BEIJING (AP) — It has been three months since Chinese rock musician Li Zhi disappeared from public view. First, an upcoming tour was canceled and his social media accounts were taken down. Then his music was removed from all of China's major streaming sites — as if his career had never existed at all. Li is an outspoken artist who performs folk rock. He sang pensive ballads about social ills, and unlike most entertainers in China, dared to broach the taboo subject of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests that ended in bloodshed on June 4, 1989. "Now this square is my grave," Li sang.
SINGAPORE (AP) — China's defense minister is warning its military will "resolutely take action" to defend Beijing's claims over self-ruled Taiwan and disputed South China Sea waters. Speaking at an annual security conference in Singapore on Sunday, Wei Fenghe says: "Should anybody risk crossing the bottom line, the PLA will resolutely take action and defeat all enemies." The PLA stands for the People's Liberation Army. He defended China's right to build "limited defense facilities" in the contested South China Sea, where its sweeping claims are challenged by several smaller neighbors. On Saturday, U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told the same gathering that China's efforts to militarize man-made outposts in the South China Sea are a "toolkit of coercion," saying activities by Beijing the U.S.
BEIJING (AP) — China issued a report Sunday blaming the United States for a trade dispute and said it won't back down on "major issues of principle." The statement from the Cabinet spokesman's office said that China has kept its word throughout 11 rounds of talks and will honor its commitments if a trade agreement is reached. "A country's sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and any agreement reached by the two sides must be based on equality and mutual benefit," it said. The U.S. has accused China of stealing trade secrets and forced technology transfers. The Trump administration has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and is planning to tax the $300 billion in imports that have so far been spared.
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A Hungarian judge on Saturday ordered the formal arrest of a captain whose Viking river cruise ship collided with a sightseeing boat on the Danube River, sinking the tourist boat and leaving seven South Koreans dead and 21 other people missing. Authorities said water levels in Budapest are expected to fall quickly in the coming days, helping efforts to salvage the wreckage that may still contain victims' bodies. The judge ordered the 64-year-old Ukrainian captain of the Viking Sigyn cruise ship formally arrested for 30 days. He said the captain could be released on bail — subject to him wearing a tracking device and remaining in Budapest — but prosecutors are appealing that decision.
BEIJING (AP) — China is investigating FedEx after it diverted packages sent by Chinese tech giant Huawei, state media reported Saturday. The missed deliveries drew unusual attention because of speculation that they're related to rising U.S.-China trade tensions and U.S. sanctions on Huawei. China has opened an investigation into FedEx's actions, which "severely harmed clients' legitimate rights and interests and violated China's delivery industry regulations," the official Xinhua news agency reported. Four packages containing paperwork sent out by Huawei were found to have been diverted to FedEx headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, instead of being delivered to Huawei offices in Asia. FedEx apologized and said the packages were misrouted accidentally.
SINGAPORE (AP) — U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Saturday denounced China's efforts to steal technology from other nations and militarize man-made outposts in the South China Sea as a "toolkit of coercion," saying activities by Beijing the U.S. perceives as hostile must end. In his first major speech on the international stage, Shanahan mixed sharp criticism of China and warnings of North Korea's "extraordinary" threat with vows that the U.S. will remain strongly committed to the Indo-Pacific region and is ready to invest billions of dollars in securing its stability. While he didn't specifically name China in early parts of his speech, he made clear who his target was, making pointed references to Beijing's campaign to put advanced weapons systems on disputed islands in the region.
SINGAPORE (AP) — South Korea's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo on Saturday fended off calls to step up pressure on North Korea after it test-fired missiles last month. Jeong told an annual security conference in Singapore that the tests were being investigated and a conclusion is within reach. "There are discussions whether or not it is a short-range ballistic missile. There is a perspective that it is a Russian Iskander missile, or it is a new tactical ballistic missile," he said. "There are data that we can verify, and we are working off those data to make sure we have a verification." Jeong was responding to a question on whether the tests were a violation of a military agreement between South and North Korea last September to halt acts of aggression against each other.
ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) — The American photographer who shot the iconic image of a man standing in front of tanks at the 1989 Tiananmen protests says it's time for the Chinese government to come clean about the bloody events of 30 years ago. Jeff Widener was an Associated Press photo editor based in Bangkok when he was called in to help cover a growing student-led pro-democracy movement centered on Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The day after the military crushed the protests on June 3-4, Widener took the shot of an unknown man holding shopping bags facing a row of tanks. The photo of "tank man" became one of the most famous images of defiance of the 20th century.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — An artist has erected an inflatable display in Taiwan's capital to mark an iconic moment in the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests. The larger-than-life balloon installation, which stands in front of Taipei's famous Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, portrays a peaceful encounter between a Chinese civilian and the military tanks that contributed to a brutal shutdown of the demonstrations in Beijing on June 4, 1989. The tank standoff, memorialized by several photographers including Jeff Widener of The Associated Press , has become a symbol of defiance around the world. Hundreds of people walked by the installation Saturday morning. Many took selfies and photos of the artwork, which has been up for a few weeks.
BEIJING (AP) — Wu'er Kaixi was among the most outspoken of the student leaders during the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, famously reproaching then-Premier Li Peng at a meeting broadcast on national television. Three decades on, he's more circumspect but remains just as harsh a critic of the Communist regime and just as committed to bringing democracy to China. While many former leaders and participants in the protests have moved on, embracing lives and careers that have little direct relation to the movement, others remain wedded to the cause, either by vocation, through survivors' guilt or because their actions permanently put them on the wrong side of the authorities.