cavernous high-speed rail terminal and darting north through the cheerless suburban sprawl.

On board the sleek, white bullet train sat an unlikely trio of Europeans, one of whom held the key to a real-life political thriller so frightening and tangled it has left all those trying to decipher it both gripped and unnerved.

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Source: gad

Blue-sky thinking: how China's crackdown on pollution is paying off

Clear skies above Beijing again – but some fear the problem is just being pushed elsewhere

The photographs on display at Wu Di’s Beijing studio imagine China and Beijing at their dystopian worst.

Naked, expectant mothers stare out from the walls, their bellies exposed but their faces hidden behind green gas masks.

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Source: gad

China is no threat to Australia, Turnbull says before visit to US

Beijing has enormous capability but lacks hostile intent, Australian PM says

China is not a threat to Australia because it lacks “any hostile intent”, Malcolm Turnbull has said as he embarks on his US visit.

Speaking to Sky News on Thursday, the Australian prime minister sought to play down a more hostile approach to China by the US, rejecting the “out-of-date cold-war prism” of seeing the two superpowers as in competition.

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Source: gad

Europe is facing a potential crisis in the Balkans. It has to act soon | Ivan Krastev

The promise of EU membership for states in the region is welcome, but Russia, China and Turkey could create instability

‘The second world war is over but the first world war is not yet finished.” Those were the words of a senior Turkish official I met recently in Ankara. He was speaking of the Middle East, but it was the sort of comment I might well also have heard in Moscow, in Kiev or in the Balkans, about the state of affairs on the European continent.

Related: Russian destabilisation of Balkans rings alarm bells as EU leaders meet

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Source: gad

China confirms first ever human case of H7N4 bird flu

A 68-year-old patient from Jiangsu province, who has since recovered, developed symptoms on Christmas Day and was admitted to hospital

A woman from eastern China has been confirmed as the first ever human case of H7N4 bird flu, according to Chinese authorities.

Officials in Hong Kong have advised citizens to avoid wet markets, live poultry markets or farms if travelling to the mainland over the week-long lunar new year holiday which starts on Thursday.

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Source: gad

Britain to sail warship through disputed South China Sea

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson said HMS Sutherland, an anti-submarine frigate, would next month assert freedom of navigation rights

A British warship will sail from Australia through the disputed South China Sea next month to assert freedom of navigation rights, the UK’s defence secretary said on Tuesday in a move likely to irk Beijing.

China claims nearly all of the resource-rich waterway and has been turning reefs and islets into islands and installing military facilities such as runways and equipment on them.

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Source: gad

Bookseller Gui Minhai surfaces in Chinese custody to deliver staged confession

Activists call the video, in which Gui criticises his home nation of Sweden, ‘the product of pure coercion’

Three weeks after he was snatched from a Beijing-bound train, the Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai has resurfaced in police custody, making what activists denounced as a surreal, venal and shameful video confession to a series of unspecified offenses.

“I feel ashamed about myself. I have made mistakes,” Gui, 53, is filmed telling a small group of reporters who said they had been given access to the prisoner by Chinese security officials.

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Source: gad

Photos show Beijing’s militarisation of South China Sea in new detail

China accused of building ‘island fortresses’ as Philippine newspaper obtains aerial images

Beijing has been accused of building “island fortresses” in the South China Sea after a newspaper in the Philippines obtained aerial photographs offering what experts called the most detailed glimpse yet of China’s militarisation of the waterway.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer said the surveillance photographs – passed to its reporters by an unnamed source – were mostly taken between June and December last year and showed Chinese construction activities across the disputed Spratly archipelago between the Philippines and Vietnam.

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Source: gad

Theresa May, I fear that both of us will have to get used to disappointment | Marina Hyde

The prime minister has a somewhat rosy view of Britain’s future after Brexit. Her government seems to operate on fact-free messianism

I don’t want to spend all my time arguing about Europe,” said the Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer today. “That’s not why I joined the Conservative party.” Really? This is like downloading a movie called Reservoir Dogging and feeling like the dialogue wasn’t as crackling as everyone said it was. Still, have you been mis-sold Conservative party membership? Are you shocked – shocked! – to find that arguing about Europe is going on in here? Do you read Playboy for the interviews? If so, there’s a job going at the David Cameron Institute for Settling Issues for a Generation.

Another week, another masterclass from the self-styled natural party of government. The prime minister’s trip to China saw her forced to claim “I am not a quitter”, before being humiliatingly congratulated in a Chinese state newspaper editorial for not bringing up human rights with the regime. (Bit disappointed they didn’t headline it “May, you live in interesting times”, but I am available for advice next time they send a subeditor to the labour camps.)

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Source: gad