US and Chinese officials discuss Biden-Xi meeting amid Taiwan friction

US and Chinese officials have been discussing a face-to-face meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, amid a significant escalation in friction over Taiwan. Kurt Campbell, the coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs in Biden’s national security council, confirmed on Friday that the two leaders had raised the possibility of an in-person meeting when they last talked by phone in late July “and agreed to have their team’s follow up to sort out the specifics”. Campbell said there were no new details to announce, but both leaders are expected to take part…

Chinese president Xi Jinping to visit Saudi Arabia next week

The Chinese president Xi Jinping will visit Saudi Arabia next week, where plans are under way for a gala reception to match that given to Donald Trump on his first trip abroad as president. The welcome being prepared for the Chinese leader is in stark contrast with that afforded to Joe Biden in June, when the US president received a low-key reception, reflecting strained ties between the two countries and personal distaste between Biden and the de facto Saudi leader, Mohammed bin Salman. Xi, however, is instead expected to receive…

In Turbulent Times, Xi Builds a Security Fortress for China, and Himself

in turbulent times xi builds a security fortress for china and himself

Over informal, private meals with American leaders, China’s Xi Jinping let his guard down a little. It was a decade ago, relations were less strained, and Mr. Xi, still cementing his power, hinted he worried about the Chinese Communist Party’s grip. Speaking privately with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Mr. Xi suggested that China was a target of “color revolutions,” a phrase the party adopted from Russia for popular unrest in the name of democracy and blamed on the West. The recent “Arab Spring” uprisings across the…

Xi Jinping tells Joe Biden not to ‘play with fire’ over Taiwan in two-hour call

The Chinese president has warned Joe Biden against “playing with fire” over Taiwan in a highly anticipated phone call that lasted more than two hours on Thursday, as tensions remain high over the House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential trip to the island next month. “Those who play with fire will be perished by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this,” Xi Jinping, according to a Chinese statement. He also urged the US to implement the three joint communiques that serve as the foundation for relations…

Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip ‘not a good idea right now’, says Biden

Joe Biden has cautioned against the reported trip to Taiwan next month by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, saying the US military had assessed “it is not a good idea right now”. The Financial Times reported earlier this week that Pelosi would lead a delegation to Taiwan in August to show support for the democratically ruled island, which Beijing claims is a breakaway province. The trip was initially scheduled for April but was postponed due to Pelosi testing positive for Covid at the time. “Well, I think that the military…

No longer the most populous, but still China wants to be world number one | Rana Mitter

Last week, the UN’s global population project announced a major shift in the way the world looks. Next year, India, not China, will be the world’s most populous country. Right now, China has 1.43 billion people to India’s 1.41 billion, but by mid-century there will be more than 1.6 billion Indians to around 1.3 billion Chinese. At one level, this development ought to delight Beijing, which compelled its population into a “one child” policy for some 40 years. Yet there may be a few disconsolate faces in Beijing. The idea…

China’s Xi Jinping makes rare visit to Xinjiang

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has paid his first visit to Xinjiang in eight years, as western nations continue to accuse Beijing of genocide against the region’s mostly Muslim Uyghur population. State media reported on Friday that the visit from Tuesday to Thursday included stops at a university and a trade zone in the regional capital, Urumqi. A photo from the official Xinhua news agency showed a maskless Xi surrounded by smiling and clapping residents, many of them apparently Uyghurs wearing traditional costumes and Muslim prayer caps. It comes after a…

Britain’s electric dreams will never come true while China has a materials advantage | John Naughton

In his book Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future, Saul Griffith, an American inventor, entrepreneur and engineer, sets out a plan for decarbonising the US: electrify everything. From now on, every time people replace a vehicle or renovate a building or buy an appliance, they should be buying electric. Every new roof must have solar panels, all new housing must be energy efficient and shouldn’t contain a gas cooker. All that’s required to make this happen is a collective national effort comparable to the mobilisation of the…

Tycoon who disappeared from Hong Kong hotel in 2017 stands trial in China

China has formally put Canadian-Chinese tycoon Xiao Jianhua on trial, more than five years after his alleged abduction in Hong Kong, which rattled the city and sparked fears about residents being forcibly disappeared. The Canadian embassy in Beijing confirmed on Monday that Xiao’s trial had begun this week. “Canadian consular officials are monitoring this case closely, providing consular services to his family and continue to press for consular access,” it said in a statement, without providing the location of the trial and charges against him. An earlier report by The…

Xi Jinping hails China’s rule over Hong Kong on 25th anniversary of handover

Xi Jinping has hailed China’s rule over Hong Kong as he led 25th anniversary celebrations of the city’s handover from Britain, insisting democracy was flourishing despite a political crackdown that has silenced dissent. After swearing in a new hardline chief executive, John Lee, in a solemn ceremony on Friday morning, the Chinese president laid out his vision for the city and its administrators. On his first trip outside mainland China since the pandemic began, he vowed that “one country, two systems” – a governance model under which Hong Kong was…