China / by Lewis McKinnon

On 13 April, eighteen people were killed after a crane collapsed in high winds in China’s Guangdong province. Xinhua released a draft statement of new laws scheduled to be implemented with regards foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Taiwan accused China of extrajudicial abduction following the deportation of eight Taiwanese to mainland China after they were acquitted of fraud in Kenya. China promised to punish 357 officials over a scandal that involved the illegal sale of vaccines. Apple’s online book and movie services were shut down by the Chinese government as it attempted to impose strict rules on what can be published online. The United States (US) State Department confirmed that China denied the USS John C Stennis, a US aircraft carrier, permission to make a port visit to Hong Kong. China expressed anger over comments made by G7 countries regarding activities on disputed islands in the South China Sea. On 18 April, China publicly admitted to landing a plane on the artificial island known as Fiery Cross Reef, the first time that it has ever done so. Chinese President Xi Jinping assumed a new military title— the Commander in Chief of the Military’s Join Operations Command Centre— in his latest move to exert greater influence over the armed forces. The Chinese government released statistics confirming the slowest quarterly growth in the Chinese economy in seven years, but reaffirmed that it was in line with expectations and growth targets. New data compiled in April revealed that Chinese exports increased by 18.7 per cent in March when compared to the same period in 2015.