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Chinese lander touches down on Mars in ‘pre-set zone’ in Beijing’s first mission to Red Planet — RT World News From “RT World News”




15 May, 2021 01:02 Follow RT on

China’s Zhurong rover has stuck a successful landing on the surface of Mars, according to state media, in the culmination of the country’s first independent mission to the Red Planet after the ship departed from Earth last summer.

The unmanned lander reached its destination on Mars’ Utopia plain on Saturday, Xinhua News reported, noting that the craft would carry out imaging of its surroundings and a self-inspection before moving off of its landing platform.DETAILS TO FOLLOW

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Tianwen-1 probe successfully enters Mars orbit in China’s first independent mission to Red Planet

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1 dead, scores reportedly injured as tornadoes blast two Chinese cities, hitting houses & factories (VIDEOS) — RT World News From “RT World News”



Two tornadoes have ripped through central and eastern China, killing one person, injuring more than 60 people and causing significant damage in each locality, according to the state news agency Xinhua.

One person died and 21 were injured, two seriously, after a storm system struck the Shengze area of Suzhou city in eastern China’s Jiangsu province.Electricity infrastructure was damaged and several factory buildings collapsed, city fire officers told Xinhua.Dramatic footage purportedly captured by stunned eyewitnesses in Shengze and shared online appeared to show a huge tornado carrying miscellaneous debris through the air, and lightning cracking across the sky.The other tornado was reported to have hit the city of Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province, where six people were reported missing and 41 were treated in hospital.

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The storm hit the Caidian District at 8:39pm local time (8:39am ET), according to Chinese media. Construction site sheds were also destroyed and a large number of trees snapped, local officials told Xinhua.Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!







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Chinese county bans birthday parties for public servants | China From “World news | The Guardian”



Authorities in a Chinese county have banned public servants and Communist party members from having birthday parties, housewarmings and other banquet celebrations.Authorities in Funing county, in Yunnan province, also put caps on weddings and funerals, limiting guest numbers and food budgets. The measures, seemingly targeted at potential corruption, include bans on using official vehicles for business or collecting gifts and cash that are “obviously higher [value] than normal reciprocity”.Party members and public servants were also ordered to dial back on extravagant weddings and funerals. Wedding motorcades must not contain more than 10 vehicles, and receptions must not exceed 20 tables or a total guest list of 200. The guest list and wedding cost must be reported to authorities prior to the event, and gifts are limited to values no higher than the previous year’s per capita disposable income of Funing’s urban residents.Funerals should be simple and frugal, the directive said, with fewer wreaths and less burning of fake money. “During the funeral, it is strictly forbidden to hire crying teams, art teams, or lion dance teams to carry out memorial activities,” it said.The measures were being implemented to “carry forward the fine style of hard work and thrift, cultivate and practise socialist core values, and to create a good urban and rural landscape of thriftiness, civility, and honesty,” officials said.Weddings and funerals are often seen as signifiers of social standing and have become increasingly extravagant affairs. China’s central government has long called for citizens to restrain festivities in the name of frugality or to curb behaviour deemed dangerous.In March, state media reported that several counties in Henan, Jiangxi and Shandong provinces had issues guidelines or rules in line with a pledge by the civil affairs ministry to mobilise community organisations to develop more modest alternatives, including group weddings.







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Chinese county bans birthday parties in bid to be frugal From “BBC News – World”



The rules only apply to all communist party members, civil servants and village organisation leaders.







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Chinese Uyghur policy causes ‘unprecedented’ fall in Xinjiang birthrates | Uyghurs From “World news | The Guardian”



Birthrates in Xinjiang fell by almost half in the two years after the Chinese government implemented policies to reduce the number of babies born to Uyghur and other minority Muslim families, new research has claimed.The figures show unprecedented declines which were more extreme than any global region at any time in the 71 years of UN fertility data collection, including during genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia, according to the authors of the report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (Aspi).The data adds to mounting evidence of coercive fertility policies in Xinjiang, including multiple first person accounts of forced sterilisation or birth control, and leaked policing data on the internment of women for violating family planning regulations.They are among Chinese government policies believed to be designed to forcibly assimilate the Uyghur and other Muslim populations. In April, Human Rights Watch determined the Chinese government was committing multiple crimes against humanity but said the extent of coercive birth control and sexual violence, while alarming, needed more investigation. Other governments, including the UK, and legal groups have determined the Chinese government is committing genocide.The authors of the report, Nathan Ruser and James Leibold, said they compiled the report using publicly available Chinese government statistics to create datasets of county-level birthrates from 2011 to 2019, and comparing counties with higher proportions of Uyghur and other Muslim minorities.It covered the period before, during, and after the implementation of the Chinese Communist party’s campaigns against “illegal births” in April 2017, when authorities also stopped publishing statistics on the birthrates of separate minority groups.Aspi’s report found the birthrate across Xinjiang fell by 48.74% between 2017 and 2019. In counties where the population was at least 90% non-Han Chinese, the birthrate dropped by an average 56.5% between 2017 and 2018. By examining county-level statistics, the report provided further evidence of “the systematic targeting” of communities, it said.“Previous research by both Chinese and foreign experts has examined the tightening of birth control policy in Xinjiang and a corresponding drop in natural population growth beginning in 2015, but even more dramatically after 2017,” it said.Among the evidence cited in the report, Aspi also included state media reports about crackdowns on “illegal births”, and the collection of US$1m from 629 families over four months in a single county. In other areas authorities launched hotlines and rewarded people who informed on their neighbours, and punished officials who failed to meet targets.“The crackdown has led to an unprecedented and precipitous drop in official birthrates in Xinjiang since 2017. The birthrate across the region fell by nearly half (48.74 %) in the two years between 2017 and 2019,” said the report.Citing state media, the report said in 2017, 460 party members and state employees were punished for illegal births in Hotan prefecture, where 97% of the population is Uyghur or from other non-Han groups. ‘The memories never leave me’: Uighur teacher describes forced sterilisation – video interviewWhile China’s government enforced a one-child policy for decades, it allowed minority families to have three children in rural areas or two in urban areas. The report said while the overall birthrate for the Xinjiang region remained relatively stable throughout the period, many individual counties, especially in the Uyghur-majority south, had exceptionally high birthrates in the past decade. There were 68 children born per 1,000 people in Kashgar in 2014, compared with 16.5 at the regional level.Aspi said policymakers saw this as “an increasingly urgent problem and source of perceived instability, literally a breeding ground for the ‘three evil forces’ of extremism, terrorism and splitism”.The Chinese government denies the allegations of mistreatment, genocide and crimes against humanity, saying many of its policies – including the mass detention network it says includes vocational training centres – are anti-terrorism efforts. It says birth control is entirely the choice of individuals and there is no agency interference. This claim has been contradicted by multiple women who claim they were coerced into sterilisation or contraception.The crackdown on minority population growth comes at the same time the Chinese government is trying to stave off a demographic crisis due to low birthrates in the rest of the country, and an ageing population.The Aspi report was published a day after the Chinese government released figures from its once-a-decade census, finding the decade to 2020 had the slowest annual population growth since the early 1960s. The census reported a bigger increase to China’s minority population compared with the Han population, however this was not broken down to county levels, and included the seven years prior to the major interventions on fertility in Xinjiang.“One thing we found is that in other provinces of similarly high minority populations … the birthrate climbed by about 3% in the last decade,” said Ruser. “So these policies seem to be very deliberately targeted towards the community of Xinjiang and the Uyghur community. When they talk about those general minority figures, I think you have to keep in mind there’s 55 other minorities.”







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Manila claims nearly 300 Chinese militia vessels have swarmed Philippines-held islands in latest incursion — RT World News From “RT World News”



The Philippines taskforce for the South China Sea has reported incursions into its maritime territory by 287 Chinese militia vessels, one week after President Rodrigo Duterte questioned an international ruling in Manila’s favor.

In a statement on Wednesday, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF WPS) said that the Chinese vessels had been spotted on May 9 by a maritime patrol. “This incident, along with continued illegal incursions of foreign vessels sighted near Philippines-held islands, has been submitted to relevant agencies for possible diplomatic actions,” the task force said. The statement said that the Chinese vessels were scattered across reefs and islands in the Philippines-claimed municipality of Kalayaan, off the Palawan archipelago.The NTF WPS also said that there were 34 Chinese vessels at the Juan Felipe (Whitsun) Reef, an area of serious contention between the states this year when a Chinese fishing flotilla moored in the bow-shaped reef for weeks, citing inclement weather. The Philippines Coast Guard said there were some 200 vessels involved. 

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Wednesday’s statement reiterated Manila’s claim to the reef, stating that it falls inside the country’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).The NTF WPS also accused Chinese vessels of breaching Beijing’s own seasonal fishing ban in the region after sighting them harvesting shells inside the lagoon of Bajo de Masinloc, more commonly known as Scarborough Shoal.The group’s report comes a week after Duterte suggested that a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which ruled in favor of Manila over Beijing on disputed maritime territory, was just a “piece of paper” that he could throw out. The comment was made during an address by the president in which he pushed back on critics calling for him to be tougher on Beijing.Islands and reefs in the South China Sea are hotly contested by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Brunei.If you like this story, share it with a friend!







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Bangladesh Gets 5,00,000 Chinese COVID-19 Vaccine Doses As Gift From “NDTV News – World-news”



Bangladesh on Wednesday received 500,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.Dhaka: Bangladesh on Wednesday received 500,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine as a gift to continue its vaccination drive, which was halted due to shortage of India-made Astrazeneca jabs.Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming handed over the vaccines to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque at State Guest House Padma, hours after a Bangladesh aircraft landed in Dhaka carrying the vaccines from China.Momen said that Bangladesh seeks to procure 40 to 50 million doses of the Chinese vaccine on a commercial basis.He proposed co-production arrangement of the Chinese vaccine in Bangladesh, saying it could create a “win-win” situation for both the countries.”We have the capacity to produce the vaccine and we can do it with their (Chinese) help . . . if they agree we can go for co-production,” he said.Maleque said that his office has sent a letter of interest to China to buy the vaccine on a commercial basis.Chinese envoy Li said the gift was the manifestation of China-Bangladesh anti-pandemic cooperation, which again shows that “our people are in the same boat and we will stand with each other till the end of this battle”.The development came after the World Health Organization (WHO) listed the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use, giving green light for this vaccine to be rolled out globally.According to Momen, Bangladesh was initially reluctant to receive the Chinese vaccine until it got the WHO nod but the second wave of the pandemic forced the country’s health authorities earlier this month to approve the Chinese jabs alongside Russia’s Sputnik vaccine.The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said they would start the process of administering the Sinopharm vaccine among those who got registered for the first dose.Bangladesh launched the nationwide vaccination campaign on February 7 with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India.India provided 3.2 million doses of the vaccine to Bangladesh as a gift.However, the registration for the vaccination was halted on May 5 in view of shortage of the vaccine.Bangladesh purchased 30 million doses of the vaccine and under an agreement received seven million doses in two consignments until February, while the third consignment, which was expected in March, is yet to arrive, forcing the country to look for other alternatives to vaccinate its population.The Chinese vaccines arrived in the country as the ties between the two countries apparently witnessed a sudden strain with China warning Bangladesh against joining the Quad alliance, saying that Dhaka”s participation in the anti-Beijing “club” would result in “substantial damage” to bilateral relations.The Chinese envoy made the remarks which immediately drew a sharp response from Bangladesh’s foreign minister who called it “very unfortunate” and “aggressive”, adding that he never heard such comments from any Chinese diplomat before.Initiated in 2007, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, Quad for short, is an informal grouping of the US, India, Australia and Japan.







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Chinese Scientists Discussed Weaponising Coronavirus In 2015: Report From “NDTV News – World-news”



COVID-19 pandemic has been caused by a coronavirus named SARS-Co V-2 which emerged in December 2019.Beijing: A document written by Chinese scientists and health officials before the pandemic in 2015 states that SARS coronaviruses were a “new era of genetic weapons” that could be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponised and unleashed, reported Weekend Australian.The paper titled The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons suggested that World War Three would be fought with biological weapons. The document revealed that Chinese military scientists were discussing the weaponisation of SARS coronaviruses five years before the COVID-19 pandemic. The report by Weekend Australian was published in news.com.au.Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), told news.com.au that the document is as close to a “smoking gun” as we’ve got.”I think this is significant because it clearly shows that Chinese scientists were thinking about military application for different strains of the coronavirus and thinking about how it could be deployed,” Jennings said.”It begins to firm up the possibility that what we have here is the accidental release of a pathogen for military use,” Jennings added.He also said that the document may explain why China has been so reluctant for outside investigations into the origins of COVID-19.”If this was a case of transmission from a wet market it would be in China’s interest to co-operate … we’ve had the opposite of that.”Robert Potter, a cyber security specialist who analyses leaked Chinese government documents, was asked by The Australian to verify the paper. He says the document definitely isn’t fake, reported news.com.au.”We reached a high confidence conclusion that it was genuine … It’s not fake but it’s up to someone else to interpret how serious it is,” Potter said.”It emerged in the last few years … they (China) will almost certainly try to remove it now it’s been covered.”Potter further stated that it isn’t unusual to see Chinese research papers discussing areas that they’re behind on and need to make progress in.”It’s a really interesting article to show what their scientific researchers are thinking,” he added.The COVID-19 pandemic has been caused by a coronavirus named SARS-Co V-2 which emerged in December 2019. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, several of which cause respiratory diseases in humans – ranging from a common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).Since the COVID-19 pandemic began there have been over 157 million cases of COVID-19 and 3.28 million deaths worldwide, according to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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China rocket debris 'disintegrates over Indian Ocean' – Chinese media From “BBC News – World”



Much of the rocket was destroyed as it fell, but some debris landed west of the Maldives, China says.







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Chinese rocket debris set for re-entry in coming hours From “World News”



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