Sweden is joining Nato, but it’s hopelessly unprepared for war | Martin Gelin

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 came as a rude awakening for Sweden. Across the country people suddenly realised that national security vulnerabilities were everywhere. The entire public transit rail network in Stockholm, for example, is operated by MTR, a Hong Kong-based company with ties to the Chinese Communist party. In the event of Stockholm being attacked by foreign forces, most of the detail about critical infrastructure and tunnels running under the city centre – home to the Swedish parliament, the prime minister’s residence, the state department, the…

For China, North Korea Is ‘Card to Play’ in Competition With US, Experts Say

washington —  Beijing is unlikely to help Washington disrupt military cooperation between North Korea and Russia because China sees that move as undermining itself while bolstering U.S. goals in Europe and Asia, analysts said. “Given U.S. policy in Asia and Washington’s ongoing effort to contain Chinese power in the region, Beijing has no reason to assist the U.S., even indirectly, on one of its most top foreign policy priorities – a Russian defeat in Ukraine,” said Daniel DePetris, a fellow at Defense Priorities. “For China, North Korea is not a…

Facing Chinese EV Rivals, Europe’s Automakers Squeeze Suppliers on Costs

London —  Europe’s automakers and their already-stretched suppliers face a tough year as they race to cut costs for electric models to counter leaner Chinese rivals which are bringing cheaper vehicles to challenge them on their home turf. A big question is how much more Europe’s automakers can squeeze out of suppliers that have already started laying off workers, with many smaller companies hard hit by supply chain issues during the pandemic. The difference between Europe’s legacy automakers and more EV-focused Chinese manufacturers will be on stark display this week…

Chinese Companies Hit by US, EU Sanctions on Russia

London —  U.S. and European Union sanctions announced Friday on hundreds of people and companies for supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine included several companies from China. While most sanctions were against Russians and Russian firms, the U.S. and EU measures also included Chinese individuals and companies based in mainland China cities as well as Hong Kong for supplying the Russian military. The U.S. sanctions also targeted individuals and firms based in Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, while the EU also targeted individuals and entities based in India,…

Why is Hungary Strengthening Ties with Russia and China?

While many Western nations have cut economic ties with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, Hungary continues to buy billions of dollars of Russian oil and gas. It also has sought to strengthen ties with Beijing, bucking Western efforts to reduce dependence on China. As Henry Ridgwell reports from Budapest, analysts say Hungary’s leader is seeking to exploit global tensions. Voice of America

China offers to deepen security ties with Hungary

China has offered to deepen security cooperation with Hungary, underscoring Budapest’s warming ties with Beijing just as Hungarian officials snubbed a visiting delegation from Washington. Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, met China’s minister of public security, Wang Xiaohong, on Friday. In comments published by China’s official Xinhua news agency over the weekend, Wang said he was hoping to “deepen cooperation in areas including counter-terrorism, combating transnational crimes, security and law enforcement capacity building under the belt and road initiative”. The aim, according to the Chinese minister, would be “to make…

China Tells Ukraine It ‘Does Not Sell Lethal Weapons’ to Russia

Beijing —  China’s foreign minister has told his Ukrainian counterpart that Beijing does not sell lethal weapons to Russia for its war against Ukraine, a statement said Sunday. Wang Yi told Dmytro Kuleba during a meeting on the sidelines of a major security conference in Munich on Saturday that China “does not take any advantage of the situation and does not sell lethal weapons to conflict areas or parties to the conflict,” according to a foreign ministry readout. China says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict but…

China Describes Navalny Death as ‘Russia’s Internal Affair’

beijing —  China’s foreign ministry declined to comment Saturday on the death of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, describing it as “Russia’s internal affair.” “This is Russia’s internal affair. I will not comment,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in response to a question from AFP. Navalny, the Kremlin’s most prominent critic, died Friday in an Arctic prison, Russian officials said, a month before an election poised to extend Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hold on power. Navalny’s death after three years in detention and a poisoning that he blamed on…

Foreign Minister Says Cutting China Out of Trade Would Be Historic Mistake

MUNICH —  China’s foreign minister told a gathering of international security policy officials Saturday that trying to shut China out of trade in the name of avoiding dependency would be a historic mistake. Wang Yi spoke at the Munich Security Conference. Host Germany wants to avoid over-reliance on trade with an increasingly assertive China and diversify its supply of key goods in an approach it calls “de-risking.” That’s in line with the approach of other industrial powers in the Group of Seven, which has stressed that it doesn’t seek to…

From beehive to kitchen table: UK beekeepers call for new law to trace honey’s origin

Britain’s beekeepers are backing ­proposed new rules to combat fraud in the supply chain, ensuring a jar of honey can be traced on its journey of up to 5,000 miles from the beehive to the shop shelf. The European parliament has agreed new labelling rules and a project to establish a traceability system for honey from harvesting to the consumer. The proposed rules are part of an overhaul of the “breakfast directives”, including the honey directive. Honey producers and sellers in the UK want the rules to be adopted in…