Diplomatic visits highlight tensions with China
Diplomatic visits and tension with China
Two meetings – between the speaker of the United States House and the president of Taiwan and between French and Chinese leaders – highlight the West’s delicate diplomacy with China amid growing tensions.
In China: President Frenchman Emmanuel Macron traveled to Beijing to “relaunch” a strategic partnership between Europe and China. He also plans to urge Chinese leader Xi Jinping to play a “major role” in bringing peace to Ukraine.
Macron, who will meet Xi today, is determined to take a more conciliatory stance toward China than the US stance and convince Xi to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
If the French leader can harness the daylight between China and Russia on Russia’s war in Ukraine – which seems unlikely given the two countries’ declaration of “limitless” friendship – he will have achieved something. something that is largely in America’s strategic interest: an end to the war and a weakening of the Sino-Russian bond.
In the USA: President Kevin McCarthy met Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, yesterday in California, becoming the highest elected official to have met a Taiwanese president on American soil since Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing.
In some ways, the meeting was a throwback to McCarthy, who said he – like his predecessor, Nancy Pelosi – would travel to Taiwan to show his defiance of China. But Pelosi’s visit last year sparked a crisis, with China holding days of live-fire military exercises near Taiwan.
Instead, McCarthy and Tsai opted for a meeting in the United States as the less risky option. Leaders in Washington and Taipei are trying to strengthen Taiwan’s ties with the United States while avoiding moves that could provoke retaliation from Beijing.
China’s position on Russia: China’s ambassador to the EU said yesterday that critics had misinterpreted his country’s relationship with Russia, and he suggested their ties might not be as unlimited as their leaders have claimed.
What’s next for Trump?
Donald Trump made history on Tuesday by becoming the first former US president to face criminal charges.
The state of war
- Finland’s entry into NATO: The Nordic country has officially become the 31st member of the military alliance, which amounts to a strategic defeat for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Drone War: The use of aerial drones to spot the enemy and direct artillery fire has become a staple of war for Ukraine and Russia, especially in the fiercely contested city of Bakhmut.
- Assassination of a pro-war blogger: Russian authorities have arrested a suspect in the bombing that killed a popular military blogger in St. Petersburg and have accused Ukraine and Russian opposition activists of being responsible for the attack.
- Counteroffensive challenges: With powerful Western weapons and newly formed assault units, Ukraine is ready for a crucial spring campaign. But overcoming casualties and keeping troops motivated will be tough tests.
But the 34 felony charges, to which Trump has pleaded not guilty, are just the start of a long and uncertain process. Any trial would likely take place next year at the earliest, and Trump would have to delay proceedings, perhaps filing a motion to dismiss the case or trying to change where he is being tried.
To convict Trump of a crime, prosecutors must show that Trump’s “intent to defraud” included an intent to commit or conceal a second crime. It revolves around the untested question of whether a state prosecutor can plead a federal crime even though he has no jurisdiction to charge that crime himself.
And after? Over the next few months, prosecutors and defense attorneys will exchange documents and evidence and file motions. The judge has set the next hearing in the Trump case, when he rules on the motions, for December 4. Prosecutors have said they would like a trial to begin in early January 2024, but Trump’s attorneys have said they are considering a later date. in spring.
Israeli police raid mosque
Israeli police raided Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site yesterday after Palestinians barricaded themselves inside, triggering a brief exchange of rocket fire from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes.
The violence at the site – the compound of the Aqsa Mosque in the Old City, known to Jews as the Temple Mount – left at least 37 Palestinians and two Israeli officers injured.
About two hours after the raid, armed groups in Gaza launched at least nine rockets towards Israel, but they were destroyed or landed in open fields, the Israeli military said. Israeli fighter jets then carried out airstrikes on military sites in Gaza.
Context: Officials had warned that the overlapping of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish holiday of Passover, which began last night, could lead to clashes as more worshipers head to the site.
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The Man Behind the Internet’s Favorite Outfits
Duy Tran, who is from Vietnam, has never been to the United States, but her dresses have.
Tran’s clothes, which went viral for mixing so-called Y2K aesthetics with tight silhouettes and ultra-sheer fabrics, have been worn by young celebrities like Bella Hadid, Olivia Rodrigo and Doja Cat.
But Tran has been largely invisible outside of Vietnam. He launched his label, Fancí Club, in 2018 after dropping out of fashion school.
Beverly Nguyen, a Vietnamese American designer in New York, said she felt particularly nostalgic and proud to see her culture reflected in Fancì Club outfits. “The silhouettes and colors remind me of my mom’s style in the early 90s,” she said. “I love that the designs are rooted in the nightlife culture that stays true to the city girl of Vietnam.”
Tran hopes to open a store in the United States. But he does not want to lose sight of his original clientele: Vietnamese women. “I want them to know there’s someone here who makes clothes for them,” he said.
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Ling Ling Huan’s debut novel “Natural Beauty” follows a young woman rising through the ranks of a sinister beauty company.
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