Tag Archives: Chinese

Mystery extinct ape discovered in ancient Chinese imperial tomb 

Mystery extinct ape discovered in ancient Chinese imperial tomb An entirely new species of ape has been discovered buried in an ancient tomb in central China. The remains of the now-extinct gibbon, which researchers have named Junzi imperialis, were found in a burial chamber in Shaanxi Province that dates back around 2,300 years. Researchers believe it may be the first ape species to have perished as a direct result of human activities such as hunting. “All of the world’s apes – chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and gibbons – are threatened with extinction today due to human activities, but no ape species were thought to have become extinct as a result of historic hunting or habitat loss,” note scientists at the Zoological Society of London, who led the research. “However, the discovery of the recently extinct Junzi changes this, and highlights the vulnerability of gibbons in particular.” The skull of the extinct Junzi gibbon Credit: ZSL The Junzi are believed to have completely died out less than 300 years ago and could be one of a number of now-extinct gibbon species that once inhabited central China. Lead author Dr Samuel Turvey said the discovery suggests we are currently “underestimating the impact of humans on primate diversity”. “These findings reveal the importance of using historical archives such as the archaeological record to inform our understanding of conservation and stress the need for greater international collaboration to protect surviving populations of gibbons in the wild,” he added. A cranial reconstruction of the Junzi gibbon  Credit: ZSL The partial cranium and lower jawbone of the ape were found in the burial chamber believed to belong to Lady Xia, the grandmother of China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang, who ordered the building of the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army sculptures. First excavated in 2004, the tomb contained 12 burial pits that contained animal remains, including leopards, lynx and black bears. Archaeologist Hu Songmei, of the Shaanxi institute, told Science that imperial Chinese burial chambers were commonly arranged in this manner so that the departed could “continue to enjoy the life they knew” in the afterlife. The Junzi gibbon was discovered in an ancient Chinese imperial tomb Credit:  ZSL Gibbons were also regarded as high-status pets and considered to be wise and noble animals during the period of Emperor Qin’s rule up until 210 BC. Today, gibbons are the most endangered of all the ape species due to a loss of their forest habitat, the illegal wildlife trade, the use of their body parts in Chinese medicines and poaching, according to the WWF. The world's most endangered species The Hainan gibbon, found on Hainan Island in southern China, is considered to be the world's rarest mammal, with only 26 still in existence. The full research has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Science. 



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An Ancient Chinese Tomb Reveals an Extinct Species of Gibbon, and a Warning

An Ancient Chinese Tomb Reveals an Extinct Species of Gibbon, and a WarningHuman activity may have contributed to their extinction



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Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi picks Australia for first Western foray

Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi picks Australia for first Western foraySYDNEY/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Didi Chuxing Technology Co Ltd, the Chinese ride-sharing company that bought the mainland operations of Uber Technologies Inc, will begin offering its service this month in Australia, its first foray in a Western-style country. The scheduled June 25 launch in Australia’s second biggest city Melbourne sets Didi up for a showdown with the U.S. rival it bought out in China in exchange for a stake. Didi started expanding outside Asia in Mexico earlier this year, and has said globalisation is a core strategy.



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Full Panel: 'The Chinese want a seat at the table' on North Korea talks

Full Panel: 'The Chinese want a seat at the table' on North Korea talksVictor Cha joins Andrea Mitchell, Eugene Robinson, Amy Walter and Matthew Continetti to talk about the back forth over whether the North Korea summit will still take place in Singapore.



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Chinese tourists spark ire in Vietnam with controversial shirts

Chinese tourists spark ire in Vietnam with controversial shirtsA photo of Chinese tourists wearing T-shirts depicting Beijing’s claims to the disputed South China Sea has sparked online anger in Vietnam, prompting calls for the visitors to be deported. The shirts featured a map of China and its so-called nine-dash line — the sea boundary found on some 1940s-era maps which Beijing says proves its claim to most of the waterway, despite partial claims from Vietnam and other nations. The territorial dispute is a hot-button issue in Vietnam, which has a turbulent history of conflict with its powerhouse neighbour.



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Chinese politician tipped to replace president jailed for life 

Chinese politician tipped to replace president jailed for life A former Chinese political high-flyer who was accused of seeking to topple Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, expressed "repentance" on Tuesday as he was jailed for accepting bribes worth £20 million. Sun Zhengcai, a former party leader of the western megacity of Chongqing, and a member of the Communist Party's elite 25-member Politburo, was jailed for life by a court in the northern port city of Tianjin on Tuesday. Sun was previously seen as a candidate to be elevated to the Politburo Standing Committee, several officials who represent the apex of political power in China. But he fell from favour among Beijing's political elite last year and was named as a co-conspirator who sought to topple the president by the chairman of China's securities regulator in October. He admitted to corruption charges at his one day trial earlier this month. "Sun had taken advantage of various posts to provide help for certain units and individuals in project bidding, project approval, enterprise operation and personnel promotion and arrangement," said Xinhua news agency, citing the court. "(He) accepted money and property worth over 170 million yuan (£19.7 million) either by himself or with 'certain affiliated persons'. A man cycles past the No 1 Intermediate People's Court in the northern city of Tianjin during Sun's trial Credit: AFP However, the court had showed leniency after Sun "confessed to his wrongdoings, showed repentance and been cooperative in returning illegal gains," Xinhua said. Sun is the latest cadre to fall in a wide-ranging drive against corruption that was launched by Mr Xi after he assumed power five years ago. The campaign is hugely popular, but has been criticised for lacking transparency and is seen by some as a means to sideline opponents.



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Former top Chinese Communist official jailed for life for bribery

Former top Chinese Communist official jailed for life for briberyA former Chinese Communist Party official who was once tipped for a top leadership post was sentenced to life in prison for bribery on Tuesday, the latest senior cadre to fall in President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption crusade. Sun Zhengcai, a former Politburo member and party chief of the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing, was found guilty of taking over 170 million yuan ($ 26.7 million) in bribes, the First Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin said in a statement on its website. Sun, 54, had once been tipped for promotion to the Politburo’s elite seven-member standing committee, which rules the country and is presided over by Xi.



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US takes to Chinese social media over 'Orwellian' demand

US takes to Chinese social media over 'Orwellian' demandThe United States took to a popular Chinese social media platform Monday to ramp up its criticism of Beijing’s demand that airlines list Taiwan as part of China, but the message earned little sympathy on the tightly monitored website. The US embassy posted on its official Weibo account the Mandarin translation of a White House statement that dismissed China’s request to foreign air carriers as “Orwellian nonsense”.



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US files complaint over Chinese laser use in Djibouti

US files complaint over Chinese laser use in DjiboutiWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. has issued a formal complaint to the Chinese government over the use of high-grade lasers near the military base in Djibouti that were directed at aircraft and resulted in minor injuries to two American pilots, the Pentagon said Thursday.



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N. Korea's Kim sees off train returning dead Chinese tourists

N. Korea's Kim sees off train returning dead Chinese touristsNorth Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un personally saw off a train repatriating the bodies of dozens of Chinese tourists who were killed in a bus accident as he issued a fresh apology to Beijing over the tragedy, state media reported Thursday. Thirty-two Chinese tourists and four North Koreans perished when a bus they were travelling in plunged off a bridge south of Pyongyang Sunday night, according to Chinese officials. Beijing is the isolated regime’s sole major ally, providing an important economic and political buffer against international opprobrium.



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