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Big infrastructure projects built with Chinese loans are rising across the Pacific – a new government office building in Tonga and Samoa’s new police academy, for example. But new statistics from an Australian think tank suggest that China’s overall role is smaller than thought.

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People looking for rooms at luxury hotels often compare amenities offered by different properties. Those could range from swimming pools and million dollar views to gourmet food. But in China, it could also include a waterfall.

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A long-running dispute involving mainland China and Taiwan has been settled. It doesn’t have to do with territory, but with how airlines refer to Taiwan.

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We hear a lot about economic, military and diplomatic competition between China and the United States, but the rivalry extends to other fields as well – including humanitarian efforts.

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A multi-billion dollar rail project is running into unexpected problems, and may require some extra money. This is not a story about the Honolulu rail project — it’s about an enterprise that’s underway thousands of miles from Hawai‘i. 

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Most of the news about trade this week has focused on increasing tension between China and the United States. But there’s another trade story this week: involving a case where China is lowering tariffs.

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Australian media report that members of the Pacific Islands Forum will sign a new security pact at this year’s summit in September. A Chinese newspaper said that if the agreement is aimed at containing China, that would be a strategic mistake.

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President Trump is in Europe this week, but on the policy front it’s been another week of trade talk about China. His administration has listed another 200-billion dollars of Chinese goods that could be subject to tariffs. So far, most of this dispute has not directly touched Hawaii—but that could change.


With a trade war already raising tensions between the United States and China, two American warships probed what may be Beijing’s most sensitive spot over the weekend . . . the Taiwan Strait.

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The diplomatic rivalry between China and Australia has stepped up in recent days. The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea just made a state visit to Beijing, while the leaders of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu went to Canberra. China’s also taken over some former Australian territory. . . on the radio.

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Australia’s main political parties have reached agreement on the controversial Espionage and Foreign Interference Bill, which, when it passes, will further cool Australia’s already frosty relations with China.

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It’s summer break for many students around the world. In China, last week marked an important event for high school students with plans for college. And this week there’s a new development involving the United States.

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Over the weekend, more than a hundred people were arrested during sometimes violent demonstrations in Vietnam. The protests followed a government proposal to create Special Economic Zones, but the real issue was China.

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Much of the world’s attention has been focused on the Singapore meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. But another summit meeting in Asia has also produced a series of regional headlines.

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What’s in a name? When it comes to the destination for an airline — it can be a lot — especially if the destination is Taiwan. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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At an international security conference in Singapore last weekend, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis accused Beijing of “intimidation and coercion” in the South China Sea – comments that a senior Chinese general branded as “irresponsible.” We have a look at the history of China’s claim to the area from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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A new report out this week says flooding related to climate change will cost China nearly 400-billion dollars over the next twenty years. But there will also be high costs to the United States — and not just because of the weather. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

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It’s been a difficult month for Taiwan. The government there has faced increasing pressure from Beijing on a number of fronts, and it’s been having an international impact. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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There has been lots of reaction in recent days to trade talks between the United States and China. But much less attention is being paid to another diplomatic mission from China. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


China has stepped up military activity in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. As part of a training exercise, Chinese strategic bombers landed at a base in the Paracel Islands for the first time. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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A little more than an hour’s flight from Hong Kong is a tropical island that likes to market itself as “China’s Hawai‘i.” But unlike Hawai‘i, this location is looking for a population explosion. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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“The Gap” is the latest western company to provoke outrage in China. The retailer apologized for a T-shirt that showed a map of China that did not include territories claimed by Beijing. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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The first aircraft carrier to be built entirely in China left the shipyard to begin sea trials over the weekend, which marks an important milestone for China’s growing navy. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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China has poached another ally from Taiwan. The Dominican Republic is the latest country to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, after China offered a multi-billion dollar package of investments and loans. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Several top officials in the Trump Administration will be heading to China next week to talk about trade. The group will be led by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and will include the head of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, as well as the U.S. Trade Representative. While no breakthroughs are expected, some of the challenges are clear. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Pedestrian safety is a concern for anyone who lives in a city. In Honolulu, it’s been about six months since a law took effect banning texting in crosswalks. The city also has periodic crackdowns on jaywalking. But in China, several cities are trying some new methods to deal with this old problem. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Last week, we heard about a report from Australia’s Fairfax Media that preliminary talks were underway between China and Vanuatu for a military base in the Pacific Island nation. Vanuatu’s ambassador denied it, then the Foreign Minister denied it, and yesterday, Vanuatu’s Prime Minister denied it. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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China is starting to crack open its market a little further to foreign automakers. The Beijing government announced this week that it will phase out requirements for outside companies to have local partners. But undoing some of those long-standing agreements may not make immediate business sense for the foreign companies. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

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China is flexing its military muscles. After massive naval maneuvers in the South China Sea last week, a live fire exercise is underway today in the Taiwan Strait. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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In the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s Fairfax Media reports that China and Vanuatu are in preliminary discussions on a Chinese military base in the South Pacific. Like several other island nations, Vanuatu receives millions in loans from China and Beijing may now want a payback. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.