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China's premier says Beijing flexible on growth target so long as jobs, reform goals met

BEIJING, China - China will keep this year's economic expansion strong enough to create new jobs but will emphasize market-opening reform and cleaning up smog-choked cities over hitting its official growth target, the premier said Thursday. Li Keqiang's comments reinforced the ruling Communist Party's pledge to shift to cleaner, more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption and service industries instead of trade and investment.

Chinese activist detained over possible Tiananmen self-immolation

A female Chinese activist has been detained by security authorities after posting online about a possible attempted self-immolation last week in Tiananmen Square, her husband and friends said Tuesday. Wang Jing's husband, who is a Japanese national, said he is worried about her well-being since she was taken away by the authorities in Beijing on Friday, adding he believes she was subsequently transferred to her home city of Jilin.

China confirms 'emergency' near Tiananmen Square: state media

Chinese police dealt with an "emergency" near Beijing's Tiananmen Square during a top government meeting last week, state media reported Monday, after onlookers said they saw smoke in the area. The "emergency" occurred during the opening of China's Communist-controlled National People's Congress on Wednesday, the state-run People's Public Security News said in a report carried on a central government website.

China to toughen environment law, hold polluters accountable

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will toughen its environmental protection laws to target polluters, according to a high-level policy report released on Sunday, paving the way for possibly unlimited penalties for polluting and the suspension or shutdown of polluters. The revised law would hold "polluters accountable for the damage they cause and having them compensate for it", said the report, delivered by Zhang Dejiang, who sits on the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee as one of the country's most powerful politicians.

China muddling through on Ukraine - and world affairs

As world leaders scramble to shape events in Ukraine, China has stood by unable even to articulate its stance, exposing an inconsistent approach to foreign affairs despite its fast-growing global interests and stature, analysts say. Beijing can partly blame the lag on its rapid ascent into the top tier of international heavyweights. But it faces huge pressure to catch up fast, both from other governments and its own increasingly far-flung nationals and companies.

China muddling through on Ukraine - and world affairs

As world leaders scramble to shape events in Ukraine, China has stood by unable even to articulate its stance, exposing its muddled approach to foreign affairs despite its fast-growing global interests and stature, analysts say. Beijing can partly blame the lag on its rapid ascent into the top tier of international heavyweights. But it faces huge pressure to catch up fast, both from other governments and its own increasingly far-flung nationals and companies.

China muddling through on Ukraine - and world affairs

As world leaders scramble to shape events in Ukraine, China has stood by unable even to articulate its stance, exposing its muddled approach to foreign affairs despite its fast-growing global interests and stature, analysts say. Beijing can partly blame the lag on its rapid ascent into the top tier of international heavyweights. But it faces huge pressure to catch up fast, both from other governments and its own increasingly far-flung nationals and companies.

China 'will not stop increasing' military spending

Chinese state-run media backed the country's military spending Thursday, after the government announced a 12.2 percent increase in its defence budget for 2014. The plans should not be regarded as evidence of a mounting "China threat", newspapers said, arguing that Beijing's steady raises in the defence budget were rooted in a desire for peace rather than conflict. Beijing is embroiled in a series of territorial disputes with Japan and other neighbours, and has pursued its claims more assertively in recent years.

China 'will not stop increasing' military spending

Chinese state-run media backed the country's military spending Thursday, after the government announced a 12.2 percent increase in its defence budget for 2014. The plans should not be regarded as evidence of a mounting "China threat", newspapers said, arguing that Beijing's steady raises in the defence budget were rooted in a desire for peace rather than conflict. Beijing is embroiled in a series of territorial disputes with Japan and other neighbours, and has pursued its claims more assertively in recent years.

Iconic Mao portrait in Beijing apparently vandalized with paint

The huge portrait of Communist China's founder Mao Zedong that looms over Tiananmen Square in Beijing is believed to have been vandalized with a black paint-like material, Kyodo News found Thursday even though security is tighter than usual as the country opened its parliament session a day before. Police were seen swarming the scene around 11:30 a.m. while two men in a crane were cleaning off what appeared to be a blackish taint on the lower left part of the iconic portrait that hangs over the entrance to the Forbidden City.
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