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China

China has filed a case with the World Trade Organization against the U.S. to protest the Trump administration's plan to put new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China says the tariffs are illegal attempts at protectionism.

China's Ministry of Commerce announced it is pursuing legal remedy against the U.S. in a brief statement on its website — the latest in an escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

Updated at 8:15 a.m. ET

As the day dawned across the U.S. on Friday, a new economic reality dawned with it: The tariffs long threatened against billions of dollars in Chinese goods took effect just at midnight ET while many Americans were sleeping — but Beijing was ready immediately with a wake-up call of its own.

One of these sustainable straws might be in your future.
KUOW Photo/Brie Ripley

Nothing is more satisfying than the sweet sound of a straw - a pointy, plastic straw - piercing the seal on a tall cup of bubble tea. But after this weekend, that sound might be harder to come by. Seattle's ban on single use plastics goes into effect on July 1st.

Why the prohibition? How will it be implemented? And most importantly: what about the tea?? Kevin Kelly, general manager of Recology Cleanscapes in Georgetown, came by to help Bill Radke and producer Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong cope with change.

A Chinese immigrant arrested during the bust of a sprawling illegal pot growing operation last November wants to withdraw his guilty plea. The man claims he didn't understand his conviction could lead to deportation.

Recology employee Zakarya Sales works at the final quality control station, removing any visibly obvious contaminants from sorted bales, at the Recology Materials Recovery Facility on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, on S. Idaho St., in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Have you wondered where your recycling goes once it's picked up? A KUOW listener was curious about that, so we asked Hans Van Dusen, the solid waste contracts manager at Seattle Public Utilities.

He tells Kim Malcolm about the journey our cans and paper takes. 


Boeing’s Shared Services Group (SSG) is set to move to the southwest state by 2020.
Flickr Photo/Chuck Taylor (CC BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/7C1E9w

Bill Radke talks to Andrew McIntosh, aerospace reporter for The Puget Sound Business Journal, about the effect China's new tariffs will have on Boeing and the Puget Sound area's aerospace community. 

Washington is the top cherry producing state in the country.
Flickr Photo/beautifulcataya (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6KiQQK

New tariffs on exports to China could have a big impact on Washington state. Tariffs went into effect Monday on 128 American products, including fruit, pork and metal pipes, in retaliation for proposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum.


Trump Approves 30 Percent Tariff On Imported Solar Panels

Jan 22, 2018

President Trump has approved a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels in a decision that could both help and hurt the U.S. solar industry.

The tariff approval, announced Monday by a U.S. trade representative, is expected to help U.S. solar manufacturers including Hillsboro-based SolarWorld — but many argue it will hurt the rest of the U.S. solar industry by raising the price of solar panels.

KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

It's Monday evening. My mom, my dad, and I are sitting at the dinner table with our eyes trained on the computer screen in front of us.

I say hello in Chinese: “Nǐmen hǎo!”

"Āi!" my grandma replies.

I see my mom's three older sisters and my grandma eating brunch in Tianjin, China. We're eating dinner in Redmond, Washington. They tease us for eating Costco dumplings and flaunt their own homemade ones. 


Hillsboro, Oregon – At the SolarWorld Americas plant outside Portland, John Clason loads a stack of solar cells into a machine that builds them into panels.

He used to be a cabinet maker, but he switched industries after the 2008 recession.

"The job I had dried up," he said. "So, I looked around and I thought solar panels would be great – the wave of the future, you know?"

Here's something that may sound like a contradiction in terms: low-fat pigs.

But that's exactly what Chinese scientists have created using new genetic engineering techniques.

In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists report that they have created 12 healthy pigs with about 24 percent less body fat than normal pigs.

In the gritty industrial town of Yiwu, workers prepare jeans to be dyed in a vivid range of colors.

Two months ago, this factory — and this entire city, located in China's eastern province of Zhejiang — was a much quieter place. Inspection crews from the environmental bureau had shut businesses down, cutting electricity and gas so that they could determine who was following China's environmental laws and who wasn't.

The boss of this factory, who asked that his name not be used for fear of punishment by local officials, says he's never seen anything like it.

Washington recyclers are worried they could soon have no place to send your discarded paper and plastics. That’s because China has decided the U.S. is letting food and garbage contaminate too much of its unwanted milk jugs and other recyclables.

China is the biggest buyer of recyclable plastic, paper and metal from the U.S. Starting next year, China will no longer take our recyclables. They say those materials are coming over with food scraps or types of plastic that can’t be recycled.

Apparently, we haven’t been doing a very good job of sorting our trash from our recycling — and the Chinese government has noticed.

China doesn't want loads of our paper and plastic waste that often have contaminants like dirty diapers inside.

So, the government is cracking down on the shipment of recyclable material from the U.S. By the end of the year, much of the mixed plastic and paper in our recycling bins will be banned from China.

A sketch of The Emerald, a 40-foot condominium tower planned at 2nd and Stewart near Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Chinese investors helped make the project possible.
Hewitt Seattle

Seattleites love to blame outsiders for skyrocketing housing prices.

In China, a country where all media are nominally owned by the state, the government invests vast amounts of money and labor into controlling information.

Having any investigative journalists at all is no mean feat.

But in Hunan, the journalism can be as spicy as the chili pepper-laden cuisine for which the province is known.

"Hunan produces the best investigative journalists in the country," says Luo Changping, who until 2014 was one of them. One reason for this, he says, is that "no matter how poor people are in Hunan, they're very concerned about politics."

A brand new flight will send fresh cherries from Seattle to Shanghai, China, several times a week starting June 18.

President Trump may not talk much about electric vehicles, but there's another American — with better name recognition in China — who does.

The voice of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, popular in China for his role in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, graces the showroom of Auto Shanghai, the city's biennial automotive expo, accompanied by images beamed on a circular wall showing Beijing covered in smog and children wearing pollution masks.

North Korea could reduce a U.S. strike force to a sea wreck if it's provoked, the country's propaganda outlets said Monday, adding to tensions on the Korean Peninsula. With the threat of a nuclear test in North Korea looming and another U.S. citizen reportedly detained there, China's President Xi Jinping is urging President Trump to avoid escalating the situation.

At a research lab on top of a forested hill overlooking Hong Kong, scientists are growing viruses. They first drill tiny holes into an egg before inoculating it with avian influenza to observe how the virus behaves.

USA flag, China flag
Flickr Photo/USDA (CC BY 2.0)

Bill Radke talks to Gary Locke, former Washington State Governor and Ambassador to China about the relationship between the U.S. and China and what China means to the Pacific Northwest. 

The U.S. is producing less air pollution, but smog levels are still rising in the western U.S. because of pollutants released in Asian countries that then drift over the Pacific Ocean. Researchers say their findings show the importance of a global approach to preserving air quality.

"Scientists found Asian air pollution contributed as much as 65 percent of an increase in Western ozone in recent years," NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Shanghai. "China and India, where many consumer products are manufactured, are the worst offenders."

In a surprising move, China's commerce ministry has announced that the country would be suspending its coal imports from North Korea. China released a statement Saturday saying that the freeze in imports will begin Sunday and will be in place through the end of the year.

Gary Locke is former U.S. ambassador to China and former Governor of Washington State
KUOW Photos / David Hyde

Gary Locke worries the Trump administration is lurching toward a twofold disaster in its China policy.

But he's also hopeful that disaster can be avoided.

I'm in the middle of tapping out an email to my dad, deleting and retyping sentences.

On Friday night I'll cook an abridged Chinese New Year Eve dinner, I write.

Maybe I'll cook noodles (symbolizing happiness, longevity) or dumplings (symbolizing wealth). I don't tell him what I'll do exactly. This is the first time in my adult life, apart from drinking parties organized under the guise of making dumplings for Lunar New Year, that I've paid attention to this holiday.

Like millions of Americans, I watched the new White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, as he tried to convince reporters and viewers last weekend that President Trump's inauguration was the most watched ever — "both in person and around the globe, period!"

Spicer made his case even though photos of the National Mall show that attendance was much smaller than at Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009, which – incidentally – I covered.

Citing local regulations, Apple has removed The New York Times news app from its app store in China. The incident is the latest in the long history of media restrictions in the country, but also in the ongoing pattern of tech companies getting involved in the efforts.

On Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump told Fox News that he wouldn't feel "bound by a 'One China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade."

The One China policy has guided U.S.-China discourse since 1979, when Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing and downgraded its embassy in Taiwan.

This banner flew over Seattle on Oct. 28. It reads, WA Chinese for Trump.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Editor’s note, 11/3/16: This story has been updated with additional reporting. KUOW failed to include the voices of Chinese-Americans in the original article. We apologize for this oversight.

You might not expect Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to be popular in China or among Chinese-Americans in the U.S. given his many comments about China draining away American money and jobs. And yet on Friday, an airplane flew over Seattle with the banner, “Washington Chinese Americans for Trump.” 

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