China sends top envoy to Russia for security talks
China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, has visited Russia for security talks, amid accusations that China is indirectly supporting Russia's war on Ukraine. Wang's visit is seen as paving the way for Russian President Vladimir Putin to make a landmark visit to Beijing soon. The visit comes after Putin welcomed North Korea's Kim Jong Un to discuss a potential arms deal. China is accused by the US of aiding Russia economically and supplying key technology during the war, accusations that China denies.
US-China ties seen ‘warming up again in stages’ as top officials meet
South China Morning Post
High-level talks between China and the US have shown signs of a warming relationship, with both sides describing the discussions as "candid, substantive and constructive". The talks, held in Malta, covered topics including bilateral ties, the war in Ukraine, and Taiwan. China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, stressed that the Taiwan issue was the "first insurmountable red line" in Sino-US relations. Both sides have agreed to maintain high-level exchanges and pursue further talks in key areas in the coming months. The talks are seen as a step towards a potential meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden.
China’s Top Diplomat Due in Moscow After Surprise U.S. Talks
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has met with White House officials during an unannounced stopover in Malta, ahead of his four-day visit to Russia. The meetings are seen as laying the groundwork for separate meetings between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as a potential meeting between Xi and US President Joe Biden at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November. The talks covered a range of topics, including Ukraine and global security, with both sides agreeing to expand high-level engagement in the coming months.
Unions Keep Up Their Hardball Tactics
The United Auto Workers’ strike against Detroit’s big three automakers is unlikely to end soon, as both sides have shown little willingness to compromise. The UAW’s demands include a 40% pay increase over four years, shorter workweeks, and an end to a tiered wage system. The UAW has also adopted a novel strategy of targeting all three automakers at once, giving the union more leverage and increasing the duration of its strike fund. Other unions are also taking a harder stance, with the Writers Guild of America and the actors’ union both on strike. There has been a resurgence of organized labor across the US, with more strikes taking place now than at any other time in more than two decades. A Gallup poll found that 67% of Americans approve of unions, and President Biden has expressed his support for organized labor.
Wall Street investors are buying up single-family homes and converting them into rentals. This trend is pricing many aspiring home buyers out of the market, especially in middle-income neighborhoods with large Black and Latino populations. Affordable housing advocates and lawmakers have warned about the rise of this practice, but their efforts to limit it have gained little traction.
Biden, at U.N., faces a tough sell on extending support for Ukraine
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, will use his visit to the United Nations General Assembly to highlight Russian atrocities in Ukraine and to unite the international community against Russian aggression. The US will continue to support Ukraine militarily, even as calls for a negotiated settlement grow louder in developing nations. Although Ukraine has not made a major breakthrough against Russian forces, it continues to make steady progress, according to senior US officials. A significant arrow in President Biden’s quiver will be a planned meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has called for peace talks in Ukraine and accused the West of prolonging the conflict. However, many developing countries have grown concerned about the prospects of an unending stalemate, as they maintain close ties with Russia and fear the economic impact of Western sanctions. President Biden will also meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly rebuffed the US president’s requests to stop the expansion of settlements in the West Bank. Following the meetings in New York, Zelensky will travel to Washington with President Biden to make the case for additional funding for Ukraine.
Russia and China to continue ‘coordinated work’ at UNGA and APEC
Russia and China are set to continue their "well-coordinated work" at the UN General Assembly and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov made the prediction during a visit from China's top diplomat Wang Yi in Moscow. Cooperation between the two countries is not directed against any other countries, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his trip to Moscow. Russia has become increasingly dependent on China since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and trade between the two countries has soared 40% in the first five months of this year.
Where is Li Shangfu? China's defence minister has been missing for three weeks
The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has faced a challenging few months, with two ministers in his hand-picked cabinet facing internal probes. Li Shangfu, the defence minister, has not been seen for three weeks and is believed to be under investigation for corruption and loyalty. The military shake-up comes as Beijing restructures China's most important military unit, the Rocket Force, which oversees the country's nuclear and ballistic missiles. The probe into Li's disappearance is part of unprecedented changes taking place in China's senior military leadership, which will impact Xi's vision of reunifying Taiwan.
China’s FM hails ‘strategic cooperation’ in talks with Russian counterpart
The foreign ministers of China and Russia have held talks in Moscow, pledging to strengthen cooperation and coordination on global affairs. Wang Yi, China's foreign minister, emphasised their shared responsibility for global strategic stability and development, while Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, highlighted the importance of their cooperation in ensuring justice and a balance of interests in world affairs. The talks between the two countries come as ties with the West continue to deteriorate over the Ukraine war and the militarisation of the Pacific. China has refrained from taking sides in the conflict, while the US has provided arms to Ukraine to counter Russia.
China and Russia 'close' in views on US and Ukraine as Wang Yi visits Moscow
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed their countries' "closeness" in their positions on the US' "anti-Russian and anti-Chinese" stance during talks in Moscow. Wang Yi arrived in Moscow from talks in Malta with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan. The US and its allies have expressed concerns about the growing alignment between China and Russia, particularly since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The two countries have said they are drawing closer to counterbalance perceived US domination of global affairs. Wang Yi also discussed preparations for Russia's participation in the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in October.
China's ex-Foreign Minister Qin Gang was ousted after alleged affair, WSJ reports
China's former Foreign Minister Qin Gang is reportedly under investigation for having an extramarital affair while he was the ambassador to the United States. The investigation is now focused on whether the affair or Qin's conduct compromised China's national security. Two sources also mentioned that the affair resulted in the birth of a child in the U.S. Qin was replaced as foreign minister in July after a mysterious one-month absence from duties. The Chinese government has not responded to the reports.
China Ousted Its Foreign Minister Over Affair in US, WSJ Says
China removed former Foreign Minister Qin Gang from his post after an investigation found that he had conducted an affair and fathered a child while serving as US ambassador, according to the Wall Street Journal. The probe is now examining whether or not the affair compromised national security. Qin's removal raises questions about President Xi Jinping's decision-making and the stability of the government. The ruling Communist Party's senior ranks are being scrutinized for their dealings with foreigners, and the top brass in China's military are also under investigation. Qin, who rose swiftly through the diplomatic ranks, gained access to Xi during his tenure.
G7 ministers call on China to press Russia to stop aggression in Ukraine
The G7 has called on China to put pressure on Russia to stop its aggression in Ukraine. The request was made in a joint statement released by the G7 foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. The statement also welcomed China's participation in a Ukraine-led meeting in Jeddah and urged China to support a peaceful resolution through direct dialogue with Ukraine. The G7 statement did not name any specific countries, but warned that any assistance to Russia's aggression would result in severe costs.
China’s Ex-Foreign Minister Ousted After Alleged Affair, Senior Officials Told
China's ex-Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, is said to have engaged in an extramarital affair throughout his tenure as Beijing's top envoy to Washington, a Communist Party investigation has found. Senior Chinese officials, including ministers and provincial leaders, were briefed on the findings of the investigation last month. The formal reason given for Qin's dismissal in July was "lifestyle issues," a euphemism for sexual misconduct. The investigation found that Qin had an extramarital affair that resulted in the birth of a child in the US, according to people familiar with the matter. The investigation is ongoing and is now focusing on whether the affair or other conduct by Qin compromised China's national security. The sudden dismissal of Qin is seen as a blow to President Xi Jinping's efforts to uphold the Chinese-style governance as a more stable and effective alternative to the Western model. It also raises questions about whether Xi is truly in control of the overall situation in China.
Putin and Xi to meet in Beijing in October, Russia says
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to travel to Beijing in October for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. This will be Putin's first known trip abroad since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him. Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, stated that the West's attempt to contain both Russia and China should deepen cooperation between the two powers. Putin will be attending the third Belt and Road Forum after receiving an invitation from Xi during a visit to Moscow in March. The arrest warrant against Putin, which accuses him of illegally deporting children from Ukraine, has been denied by Moscow.
Biden to address U.N. assembly in an effort to bolster alliances
President Biden is expected to address global challenges and seek cooperation from allies and partners in his annual address to the U.N. General Assembly. While specific details of the address have not been revealed, it is expected to focus heavily on the situation in Ukraine. The speech will reaffirm Biden's commitment to the U.N. charter, express a commitment to reforming international organizations, and address global challenges such as climate change, infrastructure, and economic development. Biden will also highlight the work his administration has done in these areas and outline ways the U.S. can work with other countries to make even more progress. The speech will also touch on the growing rivalry between the U.S. and China for influence in the Global South. Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be attending the U.N. event, giving Biden an opportunity to bolster U.S. influence in the region. However, Biden will also share the stage with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who has criticized the U.S. for its "meddling" in the Middle East. Biden's administration is coming to New York with a message that the U.S. is open to diplomacy and is working to reduce tensions in the region.
Why Xi’s words to Putin could be a moment for the history books
South China Morning Post
The US-China rivalry is entering a new phase, with the world increasingly divided along ideological and geopolitical lines. The US is intensifying its feud with "authoritarian, revisionist" powers led by China and Russia, marking the end of the post-Cold War world order. The rise of rival blocs of ideologically aligned states, such as the US-led Indo-Pacific strategy, poses a security threat to China. However, there have been recent efforts to manage the rivalry through high-level exchanges and talks, although major concessions or a change in confrontational tone are unlikely. There is also speculation about an emerging authoritarian axis involving China, Russia, and North Korea.
China declines to address WSJ report foreign minister was removed over extramarital affair
China's former foreign minister, Qin Gang, was reportedly removed from his position due to an extramarital affair, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal. Qin, a trusted aide of President Xi Jinping, was abruptly replaced in July after only seven months in the role. The investigation into Qin is said to be ongoing and is reportedly looking into whether his actions could have affected China's national security. China's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report. Qin is still listed as one of China's five State Councilors.
UN General Assembly: Britain urges China to push Russia to withdraw from Ukraine
Britain's Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, has urged China to push Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and emphasize the importance of respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity. Cleverly made these comments in an interview with Reuters, on the same day that China's Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, met with a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. China has largely abstained from voting on UN General Assembly resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Cleverly hopes that China will use its influence to call for Russia's withdrawal from Ukraine.
China vows deeper trade, investment with Russia despite Western rebuke
China and Russia have urged increased cross-border connectivity and deeper trade and investment cooperation, despite disapproval from the West over Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. Chinese Commerce Minister, Wang Wentao, stated that economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has continued to deepen and become more "solid". Russia has turned to China for economic support due to Western sanctions and has benefited from Chinese demand for oil, gas, and grain. The Russian Far East, bordering China and North Korea, has gained strategic significance as a zone of cross-border trade and commerce. China and Russia are also looking to increase grain trading to help bolster China's food security.
Sacked Chinese foreign minister 'had affair and fathered child' while US ambassador
China's former foreign minister, Qin Gang, was reportedly dismissed from his position due to an extramarital affair and the birth of a child in the US. The Chinese government has not publicly explained why Qin was removed from his post, only stating that it was due to "health reasons." The Communist Party is now conducting an internal investigation into Qin's conduct to determine if it compromised China's national security. This comes at a time when China's political elite is facing increasing scrutiny and as the country grapples with a significant economic slowdown. The situation could potentially weaken President Xi Jinping, who is in his first year of an unprecedented third term.