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Chinese Double Amputee Climbs Mount Everest

A 70-year-old Chinese mountaineer who lost both legs to frostbite while attempting to climb Mount Everest four decades ago has successfully climbed the mountain in his fifth attempt.

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Everest. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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A 70-year-old Chinese mountaineer who lost both legs to frostbite while attempting to climb Mount Everest four decades ago has successfully climbed the mountain in his fifth attempt.

Xia Boyu, 70, reached the top of the world’s highest peak at 8.40 a.m. on Monday, becoming the first double leg amputee to accomplish the feat from the Nepal side, said Tourism Ministry official Gyanendra Shrestha from Everest Base Camp, the Kathmandu Post reported on Tuesday.

More than 50 other climbers also succeeded in scaling the summit, said the official.

The same day Steve Plain, an Australian, also reached the Everest, setting a speed record for climbing the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents.

Xia was part of a 20-man Chinese Everest expedition mission that tried to scale the 8,848 metre peak in 1975. However, about 200 metre from the top the climbers were forced to turn back due to high-altitude storms.

That time Xia suffered severe frostbite and lost both his legs. He returned to Mount Everest in 2014, but an avalanche killed 16 Nepali high-altitude guides that time, forcing the expedition to call off its summit bid.

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Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

He was back in 2015, but again the climbing season was abandoned when a powerful earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, killing 20 on the Everest.

Xia made his last attempt in 2016 but bad weather forced him to turn back. His dream was nearly shattered after the government amended the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation in December, prohibiting double amputees, persons without arms and legs and blind persons from attempting to climb mountains in Nepal.

However, disability advocacy groups filed a petition in the Supreme Court, arguing that the government had violated the rights of differently-abled people and the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities.

Subsequently, the court overruled the controversial government ban in March, allowing Xia to fulfil his four-decade-old dream.

Xia was quoted by the People’s Daily telling a friend earlier this week that he had been preparing for the moment for 43 years.

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“It’s not been easy for me to reach the peak of Mount Everest which I’ve dreamed of.”

He is the second double amputee to climb the Everest after New Zealander Mark Inglis, who reached the peak from the Tibetan side in 2006, the Guardian reported.

Santiago Quintero, who had half of each foot amputated during a climb in south America, also reached the peak in 2013. (IANS)

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Online Debate Over US-China Trade Negotiations Erased by Chinese Censors

It was not clear exactly why the comments were censored. Chinese officials on Monday were keen to show that Beijing had stood firm in the talks.

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Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.
A selection of the censored comments were published by the Chinese Media Project. In one, a Weibo user, referring to US President Donald Trump, said: "The madman won."

Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.

After the announcement on Sunday by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that planned tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese goods would be put “on hold”, posts on the microblogging site Weibo discussing the deal were immedietly deleted, according to a research initiative studying Chinese media.

A selection of the censored comments were published by the Chinese Media Project. In one, a Weibo user, referring to US President Donald Trump, said: “The madman won.”

Another deleted post said China’s bid to get US sanctions lifted on the telecommunications equipment maker ZTE had been unsuccessful, according to a report in the Guardian.

“The other points of compromise — or kneeling, to put it more sharply — are small matters,” the user wrote, according to the project.

Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, wikimedia commons

On Saturday, Beijing and Washington released a statement saying they had come to a consensus of “effective measures” to narrow the US’ huge trade deficit with China.

It was not clear exactly why the comments were censored. Chinese officials on Monday were keen to show that Beijing had stood firm in the talks.

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A researcher for China’s Commerce Ministry said that the country had demonstrated three “bottom lines”, which were: It would not cut exports to the US in order to reduce the trade deficit, no target was set for reducing the deficit — Trump had previously pushed for a $200 billion reduction — and China upheld its right to upgrade its industry.

The White House’s threatened tariffs had targeted Beijing’s “Made in China” industrial programme.

“Despite all the pressure, China didn’t ‘fold’, as Trump observed”, the state-run China Daily said in an editorial. “Instead, it stood firm and continually expressed its willingness to talk”. (IANS)

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