Under Biden, China faces renewed trade pressure
Under Biden, China faces renewed trade pressure
The Mars rover Perseverance has successfully conducted its first test drive on the Red Planet, the US space agency NASA said Friday.
With Merrick Garland poised to be confirmed as attorney general as early as next week, one of the first major questions he is likely to encounter is what to do about Rudy Giuliani. A federal probe into the overseas and business dealings of the former New York City mayor and close ally of former President Donald Trump stalled last year over a dispute over investigative tactics as Trump unsuccessfully sought reelection and amid Giuliani’s prominent role in subsequently disputing the results of the contest on Trump’s behalf. The arrival of a new leadership team in Washington is likely to guarantee a fresh look at the investigation.
Other methods that can also reduce risk of transmission must instead be used, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung.
The remains of a woman who went missing in the devastating 2011 Japan tsunami have been found and identified, police said Friday, days before the 10th anniversary of the disaster.
Santhara entered New Zealand while the country’s citizens were having trouble getting home. This article, How did Malaysian MP Edmund Santhara get into New Zealand? NZ’s COVID-19 rep wants to know, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
Myanmar's newly-appointed ambassador to the United Nations has resigned, saying that his predecessor -- who was fired by the military junta -- continues to represent the country, a UN spokesman said Thursday, the latest twist in a diplomatic row.
A Canadian prosecutor on Thursday urged lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to "leave the politics to the politicians," after they cited statements by former US president Donald Trump in fighting her extradition to the United States.
A Singapore permanent resident who allegedly met his wife while serving his Stay-Home Notice, and spent hours in the car with her, was charged in the State Courts.
A number of people have begun escaping the turmoil in Myanmar into India, some of them police refusing to take part in the violent crackdown on protests against a military coup there, officials and reports said.
China’s Mars orbiter has beamed back high-resolution images, revealing geographic features of the red planet in detail. The photos taken by Tianwen-1 come a week after the United States released a panorama of the Martian surface snapped by the rover Perseverance. They also come as China prepares to unveil a new five-year plan centred on science and hi-tech innovation, with aerospace technology expected to be a priority programme.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Chinese mission spokesman Liu Tongjie told state television that two of the orbiter’s images were snapped at an altitude of about 330km (205 miles) and had a resolution down to 70cm (27 inches), revealing fine details of the Martian landscape. “These two pictures clearly show craters, mountain ridges and dunes,” said Liu, from the China National Space Administration. “One image shows a crater with a diameter of about 620 metres and clearly displays the lines at the bottom of the crater.” A colour photo was taken of the northern polar region at an altitude of 5,000km. Li Chunlai, a deputy chief designer of the Mars mission, told state television the observations would help scientists understand and monitor how sandstorms formed on the planet. China, the United States and the United Arab Emirates each launched Mars missions in July last year and all three arrived successfully last month. Tianwen-1 entered its parking orbit on February 24 and has started doing scientific surveys using cameras and a spectrometer. The landing module and rover will begin their descent in May or June, according to state media. The Chinese rover, which is yet to be named, is expected to operate for 90 days after touchdown. Perseverance, which landed at the Jezero Crater on February 18, has since sent images on the ground back to Nasa. Last week, Nasa released a 360-degree panorama from the rover created by stitching together 142 individual images taken by its Mastcam-Z camera system. Nasa is expected to provide updates on Perseverance on Friday. Meanwhile, the China Manned Space Engineering Office said on Thursday that it would launch several missions this year to build China’s space station, which is expected to be completed around 2022 and include an on-board laboratory. The office said the core module of the space station and its carrier Long March 5B (Y2) heavy-lift rocket were scheduled to launch in the first half of this year from Wenchang, Hainan province, according to military and state media. There would be four manned space station construction missions and all mission crew members were undergoing training. It said China was committed to making the space station an open platform for international science and technological exchange. A first batch of experiments to be conducted at the station had already been shortlisted jointly with the United Nations.More from South China Morning Post:China space programme: Tianwen-1 enters Mars’ parking orbit ahead of touchdown in MayNasa set to land Perseverance rover and helicopter on MarsFirst photo of Mars from UAE’s ‘Hope’ space probeThis article China’s Tianwen-1 zooms in on Mars surface on cusp of new tech era first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Philippine authorities have seized illegally harvested giant clam shells worth $3.3 million as smugglers turn to the endangered creatures as a substitute for the illicit ivory trade.
Families visiting cemeteries and columbaria in Singapore during the Qing Ming period will have to limit their group size to not more than eight.
As of 4 March, more than 350,000 Singapore residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dozens of Hong Kong dissidents charged with subversion were sent to jail on Thursday at the end of a marathon bail hearing that reignited international alarm over China's crackdown on dissent in the finance hub.
Some of China’s biggest and most affluent cities have introduced new administrative measures to stem runaway home prices, after a top banking regulator flagged concerns about a bubble in the domestic real estate market. Local authorities in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen imposed new market curbs on Wednesday, including a ban on flipping homes for a quick profit and more stringent qualification criteria for first-time buyers, according to notices published on their websites. The new measures added to steps over the past few months since authorities in August issued so-called three red lines on corporate leverage in the industry The move came a day after Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said he was concerned about the bubble in domestic real-estate prices, which could threaten China’s financial sector and economic stability.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. “Many people buy homes not to live in, but to invest or speculate,” he said, likening the property market leverage to a “grey rhino” risk to the broader economy. “This is very dangerous.” Shanghai, the country’s commercial and financial hub, banned homeowners from reselling their new homes within five years, its housing watchdog said late on Wednesday. There were no restrictions on flipping them previously. Hangzhou, the capital of eastern Zhejiang province and home to some of the nation’s largest fintech groups, on the same day tightened rules on foreclosed homes. It stipulated that buyers must first be qualified to buy a residential home, before they are allowed to transact in such properties. In the past, buyers who have exhausted their quotas have turned to those homes foreclosed by lenders to skirt ownership restrictions, analysts said. In Shenzhen, new residential projects in the city dubbed China’s Silicon Valley have begun to adopt a points based scoring system to prioritise deserving first-time buyers and push back those already with existing homes. Among others, a person without home ownership or transaction record for more than 10 years in the city will be awarded 40 points, and those without a home but with past transaction history would receive 20 points. People with higher scores would be ahead in the queue for quota. “It is a very clear signal that a battle to curb runaway home prices in major cities has started on a national scale,” said Yan Yuejin, director of the Shanghai-based real estate think tank E-house China R&D Institute. “The government, from the top to local authorities, has been very determined,” he added. Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou’s economies were worth a combined 8.24 trillion yuan (US$1.3 trillion), accounting for about 8 per cent of national gross domestic product in 2020, according to government statistics. The three cities recorded home-price appreciation above the national average in 2020, according to a CBRE survey. Guo of the CBIRC is not the only official to galvanise the latest drive to rein in market excesses. Deputy housing minister Ni Hong also emphasised the matter during a visit to Hangzhou and Wuxi, also in eastern Jiangsu province. “The central government has highlighted solving home affordability issues in major cities as one of the major tasks,” Ni said, reiterating the state mantra that “homes are for living in, not for speculation”.More from South China Morning Post:Bad news for Shenzhen housing speculators as officials steer home prices below market levelsBeijing bank regulator orders crackdown on illegal property loansChina warns ‘side effects’ of US economic stimulus risk causing sharp market correctionChina’s tightening measures aimed at rooting out housing speculators end up hurting genuine buyersFour of China’s costliest cities scramble to knock a real estate bull run off its pace amid fear of risk and bubbling debtThis article Shanghai, Shenzhen lead China’s biggest cities in latest clampdown on housing market speculation after bubble warning first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Thousands of minors without papers are arriving at the US border with Mexico, presenting President Joe Biden with a potentially major crisis in one of America's most politically sensitive regions.
Britain’s vaccines minister on Friday dismissed suggestions that the country was getting key COVID-19 jabs intended for poorer countries, insisting that 10 million doses coming from India were always intended for distribution in the U.K. Nadhim Zahawi, in an interview with The Associated Press, confirmed reports that the Serum Institute of India, one of the world’s largest vaccine makers, would be sending doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca to the U.K.
The last man facing a non-capital charge in the fatal 2019 Orchard Towers brawl was jailed four years and nine months and given 12 strokes of the cane
The moment Maram al-Amawi gets back from school, she slips on the 3D-printed mask that covers her face and treats her severe burns from a blaze at a Gaza bakery.
Hong Kong’s financial chief has hit out at a Washington-based think tank for removing the city from an annual league table ranking the world’s freest economies, saying the decision was “clouded by political bias”. The city drops off the Heritage Foundation list published on Thursday, a year after losing the No 1 position it held for decades to Singapore. Hong Kong and Macau were quietly removed from appearing under their own names and instead listed with China. The compilers said classifying the economy under China was a reflection of Beijing’s “ultimate control” over the city.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Hong Kong no longer ranked world’s freest economy Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said the move was unjustified during the latest webinar in the Redefining Hong Kong series organised by the South China Morning Post. “I do not agree that our economic policy has been taken over by the central government,” he said. “It seems to me when they arrived at that decision, it must have been clouded by their ideological inclination and political bias.” He insisted the city still enjoyed its economic competitiveness with the free flow of capital continuing under “one country, two systems”, the governing principle for Hong Kong. The rule of law is respected in the city, Chan added. Earlier, the conservative think tank wrote: “The index this year measures economic freedom only in independent countries where governments exercise sovereign control of economic policies.” It went on to say that while Hong Kong and Macau residents benefited from policies offering greater economic freedom than in mainland China, “developments in recent years have demonstrated unambiguously that those policies are ultimately controlled from Beijing”. The foundation, which is nearly 50 years old, is an influential right-wing think tank, which had strong ties to the Trump Administration. It takes a conservative position on issues such as abortion and LGBT rights, but promotes free market economics and deregulation. On its website, the organisation says its mission is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense”. When Hong Kong last topped the index in 2019, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor met with the Founder of the foundation Dr Edwin Feulner at the Government House, where she received a copy of the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom. Lam expressed “her gratitude to the Heritage Foundation for affirming Hong Kong’s commitment in upholding the free market principles over the years,” according to a government press release in 2019. Two years later, the city was removed from the list by the foundation. Hong Kong repeatedly led the list before it was toppled in 2020 by Singapore for the first time in 25 years, as the financial hub grappled with months of anti-government demonstrations in 2019. In response, Beijing imposed a national security law on the city, which prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. China comes 107th place in the list, after Uganda, and sits among economies rated as “mostly unfree”. Hong Kong’s index score for this year is described as “not available”. Singapore took the top spot for the second year in a row with a score of 89.7. Rounding off the top five were New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland and Ireland. Researchers examined 184 economies across 12 areas: property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness, government spending, tax burden, fiscal health, freedom in business and labour, as well as monetary policy, trade, investment and financial freedom.More from South China Morning Post:Hong Kong is not independent like Singapore and those who challenge Beijing’s authority are separatists, says CY LeungSenior state official Xia Baolong joins Shenzhen seminar to hear views on Hong Kong electoral reforms as part of push for ‘patriots governing city’This article Hong Kong minister blasts city’s disappearance from ‘world’s freest economies’ rankings, as compilers list the financial hub under China for first time first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.