Fireworks, music herald New Year in Hong Kong, Taiwan
01 January 2017 | 3:00 am
The New Year arrives with fireworks and light shows coordinated to musical programs in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The Lunar New Year is a huge holiday in China, but also in other Asian countries like Korea and Vietnam. More than one billion people will be celebrating the event, which begins on January 22. For most, it's the Year of the Rabbit but in Vietnam, people will mark the Year of the Cat.
It is the first Lunar New Year celebration since China's communist leadership lifted the country's strict measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The Czech Republic and Taiwan are keen on deepening ties after an unprecedented call between their leaders. China's ability to retaliate might be stymied by its attempt to improve relations with European nations.
A second parliamentary delegation is in Taipei for what Berlin calls part of a commitment to support democratic countries. Beijing has threatened to use force, which it considers China's territory.
US intelligence chief William Burns says there appear to be doubts in Beijing about China's ability to successfully invade Taiwan. However, he said it was still important to take the threat to the island very seriously.
Taipei has agreed to resume flights to multiple cities across China, saying it hoped this might help improve ties. Reintroducing the flights will make the situation more comparable with the pre-coronavirus norm.
As Honduras contemplates switching diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China, experts say unofficial ties with remaining allies are stable but it's important to maintain formal relations, amid pressure from Beijing.
Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger is the first German cabinet member to arrive in Taiwan in decades. The decision comes amid tensions with mainland China, as Beijing issues a diplomatic complaint over the visit.
The Honduran government said it views the island as "an inalienable part of Chinese territory." Taiwan then announced it would close its embassy in Honduras and withdraw its ambassador there.
Remote islands in Japan's Okinawa prefecture have begun evacuation drills amid worries that China could attack Taiwan. But experts say the task may be much harder than it appears.
Former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou is breaking new ground by visiting mainland China. Experts say his Kuomintang party would like to be seen as playing a peacemaking role, as Taiwan prepares for elections.
2 hours ago
The US debt ceiling deal still needs to pass in the voting round expected to take place in the House of Representatives.
2 hours ago
Chiara Croce of Italy has out-scribbled dozens of national winners from around the world at the World Final of the Red Bull Doodle Art competition in Amsterdam on May 25.
3 hours ago
People in rich countries can lead clean lives quicker if governments make it easy for them to ditch dirty habits.
3 hours ago
Clashes have erupted between protesters and police in southwest China over plans to raze parts of a mosque. The authorities are now asking the demonstrators to turn themselves in.
4 hours ago
Al Pacino, 82, is to become a father for the fourth time because his 29-year-old girlfriend, Noor Alfallah, is eight months pregnant.
5 hours ago
Authorities in Kenya say around 6,000 children go missing every year which translates to 18 children disapperaing each day. Parents of the missing young ones are helpless not knowing when their children will return.