UK spy chief suggests Beijing risks ‘miscalculation’ over west’s resolve

China is at risk of “miscalculating through over-confidence” over Taiwan, said the MI6 head, Richard Moore, in a statement clearly intended to warn Beijing to back off any attempt to seize control of the island. Giving a rare speech, Britain’s foreign intelligence chief said in London that China was at risk of “believing its own propaganda” and that the country had become “the single greatest priority” for MI6 for the first time in its history. Moore did not mention Taiwan explicitly, but the status of the country, whose independence is…

Is Peter Dutton picking a fight with China?

As military tensions heat up between Taiwan and China, defence minister Peter Dutton says it would be ‘inconceivable’ that Australia would not join military action if the US defended Taiwan. Labor has accused the Coalition of warmongering ahead of an upcoming election. Gabrielle Jackson talks to Lenore Taylor and Daniel Hurst about the threat of war, and the trouble with politicising foreign policy How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know The Guardian

China accuses US of ‘mistake’ after Biden invites Taiwan to democracy summit

China’s government has accused Joe Biden of “a mistake” in inviting Taiwan to participate in a democracy summit alongside 109 other democratic governments. Taiwan was included in a list of participants for next month’s Summit for Democracy, published by the state department on Tuesday. Taiwan is a democracy and self-governing, but Beijing claims it is a province of China and has accused its government of separatism. The inaugural gathering is considered a test of Biden’s pledge that he would return the US to a position asserting global leadership to challenge…

China downgrades diplomatic relations with Lithuania over Taiwan row

China has officially downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania to the “charge d’affaires” level in protest at Taiwan establishing a de facto embassy in Vilnius. Lithuania allowing Taipei to formally open an office using the name Taiwan was a significant diplomatic departure that defied a pressure campaign by Beijing, which tries to keep Taiwan isolated on the global stage. “The Chinese government had to lower diplomatic relations between the two countries … in order to safeguard its sovereignty and the basic norms of international relations,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs…

Biden-Xi summit highlights tensions – and desire for cooperation

The much-awaited meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping achieved its admittedly low expectations when the two finally met and showed a willingness to move the bilateral relationship in a positive direction. Progress began to show soon after the meeting, for example on journalist visas. But the two sides also provided a list of existing grievances following the three-and-a-half-hour talks. The US said it raised its concerns over China’s human rights record, its “unfair trade and economic practices”, and its behaviour in the South China Sea. On the issue of…

U.S.-China Relations: What to Know

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[Follow live updates on the upcoming meeting between President Biden and China’s leader, Xi Jinping.] No relationship is shaping the planet more. And no relationship seethes, across such a wide and consequential set of issues, with more tension and mistrust. The United States and China are profoundly at odds on how people and economies should be governed. The two powers jockey for influence beyond their own shores, compete in technology, and maneuver for military advantages on land, in outer space and in cyberspace. But they are also major trade and…

How Republicans Can Replay the Reagan Era

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For a long time, longer than I’ve held this job, my advice to Republican politicians and policymakers has been consistent: It isn’t the 1970s or 1980s anymore. The ideas associated with Ronald Reagan’s ascent to power, forged in an era of Cold War and high crime rates, stagflation and sexual revolution, were responses to crises and challenges decades in the past, and the G.O.P. was doomed to cycles of failure until it devised an agenda more fitted to the times. The year 2021, though, is the first time a reasonable…

Biden and Xi prepare for virtual summit amid rising tensions

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will hold a virtual summit on Monday intended to stop, or at least slow down, the downward spiral in US-Chinese relations. The two leaders have talked twice by phone since Biden took office in January, but this video conference will be their most substantial discussion so far. It comes days after the two countries surprised analysts by agreed to boost climate cooperation in Glasgow. But it also comes at a time of increasing friction over Taiwan – the most dangerous potential flashpoint between the two…

China says Taiwan independence backers will be blacklisted

China has said it will hold those who support “Taiwan independence” criminally liable for life, provoking anger and ridicule from the island at a time of heightened tension between the neighbours. For the first time, China has spelled out the punishment that awaits people deemed to back independence for Taiwan – top officials of the self-ruled island among them. China has not ruled out using force to bring Taiwan under its control, despite the island operating as an independent country, and its government vowing to defend its freedom and democracy.…

Could China ever invade Taiwan – and what would happen next?

For much of the past two years, as Covid-19 has spread across the world, Taiwan has seemed like an oasis – successfully keeping the virus under control and continuing with life more or less as normal. But at the same time, just as they have for decades, the island’s residents have lived in the shadow of a threat from China, which claims sovereignty and says it has the right to seize control. In recent months, with China’s president, Xi Jinping, repeatedly proclaiming that his “unification” policy “must be fulfilled”, fighter…

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