World News

    China Creates Security Body to Better Handle Domestic, Foreign 'Threats'

    China's decision to create a state security committee to oversee its vast security agencies appears to reflect a desire by Beijing to do a better job of dealing with domestic and foreign challenges.

    In a Tuesday communique, the ruling Communist Party ended a four-day policy meeting by saying it will set up a state security committee for the first time in order to "perfect the national security system ... and strategy."

    Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang elaborated on that in a Wednesday briefing, saying the committee will deal with "all forces attempting to threaten China's security" and make them "nervous." He said those forces include "terrorists," "separatists," and "extremists."

    Ken Dewoskin, China research director at risk management company Deloitte, told VOA the announcement shows Beijing is "totally focussed" on improving its response to recent domestic unrest.


    "It involves the far western regions of China where there is quite a lot of agitation, restlessness (and) turbulence of one sort or another. I think the government now officially acknowledges that the (deadly) incident a few weeks ago in front of (Beijing's) Tiananmen (Square) was in fact a terrorist incident, (that) it was not an accident, because they found materials in the car that indicate that the group was committed to that kind of political agenda. So yes, that (unrest) is now front and center."


    In the Tiananmen incident on October 28, three minority Uighur men from western China's autonomous Xinjiang region rammed a car into an entrance of the Forbidden City and set the vehicle on fire, killing themselves and two pedestrians.

    The Communist Party communique also left open the possibility that the new state security committee will try to improve the handling of foreign security issues such as maritime disputes.

    China has become more assertive in the past year in challenging its neighbors' claims to islands in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

    Japan plans to launch its own national security council by the end of this year to deal with issues such as the East China Sea dispute. Tokyo and Beijing both claim sovereignty over uninhabited islands in the resource-rich waters.

    Analyst Li Cheng of the Washington-based Brookings Institution said another reason for China's creation of the committee is a need for its various branches of government to coordinate with each other.


    "Certainly you may have some different voices, different interpretations. So the establishment of such an institution can get a better perspective or (give a) more coordinated explanation. Also, military figures, such as a major general, may sometimes comment on foreign policy, but they may or may not reflect the top leadership's view. I think there is a need to have a single institution which can speak in a more authoritative way."


    Li cited the recent example of Chinese President Xi Jinping saying China wants to resolve its sovereignty dispute with Taiwan rather than let it be be "passed on from generation to generation." Mr. Xi made the comment to a Taiwan official last month.

    Li said China's foreign ministry and other institutions were caught off guard by Mr. Xi's remarks. China views Taiwan as a renegade province. The island has been self-ruled since splitting from China in a 1949 civil war.


    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora