Chinese-Australian Writer Yang Given Suspended Death Sentence in China

An Australian writer and businessman who has been detained in China on national security charges since 2019 has been declared guilty and was given a death sentence with two years’ probation on Monday, according to the Australian government, in a blow to warming relations between Australia and China. If the businessman, Yang Hengjun, does not commit any crimes in those two years, the sentence can be commuted to life imprisonment, Penny Wong, the Australian foreign minister, said in a statement. She described the verdict as “harrowing.” The long detention of…

Australia Offers Climate Refuge to Tuvalu Citizens, but Not All

The Pacific island nation of Tuvalu once comprised 11 islands. It is now down to nine flecks of land totaling less than 10 square miles, which, like their lost siblings before them, risk gradually being eaten away by the rising tides of the world’s warming oceans. For decades, Tuvalu’s leaders have warned about the effects of the world’s emissions on this tiny place. “It’s a matter of disappearing from the surface of this earth,” Kausea Natano, the prime minister, said in September on the sidelines of the United Nations General…

Why China-Australia Relations Are Warming. Sort of.

Since 2017, Australia has played David to China’s Goliath: rejecting Chinese pressure to adopt Huawei technology, calling out Chinese political interference, and demanding an inquiry into Covid-19’s origins, even as Beijing blocked Australian imports ranging from coal to wine. Now, with Australia’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, landing in Beijing on Saturday for a three-day visit and a meeting with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, reconciliation is advancing — but with limits. Mr. Albanese’s trip represents a small step back to economic and diplomatic stability after a long march into distrust. China’s…

Biden and Albanese Say the U.S. and Australia Stand Together With Israel

President Biden and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia expressed their shared condemnation of the Hamas attack this month on Israeli civilians and soldiers, saying during a state visit on Wednesday that they would stand with Israel. In a visit laden with ceremony, military pomp and personal references, the two leaders made every effort to show that the United States-Australia alliance was about more than just the military might of two countries that also cooperate on issues including artificial intelligence and the development of critical minerals. But, given their close…

State Dinner to Bring Together Biden, Australia’s Leader and the B-52s

Five months ago, President Biden canceled a trip to Australia because the United States was on the brink of defaulting on its debt, and it seemed like a bad time to leave town. Then he extended an invitation to Anthony Albanese, the prime minister of Australia, for a state visit in Washington — a redo of sorts, when things would be calmer. Then again, maybe there’s never really a good time. This week, Mr. Biden is steering American involvement in two overseas wars and monitoring the continuing calamity of a…

Anthony Albanese to Visit Xi Jinping as China-Australia Tensions Ease

Australia’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, announced on Sunday that he would visit China early next month, meeting with its top leader, Xi Jinping. Such a visit would be the first by an Australian leader since 2016 and another sign of easing tensions between the two nations, along with the recent release of a detained Australian journalist and a breakthrough on talks aimed at removing staggering tariffs on Australian wine that China imposed three years ago. China is Australia’s biggest overseas market, with exports and services to China forming nearly one-third…

China Releases Australian Journalist Cheng Lei

Cheng Lei, an Australian journalist who was held in Beijing for more than three years, has returned to Australia, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Wednesday. Mr. Albanese said Ms. Cheng had been reunited with her two young children in Melbourne. “Her return brings an end to a very difficult few years for Cheng and her family,” Mr. Albanese said at a news conference on Wednesday. Ms. Cheng, who worked for China’s global television network, was detained in Beijing in August 2020 and formally arrested later on suspicion of sharing…

How Aligning With China Changed Life in the Solomon Islands

In Honiara, they’ve just finished this brand-new stadium, and there’s not enough medicine in the main hospital in the country. There’s medicine shortages, so they’re turning people away from the hospital. You couldn’t ask for a more clear contrast in terms of the misallocation of priorities from the Chinese approach. And that really angers people. There is a really quite sad cynicism among many rural Solomon Islanders that nothing will ever change. They saw billions of dollars getting pumped into Honiara previously from Australia in terms of its peacekeeping efforts…

China Is Suffering a Brain Drain. The U.S. Isn’t Exploiting It.

They went to the best universities in China and in the West. They lived middle-class lives in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen and worked for technology companies at the center of China’s tech rivalry with the United States. Now they are living and working in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia — and just about any developed country. Chinese — from young people to entrepreneurs — are voting with their feet to escape political oppression, bleak economic prospects and often grueling work cultures. Increasingly, the exodus includes tech professionals and other well-educated…

Vanuatu Prime Minister Is Ousted Amid Criticism of Being Pro-West

With 1,200 miles of almost empty ocean to its west and more than 7,000 miles of the same to its east, the tiny Pacific archipelago nation of Vanuatu has long sought a position of neutrality toward its faraway would-be foreign partners. Now, as the United States and China jockey for more influence in the South Pacific, that balancing act has become fraught. Take the case of Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau, who in recent months signed a security pact with Australia, met with President Emmanuel Macron of France, welcomed American plans…