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Chairman of Chinese state-owned conglomerate being investigated for graft, party says

BEIJING, China - China's ruling Communist Party says the chairman of a massive state-owned conglomerate is being investigated for corruption, nine months after the government audited the company. The party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website Thursday that Song Lin was suspected of "serious violations of discipline and law." The phrase usually describes embezzlement, bribe-taking or related corruption that is considered rife in China's powerful state-run firms.

Chairman of Chinese state-owned conglomerate being investigated for graft, party says

BEIJING, China - China's ruling Communist Party says the chairman of a massive state-owned conglomerate is being investigated on suspicion of corruption, nine months after the government audited the company. The party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website Thursday that Song Lin was suspected of "serious violations of discipline and law." The phrase usually describes embezzlement, bribe-taking or related corruption that is considered rife in China's powerful state-run firms.

China's economic growth slows to 7.4 per cent, raising risk of job losses, impact on trade

BEIJING, China - China's economic growth slowed further in the latest quarter but appeared strong enough to satisfy Chinese leaders who are trying to put the country on a more sustainable path without politically dangerous job losses. The world's second-largest economy grew by 7.4 per cent over a year earlier, down from the previous quarter's 7.7 per cent, government data showed Wednesday. It matched a mini-slump in late 2012 for the weakest growth since the 2008-09 global crisis.

China's economy grows 7.4% in first quarter

China's gross domestic product grew 7.4 percent in the first three months of the year, official data showed Wednesday, increasing the chances Beijing will move to stanch a slowdown in the world's number two economy. The year on year figure is sharply down from the 7.7 percent expansion in the final three months of 2013, with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) blaming a slower-than-expected global recovery as well as economic structural reforms at home. However, it was marginally higher than a median forecast of 7.3 percent in a survey of 13 economists by AFP.

China denies naval snub for Japan over fleet review

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's navy on Tuesday denied, in a roundabout way, that it snubbed Japan by not inviting it to join in a naval fleet review as part of an international symposium, saying the two events had never been linked in the first place. U.S. officials have said the United States was invited to join the parade of ships as part of activities linked to the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, which is being held this month in Qingdao, an eastern port city.

China stresses need for stability at first meeting of new security council

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping held the first meeting of a new national security commission on Tuesday, saying China needed a coordinated approach to domestic and foreign challenges, including social unrest, in "the most complex time in history". China announced the formation of the commission in November at the end of a key party meeting to map out reforms.

French foreign minister makes 1st trip to Cuba in 30 years as Europe explores new ties

HAVANA - A French foreign minister visited Cuba for the first time in more than 30 years Saturday, travelling to the communist-run nation at a time when it is seeking to attract more foreign investment and improve ties with the European Union. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he met with President Raul Castro for an hour and half, during which the two men "talked about everything, including human rights."

French foreign minister on historic visit to Cuba

By Marc Frank HAVANA (Reuters) - France's foreign minister arrived in Cuba on Saturday for a brief but historic visit, the first by such a high-ranking French official in 31 years and a sign of the quickening pace of improving ties between the European Union and Havana. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez upon arrival, and was scheduled to meet with Cardinal Jaime Ortega and then French businessmen. Rodriguez met with Laurent in Paris last month.

No breakthroughs on trade deal for Australia PM in China

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday that he hoped a free trade agreement with China would be signed before November, offering little progress on a deal at the center of his visit to his country's largest trade partner. Abbott, whose week-long trip to North Asia includes stops in Japan and South Korea, has put trade atop his agenda. In Japan on Monday, he clinched a basic trade deal to cut import tariffs during a visit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Austrian far-right politician quits EU campaign under fire

VIENNA (Reuters) - A far-right Austrian politician under fire for racist comments and likening the European Union to the Third Reich quit on Tuesday as a top Freedom Party candidate for next month's EU parliament elections, saying he had lost the party's trust. Far-right anti-establishment parties are expected to fare well across much of the EU, mining voter dissatisfaction with high unemployment and entrenched centrist parties seen as out of touch, and fear of immigration.
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