Asia Pacific Topics

Beijing divorces soar thanks to property tax loophole

Oct 30, 2013

Beijing divorces soar thanks to property tax loophole

Beijing’s divorce rate has soared as couples seek to avoid a property tax imposed earlier this year by using a loophole for those whose marriages end, state media reported Tuesday. Nearly 40,000 couples divorced in the Chinese capital in the first nine months of ...

Language schools in H.K. pushing American accents

Oct 29, 2013

Language schools in H.K. pushing American accents

Standing at the front of the classroom in Hong Kong, 9-year-old Charlotte Yan recites a 2008 speech by then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — enunciating the words with a perfect American accent. “Make sure we have a president who puts our country ...

Oct 22, 2013

'Lifestyle' diseases new threat to Asia

Asia-Pacific countries face serious challenges from “lifestyle” diseases and aging populations even as they overcome more traditional illnesses, the World Health Organization’s regional director said Monday. Western Pacific WHO chief Shin Young-soo said such ailments, often arising from a change in diets and less ...

Chinese prison bars U.S. doctor from dissident

Oct 13, 2013

Chinese prison bars U.S. doctor from dissident

Moved by the plight and failing health of a Chinese dissident imprisoned for a few lines of poetry, a retired American doctor traveled from her quiet life in suburban Washington to the gates of his eastern China prison on Saturday and asked she be ...

As China targets graft, bribes abound in schools

| Oct 8, 2013

As China targets graft, bribes abound in schools

For years, Yang Jie’s friends warned her to save up for her daughter’s education. Not for tuition or textbooks, but for the bribes needed to get into the city’s better public schools. A strong-willed, self-made businesswoman, Yang largely ignored their advice. “Success in life,” ...

Indian film tackles rape crisis

Oct 6, 2013

Indian film tackles rape crisis

As India debates how to halt a rising tide of violence against women, two filmmakers are tackling the subject head-on with a Bollywood movie called “Kill the Rapist?” The film was inspired by the fatal gang rape of a student in the capital, New ...

Oct 6, 2013

2 million Net snoops in China

China’s state media says 2 million people keep tabs on people’s Internet use, according to state media, a rare glimpse into the secret world of Beijing’s vast online surveillance operation. Many of the employees are simply performing keyword searches to monitor the tens of ...

As Xi tightens grip, hopes for China reforms vanish

| Oct 3, 2013

As Xi tightens grip, hopes for China reforms vanish

After Xi Jinping took over as head of China’s Communist Party in December, some liberals dared to hope that change was in store for the world’s most populous nation. Xi’s father, a veteran party leader, had a reputation for open-mindedness and moderation; Xi quickly ...

India's plan for 'women-only' spaces welcomed, criticized

Sep 30, 2013

India's plan for 'women-only' spaces welcomed, criticized

In the months since a gruesome gang rape riveted India, a “women-only” culture has been on the rise, with Indians increasingly seeking out women-only buses, cabs, travel groups and hotel floors. One city is preparing to open a women-only park. And in November, the ...

One-fifth in H.K. 'living in poverty'

Sep 28, 2013

One-fifth in H.K. 'living in poverty'

A fifth of Hong Kong’s population is living in poverty, underscoring the challenge Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying faces in seeking to narrow a record wealth gap. About 1.3 million people, or 19.6 percent of the population, were below the poverty line last year, according ...

Sep 21, 2013

Indian dad who killed daughter 'has no regrets'

The Indian father who killed his daughter and beheaded her boyfriend after they eloped has declared he feels no remorse over the “honor killings,” media reports said Friday. The young couple from the northern Indian state of Haryana was beaten to death Wednesday by ...