Remains of former Chinese premier Li Keqiang to be cremated and flags to be lowered
State media report the remains of former Chinese premier Li Keqiang are to be cremated on Thursday, with flags around the country to be flown at half-staff to mourn the official who helped guide the world's second-largest economy for a decade.
China holds major financial conference as leaders maneuver to get slowing economy back on track
China’s leaders are expected to search for ways to mend the country's fractured property market, create jobs for millions of unemployed youths and spur faster growth in a meeting that reportedly began Monday in Beijing.
China's Xi gets chance to tighten hold on economy at meeting
President Xi Jinping, China’s most influential figure in decades, gets a chance to stack the ranks with allies who share his vision of intensifying pervasive control over entrepreneurs and technology development at a meeting of the ruling Communist Party that starts this weekend.
Solomon Islands leader defends new security pact with China
The Solomon Islands prime minister has confirmed that his government has signed a new security agreement with China, but told lawmakers it would not undermine the peace and harmony of the region, as has been feared by the opposition and countries including the United States and Australia.
Chinese leaders promise more economic support after slowdown
Chinese leaders have promised tax cuts and support for entrepreneurs to shore up slumping economic growth as the country grapples with a wave of bankruptcies and defaults among real estate developers caused by a campaign to rein in surging debt.
UK fraud agency probing Liberty Steel's Greensill links
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office says it is investigating suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering within the business empire of Liberty Steel owner Sanjeev Gupta, including its financing arrangements with bankrupt Greensill Capital U.K.
China legislature endorses reducing public vote in Hong Kong
It adds to a crackdown against a protest movement in Hong Kong calling for greater democracy. Hong Kong news reports said earlier the committee will pick one-third of the members of the Legislative Council, or LegCo. AdBeijing wants to see “patriots ruling Hong Kong,” the premier said. “The Hong Kong people will be disenfranchised” under the latest changes, said Emily Lau, a former Hong Kong legislator. ___AP writers Zen Soo in Hong Kong and Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.
EXPLAINER: What's happened so far at China's annual congress
BEIJING – Midway through its annual session, China’s ceremonial parliament is focusing on boosting the economy, building self-reliance in technology and further squeezing room for political opposition in Hong Kong. SETTING AN ACHEIVABLE GROWTH TARGETThe party set a growth target of “over 6%”, as the world’s second-largest economy shrugs off the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. AdBEEFING UP THE MILITARYThe government announced a 6.8% rise in military spending to 1.4 trillion yuan ($217 billion), continuing a tradition of roughly tracking the economic growth target. WHAT'S NEXTThe annual session, which has been reduced from two weeks to one because of the pandemic, finishes on Thursday. Li will give the premier's annual news conference after the congress closes.
Chinese exports surge as global demand recovers from virus
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)BEIJING – China’s exports surged 60.6% over a year earlier in the first two months of 2021, after factories reopened and global demand started to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. AdForecasters say the Chinese export surge should decelerate as demand for masks and other medical supplies eases and overseas competitors return to global markets. Then, global exports tumbled 17.2% in 2020's first two months from the previous year. This year, China’s global trade surplus for January and February was $103.3 billion, compared with a $7.1 billion deficit in the same period last year. China’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed by 17.7% from the same time last year to $20.9 billion.
China sets moderate new energy goals for climate change
(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)BEIJING – China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, announced generally moderate new energy and climate targets on Friday that give little sign that it will step up its pace in combatting climate change. The 18% target is the same as in the previous five-year economic plan. The country uses carbon emissions per unit of economic output, or carbon intensity, instead of absolute emission reduction targets. Government planners offered a few more specifics in a summary of the new five-year plan. It sets a target for non-fossil energy to account for 20% of total energy consumption by 2025, which will require further investment in solar and wind energy.
Tech rebound pulls stocks out of a slump and to weekly gain
The S&P 500 gained 2% after clawing back from a 1% skid that followed a 1% surge at the start of trading. "The bad thing being higher interest rates and the good being an improvement in the economy.”The S&P 500 rose 73.47 points to 3,841.94. That may have helped ease some bond investors inflation worries, at least for now. By Friday afternoon, the vast majority of stocks in the S&P 500 had rebounded. Five Big Tech stocks alone make up more than 21% of the S&P 500 by market value, so weakness for tech can hold back S&P 500 index funds even if many stocks within it are rising.
China boosts defense spending by 6.8% amid debt, pandemic
China is increasing its defense spending by 6.8% in 2021 as it works to maintain a robust upgrading of the armed forces despite high government debt and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING – China is increasing its defense spending by 6.8% in 2021 as it works to maintain a robust upgrading of the armed forces despite high government debt and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. A national budget report issued Friday said China would spend 1.355 trillion yuan ($210 billion) on defense in the coming year. AdThe government says most of the spending increases go toward improving pay and other conditions for troops while observers say the budget omits much of China’s spending on weaponry, most of it developed domestically. The People's Liberation Army exercises a strong political role as the military branch of the ruling Communist Party.
China sets growth target 'over 6%,' tightening HK control
2 leader set a healthy economic growth target Friday and vowed to make the nation self-reliant in technology amid tension with the U.S. and Europe over trade and human rights. Another official announced plans to tighten control over Hong Kong by reducing the public's role in government. But he avoided aggressive targets that might weigh on economic growth. ___AP writers Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, and Zen Soo in Hong Kong contributed to this report. Ad___This story corrects the current size of the Hong Kong legislature to 70 members, not 35.
The Latest: Tennessee won't mandate vaccines in its schools
(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s governor says that once coronavirus vaccines become available, they will be optional in the state’s K-12 public schools. It’s just going nowhere,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s state health officer, said Monday during a meeting with members of the Mississippi Senate. State health officials said fatality updates on Tuesday are typically higher because of lag in reporting from the weekends. That includes more than 1,000 on intensive care units and more than 570 on ventilators, according to state Health Department data. —-MADRID — Spain is reporting a new daily record of 537 coronavirus deaths since the resurgence of the pandemic.
Trump skips Southeast Asia summit for third year in a row
U.S. President Donald Trump skipped a virtual summit with his Southeast Asian counterparts on Saturday, the third year in a row that the U.S. is being represented at a lower level. (VNA via AP)HANOI – President Donald Trump skipped a summit with his Southeast Asian counterparts for the third year in a row on Saturday, with rival China set to expand its influence with a massive free trade deal in the region. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said Trump regretted he was unable to attend the online summit with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but stressed the importance of ties with the region. Trump attended the ASEAN summit in 2017, but sent only representatives during the last two meetings. At the separate summit later Saturday, China, Japan and South Korea sought deeper regional cooperation to battle the pandemic.
Asia Today: 39 new cases in S. Korea; China defends record
(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)SEOUL SEOUL, South Korea (AP) South Korea on Friday reported 39 new cases of the coronavirus as infections continued to spike after rigid social distancing rules were relaxed. The additional figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took the countrys total to 11,668 with 273 deaths. In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: FIVE NEW CASES IN CHINA: China on Friday reported five new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought by Chinese citizens from outside the country. China has reported 4,634 deaths among 83,027 cases since the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan late last year. Despite criticism of its initial handling of the outbreak and allegations it withheld crucial information, China has repeatedly defended its record.
Trump strikes China over virus, Hong Kong and student visas
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Washington. He noted that the U.S. contributes about $450 million to the world body while China provides about $40 million. Tensions over Hong Kong have increased over the past year as China has cracked down on protesters a nd sought to exert more control over the former British territory. Trump said the administration would begin eliminating the full range of agreements that had given Hong Kong a relationship with the U.S. that mainland China lacked, including exemptions from controls on certain exports. Still, the country has insisted that its control of Hong Kong is an internal matter, and it has disputed that it mishandled the response to the virus.