Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Southern China Faces Heavy Floods, and Landslides Kill at Least 9

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an aerial drone photo taken on June 16, 2024 shows a flooded area in Dongping Township of Zhenghe County, Nanping City in southeastern China's Fujian Province. (Huang Jiemin/Xinhua via AP
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an aerial drone photo taken on June 16, 2024 shows a flooded area in Dongping Township of Zhenghe County, Nanping City in southeastern China's Fujian Province. (Huang Jiemin/Xinhua via AP
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Southern China Faces Heavy Floods, and Landslides Kill at Least 9

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an aerial drone photo taken on June 16, 2024 shows a flooded area in Dongping Township of Zhenghe County, Nanping City in southeastern China's Fujian Province. (Huang Jiemin/Xinhua via AP
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an aerial drone photo taken on June 16, 2024 shows a flooded area in Dongping Township of Zhenghe County, Nanping City in southeastern China's Fujian Province. (Huang Jiemin/Xinhua via AP

Southern China was reeling Tuesday from heavy rains that triggered landslides killing at least nine people, knocking out power for entire villages and burying crops.
Meanwhile, northern parts of the country are battling drought, as the country faces two extremes of severe weather, The Associated Press said.
Four people were killed and two others were missing in Wuping county in the coastal province of Fujian due to landslides caused by torrential rain. Severe downpours started on Sunday afternoon, with authorities measuring 372.4 millimeters (14.7 inches) of rainfall over a 24-hour period.
At least 378 houses collapsed in the county, and 880 hectares (2,175 acres) of crops were damaged, amounting to economic losses of at least 415 million yuan ($57.2 million) in Wuping, authorities said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
In the southern Guangdong province, bordering Hong Kong, landslides triggered by severe flooding killed at least five people in the city of Meizhou. Fifteen others were missing, according to local media reports.
More than 130,000 households in Meizhou experienced power outages, with some neighboring towns and villages out of contact as of Monday.
Three helicopters and more than 200 teams of rescuers were searching for survivors and delivering aid to the affected areas, according to local authorities.
More than 11,000 people were moved after the Hanjiang River in south China’s Pearl River basin flooded, drowning crop fields and inundating homes.
In the southwestern Guizhou province, more than 1,100 people were evacuated due to flooding in several counties.
Meanwhile, much of northern China, including the capital, Beijing, has endured high temperatures in recent days. However, rainfall is expected in the drought-hit areas in the next 10 days, according to China’s national weather bureau.
Last month, flood-related disasters left several dead and missing in 17 provinces across China, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Ukraine Seeking 'Common Ground' with China in Talks on Ending War with Russia

In this image taken from video released by the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry Dmytro Kuleba, third from left holds talks with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a meeting in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Wednesday, July 24, 2024. (Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)
In this image taken from video released by the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry Dmytro Kuleba, third from left holds talks with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a meeting in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Wednesday, July 24, 2024. (Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)
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Ukraine Seeking 'Common Ground' with China in Talks on Ending War with Russia

In this image taken from video released by the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry Dmytro Kuleba, third from left holds talks with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a meeting in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Wednesday, July 24, 2024. (Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)
In this image taken from video released by the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry Dmytro Kuleba, third from left holds talks with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a meeting in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Wednesday, July 24, 2024. (Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said he is seeking “common ground” in talks this week with his Chinese counterpart on ending his country's war with Russia.

Kuleba met Wednesday with Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Guangzhou, a major commercial and manufacturing center in southern China. It is the first visit to the country by a Ukrainian foreign minister since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has strained Ukraine's relations with China.

“I am convinced that a just peace in Ukraine is in China’s strategic interests, and China’s role as a global force for peace is important,” Kuleba said in opening remarks.

China has close ties with Russia and has pushed for an end to the war that would take into account the interests of both sides. That position has put it at odds not only with Ukraine but also Western European countries and the United States, which are demanding a Russian withdrawal as the basis for any settlement.

China did not participate in a peace conference in Switzerland last month that did not include Russia.
Kuleba was expected to lobby Chinese officials to attend another peace conference planned for sometime before the American presidential election in early November. His visit reflects a calculation that any peace deal favorable to Ukraine would likely be a non-starter without China on board.

Chinese officials maintained that the two countries have friendly and cooperative relations. Noting the growth in trade between them, Wang said in his opening remarks that ties have continued to develop normally “despite complex and ever-changing international and regional situations.”

Kuleba arrived in China on Tuesday and is scheduled to depart on Friday. In a video posted late Tuesday on his social media accounts, Kuleba said he would have extensive negotiations to look for common ground in the pursuit of peace in Ukraine.

“We need to move to a just and stable peace,” he said, according to a translation posted by Euromaiden Press, an English-language news site on Ukraine. “China can play a significant role in this. Let’s go," The Associated Press quoted him as saying.

His visit follows a rare public rebuke of China by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in June. Zelenskyy accused China of helping Russia block countries from participating in the Swiss peace conference. China denied pressuring others.

It was the first time Zelenskyy had departed from careful attempts to court Beijing away from its strong relationship with Moscow.

China published a separate six-point peace plan with Brazil ahead of the conference. The move and the timing likely angered Ukrainian officials who were in the midst of seeking support for their peace proposal.

"We must avoid the competition of peace plans," Kuleba said in his social media video this week.