China to create fund to help Pacific Island countries defeat COVID-19

Wang made the remarks at the first China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Beijing via video link.

He said the bilateral relationship between China and the Pacific Island countries has shown a good development momentum, and the comprehensive strategic partnership has continued to deepen.

Relations between the two sides are based on mutual respect and equity, Wang said.

Chinese receive Olympic flame

In a brief ceremony inside the empty stadium that hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896, Beijing Games vice president Yu Zaiqing fired up a small red lantern from the flame lit on Sunday in ancient Olympia, site of the ancient Games.

The lantern will arrive in the Chinese capital later today, kicking off a domestic torch relay that ends with the Games opening ceremony on Feb. 4 as Beijing becomes the first city to host both Summer and Winter Olympics.

China slashes its aid to the Pacific

An assessment by Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, showed while various Western nations were raising concerns about Chinese influence in the Pacific, Beijing was cutting back its involvement.

The Institute said Chinese aid, in the form of grants and low interest loans, peaked in 2016, at US$287 million.

Lowy's Pacific programme director, Jonathan Pryke said by 2019 that aid was down to US$169 million - its lowest level in seven years.

China’s President Xi Jinping speaks with King Tupou VI of Tonga on the phone

President Xi Jinping held phone talks with King Tupou VI on Friday and highlighted economic and technical assistance and agricultural and technical cooperation projects.

China has also offered to provide necessary assistance for Tongan agricultural and fishery products' entry into the Chinese market

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said China also welcomes Tongan enterprises to attend the China International Import Expo and stands ready to help with the country's fight against the COVID-19 within its capacities.

China ready to expand cooperation with Tonga

In a phone conversation with Tonga’s King Tupou VI, Xi also said that China would provide Tonga with economic and technological assistance without political strings attached.

He said that China and Tonga had deepened political mutual trust and achieved fruitful exchanges and cooperation in various fields since establishment of diplomatic ties.

Xi said that since the outbreak of COVID-19, the two countries had stood together through thick and thin and worked together to fight the pandemic.


Tonga PM receives 500 water tanks from China’s Dongguan City

The tanks were handed over by China’s Ambassador to Tonga Cao Xiaolin yesterday.

Mr Cao said, “Water tanks have become one of the most urgent needs of many Tongan families. The Tongan Government has rolled out a big project under the Ministry of MEIDECC to meet the needs and to help the Tongan families be more resilient in response to climate change.”

China pledges to stop building new coal energy plants abroad

President Xi Jinping made the announcement in his address at the United Nations General Assembly.

China has been funding coal projects in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam under a massive infrastructure project known as the Belt and Road initiative.

But it has been under pressure to end the financing, as the world tries to meet Paris climate agreement targets.


Australia's big gamble on the US over China

It's a definitive move for a country in the Asia-Pacific region, experts say.

The security deal with the US and the UK gives Australia a huge defence upgrade from the world's most powerful military.

But it's a gift with strings attached. And there is debate over whether such a decision - made without public consultation - will play out in Australia's national interests.

As China has grown in power, it has begun to challenge US dominance in the Asia-Pacific region.

Children given daily time limit on Douyin - its version of TikTok

The rules will apply to users under 14, who have been authenticated using their real names, and who will be able to access it between 06:00 and 22:00.

Parent company Bytedance announced the app’s Youth Mode in a blog post, saying it is the first short-video company in the industry to have these limits.

It comes as China cracks down on teenagers' use of technology.

According to Douyin's user agreement there is no minimum age on the platform, but under 18s must obtain the consent of a legal guardian. On sister app TikTok the minimum age is 13.

China denounces US-UK-Australia pact as irresponsible

The deal will see the US and UK give Australia the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time.

It is being widely viewed as an effort to counter China's influence in the contested South China Sea.

The region has been a flashpoint for years and tensions there remain high.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the alliance risked "severely damaging regional peace... and intensifying the arms race".