China

Fuel depot upgrade planned for Cooks' Penrhyn

One of the main projects for the force's Tropic Twilight exercise is the relocation and rebuilding of the fuel depot on Penrhyn.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully says improving fuel storage will enable better use of the patrol boat Te Kukupa to carry out fisheries surveillance around the islands.

The force's engineers will also upgrade buildings on Manihiki.

The exercise will involve China, the United States, the UK and France and is aimed at testing the force's abilities to provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

Chinese market surge leads global stocks higher

The Shanghai Composite Index posted its first gain in six days to close at 3,083.59 points, bouncing back from losses that triggered worldwide selling and wiped nearly 23 percent off its value over the past week.

Wall Street was expected to rise on the open as European markets rose and Asian indexes closed higher.

China struggles to keep economy on track to 'new normal'

   

The slowdown started as a side effect of the Communist Party's plan to steer the world's second-largest economy to a "new normal" of lower, steadier growth. It has turned into a nose dive the party is struggling to reverse.

The party's plans call for keeping economic growth close to 7 percent this year while China shifts from reliance on trade and investment to more self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption.

China cuts interest rates again to spur economic growth

 

The benchmark rate for a one-year loan will be cut by 0.25 percentage points to 4.6 percent and the one-year rate for deposits will fall by a similar margin to 1.75 percent, the central bank announced. It also increased the amount of money available for lending by reducing the minimum reserves banks are required to hold by 0.5 percentage points.

The moves had been expected after exports, manufacturing and other economic indicators weakened by larger margins than expected.

Explosion rips through chemical plant in eastern China

Xinhua says no casualties were immediately reported following the blast Saturday night in Shandong province on Saturday night.

The news agency says the explosion triggered a fire and that a dozen fire engines are battling the fire.

The blast follows the Aug. 12 chemical warehouse explosion in the northern Chinese port of Tianjin. At least 121 people were killed in that disaster, while another 54 remain unaccounted for.

Microsoft Surface Phone tipped for October release

Dodging next month's IFA gathering in order to go out on its own, Microsoft will reportedly debut the eagerly-awaited Surface Phone alongside the final Windows 10 for mobile release.

It's not the only Microsoft-made device being tipped for an October unveiling, either. According to Chinese Windows blog, WPDang, the flagship phone will debut alongside the heavily rumoured Surface Pro 4 tablet and a second-gen Microsoft Band wearable.

Air pollution killing 4,000 in China a day, US study finds

Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated that about 1.6 million people in China die each year from heart, lung and stroke problems because of incredibly polluted air, especially small particles of haze.

Earlier studies put the annual Chinese air pollution death toll at 1 to 2 million, but this is the first to use newly released Chinese air monitoring figures.

Global market sell-off intensifies as China currency drops

China's government said the devaluation of the yuan was part of reforms meant to make its exchange rate more market-oriented. But the decision has added to worries over slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy and that Western companies might find it harder to sell their goods there.

VIDEO: Nations call on China to stop land reclamation

Le Luong Minh, secretary-general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said ASEAN foreign ministers expressed concerns in a meeting over massive Chinese island-building activities that have escalated tensions in the area.

China, Taiwan and several ASEAN members - the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei - have wrangled over ownership and control of the South China Sea in a conflict that has flared on and off for decades.

FEATURE: China already number one, says the IMF

The IMF’s new data set, released in April with its latest World Economic Outlook report, estimates that in real terms (corrected for price differences, that is), China’s output in 2014 edged ahead of the United States for the first time. There was little between them: assuming its national accounts are correct, China produced goods and services worth US$17.6 trillion, just $198 billion more than US production of US$17.4 trillion.

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