China

China Uighurs: Xinjiang ban on long beards and veils

The measures include prohibiting "abnormally" long beards, the wearing of veils in public places and refusing to watch state television.

Xinjiang is the homeland of the Uighurs, a traditionally Muslim group who say they face discrimination.

Recent years have seen bloody clashes in the region.

The Chinese government blames the violence on Islamist militants and separatists.

But rights groups say the unrest is more a reaction to repressive policies, and argue that the new measures may end up pushing some Uighurs into extremism.

Students must swim before they graduate, says China university

Tsinghua University, known as the Harvard of the East, has ruled that the nation's top minds must also prove themselves in the pool.

The news made waves on Chinese social media, with some questioning the move in a country struggling with drought.

But the university said swimming was a key survival skill.

President of Tsinghua University, Qiu Yong, said the exercise was made compulsory for all students because it also improved physical fitness.

Sydney academic stopped from leaving China

Dr Chongyi Feng, a China studies academic at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), was halted at Guangzhou airport.

Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan said officials had contacted relatives of Dr Feng, who is an Australian permanent resident but a Chinese citizen.

It comes as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang concluded a five-day Australian visit.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp reported Dr Feng was stopped from boarding flights in Guangzhou on Friday and Saturday.

Hong Kong prepares for new leader

The candidate will be chosen by a committee of mostly pro-Beijing electors, rather than a public vote, which pro-democracy campaigners have been fighting for.

Carrie Lam, deputy to the current leader, is China's choice for the role and is expected to win.

Ahead of the vote, around 1,000 people took to the streets to demand a greater say in who will lead Hong Kong.

Mrs Lam's main rival, former finance chief John Tsang, is the public's favourite, according to opinion polls.

The third candidate is retired judge Woo Kwok-hing.

The adopted girl claimed by 50 birth families

Near a busy bus station in the Chinese city of Wuhan, on 24 March 1992, someone left a baby to be found. It's quite likely that they watched and waited from a safe distance until the girl was spotted. She was picked up and taken to the Wuhan Children Welfare House, close by. There she was given a name, Xia Huasi, meaning "China's", and assigned a birth date chosen at random by the director of the home.

Pacific Forum strengthening links with China

The secretary general, Dame Meg Taylor, is leading a delegation to Beijing, Guangzhou and Hainan Province, with a focus on partnerships for sustainable development.

She said China was a valued partner of the Pacific region and the Forum was looking forward to a deeper and more dynamic relationship.

Dame Meg said increasingly China was taking a leadership role in addressing climate change.

She said the agency hoped it continues this role as the world implements the bold initiatives of the Paris Agreement.

 

Photo: AFP Dame Meg Taylor 

Tillerson to warn China of sanctions over North Korea

Tillerson will deliver this message on his first official trip to Asia, a three-country tour that promises to be a tightrope walk of diplomatic tensions -- and nowhere more so than in Beijing, North Korea's closest ally and protector.

US dismisses China proposal on N Korea military halt

The US state department said it was not "a viable deal" while the UN ambassador said North Korea was not "rational".

China's suggestion came after North Korea launched four ballistic missiles,breaking international sanctions.

Meanwhile the US has begun deploying a missile defence shield in South Korea.

It is also conducting its annual large-scale drills with the South Korean military, which routinely infuriate North Korea.

Is China retaliating against Lotte missile deal?

The fifth biggest firm in South Korea gets an estimated 30% of its sales from China, and employs about 20,000 people there.

But in the past week, several of its businesses have faced a backlash from hackers, customers and Chinese partners.

On Monday, Lotte said that more than 10 of its department stores across the country had been closed down suddenly. So what's going on?

 

Background: Missiles and a golf course

Tongan grown squash receive positive feedback from Chinese importer

The first consignment of Tongan squash that was shipped to China in December last year has been successfully cleared by authorities in Beijing.

The consignment has been received with positive feedback from the importer in China, Tianjin Foreign Trade Safe Co. Ltd.

In January, the head of Tonga Quarantine, Dr. Viliami Kami, squash grower and exporter Minoru Nishi Jr. of Nishi Trading, Tongan squash broker Danny Bearsley of Bearsley Exports - New Zealand and Tupou Vaipulu of the Tonga Embassy Office in China were in Beijing to witness the delivery of the first consignment.