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South China Sea: calls to honour Hague ruling 5 years on, but Beijing digs in

Five years ago, Beijing blithely dismissed an international tribunal’s landmark ruling that found its sweeping claims in the South China Sea had no legal basis.Liu Zhenmin, China’s then foreign vice-minister, said the decision handed down at The Hague in July 2016 was “just a piece of waste paper” that China would not recognise or enforce. “You may chuck it in the bin, leave it on the shelf or put it in the archives,” he said. “It is null and void, and has no binding force.”Although the United…

China and Pakistan to upgrade security after fatal bus blast ‘test’ of ties

China and Pakistan have pledged to strengthen counterterrorism cooperation and upgrade security measures to better protect Chinese workers and investment in the South Asian country in the wake of what Beijing has called the biggest ever terrorism attack against its citizens overseas.The promises came days after a bus blast in Pakistan killed 13 people including nine Chinese nationals involved in building a hydropower dam at Dasu.“Chinese citizens will not die in vain and the China-Pakistan…

K&K Property’s one-bed flats in Tuen Mun meet with tepid response as Hong Kong buyers await bigger project launches

A sale of new flats in the west of Hong Kong’s New Territories failed to hit the spot with buyers on Sunday, with only half of the 79 small units available being snapped up.But property agents said the modest sales at K&K Property’s project SkyeH!, which has a total of 112 units, were not indicative of the overall state of the city’s real estate market. They said that because all the units in the development are one-bedroom flats, it has mostly attracted younger, cost-conscious first-time…

Nanjing rolls out more tests as China’s latest coronavirus cluster grows

The eastern Chinese city of Nanjing reported two more coronavirus cases on the weekend, taking the total in the country’s latest cluster to 57 as the city wrapped up its first round of mass testing.Yang Dasuo, deputy director of the Nanjing Health Commission, said on Sunday that more than 9.2 million samples were collected in three days of mass testing, and of the 57 cases now in the city, 20 were asymptomatic carriers.Further tests were under way, he said.“To stop the spread of the virus, our…

China sees Pittsburgh as role model for industrial transformation, eyeing hi-tech shift from rust-belt roots

China’s old northeastern rust-belt province of Jilin is looking for a bit of inspiration in the US city of Pittsburgh – the one-time steel capital that gradually transformed into a hub for advanced technology companies.This type of economic transformation forms a key part of President Xi Jinping’s dual-circulation strategy, which aims to cut China’s dependence on overseas markets and technology in its long-term development – a shift brought on by a deepening rift with the US.In a round-table…

Thousands of Hong Kong anime and comics enthusiasts queue for hours in sweltering heat amid delays at annual expo

Thousands of Hongkongers – some of them in costume – were left queuing for hours under the hot sun as they waited to be admitted to an annual anime fair on Sunday, with the organiser blaming the delays on an abrupt reduction in the capacity of the venue due to social-distancing rules.Organisers of the four-day Ani-Com & Games Hong Kong event – which features exhibitions not only of anime, but also comics, cosplay, toys, games and esports – said a last-minute government decision to reduce the…

Thousands of Filipinos forced to flee homes as monsoon rains lash the Philippines

Four people are dead, five are injured and 25,000 have been displaced following heavy monsoon rains and strong winds in the Philippines, officials said on Sunday.Floods and landslides amid days of continuous torrential rains since last week have upturned thousands of lives, the national disaster agency said.A 39-year-old woman died on Friday in the northern city of Baguio when a tree fell and crushed a taxi she was riding in, the agency said. Two people were also injured in the accident.In the…