Putin’s Threats Highlight the Dangers of a New, Riskier Nuclear Era

WASHINGTON — The old nuclear order, rooted in the Cold War’s unthinkable outcomes, was fraying before Russia invaded Ukraine. Now, it is giving way to a looming era of disorder unlike any since the beginning of the atomic age. Russia’s regular reminders over the past three months of its nuclear might, even if largely bluster, were the latest evidence of how the potential threat has resurfaced in more overt and dangerous ways. They were enough to draw a pointed warning to Moscow on Tuesday from President Biden in what amounted…

Biden Administration Begins Trade Dialogue With Taiwan

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday said that it would pursue negotiations to strengthen trade and technology ties with Taiwan, a move that is aimed at countering China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region and one that is likely to rankle Beijing. The announcement follows the Biden administration’s efforts to build an Asia-Pacific economic bloc, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, that includes 13 countries and excludes Taiwan. China claims the island, a self-governing democracy that is critical to global technology supply chains, as an incontestable part of its territory.…

China Is Not the Biggest Threat to the World Order. It’s Russia.

In a speech on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed the long-awaited outlines of the Biden administration’s official posture toward China. Rather than Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Mr. Blinken said, it is China that represents the most potent and determined threat to the American-championed world order. Only China, he continued, has “both the intent to reshape the international order” and the power to do so, he said. The United States will seek to rally coalitions of other nations to meet Beijing’s challenge. The writing had been on the wall. Just…

Biden Begins Trip to Asia Meant to Reassure Allies of Focus on China

SEOUL — President Biden embarked Thursday on his first diplomatic mission to Asia since taking office, hoping to demonstrate that the United States remained focused on countering China, even as his administration stage-managed a war against Russia in Europe. With his original strategy of pivoting foreign policy attention to Asia effectively blown up by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Mr. Biden has now shifted to the argument that there can be no trade-off between Europe and Asia and that only the United States can bring together the democracies of the East…

Taiwan and U.S. Consider Weapons Suited to Defend Against China

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is quietly pressing the Taiwanese government to order American-made weapons that would help its small military repel a seaborne invasion by China rather than weapons designed for conventional set-piece warfare, current and former U.S. and Taiwanese officials say. The U.S. campaign to shape Taiwan’s defenses has grown in urgency since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine ordered in late February by President Vladimir V. Putin. The war has convinced Washington and Taipei that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan in the coming years is now a…

It will neither rattle Putin nor change our obligations in the war.

Just over a week ago, Joe Biden acted like Joe Biden and called the Russian campaign in Ukraine a “genocide” — leaping ahead of our major allies, our State Department and the available facts. The comment prompted head-shaking from people nervous about American escalation and praise from people seeking it (notably, the president of Ukraine). I am generally on the side of the nervous people: In a conflict with a nuclear power there is always an interest in reducing the existential stakes, and accusations of genocide should be made only…

China doubles down on coal

3. No one likes power cuts, least of all authoritarian governments. Many Chinese provinces ran critically short of electricity last fall. Factories suddenly went silent. High-rise office buildings had to be evacuated before their elevators stopped. Chemical factories lost power and, with it, their ability to control the heat and pressure in potentially hazardous operations. In March, President Xi Jinping underlined that he would not let his country turn away from coal without making sure that reliable replacements were in place. “You can’t throw away the eating utensils in your…

U.S. Report Describes a Global Retreat on Human Rights

u s report describes a global retreat on human rights

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Tuesday that governments around the world, including in Russia and China, grew more repressive last year, as the State Department released its annual report on global human rights. The department’s 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices echoes President Biden’s warnings that authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide. Its introduction cites “continued democratic backsliding on several continents, and creeping authoritarianism that threatens both human rights and democracy — most notably, at present, with Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.” The report…

Europe Asks China Not to Aid Russia’s War in Ukraine

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Friday called on China not to aid Russia’s war against Ukraine or to subvert Western sanctions on Moscow, in the first summit meeting between the two sides in two years. The summit, in separate sessions with Beijing’s leaders, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping, came as tensions were high over Beijing’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, China’s record on human rights and its trade boycott of Lithuania for hosting a representative office of Taiwan. Europe-China relations have essentially been in a…

China’s Push to Isolate Taiwan Demands U.S. Action, Report Says

chinas push to isolate taiwan demands u s action report says

The report from the German Marshall Fund, a research group that promotes democracy, laid out similar examples of coercive diplomacy by China in the constellation of United Nations agencies and associated groups. (The authors, Jessica Drun and Bonnie Glaser, both Taiwan experts, said they had received funding from the Taiwanese government for the research but that the views in the report were their own. Separately, Laura Rosenberger, senior director for China and Taiwan at the White House National Security Council, was a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund.) In…

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