Xi Jinping has taken the center stage as China's undisputed paramount leader.
The National People's Congress this week confirmed Xi as the new state president and chairman of the State Central Military Commission, making him the Communist party chief, head of state and commander-in-chief.
This completes the handover of power from Hu Jintao, 70, who ruled China for 10 years, to the 59-year-old Xi, who was announced as the country's presumptive leader last November.FULL STORY
The United States and China reached a tentative deal for a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution on more sanctions for North Korea after its latest nuclear test, a senior Obama administration official told CNN.
The full council is expected to deal with the issue on Tuesday.FULL STORY
The number of Tibetans in China who have set themselves on fire to protest Beijing's rule has reached 100, according to Tibetan advocacy groups.
Lobsang Namgyal, a 37-year-old former monk, set himself on fire earlier this month in Aba prefecture, known in Tibetan as Ngaba, an ethnically Tibetan area of the Chinese province of Sichuan, according to Free Tibet, a London-based advocacy group.
"This grim milestone should be a source of shame to the Chinese authorities who are responsible and to the world leaders who have yet to show any leadership in response to the ongoing crisis in Tibet," said Stephanie Brigden, the director of Free Tibet.
Self-immolation has become a desperate form of protest in recent years for ethnic Tibetans unhappy with Chinese rule, and it shows no sign of abating.FULL STORY
A court in southwestern China has given heavy sentences to two ethnic Tibetans convicted of murder for "inciting" people to set themselves on fire, state media reported Thursday.
Self-immolation has become a dramatic and harrowing form of protest in recent years for ethnic Tibetans unhappy with Chinese rule.FULL STORY
The New York Times says that Chinese hackers have carried out sustained attacks on its computer systems, breaking in and stealing the passwords of high-profile reporters and other staff members.
According to The Times, one of the biggest and most respected U.S. newspapers, the attacks took place over the past four months, beginning during an investigation by the newspaper into the wealth reportedly accumulated by relatives of the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao.FULL STORY
Hazardous smog was covering Beijing on Tuesday, reducing visibility to less than 200 meters (200 yards) in parts of Chinese capital while forcing the cancellation of airline flights and the closure of highways, Chinese state media reported.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing reported that at 8 p.m. local time Tuesday air quality had been at hazardous levels for the past 24 hours, meaning that “everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors; people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low,” according to the embassy’s website.
Citizens were fed up with the hazardous air. The latest blanket of smog, which began to cover the eastern China area on Monday, is the fourth to menace the area since the beginning of the year.
Twenty-two primary school children were wounded – several critically – in a knife attack Friday in central China, authorities said.
The attack took place at the entrance to the Chenpeng Village Primary School in Henan province, according to the public information department of Guangshan, the area where the school is located.
China was hit by a spate of knife and cleaver attacks that targeted schoolchildren in 2010.FULL STORY
Japan scrambled fighter jets after a Chinese plane was seen Thursday near small islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by both countries.
This is the first time the dispute over the islands, which Japan calls Senkaku and China refers to as Diaoyu, has involved aircraft.
Chinese government ships have repeatedly entered the waters around the remote, rocky islands since the Japanese government announced in September it was buying several of the islands from private owners.FULL STORY
A Chinese man was sentenced to death Friday for holding six women as sex slaves in an underground lair and ordering the deaths of two of them, state media reported.
A court in Luoyang city convicted Li Hao on charges of murder, rape, organized prostitution, illegal detention and selling pornography, state-run Xinhua said.FULL STORY
A group of Tibetan activists were detained during protests near the Chinese embassy in New Dehli, India on Monday.
The protests followed two Tibetan monks dying after setting themselves on fire on the eve of a Chinese leaders' gathering. CNN has reported on a number self-immolations in the past from Nbaga county by Tibetans protesting Chinese rule.
[Updated 2:38 a.m.] Two Tibetans died after setting themselves on fire yesterday, said the speaker for the Tibetan parliament in exile. One of them was a 15-year-old monk in Ngaba county, where three monks burned themselves. The other is a 23-year-old woman from a separate incident in the Qinghai Province, said Penpa Tsering from Dharamsala, India, citing sources in Tibet.
[Posted 2:20 a.m.] A teenage Tibetan monk died yesterday and 2 were injured after they set themselves on fire in an act of protest on the eve of a key meeting of top Chinese officials, a Tibetan rights group said.
Chinese prosecutors have put disgraced former leader Bo Xilai under investigation for alleged criminal offenses, China's state news agency Xinhua said Friday.FULL STORY
A 14-year-old gave birth Sunday night, and Monday was on her way to becoming a reality TV star.
The teenager is Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. It was her second successful pregnancy with 15-year-old Tian Tian, the zoo's male giant panda, in seven years.
"We are thrilled that Mei Xiang had a successful pregnancy since 2005," said Dennis Kelly, the zoo's director. "I'm cautiously optimistic as we haven't seen the cub yet, but we know that Mei is a good mother. Like everyone else, I’m glued to the panda cam for my first glimpse of the cub!”
Kelly isn't the only one watching the "panda cam" that monitors the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. So many people are trying to get a glimpse of the new cub that the streaming video online is getting jammed. You can try to access the view here or from the zoo's website. MTV and TLC, take notice.
The widening fallout from an increasingly volatile territorial dispute between China and Japan prompted a Japanese company to halt work at plants in China on Monday, and the United States to urge the two sides to avoid letting the situation spiral out of control.
The electronics company Panasonic said Monday that it was suspending operations at three plants in China after two of them were damaged amid violent anti-Japanese protests set off by the clash between Beijing and Tokyo over a group of small islands in the East China Sea.
Japan calls the islands Senkaku; China calls them Diaoyu.
The United States, a key military ally of Japan, has called on the two sides to find a peaceful resolution to the disagreement, which is generating more and more unease in the region and starting to hurt economic links between the world's second and third largest economies.
"It's in everybody's interest for Japan and China to maintain good relations and to find a way to avoid further escalation," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday at a joint new conference in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart, Satoshi Morimoto.FULL STORY
Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.
They say money makes the world go 'round, but what happens when money goes around the world? Readers weighed in on a report about Knight Frank and Citi Private Wealth's 2012 Wealth Report. The "rich list" postulates that Asia will host four out of five of the world's wealthiest economies by 2050. Comments indicate that residents of the fifth-ranked country, the United States, are probably not alone in pondering their place in the world.
We heard from a lot of readers who said they were skeptical about making assumptions about the future. The following commenter says the grass is always greener somewhere else.
CWhatsNew: "OK. My husband and I both studied English very hard, got Ph.Ds, struggled out of China 25 years ago, (pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps), and made successful careers and our American Dream. Before we wake up from the sweetness of (taking pride in) ourselves, our kids need to turn the dream around to study Chinese and go establish a Chinese Dream? Ahyaya! So when we were Chinese, we were behind Americans. When we are Americans, we are behind the Chinese. I guess I can't win."
chromebus: "Your sentiments ... are exactly the same as many American Koreans. South Koreans have a negative term for American Koreans who came to the U.S. after the Korean War for a better life because unbeknownst to anyone, South Korea became a powerhouse and land prices rose like crazy, thereby creating incredible equity for many. It's the American Koreans who, er ... came out poorer. But! Life is also about purpose, eh? Don't feel bad!"
Aki Charles Saito: "Don't worry, most of us will be no longer alive by that time when most of West is in bottom and most of East is up."
The original poster returned to respond to the chain. FULL POST
Monsoonal rainfall and a tropical storm cause major flooding in the Philippines. A third typhoon in five days hits China. Weeks of rains and floods have wreaked havoc on parts of Korea.
The recent uptick in tropical activity brings the Western Pacific tropical cyclone season back up to average after a slow start. But several recent flash-flooding events from higher-than-normal seasonal rainfall in southern Japan, as well as North Korea, have left soils full of moisture and vulnerable to additional flooding if typhoons and tropical storms track their way.
This is a very real threat as the Western Pacific tropical season runs year-round, but has a seasonal peak around September, mirroring the tropical Atlantic. We will likely see more flooding disasters around East Asia over the next couple of months as the tropics heat up and cyclones traverse these hard-hit areas from the Philippines all the way to North Korea.
The increased activity always has people wondering: Is this all a coincidence or is something else going on here?
We always say that global warming or climate change does not explain, or cause, specific weather events or disasters. But one of the consequences of climate change, according to climate scientists, is a higher frequency of extreme rainfall events. A warmer climate results in more moisture in the atmosphere from evaporation, and thus, higher rainfall amounts are possible in storms.
Could this be what we are seeing? Perhaps, especially considering we have not seen an increase in the number of tropical storms or typhoons over the past several years, but the number of intense flooding scenarios seem to be in the rise.
Typhoon Haikui slammed into the east coast of China on Wednesday morning, pummeling the area around the business metropolis of Shanghai with heavy wind and rain.
The storm's winds were at "severe typhoon" strength when it made landfall in the province of Zhejiang, about 225 kilometers (140 miles) south of Shanghai, the China Meteorological Administration said. The winds diminished to typhoon strength as Haikui moved inland.
The storm is the third tropical cyclone to make landfall on China's east coast in the past five days, with Typhoon Damrey and Tropical Storm Saola hitting last Friday. The storm threatens to dump heavy rainfall in excess of 150 milimeters (6 inches) on Shanghai, China's most populated city.
Although the storm's winds are expected to weaken as it moves overland, it will continue to dump large amounts of rain on the surrounding area, raising the risk of landslides and flooding.
"The rain is the bigger impact going forward," said CNNI meteorologist Taylor Ward. "We have already had up to 8 inches in some locations."
Ward said another 6 to 10 inches of rain were expected to fall, with "maybe isolated amounts greater."
Fueled by the seasonal monsoon rains and that nearby typhoon, widespread flooding in the Philippines worsened Tuesday, killing at least 11 people, the national disaster agency reported.
A landslide in the Manila suburb of Quezon City buried two houses, leaving nine people dead and four others injured, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center.Three of the dead were children, the state-run Philippines News Agency reported.
Until this week, badminton probably wasn’t one of the sports that Americans generally linked to cheating and international scandal. More like backyard cookouts and college fitness classes.
Even the college gym types, though, understand there’s an unspoken agreement between participants: Championship or practice, competition or graduation requirement, you will not intentionally lose to a worthy opponent.
Players might balk at this if they’re rewarded for shunning victory. That’s allegedly what was at play this week when four pairs of female badminton players were disqualified from the Olympics, accused of trying to lose their last qualifying-round matches to face easier opponents in the knockout stage.
The players appear to have denied paying spectators of the competitive matches they’d come to see. The London Olympic organizing committee’s chairman, Sebastian Coe, said the incident was depressing and unacceptable.
But it’s not the first time that this has happened in a tournament’s group stage. And it’s not even the only time in these very Games that a team tried not to win.
The coach of Japan women’s Olympic soccer team acknowledged that it intentionally avoided scoring in its third and final group game, a 0-0 draw with winless South Africa on Wednesday, according to The Independent.
Japan would have won its four-team group with a victory. But a draw put it in second, just enough to qualify for the knockout stage.
Japan’s coach says he did it to ensure the team didn’t travel across the United Kingdom. Second place meant it would start the knockout round in Cardiff, Wales, where the squad already was. The winner of Group F, in contrast, will play its first knockout game in Scotland.
“It was important not to move to Glasgow but to stay here and prepare for the next match,” Japanese coach Norio Sasaki said, according to The Independent.
Russia and China vetoed a new U.N. Security Council resolution Thursday that would have imposed new sanctions on the Syrian regime.
Western countries have been pushing for a resolution that threatens sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad if government forces don't stop attacks.
However, Russia has opposed any international effort that would blame, punish or change the leadership of the Syrian government. Russia and China have vetoed two previous draft resolutions in the U.N. Security Council, leading to accusations that Russia is protecting the Syrian regime.
The resolution also calls for renewing the 300-member U.N. observer mission for 45 days after it was suspended because of violence.
Russia has put forward its own draft, which "strongly urges all parties in Syria to cease immediately all armed violence in all its forms."
U.S. President Barack Obama called his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to discuss the Syrian situation, the White House said in a statement Wednesday.
"They noted the differences our governments have had on Syria, but agreed to have their teams continue to work toward a solution," it said.FULL STORY