South Africa’s navy stages controversial exercises with China, Russia
26 February 2023 | 5:50 am
South Africa has begun military exercises with both China and Russia as part of a routine army drill. The joint training has drawn immense criticism from the West, coming nearly one year on from the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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At the UN Human Rights Council, Ukraine condemned what officials called Russia's systematic deportation of Ukrainian children. Germany's foreign minister said allies would "not rest until all these kids are home."
As the National People's Congress opened this year's session, China set an economic target of "around 5%" — one of the lowest in decades — and announced a 7.2% increase in its defense budget.
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In a letter to the Dutch parliament, the country's trade minister has said exporters of chip technology will have to ask for licences to do business abroad, citing concerns over international security. The Netherlands is home to one of the leaders in chipmaking equipment, ASML.
Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, could be on track to remain in power for life.
US President Joe Biden unveils a $6.8 trillion budget proposal with key provisions aimed at boosting American competitiveness against China, while Beijing rails against economic containment and suppression. Plus, a sell-off in US bank shares sparked by a run on a small California lender spreads to Asia and Europe as markets tumble.
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