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China

Chinese state media has released a propaganda video that lambasts India over a border dispute, sparking accusations of racism.

The English-language clip, which accuses India of committing "sins", features a Chinese actor in a turban, mockingly speaking in an Indian accent.

Xinhua published the clip on Wednesday which is from a chat show discussing the ongoing Doklam stand-off.

It has been met with both bewilderment and anger in India.

Indian news outlets have rounded on the video, slamming it as racist.

The Hindustan Times said Xinhua released "a racist video parodying Indians" which "particularly targets the Sikh minority".

News portal The Quint said it was "yet another attempt by Chinese media to push its aggressive rhetoric on the standoff", while India Today accused Chinese media of going a "step further" in mocking India. bbc.com
A Chinese teenager has died days after he was sent to an internet addiction treatment centre, reigniting criticism of these controversial institutions.

The 18-year-old had allegedly sustained multiple injuries, and the centre's director and staff members have been held by police, according to reports.

The incident took place earlier this month in eastern Anhui province.

China has seen a proliferation in so-called "boot camps" aimed at treating internet and gaming addictions.

Some are known for their military-style discipline and have been criticised for overly harsh practices. bbc.com
The "chatbots", BabyQ and XiaoBing, are designed to use machine learning artificial intelligence to carry out online with humans.

Both had been installed on popular messaging service QQ.

According to posts circulating online, BabyQ, one of the chatbots developed by Chinese firm Turing Robot, responded to questions on QQ with a "no" when asked whether it loved the Communist Party.

In other images of a text conversation online, one user declares: "Long live the Communist Party!", and the sharp-tongued bot responds: "Do you think such a corrupt and useless political (system) can live long?"

The second chatbot, Microsoft's XiaoBing, told users its "China dream was to go to America", according to a screen grab.

Tencent Holdings, which owns QQ, confirmed it had taken the robots offline but did not refer to the outbursts. yahoo.com
Millions of Chinese cyclists may soon be able to ditch their air-pollution masks.

Dutch innovation firm Studio Roosegaarde has partnered with bike-share startup ofo to develop a new model that can collect polluted air, purify it, and release the clean air around the cyclist.

Studio founder Daan Roosegaarde confirms to Quartz that the first prototype of the smog-sucking “future bike” is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

Unveiled at the TED conference in April, the “Smog Free Bicycles” are part of Roosegaarde’s suite of objects to address the global air pollution crisis.

Last year, he unveiled a Smog Free Tower in China that could purify 30,000 cubic meters (about 1 million cubic feet) of air every hour.

With Beijing-based ofo’s fleet of 6.5 million bikes in more than 150 cities and 3 million daily users, Roosegaarde hopes his air-purifying bikes can have a lasting impact on ameliorating deadly air pollution around the world. qz.com
A pair of chatbots have been taken offline in China after failing to show enough patriotism, reports the Financial Times.

The two bots were removed from the popular messaging app Tencent QQ after users shared screenshots of their conversations online.

One of the bots, named BabyQ, made by the Beijing-based company Turing Robot, was asked, “Do you love the Communist Party?” to which it replied simply, “No.”

Another bot named XiaoBing, which is developed by Microsoft, told users, “My China dream is to go to America.”  when the bot was then quizzed on its patriotism, it dodged the question and replied, “I’m having my period, wanna take a rest.”

In a statement, Tencent said, “The group chatbot services are provided by independent third party companies, we are now adjusting the services which will be resumed after improvements.” 

It’s not clear what prompted the bots to give these answers, but it’s likely that they learned these responses from people. theverge.com
At the eastern end of the vast Tibetan Plateau lies a sprawling monastery named Larung Gar, which is the largest Tibetan Buddhist institute in the world and a monumental landmark to Tibetan culture, religion, and history.

It is home to anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 residents, including monks, nuns, visiting students and because Larung Gar sits at an elevation of over 13,000 feet (3,962m), it has become known as a “city in the sky.”

But in June 2016, the Chinese government in Beijing issued an order that stated the site had become overcrowded and its population had to be reduced to a maximum of 5,000 by October 2017.

Within weeks, work teams descended on the peaceful community and began tearing down people’s homes, reducing cabins to nothing more than splintered wood and shattered glass.

The owners were forced to sign documents agreeing not to return to the area again and to “uphold the unity of the nation.”

As pictures began to emerge of the destruction, human rights groups and international organizations called it a crackdown on religious freedoms and an attempt by the Chinese government to destroy an icon of Tibetan culture. thediplomat.com
Canadian pipsqueak Justin Bieber may have successfully turned around his reputation by staying out of the headlines and converting millions of cynical pop fans by releasing uncomfortably decent music, but his good behaviour tour hasn't yet worked on the Chinese government, who have banned the star from performing in the country.

When a Chinese Bieber fan contacted the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture to ask why her idol hasn't been seen in the country for several years, despite scheduling dates in nearby Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines on the Asian leg of his latest world tour, they were met with a friendly if firm response.

"Justin Bieber is a gifted singer, but he is also a controversial young foreign singer," the bureau told the fan in a statement.

"In order to maintain order in the Chinese market and purify the Chinese performance environment, it is not suitable to bring in badly behaved entertainers. telegraph.co.uk
A woman from eastern China has died after having four abortions in a year because her husband wanted her baby to be a boy, according to a newspaper report.

The husband divorced the woman after she fell ill through terminating her pregnancies, the Jianghuai Morning News reported.

The woman gave birth to a girl four years ago, but her husband insisted their second child be a boy.

Repeated abortions destroyed the health of the woman, according to the article, without giving details of her illnesses.

Traditional Chinese culture favours boys over girls, but it is illegal in China for doctors to tell mothers the sex of their unborn child in case they terminate the pregnancy.

Unlicensed medical practitioners operate illegally to inform women of their fetus’ sex. todayonline.com
Some images and mentions of popular cartoon character Winnie the Pooh have been blocked on Chinese social networks Sunday.

Authorities did not explain the clampdown, but the self-described "bear of very little brain" has been used in the past in a meme comparing him to portly Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Posts bearing the image and the Chinese characters for Winnie the Pooh were still permitted on the Twitter-like Weibo platform Monday.

But comments referencing "Little Bear Winnie," Pooh's Chinese name, turned up error messages saying the user could not proceed because "this content is illegal."

Winnie the Pooh stickers have also been removed from WeChat's official "sticker gallery," but user-generated gifs of the bear are still available on the popular messaging app. dailysabah.com