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China and Korea: A Look Back at 2010

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Les Carpenter

As we wind down the final few days of 2010, we thought we would sit down with some of the VOA analysts who have dealt with the big stories out of Asia during the year.  Jing Zhang, Managing Editor of VOA's East Asia and Pacific Division and Acting Chief of our China Branch and Gookhan Yoon, Senior Editor of VOA's Korean Service look back on the biggest stories from 2010.

Gookhan Yoon, Senior Editor of VOA's Korea Service

What were the top stories in China and Korea this year?  Yoon said the twin top stories were North Korea's sinking of a South Koeran warship in March and the later shelling of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.

He said it all started with a report in the South that it was preparing for the possible collapse of the regime in the North. That angered Pyongyang, and in March it attacked the Cheonan.  The shelling of the island, he said, was just as much a surprise as the earlier incident, but it solidified support in the South against the North.

South Korean Families Hold Funeral for Lost Sailors
- South Korea's president has joined family members in a funeral service for dozens of sailors lost in last month's sinking of a naval warship. Underlying the day's emotion are lingering suspicions that North Korea may have had a direct role in the deaths.

N. Korea Shells South Korean Island, Killing Troops - In the one of the most serious flare ups since the Korean War of the early 1950s, North and South Korea have exchanged artillery fire. At least two South Korean marines were killed and several others, and some civilians, were injured after North Korea shelled a small South Korean island.

Jing Zhang, Managing Editor, of VOA's East Asia and Pacific Division and Acting Chief of our China Branch.

Zhang said among the many big stories out of China were the suicides at manufacturer Foxconn.  The deaths that led to higher wages, a trend he said is quickly transferring to other industries.

Another big story, he said, is the way China behaved internationally, including its dispute with Japan over disputed islands and its threats against countries that agreed to send represntatives to the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo.  

Chinese Factory Foxconn Combats Worker Suicides - Taiwan electronics giant Foxconn Technology, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, held morale boosting rallies at its Chinese factories Wednesday. It was the company's latest response to a wave of employee suicides. The company invited reporters to the rally at its 400,000 employee facility in Shenzhen.

Jailed Chinese Activist Awarded Nobel Peace Prize - The imprisoned Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In bestowing the honor on a prominent dissident, the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo has issued an explicit challenge, calling on China to respect political rights as it rises toward economic great-power status.

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