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China, Germany in auto, aircraft deals as Merkel visits BEIJING: China and Germany signed a string of trade and investment deals on Monday during a visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel, including two new Volkswagen factories and the sale of 123 Airbus helicopters.The two countries are both exporting giants -- with Germany the EU's biggest economy and China the world's second-largest -- and Merkel was looking to strengthen their economic relationship on her three-day visit, her seventh since coming into power in 2005.She was accompanied by executives from Siemens, Airbus, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bank among other companies, according to German media.Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang oversaw the signing of a series of agreements on Monday.According to a statement by Volkswagen, the German carmaker will build two new vehicle plants in the northern port city of Tianjin and Qingdao in the east as it invests two billion euros ($2.7 billion) along with Chinese auto manufacturer FAW.The new plants' production capacity ...

China's Xi commemorates start of war with Japan BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday commemorated the 77th anniversary of the official start of war with Japan, condemning those who "ignore the iron facts of history" in an oblique jab at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.Xi and a cast of hundreds of soldiers and schoolchildren gathered for a ceremony on the edge of the capital to mark the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that ...
US double-agent accusation 'serious' BEIJING: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that allegations of spying by a suspected US double agent are serious, after ministers in her government called for a swift response from Washington.Merkel made the remarks in a joint press conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, on her seventh visit to China since taking office in 2005."If the reports are correct, it would be a serious case," Merkel said.She added ...
Australia hands asylum-seekers back to Sri Lanka SYDNEY: Canberra confirmed Monday a boat load of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers who attempted to reach Australia have been handed back to Colombo, sparking sharp criticism after a week of secrecy.Concern had been mounting over the fate of two boats reportedly intercepted by the Australian navy in Australian waters late last month.There were claims that Australia could be breaking international law by screening them at sea and returning them involuntarily to a country in which they ...
Japan set for first arms export under new rules: report TOKYO: Japan is set to approve its first arms export following relaxation of its self-imposed ban, as the nation aims to boost its global military and economic presence, a report said Sunday.Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plans to export a high-performance sensor to the United States, which will use it in the Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) missile defence system to be exported to Qatar, the Nikkei business daily said without citing sources.Tokyo's decision, likely to become official ...
Thousands celebrate birthday of first Taiwan-born panda cub TAIPEI: Thousands braved the summer heat Sunday to celebrate the first birthday of Yuan Zai, the first giant panda cub born in Taiwan, who has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors in six months.Around 3,000 people joined a 10-kilometre (6.2-mile) run which was part of a series of programmes marking the birthday.Visitors, many of them children with parents, cheered Yuan Zai when she was presented with a birthday cake -- made of apples, pineapples, carrots ...
North Korea doubles cyber war personnel: report SEOUL: North Korea has doubled the number of its elite cyber warriors over the past two years and established overseas bases for hacking attacks, a report said Sunday.The North's cyber war unit now has 5,900 personnel, compared with 3,000 two years ago, the South's Yonhap news agency said."The communist country operates a hacking unit under its General Bureau of Reconnaissance, which is home to some 1,200 professional hackers," a military source was quoted as saying.North ...

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Annual2012/13
Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
MonthlyMay
Trade Balance $-1.558 bln
Exports $2.117 bln
Imports $3.675 bln
WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
Reserves $14.638 bln