Blinken’s Visit to Saudi Arabia Caps Biden Effort to Rebuild Ties

blinkens visit to saudi arabia caps biden effort to rebuild ties

By the time Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken wrapped up a visit to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, he and Saudi officials had discussed cooperation on a smorgasbord of issues: Iran, Sudan, the Islamic State, regional infrastructure, clean energy and the potential normalization of Saudi-Israel relations. Mr. Blinken gave effusive remarks on the work being done at a news conference in Riyadh: “It is critical for expanding opportunity and driving progress for our people and for people around the world.” It was the type of bonhomie that American officials usually…

Europeans Now See Russia as an Adversary, but Not China, Poll Says

europeans now see russia as an adversary but not china poll says

When Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany and President Emmanuel Macron of France recently made separate but friendly visits to China, it sparked considerable dismay among their fellow leaders in Europe and Washington. Especially given Beijing’s “no-limits partnership” with Russia, the efforts to treat China as what Mr. Macron called “a strategic and global partner,” rather than as a rival, were met with sometimes caustic criticism. Yet, an extensive opinion poll released on Wednesday, shows that Europeans tend to agree with them. Even as Beijing moves closer to Moscow, and despite…

Fareed Zakaria on Where Russia’s War in Ukraine Stands — and Much More

fareed zakaria on where russias war in ukraine stands and much more

[MUSIC PLAYING] ezra klein Russia invaded Ukraine 15 months ago. For a time following the invasion, it was all the world could talk about. It’s all the show could talk about. And now, as happens with a lot of stories huge at the outset, now the Russia-Ukraine war is treated as one news story — I mean, a major one — but one news story among many. But it’s still more than that. It’s a kind of hyper story. There is the conflict itself, which matters enormously. And then there’s…

China Wants to Set the Terms of Any ‘Thaw’ With the U.S.

china wants to set the terms of any thaw with the u s

For a few weeks, a flurry of meetings between American and Chinese officials seemed to signal that the two countries were trying to reduce tensions, after months of rancor and frozen high-level contacts raised concerns about the risk of a conflict, accidental or otherwise. First the U.S. national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, met with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, in Vienna, in May. Then the two countries’ top commerce officials held talks, the first bilateral cabinet-level meeting in Washington in months. China’s ambassador also arrived in Washington last week, finally…

China Investing in Open-Source Intelligence Collection on the U.S.

china investing in open source intelligence collection on the u s

Why It Matters: Beijing’s open-source intelligence collection could give it an advantage. As the relationship between the United States and China has become more adversarial, both countries are investing more in their intelligence collection capabilities. With Beijing’s investments in big data management, mining publicly available sources of information could give China an advantage in collecting intelligence on the United States and its allies. While autocratic countries like China hide information about their military, the United States — as a democracy that tries to be responsive to its public — puts…

Russia Denounces West Over Drone Strike on Moscow

russia denounces west over drone strike on moscow

A day after a drone strike on Moscow, Kremlin officials jumped on the refusal of Ukrainian allies to denounce the attack as proof that Russia’s real war was with the West. The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said Russia “would have preferred to hear at least some words of condemnation” from Western capitals. “We will calmly and deliberately think how to deal with this,” he said. While none of Ukraine’s allies went so far as to endorse the drone attack, Britain’s foreign secretary said on Tuesday that Kyiv had “the…

Europe Frets U.S. Battery Factory Subsidies Will Hurt, Not Help

europe frets u s battery factory subsidies will hurt not help

European leaders complained for years that the United States was not doing enough to fight climate change. Now that the Biden administration has devoted hundreds of billions of dollars to that cause, many Europeans are complaining that the United States is going about it the wrong way. That new critique is born of a deep fear in Germany, France, Britain and other European countries that Washington’s approach will hurt the allies it ought to be working with, luring away much of the new investments in electric car and battery factories not already…

Your Tuesday Briefing: Uganda Enacts an Anti-Gay Law

your tuesday briefing uganda enacts an anti gay law

Uganda’s harsh new anti-gay law The president of Uganda signed a punitive anti-gay bill yesterday that includes the death penalty as a punishment, enshrining into law an intensifying crackdown on L.G.B.T.Q. people in the conservative East African nation. It calls for life imprisonment for anyone who engages in gay sex. Anyone who tries to have same-sex relations could be liable for up to a decade in prison. The law also decrees the death penalty for anyone convicted of “aggravated homosexuality,” which is partially defined as acts of same-sex relations with…

China Announces Plan to Land Astronauts on Moon by 2030

china announces plan to land astronauts on moon by 2030

China plans to complete a mission to land a person on the moon by 2030, a government official announced on Monday, in the highest-level confirmation of China’s ambitions for a crewed lunar landing. Chinese scientists have previously nodded at a 2030 goal in a less formal capacity; for example, the chief designer of China’s lunar exploration program said last month that a 2030 landing would be “no problem.” “We can clasp the moon in the ninth heaven,” Lin Xiqiang, the deputy director of China’s Manned Space Agency, said at a…

U.S. Navy Steps Up Efforts to Curb Iran’s Ship Seizures in Strait of Hormuz

u s navy steps up efforts to curb irans ship seizures in strait of hormuz

U.S. Navy warships stationed in the Persian Gulf region have increased their patrols through the Strait of Hormuz, the busy merchant ship passageway, in response to recent moves by Iran to seize two oil tankers, the latest sign of rising tensions between Iran and the United States. “Iran’s actions are unacceptable,” Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the commander of U.S. naval forces in the region, said in an interview on Monday at the Navy base here in Bahrain. He was speaking several days after he rode a Navy guided-missile destroyer through…