The Great Wall of China, built more than 2,000 years ago, stands as one of the monumental feats of ancient engineering. Stretching thousands of miles, it protected the newly unified country from foreign invaders.
But before the Great Wall, warring Chinese dynasties built many other walls for protection. An American archaeologist recently began surveying one of the biggest. [Read the full article]
China has called for calm in South Sudan, urging both factions to start ceasefire talks as soon as possible, the Foreign Ministry has said.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday that the deteriorating situation in the country was cause for concern.
“We are negotiating with both sides in the conflict in various ways. China’s special representative on African Affairs, Zhong Jianhua, talked with South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin on the phone, calling for calm and restraint from both sides to start ceasefire talks as soon as possible. [Read the full article]
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has visited a shrine honouring Japan’s war dead in a move that led to China warning that already poor relations would worsen.
Thursday’s visit to the shrine, which honours 2.5 million war dead including convicted Japanse war criminals, prompted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to summon Japanese Ambassador to China Masato Kitera. [Read the full article]
Back in 2,150 BC, Emperor Yu sealed his place in China’s history of eminent rulers by controlling the Yellow River’s annual flood, saving waterlogged crops. Today China’s rulers face the opposite problem: It’s water scarcity that threatens farms. So instead of the Yellow River, the Chinese government is controlling the rain.
It does that by “cloud-seeding,” the colloquial term for rocket-launching chemicals into clouds, accelerating the creation of ice crystals that eventually become rain (China uses military aircraft too). This meteorological enema isn’t just handy for combating the country’s increasingly severe droughts and, supposedly, preventing hail. Local governments use “weather modification” to clear away lingering billows of air pollution. [Read the full article]
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but it sure looks like a deal to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling is in sight.
Here’s the basic outline of the plan, according to reports from multiple outlets:
- The government is funded through January 15.
- The debt ceiling is raised through February 7.
- There are two minor changes to Obamacare: There will be stronger verification of incomes for those applying for insurance subsidies, a Republican wish; and a reinsurance fee in the law will be delayed for one year, a Democratic desire.
- A bipartisan conference committee on the budget is supposed to finish formal negotiations on a long-term plan to fund the government and reform the tax code by mid-December, with the goal of replacing further planned cuts from sequestration.
[Read the full article]
A monster Super Typhoon has intensified explosively in the the last 24 hours and remains on track to wreak havoc in Taiwan, the Phillipines and potentially Hong Kong over the weekend.
Over the last day Super Typhoon Usagi, which is now the strongest storm to form on earth this year, has seen winds increase from 75 mph Tuesday to over 160 mph. The cyclone is now classified now as a Super Typhoon and is considered the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane. [Read the full article]
EAST CHINA SEA – Boats carrying about 20 members of a Japanese nationalist group headed back to port on Sunday after sailing near tiny islands in the East China Sea that are at the center of a dispute between Japan and China.
Members of the Ganbare Nippon (“Stand Firm, Japan”) group did not attempt to land on the uninhabited islands, which are known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, but had said they wanted to send a message to China. [Read the full article]
Michael Cheng was six years old in 1962 when the police came to take him and his family away. They arrived, armed and in force, in the middle of the night. Some of the officers, many of whom had known the Chengs for years, were apologetic. They were just following orders, the men assured Michael’s mother, and the family was being taken somewhere safe “for your own good.”
The Cheng family wasn’t the only one. Andy Hsieh was a student at a boarding school in Shillong, in northeast India. One day, he and several of his classmates were called into the headmaster’s office and told that they would be going away for an indefinite length of time. [Read the full article]