China

Elephants' 500km-trek across China baffles scientists

And yet a herd of endangered elephants in China has completely dumfounded scientists globally, while captivating an entire nation in the process.

It's not unusual for elephants to move small distances. But this herd has been lumbering its way across China for more than a year now. The elephants have now strayed almost 500km (310 miles), a mammoth trek from their original habitat.

It's thought that they started their journey last spring from Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in the southwest of the country, near the border with Myanmar and Laos.

Vanuatu PM thanks China for offering COVID-19 vaccines

Prime Minister Bob Loughman expressed his sincere appreciation to the Chinese government on behalf of the government and the Vanuatu people for its continued support of and generous assistance to Vanuatu in this difficult time. 

He said the Sinopharm vaccine is the second COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in the country, and he decided to step forward to take the first jab.

"It is basically to give comfort to all of the country that when we want to improve our economic activities," he said.

China to launch first crewed space mission in five years

China is expected to launch the crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12 at 1.22GMT on 17 June in Jiuquan in northwestern Gansu province, an official at the China Manned Space agency said.

The astronauts were Nie Haisheng, 56, Liu Boming, 54, and Tang Hongbo, 45, said Ji Qiming, assistant director at the China Manned Space Agency, in a press conference in Jiuquan.

Nie, a native of central Hubei province and a former air force pilot, will lead the mission. He will be the oldest Chinese astronaut to go into space.

Vanuatu’s PM Loughman first to receive Sinopharm COVID-19 jab

The Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine was launched by the Prime Minister before getting the vaccination yesterday.

The Ministry said the launched follows the recent hand over of the vaccine from the Chinese Government to the Government of Vanuatu.

The Sinopharm vaccine has been approved by WHO and received the emergency use listing which means it is safe to use and is effective to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

China denounces G7 after statement on Xinjiang and Hong Kong

 

In a joint statement at the end of a three-day summit, leaders of the G7 countries urged China to "respect human rights and fundamental freedoms".

Issues highlighted included abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority group and the crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.

China's embassy in the UK accused the G7 of "baseless accusations".

"Stop slandering China, stop interfering in China's internal affairs, and stop harming China's interests," a spokesman said on Monday.

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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.