China

China urges families to store basic supplies in case of emergency

No reason was given for the notice from the Ministry of Commerce, but it came amid ongoing coronavirus lockdowns and concerns over vegetable supplies after unusually heavy rain damaged crops.

The ministry also asked local authorities to keep supply chains running smoothly and prices stable.

State media later sought to quell concerns amid reports of panic buying.

"As soon as this news came out, all the old people near me went crazy, panic buying in the supermarket," one user wrote on the Chinese social media site Weibo.

China to create fund to help Pacific Island countries defeat COVID-19

Wang made the remarks at the first China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Beijing via video link.

He said the bilateral relationship between China and the Pacific Island countries has shown a good development momentum, and the comprehensive strategic partnership has continued to deepen.

Relations between the two sides are based on mutual respect and equity, Wang said.

China slashes its aid to the Pacific

An assessment by Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, showed while various Western nations were raising concerns about Chinese influence in the Pacific, Beijing was cutting back its involvement.

The Institute said Chinese aid, in the form of grants and low interest loans, peaked in 2016, at US$287 million.

Lowy's Pacific programme director, Jonathan Pryke said by 2019 that aid was down to US$169 million - its lowest level in seven years.

Australia's big gamble on the US over China

It's a definitive move for a country in the Asia-Pacific region, experts say.

The security deal with the US and the UK gives Australia a huge defence upgrade from the world's most powerful military.

But it's a gift with strings attached. And there is debate over whether such a decision - made without public consultation - will play out in Australia's national interests.

As China has grown in power, it has begun to challenge US dominance in the Asia-Pacific region.

Unleashing reforms, Xi returns to China's 'socialist' roots

But sweeping new policy moves - from crackdowns on internet companies, for-profit education, online gaming and property market excesses - to the promulgation of Common Prosperity, show Xi's seriousness in steering China back towards its socialist roots.

Having done away with term limits in 2018, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong is pushing what some observers describe as a mini "revolution", curbing the excesses of capitalism and shedding negative cultural influences of the West.

'Xi Jinping Thought' added to China's school curriculum

The Ministry of Education said Chinese President Xi Jinping's "thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era" would be taught from primary school level all the way to university.

The move is aimed at strengthening "resolve to listen to and follow the Party" and new teaching materials must "cultivate patriotic feelings", the guidelines said.

Since coming to power in 2012, the Chinese President has sought to strengthen the ruling Chinese Communist Party's role in all areas of society, including its businesses, schools and cultural institutions.

How Delta threatens China’s prized zero COVID strategy

One of those people travelling from Moscow had the Delta variant of COVID-19. After they left the plane, staff from the Nanjing Lukou airport swooped in to pick up their rubbish.

According to Chinese officials, when those cleaners exited the aircraft they brought the virus along with them to the outside world - sparking what has now become China's widest outbreak since Wuhan.

In the last few weeks, at the height of the summer travel season, Delta has been detected in at least 16 Chinese provinces and municipalities. Most cases are linked to Nanjing.

China reaffirms support

In a small ceremony at the Port Moresby General Hospital yesterday, the Chinese Ambassador to PNG, Zeng Fanhua, handed over K300,000 worth of medical supplies to Minister for Health, Jelta Wong.

The donation of equipment and consumables was handed over recently after the 11th China Medical Team was received to work at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

Ambassador Zeng expressed great pleasure in meeting the Minister for Health during the event.

India state Gujarat renames dragon fruit 'lotus'

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the fruit would now be called kamalam, Sanskrit for the lotus flower.

The lotus is sacred to Hindus and is India's national flower.

Relations have nosedived in recent months between India and China, whose troops are locked in a tense stand-off along their long Himalayan frontier.

China reports over 100 new Covid-19 cases for seventh day

Mainland China posted 118 new cases for 18 January, up from 109 a day earlier, the national health authority said in a statement.

Of those, 106 were local infections, with 43 reported in Jilin, a new daily record for the northeastern province, and 35 in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, the National Health Commission said.

The Chinese capital itself reported one new case, while Heilongjiang in the north reported 27 new infections.