The death of famed physicist Stephen Hawking reminds RFA cartoonist Rebel Pepper of the passing of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who died last year. At the 2010 Nobel ceremony in Oslo, the democracy activist was represented by an empty chair because he was serving an 11-year jail term in China for “incitement to subvert state power.”
China has detained close relatives of four U.S.-based reporters for RFA’s Uyghur service, in apparent retaliation for their coverage of the Xinjiang region. Human rights groups have condemned the detentions, and the Committee to Protect Journalists called them “a cruel, if not barbaric, tactic.”
The visit comes as China bolsters its military presence in the South China Sea.
China’s plan to abolish presidential term limits would put President Xi Jinping in the same category as revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, who declared the nation’s founding in 1949.
With the removal of presidential term limits, Xi Jinping has become China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.
The move will pave the way for incumbent Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely, as “emperor in all but name.”
It’s an alternative to China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.
Analysts say the move could be Beijing’s way of consolidating power as it moves forward with militarization efforts in the South China Sea.
China’s state media said the apology “lacks sincerity and reflects the German carmaker’s lack of understanding of Chinese culture and values.” The ad quoted the Dalai Lama saying, “Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.”
The Vatican has agreed to recognize several bishops approved by China’s officially-atheist Communist Party.
Wang Qishan has been appointed to China’s national legislature. He used his previous position on the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection to enforce allegiance to President Xi Jinping.
The Mekong-Lancang Cooperation forum has sharpened longstanding concerns about environmental damage from China’s dam-building.
Swedish national Gui Minhai was detained a second time during a train trip to Beijing accompanied by Swedish diplomats.
The removal of politically sensitive content from a middle-school history textbook’s chapter on the the turbulent 1966-76 Cultural Revolution provoked controversy in China.
China’s officially atheist government insists it has authority to choose the next spiritual leader of the Tibetans. But the current Dalai Lama has said his new incarnation will not be found in territory controlled by China. Reincarnation is the Tibetans’ traditional method for identifying future religious leaders.
In a New Year’s Day speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said, “The US should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my desk.” U.S. President Donald Trump responded in a tweet that his button is “much bigger & more powerful” than Kim’s.