Airbus SE secured a $35 billion jet deal from China during a state visit by President Xi Jinping to the French capital, dealing a blow to Boeing Co. as it grapples with the grounding of its best-selling jet. The Airbus coup comes while Boeing’s own 737 Max narrow-body — the chief global rival to the A320 — has been idled following two fatal crashes in five months. The U.S. planemaker is also struggling with the fallout from a China-U.S. trade war that’s seen sales to the Asian nation dry up, just as Airbus bolsters its position with an offer to expand production facilities in Tianjin.
An explosion at a pesticide plant in eastern China has killed 47 people and injured more than 600, state media said on Friday, the latest casualties in a series of industrial accidents that has angered the public. The cause of the explosion is being investigated, but the company – which produces more than 30 organic chemical compounds, some highly flammable – has been cited and fined for work safety violations in the past, the China Daily said.
Turkey has called on China to close detention camps holding ethnic Uighurs following the reported death of a renowned musician from the minority. Abdurehim Heyit is thought to have been serving an eight-year sentence in the Xinjiang region, where up to a million Uighurs are reportedly being detained. The Uighurs are a Muslim Turkic-speaking minority based in the north-west Xinjiang region of China, which has come under intense surveillance by Chinese authorities. So far few Muslim-majority countries have joined in public international condemnation of the allegations. Analysts say many fear political and economic retaliation from China.
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has denied any wrongdoing after US prosecutors filed a host of criminal charges against the firm. Huawei has also rejected criminal claims against its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada last month. The charges filed against Huawei in the US include bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology. At a briefing in Beijing, government spokesperson Geng Shuang said there were “political motivations” behind US attempts to “smear and suppress certain Chinese companies”.
The prominent Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for subversion. A court in Tianjin heard on Monday that Wang had been found “guilty of subversion of state power”. Wang, a lawyer who defended political activists, victims of land seizures, and members of the banned religious group Falun Gong, was tried in a closed hearing at the second intermediate people’s court on 26 December. He was one of approximately 250 lawyers and activists detained in 2015, as part of what is now known as the 709 crackdown, and was the last of the group still awaiting trial.
China’s economy cooled in the fourth quarter under pressure from faltering domestic demand and bruising U.S. tariffs, dragging 2018 growth to the lowest level in nearly three decades and pressuring Beijing to roll out more stimulus to avert a sharper slowdown. Policymakers have pledged more support this year to reduce the risk of massive job losses, but have ruled out a “flood” of stimulus like that which Beijing has relied on in the past, which quickly juiced growth rates but left a mountain of debt.
A Canadian citizen in China has been sentenced to death after a court convicted him of drug smuggling on Monday, a move likely to further inflame tensions between Ottawa and Beijing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized the ruling, which comes as relations have strained between the two countries following the arrest of a senior executive from the Chinese tech firm Huawei in Vancouver last month. Trudeau said the Chinese court’s decision was “of extreme concern.”
The U.S. case against the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies, who was arrested in Canada last month, centers on the company’s suspected ties to two obscure companies. U.S. authorities allege CFO Meng Wanzhou deceived international banks into clearing transactions with Iran by claiming the two companies were independent of Huawei, when in fact Huawei controlled them. Huawei has maintained the two are independent: equipment seller Skycom Tech Co Ltd and shell company Canicula Holdings Ltd.
The US Department of Justice charged two Chinese men who are allegedly part of a ‘hacking group’ for breaking into the computer networks of Western government agencies and companies. The group is known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 and has been accused by both the US and UK of violating a commercial espionage agreement.
Huawei CFO was released on bail on Tuesday after being arrested in Vancouver, Canada at the request of US authorities. Meng Wanzhou faces extradition to the US and prison time for multiple fraud charges. President Trump said he could intervene in Meng’s case to prevent further deterioration of relations between the US and China.