China / by Alistair Galloway

A continuing anti-corruption campaign has led to the investigation and conviction of Chinese executives and directors. China experienced two industrial disasters in December, with the collapse of a gypsum mine in the Shandong province and a landslide in Shenzhen. An investigation concluded that the sinking of the Eastern Star in the Yangtze River was a result of freak weather. A French journalist had her visa revoked after writing a piece that was critical of Beijing’s policy towards Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang. Hazardous smog engulfed some of the north eastern regions of China, including Beijing, with several red alerts being issued. Work has begun in constructing a new Chinese aircraft carrier. A group of around fifty youth protestors from the Philippines occupied Pag-asa Island in the Spratly archipelago from 26 December to 1 January. Tensions between the United States (US) and China continued as B-52 bombers flew near to the disputed Spratly Islands and a US-Taiwan military deal was concluded. China’s legislature passed new anti-terrorism laws permitting the creation of an anti-terror agency as well as allowing the right to monitor private communications. A checkpoint in the northern inner Mongolia region was mobbed by masked attackers. China’s National Development and Reform Commission fined seven international shipping companies for collaborating to raise shipping costs. Apple joined with China UnionPay in order to bring digital payment methods to cardholders as early as 2016. Deutsche Bank concluded a deal to sell its stake in China’s Hua Xia bank. Chinese Internet company Alibaba has bought ownership of the South China Morning post. The Asian Development Bank provided China with a $300 million USD loan in order to combat the increasing levels of pollution in Beijing and its surrounding areas. China’s box office takings increased by 48 per cent in 2015. China announced assistance to Africa via a $60 billion loan plan which is focused on continuing development in the continent.