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…

China Is the Next Worry as Food Prices Soar

PINGGU, China — From village to village, the wheat crops in China have been inconsistent this season. One field on the flat plains east of Beijing was patchy, with knee-high emerald stalks in some spots while almost bald elsewhere, damaged by the torrential rains of last autumn. The next village over, a luxurious wheat crop was thriving after this spring’s bright sunshine and slow, soaking rains. China’s winter wheat harvest next month is one of the big uncertainties in a global economy already struggling with high commodity prices, particularly in…

Hong Kong Police Arrest Former Bishop in National Security Case

HONG KONG — The Hong Kong police arrested three prominent activists on Wednesday, including a retired bishop and a pop star who were leaders of a legal aid organization now under investigation for suspected violations of the city’s strict national security law, a lawyer for the group said. The arrests are the latest in a sweeping crackdown that followed widespread antigovernment protests in 2019 and the imposition of the security law on the territory a year later. More than 170 people have been arrested under the law since it was…

In Hong Kong Election, John Lee Is Running Uncontested

HONG KONG — When hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents took to the streets in 2019 to protest a proposed extradition bill, John Lee, the security secretary at the time, went before the city’s Legislative Council to defend the government’s position. During the session, Mr. Lee, a former police officer, was questioned about the excessive use of force and tear gas on protesters by the police. Combative lawmakers shouted “down with John Lee!” One accused him of trying to “sell out Hong Kong for personal gains” in his dogged…

Inside China’s Zero-Covid Fortress, Xi Jinping Admits No Doubts

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, waved at crowds of giddily cheering students. He held meetings with Olympic Games officials, economic policymakers and European leaders. He toured a tropical island. But there was a revealing gap in Mr. Xi’s busy itinerary last month, exposing the predicament that Covid is creating in a politically crucial year when he hopes to extend his hold on power. He stayed behind the scenes when it came to China’s biggest, most contentious lockdown since the pandemic began. Throughout April, Mr. Xi gave no public speeches focused on…

China’s Covid Strategy: Test 20 Million in Beijing Amid Lockdown Fears

Beijing officials urged residents to work remotely, and they suspended large-scale gatherings such as cultural performances, sports events and exhibitions. Some streets in Chaoyang, where most of the cases have been detected so far, were uncommonly quiet. Officials had earlier identified a small area elsewhere in the district, covering about a square mile of southern Chaoyang, where they ordered residents locked down or discouraged them from leaving their homes. Many Chaoyang residents appeared to be heeding such advice, with sidewalk eateries and shops left with no patrons. Concerns about a…

China’s Covid Lockdowns Stir Memories of a Planned Economy

Yang Wenhui should be a proud example of China’s rise from economic rubble to global powerhouse. Growing up poor, he ate so much cabbage that he didn’t touch it again for many years. He worked as a farmer and a construction worker before joining the country’s nascent logistics industry. In 2003, he started his own freight logistics company, striking gold as online shopping took off in the 2010s and products moved swiftly between provinces. Then the Omicron variant started spreading in China. In the government’s zealous pursuit of its “zero…

Your Wednesday Briefing: Putin’s defiance

your wednesday briefing putins defiance

Good morning. We’re covering Vladimir Putin’s defiant remarks, Sri Lanka’s default and China’s economic pivot. Putin’s defiance President Vladimir Putin of Russia said that peace talks with Ukraine had reached a “dead end.” He also said there was “no doubt” that Russia would achieve its goals in a campaign that has left cities in ruins, forced millions to flee their homes and raised disturbing accounts of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. Here are the latest updates. “What we are doing is helping people and saving people, on the one hand,…

China Sets Aside Push to Spread Wealth in Pivotal Year for Xi

BEIJING — For much of last year, China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, waged a fierce campaign to rein in private capital and narrow social inequalities. Regulators cracked down on tech giants and wealthy celebrities. Beijing demanded that tycoons give back to society. And the Communist Party promised that a new era of “common prosperity” was on the horizon. Now, the Communist Party is putting its campaign on the back burner. In doing so, Beijing is tacitly acknowledging that Mr. Xi’s push to redistribute wealth has unnerved the private sector —…

Shanghai’s Covid Lockdown Poses Test to China’s Leadership

shanghais covid lockdown poses test to chinas leadership

Parents have organized petitions, imploring the government not to separate children infected with the coronavirus from their families. Patients have demanded to speak with higher-ups about shoddy conditions at isolation facilities. Residents have confronted officials over containment policies that they see as unfair or inhumane, then shared recordings of those arguments online. As the coronavirus races through Shanghai, in the city’s worst outbreak since the pandemic began, the authorities have deployed their usual hard-nosed playbook to try and stamp out transmission, no matter the cost. What has been different is…

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