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CNA's top 10 China news stories of 2015

CNA's top 10 China news stories of 2015

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Taiwan's national news agency, the Central News Agency (CNA), has selected its top 10 China news stories of 2015, with the establishment of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at the top of the list.

Following are the stories selected by CNA editors:

1. China-backed AIIB formed
The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was formally established as a multilateral development bank that focuses on the development of infrastructure and other sectors in Asia. It has 57 founding members. Taiwan's initial application to join the institution was rejected, possibly due to disagreement over what name Taiwan should use to join the bank. Taiwan has said its bottom line is "Chinese Taipei" and that it will not accept "Taipei, China."

2. China steps up land reclamation in South China Sea
According to a U.S. Pentagon report released in August, China reclaimed more than 2,900 acres of land across the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea between December 2013 and June 2015. That is 17 times more land than the other claimants combined over the past 40 years, the report said.

The United States challenged Beijing's territorial claims by sending a Navy destroyer into waters near the islands in late October, straining U.S.-China relations.

3. Former security chief jailed
Zhou Yongkang, the former security chief in China, was sentenced to life in jail and deprived of his political rights for life on June 11 after he was convicted of bribery, disclosure of state secrets and abuse of power. Zhou, who said he will not appeal the case, became the first Politburo Standing Committee member to be jailed for corruption.

4. China launches new flight route M503
China announced Jan. 12 that it planned to launch four new flight routes, including the north-south route M503 over the Taiwan Strait. The announcement drew strong opposition from Taiwan, which feared the flights would compromise aviation safety in the region and infringe on Taiwan's sovereignty.

Beijing eventually agreed to move M503 six nautical miles to the west of its original path and canceled plans for the other routes. The M503 flight route was launched March 29.

5. Tianjin explosions
On Aug. 12, a series of explosions occurred at a hazardous chemicals warehouse in the Chinese port city of Tianjin. As of Sept. 11, over 700 had been injured and 173 people had died as a result of the disaster, many of them firefighters.

6. China gives Taiwan visa-free treatment
China announced June 14 plans to offer visa-free treatment for Taiwanese travelers and to change the Taiwan Compatriot Permit from a booklet to a card. The unilateral announcement aroused concern in Taiwan.

The IC card system was implemented on a trial basis in July and was fully implemented Sept. 21.

7. Obama-Xi meeting
U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the White House in Washington, D.C. Sept. 25. It was Xi's first visit to the United States since he took office.

Obama reiterated his commitment to Washington's one-China policy based on the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. Xi, meanwhile, expressed hope that the United States will keep its promises and not support any action that might hurt China's unification and stability.

8. Chai Jing's documentary on pollution
Chai Jing, a former Chinese TV journalist, made an investigative documentary "Under the Dome" about air pollution in China. The film was viewed over 117 million times on the Internet within 24 hours of its release and generated heated public debate on the issue of air pollution.

In early March, however, the film was taken down from major streaming websites in China, allegedly due to censorship by the Chinese government.

9. China's massive military parade
China held a massive military parade in Beijing Sept. 3 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Eight-Year War of Resistance against Japan. The parade was attended by 30 heads of state, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Korea President Park Geun-hye.

Former Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan's presence at the parade drew much criticism from the Taiwan public.

10. Chinese stock market crash
After Chinese shares hit a seven-year high in June, a sudden crash saw shares lose over 30 percent of their value within a month.

Chinese regulators intervened to stem the crash, capping short selling, suspending initial public offerings and banning major shareholders from selling their stocks. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-06-15 02:39 GMT+08:00