Author: Dustin Allen

BEIJING/MOSCOW: China and Russia have expressed concern over the “Washington Declaration” signed by the United States and South Korea earlier this week, with Beijing conveying its “strong dissatisfaction” to Seoul over the mention of “need for peace and stability” in the waters around Taiwan. a foreign ministry statement said on Friday. The Russian foreign ministry said the agreement would destabilise the region and the wider world. Liu Jinsong, director general of the Chinese foreign ministry’s Asian affairs department, met South Korean embassy minister Kang Sang-wook in Beijing on Thursday evening to emphasise China’s stance on Taiwan and urged Seoul to adhere…

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Australia’s economic and diplomatic relations with China are in recovery mode, with tensions over issues ranging from foreign investment to security receding as Beijing tamps down its punitive efforts to bend one of its key commodity suppliers to its will. In the strongest sign yet that years of frosty relations are warming again, more than a dozen companies including Rio Tinto Plc and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. headed to China this week — the first such trip since the pandemic. Trade Minister Don Farrell is expected to visit as soon as May. It’s part of a broader shift by Beijing…

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Angry at the size of the government debt, House Republicans have passed a bill that ties spending cuts to any lifting of the US’s debt limit. A tense fight is escalating, with Democrats refusing to budge and hard-line Republicans digging in. Without a solution, economists and others warn, the US could be plunged into an “economic catastrophe”. You can be forgiven a sense of déja vu. This has all happened before. Only this time, it could be worse. The federal government has a legal maximum on how much debt it can accumulate –often called the debt ceiling or the debt limit. Congress has to vote…

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Tehran, Iran – Iran and the United States have again found themselves on opposite sides as they provided contradictory accounts of events that led to Tehran’s seizure of an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Iran’s state television on Friday showed footage of the country’s navy commandos boarding the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Advantage Sweet in a helicopter operation a day earlier. The Turkish-operated, Chinese-owned tanker entered the Gulf of Oman after moving through the Strait of Hormuz and was reportedly bound for Houston, Texas carrying Kuwaiti crude oil for US energy firm Chevron Corp. Iran said the tanker collided with an unidentified…

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Vladimir Putin says he plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, the neighboring ally from which he staged part of his February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. When the Russian president uses the word “nuclear” the world pays attention and that appears to be a major reason why he said it. As usual with Putin, the world should read the fine print and check the context. The weapons Putin plans to move to Belarus are not strategic nuclear weapons, those giant intercontinental ballistic missiles that, if fired, could end life on earth. Tactical nuclear weapons are smaller, but powerful, and…

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Canada is experiencing a housing affordability crisis. Over the past 20 years, housing prices have increased at double the rate of income growth. Partly fuelled by dramatic interest hikes, rental prices have also risen precipitously in recent months. In March 2023, the year-over-year rent increased by 9.7 per cent. Young adults are among the groups most adversely affected by the housing crisis. One in five young adults live in unaffordable housing and spend 30 per cent or more of their pre-tax income on housing costs. Rising housing costs, declining real wages and increasing job instability have been identified as key reasons why young adults have limited access…

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The Chinese military said it warned a US warship to “leave” waters in the disputed South China Sea on Thursday, claims swiftly denied as “false” by American forces. China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea — a strategic waterway through which trillions of dollars in trade pass annually — despite an international court ruling that the assertion has no legal basis. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all have overlapping claims in the sea, while the United States sends naval vessels through it to assert freedom of navigation in international waters. The Southern Theater Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said…

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