China has offered foreign diplomats in Beijing inoculation with one of its coronavirus vaccines, possibly as early as this month. But the offer has had a mixed response among overseas diplomats amid concerns that the shots could complicate future travel. Diplomatic sources said the protocol department at the Chinese foreign ministry told them this week that they could be given a vaccine developed by state firm Sinopharm. Its developers reported an efficacy rate of 79 per cent against symptomatic Covid-19 and the product was approved for public use in China in December. It was granted emergency use in July and given to some senior Chinese officials and Chinese diplomats at the time. The vaccine went through large-scale phase three human trials in 10 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, and has been authorised for emergency elsewhere in the world, but so far the developers have not published detailed results of those trials. The vaccine is being reviewed by the World … [Read more...] about China offers Covid-19 vaccine to foreign diplomats – but will they take it?
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BEIJING -- The crewmembers who will participate in the construction of China's space station have been selected and are being trained for their missions, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA). The construction of the space station has entered a crucial stage, said the CMSA, noting that this year will see several space missions including the launch of the station's core module, cargo replenishment, and a manned flight, which will be carried out one after another. China aims to complete the construction of its space station by around 2022. During the construction, China plans to launch four Shenzhou manned spaceships and four Tianzhou cargo spacecraft to transport astronauts and supplement materials. The Long March-5B Y2 rocket, which will launch the core module, has been safely transported to the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan province. The core module is scheduled to be launched in the first half of this year. … [Read more...] about China selects astronauts for space station program
A sweeping Chinese trend of grown women squeezing into childrenswear to show off their waistlines has been attacked by people online who call the craze “unethical”. Online posts showing teenagers and women in their 20s posing in changing rooms of Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo in barely-there T-shirts, have become wildly popular online recently. The fashion trend is called “BM style” which stands for Brandy Melville, a popular but controversial Italian women’s clothing shop that stocks only extra small and small sizes.. While some women buy children’s clothing to fit their petite frames, most online posts include photos of young adult women squeezing into the too-small T-shirts so they can appear cute and skinny with slim waists. Fashion bloggers said they preferred the childrenswear’s colourful designs and cheaper price over the less interesting adult pieces. However, the fashion trend has been criticised recently because the customers trying on the T-shirts show little … [Read more...] about Uniqlo stores in China hit by craze of women playing dress up in children’s outfits and damaging clothes
SINGAPORE: Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam believes the issues of sovereignty surrounding the South China Sea dispute are not likely to be resolved in the near future. The approach, he said, is to put that on the backburner and agree on a way in which countries can relate and co-operate with one another, as that would preserve peace. One way, he said, is through encouraging the countries claiming territories in the South China Sea to agree to a code of conduct that everyone can be a party to. Mr Shanmugam was answering questions from MPs in parliament on how he expects the leadership renewal in the US and China to affect the ongoing South China Sea dispute. He said Singapore's position on peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia has been to maintain stability through a strong US presence, free and open trade and creating an ASEAN architecture. He said this should continue and is in the interest of both the US and China. Mr Shanmugam also said he expects Singapore's … [Read more...] about No immediate solution for South China Sea dispute: Shanmugam
China's military budget will increase by 6.8% in 2021, said the Chinese finance ministry on Friday. China's defence budget is the second-largest in the world after the US. Military tensions have dramatically increased over the past year between China and rival powers including the United States and India, with flashpoints like the Himalayan border, Taiwan and the South China Sea. Beijing plans to spend 1.36 trillion yuan ($210 billion) on defence, which is still less than a third of Washington´s military budget. The growth rate, up from 2020's 6.6%, was revealed by the ministry at the opening of the government´s annual legislative meetings. In recent years, China has poured trillions of yuan into the modernisation of its military, which it aims to transform into a world-class force rivalling that of the US and other Western powers. Beijing has over the past year repeatedly used its military might to threaten the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which it claims — flying fighter … [Read more...] about China increases defence budget by 6.8%