China envoy says Australia fired first shot with Huawei ban
Australia had fired the “first shot” in its deteriorating relations with China four years ago when the then-government banned Chinese-owned telecommunications giant Huawei from rolling out the country’s 5G network due to security concerns, a Chinese ambassador said on Friday. Xiao Qian, China’s ambassador to Australia since January, gave a rare public address at University Technology Sydney that was repeatedly interrupted by human rights protesters. The address comes as China shows signs of thawing a diplomatic deepfreeze of Australian ministers following the election of a new government last month.news.yahoo.com
Solomon Islands leader defends new security pact with China
The Solomon Islands prime minister has confirmed that his government has signed a new security agreement with China, but told lawmakers it would not undermine the peace and harmony of the region, as has been feared by the opposition and countries including the United States and Australia.
Video of China plane carrying 132 passengers shows nosedive before mountain crash
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a rescue operation and investigation into a China Eastern Airlines jet that crashed into a mountain during a domestic flight on Monday. Flight MU5735, which carried nine crew members and 123 passengers, reportedly went down near Wuzhou in the Guangxi autonomous region just before 2:30 p.m., Beijing time. VariFlight, a China-based civil aviation data provider, said the plane was up at about 8,900 meters (approximately 29,200 feet) when it started to slow down and descend at 2:19 p.m. Minutes later, it dropped to 1,300 meters (4,265 feet) and lost radar contact.news.yahoo.com
Premier Li offers China's help for 'grave' Ukraine situation
China’s Premier Li Keqiang on Friday called the situation in Ukraine “grave” and offered Beijing’s help in playing a “positive role” for peace while continuing to refuse to criticize Russia. China has largely sided with Russia in the conflict, which it has refused to refer to as a war or invasion. The U.S. accuses Beijing of helping spread false news and disinformation coming out of Moscow.news.yahoo.com
China calls Russia its chief 'strategic partner' despite war
China’s Foreign Minister on Monday called Russia Beijing’s “most important strategic partner,” amid its continued refusal to condemn the invasion of Ukraine. Wang Yi said ties with Moscow constituted “one of the most crucial bilateral relationships in the world." China has broken with the U.S., Europe and others that have imposed sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.news.yahoo.com
China Leadership Gathers as Economic Challenges Mount
China’s annual parliamentary pageant -- the National People’s Congress -- opens Saturday in Beijing, bringing President Xi Jinping one step close to a precedent-defying third term in power. Amid the pomp and propaganda at the Great Hall of the People, the Communist Party leadership will lay out policies to address the country’s biggest challenges, such as rebuilding growth slowed by Covid. The 3,000-or so deputies always give their ceremonial seal of approval to everything proposed, but that doewashingtonpost.com
How Xi Is Ensuring China’s 2022 Party Congress Will Be a Landmark
President Xi Jinping looks set to disrupt how power transitions in China, the world’s No. 2 economy, by securing a precedent defying third term as leader at the Communist Party’s 20th party congress this fall. Before then, he will host a Winter Olympics diminished by diplomatic boycotts in February, convene legislators for the National People’s Congress in March, and try to prevent a pandemic flare-up from derailing the Covid Zero strategy his government’s touted as evidence it’s superior to Weswashingtonpost.com
Chinese leaders promise more economic support after slowdown
Chinese leaders have promised tax cuts and support for entrepreneurs to shore up slumping economic growth as the country grapples with a wave of bankruptcies and defaults among real estate developers caused by a campaign to rein in surging debt.
China's Xi leads Martyr's Day ceremony amid patriotism drive
Chinese leader Xi Jinping paid respects at a solemn commemoration Thursday for those who died in the struggle to establish Communist Party rule, as he leads a national drive to reinforce patriotism and single-party authority. Xi and the six other members of the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee led aged veterans and government and military leaders in paying their respects at the Monument to the People’s Heroes in the center of Tiananmen Square while a military band played. While Xi, who heads the party and also serves as state president, made no remarks, Premier Li Keqiang spoke at a reception Thursday evening on the eve of National Day Friday.news.yahoo.com
UK fraud agency probing Liberty Steel's Greensill links
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office says it is investigating suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering within the business empire of Liberty Steel owner Sanjeev Gupta, including its financing arrangements with bankrupt Greensill Capital U.K.
China's young people struggle to find jobs as unemployment rate holds at 13.1%
The 13.1% young people's unemployment rate is the same as it was during the first quarter last year, the height of the coronavirus outbreak within China. The unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 24 was 13.1% as of February, far above the national urban jobless rate of 5.5%, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday. BEIJING — One year since the coronavirus pandemic hit, China's young people are still having a hard time finding jobs. Last year, as the world struggled to recover from the pandemic, just 11.86 million new urban jobs were created. China aims to create 11 million new urban jobs this year, and achieve an unemployment rate of 5.5%.cnbc.com
China legislature endorses reducing public vote in Hong Kong
It adds to a crackdown against a protest movement in Hong Kong calling for greater democracy. Hong Kong news reports said earlier the committee will pick one-third of the members of the Legislative Council, or LegCo. AdBeijing wants to see “patriots ruling Hong Kong,” the premier said. “The Hong Kong people will be disenfranchised” under the latest changes, said Emily Lau, a former Hong Kong legislator. ___AP writers Zen Soo in Hong Kong and Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.
EXPLAINER: What's happened so far at China's annual congress
BEIJING – Midway through its annual session, China’s ceremonial parliament is focusing on boosting the economy, building self-reliance in technology and further squeezing room for political opposition in Hong Kong. SETTING AN ACHEIVABLE GROWTH TARGETThe party set a growth target of “over 6%”, as the world’s second-largest economy shrugs off the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. AdBEEFING UP THE MILITARYThe government announced a 6.8% rise in military spending to 1.4 trillion yuan ($217 billion), continuing a tradition of roughly tracking the economic growth target. WHAT'S NEXTThe annual session, which has been reduced from two weeks to one because of the pandemic, finishes on Thursday. Li will give the premier's annual news conference after the congress closes.
Chinese exports surge as global demand recovers from virus
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)BEIJING – China’s exports surged 60.6% over a year earlier in the first two months of 2021, after factories reopened and global demand started to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. AdForecasters say the Chinese export surge should decelerate as demand for masks and other medical supplies eases and overseas competitors return to global markets. Then, global exports tumbled 17.2% in 2020's first two months from the previous year. This year, China’s global trade surplus for January and February was $103.3 billion, compared with a $7.1 billion deficit in the same period last year. China’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed by 17.7% from the same time last year to $20.9 billion.
China sets moderate new energy goals for climate change
(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)BEIJING – China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, announced generally moderate new energy and climate targets on Friday that give little sign that it will step up its pace in combatting climate change. The 18% target is the same as in the previous five-year economic plan. The country uses carbon emissions per unit of economic output, or carbon intensity, instead of absolute emission reduction targets. Government planners offered a few more specifics in a summary of the new five-year plan. It sets a target for non-fossil energy to account for 20% of total energy consumption by 2025, which will require further investment in solar and wind energy.
Tech rebound pulls stocks out of a slump and to weekly gain
The S&P 500 gained 2% after clawing back from a 1% skid that followed a 1% surge at the start of trading. "The bad thing being higher interest rates and the good being an improvement in the economy.”The S&P 500 rose 73.47 points to 3,841.94. That may have helped ease some bond investors inflation worries, at least for now. By Friday afternoon, the vast majority of stocks in the S&P 500 had rebounded. Five Big Tech stocks alone make up more than 21% of the S&P 500 by market value, so weakness for tech can hold back S&P 500 index funds even if many stocks within it are rising.
China spending on research and development to rise 7% per year in push for major tech breakthroughs
GUANGZHOU, China — China will increase its spending on research and development over the next five years in a push to make "major breakthroughs" in technology, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday. Li said China's research and development spending will increase by more than 7% per year between 2021 and 2025. China's spending on R&D climbed 10.3% to 2.44 trillion Chinese yuan ($378 billion) and accounted for 2.4% of GDP in 2020, according to official statistics. Meanwhile, central government expenditures on basic research will increase by 10.6%, Li said. The Two Sessions this year marks the start of China's 14th five-year development plan which lays out priorities and goals over the coming years.cnbc.com
China boosts defense spending by 6.8% amid debt, pandemic
China is increasing its defense spending by 6.8% in 2021 as it works to maintain a robust upgrading of the armed forces despite high government debt and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING – China is increasing its defense spending by 6.8% in 2021 as it works to maintain a robust upgrading of the armed forces despite high government debt and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. A national budget report issued Friday said China would spend 1.355 trillion yuan ($210 billion) on defense in the coming year. AdThe government says most of the spending increases go toward improving pay and other conditions for troops while observers say the budget omits much of China’s spending on weaponry, most of it developed domestically. The People's Liberation Army exercises a strong political role as the military branch of the ruling Communist Party.
China sets growth target 'over 6%,' tightening HK control
2 leader set a healthy economic growth target Friday and vowed to make the nation self-reliant in technology amid tension with the U.S. and Europe over trade and human rights. Another official announced plans to tighten control over Hong Kong by reducing the public's role in government. But he avoided aggressive targets that might weigh on economic growth. ___AP writers Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, and Zen Soo in Hong Kong contributed to this report. Ad___This story corrects the current size of the Hong Kong legislature to 70 members, not 35.
China sets 2021 GDP growth target of more than 6% as premier warns of 'formidable tasks' in finance
Kevin Frayer | Getty ImagesBEIJING — China has set growth target of over 6% for 2021, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced Friday at an annual parliamentary meeting — the country's most important political event of the year. China reported GDP growth of 2.3% last year — the only major economy to expand amid the coronavirus pandemic. Li announced the growth target in a government work report delivered at the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress. U.S.-China relationsOn international trade, Li said the country would "promote the growth of mutually beneficial China-US business relations on the basis of equality and mutual respect." The Chinese premier said the country would "boost military training and preparedness" and improve defense-related technology.cnbc.com
The foundation of China's economic recovery is 'not yet solid,' leaders say at planning meeting
BEIJING — Chinese leaders warned at an important economic planning meeting last week that growth still faces many challenges. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders who attended the Central Economic Work Conference from Dec. 16 to 18 were buoyant about China's relative successes, while remaining cautious on major changes to stimulus policies, according to state media. Analysts who followed the meeting said it provided little in the way of policy changes or new information. Chinese state media coverage of the meeting played up the country's recent successes, but also warned about the changes wrought by the pandemic and uncertainties abroad. "The foundation of our economic recovery is not yet solid," the report said, according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese text.cnbc.com
The Latest: Tennessee won't mandate vaccines in its schools
(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s governor says that once coronavirus vaccines become available, they will be optional in the state’s K-12 public schools. It’s just going nowhere,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s state health officer, said Monday during a meeting with members of the Mississippi Senate. State health officials said fatality updates on Tuesday are typically higher because of lag in reporting from the weekends. That includes more than 1,000 on intensive care units and more than 570 on ventilators, according to state Health Department data. —-MADRID — Spain is reporting a new daily record of 537 coronavirus deaths since the resurgence of the pandemic.
Trump skips Southeast Asia summit for third year in a row
U.S. President Donald Trump skipped a virtual summit with his Southeast Asian counterparts on Saturday, the third year in a row that the U.S. is being represented at a lower level. (VNA via AP)HANOI – President Donald Trump skipped a summit with his Southeast Asian counterparts for the third year in a row on Saturday, with rival China set to expand its influence with a massive free trade deal in the region. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said Trump regretted he was unable to attend the online summit with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but stressed the importance of ties with the region. Trump attended the ASEAN summit in 2017, but sent only representatives during the last two meetings. At the separate summit later Saturday, China, Japan and South Korea sought deeper regional cooperation to battle the pandemic.
Asia Today: 39 new cases in S. Korea; China defends record
(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)SEOUL SEOUL, South Korea (AP) South Korea on Friday reported 39 new cases of the coronavirus as infections continued to spike after rigid social distancing rules were relaxed. The additional figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took the countrys total to 11,668 with 273 deaths. In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: FIVE NEW CASES IN CHINA: China on Friday reported five new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought by Chinese citizens from outside the country. China has reported 4,634 deaths among 83,027 cases since the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan late last year. Despite criticism of its initial handling of the outbreak and allegations it withheld crucial information, China has repeatedly defended its record.
Trump strikes China over virus, Hong Kong and student visas
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Washington. He noted that the U.S. contributes about $450 million to the world body while China provides about $40 million. Tensions over Hong Kong have increased over the past year as China has cracked down on protesters a nd sought to exert more control over the former British territory. Trump said the administration would begin eliminating the full range of agreements that had given Hong Kong a relationship with the U.S. that mainland China lacked, including exemptions from controls on certain exports. Still, the country has insisted that its control of Hong Kong is an internal matter, and it has disputed that it mishandled the response to the virus.
Wall Street up as recovery hopes overshadow virus worries
Asian shares are rising as some regions in Japan resume near-normal business activity, with hopes for economic recovery overshadowing worries over the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)TOKYO Stocks surged on Wall Street in morning trading Tuesday, driving the S&P 500 to its highest level in nearly three months, as hopes for economic recovery overshadow worries about the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P 500 was up 2% to 3,015 points. The S&P 500 was coming off a solid week and is on track for a second-straight month of gains. Fears of a crushing recession due to the coronavirus sent the S&P 500 into a skid of more than 30% from its February high.
China boosts spending for virus-hit economy, takes up HK law
2 leader on Friday promised higher spending to revive its pandemic-stricken economy and curb surging job losses but avoided launching a massive stimulus on the scale of the United States or Japan. Also Friday, legislators took up a proposed national security law for Hong Kong that activists complain might be used to suppress political activity. That is in line with expectations for higher spending but a fraction of the $1 trillion-plus stimulus packages launched or discussed by the United States, Japan and Europe. Also Friday, the government announced the military budget, the world's second-biggest after the United States, will rise 6.6% to 1.3 trillion yuan ($178 billion). Wang said Beijing had to take action because activities in Hong Kong threatened national security, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
The Latest: Colombia reports biggest daily increase in cases
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. TOP OF THE HOUR:Colombia sees biggest increase in new coronavirus cases. ___BOGOTA, Colombia Colombia reported its biggest daily increase in new coronavirus cases and deaths Friday as the South American nations Ministry of Health confirmed 801 new infections and 30 fatalities. Tate Reeves says he is adding another week to his statewide safer at home order because of the coronavirus pandemic. Mississippi has had more than 12,600 confirmed cases of the virus and nearly 600 deaths.
Wall Street ends a choppy day mostly higher; crude oil falls
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)BANGKOK Stock indexes finished mostly higher Friday as Wall Street shook off an early slide, closing out a solid week of gains for the market. Energy stocks fell the most as crude oil prices closed lower after six straight gains. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 2% to settle at $33.25 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, fell 2.6% to settle at $35.13 a barrel. The choppy trading on Wall Street followed a downbeat day in Asia.
Key points about China's legislative session
Zhang Youxia, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, attends the opening session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, May 22, 2020. The National Peoples Congress session is more a chance for the authoritarian ruling Communist Party leadership to directly communicate its message than an occasion to debate or pass laws. The premier traditionally caps off the session with his sole annual news conference broadcast live nationwide. Discussion may be more limited this year by social distancing requirements, although it isnt clear how strictly they are being enforced. At Thursdays opening session of the CPPCC, rank-and-file members wore masks but sat in rows as usual with little space between them.
New infections show virus accelerating across Latin America
(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)BEIJING The coronavirus pandemic accelerated across Latin America on Friday, bringing a surge of new infections and deaths, even as curves flattened and reopening was underway in much of Europe, Asia and the United States. Brazil reported more than 20,000 deaths and 300,000 confirmed cases, making it the third worst-hit country in the world by official counts. Armando Sepulveda, manager of San Cristobal Mauseleum in the massive Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec, said his burial and cremation business has doubled in recent weeks. With almost 109,000 confirmed cases and more than 3,100 dead as of Thursday night, Peruvian media showed images of patients slumped in wheelchairs receiving oxygen. ___Sherman reported from Mexico City.
China focused on jobs as national legislature meets
As job losses surge, China is joining the United States and other governments in rolling out stimulus spending to revive its virus-battered economy. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)BEIJING As job losses surge, China is joining the United States and other governments in rolling out stimulus spending to revive its virus-battered economy. One closely watched indicator: Whether Beijing will skip for the first time setting an economic growth target given uncertainties over what lies ahead. Banks that lent to finance stimulus spending after the 2008 global crisis have a mountain of nonperforming loans. The final economic impact will be mainly determined by the development of the epidemic in Europe and the United States, Ma said.
Stocks end lower on Wall Street as US-China tensions weigh
Asian stock markets are mixed after Wall Street rose amid Chinese trade tension with Washington and Australia. Oil prices closed higher, extending a string of gains. Oil prices closed higher for the sixth day day in a row. European stock indexes closed broadly lower after shedding some gains. Asian stock markets finished lower.
China may pass bill to crack down on Hong Kong opposition
The announcement drew sharp criticism from the U.S., which has threatened to withdraw preferential trade status for Hong Kong, and seems likely to prompt more protests in the short run. Hong Kong's government is bound by Article 23 of the Basic Law, its constitution, to enact laws to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition or subversion against China. Now, China appears to be sidestepping Hong Kong's lawmaking body to enact the legislation. The decision to circumvent Hong Kong's Legislative Council to enact the security legislation is an unprecedented and highly controversial intervention," Johnny Patterson, director of the non-governmental organization Hong Kong Watch, said in a statement. A broad-brush interpretation of this law would signal the end of Hong Kong as we know it, Patterson said.
Coronavirus live updates: Australia plans reopening in 3 stages; Russia reports over 10,000 new cases
Global cases: More than 3.8 millionGlobal deaths: More than 269,000Most cases reported: United States (1,256,972), Spain (221,447), Italy (215,858), United Kingdom (207,977), and Russia (177,160). Russia now has one of the highest numbers of coronavirus cases globally. Weizhen Tan11:00 am: Singapore's second-largest bank reports 43% plunge in first-quarter net profitOversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Singapore's second-largest lender, announced a 43% year-over-year drop in first-quarter net profit to 698 million Singapore dollars ($494.6 million) well below Refinitiv's average estimate of 941 million Singapore dollars ($666.7 million). OCBC increased its loan loss provisions to 657 million Singapore dollars ($465.5 million) from 249 million Singapore dollars ($176.4 million) a year ago. The Mexican government has said the actual number of infections is significantly higher than the reported cases.cnbc.com
China's central bank to cut rates soon, analysts predict
A man wearing a mask walks past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China, the central bank, in Beijing, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, February 3, 2020. Jason Lee | ReutersBEIJING China's central bank is expected to cut key rates soon, following a directive from a meeting led by the country's second-in-command, Premier Li Keqiang. The two rates are tools used by the Chinese central bank to manage liquidity in the banking system. Shortly afterward, the Federal Reserve surprised investors with its first emergency interest rate cut since the financial crisis, and the Bank of England on Wednesday became the latest central bank to cut rates in a similar emergency move. "The PBOC, which is not independent, will not, however, 'coordinate' with the Fed or other central banks," he said.cnbc.com
Efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak a test of Chinas centralized control
But angry posts blaming Wuhan officials ineptitude and dishonesty for exacerbating the coronavirus outbreak have been allowed to come to a boil online, a strategic ploy by the central government to find a scapegoat. With Chinas strong centralized control come mass mobilization and authority that would be unthinkable anywhere else. Chinese authorities extended the Lunar New Year holiday nationwide to Sunday, canceling school and work, while individual cities further prolonged the duration of the holiday. Local officials are rewarded for performance, which often translates into them concealing problems rather than exposing and solving them. Days before the city went on lockdown, local authorities gave away 200,000 free event coupons in hopes of bringing in more tourists during the holiday.latimes.com
India says no to joining huge Asia Pacific trade pact
Negotiations for the trade pact began in 2013 and India's reluctance to open up its markets has been one of the major obstacles over time. Singh also did not say if India would consider joining the trade pact at a later date. What this meansThe trade pact is due to be signed next year, according to Thailand. She explained affirmation to the free movement of goods, services, and capital within the region would help maintain ASEAN's centrality in global trade. They added the Indian government will "try to make positive noises about progressing trade talks with the US and EU and will expedite efforts to upgrade its free trade agreement with ASEAN."cnbc.com
Three before you leave What to watch for Friday including American Express, Coke earnings
A bottle of Diet Coke is pulled for a quality control test at a Coco-Cola bottling plant in Salt Lake City, Utah. Earnings off to a strong start: Will it continue? Earnings season kicked off with a bang this week, and a host of companies are set to report quarterly results Friday including American Express, Coca-Cola, and Kansas City Southern. For Coke, analysts are expecting the company to report EPS of $0.56 and $9.43 billion in revenue. Rail operator Kansas City Southern's report will be in focus following mixed results from its competitors.cnbc.com
Caught between human rights and trade, Angela Merkel lands in China
BEIJING - Angela Merkel was welcomed by Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Friday amid calls for the German Chancellor to take a stronger line on China's human rights record. According to state-run CGTN, Merkel is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the trip. China is one of Germany's largest trading partners, buying almost $100 billion of German exports in 2017. In a letter to Merkel ahead of her visit, prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong also wrote to her to ask for help. Speaking in Beijing on Friday, Merkel said the rights of Hong Kong citizens "must be respected."
China's second-in-command: We're building an even playing field for foreign firms
Still, the extent to which China's leadership will act on its promises of economic freedoms remains the important question. American and other foreign companies have long complained that the Chinese government gives preferential treatment to home-grown businesses, especially conglomerates owned by the state. Those included:Lifting restrictions on foreign ownership of securities, futures and life insurance firms by 2020, a year earlier than previously planned. Opening the manufacturing sector to greater foreign investment, including easing foreign equity restrictions in the auto industry. In front of the World Economic Forum, Li maintained that the country is on track to reach its target of between 6% and 6.5% in economic growth for the year.cnbc.com