China has pledged billions of dollars to boost the development of artificial intelligence in the country's first technology research drive of its kind, highlighting Beijing's commitment to expanding the horizons of the nascent field. During an annual meeting of parliament, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told legislators Sunday that the nation would invest in new technologies and their associated markets. The Association of the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's annual meeting, which took place last month, was rescheduled when the original dates in January conflicted with the Chinese New Year, displaying the vast clout of Chinese input on the international conference. In response to tensions between Beijing and Washington over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, China has reportedly begun developing "semiautonomous" weapons capable of making their own tactical decisions against predesignated targets.
China and Russia said Monday that the South China Sea dispute should not be internationalized and called for its settlement based on negotiation and consultation, Beijing's official Xinhua News reported. Meanwhile, Hugo Swire, the British minister of state responsible for East Asia, said earlier in the day that a ruling -- expected in May or early June -- in the Philippines' international arbitration case against China's South China Sea claims must be binding. On Sunday, a Chinese military aircraft made the first public landing on the Fiery Cross Reef of the South China Sea. "We're aware that a Chinese military aircraft landed at Fiery Cross Reef on Sunday in what China described as a humanitarian operation to evacuate three ill workers," Pentagon spokesman Capt.