Stalemate in US-China Ties Appears Likely to Continue Despite Talks

stalemate in us china ties appears likely to continue despite talks

washington —  After a series of renewed talks between the U.S. and China leading up to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s expected visit to Beijing in coming weeks, experts said the two rivals need to come up with a plan to avoid conflict. The talks had been stalled since February over a suspected Chinese spy balloon flying across the U.S. The two countries agreed to “open lines of communications,” said a statement released after Dan Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, held talks with his…

China Reportedly to Build Spy Station in Cuba

china reportedly to build spy station in cuba

China and Cuba have reached a secret pact allowing Beijing to build an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island that is 160 kilometers from the United States, U.S. news outlets reported Thursday. A senior White House official described the reports as “not accurate” without specifying what in the reports they took issue with. According to the reports, which first appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the spy facility would allow China to collect electronic communications from throughout the southeastern U.S., where numerous military bases are located, and monitor U.S. ship…

Fiji Revaluating Ties With China, Main US Indo-Pacific Rival 

fiji revaluating ties with china main us indo pacific rival

washington —  Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said Wednesday that the island nation was reviewing an agreement on police cooperation it signed with China in 2011 that has allowed Chinese police officers to be stationed in Fiji. Rabuka, speaking at a news conference in New Zealand where he was discussing a defense pact with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, referred to Fiji’s willingness to walk away from the agreement, The Associated Press reported. “If our systems and our values differ, what cooperation can we get from them?” Rabuka said, referring to…

China Hosts Rare Counterterrorism Talks With Iran, Pakistan

china hosts rare counterterrorism talks with iran pakistan

ISLAMABAD —  China, Iran and Pakistan held their first trilateral counterterrorism and regional security consultations on Wednesday in Beijing. “The delegations held detailed discussions on the regional security situation, particularly the threat of terrorism faced by the region,” said a post-meeting statement in Islamabad, which shared no further details. The Pakistani and Chinese foreign ministries said the three nations had decided to institutionalize and hold the meeting regularly. Senior Chinese, Pakistani and Iranian counterterrorism officials, each from their respective foreign ministries, led their teams at Wednesday’s dialogue. Analysts said Pakistan’s…

China’s Targeting of US Firms Politically Motivated, US Ambassador Says

chinas targeting of us firms politically motivated us ambassador says

Washington —  The United States will push back on China’s targeting of American firms, which Washington considers politically motivated and unfair, U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns said on Wednesday. Several U.S. companies have faced increased scrutiny in China in recent months, including U.S. memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc, which China’s cyberspace regulator said in May would be barred from selling to operators of key infrastructure. Businesses groups have warned about the rise in China’s use of exit bans, pressure on foreign due diligence firms, and the vague wording of…

From Peril to Paradise: A South African Pangolin Gets a New Start

from peril to paradise a south african pangolin gets a new start

Pangolins – a type of anteater – have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, but the demand for their scales is putting some pangolin species at high risk of extinction. Officials in South Africa are trying to ensure the animal’s survival, cracking down on the illegal trade and rehabilitating rescued animals. Kate Bartlett reports from Lapalala Wilderness Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa. Camera and edit: Zaheer Cassim Voice of America

Britain Says China Has Closed Unofficial Police Stations in UK

britain says china has closed unofficial police stations in uk

london —  British Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said on Tuesday China had closed reported “police service stations” at sites across the United Kingdom and that an investigation had not revealed any illegal activity by the Chinese state at these sites. Britain has previously said reports of undeclared police stations in the country were “extremely concerning” and that any intimidation on British soil of foreign nationals by China or other states was unacceptable. China has denied operating any such stations and issued a statement contesting Tugendhat’s remarks via its embassy in…

China’s Latest COVID Wave May Hit 65 Million a Week With Mild Symptoms

chinas latest covid wave may hit 65 million a week with mild symptoms

Washington —  China, where COVID-19 was first identified in humans more than three years ago, expects its current wave of infection to hit as many as 65 million cases per week by late June, according to official accounts of models presented at a medical conference. While that may be an exhausting number to a post-pandemic world wearied by a still rising toll of 767 million confirmed cases and more than 6.9 million deaths, the predicted onslaught in China comes with less severe symptoms, Wang Guiqiang, director of the Department of…

US Lawmakers: COVID TRIPS Waiver Could Harm Competitiveness with China

us lawmakers covid trips waiver could harm competitiveness with china

Washington —  U.S. lawmakers warned Tuesday that an extension of a COVID-era patent waiver could jeopardize U.S. innovation and favor China in the global race for strategic competition. The World Trade Organization waived global patent protections established under the 1995 TRIPS Act for the COVID-19 vaccine last June and is currently considering an expansion of that waiver that would include diagnostic and preventative tools. The Biden administration asked the U.S. International Trade Commission, or USITC, to investigate what impact the expansion could have on U.S. pharmaceutical innovation. Representative Darrell Issa,…

Italy Reviewing Pirelli Ownership Structure

italy reviewing pirelli ownership structure

Italian regulators are looking into efforts by China’s Sinochem to tighten control over Italian tire maker Pirelli. Sinochem owns 37% of Pirelli and a new shareholders agreement gives it the ability to choose nine members of Pirelli’s 15-member board. Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera sold the 150-year-old company to ChemChina in 2015. ChemChina is now part of Chinese state-owned chemical company Sinochem. The Italian government has the ability to review such matters under what are called “Golden Powers” — rules governing assets considered strategic to the country. The probe comes…