Taiwan president rues lack of progress with China

  • 27 July 2015
  • From the section China

The president of Taiwan has said that political progress in mainland China is unstable. Speaking in a rare interview with the BBC, Ma Ying-jeou said he was disappointed that despite improvements in the economic relationship during his two terms as president, there had been no meeting between himself and President Xi Jinping of China.

"Mainland China is only 100 nautical miles away from the Republic of China (Taiwan). Therefore it's a big risk and a big opportunity for us. Any leader here has to learn how to minimise the risks and maximise the opportunity. That's what I've been doing for the past seven years," he said.

The Chinese government claims the island of Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory and threatens to counter any move to outright independence by military force.

The first time I visited Taiwan in the early 1990s, there were no direct flights from Beijing. Along with everyone else, I had to make a long-distance dog-leg via Hong Kong.

In those days, Beijing was still a low-rise city of coal dust, brick alleys and bicycles. Taipei felt glossy and high-rise by comparison. How things have changed. There are now more than a hundred flights every day across the Taiwan Strait, Beijing is a city of glass and concrete canyons, and China bestrides the global economy.

Psychological distance

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Public disturbances in the spotlight in China

  • 24 July 2015
  • From the section China
Men dressed in Spartan-style costumes walk through a commercial plaza in Beijing on 22 July 2015
This publicity stunt sure got a lot of attention - but the authorities moved quickly to stop it

All kinds of people have been "disturbing public order" this week in China. It almost, but not quite, makes you feel sorry for Big Brother.

Could China's security forces ever have predicted the "Spartans", a sales force of 100 half-naked foreign male models with ripped torsos and leather hotpants marching through the streets of Beijing?

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Chinese police tight-lipped about 'Ordos ordeal'

  • 18 July 2015
  • From the section China

The last of 20 foreign tourists arrested in Ordos, Inner Mongolia are to be deported from China.

The group, which included nine Britons, were detained on 10 July during a tour of ancient China and accused of watching banned terrorist videos.

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China struggles to contain the environmental damage of its rapid growth

  • 16 July 2015
  • From the section China

At a conference in Ethiopia this week, the world is discussing the funding for a new set of international goals on sustainable development. Any global attempt to push for sustainability will need the world's biggest country on board. China represents a fifth of the world's population, and after more than three decades of high speed growth it is grappling with the challenge of cleaning up environmental damage and creating a more sustainable future. China Editor Carrie Gracie visited Hunan Province in central China to assess the progress of the cleanup there.

Water should be a life giver. But in the fields of Zhubugang it is a silent killer.

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Rule of law in China, a country which locks up its lawyers

  • 13 July 2015
  • From the section China
The Chinese Supreme People's Court building in Beijing 30 March 2006.
Last year saw reforms designed to make courts less corrupt and less embedded in local politics

Dozens of Chinese lawyers have been detained or interrogated over recent days in what seems to be a co-ordinated roundup.

The crackdown has targeted those who take on cases involving free speech, human rights and abuses of power, presenting many of them as motivated by greed and a reckless disregard for social order.

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Investigator Peter Humphrey warns over GSK China ordeal

  • 10 July 2015
  • From the section China

It's exactly two years since the door of Peter Humphrey's Shanghai bedroom was kicked in by police and he disappeared into a prison nightmare which ended only three weeks ago with his deportation from China.

In an exclusive interview with the BBC, the British corporate investigator who became embroiled in GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) China corruption scandal tells me his story is "a cautionary tale which many people can learn from".

Read full article Investigator Peter Humphrey warns over GSK China ordeal

South China Sea: David v Goliath as dispute goes to court

  • 6 July 2015
  • From the section China
Activists hold a rally
Activists in Manila have voiced their anger at China's actions

It's a David and Goliath struggle at a United Nations tribunal in The Hague on Tuesday. Or it would be if Goliath had turned up.

In 2010, China's then foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, told uneasy neighbours: "China is a big country, other countries are small countries, and that's just a fact."

Read full article South China Sea: David v Goliath as dispute goes to court

Panic, invincibility and blame in China's stock market

  • 6 July 2015
  • From the section China
shanghai stock exchange
China's latest emergency measures to calm its stock markets follow a slew of others over the course of the past week

Mainland shares have seen several days of erratic trade in recent weeks - despite moves by the Chinese securities regulator to calm markets.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite surged as much as 8% on Monday morning following a weekend of emergency meetings and more attempts to correct the volatility. It finished the trading day up 2.4%.

Read full article Panic, invincibility and blame in China's stock market

China Week: Security in a fast food nation

  • 3 July 2015
  • From the section China
Chinese police maintain security as passengers arrive at the railway station in Urumqi, China's far-west Xinjiang region on 10 July, 2009
China continues to place increasing importance on security measures

From government regulation to waistlines, there's been plenty of expansion in China this week.

But also one significant shrinkage blamed on "reckless" humans.

The definition of national security

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China watches Greece with dismay, patience and cunning

  • 30 June 2015
  • From the section China
China's Prime minister Li Keqiang gives a joint press conference with European Commission President and European Council President after the 17th bilateral EU-China summit at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels on June 29, 2015.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will be in France for an official visit starting Tuesday

Last year he visited Athens, this year Brussels. The European Union is China's largest trading partner and Premier Li Keqiang comes twice a year.

On this occasion, he started in Brussels with the annual China-EU summit with official visits to Belgium and France tacked on.

Read full article China watches Greece with dismay, patience and cunning