China

Gas pipe explosion kills 12 in central Chinese city, CCTV reports

One hundred-fifty people were evacuated following the deadly accident in the city of Shiyan in Hubei province, CCTV said, of which 37 are critically injured.

The explosion caused a food market building to collapse at 6.30am, local media reported. Footage from CCTV shows wreckage and shattered glass covering the first floor of the collapsed building, where people were having breakfast and buying groceries when explosion happened.

People can be seen walking in a rubble-strewn street between damaged buildings.

China rights violations against Uyghurs: International mission needed urgently - Amnesty NZ

Amnesty International is accusing Chinese authorities of creating a "dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale" over the repression of Uyghur Muslims in north-western province of Xinjiang.

The human rights group says it amounts to crimes against humanity.

Amnesty International has just released a 160-page report, 'Like We Were Enemies in a War': China's Mass Internment, Torture, and Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang.

Budapest protest against China's Fudan University campus

Opponents of the project say it will undercut the country's own higher education and increase the influence of China's Communist authorities.

The right-wing government of PM Viktor Orban has close ties with Beijing.

Earlier this month, Hungary blocked an EU statement criticising China's treatment of Hong Kong.

On Saturday, demonstrators opposing the plan to build China's Fudan University campus in Budapest marched through the city's streets to the parliament building.

China allows three children in major policy shift

China scrapped its decades-old one-child policy in 2016, replacing it with a two-child limit which has failed to lead to a sustained upsurge in births.

The cost of raising children in cities has deterred many Chinese couples.

The latest move was approved by President Xi Jinping at a meeting of top Communist Party officials.

Severe weather kills cross-country runners

On Saturday high winds and freezing rain hit participants in the 100km race in the Yellow River Stone Forest, a tourist site in Gansu province, state-run media reported.

The race was halted when some of the 172 runners went missing, Xinhua news agency said.

The bodies were found by search-and-rescue teams on Sunday.

Temperatures plummeted in the mountainous area overnight, making the search more difficult, according to Xinhua.

Yellow River Stone Forest is a rugged, 50 sq km area featuring spectacular stone pillars.

     

Shaking China skyscraper sends shoppers fleeing

Local authorities do not yet know what caused the 300m SEG Plaza building to wobble on Tuesday afternoon.

No earthquakes were recorded at the time. An investigation is under way.

The 20-year-old building houses an electronics market and offices.

It stands in the heart of Shenzhen, a sprawling city of more than 12 million people known for its shopping and booming tech industry.

Footage shared on social media showed hundreds of people running away from the skyscraper shortly after it was evacuated.

Australia upgrading bases, expands war games with US

At the same time, he has also defended comments made by Australia's new Defence Minister Peter Dutton that the possibility of conflict with China over Taiwan should not be "discounted".

Morrison was in Darwin to confirm a $747 million upgrade to defence facilities in the Northern Territory, part of $8 billion set to be spent on military infrastructure in northern Australia over the next decade.

The bases are often used for joint Australian-US military training exercises, including an annual rotation of thousands of US Marines.

Australia provokes China anger over scrapped deals

The federal government used new powers to rip up two deals made between the state of Victoria and China.

Canberra said it was backing away from the agreements to protect Australia's national interest.

The Chinese embassy in Australia branded the move "provocative".

It said the action by Canberra was "bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations, and will only end up hurting itself."

"It further shows that the Australian government has no sincerity in improving China-Australia relations," a spokesperson said in a statement.

Solomon Islands receives 50,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine from China

The Solomon Times reports that the doses of Sinopharm vaccine arrived in Honiara on Sunday night.

The Sinopharm vaccine, which was developed by a Beijing-based State-Owned Enterprise, is yet to be approved by the World Health Organisation.

But the Solomons government said it would closely monitor the WHO's approval process relating to Sinopharm.

A Health Ministry official said the Sinopharm vaccine will only be rolled out once WHO approves it.

China major financial backer of 2023 Pacific Games

The announcement has been made by the Head of the Chinese Embassy Taskforce, Yao Ming.

Yao said Beijing had confirmed the funding so the next move would see a signing of a letter of exchange with the Solomon Islands government.

China has sent two working teams from the Beijing Architect Institute to do geo-tech surveys and Yao said in two months' time they would finish the preliminary survey work.

He added that after an agreement signing, his government would send a technical assessment team to the Solomons to begin the job on the ground.