Tag Archives: China

After nine years as China correspondent, Stephen McDonell farewells the ABC

Posted December 14, 2015 12:25:36

Stephen McDonell on mountain road to Deqin Photo: Stephen McDonell is leaving the ABC right after nine years covering typhoons, earthquakes, financial boons and corruption crackdowns. (ABC News: Robert Hill)
Map: China

China correspondent Stephen McDonell is leaving the ABC, ending nine years of covering earthquakes and financial booms, crackdowns and corruption in a dynamic and building country.

He has also covered Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Japanese tsunami, the Nepal earthquake and the MH17 crash in East Ukraine.

But in this, his final word as an ABC correspondent, he explains why, when it came to a choice amongst the ABC and Beijing, China was a nation he could not leave behind.

Leaving the ABC in Beijing has been an emotional experience.

For nine years my bureau colleagues and I have climbed mountains, stood up to thugs, crashed a automobile, danced in Tibetan towns, watched tigers devour their prey.

We have traversed massive sand dunes and frozen deserts listened as parents told the story of dragging their dead youngsters from the earthquake rubble and watched as police caught drug mules coming across the border from Burma — all in order to bring China to Australia and the globe.

Cricket match amidst quake aftermath Photo: ABC correspondent Stephen McDonell bowls to Nepalese kids in the course of a game of cricket in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake. (ABC News: Aaron Hollett)

Following what we have been via, the ABC China group are and will usually be my brothers and sisters.

When you are stuck on a frozen mountain on the border with North Korea and the People’s Liberation Army comes to your rescue, it brings you closer.

When you jump walls, hide footage, negotiate road blocks, laugh and cry with each other, your relationships will never ever be the very same.

Stephen McDonell on assignment for Foreign Correspondent Photo: Stephen McDonell on assignment for Foreign Correspondent in 2008. (ABC News: Stephen McDonell)

The staff employed by news organisations around the globe are the unheralded champions of international journalism and getting them is the distinction amongst superficial analysis and starting to realize some thing of the complexities of a place.

The ABC cameramen in Beijing are like producers.

Every one I have worked with has picked up a bit of Mandarin and, far more importantly, an understanding of China.

They know how far to push it and without their information our stories would’ve been not a patch on what we’ve been capable to accomplish.

As for me, it really is with sadness and the excitement of a new challenge that I am leaving the ABC in order to remain in Beijing as a correspondent.

China gets under your skin — it really is an unstoppable juggernaut of adjust, and I just wasn’t prepared to let it go.

China is a story machine: ABC correspondent Stephen McDonell reflects on ten years in ChinaVideo: China is a story machine: ABC correspondent Stephen McDonell reflects on ten years in China (ABC News)

Topics: journalism, world-politics, china

Agen Sabung Ayam

South China Morning Post sold to e-commerce giant Alibaba

Posted December 12, 2015 11:51:ten

Alibaba has agreed to buy Hong Kong’s flagship English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, the most politically sensitive acquisition by the e-commerce giant to date.

Alibaba and SCMP Group Ltd announced on Friday that the Hangzhou-primarily based firm would purchase the 112-year-old newspaper and other media properties for an undisclosed quantity.

The buy, which follows a string of media deals by Alibaba, is likely to raise concerns in Hong Kong, where the South China Morning Post occupies an crucial position among the English-speaking elite who nevertheless dominate the former British colony.

Chinese-language dailies could be a lot more influential than the Post, but modifications in its editorial path are noticed as a barometer for press freedom under Chinese rule.

Alibaba has acquired or invested in a growing portfolio of media and content material businesses in recent years.

“The SCMP has iconic status in the region, with a strong reputation internationally for the quality and credibility of its journalism over the years,” Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, stated in a letter to SCMP readers.

“Like numerous print media, however, the SCMP faces challenges amid the dramatic modifications in the way news is reported and distributed. But these changes play to Alibaba’s strengths, which is why we believe the two firms complement each and every other nicely.”

New owners seek to address concerns about independence

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma is no stranger to controversy at the newspaper.

In 2013, a reporter for the Post quit right after quoting Mr Ma as getting created remarks in assistance of Beijing’s violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Mr Ma denied at the time that he had made such an assertion.

Mr Tsai sought to address issues about editorial independence in his letter.

“In reporting the news, the SCMP will be objective, correct and fair… day-to-day editorial decisions will be driven by editors in the newsroom, not in the corporate boardroom.”

Nonetheless, some SCMP employees members stated the takeover was unlikely to have much influence more than the publication’s content, and greeted the news with resignation.

“The SCMP has not had an editorial balance for far more than a decade. We do not think that will alter beneath a mainland Chinese owner,” said an editor who has worked at the newspaper for a lot more than a decade.

Friday’s agreement includes SCMP Group’s other media assets, such as licenses to the Hong Kong editions of Esquire, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.

Financial terms of the deal had been not disclosed.

Reuters

Subjects: print-media, info-and-communication, media, industry, china, hong-kong

Agen Sabung Ayam

DFAT warns early release of Matthew Ng could threaten China prisoner swap deal

Updated December 08, 2015 23:52:45

The Department of Foreign Affairs has warned the future of Australia’s prisoner swap deal with China could be jeopardised if the Lawyer-General, George Brandis, grants businessman Matthew Ng an early release from prison.

Mr Ng was arrested in Guangzhou in 2010 right after refusing to sell his $ one hundred million stake in the travel company, GZL, back to the Chinese government at expense price tag.

He was convicted of bribery and embezzlement a year later and sentenced to 11.five years’ jail.

In 2014, he became the initial Australian to advantage from a prisoner swap deal among Australia and China and is now serving out the rest of his sentence at the St Heliers Correction Centre in the NSW Hunter Valley.

Mr Ng has usually maintained his innocence, and since returning to Australia has pleaded for an early release from prison or a pardon.

In August, Mr Ng’s lawyers made a formal application for an early release, based on exceptional circumstances under the Crime Act such as his diagnosis with Post Traumatic Anxiety Disorder and a significant depressive disorder, the amount of time he has currently served in China and the disproportionate length of his sentence.

But yesterday the Attorney-General’s division wrote to Mr Ng’s lawyers rejecting the application, citing suggestions from both the NSW Wellness Department and Division of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

“DFAT advises that the Chinese authorities have produced clear they are closely monitoring the first successful transfer cases and will see them as test instances for future prisoner transfer amongst Australia and China,” the Lawyer-General’s department wrote.

“DFAT’s view is the granting of early release or pardon would very likely have a unfavorable impact on the operation of the [prisoner transfer] scheme and prejudice other existing or future circumstances.”

It is understood there are about 80 Australians imprisoned in China.

Ng suffered inhumane therapy in Chinese prison: lawyers

The Lawyer-General’s department also cast doubt on the severity of Mr Ng’s mental illness, saying he had not sought any assist for psychological situations at St Heliers and “appeared to be managing his mental wellness situations adequately”.

“Psychology advises … they are unlikely to help a request for early release primarily based on psychological well being grounds due to the commonality of described diagnoses and symptoms in the correctional setting,” the department wrote.

That is at odds with healthcare guidance obtained by Mr Ng’s lawyers which states the “specialist psychological therapy of the sort needed by Mr Ng is not obtainable in a correctional facility” and goes on to say Mr Ng demands therapy “as a matter of urgency”.

Mr Ng’s sentence expires in 2022, but he will be eligible for parole in August subsequent year.

His lawyers argue there are enough exceptional situations to release Mr Ng from prison early offered his inhumane remedy, and trauma suffered, during his 1,475 days in prison in China.

In their letter to the Attorney-Common, they said Mr Ng was held in a prison cell with 18 other folks and forced to share a bed with another inmate there were no flushing toilets or showers and he was physically assaulted on 3 occasions.

Mr Ng’s second marriage has also broken down lately and last year, whilst imprisoned in China, he was informed that his eldest daughter Isabella had died, causing him a wonderful deal of distress.

His lawyers have till January five to respond to the department’s letter.

Topics: crime, prisons-and-punishment, planet-politics, federal-government, australia, china

First posted December 08, 2015 23:48:04

Agen Sabung Ayam

China blamed for ‘massive’ cyber attack on BoM supercomputer

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China is being blamed for a main cyber attack on the computer systems at the Bureau of Meteorology, which has compromised sensitive systems across the Federal Government.

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China slowdown to hinder Australia’s return to spending budget surplus: Deloitte

Posted November 30, 2015 01:23:48

The slowdown in China indicates the Australian spending budget is unlikely to return to surplus unless changes are made to its existing settings, a major economics forecaster says.

The latest budget monitor from Deloitte Access Economics forecast the total deficits more than the subsequent four years would be $ 38 billion worse than predicted in the federal spending budget in May possibly.

“China continues to slow, that puts stress on Australia’s economy in a quantity of approaches and you’re seeing that show up in a lack of taxes compared to spending budget expectations,” Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson stated.

The Might spending budget forecast a deficit of $ 35.1 billion for 2015-16, but Mr Richardson predicted the Mid Year Financial and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) in December would show the predicament had worsened to $ 40.3 billion.

“Over the subsequent four years we see a shortfall this economic year of a bit more than $ five billion, but that grows to $ 8 billion, $ 11 billion, and certainly that last year, 2018-19, we see a shortfall of nearly $ 13 billion compared to the official price range forecast,” Mr Richardson told AM.

Mr Richardson stated obtaining the budget back to surplus did not have to come about “tomorrow”, but should be a purpose for the next decade.

“On existing settings, no we’re not going to get a surplus,” he mentioned.

“China has produced it so difficult that unless Canberra gets its act together, the Senate has to pass stuff, and we would see a substantial savings task in spending, but also that you cannot ignore taxes as effectively.

“I would say the political ask about that is really fairly hard.”

NDIS, healthcare fees to hinder budget repair: Richardson

The Government has been taking into consideration a wide variety of choices to modify the tax system, but it has repeatedly mentioned it does not want to increase the general burden on taxpayers.

Mr Richardson mentioned that was a separate method to the job of spending budget repair.

“Those two issues you can have at the identical time,” he mentioned.

“Tax reform isn’t about cutting or raising taxes, it is about having greater taxes and that is a lovely discussion that the Government is leading, but it does imply that price range repair is not straight component of that tax reform equation, and spending budget repair itself continues to get tougher and tougher to do.”

Deloitte Access Economics mentioned while it believed Australia must have national disability insurance, the NDIS and predicted increases in fees for health and aged care would make returning to surplus even tougher.

“I do not think Australians recognize that they have voted for a assortment of promises to themselves that the tax method merely does not pay for, and that is a actual issue in our national social compact,” Mr Richardson mentioned.

“The federal budget will hold not adding up, unless and until Australians realise we need to reduce back on promises to ourselves and maybe to raise taxes as nicely to close that gap.”

Subjects: company-economics-and-finance, spending budget, tax, markets, australia, china

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Report: Google Play’s move into China now scheduled for 2016

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(credit: Josh Chin)

A report from Reuters provides us the most recent update on Google’s ongoing effort to get Google Play into China. The report says that Google staff are “operating hard in China to lay the ground for the app store’s launch” and the store will go reside in 2016, sometime after February.

With 1.three billion folks, China is the world’s largest smartphone industry, but a Google-blessed version of Android isn’t obtainable there. Google is really active in the second- and third-most-populated countries—India and the US—but the company effectively pulled out of China several years ago due to censorship laws. Android is nonetheless the greatest mobile OS in China, but it’s all a bunch of forked versions of the Android Open Supply Project skinned by the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei.

The sources Reuters spoke to say that Google does not need “explicit approval” from the Chinese Government it just demands to “comply with Chinese laws including these governing data storage and content material filtering.” These guidelines apparently imply that China will be obtaining a particular version of the Play Store that is “set up especially for China, and not connected to overseas versions of Google Play” according to the report. Since Google’s payment arm is not live in China, the report says the Play Store will be using local payment alternatives, like Alipay and WeChat Payment to buy apps and make in-app purchases.

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