China

Chinese pro-democracy activist Xu Youyu awarded Swedish Human rights prize

Chinese pro-democracy activist Xu Youyu was awarded Sweden’s Olof Palme Human Rights prize. As per Stockholm-based Olof Palme Memorial Fund, Xu has worked consistently for a democratisation of Chinese society, while condemning any form of violence as a political method

About Xu Youyu

He was born in 1947. By profession he is a Philosophy Professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Science.

He is among the key signatories of a 2008, Charter 08 manifesto seeking sweeping political reforms in communist China.

He was detained by Chinese authorities in May 2014 in a crackdown on dissent ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Olof Palme Prize

The Olof Palme Prize is an annual prize granted by the Swedish labour movement. Prize includes monetary sum of $ 75,000.

It commemorates the memory of the Nordic country’s Social Democratic Prime Minister- Olof Palme, who was an outspoken international human rights advocate, who was assassinated in the Swedish capital in 1986.

Since 1987 the award has been awarded to human rights defenders around the world. Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan were also given this award.

China rejects UN mediation to resolve South China Sea dispute with Philippines

China has rejected UN arbitration to resolve the South China Sea (SCS) maritime dispute with its Philippines. China instead has asserted that this maritime dispute should be settled through direct bilateral negotiations.

China’s rejection comes before the deadline to respond to UN mediation sought by the Philippines to arbitrate its maritime dispute with China over the South China Sea.

China has alleged that Philippines is attempting to resolve the dispute through “compulsory arbitration” by the UN Convention on Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), without exercising the option to settle it through direct talks.

China’s approach to UN’s mediation of border disputes

  • China has claimed that they have settled its land boundary disputes with almost all of its neighbours (except India and Bhutan) and has delimited its maritime boundary in Beibu Bay with Vietnam.
  • In this case, China has mentioned that they are defending their sovereign right to choose a means of dispute settlement of its free will.
  • China has even alleged that the Philippines is misusing “compulsory arbitration” to resolve this dispute.

Background

In 2013, Philippines had approached the UN, questioning China’s claims to the Spratly islands (called Nansha islands by China) and the waters around them. UN Arbitral Tribunal appointed to deal with the case had asked China to submit its counter-memorial before 15th December 2014.

China launches new Yaogan-23 remote sensing satellite

China has launched remote sensing satellite Yaogan-23 from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre. It was carried by a Long March-2C rocket, marking the 198th mission for the Long March rocket family.

It was also the 49th successful orbital launch from the Taiyuan Satellite launch Center, the 4th launch from this space center in 2014 and the 10th orbital launch for China this year.

Yaogan-23 satellite will mainly be used for scientific experiments, natural resource surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief.

Yaogan Satellite series

  • In 2006, China launched the first satellite in the Yaogan series that is Yaogan-1.
  • In future, China planned to launch about 70 remote sensing satellites to detect the near-Earth space environment and predict extreme events.
  • China will also launch about 20 communication satellites to meet communication demand in national security and public services.
  • Besides, China will launch about 30 navigation satellites to provide accurate and reliable global positioning and navigation services.

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