German chancellor urges Xi Jinping to press Russia to end Ukraine war, saying ‘China’s word carries weight’

Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, says he has urged Xi Jinping to press Russia to end its “senseless” war in Ukraine and that the Chinese president has agreed to back a peace conference in Switzerland. Scholz said after a meeting with Xi in Beijing on Tuesday that “China’s word carries weight in Russia”. “I have therefore asked President Xi to influence Russia so that Putin finally calls off his senseless campaign, withdraw his troops and ends this terrible war,” he said on social media platform X. Scholz said Xi had agreed…

German chancellor urges Chinese industry bosses to play fair in EU market

The chancellor of Germany has urged industry bosses in China to play fair by not overproducing cheap goods or infringing copyright rules. Speaking on a three-day visit to China, where he is travelling with leading business representatives and three government ministers, Olaf Scholz said he, in turn, would encourage the European Union not to be driven by self-interested protectionism, in which governments restrict international trade to help domestic companies. Scholz was seen to be treading a careful path, driven by European concerns that Chinese goods are being dumped on the…

China and Taiwan are destined for ‘reunification’, Xi tells former president

Xi Jinping has met the former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou, in what analysts said was an attempt to promote peaceful unification as the only alternative to military annexation of Taiwan. Ma, who was leading a student delegation to China, met Xi in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People, a venue typically reserved for foreign leaders meeting with senior Chinese officials. Xi used the meeting to emphasise his belief that Taiwan and China were destined for what he terms “reunification”. “External interference cannot stop the historical trend of reunion…

‘I will not dance’: Olaf Scholz joins TikTok with a promise

The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has opened a TikTok account, promising he will not be seen dancing on the social media platform popular with young people. The newest official government channel “increases the information offer to citizens, who increasingly inform themselves and discuss politics on TikTok”, Scholz’s spokesperson, Steffen Hebestreit, said in a statement. The account will offer “a look behind the scenes of everyday government life”, Hebestreit said. Known for his sober style of leadership, the chancellor himself made light of the new outreach, on another social media channel.…

Biden and Xi seek to manage tensions in phone call as US officials head to China

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping have clashed in a telephone call about Taiwan and US trade restrictions on technology, but sought to manage their tensions, as two top US officials prepare to visit Beijing. The nearly two-hour telephone conversation on Tuesday was the two leaders’ first direct interaction since a summit in November in California that saw a marked thaw in tone, if not the long-term rivalry, between the world’s two largest economies. The treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, will leave Wednesday and visit both Guangzhou, the southern city emblematic of…

Tesla’s Pivot to China Saved Musk. It Also Binds Him to Beijing.

When Elon Musk unveiled the first Chinese-made Teslas in Shanghai in 2020, he went off script and started dancing. Peeling off his jacket, he flung it across the stage in a partial striptease. Mr. Musk had reason to celebrate. A few years earlier, with Tesla on the brink of failure, he had bet on China, which offered cheap parts and capable workers — and which needed Tesla as an anchor to jump-start its fledgling electric vehicle industry. For Chinese leaders, the prize was a Tesla factory on domestic soil. Mr.…

U.K. to Accuse China of Cyberattacks Targeting Voter Data and Lawmakers

The British government is expected to publicly link China to cyberattacks that compromised the voting records of tens of millions of people, another notable hardening of Britain’s stance toward China since its leaders heralded a “golden era” in British-Chinese relations nearly a decade ago. The deputy prime minister, Oliver Dowden, will make a statement about the matter in Parliament on Monday afternoon, and is expected to announce sanctions against state-affiliated individuals and entities implicated in the attacks. The government disclosed the attack on the Electoral Commission last year but did…

China’s Dispute With Taiwan Is Playing Out Near This Tiny Island

A small island controlled by Taiwan a few miles off China’s coast lived for decades in constant readiness for war. At one point in 1958, troops there hunkered in bunkers as Communist forces rained hundreds of thousands of shells on them. These days, the island, Kinmen, has become a hub of Taiwan’s commerce with China and its abandoned, weatherworn fortifications are tourist sites. Eight ferries a day take Taiwanese businesspeople and visitors from Kinmen to mainland China. But the sea around Kinmen has again turned tense after two Chinese men…

Lies, ideology and repression: China seals Hong Kong’s failed-state fate | Simon Tisdall

So farewell, Hong Kong. The vibrant, pulsating city-state that grew, under British rule, into one of the world’s great financial, business, cultural and tourism hubs has finally been brought to heel. Browbeaten, abused, silenced. Trust Xi Jinping, China’s dementor president, to suck out all the joy. Last Wednesday was the UN’s International Day of Happiness. But it was a sad, bad day for Hong Kong. That was the moment residents woke up to the news that Hong Kong’s puppet legislature, acting on Beijing’s orders, had unanimously abolished its right to…

In Hong Kong, China’s Grip Can Feel Like ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’

Once one of Asia’s most high-flying cities, Hong Kong is now grappling with a deep pessimism. The stock market is in the tank, home values have tumbled and emigration is fueling a brain drain. Some of the hottest restaurants, spas and shopping malls that local residents are flocking to are across the border, in the mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen. “It pains me to say Hong Kong is over,” Stephen Roach, an economist and a former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia long known for his optimism about the city, wrote…