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Nine Chinese Fishermen Freed from Philippine Jail

The Philippines has freed nine Chinese fishermen convicted of poaching endangered sea turtles after they completed one-year jail terms, officials said Wednesday.

The nine, arrested in disputed waters in May last year, were jailed after they failed to pay fines of $100,000 each for poaching and an additional $2,662 each for catching an endangered species.

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Taiwan Executes Six Death-Row Inmates

Taiwan executed six death-row inmates on Friday after calls for heavier punishments for serious crime were prompted by the death of a girl who had her throat cut at school.

The executions of the six, ordered by Justice minister Luo Ying-shay, were carried out in four prisons on the island, according to a statement read by deputy justice minister Chen Wen-tang at a press conference.

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Thousands Rally in Hong Kong for Tiananmen Vigil

A park in central Hong Kong turned into a sea of candles Thursday as tens of thousands gathered to mark the 26th anniversary of China's Tiananmen Square crackdown, with the city deeply divided ahead of a vote on how to choose its next leader.

Six football pitches in Victoria Park were filled with sombre crowds who held candles aloft as they paid silent tribute to the dead.

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Taiwan Opposition Leader Vows to Keep Up Stability

Taiwan's main opposition leader sought to assure Washington on Wednesday that if she wins next year's presidential elections she would work to maintain stability with China amid regional volatility.

But Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), also called for stepped up military ties with the United States and for Taiwan to be included in a vast emerging Pacific trade pact.

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Taiwan Launches Peace Plan for South China Sea

Taiwan launched a peace plan Tuesday in what it said was a bid to ease growing tensions in the South China Sea, as Beijing steps up development of a disputed island chain.

But China responded by reiterating the importance of "national territorial sovereignty" and was unlikely to come to the negotiating table, analysts said.

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Aquino: Philippines to Fly over Disputed South China Sea

Philippine military and commercial aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings over the airspace, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday.

"We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into," Aquino told reporters when asked whether the Philippines accepted China's position.

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'Taiwan's Mandela' Launches Bid to Stand for President

A veteran Taiwanese opposition figure and human rights activist launched a bid Thursday to stand for president next year, posing the latest threat to the embattled ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party.

Shih Ming-teh earned the title "Taiwan's Mandela" from local media after he was twice imprisoned by the KMT for sedition when it ruled the island under martial law.

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Taiwanese Sets himself Ablaze over Court Ruling

A knife-waving Taiwanese set himself on fire outside the Presidential Office Tuesday in protest at what he described as an unfair court ruling, police said.

The 37-year-old, identified only by his surname Huang, doused himself with petroleum and set himself ablaze as security men approached to stop him waving a knife during the protest outside the office in central Taipei.

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Typhoon Noul in Japan after Deadly Philippines Hit

Typhoon Noul crashed into the southern Japanese island chain of Okinawa Tuesday, after killing two people in the Philippines, bringing surging waves and howling winds as it headed towards the mainland.

Heavy rain and gale-force gusts were lashing a wide swathe of the archipelago, television footage showed, as pedestrians struggled with their umbrellas and scurried for shelter.

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China's Xi Warns against Taiwan Independence

Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping warned on Monday against Taiwan being seen as a country as he met the head of the island's ruling party, the first such encounter in seven years.

Xi, who is also national president, welcomed Kuomintang (KMT) party head Eric Chu, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Photos showed them smiling and shaking hands at the Great Hall of the People.

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