China

Alibaba sees strong sales as Singles' Day beats record

The world's biggest online shopping event raked in more than $30.8bn (210bn yuan; £23bn) in sales in 16.5 hours of trading, surpassing last year's all-time-high.

A gala featuring pop star Taylor Swift launched the 24-hour shopping blitz.

It marked Alibaba's first Singles' Day since the exit of its colourful founder, Jack Ma.

He was replaced as executive chairman by Daniel Zhang earlier this year after stepping down to focus on philanthropy and education.

The firm said sales reached $1bn in a little over one minute of trading on Singles' Day.

Solomons signs up to China's 'Belt and Road Initiative'

Manasseh Sogavare attended high-level talks in Beijing during the first ever official visit to China by a Solomons' prime minister.

His visit follows last month's controversial move by the Solomons to switch its diplomatic recognition to China, ending a long relationship with Taiwan.

While in Beijing, Mr Sogavare met China's President Xi Jinping, with the two leaders signing various agreements.

According to the ABC, one of the agreements was for co-operation under China's sprawling Belt and Road initiative.

China hands over complex to Samoa ahead of Pacific Games

Speaking at the ceremony yesterday Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Malielegaoi thanked China saying the building of the Multi-Sport Centre aligns with the government's vision to grow Faleata as the sports hub of Samoa and the Pacific region.

The Multi-Sport Centre consists of two state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor netball courts built to international specifications. It also has the capacity to host badminton, basketball, table tennis, boxing and other indoor sports.

Deadly earthquake hits China's Sichuan province

The 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Yibin in Changning County, south-east of the provincial capital Chengdu, late on Monday, officials said.

It was followed by several powerful aftershocks.

TV footage showed rescuers pulling injured people from the rubble of collapsed buildings.

More than 4,000 people have had to be relocated because their homes were destroyed or damaged, state media reported.

China Central Television showed the aftermath of a landslide that had blocked a road and left a lorry engulfed in debris.

Academic disputes China debt claims

The Head of School and Director Politics and International Affairs, Dr. Sandra Tarte, outlined this when speaking to journalists at the Pacific Journalists Dialogue at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) in Suva.

Dr. Tarte said this was not an initial Chinese government strategy and the current perception of the Asian powerhouse as an economic colonizer in the Pacific stems from the actions of Chinese firms, rather than the government.

China turtle death: One of last four known Yangtze giant softshells dies

The female turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) died in Suzhou zoo in southern China.

Experts had tried to artificially inseminate the creature, which was over 90 years old, for a fifth time shortly before she died.

The species has suffered from hunting, overfishing and the destruction of its habitat.

One male, estimated to be more than 100 years old, is left in the Chinese zoo while two other turtles live in the wild in Vietnam. The elusive nature of the turtle means it has been difficult to identify the gender of the pair.

Dust devil kills two children and injures 20 people in China

A small whirlwind known as a dust devil tore the inflatable from the ground at a fairground in Yucheng county.

One parent reportedly told local media that she saw children fall from a height of about 20 metres (66ft).

A county government official told the South China Morning Post it was unclear whether "human factors" played a role.

Local authorities said 18 other children and two adults were taken to hospital. One child was in a serious condition while the rest were being treated for minor injuries.

China lobbying Pacific nations over Taiwan issue

The Pacific is Taiwan's last bastion of diplomatic support, with six nations in the region - Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu and Palau - recognizing Taipei rather than Beijing.

Taiwan donates large amounts of aid to these countries, and works hard to cultivate relationships with their political leaders.

But China is intent on prising off Taiwan's remaining allies around the globe.

The ABC reports Pacific officials lobbied by China asked not to be identified because they did not want to damage diplomatic ties with Beijing.

Pence blunt on Indo-Pacific commitments

Mike Pence acknowledged the size and economic potential of the Indo-Pacific, saying it encompasses more than half the earth’s surface and two-thirds of global trade.

Sent directly by President Donald Trump, Vice-President Pence clearly and directly highlighted US’ contributions to the Indo-Pacific, saying their investment of over 1.4 trillion dollars exceeds a combined total of China, Japan and South Korea’s assistance.

“And American investment in the Indo-Pacific will only continue to grow,” Pence stated.

ANG defers Shanghai flights

In a statement, the airline said: “Air Niugini is committed to ensuring the highest quality, on time service to all passengers and will continuously review its business to improve efficiencies.

“Our partners and the airline have invested heavily in setting up operations to achieve our goal of opening the Chinese market to Papua New Guinea. It is our desire to complete this venture at the earliest possible opportunity.