British diplomat Stephen Ellison saves drowning woman

A British diplomat has been hailed as a hero after diving into a river in China to save a drowning student, Stephen Ellison, 61, consul-general in Chongqing, was walking by a river in a nearby village when the woman, 24, slipped on rocks into the deep water. Footage filmed by onlookers showed her struggle in the fast-moving current, disappear under a footbridge and emerge face down, apparently unconscious, Mr Ellison took off his shoes and dived in to save her, she has not been named. The consul general, who takes part in triathlons, turned the student over, lifted her face … Continue reading British diplomat Stephen Ellison saves drowning woman

US looking for new ways to cooperate with Indonesia

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that the United States would find new ways to cooperate with Indonesia in the South China Sea and respected Jakarta’s efforts to safeguard its own waters while rejecting China’s “unlawful” claims in the area. Pompeo’s visit to Indonesia comes amid a five-nation tour through Asia where he has sought to strengthen strategic and economic ties amid rising tensions between the US and China. In a joint news conference with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, Pompeo hailed Jakarta’s “decisive action” to protect its sovereignty in the waters near the Natuna Islands, which China … Continue reading US looking for new ways to cooperate with Indonesia

China warns UK not to offer citizenship to Hong Kong residents

China has told Britain to “immediately correct its mistakes” after the UK reaffirmed its plan to offer a route to British citizenship to almost three million people living there, the offer was made in July when Beijing imposed a strict national security law on the former British colony. Critics say it undermines the civil freedoms that China agreed to uphold when Hong Kong was handed back in 1997. Beijing has previously warned the UK not to meddle in “domestic issues”, Friday’s warning came from the Hong Kong arm of China’s Foreign Ministry, the British offer is not for all residents … Continue reading China warns UK not to offer citizenship to Hong Kong residents

Former North Korean diplomat in Italy defects to south

A former senior North Korean diplomat to Italy is currently in South Korea, having disappeared from Rome in late 2018, an opposition member of the National Assembly has revealed. Jo Song Gil, who was North Korea’s acting ambassador to Italy, disappeared with his wife after leaving the embassy without notice in early November 2018, and his whereabouts have been unclear since. The two reportedly left just before Jo’s term as the acting ambassador in Rome ended, according to Ha Tae-keung of the opposition People Power Party, the diplomat entered South Korea in July last year and is “under the protection … Continue reading Former North Korean diplomat in Italy defects to south

BREAKING NEWS: US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad stepping down as tensions with Beijing rise

Then-Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and then-Iowa Governor Terry Branstad raise their glasses in a toast at a state dinner on February 15, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa. Amidst the ongoing deteriorating relationship between the US and China, Terry Branstad will be stepping down as United States Ambassador to China after more than three years in Beijing, a source confirmed to CNN Monday. Branstad is expected to leave Beijing before the November US Presidential election, the source said. The announcement comes amid increasing tensions between the US and China on several fronts. The Chinese government announced on Friday it would … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS: US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad stepping down as tensions with Beijing rise

Chinese investment in Australia nearly halved as ties deteriorate

Chinese investment in Australia almost halved in 2019, according to new data, as relations between the countries deteriorated. Researchers from the Australian National University said on Monday Chinese investment plunged from 4.8 billion Australian dollars ($3.5bn) to just 2.5 billion Australian dollars ($1.8bn) last year. Professor Peter Drysdale, who led the data research, said the 1.43-billion-Australian-dollar ($1.04bn) purchase of infant formula producer Bellamy’s Australia by China’s Mengniu Dairy accounted for more than half of that investment. It was the third consecutive year that Chinese investment in Australia dropped since peaking at 15.8 billion Australian dollars ($11.5bn) in 2016. The steep … Continue reading Chinese investment in Australia nearly halved as ties deteriorate

UPDATE: Chinese state media accuse Australia of raiding journalists’ homes

In what is fast becoming a tit for tat diplomacy between Australia and China, state media in China says Australian agents raided the homes of Chinese journalists in June, in the latest flare of tensions between the nations. The reports come a day after the last two journalists working in China for Australian media flew home after a tense diplomatic stand-off. On Wednesday, two state mouthpieces said the Chinese reporters had been asked not to report the June incident. Australian police and intelligence agencies said they would not comment. The “raids” took place on an unspecified number of Chinese journalists’ … Continue reading UPDATE: Chinese state media accuse Australia of raiding journalists’ homes

UPDATE: Australian journalists flown out of China amid diplomatic standoff

Two Australian news outlets have removed their reporters from China over what they say is a diplomatic standoff. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Bill Birtles and the Australian Financial Review’s Mike Smith landed in Sydney on Tuesday. Chinese authorities questioned both … Continue reading UPDATE: Australian journalists flown out of China amid diplomatic standoff

Greece, Turkey set for talks on Mediterranean tension

NATO members Turkey and Greece have agreed to hold “technical talks” on ways to de-escalate military tensions in the eastern Mediterranean Sea over disputed gas exploration activities. Tensions are running high over Turkey’s drilling activities, which Greece and Cyprus say violate their sovereignty, and both sides have deployed warships in a show of force, raising fears of conflict erupting by accident.   “Following my discussions with Greek and Turkish leaders, the two allies have agreed to enter into technical talks at NATO to establish mechanisms for military de-confliction to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the eastern Mediterranean,” NATO … Continue reading Greece, Turkey set for talks on Mediterranean tension

Sudan fires foreign ministry spokesman after Israel deal comment

The foreign ministry spokesman of Sudan has been dismissed after making allegedly unauthorized comments indicating there were contacts with Israel regarding normalizing ties. The development on Wednesday comes after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel announced last week that they were to establish diplomatic ties, a deal denounced by the Palestinians as a “betrayal” of their cause. The agreement makes the UAE only the third Arab nation – after Egypt and Jordan – to have full ties with Israel.  Sudanese acting Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din “has dismissed Haidar Badawi from his position as spokesman and head of the media … Continue reading Sudan fires foreign ministry spokesman after Israel deal comment