Takeaways from Biden's High-Stakes Meeting with Xi Jinping Published 35 minutes ago

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Nov 16, 2023

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on Wednesday on the sidelines of the APEC summit in San Francisco, almost exactly one year since their last encounter in Bali, Indonesia, on the margins of another global gathering.

Aside from a bilateral meeting, both leaders shared a lunch with top advisers and strolled the verdant grounds of the luxury estate where their meeting took place. Biden said the meeting included “some of the most constructive and productive discussions we've had” and will lead to stronger dialogue between the two leaders.

The US President said they will “keep the lines of communication open” and Xi is “willing to pick up the phone” — no small thing in the world of high-risk, high-stakes diplomacy between Washington and Beijing. Here's a look at how the day panned out.

Biden left the meeting with commitments on key issues. Xi agreed to help curb the production of the illicit fentanyl that is a deadly component of drugs sold in the United States. A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private meeting, said the shift will be a setback for Latin American drug dealers.

“It's going to save lives, and I appreciated President Xi's commitment on this issue,” Biden said at a press conference after his meeting. In addition, Biden and Xi reached an agreement to resume military-to-military communications. That means Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will speak with his Chinese counterpart once someone is named to the job, the official said. Similar engagements will take place up and down the military chain of command. The official said Biden was “very clear” to Xi that such communications between U.S. and China should be institutionalized and that they are “not done as a gift or as a favor to either side.”

Biden said the US and China would talk more about artificial intelligence as well. “We're going to get our experts together and discuss risk and safety issues,” he said. The agreements helped fulfill the White House's goal for the meeting — prove to voters that Biden's dedication to personal diplomacy is paying off.

On Sunday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN that Biden wanted “practical ways” to show that meeting with Xi can help “defend American interests and also deliver progress on the priorities of the American people.” Zoe Liu, a fellow for China studies at the Council for Foreign Relations, described the meeting between Biden and Xi as a positive step, albeit an incremental one. “These agreements will not change the structural challenges in the bilateral relations, but it paves the way for more detailed working-level discussions, which is more important,” she said.

Beijing has long sought to be treated as an equal by Washington, and Biden sought to leverage those ambitions with Xi to address two devastating wars. In their private session, Biden appealed to Xi to use his influence to try to calm global tensions, particularly to try to pressure Iran not to widen the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

A US official said Biden did most of the talking on the matter, and that Xi mostly listened, and that it was too soon to tell what sort of message China was sending to Tehran and how it was being received. Biden has also pressed Xi to continue to withhold military support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Biden and Xi held a “clear-headed” and “not heated” discussion on Taiwan — the most sensitive topic in the relationship with the greatest potential to spiral into wider conflict. Biden said he reaffirmed the United States' “One China” policy and its belief that any resolution must be peaceful. “I'm not going to change that,” Biden said. “That's not going to change.”

He reiterated, though, that the U.S. would continue to arm Taiwan as a deterrent against any attempt by China to use force to reunify the self-governing island with the mainland. The U.S. had maintained strategic ambiguity about whether it would directly intervene to protect Taiwan in the event of an invasion by Beijing. Xi, a U.S. official said, told Biden he had no plans to invade the island, though Biden chided him for China's massive military build-up around Taiwan. Biden also called on China to avoid meddling in Taiwan's elections next year.

Xi arrived in San Francisco at a time of economic challenges back in China, where an aging population and growing debt have hampered its recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Beijing's description of the meeting, Xi pressed Biden to lift sanctions and change policies on export controls for sensitive equipment.

“Stifling China's technological progress is nothing but a move to contain China's high-quality development and deprive the Chinese people of their right to development,” the readout said. “China's development and growth, driven by its own inherent logic, will not be stopped by external forces.” There's no indication that Biden will agree to take such steps. But even the meeting itself could calm jittery nerves back in China, where there have been signs foreign investment is tapering off.

Biden and Xi go back years, and Biden often repeats the story of their meetings when they were both vice presidents. But on Wednesday, it was Xi's turn to reference their previous encounters during brief public remarks, although he eschewed the embellishments that Biden usually adds to the tale. “It was 12 years ago,” Xi said. “I still remember our interactions very vividly, and it always gives me a lot of thoughts.” Biden also emphasized the length of their relationship and the value of their interactions.

“We haven't always agreed, which was not a surprise to anyone, but our meetings have always been candid, straightforward and useful,” Biden said. He added that “it's paramount that you and I understand each other clearly, leader to leader, with no misconceptions or miscommunication.”

Bilateral meetings aren't always conducive to a personal touch, and Biden and Xi were flanked by advisers on opposite sides of a long table. However, a senior administration official said they spoke about their wives, and Biden wished Xi's wife a happy birthday. The official, who requested anonymity to discuss a private conversation, said Xi was embarrassed, and he admitted that he had forgotten his wife's upcoming birthday because he's been working so hard.

After the summit with Xi on Wednesday, Biden said that he still considers the Chinese president a “dictator”, after he sparked fury from Beijing by making the comparison earlier this year. “Well look he is, I mean he's a dictator in the sense that he's a guy who's running a country, a Communist country, that's based on a form of government totally different than ours,” Biden said at the end of a news conference when a reporter asked if he would still use the term to describe Xi.

(With AP inputs)

Source: News18
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Mystery Illness Affecting Dogs Across United States Published 28 minutes ago

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Nov 30, 2023

A mystery respiratory illness has stricken dogs in at least 14 states, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, which is asking vets to report cases while laboratories race to isolate the pathogen.

Researchers are still attempting to determine if the disease, which can be fatal, is viral or bacterial, and whether it could be a variant of the well-understood canine disease known as “kennel cough,” the association said. Symptoms including coughing that can last four to six weeks, which could be mild bronchitis or could escalate to pneumonia. Some acute cases have quickly become pneumonia within 24 to 36 hours, the association said.

So far there is little indication the disease can spread to humans, but vets are warning dog owners to take extra care this holiday season, when pets travel with families or are placed in kennels. Though cases have been reported for months, the association has stepped up its public advisories recently for the holiday season.

Oregon has reported some 200 cases, and there have been an unknown number of cases in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is working with state and national diagnostic laboratories to identify the cause, and the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences has linked the disease to cases of severe pneumonia and some deaths, the association said in its latest advisory updated on Wednesday.

Veterinarian Rena Carlson, president of the association, said so much remained unknown about the outbreak that it was simply being referred to as an atypical disease. “We just don't know whether it can jump to other species, whether that would be humans or cats. We're watching that really closely,” Carlson said in an interview.

Experts in New Hampshire have focused their investigation on a new bacterium, but so far antibiotics have been largely ineffective as treatment, Carlson said. Carlson recommended dog owners to get their pets current on vaccinations and to seek veterinary help as soon as dogs show symptoms.

Source: News18
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New Maldives President skips India for first official visit

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Nov 29, 2023
Mohamed Muizzu took charge as president of the Maldives earlier this month (Photo: AFP)

Mohamed Muizzu, the new president of the Maldives, has broken with tradition by travelling to Turkey for his first official visit. This has attracted attention since previous leaders of the island nation have chosen India as their first port of call, given the close relationship between the two countries. Mint breaks down the issue.

What is the situation?

Mohamed Muizzu, who took charge as president of the Maldives earlier this month, chose to visit Turkey for his official visit. Newly elected Maldivian leaders have generally chosen to visit India first as it has long been the security and trade partner of choice for the island nation. However, Muizzu has made a point of projecting a more balanced foreign-policy position.

He recently asked India to withdraw its military personnel in the Maldives, and the latest development is being seen as another push to court new partners and diversify the country's diplomatic relationships.

What is Turkey?s relationship with the Maldives?

Experts point out that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to raise his country's profile in South Asia, particularly in Bangladesh and Afghanistan. He has also intervened on matters of crucial interest to India, such as Kashmir. With Erdogan pushing a pan-Islamic foreign policy, inviting the Maldivian president to Turkey makes strategic sense. The two sides discussed trade and defence cooperation during Muizzu's visit.

What does this mean for India?

The development is another reminder of how much India's strategic backyard has changed. While countries like the Maldives were once seen as firmly in the India's sphere of influence, matters have since become more complicated. The increased presence of the United States and China in the Indian Ocean has made it clear that India's neighbours are much sought after as geopolitical allies. India's approach to these countries will have to change accordingly. Turkey's overtures show that even middling powers located half a world away can woo key Indian partners.

How will India react?

New Delhi has made clear that it would prefer to continue strong engagement with the Maldives. The country is strategically located in the Indian Ocean and India will not want to risk its position as a leading partner. Faced with increased pressure from China, India has responded by, among other things, funding big connectivity projects. In short, India has focused on increasing its attractiveness as a partner.

However, it is not above showing displeasure. When Muizzu invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his inauguration he sent a cabinet minister instead, which seen as a diplomatic snub.

Source: Live Mint
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What China’s $4

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Nov 28, 2023
In 2017, Sri Lanka?s government handed over the Hambantota Port to a state-owned Chinese firm on a 99-year lease (Photo: AFP)

Sri Lanka has paved the way for a $4.5 billion investment by China in Hambantota. The town, which also houses a port that was leased to a Chinese state-owned shipping company in 2017, is at the heart of India’s concerns about growing Chinese influence in New Delhi’s strategic backyard. Mint take a look at the announcement and its implication.

What exactly was announced?

Sri Lanka's energy minister Kanchana Wijesekera broke the news on Monday that China's Sinopec will be awarded a contract to establish a refinery at Hambantota Port. “Cabinet approval was granted today to award the contract to China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) of China, to enter into an agreement to establish a new Petroleum Refinery & Associated Product Processing center in Hambantota," Wijesekera posted on X.

This came after the country signed an agreement with Sinopec in May for the storage, distribution and sale of petroleum products. This was particularly important for Sri Lanka, given the energy shortages that have rocked the country in recent years.

Why is this announcement significant?

At the heart of this new development is China's growing influence in India's strategic backyard. China has become a major investor, trading partner and political player in the island nation in recent decades. Hambantota Port, which was financed with an estimated $1.3 billion of Chinese money, is seen as a key example of the lengths to which China will go to expand its influence.

Experts have suggested that the economic logic for building the port has always been weak. Some reports suggest it was built to shore up China's relationship with the Rajapaksa family, which has played a dominant role in the country's politics.

Whatever the case, the project ran up large debts and Sri Lanka's government eventually handed it over to a state-owned Chinese firm on a 99-year lease in lieu of those debts. This is seen as an instance of China's “debt-trap diplomacy".

What are India?s concerns?

New Delhi has a range of concerns about China's increased role in Sri Lanka. The first is that its economic presence gives it leverage over Sri Lanka's government. Experts also suggest that India has been concerned about the security implications of China's investments in Hambantota. Chinese vessels like the Yuan Wang V have docked at Hambantota Port, amid concerns that these ships are in the Indian Ocean to gather intelligence on India's military capabilities. Given that Sri Lanka is currently battling for its economic survival, China's role may continue to expand, as the latest investment from Sinopec suggests.

How has India reacted to China's growing ties with Sri Lanka?

India has stepped up its own efforts to become a ‘partner of first resort' for Sri Lanka. It approved a $4 billion economic rescue package for the country as its economic crisis worsened in 2022. It also played a key role in helping Sri Lanka secure a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. India has also unveiled a slew of new initiatives, including an energy pipeline, to alleviate some of Sri Lanka's resource constraints. It has also conveyed its concerns to Sri Lanka about China's military presence in the region.

Source: Live Mint
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China Navy Ships Arrive in Myanmar for Joint Drills Amid Ongoing Border Conflict Published 4 minutes ago

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Nov 28, 2023

Three Chinese navy ships have arrived in Myanmar for joint drills with its navy, the country's junta said, as a border conflict strains ties between the Southeast Asian nation and its most important ally.

A destroyer, frigate and a supply vessel carrying hundreds of sailors arrived at Thilawa port on Monday ahead of “naval security exercises between Myanmar and China”, the junta's information team said. It did not give details about the drills or when they would begin but state media reported the Chinese “naval task force” was 700 sailors strong.

Beijing is a major ally and arms supplier of Myanmar's junta and has refused to label its 2021 power grab a coup. Relations have been tested recently as the junta battles an alliance of ethnic minority groups across a swathe of territory near the China border. The junta has said the groups are using drones made in China in their offensive that has seized trade hubs and dozens of military outposts in northern Shan state.

Earlier this month protesters gathered at a rare demonstration in Yangon to accuse China of backing the armed groups, in what analysts say was a move sanctioned by junta authorities. Beijing has expressed “strong dissatisfaction” over the clashes in northern Shan state, home to oil and gas pipelines that supply China and a planned billion-dollar railway link.

China has said the fighting has caused Chinese “casualties” on its side of the border, without giving details. Beijing has also been frustrated by the junta's failure to crack down on online scam compounds in Myanmar's lawless borderlands that target Chinese citizens.

On Saturday, China kicked off military exercises near the Myanmar border, days after an attack on a compound in the Myanmar border hub of Muse destroyed more than one hundred vehicles. The offensive launched last month by an alliance of three ethnic minority armed groups has galvanised other opponents of the junta. Clashes have spread to the east and the west of the country and forced nearly 335,000 people to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.

Source: News18
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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty Lose in Final

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Nov 26, 2023

India's top men's doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost 19-21, 21-18, 21-19 to second seeds Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang of China in the final of China Masters 2023 in Shenzhen on Sunday.

They played their fourth final on BWF World Tour this year having previously won all three of them at Swiss Open 2023, Indonesia Open 2023 and Korea Open 2023 earlier this year.

Satwik and Chirag have won also won the Badminton Asian Championships and the Asian Games gold medal in a stellar year.

The Indian star pair had got the better of home favourites He Ji Ting/Ren Xiang Yu 21-16, 22-20 in the semi-final. While their Chinese opponents had defeated compatriots Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi 21-17, 14-21, 21-15 in the other semi-final.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Source: News18
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India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty Enter Men's Doubles Final

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Nov 26, 2023

India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty dished out another attacking masterclass to outwit the Chinese duo of He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu and storm into the men's doubles final at the China Masters Super 750 badminton tournament here on Saturday.

The former world No. 1 Indian pair, which had won its first BWF World Super 750 title at the French Open last year, notched up a 21-15 22-20 win over the newly-formed Chinese pair of He and Ren, which had a title-winning run last week at the Japan Masters.

READ: Novak Djokovic Angered Over Doping Test Request At Davis Cup

The top seeds will face another Chinese pair in the summit clash, the winner of the other semifinal between Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi and second seeds Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang.

Satwik and Chirag have won the Badminton Asian Championships, Indonesia Super 1000, Korea Super 500, Swiss Super 300 and the Asian Games gold medal in a stellar year.

The BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300. One more category of tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 level, also offers ranking points.

Each of these tournaments offers different ranking points and prize money. The highest points and prize pool is offered at the Super 1000 level.

Source: News18
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India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty Enter Men's Doubles Final Published 35 minutes ago

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Nov 25, 2023

India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty dished out another attacking masterclass to outwit the Chinese duo of He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu and storm into the men's doubles final at the China Masters Super 750 badminton tournament here on Saturday.

The former world No. 1 Indian pair, which had won its first BWF World Super 750 title at the French Open last year, notched up a 21-15 22-20 win over the newly-formed Chinese pair of He and Ren, which had a title-winning run last week at the Japan Masters.

READ: Novak Djokovic Angered Over Doping Test Request At Davis Cup

The top seeds will face another Chinese pair in the summit clash, the winner of the other semifinal between Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi and second seeds Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang.

Satwik and Chirag have won the Badminton Asian Championships, Indonesia Super 1000, Korea Super 500, Swiss Super 300 and the Asian Games gold medal in a stellar year.

The BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300. One more category of tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 level, also offers ranking points.

Each of these tournaments offers different ranking points and prize money. The highest points and prize pool is offered at the Super 1000 level.

Source: News18
Related Posts: BADMINTON,CHINA MASTERS,CHIRAG SHETTY,SATWIKSAIRAJ RANKIREDDY

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Nvidia delays launch of new AI chip in China amid US export rules

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Nov 25, 2023
File: Nvidia had expected to launch its new AI chip H20 by November 16 (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Nvidia has informed its Chinese customers about a delay in the release of a new artificial intelligence (AI chip, as per a Reuters report citing sources. The chip, known as H20 is among a range of new products designed by the California-based chip giant to comply with tightened United States export regulations, it added.

Touted as the most potent among three China-targeted chips developed by Nvidia, the H20 faces a setback in its market debut. This delay may potentially impact Nvidia's competitive stance in China against local contenders such as Huawei, as per the report.

Also Read: Nvidia's AI boom almost blows past politics

Launch Rescheduled

While it was earlier expected to be unveiled as early as November 16, the H20's launch has been rescheduled for the first quarter of next year, sources told Reuters. One source hinted that the launch might occur in February or March.

Sources revealed that the postponement stemmed from challenges faced by server manufacturers in integrating the H20 chip into their systems. Alongside the H20, Nvidia has been strategising the launch of two other chips, the L20 and L2, to comply with the revised US export regulations. While the L20 remains unaffected by delays and is set for its original schedule, information regarding the status of the L2 remains undisclosed.

Also Read: Nvidia share price falls on downbeat China sales outlook

Nvidia has declined to comment, the report added.

Impact on Market Strategy

Nvidia's reliance on these chips as a means to retain its market presence in China became crucial after it was restricted from shipping products to China, including the advanced A800 and H800 AI chips, due to Washington's tightened export regulations.

Introduced as alternatives for Chinese consumers in November 2022, the H20, L20, and L2 incorporate many of Nvidia's latest AI features but have seen reductions in computing power to align with the new US regulations, as reported by SemiAnalysis.

Also Read: How Nvidia got huge and almost invincible

However, the export restrictions have provided openings for competitors such as Huawei to seize orders that would typically have been bagged by Nvidia. Case in point: Chinese tech giant Baidu reportedly placed a substantial order for Huawei AI chips, a move speculated to have occurred prior to the US export constraints, foreseeing potential limitations in procuring from Nvidia in the future.

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China’s Best Hope for the Taiwan Presidential Election Just Fell Apart

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Nov 25, 2023
A supporter of the opposition Nationalist Party waves a Taiwanese flag outside the Central Election Commission.

TAIPEI—A last-minute effort by Taiwan’s opposition parties to combine forces in a coming presidential election has crumbled in spectacular fashion, increasing the likelihood that the island democracy will continue as a central flashpoint in ties between the U.S. and China.

Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party, also known as the Kuomintang, struck a surprise deal last week with the Taiwan People's Party to unite in a coalition ticket favoring friendlier ties with China that political analysts said had a real shot of coming out on top in the island's presidential contest in January.

The agreement began to unravel almost immediately after it was announced and appeared to fully fall apart at a press conference on Thursday evening, during which the parties' candidates traded veiled insults with each other and another opposition candidate, Foxconn founder Terry Gou, before walking out in front of several dozen reporters.

The Kuomintang's nominee, Hou Yu-ih, and Ko Wen-je, the TPP candidate, separately registered with Taiwan's Central Election Commission within an hour of each other on Friday—the last day for officially declaring a candidacy—confirming the death of the deal.

“Things have evolved to this point today, it's like ‘brothers climbing the mountain each in their own way,'" Ko said Friday, quoting a popular saying about two people separately pursuing the same goal. He also apologized for what he called the “absurd comedy" of the previous night's meeting.

The failure of the opposition candidates to coalesce changes expectations for an election that has weighty implications for security in the Asia-Pacific region as well as strained ties between the U.S. and China.

Both Hou and Ko favor a friendlier posture toward Beijing, which regards Taiwan as part of China. Both have trailed in the polls behind Vice President Lai Ching-te, the nominee of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. A seasoned politician and campaigner, Lai is seen by Beijing as a more aggressive advocate of Taiwan independence than his boss, President Tsai Ing-wen, who is scheduled to leave office in May due to term limits.

Lai has said he would continue Tsai's policy of maintaining the status quo in relations with China. He formally registered for the election on Tuesday with his running mate, Hsiao Bi-khim, who has served for the past several years as Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Washington.

In one development that is likely to please Beijing, Gou's spokeswoman said Friday that the billionaire didn't have plans to register, meaning he would drop out of the race and avoid diverting votes from either of the other two opposition candidates. Foxconn, one of the world's top assemblers of iPhones, is facing an investigation of some of its China operations for alleged tax and land-use violations in what political analysts said was a move by Beijing to force Gou to withdraw from the election.

Still, with Gou polling last among the major candidates, his decision isn't expected to have a major impact on the dynamics of the race, political analysts said.

“The presidency is the DPP's to lose," said Wen-ti Sung, who teaches Taiwan studies at Australian National University. He said, however, that the ruling party could struggle to hold on to its legislative majority, resulting in a split government that would complicate relations with both Washington and Beijing.

The deal between the opposition parties fell apart as they fought over how to decide which of their candidates would lead the combined ticket. In announcing the deal on Nov. 15, the two sides said they would rely on a panel of experts to choose the order based on recent public opinion polls and internal polling conducted by both parties.

Political analysts expressed surprise at how much Ko had given up in the deal, with some speculating he would lose. The sides failed to agree on final terms before their self-imposed deadline, and Ko publicly criticized the negotiations as unfair.

“Next time I definitely won't negotiate with them on my own because I say ‘OK, OK' too easily," he said at a press conference. “That catchphrase of mine was used by the other side to deceive me."

The chaos reached its climax on Thursday night, when Gou hosted a public meeting with the other opposition candidates at the Grand Hyatt in Taipei. The bickering began almost immediately, with the host chastising the KMT's Hou for bringing along the KMT chairman and former president Ma Ying-jeou, whom he described as one of the event's “distinguished uninvited guests."

With cameras rolling and reporters watching, one candidate protested as another read out private text messages they had exchanged. A fierce argument then ensured over the margin of error in polls before the KMT faction finally walked out of the room.

“This day will go down as one of the most dramatically silly moments in Taiwan's history since democratization," Lev Nachman, a political scientist at Taipei's National Chengchi University, wrote on X, the social-media site formerly known as Twitter.

The fracas marked a contrast with a press conference held by the ruling DPP earlier in the day to introduce Hsiao as its vice-presidential pick. Seated on stage, she calmly fielded a series of questions, including one from a Wall Street Journal reporter about how she navigated political divisions in the U.S. while serving in Washington.

“We cannot afford to let Taiwan become an issue of partisan difference in American politics," she said, referring to herself as a “cat warrior," a nickname meant to evoke her constant need to walk with delicate balance. “Everything we do, we do it in a bipartisan way."

Write to Joyu Wang at joyu.wang@wsj.com

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Satwik-Chirag Enter Semifinal

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Nov 25, 2023

India's HS Prannoy made unforced errors galore to make an exit but Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stormed into the men's doubles semifinal at the China Masters Super 750 badminton tournament here on Friday.

Top seeds Satwik and Chirag dished out an attacking game to outwit world no. 13 Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin of Indonesia 21-16 21-14 in 46 minutes.

However, World No. 8 Prannoy had a bad day in office as he struggled to curb his errors and went down 9-21 14-21 against Japan's world championships silver medallist Kodai Naraoka in a lop-sided contest later in the day.

Satwik and Chirag, who won the Indonesia Super 1000, Korea Super 500 and Swiss Super 300 this year, will face Chinese pair He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu next.

The former world number one Indian duo showed coordination. They interchanged their positions frequently and also altered the direction of their stinging attack which made life difficult for their Indonesian rivals, who wilted under pressure.

The match started on an even keel with both the pairs fighting tooth and nail. But the Indian combination soon started dominating the proceedings with an onslaught of attacking shots to break off at 14-14.

Chirag made some right judgements and they were 19-16 up soon and then the Mumbaikar displayed his attacking intent once again, coming to the front court after serving to quickly close out the issue with a quick return.

The Indians kept up the tempo to surge to a 5-2 lead early in the second game. A few taps went to the net from but they ensured a two-point lead at 7-5 with Satwik unleashing a stiff return.

A flurry of smashes took the Indians to a healthy 11-6 advantage at the interval.

The Indonesians couldn't match the attack of their rivals, who were relentless from the first point. The Indians quickly moved to 17-10. The longest rally of the match ensued next with Marthin producing a precise smash to end the 48-shot rally.

A lucky net chord put the Indians three points away and Marthin next went to the net as they grabbed seven match points.

Satwik and Chirag squandered one before winning a video referral to seal their last four place.

A mistake-filled evening for Prannoy

Prannoy had a forgettable start. He struggled with his length in the opening game, triggering a slew of unforced errors, which put paid to his hopes.

The 31-year-old, however, seemed to have got back his bearing in the second game. In a much better effort, the Indian started matching his rival and played some good shots to put rival in awkward position but his net play was not polished.

In a battle for survival, Prannoy kept himself afloat though he conceded a slim one-point lead to Naraoka at the mid-game interval.

There was also a bit of drama when at 9-8, the chair umpire ruled a decision against Naraoka, saying his racquet was over the net when he went for a close net shot but the Japanese protested, leading to a brief halt in play.

After resumption, Prannoy starting putting pressure on his rival's forehand corner before sending a cross and it helped him to gather a few points.

Naraoka, however, established a 15-12 lead with Prannoy falling into a pool of errors as his jump smash went into the net, return went long and then he faltered in his net dribbles.

The downfall was fast as another shot sprayed into the net by Prannoy took the Japanese to 19-13. A lucky net chord gave Naraoka six match points and he sealed it when Prannoy smashed wide.

Source: News18
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