Analysis & Comment

Tuesday Briefing: U.S. and China Agree to Broaden Talks

The U.S. and China agreed to broaden talks

During her visit to Beijing, Gina Raimondo, the U.S. commerce secretary, said the U.S. and China had agreed to hold regular discussions about certain economic issues — the latest step toward reducing tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Raimondo said yesterday that she had “open” and “pragmatic” discussions with China’s commerce minister, Wang Wentao, and that two separate dialogues would be established: One would include business representatives and focus on commercial issues. The other would exchange information on export controls. The first meeting of the export control group will take place in Beijing today.

Bilateral talks about trade, technology and other economic issues were once the norm between the U.S. and China, but those discussions have atrophied in recent years. China halted eight bilateral discussion groups a year ago in retaliation for a visit to Taiwan by Representative Nancy Pelosi, who was House speaker at the time.

But relations have begun to thaw as both nations, whose economies are tied to one another, work to improve ties.

Reaction: Some Republicans have criticized the idea of establishing a working group, calling it “inappropriate.” But Raimondo said that she had spoken to nearly 150 business leaders in preparation for her trip and that they had given her a common message: We need more channels of communication.

China’s property crisis: As a real estate meltdown ripples through the economy, small businesses and workers — including painters, cement makers and builders — are no longer getting paid and are owed hundreds of billions of dollars by Chinese developers.

A cyber-scam industry booms in Cambodia

Cyber-scam schemes across Southeast Asia often operate in remote and war-torn corners. But in Cambodia, the scam industry has been flourishing in plain sight and well within the reach of officials.

Dozens of nations have reported that criminal gangs operating in Cambodia have lured tens of thousands of people into the country with the promise of high-paying jobs and free housing. Instead, they have been forced to work for online scam mills while under intense surveillance in nondescript compounds.

Cambodia announced a crackdown on the scam mills last year, but the illegal operations have continued to flourish, protected by powerful officials with close ties to the government.

Ukraine said it took back another village

Ukraine’s military said yesterday that its forces had retaken the small village of Robotyne, a sign that the troops waging Kyiv’s counteroffensive were pushing through Russia’s initial defenses on the southern front line.

While Robotyne is tiny, its recapture could help boost Ukrainian morale after two months of grinding fighting that has produced few gains. It is the first settlement Ukraine has claimed to retake since Urozhaine, also in the south, nearly two weeks ago.

Other war news:

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said that he believed the U.S. would offer his country an Israel-like relationship — a durable partnership that does not depend on which party controls the White House.

A Russian missile strike on an oil refinery in the central region of Poltava killed three people, Ukrainian officials said.


Around the World

A federal judge set March 4 as the date to begin the trial of Donald Trump on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election.

JAXA, the Japanese space agency, canceled the launch of two space missions because of “inclement weather.” A new launch date has not been announced.

Hundreds of flights across Europe were canceled after Britain’s air traffic control service experienced a technical problem.

Spanish prosecutors opened an investigation to determine whether the president of Spain’s soccer federation could be charged with committing an act of sexual aggression after he kissed a female team player on the lips.

Other Big Stories

France will bar public school children from wearing an abaya, a loosefitting robe worn by some Muslim women.

The foreign minister of Libya fled to Turkey after a meeting with her Israeli counterpart set off protests in Libyan cities.

Tropical Storm Idalia is expected to become a hurricane that will begin affecting parts of Florida today.

Novo Nordisk, the Danish maker of two weight loss drugs, is reaping huge profits and is now responsible for most of Denmark’s economic growth.

The U.S. Open began yesterday, with Iga Swiatek and Carlos Alcaraz returning to defend their singles titles. Here’s what to know.

A Morning Read

Every year, as the suffocating heat of summer creeps in, Dubai’s beaches grow emptier. But at midnight or even 4 a.m. on any given day, the beach in Umm Suqeim — an upscale neighborhood on Dubai’s coast — is busy.

It is the most popular among several “night beaches,” where swimming is allowed 24 hours a day and spotlights illuminate the water.


A child’s right to a healthy environment

Young people around the world are increasingly taking their governments to court for failing to reduce climate pollution, with mixed results.

But their efforts have now received an endorsement from an independent panel of experts that interprets United Nations human rights laws, the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The committee said yesterday that all countries have a legal obligation to protect children from environmental degradation — including by “regulating business enterprises” — and to allow their underage citizens to seek legal recourse.

The committee’s opinion is not legally binding, but it is significant because it is based on a widely recognized international treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and explicitly recognizes children’s right to go to court to force their government to slow down the climate crisis.


Cook this coconut fish and tomato bake, which is infused with garlic, ginger, turmeric and lime.

Read “Everything/Nothing/Someone,” a timeless tale of surviving emotional neglect and mental illness.

Listen to the “Love Commandos” podcast on how a “love marriage” can be a dangerous proposition for young couples in India.

Sleep better with a therapy that is often better for insomnia than a medication.

Play the Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. Jonathan and Lyna

P.S. “The Daily” is about what India’s moon landing means for international competition in space.

We welcome your feedback. You can reach us at [email protected].

Jonathan Wolfe is a senior staff editor on the briefings team, where he writes the Virus Briefing and other newsletters. Previously, he was the lead writer of the Coronavirus Briefing newsletter, a producer for “The Daily” podcast and a reporter covering New York City. More about Jonathan Wolfe

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