China’s ‘Spidermen’: Litter-picking over the abyss
10 December 2020 | 2:47 pm
Dangling 400 metres (1,300 feet) over a void, suspended only by a cord, Yang Feiyue is not your average litter-picker. The 48-year-old's job is to abseil down cliffs on central China's Tianmen mountain -- an area famed for its natural beauty but plagued by plastic and other waste.
Although the virtual meeting between the US and Chinese leaders did not lead to any big breakthroughs, both sides expressed willingness to cooperate on "guardrails" to prevent competition from turning into catastrophe.
"Spiritual opium" is how the Chinese brand video games. After a tightening of the noose around the industry and rules at the start of the school year that limit screen time for teens to three hours a week, Fortnite has announced that it is folding. Three years on and one billion dollars spent, the popular survival game never got regulatory approval, despite the financial backing of Chinese tech giant Tencent. So what is the matter with Fortnite?
Two Philippine boats carrying food supplies for soldiers to the disputed Second Thomas shoal were blocked by the Chinese coast guard, who allegedly fired water cannons on them. No injuries were reported in the incident.
China said it took the punitive step after self-ruled Taiwan opened a de facto embassy in Lithuania.
Chinese officials ordered some of the country's biggest companies — including Alibaba, Tencent and Baiidu — to pay fines for failing to report corporate acquisitions over the past eight years.
President Joe Biden has invited 109 countries to the virtual summit which will take place on December 9 and 10. China said adding Taiwan to the guest list was a "mistake."
China's post-COVID recovery has been hurt by Beijing's crackdown on real estate and tech giants. Strong exports have, until now, saved the economy but what happens when global demand for Chinese goods slows?
East Africa has been ramping up efforts to expose its citizens to Chinese culture - particularly through language. In Kenya Mandarin is offered as a selective language in the national curriculum, while in Uganda it’s now a compulsory subject in some schools. But is this simply an exchange of cultures, or is there more to it?
Chinese real estate giant Evergrande, saddled with around $300 billion in debt, has been struggling to meet interest payments on its loans. If it collapses, some of its partner firms could be driven to bankruptcy, prospective homebuyers could lose deposits and some banks would lend less money, which would lead to a credit crunch in the world's second-biggest economy. Property developers in China have in fact created an oversupply: there is enough empty property in the country to house more than 90 million people. FRANCE 24's team reports.
The EU Commission on Wednesday (1 December) unveiled its plan to invest €300bn by 2027 in global infrastructure in digital and climate projects - as an alternative to China's Belt and Road initiative.
The governing body of women's tennis took the decision after Peng made an allegation of sexual abuse against a Chinese official. WTA chairman Steve Simon said he worried about player safety at tournaments in China.
Since September, the name Evergrande has caused panic on stock exchanges around the world. Paralysed by $300 billion in debt (€260 billion), or the equivalent of 2 percent of Chinese GDP, the country's second-largest real estate developer is now threatening Chinese growth. Evergrande has more than 1,300 construction projects across China, as well as financial products, electric cars, livestock, bottled water and even a football club.
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