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China building second aircraft carrier: reports

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is building its second aircraft carrier, which is expected to take six years, and the country aims to have at least four such ships, Chinese and Hong Kong media reports said on Sunday. After two decades of double-digit increases in the military budget, China's admirals plan to develop a full blue-water navy capable of defending growing economic interests as well as disputed territory in the South and East China Seas.

China has started building its own aircraft carrier: official

China has started to build its first domestically produced aircraft carrier in the port city of Dalian in the northeastern province of Liaoning, the Liaoning party chief said Saturday. The online edition of the Hong Kong daily Ta Kung Pao said Liaoning communist party secretary Wang Min disclosed the project at a meeting of the provincial people's congress. This appears to be the first time that a Chinese official has confirmed the existence of a Chinese domestic aircraft carrier building program.

China's high-speed rail link to N. Korea border city to open in 2015

China will open a high-speed rail link to the country's northeastern border city of Dandong, where about 70 percent of trade with North Korea is believed to be concentrated, in August 2015, state-run media reported Thursday. The new link between Dandong and Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province, will run 207 kilometers and shorten the time of travel between them to 1 hour from the current 3 hours and 35 minutes, Xinhua News Agency said.

China to open high-speed railway near N. Korean border next year

BEIJING, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- China will open a high-speed railway near its border with North Korea next year, state media said Thursday, in an indication that Beijing is committed to deepening its economic ties with Pyongyang despite the North's nuclear ambition. Construction of the 207-kilometer rail link between China's northeastern city of Shenyang and its border city of Dandong, where most of bilateral trade with North Korea is conducted, began in 2010 and will be opened in August next year, official Xinhua news agency reported in a dispatch from Shenyang.

Severe floods kill 37 in northeast China

The death toll has risen to 37 after the worst flooding for decades in northeast China, state media said Sunday. Liaoning province reported 12 flood-related deaths, with 32 others missing in Fushun city after downpours on Friday and Saturday, Xinhua news agency said. Floods also hit a residential compound in Jilin province on Friday, leaving 14 dead, while Heilongjiang province reported 11 deaths. More than 2,500 homes have been destroyed and at least 12,500 others severely damaged, while losses have been put at 7.13 billion yuan ($1.15 billion), the agency said.

N. Korea town opens to Western tourists: travel agents

North Korea's authorities have opened the border town of Sinuiju to Western tourists, Chinese-based travel agencies said, despite international tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear test in February. The move opens up the possibility of foreign tourists being able to make day tours to the secretive state, a considerably cheaper option than the more expensive multi-day trips currently on offer. The country is largely sealed off from outsiders, with Western travellers allowed in only on strictly controlled tours.

N. Korea town opens to Western tourists: travel agents

North Korea's authorities have opened the border town of Sinuiju to Western tourists, Chinese-based travel agencies said, despite international tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear test in February. The move opens up the possibility of foreign tourists being able to make day tours to the secretive state, a considerably cheaper option than the more expensive multi-day trips currently on offer. The country is largely sealed off from outsiders, with Western travellers allowed in only on strictly controlled tours.

China bank can transfer cash to N. Korea, sanction impact in doubt

China Construction Bank can still transfer cash to North Korea through a bank in the border city of Dandong in northeastern China, an employee of the major state-run lender's Dandong branch said Friday, which raises doubts about the effectiveness of Beijing's apparent financial sanction on Pyongyang.

North Korean helicopter puts on lonely show of force

By Maxim Duncan DANDONG, China (Reuters) - A single, ancient-looking North Korean helicopter dropped five paratroopers on their side of the Chinese border on Friday in a rather less-than-defiant, lonely show of force following weeks of angry war rhetoric from Pyongyang. North Korea has ramped up its threats after being hit by new U.N. sanctions since carrying out a third nuclear test in February, prompting the United States to fly stealth jets over the peninsula and to prepare anti-missile systems for Guam and Alaska.

Quiet amid the snows after N. Korea atom blast

A frosty quiet hung over the broad Yalu river that divides North Korea from China on Tuesday, after Pyongyang ruptured the diplomatic atmosphere with its third atomic weapons test. More Chinese troops than usual -- six rather than the standard two or three -- stood guard on the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge linking the two countries. Beijing's reaction to Pyongyang's atomic blast is seen as key. It is the North's sole major ally and biggest trading partner, with most of the business passing through Dandong in China's far northeast.
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