Showing posts with label chinese news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chinese news. Show all posts

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Taiwan votes in tight presidential polls

Vote in Taiwan
Tsai Ing-wen cast her vote shortly before 10 am in a suburb of Taipei, AFP
Taipei - Taiwan began voting on Saturday in a tight presidential election that will decide who will run the island and manage crucial ties with China over the next four years.

Polls opened at 08:00 for the island's 18.1 million eligible voters in an election where the choice is essentially between pro-China incumbent Ma Ying-jeou and his main challenger Tsai Ing-wen, a China-sceptic.

"I voted for Ma because I am doing business with China and I often travel there," said businesswoman Ane Wei as she left a polling station in downtown Taipei.

"It'd be more convenient for me and good for my business if he remains in office."

Ruby Yang, an office worker, said she had cast her ballot in favour of Tsai "because I want to see the first female president in Taiwan".

Tsai cast her vote shortly before 10:00 in a suburb of Taipei, and Ma was expected to vote shortly afterwards.

For the past ten days, no opinion polls have been allowed, but the final surveys published last week showed a race too close to call, with Ma of the Kuomintang (KMT) party leading Tsai by as little as three percentage points.

Beijing and Washington are watching closely, as victory for Ma, 61, would likely be seen as a renewed mandate for policies that have brought about the most dramatic thaw in ties with the mainland in over 60 years.

"The reason why the Chinese mainland is so concerned about the Taiwan election is because we are worried that the idea of 'Taiwan independence' will be further spread by the process, as it was in the past," the state-controlled Chinese paper Global Times said on Friday.

Boosting trade

But it went on to say that "with democracy developing, rationality is growing while extremism is on the wane in Taiwan. In the future, the rotation of ruling parties will have a smaller influence on Taiwan's policymaking".

Ma was elected four years ago on a promise to improve Taiwan's economy by boosting trade and travel links with China and the key achievement of his term is a sweeping trade pact signed in 2010.

A win for 55-year-old Tsai could usher in a period of uncertainty in ties with China, as her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has traditionally favoured distancing the island from the mainland.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still claims sovereignty over the island, and has vowed to get it back, even if it must go to war to make it happen.

The United States, too, is keeping a close eye on the election, hoping the outcome will not upset the stability that the strategically vital Taiwan Straits area has experienced since Ma assumed power in 2008.

Further complicating the race is the third candidate, former KMT heavyweight James Soong, 69, who could cost Ma the result by taking crucial votes away.

Officials believe a relatively large proportion of the eligible voters will cast their ballots because of the tightness of the race.

Both Ma and Tsai staged huge rallies in Taipei on Friday to whip up support and try to win the undecided voters who will decide the outcome.

Chang Poh-ya, chairwoman of the Central Election Commission, said on Friday she expected the turnout rate to reach about 80%, compared with just over 76% in the 2008 vote.

The nearly 15 000 polling stations will close at 16:00. The presidential vote coincides with a poll for Taiwan's 113-member parliament, where the KMT currently has a majority.

News by News24

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Siege at Sydney's Chinese Consulate ends with one charged, another in hospital

Chinese consulate siege
Chinese consulate siege
A MAN has been charged and another remains in hospital under police guard after a robbery and armed confrontation outside a Chinese consulate in Sydney's inner west.

The pair allegedly burst into a hotel in Missenden Road, Camperdown, armed with a gun and a hammer at 1.30am (AEST) on Friday.

Police confirmed the men confronted staff and demanded cash.

One of the men, aged 32, was arrested as he left the venue. But his alleged accomplice, 27, fled from a side door and was chased by police into a nearby laneway, police say.

There, he allegedly exchanged gunshots with police before climbing a razor wire fence into the Chinese consulate in Dunblane St, injuring himself in the process.

Police arrested the man just after 7am, after a five-hour operation which closed surrounding streets.

He was taken to the nearby Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where on Friday night he remained under police guard and was being treated for serious cuts to his arms and legs.

The 32-year-old was charged with robbery in company and being carried in conveyance taken without consent.
He is due to appear at Parramatta Bail Court today.

A critical incident investigation team will conduct an investigation into the operation, Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said.

''During the course of that pursuit shots were fired,'' he told reporters outside Newtown Police Station.

''How many shots were fired and who fired them is still a matter for investigation.''

Camperdown resident Michelle Brown, an ABC journalist, said she was woken by the sound of gunfire that she at first thought was fireworks.

''I was woken by two loud bangs,'' she told ABC Radio.

''There was a pause and then another two loud bangs.''

News by Heralsun

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pull the other one! Chinese actress bares her bra in Beijing when awards show host 'accidentally' stands on her dress

chinese actress
Sun looks down at her gown as it starts to slip
 Chinese actress Sun Feifei has discovered what the TOWIE girls realised months ago... to receive international recognition, all you need to do is flash a bit of cleavage.

Sadly for the TV star, though, her revelation came as a result of an embarrassing red carpet wardrobe malfunction.

Sun was looking stunning in a floor-length white gown as she posed for photographs on the way into the Esquire Awards in Beijing.

But as she turned to enter the building, the evening's host, Fang Ling 'inadvertently' pulled the actress' dress down by standing on the front sash.

Fortunately, Sun was wearing a skin-coloured strapless gown under her dress, and an aide quickly leapt into action hiding Sun's embarrassment behind a large grey blanket.

They write: 'The comedic splaying of Sun's arms and her poorly conveyed mock-surprise, along with the exaggerated look of oops on Fang's face, give us the impression that the whole thing was a planned publicity stunt.'

Besides, this is just the latest in a series of Chinese actresses gaining attention for their chests rather than their acting skills.

Last week, Liu Yuxin set the bar pretty high in a very, very push-up bra which exposed just a touch too much.

News by Dailymail

Thursday, December 01, 2011

U.S. ambassador turns salesman in China

gary locke
U.S. President, and Ambassador to China
(Reuters) - Businessmen in sober suits leapt to their feet, jostling with cameras and mobile phones to snap a quick shot as the new U.S. ambassador to China strode to the podium at a hotel ballroom in Jinan, in coastal Shandong province.

Nine hours later, after a speech on energy cooperation, signing ceremonies for deals of a few million dollars each, and dinner with the governor, he was back on the train to Beijing.

This is how Gary Locke, the first Chinese-American ambassador to Beijing and a local celebrity, is trying to raise U.S. sales in China -- deal by deal, ballroom by hotel ballroom, in cities most Americans have never heard of.

While every U.S. ambassador has put in a plug for American goods and services, Locke takes the effort to a new level. The former commerce secretary has hit the pavement in six provincial cities to try to narrow the trade deficit that gives his boss, President Barack Obama, political heartburn.

"Certainly these trips can help publicize the great products and services made in America that could help meet the needs of China but at the same time create jobs in America," Locke told Reuters as the train sped through fields of winter wheat.

"You may not get immediate sales, or the amount of sales from these initial transactions might be small. But really you need to track the growth of these sales, these exports by these American companies over the next several years."

The effort is needed, say U.S. businesses, which often complain about China's opaque markets and the difficulty of selling to the Chinese government and state-owned businesses.

"I'm not aware that previous ambassadors have actually led trade missions organized in the U.S. around China," said Christian Murck, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. "It reflects a personal commitment."

American exports to China rose by nearly a third to $91.9 billion in 2010, reversing a fall in sales the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. But they are still dwarfed by Chinese exports to the United States of $365 billion.


Even before he arrived in China, Locke made a splash. A photo of him wearing a backpack and buying a coffee in the airport Starbucks drew enthusiastic online comments from Chinese used to seeing their own officials flanked by guards and aides.

Locke, who does not speak Mandarin, has turned his celebrity to promoting everything from machines to energy-saving lights.

The wares displayed at folding tables under the Jinan Hotel's crystal chandeliers were nothing a consumer could touch. While American stores are filled with goods made in China, the companies accompanying Locke to Jinan included specialty chemicals and equipment makers, with products designed to upgrade China's inefficient and polluting energy sector.

Small firms in particular find it hard to meet the right person or figure out when tenders are issued, let alone sell products that are often pricier than the Chinese competitor.

But Locke retains the salesman's optimism. "Everyone that has exported to China reports that what may have started off small builds over time, such that we've seen phenomenal increases in exports from the United States to China," he said.

Trade missions like these are very much Chinese affairs, with the local representatives of the American firms greeting clients effusively in Mandarin. The signing ceremony, as always, was replete with hostesses in red, a champagne toast and piped music on endless repeat.

The buffet lunch featured dishes like kelp with garlic, lotus root with ginger and pork lung in spicy sauce.

Locke's presence meant the Shandong governor was there, and the chance for a meal with both drew many of the hard-to-reach bosses of state-owned companies.

"Lots of our customers are refineries in Shandong, and it's hard to meet them. Heads of state-owned enterprises are hard to access," said X.D. Hu, China managing director for specialty chemicals maker Albemarle Corp.

Two of his major clients showed up after the Shandong government sent out invitations for the event.

"They care less about the U.S. ambassador, but the chance to meet the Shandong governor is very exciting for them."

Shandong, one of China's largest provinces in terms of both population and economy, is famously business-oriented. But with its private factories hit hard by the global slowdown, more sales growth has to come from the state-owned sector.

The Jinan trip is the first of five trade missions, each focused on a specific industry, that Locke has pledged to lead.

On the train back to Beijing, embassy staffers were already planning how to make the next one bigger and better.

"Too often U.S. ambassadors get stuck in the geopolitics, things like nuclear negotiations," said James McGregor, senior consultant for APCO Worldwide in Beijing.

"But they should be out promoting American business. That's what the Europeans and Japanese do."

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Military of China denounces U.S.-Australia defense upgrade

Geng Yansheng
Geng Yansheng,
(Reuters) - China's military denounced the United States and Australia on Wednesday for upgrading military ties, warning that such moves could erode trust and fan Cold War-era antagonism.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng made the warning about a plan unveiled in mid-November by U.S. President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to form a de facto base in north Australia for up to 2,500 U.S. Marines.

Geng's comments came on the same day Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was reported as backing the formation of a security pact with India and the United States, another step that could fuel China's worries of being fenced in by wary neighbors.

"Military alliances are a product of history, but we believe any strengthening and expansion of military alliances is an expression of the Cold War mentality," Geng said in answer to a question about the U.S.-Australian announcement, according to a transcript on the ministry's website (

"This is not in keeping with the tide of the era of peace, development and cooperation and does not help to enhance mutual trust and cooperation between countries in the region, and could ultimately harm the common interests of all concerned," he said.

"We hope that the parties concerned will do more that is beneficial to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, and not the contrary."

But the Chinese spokesman indicated that Beijing was not shunning Washington. Chinese and U.S. defense officials, led by Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, will hold talks in Beijing next Wednesday, Geng told the briefing.

Earlier this month, Obama told Asia-Pacific leaders that the United States was "here to stay," announced the plans to set up the de facto military base in north Australia and chided China for trying to prevent discussion of its South China Sea territorial disputes at regional forums.

The Chinese Ministry of Defense is the public mouthpiece of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), but foreign reporters are not allowed to attend its briefings.


Although falling short of full-throated condemnation of the U.S.-Australian move, Geng's words were tougher than earlier reaction from China's Foreign Ministry, which said Washington and Canberra should focus on cooperating with Beijing.

Geng said the idea raised by U.S. and Australian officials of advancing "integrated air and sea combat" amounted to "trumpeting confrontation and sacrificing others' security for the sake of one's own security."

Chinese President Hu Jintao has made clear that he wants to avoid repeating the rifts that soured ties with Washington in the first half of 2011. Hu retires from power late next year, when the U.S. is focused on its presidential race, making China's leaders especially reluctant to risk distracting rows.

Beijing is also still licking its wounds from last year, when loud maritime disputes with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and other neighbors fanned suspicions about China's intentions.

Chinese military officers have, however, sometimes taken a tougher stance on security worries than civilian officials.

Earlier this week, PLA Major General Luo Yuan, well-known for his hawkish views, warned that Obama's regional push showed that the United States wanted to encircle China.

The comments from Australian Foreign Minister Rudd could also magnify such fears among Chinese observers.

A new trilateral pact bringing in India into a U.S.-Australian security tent was worth exploring because "from little things big things grow," Kevin Rudd said in an interview with the Australian Financial Review newspaper.

"The response from the Indian government has really been quite positive," said Rudd.

The idea of an Australian, Indian and U.S. trilateral security dialogue, in part to counter China's rising might, has been pushed by a trio of think-tanks in all three countries, but has yet to be adopted by any government.

At a briefing in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei did not comment directly on Rudd's statement.

"China hopes that countries in the region will do more to promote regional peace, stability and development," Hong said in answer to a question about the proposal.

India's Foreign Ministry did not comment on Rudd's statement. But Indian analysts said Delhi was likely to be cool on the idea, partly out of reluctance to risk riling China.

"The Indian political establishment has always been wary of the idea of a military alliance," said Uday Bhaskar, the head of the National Maritime Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Obama tells Asia U.S. "here to stay" as Pacific power

Barack Obama, U.S. President
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that the U.S. military would expand its role in the Asia-Pacific region, despite budget cuts, declaring America was "here to stay" as a Pacific power which would help shape the region's future.

China has voiced misgivings about Obama's announcement of fresh troop deployments to Australia and has longstanding fears that its growing power could be hobbled by U.S. influence. But Beijing has also stressed that conflict is in nobody's interest.

Obama addressed the Chinese unease, pledging to seek greater cooperation with Beijing.

The U.S. military, turning its focus away from Iraq and Afghanistan, would be more broadly distributed in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, more flexible and help build regional capacity, Obama told the Australian parliament.

"As we end today's wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia Pacific a top priority," Obama said in a major speech on Washington's vision for the Asia-Pacific region.

"As a result, reductions in U.S. defense spending will not -I repeat, will not - come at the expense of the Asia Pacific."

Obama was clear in acknowledging China's discomfort at what it sees as attempts by Washington to encircle it.

"We'll seek more opportunities for cooperation with Beijing, including greater communication between our militaries to promote understanding and avoid miscalculation," he said.

Nervous about China's growing clout, U.S. allies such as Japan and South Korea have sought assurances from the United States that it would be a strong counterweight in the region.

A first step in extending the U.S. military reach into Southeast Asia will see U.S. marines, naval ships and aircraft deployed to northern Australia from 2012.

China has questioned the new U.S. deployment, raising doubts whether strengthening such alliances helped the region pull together at a time of economic gloom.

Obama said the United States would seek to work with China to ensure economic prosperity and security in the region, but would speak candidly about issues such as human rights in China and raise security issue like the South China Sea.

China claims the South China Sea, a vital shipping route rich in oil, minerals and fishery resources. But Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei hold rivals claims to at least parts of the sea, sparking maritime stand-offs.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointedly visited the Philippines on Wednesday, saying that no claimant should resort to intimidation to push its cause.

Obama also referred in his address to reforms undertaken by Myanmar's new civilian leaders, including the release of political prisoners. But he said they had to do more on human rights in order to secure better relations with Washington.

Rory Medcalf, security analyst at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, said Obama's speech marked a hardening of policy toward China, though he noted that the president was still reaching out to Beijing.

"I think we are seeing a firm stance from Obama. He spent the first year of his presidency trying very hard to engage with China, perhaps even to accommodate China," said Medcalf.

"I think he feels that he was rebuffed and that he was in effect taken advantage by China. So, there is a fundamental reorienting of American policy on display here."


The winding down of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has opened the door to greater U.S. attention to simmering tension over the South China Sea, a shipping lane for more than $5 trillion in annual trade that the United States wants to keep open.

Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday agreed to have 2,500 U.S. Marines operate out of a de facto base in the northern port of Darwin by 2016.

The United States has military bases and large forces in Japan and South Korea, but its presence in Southeast Asia was dramatically reduced in the early 1990s with the closure of bases at Clark Field and Subic Bay in the Philippines.

Deploying U.S. Marines, ships and aircraft in Darwin, only 820 km (500 miles) from Indonesia, will allow the United States to quickly reach into Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean to ensure secure major trade sea-lanes.

Obama cited increased U.S. naval ship visits and training in the Philippines and Singapore, working with Indonesia to fight piracy, partnering Thailand for disaster relief, and significantly, acknowledged India's role in region security.

Washington welcomed "India as it 'looks east' and plays a larger role as an Asian power.

"We'll have new opportunities to train with other allies and partners, from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean," he said.

Medcalf said: "It will be a landmark speech of Obama's presidency. It states unequivocally that the U.S. is squarely focusing its strategic attention on Asia. Its defining that Asia as including the Indian Ocean and India."

In a note to his domestic audience, Obama said the increased focus on Asia-Pacific was essential for America's economic future.

"As the world's fastest-growing region-and home to more than half the global economy-the Asia Pacific is critical to achieving my highest priority: creating jobs and opportunity for the American people," he said.

Obama will fly to Bali late on Thursday, where he will seek to underscore a focus on Asia by becoming the first U.S. president to participate in the security East Asia Summit.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Bollywood film allowed after removal of the Tibetan flag

Tibetan flag
Tibetan flag
AFP - A Bollywood film was allowed in India after the removal of a scene in which appeared the flag of Tibet region of China where people claim real autonomy and religious freedom, said Wednesday The Times of India . To ensure the dissemination of his film Rockstar in cinemas in the country, the director Imtiaz Ali has cut a scene showing a Tibetan flag waved by fans as the main character, a singer played by actor Ranbir Kapoor, sings "Saada Haq" (Our right).

The scene was filmed in the Norbulingka Tibetan monastery, McLeod Ganj, a town in the foothills of the Himalayas Indian, near the residence of the Tibetan government in exile and the Dalai Lama. "Ali has made the cuts" required by the Indian Council of censorship, the Times said its director, Pankaj Thakur. Excerpts from the film are uncensored, however, available on the Internet. Imtiaz Ali has denied any "controversy" policy, saying he wanted to address the issue of individual freedom.

Tibet is a constant source of friction between India and China. India hosted the Dalai Lama when he fled Tibet after a failed anti-Chinese uprising of 1959. The Dalai Lama calls for genuine autonomy for the roof of the world, but Beijing continues to regard it as a dangerous "separatist". The many Tibetans living on Indian soil have announced that they take to the streets to protest the censorship of Rockstar. "It is extremely troubling that so gross violation of freedom of expression occurs in the largest democracy in the world," responded the Internet Dorjee Tseten, the association's "Students for a Free Tibet."

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

China says to launch unmanned space-docking craft

China says to launch unmanned space-docking craft
Launch unmanned space-docking craft

(Reuters) - China said on Wednesday it will launch within weeks its first spacecraft capable of docking with a module it put into orbit last month, in what will mark a crucial test of its growing space program.

The unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, carried by the Long March-2F rocket, will blast off in early November, state media reported, and will later try to dock with the Tiantong-1, or "Heavenly Palace-1" space laboratory module China launched in September.

Officials with China's space program have said the docking tests will provide experience for the building of a permanent manned space station around 2020.

It is also the latest in a long string of Chinese space launches that have burnished national pride, as budget restraints and shifting priorities have held back U.S. manned space launches.

The official Xinhua news agency did not give a specific date for the launch, but said the craft was being transported to the remote Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert.

Beijing is still far from catching up with space superpowers. Russia, the United States and other countries jointly operate the International Space Station, a group to which China does not belong.

The United States will not test a new rocket to take people into space until 2017. Russia has said manned missions are no longer a priority for its space program, which has struggled with delays and glitches.

China launched its second moon orbiter last year after it became only the third country to send its astronauts walking in space outside their orbiting craft in 2008.

It plans an unmanned moon landing and deployment of a moon rover in 2012, and the retrieval of lunar soil and stone samples around 2017. Scientists have talked about the possibility of sending a man to the moon after 2020.

China is also jostling with neighbors Japan and India for a bigger presence in space, but its plans have faced international wariness. Beijing says its aims are peaceful, and that the involvement of its military is natural given the magnitude of the undertaking.