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China Has an Innocent Explanation for Its Balloon
China Has
an Innocent
for Its Balloon
the rundown

China Has an Innocent Explanation for Its Balloon

Beijing says it's merely a weather balloon, but Blinken postpones his trip to China

(Newser) - It's a not a spy balloon, China insists. Instead, the suspicious object spotted floating over Montana is merely a weather balloon that got blown off course, according to China's foreign ministry. Not surprisingly, the explanation isn't making the controversy go away. On Friday, Secretary of State Antony...

China: Let's Stay Calm About This Alleged Spy Balloon

It still hasn't confirmed the United States' allegations of the orb floating over Montana

(Newser) - The giant white object spotted drifting over Montana earlier this week is a spy balloon sent by China, at least according to the United States government. China, however, is urging everyone to take a deep breath and not pass judgment "before we have a clear understanding of the facts....

US Just Made a Move to Counter China

US forces get access to 4 more sites in the Philippines

(Newser) - The US has struck a military deal with the Philippines in what the New York Times and the Washington Post see as a clear move to counter China's might in the region. Defense chief Lloyd Austin and Philippines leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced Thursday that US forces will have...

With an Eye on China, US Opens Embassy

Solomon Islands post had been shut down in 1993

(Newser) - The US opened an embassy in the Solomon Islands on Thursday in its latest move to counter China's push into the Pacific. The embassy is starting small, with a chargé d'affaires, a couple of State Department staff members and a handful of local employees. The US previously operated...

She Cooked and Ate a Great White. Now, a Hefty Fine

Chinese food blogger to fork over $18.5K after noshing on protected species, showing it online

(Newser) - In November, a Thai woman attracted the attention of authorities after eating a bat on camera . Now, a neighbor to her north with a similarly adventurous palate is facing down a hefty fine after a social media video showed her chowing down on a great white, reports CBS News . A...

Despite Export Ban, Top Chinese Nuke Lab Uses US Chips

It's 'insanely difficult to enforce' restrictions on sales overseas, former trade official says

(Newser) - The China Academy of Engineering Physics, the country's top nuclear weapons research and development facility, was one of the first institutions put on a US export blacklist in 1997—but it doesn't seem to have had much trouble acquiring restricted items. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis...

Deadly Cold Rushes Over Asia
Freezing Temps
Wreak Havoc in Asia

Freezing Temps Wreak Havoc in Asia

Parts of Japan could see coldest weather in a decade; more than 100 are dead in Afghanistan

(Newser) - Snow, wind, and freezing temperatures are wreaking havoc across Asia, and in some places it's turned deadly. Earlier this week, more than 120 people died in Afghanistan from the cold, while in China's northernmost city of Mohe, known as "China's North Pole," record lows of...

26 Years Ago, She Stole $600K and Fled. Now, an Arrest

Ex-bank teller who got plastic surgery before going on the run is captured in China

(Newser) - Even plastic surgery to help hide her identity couldn't keep persistent authorities from finally tracking down a bank teller who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from her employer more than 25 years ago. Vice reports on the story out of China, which starts in 1997 in Yueqing. At...

China Sees a Startling Demographic Milestone

Population shrinks for the first time in 60 years as young people balk at having children

(Newser) - Abandoning its one-child policy and offering incentives for couples to have children wasn't enough to prevent China's population from shrinking, as it has now done for the first time in 60 years. The government said Tuesday that 10.41 million people died in 2022, while just 9.56...

China Sees 60K Deaths Linked to COVID Since Last Month

Beijing official suggests the worst is over

(Newser) - China on Saturday reported nearly 60,000 deaths in people who had COVID-19 since early December, when the nation abruptly lifted its strict pandemic restrictions. Those numbers may still underestimate the toll, though the government said the “emergency peak" of its latest surge appears to have passed, per the...

Tight-Lipped China Offers Its COVID Death Numbers

Claims 60K COVID-tied deaths since early December, insists 'emergency peak' is over

(Newser) - China on Saturday reported nearly 60,000 deaths in people who had COVID-19 since early December, following complaints it was failing to release data, and said the "emergency peak" of its latest surge appears to have passed. The toll included 5,503 deaths directly due to respiratory failure caused...

Discovery May Ease Reliance on China for Rare Earth Materials

It will be a while before mining can begin in northern Sweden

(Newser) - The beginning of the end of Europe's dependency on China for precious rare earth materials may lie buried deep under the rugged reaches of northern Sweden, well above the Arctic Circle. Sweden's iron-ore miner LKAB said Thursday it has identified "significant deposits" in Lapland of rare earth...

China Apparently Retaliates Against South Korea

It has suspended visas for South Koreans

(Newser) - China suspended visas Tuesday for South Koreans to come to the country for tourism or business in apparent retaliation for COVID-19 testing requirements on Chinese travelers, the AP reports. A brief notice posted online by the Chinese Embassy in Seoul said the ban would apply until South Korea lifted its...

Analysis: Chinese Invasion of Taiwan Unlikely to Succeed

But Taiwan can't win on its own, and the cost for the US would be high

(Newser) - It's possible to prevent China from conquering Taiwan, but only with the direct involvement of US forces and at a high cost for everyone involved. Per CNN , that’s the main takeaway from recent war games conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The prominent DC-based think...

Jack Ma Gives Up Control of Ant Group

Billionaire's voting rights in fintech giant to fall to 6.2%

(Newser) - Ant Group announced Saturday that Jack Ma will no longer be in control of the Chinese fintech giant. The billionaire has no executive job or board seat at Ant but has continued to control the company through other entities. Ant Group is moving to cut its reliance on Ma, the...

WHO Says China Isn't Sharing Enough COVID Data

Official count doesn't reflect explosion in cases

(Newser) - As COVID-19 rips through China, other countries and the World Health Organization are calling on its government to share more comprehensive data on the outbreak. Some even say many of the numbers it's reporting are meaningless, the AP reports. Of greatest concern is whether new variants will emerge from...

'Badly Wounded' Xi Delivers New Year Message

He defends abrupt change in COVID policy

(Newser) - In the weeks after China abruptly dropped its "zero-COVID" restrictions, Xi Jinping didn't publicly comment on the pandemic as a wave of infections swept the country, but he acknowledged in his New Year's Eve speech that the last three years had taken a heavy toll. "It...

There's a Space Race On, and China Could Win It

'We better watch out,' says NASA Administrator Bill Nelson

(Newser) - "It is a fact: We're in a space race," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told Politico in a recent interview. And it's not just about politics and bragging rights—there are both national security and practical implications, according to many US officials. "We better watch out...

US Says Chinese Intercept Could Have Caused Collision

Fighter jet flew dangerously close to US plane over South China Sea, military says

(Newser) - The US military says a Chinese fighter jet flew dangerously close to an Air Force plane over the South China Sea, forcing the American pilot to maneuver to avoid a collision. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement Thursday that the incident occurred Dec. 21 when the Chinese People's...

US Says Travelers From China Need to Show Negative COVID Test

Officials cite lack of transparency from Beijing on spread of COVID

(Newser) - This story has been updated with new developments. As China prepares to drop most COVID restrictions for incoming travelers, the US is bringing in new restrictions for travelers from China. Officials announced Wednesday that starting Jan. 5, all air passengers from China, Hong Kong, and Macao will be required to...

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