Latest blog articles
China says both sides will lose from conflict with US
Sydney (AFP) - Beijing has played down the prospects of conflict with the United States over the South China Sea in the wake of aggressive rhetoric by Donald Trump's administration, saying both sides would lose.
China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich region despite rival claims from Southeast Asian neighbours and has rapidly built reefs into artificial islands capable of hosting military planes.
The islands are considered a potential flashpoint and recent comments from White House spokesman Sean Spicer and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have raised the temperature.
But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on a visit to Australia that war would benefit no-one.
"For any sober-minded politician, they clearly recognise that there cannot be conflict between China and the United States," he said in Canberra through an interpreter late Tuesday, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
"Both will lose and both sides cannot afford that."
Spicer last month said the US "is going to make sure we protect our interests" in the South China Sea while Tillerson said China's access to the islands might be blocked -- raising the prospect of a military confrontation.
Wang said the US-China relationship had defied "all sorts of difficulties" over decades and pointed to more recent statements by US Defence Secretary James Mattis that it was important to give priority to diplomatic efforts, ABC said.
On a trip to Japan last week, Mattis said Beijing "has shredded the trust" of regional countries with the military fortification of islands it controls, but balanced the message with a call for disputes to be settled through arbitration and diplomacy.
- Deep engagement -
After scheduled strategic dialogue talks with Wang, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Wednesday said Beijing was keen for a close relationship with the Trump government.
"Beijing certainly welcomes a deep engagement with the United States," she told Sky News.
"They are looking forward to an era of cooperation, they see opportunity with the new administration to deepen the connections and as he (Wang) said, the United States and China have too much to lose for there to be conflict between them.
"My impression was that China is looking forward to engaging positively with the United States," she added.
Under President Barack Obama's administration, Washington insisted it was neutral on the question of sovereignty over the South China Sea islets, reefs and shoals.
But, while calling for the dispute to be resolved under international law, the US supported freedom of navigation by sending naval patrols through Chinese-claimed waters in a move supported by Canberra.
"We did discuss the South China Sea," said Bishop. "China is now deeply engaged in negotiations, discussions, consultations with the other claimants.
"Hopefully we'll continue to see both sides working very hard for peace and prosperity in our region."
China's island building programme in the South China Sea has irked neighbours -- many of whom also have claims to parts of the sea -- and caused global concern.
The Philippine defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday Manila expects China to try to build on a reef off the coast of the Philippines, adding this would be "unacceptable" in the flashpoint waterway.
Bishop urged Beijing to "play a responsible role, committed to the international rules-based order which has provided so much opportunity for peace, prosperity and stability" in its dealings in the South China Sea.
Haiti struggles to organize vote in hurricane's aftermath
Les Cayes (Haiti) (AFP) - Tensions are high at a school in the Haitian city of Les Cayes where victims of Hurricane Matthew have been housed for six weeks but worry they will be thrown out to make way for voting Sunday.The 181 families sheltering in the Jean-Claudy Museau school are blaming the mayor of the southern city who they say allowed them in the facility then tried to evict them."We all lost our homes. Our kids don't have clothes to change into," said Marie-Merlande Nicolas, a… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Davis Cup 2017: Jordan Thompson and Nick Kyrgios give Australia a 2-0 lead ...
Read on the original site chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Why did Chance the Rapper give $1 million to Chicago public schools?
Rihanna, the pop singer who accepted Harvard University's Humanitarian of the Year award last Tuesday, is apparently not the only artist dedicated to philanthropy work. Amid an ongoing funding battle, Chance the Rapper announced on Monday that he would donate $1 million to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system.As the city’s funding crisis continues to threaten a shorter school year for some 400,000 students, Chance, who hails from Chicago, said he hopes his donation will be "a call to action"… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Does Eating Protein Before Bed Burn Fat?
Protein is an important nutrient, but don't bet on it to burn fat from your body. No food has the power to melt fat, so you still need to count on a healthy diet and exercise to meet your weight-loss goals. In addition, eating too much protein or any other food will lead to weight gain, so don't fill up before bed. Fat-Burning Fat, protein and carbohydrates all contain calories. Your body burns those calories for energy or stores them as body fat for later use if you consume more… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Look to the stars: Vietnam to open first space observatory in Nha Trang
The observatory under construction in Nha Trang. Photo by Pham Anh Tuan for Vietnam National Satellite Center Vietnam will open the country's first space observatory in the central resort town of Nha Trang early next year, giving students and tourists a perfect view of the sky. The observatory is being built at Hon Chong, a coastal point along Pham Van Dong Street, with a 0.5-meter telescope. An observatory dome of nine meters in diameter, which can hold 60 people at a time, is expected to… chat_bubble_outline Read More...