Xinhua News Agency

Aftershock terrifies China quake survivors

Thousands of terrified survivors of China's earthquake huddled in the open with their meagre belongings on Tuesday as an aftershock struck and the government warned of more powerful ones to come. The panic, which reportedly gripped a vast area, came as China entered its second day of official mourning over the quake.

Tens of thousands dead, missing in China

China's biggest earthquake for a generation left tens of thousands dead, missing or buried under the rubble of crushed communities on Tuesday, plunging the nation into an all-out aid effort. Rescue teams struggled by air, land and water to reach the areas of south-western China stricken by the huge quake that demolished schools, homes and factories.

Dalai Lama welcomes Chinese offer for talks

The Dalai Lama on Friday welcomed China's offer to meet his envoy for talks after weeks of protests over Tibet and repeated calls from the exiled spiritual leader for dialogue with Beijing. China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported that talks would take place in the coming days, which the Dalai Lama's spokesperson described as "a step in the right direction".

Protests cut short Paris Olympic flame relay

The Paris leg of the Beijing Olympic flame relay was cut short on Monday after citywide protests against China's crackdown in Tibet forced the torchbearers to take refuge on a bus. The torch's journey by foot ended outside the French Parliament, where protesting deputies hung a Tibetan flag on a railing.

Chinese firm wins big Libyan railway contract

A Chinese contractor has won bids to build two railways in Libya worth a combined $2,6-billion as China enhances its economic presence in energy-rich African nations. Under one contract, China Railway Construction, the firm that built part of the railway to Tibet, would construct a 352km west-to-east coastal railway.

Fluorescent Chinese pig passes on trait to offspring

A pig genetically modified in China to make it glow has given birth to fluorescent piglets, proving such changes can be inherited, state media said on Wednesday. The sow was one of three pigs who had fluorescent green protein injected into their embryos when they were bred in December 2006 by scientists in north-east China.

Millions party but bombs and security fears cloud New Year

Millions staged midnight parties at icon landmarks around the world to see in 2008 but bomb attacks and security fears quickly darkened New Year festivities. More than one million people lined Sydney harbour for fireworks that set off the global party and hundreds of thousands packed Hong Kong streets and historic European venues.

China: No full democracy for Hong Kong by 2012

China on Saturday ruled full democracy in Hong Kong by 2012 but flagged universal suffrage for 2017 in a long-awaited decision on democratic reform for the former British colony, officials said. The decision is likely to upset democrats who had been pushing for 2012 as a deadline for changes in the way the chief executive and the legislature are chosen.

Shower vehicles added to Chinese army’s arsenal

The Chinese military has added mobile showers to its ever more sophisticated arsenal, state media reported on Wednesday. The camouflaged vehicle can be set up in five minutes and allows 20 men to shower simultaneously within a narrow 10-square-metre space, the Xinhua news agency said.

Asia space race heats up as China heads for moon

Asia's space race heated up on Wednesday as China launched its first lunar orbiter, an event hailed in the world's most populous nation as a milestone event in its global rise. China's year-long expedition kicks off a programme that aims to land an unmanned rover on the moon's surface by 2012 and put a man on the moon by about 2020.

China factory inferno kills 37

A fire erupted at a shoe factory in south-east China, killing 37 people in the latest industrial accident to hit the world's fourth-largest economy, officials and state media said on Monday. The blaze at the Feida workshop, located near the city of Putian in coastal Fujian province, broke out at 9.50pm local time on Sunday and was extinguished an hour later.

Wipha weakens but still pours misery

Tropical storm Wipha lost much of its punch as it roared ashore over densely populated eastern China on Wednesday but continued to rake the region with heavy rains and high winds. The former typhoon had sparked the evacuation of more than two million people.

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