- - Thursday, March 31, 2011


Military seeks to build trust with neighbors

BEIJING | China’s military promised Thursday to work at building trust with neighboring countries after months of tensions with the U.S. and other nations over Beijing’s increasingly assertive behavior.

The pledge was contained in a government policy paper issued every two years and follows complaints from the United States and others that China hasn’t adequately explained the goals of its rapid military expansion in the past three decades.

Alarm bells have sounded over China’s detention of foreign fishermen and harassment of research vessels in the South China Sea, along with warnings to the U.S. to stay out of the Yellow Sea off the northern coast and aggressive maneuvering by Chinese ships and helicopters in waters near Japan.

Stronger assertions of sovereignty claims also have sparked a regional backlash, drawing China’s neighbors closer to rival Washington and posing new challenges to Chinese diplomacy.


Population grows to 1.2 billion

NEW DELHI | India is home to 17 percent of the world’s people, as its population climbed to 1.21 billion this year, though growth actually slowed for the first time in 90 years, census officials said Thursday.

The South Asian nation - second only to China in number of people - added 181 million in the past decade, said C. Chandramouli, the census commissioner. That increase alone is nearly the entire population of Brazil.

United Nations projections show that India could overtake China and its 1.34 billion people as the world’s most populous nation by 2030, though Mr. Chandramouli said a more rigorous analysis of data would be needed before India made its own projections.

India’s population is nearly equal to the combined populations of the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, he said.

Yet the 17.6 percent increase was down from 21.5 in the last count a decade ago.


Bomber kills 12 in attack on convoy

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