Nationalist fervour ratcheted up in lead up to China’s communist party congress

Chinese authorities are ratcheting up nationalistic sentiment in the run up to a key meeting of the country’s ruling party where party leader Xi Jinping is expected to gain an unprecedented third term. In recent weeks, state media has amplified the patriotic themes of “struggle” and “red heritage” while warning of internal and external threats ahead of the Chinese Communist party’s most important political meeting. On Monday Xi was quoted in a front page article by the People’s Daily newspaper as saying, “we must continue our ‘red blood heritage,’ inspire…

U.S. Aims to Turn Taiwan Into Giant Weapons Depot

u s aims to turn taiwan into giant weapons depot

WASHINGTON — American officials are intensifying efforts to build a giant stockpile of weapons in Taiwan after studying recent naval and air force exercises by the Chinese military around the island, according to current and former officials. The exercises showed that China would probably blockade the island as a prelude to any attempted invasion, and Taiwan would have to hold out on its own until the United States or other nations intervened, if they decided to do that, the current and former officials say. But the effort to transform Taiwan…

Taiwan’s military recruitment pool shrinking due to low birthrate

The declining birthrate in Taiwan could cause “major challenges” to the island’s military recruitment capabilities, at a time when Taiwan is building its defences to ward off potential Chinese invasion, its government has been told. Like much of east Asia, Taiwan is facing a demographic crisis, with fewer people having children each year as the population ages. The issue has social and economic effects on countries but in Taiwan there is also concern over its impact on military personnel levels. In a report to Taiwan’s legislative yuan this week, the…

Businesses Brace for Currency Chaos in Asia

businesses brace for currency chaos in asia

Tigun Wibisana and Sandra Kok, who own the SiTigun cafe on Penang Island in Malaysia, are facing an excruciating decision that could make or break their business of 14 years: Can they increase prices to cover rising expenses without driving customers into the arms of their bigger rivals? The cost of the coffee beans that the couple, who are married, buy is spiraling because they are traded globally in U.S. dollars, and the Malaysian ringgit has fallen to a 24-year low. Compound that with an inflationary spike in prices for…

Pakistan’s PM says rival Imran Khan is ‘biggest liar on earth’

Pakistan’s prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, has accused the former premier Imran Khan of being the “the biggest liar on the face of the earth” and injecting poison into society to “dangerously polarise the electorate” after he was toppled from power earlier this year. Speaking in his first interview from Pakistan since he took over as prime minister in April, Sharif, 70, spoke unsparingly of the “damage” that Khan, the former cricket superstar who ruled Pakistan from 2018, had done to the country in both domestic and foreign affairs. Pakistan is…

U.S. Said to Plan New Limits on China’s A.I. and Supercomputing Firms

u s said to plan new limits on chinas a i and supercomputing firms

The Biden administration has faced some criticism that it has moved slowly to curb China’s access to cutting-edge U.S. technology. For many administration officials, China’s recent progress in clearing a key technological hurdle in semiconductor manufacturing underscored the urgent need for more expansive regulation in the industry, people familiar with the discussions said. The export controls are part of a bigger strategy from the Biden administration to starve China of key technologies while pumping money into U.S. chip-making factories. The measures come as Beijing ramps up its aggression toward Taiwan,…

A U.S. ‘Ships Act’ Would Break China’s Control of the Seas

a u s ships act would break chinas control of the seas

Soon after President Xi Jinping of China took power, he instructed top Communist Party leaders in a 2013 speech to turn the country into a “maritime superpower.” China already has the world’s largest navy, though its ability to contend with U.S. naval forces remains in doubt. But leaders in Beijing have realized that maritime strength is not measured solely in firepower. Success in commercial shipping would have “great and far-reaching significance” for Chinese national strength and security, Mr. Xi told the Politburo then, reminding the party that throughout history the…

‘Ordinary’ Chinese vase valued at €2,000 sells for almost €8m after bidding war

An “ordinary” Chinese vase put up for auction in France and valued at €2,000 (£1,745) has sold for almost €8m after a ferocious bidding war among buyers convinced it was a rare 18th-century artefact. At the sale in Fontainebleau near Paris, auctioneers were astonished as the offers from about 30 mainly Chinese bidders kept on coming. When the hammer fell the vase had been sold for €7.7m – almost 4,000 times its estimated value. With the seller’s fees, the final purchase price was €9.12m. The tianqiuping-style porcelain was put in…

High-profile China #MeToo case settled in US out of court

One of China’s biggest and most divisive #MeToo cases, which had been set to play out with extraordinary transparency because of its US location and was closely watched by millions inside China, has been settled out of court. Liu Qiangdong, a 49-year-old online retail billionaire who also goes by Richard Liu and is known as China’s Jeff Bezos, had been accused of sexually assaulting a then 21-year-old Chinese graduate when she was studying at the University of Minnesota and he was visiting on a business trip. Liu has always denied…

Chinese #MeToo Case Settled in U.S. Court

chinese metoo case settled in u s court

The Chinese billionaire entrepreneur Richard Liu has reached a settlement with Liu Jingyao, a former University of Minnesota student who accused him of rape in a Minneapolis apartment after a night out in 2018, in a case that has riveted China and been held up as a landmark episode in China’s struggling #MeToo movement. The agreement, which was announced in a joint statement late Saturday, came just two days before a civil trial was to begin in a Minneapolis courtroom. Lawyers from both parties said Mr. Liu and Ms. Liu,…