China

Russia becomes China's biggest oil supplier

Imports of Russian oil rose by 55% from a year earlier to a record level in May, displacing Saudi Arabia as China's biggest provider.

China has ramped up purchases of Russian oil despite demand dampened by Covid curbs and a slowing economy.

In February, China and Russia declared their friendship had "no limits".

Footage of women attacked in restaurant sparks outrage in China

It has led to an outcry on social media and re-ignited debate about gender violence in China.

The incident began when a man put his hand on a woman's back in a restaurant and she pushed him away.

The man is seen striking her before others drag her outside and continue attacking as she lies on the floor.

The group of men are also seen attacking her dining partners.

Two of the women were admitted to hospital and were in a "stable condition and not in mortal danger", while two others sustained minor injuries, officials said.

China sends 30 warplanes into Taiwan air defence zone

The incident on Monday marked the biggest incursion since January.

It came days after US President Joe Biden warned China against invading Taiwan, and on the same day as a US official visited the island to discuss security with leaders.

China has ratcheted up the frequency of its air missions in recent months, claiming they are training drills.

Such moves have angered Taiwan and increased tensions in the region.

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province, which it can take by force if necessary.

NZ Foreign Minister defends 'lack of action' in the Pacific, says relationship is strong

Nanaia Mahuta has been criticised for not racing over the islands while China's Foreign Minister holds meetings with Pacific leaders, signing trade and development deals. 

“No shadow of a doubt, New Zealand’s relationship with the Pacific is strong. We’re consistent, we’re reliable, we’re respectful partners and we have engaged with the Pacific over a long period of time.”

She says New Zealand can't compete with China, but will encourage the Pacific to make their own decisions. 

Shanghai lockdown: China eases Covid restrictions after two months

At midnight local time (16:00 GMT Tuesday), restrictions were relaxed to allow most people to move freely around the city of some 25 million people.

But at least 650,000 residents will remain confined to their homes.

China's overall policy of "zero Covid" remains in place and people catching Covid face quarantine or hospital.

Their close contacts also face the prospect of removal to quarantine and the area immediately around where they live being locked down again.

China's financial hub set to lift Covid curbs

Plans have also been introduced to support the city's economy, which has been hit hard by the restrictions.

The commercial centre has been under a strict lockdown for almost two months.

Meanwhile, China's capital Beijing has reopened parts of its public transport system as well as some shopping malls and other venues as infections ease.

The announcement in Shanghai came as official figures showed on Sunday that new daily coronavirus cases fell to 122 from 170 over the previous 24 hours.

China signs deal with Samoa

China is building on a security pact it recently signed with Solomon Islands, which has alarmed the United States and its allies such as Australia as they fear a stepped-up military presence by Beijing. Australia's new centre-left government has made the Pacific Islands an early diplomatic priority.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, sworn in on Monday, said on Saturday his Labor government's plan includes a defence training school, support for maritime security, a boost in aid and re-engaging the region on climate change.

China’s Foreign Minister visits Samoa

The State Councilor arrived at the Faleolo International Airport on Friday via a Charter flight following a visit to Kiribati and before that the Solomon Islands.

The State Councilor was accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA).

China says it has 'no intention' of building military base in Solomon Islands

He made the comments after arriving in Solomon Islands on Thursday — his first stop on eight-nation tour of the Pacific during which he is seeking a sweeping regional deal on security and trade.

The Chinese minister dismissed international concerns about the security agreement Beijing sealed last month with Honiara, saying it was "above board, with honesty and integrity".

"It is not imposed on anyone, nor is it targeted at any third party," Mr Wang told a news conference after meeting with Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, Jeremiah Manele.

More details on China’s high-level delegation visit to the Pacific

A statement on Monday said, "Mr Wang and his almost 20 member delegation will spend a day in Honiara, attending various high-level meetings, courtesy calls on the Prime Minister and acting Governor-General, and hosting a press conference alongside his counterpart, Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele."

It said "the highlight of the visit is the signing of several key bilateral agreements with the national government."

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the visit by Mr Wang will be a milestone in the Solomon Islands-China relationship.