Biden to Host Southeast Asian Leaders as He Tries to Return Focus to China

WASHINGTON — President Biden plans to host the leaders of Southeast Asian nations at the White House on Thursday and Friday, delivering a message of solidarity — and aiming to provide a bulwark against Chinese influence in the region — even as much of his administration remains focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The two-day summit will cover an array of topics including trade, human rights and climate change, but it is also part of an effort by Mr. Biden’s foreign policy team to highlight one of the president’s primary…

Kevin Rudd calls Peter Dutton an ‘idiot’ over China comments – video

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has attacked defence minister Peter Dutton, calling him an ‘idiot’ for believing hairy-chested commentary about China would improve Australia’s strategic circumstances. Rudd was speaking with former foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop at an event at the Australian National University to promote Rudd’s new book on China-US relations titled The Avoidable War ► Subscribe to Guardian Australia on YouTube The Guardian

Kevin Rudd attacks ‘idiot’ Peter Dutton over ‘hairy-chested’ comments on China

Kevin Rudd has launched a personal attack on Peter Dutton, labelling the defence minister an “idiot” for believing hairy-chested commentary about China would improve Australia’s strategic circumstances. The former Australian prime minister also took aim at Beijing, saying that if Chinese officials really wanted a reset in the relationship with Australia he “could not think of a dumber thing to do than what they just did in the Solomons”. Rudd was referring to the fallout from the signing of the security deal between China and Solomon Islands, in a wide-ranging…

Half of Covid-hospitalised still symptomatic two years on, study finds

More than half of people hospitalised with Covid-19 still have at least one symptom two years after they were first infected, according to the longest follow-up study of its kind. While physical and mental health generally improve over time, the analysis suggests that coronavirus patients discharged from hospital still tend to experience poorer health and quality of life than the general population. The research was published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine. “Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised Covid-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial…

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…

Your Thursday Briefing: A Journalist Killed in the West Bank

Good morning. We’re covering the killing of an Al Jazeera journalist, China’s uncertain wheat harvest and rising religious violence in India. Journalist killed in the West Bank Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was fatally shot in the head while reporting in the West Bank city of Jenin. Al Jazeera, citing Palestinian authorities, said Israeli forces shot her during a raid. The news network said it held the government and military accountable. Israel’s military said that it was not clear who shot her, and that it…

China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign: Tigers, Flies, and Everything in Between

Advertisement Corruption in China is not a recent phenomenon; nor are anti-corruption efforts initiated by the party-state. Corruption features prominently in China’s history, but the practice became increasingly visible after the reform and opening up of 1978. The injection of capital created opportunities for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and state officials to exploit state resources for private gain. Tackling corruption took a back seat as China embraced capital and private enterprise, reflected in Deng Xiaoping’s phrase “to get rich is glorious.” Nearly four decades later, in November 2012, China’s outgoing…

A Former Chinese Ambassador’s Trenchant Comments on Ukraine War Attract Notice

Advertisement In a highly unusual move, a former Chinese ambassador to Ukraine spoke against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. His published remark was subsequently quietly scrubbed from the Chinese internet.  Gao Yusheng, a 75-year-old career diplomat, delivered a scathing indictment of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war during an internal webinar hosted by the government-affiliated China International Finance 30 Forum and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.  It’s unclear whether Gao intended for his remarks to be made public. Phoenix News Media, a partially state-owned television network, published an edited transcript…

Hong Kong Police Arrest Former Bishop in National Security Case

HONG KONG — The Hong Kong police arrested three prominent activists on Wednesday, including a retired bishop and a pop star who were leaders of a legal aid organization now under investigation for suspected violations of the city’s strict national security law, a lawyer for the group said. The arrests are the latest in a sweeping crackdown that followed widespread antigovernment protests in 2019 and the imposition of the security law on the territory a year later. More than 170 people have been arrested under the law since it was…

Hong Kong Arrests Roman Catholic Cardinal, an Actress, and Others

Advertisement Hong Kong authorities arrested a Roman Catholic cardinal, a singer, and at least two others on Wednesday on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces to endanger China’s national security, reports said. Cardinal Joseph Zen, singer-actress Denise Ho, lawyer Margaret Ng, and scholar Hui Po-keung were detained by Hong Kong’s National Security Police, the U.K.-based human rights group Hong Kong Watch said. The arrests were apparently related to their roles as trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which provided legal aid to people who took part in 2019 pro-democracy…

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