Concerns over China-Solomon Islands deal
11 February 2023 | 7:04 am
The US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia shared concerns a security pact signed by China and the Solomon Islands, which could increase China's influence on one of the Pacific Islands closest to Australia.
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Officials said Soaloa could be the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the region encompassing Hong Kong and other major cities since the founding of the current Chinese state.
The International Motor Show, IAA, is set to begin in Munich next week. Rebranded as a mobility show, the IAA will see a strong effort by Chinese automakers to make a splash in Europe's nascent electric vehicle market.
The first round of the presidential election in the Maldives will take place on Saturday, September 9. Incumbent Ibrahim Solih is running for re-election against Mohamed Muizzu, who has emerged as the main opposition candidate. The polls are taking place against a backdrop of China and India competing for strategic control of the region. Both are seeking to consolidate their economic and political power by financing large infrastructure projects and are actively supporting rival candidates. Our regional correspondents report.
US President Joe Biden and Vietnamese leader Nguyen Phu Trong have signed a "strategic partnership" on semiconductor manufacturing and rare earth minerals in a bid to counter China's influence in the Asia-Pacific region. We take a closer look. Also, Chevron tries to head off strikes at its Australian LNG plants, and Taylor Swift's "Eras" tour boosts the US hotel industry.
The recent announcement of a US-backed rail and shipping project linking India with the Middle East and Europe is seen as a challenge to Beijing's "Belt and Road Initiative."
Beijing has called a European Commission probe into Chinese electric vehicle subsidies, a "naked protectionist act."
The European auto industry has raised concern about a wave of cheap, new electric vehicles from China hitting the EU market soon. There are calls for imposing punitive tariffs.
China has sharply rejected statements made by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in the United States about Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is due to meet Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and counterpart Sergei Lavrov. The visit is meant to lay the groundwork for a possible Putin visit to Beijing next month.
Climate change is disrupting China’s tea industry. The country is the world's leading producer of tea leaves, but this year, spring harvests fell by 20%, according to official figures. What’s more, the taste of the national beverage is also changing – the consequences of last summer’s drought. Lou Kisiela, Antoine Morel, Yan Chen and Yena Lee bring us this report from Hangzhou, China.
At least 17 Japanese nationals have been accused of spying under sweeping "espionage" regulations introduced by Beijing in July, leaving companies reluctant to send their staff to China and imperiling local production.
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Syrian President Bashar Assad is due to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. China has long provided diplomatic support to Assad's regime, and could play a role in reconstructing war-battered Syria.
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Since 2019, when two French citizens were kidnapped from Benin's Pendjari National Park and their local guide murdered, the West African country has been dealing with regular incursions by armed groups, including terrorists. According to official figures, 40 civilians and 20 soldiers have been killed over the past three years. Our regional correspondents followed the Beninese army in the northern border areas, where it has beefed up its presence.
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The president has ordered officials to "take a firm stance." Germany's human rights commissioner has raised concern over the rights situation in the region that forces many to flee.
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In 2021, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko began letting migrants cross his country's border into Poland to retaliate against EU sanctions. Poland strengthened its border controls, but the number of illegal migrant crossings into Germany has been surging in recent months. The Brandenburg region in eastern Germany now finds itself at the crossroads between the Belarus and Balkans migrant routes.
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The Cook Islands and Niue have been recognized by the United States as "sovereign and independent states." The move appeared to be aimed at curbing further Chinese inroads into the Pacific region.
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Mali's military leadership has said presidential elections could not be held on schedule due to "technical" reasons. Since taking power in 2020, the junta has promised to hold elections, but has repeatedly issued delays.