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China

China bans BBC World News from broadcasting

China has criticised the BBC for its reporting on coronavirus and the persecution of ethnic minority Uighurs.

The BBC said it was "disappointed" by the decision.

It follows British media regulator Ofcom revoking state broadcaster China Global Television Network's (CGTN) licence to broadcast in the UK.

Ofcom's decision earlier this month came after it found that CGTN's licence was wrongfully held by Star China Media Ltd.

Two Vanuatu hospitals receive new medical equipment from Chinese government

The medical equipment arrived in four containers, two each for the hospitals.

The donation includes anesthesia machines, oxygen generators, premature incubator, ECG machines, ICU beds and personnel protective equipment such as medical masks and surgical gowns and caps, shows cover and first-aid packets.

The Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu, Zhou Haicheng said this is the seventh donation provided by China to Vanuatu in response to COVID-19

India state Gujarat renames dragon fruit 'lotus'

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the fruit would now be called kamalam, Sanskrit for the lotus flower.

The lotus is sacred to Hindus and is India's national flower.

Relations have nosedived in recent months between India and China, whose troops are locked in a tense stand-off along their long Himalayan frontier.

China reports over 100 new Covid-19 cases for seventh day

Mainland China posted 118 new cases for 18 January, up from 109 a day earlier, the national health authority said in a statement.

Of those, 106 were local infections, with 43 reported in Jilin, a new daily record for the northeastern province, and 35 in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, the National Health Commission said.

The Chinese capital itself reported one new case, while Heilongjiang in the north reported 27 new infections.

WHO team investigating virus origins denied entry to China

Two members had already set out on their journey - one has now turned back and the other is in transit in a third country.

The WHO said the problem was a lack of visa clearances.

The long-awaited probe was agreed upon by Beijing in December after many months of negotiations with the WHO.

The virus was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019, with the initial outbreak linked to a market.

WHO to investigate virus origins in China's Wuhan

Beijing has been reluctant to agree to an independent inquiry and it has taken many months of negotiations for the WHO to be allowed access to the city.

The virus is thought to have come from a market in the city selling animals.

But the search for the source has led to tensions, notably with the US.

President Donald Trump's administration has accused China of trying to conceal the initial outbreak.

What is the aim of the investigation?

Mt Everest grows by nearly a metre to new height

Until now the countries differed over whether to add the snow cap on top. The new height is 8848.86 metres.

China's previous official measurement of 8844.43m had put the mountain nearly four metres lower than Nepal's.

Everest stands on the border between China and Nepal and mountaineers climb it from both sides.

Officials at Nepal's foreign ministry and department of survey said surveyors from both countries had co-ordinated to agree on the new height.

China becomes second nation to plant flag on the Moon

The pictures from China's National Space Administration show the five-starred Red Flag holding still on the windless lunar surface.

They were taken by a camera on the Chang'e-5 space probe before it left the Moon with rock samples on Thursday.

Two previous Chinese lunar missions had flags on the crafts' coatings - so neither could be affixed to the moon.

The US planted the first flag on the Moon during the manned Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Five further US flags were planted on the lunar surface during subsequent missions up until 1972.

Chinese Covid-19 vaccine 'successful in mid-stage trials'

There are several vaccines being developed in China, some of which are already being administered.

According to the researchers, the Sinovac Biotech vaccine led to a quick immune response during trials with around 700 people.

The announcement comes after European and US vaccines reported successful data from large late-stage trials.

Three vaccines, developed in the US, Germany and Russia, have all released data suggesting efficiency of more than 90%, after trials with tens of thousands of people.

What do we know about the vaccine?

China hands over 31 vehicles to Vanuatu Government

PM Loughman acknowledged China's continuous contributions to the development aspirations of the Republic of Vanuatu.

"Our two countries have enjoyed a strong and vibrant relationship which is based on a mutual understanding, friendship and genuine cooperation", PM Loughman said adding that China remains one of the main development partner in terms of development.

He added that the donation of the vehicles could not take place on a better occasion as China celebrated the 71st anniversary of the China Communist Party (CPC) on Thursday.