China’s booming real estate market could spell trouble for the economy | George Magnus

In China today, the buzz is all about how the government there too has stumbled into an energy crisis with widespread power cuts. Yet this and other supply shocks will eventually pass, while the $300bn (£218bn) of debt enveloping China’s second biggest property developer, Evergrande, is of greater significance. It suggests China’s long housing boom is over, and bodes badly for the increasingly troubled economy, with implications for the rest of the world too. China’s real estate market has been called the most important sector in the world economy. Valued…

Xi Jinping insists China will achieve ‘reunification’ with Taiwan – video

The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, said on Saturday that reunification with Taiwan must happen and that it would happen peacefully, despite a week of tensions. Xi spoke at an official celebration in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People that focused largely on the ruling Communist party continuing to lead China as the country rises in power and influence The Guardian

Major UN biodiversity summit delayed for third time due to pandemic

1746

A key United Nations biodiversity summit has been delayed for a third time due to the pandemic, the Chinese environment ministry has announced, as environmentalists pledged the delay would “not mean taking our foot off the pedal”. In a statement, the Chinese ministry of ecology and environment confirmed that Cop15, the biggest biodiversity summit in a decade, would be delayed, and that negotiations for this decade’s targets will be split into two phases so that governments can meet face-to-face in Kunming, China, in the first half of 2022. The talks…

America will never be back like before, but the world still needs democratic leadership | Timothy Garton Ash

5088

“America is back,” said President Joe Biden earlier this year, and the entire democratic world breathed a sigh of relief. But as we watch the debacle of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan – Kabul as Saigon 2 – a ghostly voice whispers to us: what if America is not back? What if it is never coming back? What happens then? The Chinese century? Europe as new leader of the free world? Or just plain old international anarchy? If only this were like Saigon in 1975. The US humiliation in…

China holds live-fire exercises near Taiwan in response to ‘provocations’

5654

  China has launched live-fire air and sea exercises near Taiwan in response to what it called “external interference and provocations by Taiwan independence forces”. According to a statement from Col Shi Yi, the spokesperson of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, warships, anti-submarine aircraft and fighter planes were dispatched to the south-west and south-east of Taiwan on Tuesday. In response, Taiwan’s defence ministry said: “The nation’s military has a full grasp and has made a full assessment of the situation in the Taiwan strait region, as well…

‘Spreading like a virus’: inside the EU’s struggle to debunk Covid lies

6240

In April 2020, near the start of the global pandemic, Felix Kartte was working 14-hour shifts as an EU policy officer, struggling to monitor a barrage of coronavirus-linked disinformation. Articles claiming that the pandemic was a hoax, that it was caused by 5G, that it could be cured by hydroxychloroquine or alternative medicine were going viral across the continent – part of a global phenomenon the World Health Organization warned was becoming an “infodemic.” Kartte and colleagues in StratCom, the EU diplomatic service’s strategic communications division, could detect what they…

China will tread carefully in navigating the Taliban’s return

3451

The US’s hasty departure from Afghanistan has provided much material for China’s propaganda agencies to discredit Washington’s foreign policy. But Beijing is also treading a careful line in navigating an increasingly uncertain security situation in one of its most volatile neighbours. On Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said that while Beijing will “continue developing good-neighbourly, friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan”, it also urges the Taliban to “ensure that all kinds of terrorism and crimes can be curbed so that the Afghan people can stay away from war…