Latest blog articles
China warns after Cruz, Abbot, meet Taiwan's president
BEIJING (AP) — China has reiterated its opposition to any contacts between U.S. officials and Taiwan's government following a meeting between Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott and the self-governing island's President Tsai Ing-wen.
Cruz and Abbot met with Tsai on Sunday while she was passing through Houston on her way to a visit to Taiwan's Central American allies.
At a news briefing in Beijing on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China was firmly opposed to any contact between Taiwan's leader and "anyone from the U.S. government." Such contacts threaten to disturb and undermine relations between Washington and Beijing, Lu said.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has been ratcheting up the diplomatic pressure on the independence-leaning Tsai since her election last year.
Cruz said in a news release that during his meeting with Tsai, they "discussed our mutual opportunity to upgrade the stature of our bilateral relations" in a talk that addressed arms sales, diplomatic exchanges and economic relations.
An official with Republican President elect-Donald Trump's transition team said neither Trump nor transition officials would meet with Tsai. Her stop in the U.S. was scrutinized by Beijing for any signs that Trump's team would risk its ire by further engaging with the self-ruled island that China considers its territory.
Trump last month breached diplomatic protocol by speaking by phone with the Taiwanese leader. Trump raised further concerns in Beijing when he questioned a U.S. policy that since 1979 has recognized Beijing as China's government and maintains only unofficial relations with Taiwan.
U.S. lawmakers often meet with Taiwanese presidents when they transit through the U.S. — most recently in June, when Tsai met in Miami with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
China's nationalistic tabloid Global Times said Beijing would take a hard line toward any contacts between Taiwan's government and the incoming Trump administration. China "should also impose military pressure on Taiwan and push it to the edge of being reunified by force," the ruling Communist Party-published paper said in an editorial Sunday.
China has "seized the initiative. The U.S. and Taiwan now should restrain, or be forced to restrain, themselves," the paper said.
"Tsai needs to face the consequences for every provocative step she takes," it said.
Payet gets his dream move back to Marseille
London (AFP) - France international Dimitri Payet's long drawn out transfer saga ended on Sunday as Premier League side West Ham agreed to sell him to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille for a reported £25million (29.3m euros, $31.3m).The 29-year-old -- who starred for the Hammers last season scoring 12 goals -- had effectively gone on strike at the beginning of the month.He said he would not play for the club again and his and his wife's priority was a return to France and his former club.However, having… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Can direct democracy reenergize West's disillusioned voters?
One recent evening, as rain poured down outside, Ana Paula Lima chose a seat at one of the six tables spread out around her local village hall, its walls decorated with blue and white ceramic tiles. Slowly, others trickled in. At 9:45 p.m., when Mass at the nearby church was over, the meeting began.Ms. Lima, a 30-something high school teacher, had come to present her idea for a riverside park to other residents of this suburb of Águeda, an industrial town in northern Portugal, and to win their… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
God-forsaken church by the sea
Watery grave awaits Catholic beach beacon! Located around 100 kilometers to the south of Hanoi, Nam Dinh Province is said to have been the heartland of Catholicism before the word was spread across Vietnam hundreds of years ago by Portuguese preachers. It is still home to one of the largest populations of Catholics in the country today. Churches here stand out with bold silhouettes and strike both believers and non-believers alike. On the beach of Nam Dinh, there is a church that stopped… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
5 killed in Bulgarian explosion following train derailment
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Five people were killed in northeastern Bulgaria following a gas explosion on a derailed tanker train early Saturday, national radio reported. Officials said at least 23 people were injured, many with severe burns.Nikolay Nikolov, who heads the country's firefighting department, said at least 20 buildings in the village of Hitrino were destroyed when containers of gas exploded at 5:40 a.m. local time (0340 GMT).Two tank cars, carrying propane-butane and propylene,… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
M&A market hot in 2016
By early December 2016, the total value of the merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in Vietnam had reached $5.1 billion. According to IMAA (Institute for Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances), some M&A deals are nearly about to get completed and if all of them go smoothly as planned, the total value would be $5.3 billion for the whole year 2016, equivalent to the M&A value in 2015. The total number of M&A deals in 2016 is considerably higher than the year before with 611 deals reported. The… chat_bubble_outline Read More...