**China to Send 'Peace Ark' to Help Typhoon-Hit Philippines**
China is increasing its relief aid to the Philippines following criticism that it was not doing enough to help its typhoon-hit neighbor, which is involved in a territorial dispute with Beijing.
The Chinese foreign ministry said Wednesday an emergency medical team from the government and a disaster relief team from the Chinese Red Cross will soon arrive in the Philippines. A 14,000-ton navy hospital ship, described as a "peace ark," will also be sent.
It has been 12 days since Typhoon Haiyan tore through the central Philippines, leaving over 4,000 people dead and millions displaced. Hundreds of thousands are yet to be reached with emergency aid.
China, which has the world's second largest economy, initially offered $100,000 to Manila. Following both domestic and international criticism, it increased its aid contribution by $1.6 million in supplies.
**US Ambassador to China to Step Down Next Year**
The U.S. ambassador to China says he is stepping down early next year to rejoin his family in the United States.
Gary Locke said in a statement Tuesday he informed President Barack Obama of his decision earlier this month.
The 63-year-old Locke is the first Chinese-American to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Beijing.
Locke said it has been the "honor of a lifetime" to serve as ambassador, a position he has held since 2011.
He said he is proud of the accomplishments made "on behalf of the American people and for U.S.-China relations."