China

China by Alistair Galloway

The C919 passenger jet produced by the state-owned aviation company, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) successfully completed its first flight. New legislation was introduced by the Chinese government to regulate those companies that publish and share news online. Additionally, new cyber-security regulations will be introduced from 1 June 2017. Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to uphold the terms of the Paris Climate Change Agreement in a phone-call with the newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron. The United States (U.S.) argued that Chinese jets conducted an “unprofessional” intercept of a U.S. military plane. The USS Dewey sailed within twelve nautical miles of the Mischief Reef, marking the first freedom of navigation exercise conducted in the South China Sea under U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. China was one of many different countries, to be impacted by the global “ransomware” cyberattack in May. President Xi Jinping sought to improve bilateral relations with South Korea. He also announced that China would allocate $124 billion for the Belt and Road initiative. Moody’s downgraded China’s credit rating to A1 (from Aa3) due to concerns that the country’s economy is slowing. 

Read More

China by Alistair Galloway

U.S. President Trump is scheduled to conduct bilateral talks with President Xi Jinping in April 2017. Chinese officials issued a warning to a U.S. military aircraft operating in the Chinese Air Defence Identification Zone. According to a U.S. think tank, the Asia Martime Transparency Initiative, China concluded the construction of three military bases on the Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea. Amid these developments, it was announced that China and the Philippines will meet in May to discuss their conflicting claims in the South China Sea. Shandong Gold Group Co. announced that they discovered 382.58 tonnes of gold reserves in eastern China. Boeing and Ford are set to expand their market to China, as Boeing confirmed the construction of a new 737 completion plant and Ford established its desire to develop a new SUV for its Chinese market. China’s economy is predicted to grow by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2017. 

Read More

China by Alistair Galloway

The Chinese government cancelled plans to construct over one hundred coal-fired power plants. Following President Trump’s phone-call with President Tsa Ing-wen, the Chinese Foreign Ministry asked that the United Stated (US) continue to honour the One China Policy. President Duterte requested China’s assistance in combatting piracy in the Sulu Sea. The new US administration condemned China’s activities in the South China Sea and vowed to protect American interests in the area. The Chinese navy added a new electronic reconnaissance ship, the CNS Kaiyangxing, to its fleet. China accused the European Union of protectionist policies, after taxing specific steel products from China. UK-China commercial relations entered a new era, with the arrival of the East Wind train in London. The International Monetary Fund upgraded the growth projection for the Chinese economy in 2017.

Read More

China by Alistair Galloway

Foreign charities and non-profit groups operating in China prepared for the introduction of a new law that will curb their autonomy and allow local authorities to closely regulate their activity. A Human Rights Watch report raised questions over the legality of methods used by authorities in their war against corruption. Air pollution wreaked havoc in northern China as tens of thousands of people fled dangerous smog and around half a billion people were forced to live under toxic conditions. A car bomb detonated in southern Xinjiang, killing one person and injuring three. The Chinese Navy seized a United States (US) underwater drone in the South China Sea. Satellite imagery revealed that Vietnam commenced dredging on the Ladd Reef, a disputed island in the Spratly chain. As tensions in the region continue to heighten, both Japan and China opted to increase their defence budgets. Construction of the Chinese-Laos railway line began on 25 December in the northern Lao city of Luang Prabang.

Read More

China by Alistair Galloway

The coastal regions of Hainan and Hong Kong were battered by two separate typhoons, as the Chinese government warned local populations of the threat of flooding and landslides. Fourteen people were killed and over 150 injured in a suspected industrial explosion in northwestern China. The launch of Shenzhou 11 marked the beginning of China's longest ever space mission. The United States (US) questioned China's actions as China has continued to import North Korean coal, which hampers the effectiveness of United Nations (UN) sanctions against North Korea. The Chinese Defence Ministry challenged the US over USS Decatur's patrol near the Parcel Islands in the South China Sea. The Japanese military were condemned for its dangerous interceptions of Chinese military aircraft. Weak demand in domestic and global markets resulted in a decline in China's imports and exports in September.

Read More

China by Alistair Galloway

The Canadian government opened negotiations with China over the possible terms of an extradition treaty between both countries. Three prominent labour organisers were sentenced to suspended prison terms in Guangdong province. The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranked China as the world's deadliest country for outdoor air pollution. A tropical storm killed one person in the city of Quanzhou, Fujian Province. The Tiangong 2, an experimental space station, was launched on 15 September. Currently, China possesses an energy oversupply, with priority access to the energy grid given to coal-fired power stations rather than wind energy. The Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, revealed that he would be interested in forming trade alliances with both China and Russia. Tensions between China and Japan increased due to Japanese actions in the South China Sea. The Philippines military released images of Chinese ships it deemed capable of building islands in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. By purchasing Dick Clark Productions, Wang Jianlin hopes to extend Chinese influence in Hollywood and the entertainment business.

Read More

China by Lewis McKinnon

In order to prevent inappropriate online postings, the Cyberspace Administration of China demanded tighter restrictions monitoring live streaming. China opened the highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge in the world in the Zhangjiajie mountains. The Chinese space programme continues its rapid development as design plans for a space probe, scheduled to begin its mission to Mars in 2020, were unveiled. Foreign Ministers from Japan, China, and South Korea conducted trilateral talks focusing on tensions in the region, including North Korea and its recent ballistic missile testing. Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince signed 15 preliminary agreements with China that covered a range of sectors. The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) of five additional cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. China and the other 14 members of the United Nations Security Council condemned North Korea for test-firing ballistic missiles. The Chinese embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, was attacked by a suicide car bomber. The People's Liberation Army Navy and the United States Navy conducted numerous naval drills at the seaport of Qingdao. The Turkish Parliament ratified the Sino-Turkish Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Weapons. Japan filed a protest against China after discovering radar equipment was installed in a gas exploration platform in the South China Sea. China launched its first aircraft engine company, the Aero-Engine Group of China, in a bid to build its reputation as a global aviation power. Chinese factory activity grew at its fastest rate in two years. A dispute over Canadian canola exports continue to dominate Canadian-Chinese relations. 

Read More

China by Lewis McKinnon

Flooding in northern and central China killed around 150 people in July, with Hebei and Henan provinces the worst affected. Beijing announced that CNY 36 million will be spent on geological disaster surveys in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, Guo Boxiong, was sentenced to life in prison for accepting bribes. According to climate economists, China’s coal burning continues to decline from its peak activity in 2014. The Chinese government shut-down several online news reporting platforms in an effort to restrict independent reporting. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea. However, President Xi refused to accept the court’s ruling, maintaining that Chinese claims to reefs and atolls confirmed its undisputed sovereignty over these waters. Representatives at the 49th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) failed to address the decision made by the international tribunal, instead, agreeing to continue monitoring land reclamation activities. Following the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to exit the European Union (EU), the Chancellor of the Exchequer visited Beijing to begin talks over a free trade deal with China. China-Africa cooperation continues to grow, with $46 billion invested in the African economy since the December Summit. China announced plans to construct 30,000 kilometres of train tracks by 2020 which included high speed train networks. 

Read More

China by Lewis McKinnon

China launched a new generation space-rocket, a model which will be utilised in future space flights. Two members of China’s democratic opposition party were handed prison sentences for subversion. A deadly tornado in China’s Jiangsu Province killed 98 people. China opposed Indian membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), demanding that India first sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). President Xi Jinping met with a senior envoy from North Korea to relieve bilateral tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. United States (US) Military Command issued a formal complaint against a Chinese fighter jet, deemed to be flying too closely to an American reconnaissance plane in international airspace. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague will issue its decision on 12 July with regards to the dispute between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea. China suspended diplomatic communication with Taiwan as the new President ,Tsai Ing-wen, refused to support the idea of a single and unified Chinese nation. The Chinese finance minister denied that China’s surpluses in aluminium and steel were overwhelming foreign markets. China has developed and built the most powerful computer in the world. The first Disney Resort in mainland China was opened and is expected to attract tens of millions of tourists each year. Chinese business firms contemplated the impact of Britain’s European Union (EU) referendum result on China’s economy. 

Read More

China by Lewis McKinnon

Zhang Dejiang, the top Chinese official responsible for Hong Kong affairs, conducted a visit to Hong Kong amid rumours of organised pro-democracy protests; however, there was an increased police presence and numerous arrests were made. Wuhan Tianhe International Airport introduced single-sex security lanes in order to improve the flow of passengers through security checkpoints. Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in as the new president of Taiwan, calling for increased dialogue and positive communication with officials in Beijing. On 8 May, a landslide in Fujian province killed 22 industrial workers. Ling Jihua, former aide to ex-president Hu Jintao, was formally charged with corruption. During the opening session of the Scottish Parliament in May 2016, Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats party, questioned the human rights record of two Chinese firms involved in a Scotland-China investment agreement. The United States (US) continued to conduct freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea to maintain access to important sea and air routes. The Chinese economy continued its slump as lower figures than predicted for both imports and exports were recorded for April 2016. The US announced that it increased import duties on Chinese steel makers following accusations that they were selling products below market prices. 

Read More