01 June 2016
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    31/05/2016 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Every year, the former British colony remembers the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Hopefully, the Student Federation “will give it a second thought”, and join the vigil, says PIME regional superior. Ding Zilin, founder and soul of the Tiananmen Mothers, will not issue an open letter to the government for the first time in 27 years. The Church continues its commitment to truth and justice.




    31/05/2016 - CHINA

    Xi Jinping raises the Zhejiang clique, fights the Communist Youth League

    by Willy Lam

    The great expert of Chinese politics looks at the ongoing power struggles within the leading group between Xi Jinping’s clique and those of Hu Jintao’s League and Jiang Zemin’s Shanghai clique. Zhejiang, where Xi worked from 2002 to 2007, has become the new breeding ground for future Sixth Generation leaders, even if they have no special qualities.


    31/05/2016 - ASIA

    Nearly 50 million modern slaves: 60% are in Asia


    Five Asian countries have the highest percentages of slaves: North Korea, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, India and Qatar. The largest number of slaves in the absolute sense is held by India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan. Loan sharks also creating slavery. Slavery fueled by businesses in search of cheap labor; organized crime, which exploits human trafficking; the exploitation of man by man. The need for legislation, transparency in production chain, but also a change of mentality to combat consumerist frenzy.


    27/05/2016 - SENEGAL – CHINA

    China plundering the last forests of Senegal


    In a video shot with a drone, Senegal’s former environment minister denounces rosewood smuggling. Favoured by smugglers and sold to Chinese traders, the precious timber is taken from a region bordering Gambia where native forests have virtually disappeared. Beijing’s neo-imperialism continues in Africa as it gets unfettered assess to raw materials from local leaders without strings attached.


    27/05/2016 - NEPAL

    Kathmandu uncovers cocaine racket selling drugs to Europe

    by Christopher Sharma

    Four people of different nationalities arrested. 2.6 kilos of drugs and 1.3 million rupees Seized. The band refers to Nigeria but has contacts with all continents. Political instability and corruption have encouraged the growth of trafficking in the country.


    27/05/2016 - JAPAN - G7

    Migrants and tensions with Beijing closes Iseshima G7


    The leaders gathered in Japan express "concern" about the tensions in Asia caused by the "renewed protagonism" of China, and define the migrant crisis "a global problem to be addressed on a global level". Each nation should strive to resolve the crisis with the means deemed most appropriate, the real issue is the need "to strengthen global demand while maintaining debt at sustainable levels."


    26/05/2016 - HONG KONG - CHINA

    Our Lady of Sheshan "helps Chinese Catholics “see hope in the dark"

    by Eugenia Cheung

    Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai, secretary of Propaganda Fide, celebrated Mass in Hong Kong’s St Jude Church on the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians. During the service, he mentioned Fr Peter Yu Heping, who died in mysterious circumstances in 2015, but had great faith in the future of the Church in China.


    26/05/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Evangelize China for the good of society, demanding an end to persecution

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Official and underground Christians have celebrated the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, wanted by Benedict XVI. In a China marked by individualism and corruption, academics and scholars advise greater freedom for the economy and religious freedom for communities. Religions, viewed with suspicion by the leadership, are actually one of the few glues for a supportive and creative society. The strange silence of some commentators on persecution. The priority is formation of the clergy, the religious, the faithful. Now is the opportune time for the evangelization of China.

     


    25/05/2016 - CHINA

    Eleven new priests ordained on the Day of Prayer for the Church in China

    by Victoria Ma

    Nine, all from ethnic minorities, were ordained by Ma Yinglin, Kunming’s illegitimate bishop. Mgr Wu Junwei, bishop of Yuncheng (Shanxi), ordained Fr Han Bo in Jinzhong Cathedral. Mgr He Zeqing, bishop of Wanzhou, ordained Fr Peng Yueyu of Chongqing.


    25/05/2016 - MACAO-CHINA

    The Church of Macao prays for China: Now is the right time for evangelization

    by Xie Qircan

    For the first time, since the appointment of  bishop Stephen Lee, the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China took place at a diocesan level, in the cathedral, in the presence of the bishop. The memory of the martyrs, Chinese and foreign, who evangelized China; the prayer to Mary so that Christians may face the new challenges of a Chinese society in transition. It is the duty of all Chinese faithful  to evangelize China.

     


    24/05/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    At least 20,000 Catholics pray at Sheshan for the Church in China

    by Victoria Ma

    Pilgrims came from other dioceses like Ningbo and Taiyuan. Some groups organised web prayers. Under house arrest since 2012, Mgr Thaddeus Ma Daqin was not present. The Diocese of Shanghai organised a solemn pilgrimage.


    24/05/2016 - IRAN – INDIA – AFGHANISTAN

    Delhi, Tehran and Kabul sign historic Chabahar port agreement


    India grants a US$ 500 million line of credit to build and maintain the facility. Indian goods will be able to reach Central Asia and Europe, halving time and costs. The port will be directly linked to Afghanistan. The goal is to boost cooperation and take advantage of the end of sanctions in Iran.


    23/05/2016 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Card Zen: unity among all social strata is needed for Hong Kong ‘s freedom


    For the first time in 27 years, the Student Federation plans to stay away from the memorial vigil for the martyrs of Tiananmen Square. Hong Kong’s bishop emeritus told AsiaNews that the kids have great courage but they want to do “their own thing”. Regrettably, “they lack the maturity to understand that today more than ever we need unity and cooperation”. Hong Kong "is a part of China, and this brooks no discussion”.


    22/05/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: May Chinese Catholics become concrete sign of love and reconciliation


    After the Angelus, Francis remembers the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which falls on May 24: "Let us ask Mary to give to his children in China the ability to discern at all times the signs of the loving presence of God, that always welcomes and forgives. " Before the Marian prayer, a reflection on the Holy Trinity: "This feast invites us to engage in the daily events to be leaven of communion, of consolation and of mercy."


    21/05/2016 - CHINA

    125 people arrested for trafficking toxic vaccines


    The system was operating in 22 provinces, with a total turnover amounted to half a billion yuan. Health officials also among those arrested. They bought adulterated vaccines, distributing them to unsuspecting citizens. The incident came after the arrest of a doctor who sold millions of doses that had expired or stored incorrectly.

     


    20/05/2016 - CHINA

    China’s online propaganda generates 488 million “positive” comments a year


    A study by Gary King and his research team found that China has invested in generating favourable online comments. In addition to government employees, anti-change volunteers do their part. Currently, a nationwide drive is underway to get 10.5 million youth volunteers to banish Western influence from social media.


    19/05/2016 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Beijing realising that its iron fist might lose it Hong Kong


    For Lee Cheuk-yan, pan-democratic lawmaker and pro-democracy activist, the mainland seems to have realised that hardline confrontation can only spark an independence movement. During a meeting with China’s third ranking leader, four pan-democratic lawmakers called for the ouster of Hong Kong’s chief executive. A Communist Party paper calls it “a sharp demand”, but “that is part of their rights to ask”.


    19/05/2016 - CHINA - UNITED STATES

    South China Sea, risk of collision between Chinese and US planes


    Pentagon says Beijing’s jets involved in  "insecure" operation. US aircraft dropped to a bare  60 meters above the ground to avoid collision. The incident occurred on May 17 in international airspace, during US patrol operations. Exchanges of accusations between China and the United States over their military activities in the area.

     


    18/05/2016 - CHINA - USA

    Price war: Washington increases taxes on Chinese steel by 500%


    The steel industry in China is over-producing and domestic demand is low due to the economic crisis. Tax cuts and a devalued yuan facilitate exports. The US steel industry has lost 12 thousand jobs. Calls for a ban of Chinese imports of steel to International Trade Commission.


    17/05/2016 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    "I want universal suffrage" banner welcomes Zhang Dejiang to Hong Kong


    The chairman of the National People’s Congress, who also heads the party's leading group on Hong Kong and Macau affairs, arrived in the former British colony today. He is the highest ranking mainland official to visit Hong Kong since 2012. Pro-democracy advocates welcome him with a huge banner calling for universal suffrage. A former Guangdong governor, Zhang said he came to see, listen, and talk. Security seize journalists’ umbrellas, symbol of the 2014 protests.


    17/05/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution

    by Sergio Ticozzi

    The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.


    16/05/2016 - CHINA

    Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent  a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".

     


    16/05/2016 - CHINA

    Fewer college places for locals in 14 provinces spark protests by parents and students

    by John Ai

    Admission to China’s higher education leads to fierce competition. Educational authorities boost the number of places for students from the country’s less developed central and western regions. Protesters complain in front of government buildings against the decision’s timing, absurd and stressful coming less than a month before entrance exams.


    14/05/2016 - ASIA

    WHO: Asia home to world’s most polluted cities


    Foremost Peshawar, Pakistan, which has a concentration of fine particles of 540 micrograms / m3. The threshold established by WHO is 20 mg / m3. In India there are four of the five most polluted cities in the world. Each year 7 million people die of causes related air pollution.

     


    13/05/2016 - TIBET - CHINA

    Dalai Lama challenges CPC: Find Mao’s reincarnation and you can choose my successor


    The Buddhist leader jokes about the Chinese government's continued interference in the religious sphere: "They are atheists and materialists by their very definition, but want to choose the next head of Tibetan Buddhism. I have a proposal: first announce the reincarnation of Mao Zedong and other great Communist leaders and then we'll talk". On the future of his role, speaking  seriously, he states: "The Tibetan people will decide".

     


    12/05/2016 - CHINA

    Protestant pastor who protested cross demolitions is released


    The authorities released Zhang Chongzhu, the official church pastor in Pyongyang in Zhejiang. He sent word outside China about the government's new campaign and invited them to "stand in a circle and watch" as the crosses are demolished in the Chinese province.


    12/05/2016 - TAIWAN

    Raising money "is not begging but being a follower of Christ"

    by Xin Yage

    A meeting between the representatives of various Taiwan Catholic NGOs emphasizes the importance of experiencing fundraisers as "a personal conversion". Fundraising is a ministry, "and ministry first of all means 'to receive the blessing of God' for those we serve". Each year Taiwanese foundations provide services to the tune of one billion dollars.

     


    12/05/2016 - TAIWAN

    5.8 earthquake in Taiwan: panic among population but no deaths


    Epicenter in sea off ​Yilan County, in the northeast of the country, about 60 km from Taipei. Shocks were felt throughout the island. In Taipei a parliament session interrupted by blackout.


    11/05/2016 - CHINA

    Pushing back against Xi Jinping's “core leadership”

    by Willy Lam

    The senior China expert looks at the developing split inside the Politburo due to Xi Jinping’s heavy-handed crackdown and rising personality cult (à la Mao). Divisions are sinking financial policy and slowing down necessary reforms. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


    10/05/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    My memories of Msgr. Thomas Zhang Huaixin, a patient bishop for the Church's freedom

    by Sergio Ticozzi

    PIME missionary in Hong Kong, Fr. Sergio Ticozzi, met the late bishop many times when they would speak in Latin to avoid "indiscreet ears".  He recalls the prelates material and spiritual reconstruction of the diocese of Anyang; his care for vocations; his receiving government recognition and his rejection of the Patriotic Association. How he waited for five years to ordain his coadjutor without "illegitimate bishops."

     






    Editor's choices

    IRAQ
    Baghdad Patriarch calls on Christians and Muslims to pray for peace between May and Ramadan

    Joseph Mahmoud

    Baghdad’s Queen of the Rosary Church will host an interfaith prayer against violence and terrorism next Monday. The Chaldean Patriarch launched the initiative, reiterating there are no military options but prayer against conflicts affecting "innocent people". He also urged Muslims to think about renewing their way of thinking and culture.


    EGYPT-ISLAM-VATICAN
    Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, the said and the "unsaid"

    Samir Khalil Samir

    There are many positive aspects in the meeting between the Pope and the supreme Sunni authority, along with silence on some issues. For Al Tayyib Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. But Isis uses the black flag of Muhammad, the prophet's sword, the sentences of the Koran. The terrorists take their bloodthirsty statements from many imams. The urgency of a new renaissance of Islam, reinterpreting tradition in modernity: a task interrupted by fundamentalism.
     


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