China and the Church: The 'outlaw' do-it-yourself bishop

  • 2 December 2016
  • From the section China
Dong Guanhua.
Image caption Dong Guanhua is one of many religious leaders unrecognised by Church or state

Dong Guanhua is a thorn in the side of both the Vatican and the Chinese state. Without the Pope's permission, or Beijing's, this 58-year-old labourer from a village in northern China calls himself a bishop.

China and the Vatican are believed to be close to a historic agreement governing the selection of bishops for 10 million Chinese Roman Catholics.

Such an agreement would be the first sign of rapprochement between a mighty state and a proud Church since the Communist Revolution of 1949.

Media captionFather Dong Guanhua has been kicked out of the Chinese Catholic church for calling himself a bishop

The last thing either side wants at this delicate moment is a do-it-yourself bishop like Dong Guanhua getting in the way.

There are about 100 Catholic bishops in China. It's a muddled and troubled picture with some approved by Beijing, some approved by the Vatican and, informally, many now approved by both.

Outlaw

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US leaving TPP: A great news day for China

  • 22 November 2016
  • From the section China
A woman wears a cap with a China message that is reminiscent of the campaign slogan of US President-elect Donald Trump "Make America Great Again," at a bar in Beijing, China, 09 November 2016. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Trump's move is likely to work out well for Beijing

The Chinese government will rejoice to hear Donald Trump promise that the US will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on his first day in the White House.

For years, Beijing has listened to the Obama administration say the 12-nation regional trade deal was a way of bolstering American leadership in Asia.

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US election 2016: China eyes chance to weaken US power

  • 10 November 2016
  • From the section China
Media captionSome Chinese views of Donald Trump

He may have won at home, but on the level where great nations contend, President-elect Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" now goes head to head with China's favourite catchphrases, the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the China dream.

At precisely the moment Mr Trump was giving his victory speech, Chinese TV channels were running extensive coverage of a space mission and President Xi even chose US results day to talk to China's astronauts by satellite link.

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China blocks Hong Kong lawmakers in a reminder of who is in charge

  • 7 November 2016
  • From the section China
A Chinese national flag and a Hong Kong flag fly outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Beijing has told Hong Kong it cannot use the legislature to campaign for ideas offensive to China

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" is an 18th Century trumpet call for free speech, one often repeated by parliamentarians around the world… but never in China.

The message from Beijing to its unruly territory 2,000km (1,350 miles) south is, by contrast, "we disapprove of what you say and we hereby decree that you have no right to say it".

Read full article China blocks Hong Kong lawmakers in a reminder of who is in charge

Ugly US election race a poor ad for democracy in China

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton debates with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third US presidential debate on 19 October 2016. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Chinese Communist Party is closely watching the US election campaign

"It's the most entertaining campaign ever and the essence of American politics is entertainment."

The view of one 19-year-old Chinese student watching the US presidential race from Beijing.

Read full article Ugly US election race a poor ad for democracy in China

Duterte in China: Philippine leader turns conciliator-in-chief?

  • 18 October 2016
  • From the section Asia
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is having his pictures taken with three girls as they attend a ceremony Image copyright Reuters
Image caption President Rodrigo Duterte (centre) has spoken of a turning point in relations with China

What has happened to the swashbuckling presidential candidate who six months ago said he would personally retake the Spratly Islands from China, riding out to sea on a jet ski to plant the Philippine flag on a disputed shoal? And what has happened to the foulmouthed commander-in-chief of a key US ally who only last month casually called his American counterpart a "son of a whore"?

Ahead of this week's state visit to China, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has washed out his mouth and prepared a new set of lines. He has talked of a key turning point in relations with China, promised to speak softly and praised China's "good, sound policies, internal and external".

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Hangzhou G20: China's ambitions for global leadership

  • 2 September 2016
  • From the section China
The entrance to a conference centre, where the G20 summit will be held, is pictured before the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China 31 August 2016. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption No effort has been spared in organising the G20 Summit in Hangzhou

China mobilises for a big event like nowhere else.

Hangzhou on the eve of the G20 is a certain kind of awesome. A city rebuilt.

Read full article Hangzhou G20: China's ambitions for global leadership

Frustration and fear in divided Hong Kong

  • 29 August 2016
  • From the section China
Edward Leung on the streets of Hong Kong

Two years after taking part in the famous Umbrella Movement, 25-year-old Edward Leung is back on the streets of Hong Kong with a blunt assessment of political progress.

"I was a peaceful protester. But what have we achieved? Nothing."

Read full article Frustration and fear in divided Hong Kong

The politics of toad kings and fairy tales in China

  • 19 August 2016
  • From the section China
Jiang Zemin Matryshyoka dolls Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption China's leaders: From Sun Yat-sen to Jiang Zemin

Old politicians never die in China.

They may "retire" but in the godfather realm of China's Communist Party elite, some never give up influence. And in a political culture which allows the public no direct criticism of those in power, expressing nostalgia for the past is the safest way of attacking the present. So dead or alive, these political ghosts can haunt their successors and present a potent threat.

Read full article The politics of toad kings and fairy tales in China

Rio 2016: Does the Chinese public have a victim narrative?

  • 12 August 2016
  • From the section China
China's team celebrate their silver medal on the podium after the womens team epee fencing event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption According to one poll, more than 80% of the Chinese public think Rio's judges have a sinister bias against China

One week into the Olympic Games and Chinese patriots have a lot of complaints.

A brief shortlist might start with judges biased against Chinese athletes. In all Rio venues, the points of the gold stars on the Chinese national flag were misaligned.

Read full article Rio 2016: Does the Chinese public have a victim narrative?