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China Warmly Welcomes Leader Shunned by the US

Syria's Bashar al-Assad visits as Beijing tries to strengthen its influence in the Mideast

(Newser) - Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived in China on Thursday on his first visit to the country since the start of Syria's 12-year conflict, one in which Beijing has been one of his main backers. China's Foreign Ministry said Assad would join other foreign leaders attending the opening ceremony...

China Yanked Foreign Minister Over Affair in US: Report

And Defense Minister Li Shangfu investigated for corruption after Qin Gang booted over affair

(Newser) - In a blow to Chinese President Xi Jinping's leadership, the country's former foreign minister, an ally of Xi's who vanished from the public eye in June, was ousted for "lifestyle issues"—the Chinese Communist Party's term for sexual misconduct, the Wall Street Journal reports....

China Uses Hawaii Fires in 'Disinformation Wars'

Chinese accounts spread conspiracy about the testing of a US 'weather weapon'

(Newser) - The deadly fires across Maui last month were triggered by a secret "weather weapon" tested by the US government on its own citizens—or so suspected Chinese operatives want you to believe. Researchers from Microsoft and other organizations have described an organized disinformation campaign out of China that aims...

The Rain Came Down Hard. Then Came the Crocodiles

Chinese town of Maoming overrun with floods, dozens of escaped reptiles during heavy storms

(Newser) - Heavy rain that started over the weekend in the Guangxi region of China has triggered landslides that are so far responsible for at least seven deaths. In Maoming, however, located in the nation's southeast Guangdong province, residents have an entirely different problem brought about by the rain: dozens of...

Hong Kong Flooded by Heaviest Rain on Record
Record Rainfall
Floods Hong Kong

Record Rainfall Floods Hong Kong

More than 6 inches fell in a single hour

(Newser) - Heavy rain in Hong Kong and southern China overnight flooded city streets and some subway stations, with hundreds evacuated and two deaths reported in Hong Kong. Hong Kong authorities said during a joint news conference Friday that the extreme weather was expected to last until at least midnight, with widespread...

Report: 'Lost' Chinese Tourists Could Be Gathering Intel

They've turned up at US bases, sensitive sites 'as many as 100 times in recent years'

(Newser) - Lost tourists, or something more sinister? Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Chinese nationals have attempted to make their way onto military bases and other sensitive US sites "as many as 100 times in recent years," ostensibly to collect some kind of intelligence or test the security...

2 Accused of Using Excavator to Make Shortcut at Great Wall of China

The 2 construction workers have been detained

(Newser) - An excavator reportedly carved out a gap in the Great Wall of China on August 24, and two people were detained in the country over what officials say is "irreversible" damage. A 38-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman are accused of creating the breach because they wanted a shortcut...

As Typhoon Haikui Rolls in, Taiwan Shuts Down

Dueling storms hit China, Taiwan

(Newser) - Taiwan suspended flights, rail transport, and ferry services along with classes and outdoor events and urged workers to stay home on Sunday as Typhoon Haikui churned across the southern part of the island. The AP reports that the typhoon made landfall in Taitung county on the Pacific-facing east coast around...

In China, an Unusual Tactic to Boost Young Marriage

One region is bestowing cash for brides under 25

(Newser) - Officials in one part of China are urging people to get married at a young age, with cash as an incentive. Couples who marry in Zhejiang province's Changshan County when the bride is 25 or younger will receive a $137 cash bonus, the county announced last week, noting the...

Japan to China: Stop the Abusive Phone Calls

Country speaks out about Chinese complaints over release of Fukushima wastewater

(Newser) - Some in China are extremely unhappy about the release of treated radioactive wastewater from Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, placing abusive phone calls to government departments, schools, restaurants, even a concert hall and aquarium in Japan, per the BBC . More than a million tons of treated radioactive wastewater...

Chinese Dissident Planned Jet Ski Escape for Years

Kwon Pyong told friends of his plan to reach South Korea as early as 2019

(Newser) - The man who fled from China to South Korea on a jet ski last week reportedly planned his escape for years. A friend in the US tells the New York Times that Kwon Pyong, a 35-year-old human rights activist critical of Chinese President Xi Jinping, "felt depressed living in...

Chinese Dissident Flees Country on Jet Ski

Kwon Pyong, towing spare cans of fuel, traveled nearly 200 miles to South Korea

(Newser) - As a human rights activist with a history of criticizing Xi Jinping, it's highly unlikely that Kwon Pyong would have been allowed to leave China through normal channels. Instead, fellow activists say, he fled the country in a very unusual way, riding a jet ski for almost 200 miles...

College to China Grads: Don't 'Aim Too High'

Message to not be picky about work is a reflection of how tough things are there

(Newser) - It might be one of the most uninspiring messages to new college grads ever conveyed in a commencement speech. "You must not aim too high or be picky about work," declared the president of Chongqing Metropolitan College of Science and Technology in China. "The opportunities are fleeting....

Chinese Cyberattack on Japan Called 'Shockingly Bad'

China reportedly hacked into Japan's classified defense networks in just-revealed 2020 attack

(Newser) - In an incident that reportedly happened in 2020 but is only just now being revealed, a dozen anonymous sources tell the Washington Post that China hacked into Japan's classified defense networks. A former US military official who was briefed on the cyberattack tells the Post, "It was bad—...

Zoo Denies Its Bears Are Humans in Disguise

Video of sun bear at Chinese zoo sparked rumors

(Newser) - A zoo in China is pushing back against rumors that its sun bears are humans in bear costumes. Some zoos in China have been accused of trickery including painting donkeys to look like zebras, but the Hangzhou Zoo says its bears are the real thing, the AP reports. Rumors spread...

Kim Shows Banned Missiles to Russian Defense Chief

Some analysts see North Korea, Russia, China as reviving Cold War-era coalition

(Newser) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un showed off his banned ballistic missiles to Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu on Wednesday in a sign of just how closely aligned the two countries are becoming. Delegations led by Shoigu, the first Russian defense minister to visit North Korea since the fall of...

Vanished Foreign Minister Hand-Picked by Xi Is Replaced

China's Qin Gang hasn't been seen since June; absence met with rumors of extramarital affair

(Newser) - China's foreign minister is out of the job after just seven months, including a final month in which he hasn't been seen in public. Qin Gang last appeared in public in Beijing on June 25 during a meeting with officials from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Russia, per CNN...

11 Dead After Roof of School Gym Collapses in China

BBC reports many of the victims are children

(Newser) - Eleven people were killed when a roof collapsed at a middle school gymnasium in China's far northeast, per the AP . The incident occurred Sunday in the city of Qiqihar, and the last victim was pulled from the wreckage Monday morning. The BBC quotes eyewitnesses who say many of the...

China Sides With West on Russia Abandoning Grain Deal

At UN, nations warn of food crisis unless shipments resume soon

(Newser) - Russia came under pressure in a UN Security Council meeting on Friday from its ally China and developing countries as well as Western nations to avert a global food crisis and quickly revive Ukrainian grain shipments. Moscow was criticized by the UN and council members for attacking Ukrainian ports after...

Xi Jinping Snubs Kerry, Welcomes Kissinger

Chinese leader hails 'insightful' American

(Newser) - Xi Jinping didn't meet John Kerry while the top US climate envoy was in China this week—but he met, and praised, an American who first came to Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders more than 50 years ago. Xi described Henry Kissinger as an "old friend" when...

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