Why China Is Miles Ahead in a Pacific Race for Influence

SUVA, Fiji — Take a walk through the city where China’s foreign minister met on Monday with the leaders of nearly a dozen Pacific Island nations, and China’s imprint is unmistakable. On one side of Suva, the capital of Fiji, there’s a bridge rebuilt with Chinese loans and unveiled with the country’s prime minister standing beside China’s ambassador. On the other, down Queen Elizabeth Drive, sits Beijing’s hulking new embassy, where the road out front has been fixed by workers in neon vests bearing the name of a Chinese state-owned…

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 funnels its overseas aid money into political leaders’ home provinces

China’s financing of overseas projects has disproportionately benefited the core political supporters of incumbent presidents or prime ministers of those countries that receive the funds, according to a new book. During the 20th century, China was mostly known as a recipient of international development finance. Its overseas development programme was modest – roughly on a par with that of Denmark. But over the course of one generation, as Beijing emerged as the world’s second-largest economy, its footprint began to extend far beyond its borders – often in the form of…

China Spins U.N. Human Rights Chief’s Visit as Propaganda

china spins u n human rights chiefs visit as propaganda

The news was given prime placement in Chinese state media: The United Nations’ human rights chief, on her long-awaited visit to the country, had spoken with China’s leader, Xi Jinping. An article plastered across the website of Xinhua, the state news agency, relayed Mr. Xi’s declaration that the Chinese people were enjoying “unprecedented” rights. Then the article quoted the U.N. official, Michelle Bachelet. “I admire China’s efforts and achievements in eradicating poverty, protecting human rights and realizing economic and social development,” she said, according to Xinhua. But within hours, Ms.…

Chinese Hackers Tried to Steal Russian Defense Data, Report Says

Under China’s authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, Beijing has refined its approach to cyberspying, transforming over the past decade into a far more sophisticated actor. China’s premier spy agency, borrowing a page from Russia, has recruited beyond its ranks, pulling from the country’s growing pool of tech workers. The strategy has made its attacks more scattershot and unpredictable, but analysts say it has also helped strengthen the country’s efforts, enabling spies to run stealthy attacks that target intellectual property as well as political and military intelligence around the world. Mr. Xi…

The World Tries to Move Beyond Covid. China May Stand in the Way.

As the rest of the world learns to live with Covid-19, China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, wants his country to keep striving to live without it — no matter the cost. China won a battle against its first outbreak in Wuhan, Mr. Xi said last week, and “we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai,” he added, referring to the epicenter of the current outbreak in China. But pressure is mounting for a change to the zero-Covid strategy that has left Shanghai at a standstill since…

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…

As Shanghai’s Covid Cases Fall, China’s Restrictions Tighten

The Chinese authorities are tightening coronavirus restrictions in Shanghai and Beijing, heeding a message from the country’s top leader to double down on the zero-Covid strategy. In Shanghai, where residents have been under lockdown since April 1, private food delivery services were being suspended in some neighborhoods despite cases falling to a six-week low. Some residents were told not to step outside their homes, and that the government would help deliver groceries. In Beijing, where the daily case count rose to 74 on Monday, officials announced that schools would be…

Taiwan Pivots From ‘Zero Covid’ as Beijing Doubles Down

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Until recently, China and Taiwan were among the last places on earth to pursue a “zero Covid” policy of eliminating infections. For two years, they mostly succeeded in keeping the coronavirus out with tough border controls and rigorous contact tracing. Then came the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Faced with surging coronavirus cases, the two governments are now taking vastly different approaches. In China, the authorities are doubling down. They have imposed stringent lockdowns, mass testing and centralized quarantines for confirmed cases and close contacts. The glittering financial…

Taiwan and U.S. Consider Weapons Suited to Defend Against China

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is quietly pressing the Taiwanese government to order American-made weapons that would help its small military repel a seaborne invasion by China rather than weapons designed for conventional set-piece warfare, current and former U.S. and Taiwanese officials say. The U.S. campaign to shape Taiwan’s defenses has grown in urgency since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine ordered in late February by President Vladimir V. Putin. The war has convinced Washington and Taipei that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan in the coming years is now a…

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