“Obviously this helps them size up Trump, this helps them get a read on how he is going to behave. And for Beijing this kind of behaviour is unacceptable. From their perspective this is not a peripheral issue. This is the core issue. This is also the core issue in US-China relations. And when the US president pokes his finger in this one, it is a hornets nest.” … [Read more...] about Trump’s Taiwan call exposes his inexperience, China state media say
Taiwan and china relationship
The premier’s annual press conference, held at the end of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature – delayed by nearly three months because of the virus – is a keenly watched event, at home and abroad. There were no questions on Uighurs or re-education camps in Xinjiang, China’s recent border clashes with India, its trade war with Australia or the detention of a Huawei executive in Canada, issues the government didn’t want to air. Likewise, the queries on the economy, the origins of Covid-19 in Wuhan, deteriorating relations with Washington, and the new Hong Kong security law were all softballs for Li, who is effectively Xi Jinping’s deputy. … [Read more...] about With an ailing domestic economy, can China still pursue its global plans?
The worth of national character was quickly reduced to precious little, too. When the virus raged in China, windbags in the west had plenty to boast about. Then it came to Italy and we became the butt of the joke. In the end, fear put us all in our place. We in Italy were the first to behave sensibly, like sheep obeying every edict uttered by prime minister Conte, who, despite some ups and downs, has surely done a better job than Trump and the petty dictators who share his vision. Of course, one should not imagine that obedience – those harbouring authoritarian fantasies take note – was absolute. I have a friend who, locked up because of the virus, a prisoner in his home, with a wife and three children, broke every human and divine law in order to see his lover, even for a few minutes, on the other side of the city. And I witnessed how a respectable gentleman in a queue at the supermarket, who had politely asked some fellow to keep a safe distance, proceeded, risking that … [Read more...] about Planet virus: seven novelists from around the world on living with the pandemic
The world is beginning to feel unrecognisable. On 20 March the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announces that a rightwing Brexiteering government will pay 80% of a salary up to £2,500 a month for those not working during the coronavirus crisis, if their companies agree to keep them on. Bankers are an irrelevance now. The key workers are the same doctors Jeremy Hunt was so critical of when he was health secretary; the same nurses for whom the Tories gleefully blocked a pay rise; the same supermarket workers whom the government contemptuously dismissed as unskilled. … [Read more...] about I’ve been ill for months, but I still don’t know if it is Covid-19
He defended his work and attacked the vaccine paper by Mr Sorensen and Professor Dalgleish, describing it as "complete nonsense, unintelligible, and not even remotely scientific - leading the authors to make unfounded and unsupported conclusions about the origin of SARS-CoV-2". … [Read more...] about Former head of MI6 says theory coronavirus was made in Wuhan lab ‘must not be dismissed as conspiracy’