US-born Chinese skier Eileen Gu will try to soar over geopolitics in Beijing
06 February 2022 | 12:14 pm
We start with the British papers, which are reporting on "Black Thursday", after four of Boris Johnson's closest aides resigned and the government warned of major price hikes. Also, a US pastor in Tennessee makes headlines by burning Harry Potter and other fantasy books that he says threaten his religious rights. Finally, we take a look at some of the athletes who will be gracing us with their talents in Beijing!
Citizen journalist Zhang Zhan is in a Chinese prison for reporting from Wuhan during the height of the city's coronavirus outbreak in 2020. Her family says she is on hunger strike and could be near death. All calls for her release have gone unheeded.
The Chinese ride-hailing app Didi has announced plans to shift its shares from the New York Stock Exchange to Hong Kong. It's among the first in what could be a series of delistings due to new regulations in both the US and China. Some 200 Chinese firms could be affected, with huge consequences for investors. Also on the show: Europe's tourism sector hopes the latest Covid-19 surge won't throw off their end-of-year bookings.
The Chinese property giant Evergrande has missed a key debt deadline and is inching closer to a possible restructuring. Financial Analyst Danni Hewson explains why the meltdown isn't sparking turmoil on global stock markets. Also in the show: the Carbon Disclosure Project releases its 2021 ranking of sustainable business practices.
Shares in the Chinese property company Kaisa have been suspended from trading in Hong Kong, as fears mount that the firm may be unable to make a $400 million debt payment due on Thursday. Kaisa is a much smaller player than the troubled giant Evergrande, but also has high levels of foreign debt. Also today, we look at how the United Arab Emirates has changed its working week to Monday-Friday to align with other international business hubs.
A new report by Tsinghua University in Beijing has revealed that the Chinese Communist Party used cloud seeding to artificially bring down pollution levels for its centenary celebrations on July 1. The peer-reviewed study shows just how far China has come with this technology. FRANCE 24's Technology Editor Peter O'Brien breaks down how cloud seeding works, and the scale of China's ambitions to change the weather.
IOC senior member Dick Pound told German radio that China would allow athletes to speak freely during news conferences. He said politics does not factor into decision-making on events.
Since China imposed a security law on Hong Kong, more than 100,000 people have left. The UK has offered a special visa to its former colony, and 70% of Hong Kong's population is eligible. But for those who've fled, it's difficult to leave home behind.
Lithuanian diplomats in China returned to Vilnius for consultations, according to the Foreign Ministry. Vilnius called back its diplomats in response to Beijing's efforts to downgrade its embassy.
The US Commerce Department sanctioned Chinese surveillance and biotechnology companies over rights abuses. The Biden administration expressed concern that US technology could be used in abusing Uyghur people.
"I need to stress one point that is extremely important, I have never said or written that anyone has sexually assaulted me," the Chinese tennis star said in a foreign press video.
China's economy grew by 8.1 percent last year, but the expansion slowed towards the end of 2021. FRANCE 24's Cole Stangler takes a closer look at the factors holding up growth, from sluggish retail sales to the high cost of Covid-19 lockdowns.
FRANCE 24 spoke to Lu Shaye, the Chinese ambassador to France. He insisted Beijing was prioritising "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan, but said the Chinese authorities had "not ruled out the use of force" – not with the intention of targeting "the people of Taiwan", but rather to dissuade "separatists in Taiwan" and certain "foreign forces". The Chinese diplomat also said he was "sure" there would be no mass surge in Covid-19 cases during the Winter Olympics, which open in Beijing on February 4.
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