Tag: International Relations

U.S. Trade Deficit Surged in 2022

WASHINGTON — The overall U.S. trade deficit rose 12.2 percent last year, nearing $1 trillion as Americans continued to purchase record volumes of foreign products, according to data released Tuesday by the Commerce Department. The goods and services deficit reached $948.1 billion, up $103 billion from the previous year. Exports of goods and services rose […]

Read More

How U.S.-China Tensions Could Affect Who Buys the House Next Door

The share of United States farmland owned by Chinese people and companies is small and has not been growing substantially. Chinese owners held about 350,000 acres at the end of 2020, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, and most of the farmland came from the Chinese acquisition of Smithfield Foods in 2013. Canadian […]

Read More

Russia and Ukraine Have Incentives to Negotiate. The U.S. Has Other Plans.

Last spring, Ukraine shocked the Russian navy by using American targeting information to sink the Moskva, a Black Sea missile cruiser. Only months into the war did Russians face up to the fact that officers using their personal cellphones were regularly getting blown up. This past New Year’s Eve, a dormitory full of fresh Russian […]

Read More

How Russia Is Surviving the Tightening Grip on Its Oil Revenue

Using customs data from India, Mr. Vakulenko, the Russian oil expert, showed that local importers of Russian crude paid almost the same price as Brent crude. A New York Times analysis of the same data produced similar results. The explanation, Mr. Vakulenko suggested, is that at least part of the large discount on the quoted […]

Read More

Trump-Era Chinese Spy Balloon Incursions Initially Went Undetected

WASHINGTON — The top military commander overseeing North American airspace said Monday that some previous incursions by Chinese spy balloons during the Trump administration were not detected in real time, and the Pentagon learned of them only later. “I will tell you that we did not detect those threats, and that’s a domain awareness gap,” […]

Read More

Another Chinese Balloon Flew Over Colombia, Officials Confirm

A Chinese balloon floated over Latin America and the Caribbean, the Chinese government confirmed on Monday, adding that it was for civilian purposes and was being used for flight tests. “Affected by the weather and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course and entered into the airspace of Latin America […]

Read More

Turkey Earthquake: Governments Are Sending Rescue Teams and Offers of Aid

Governments around the world were quick to respond to requests for international assistance after Monday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, deploying rescue teams and offering aid. The European Union said it was urgently dispatching search and rescue teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania to Turkey to help. […]

Read More

China’s Balloon Dispute Aims Attention at Xi’s Leadership

The Chinese balloon that bumbled its way across the United States has launched a thousand questions about its real intent. But it is also focusing the world’s attention on the prospect that the communications and control within Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government and his vaunted security apparatus may be less coherent — or even less […]

Read More

Chinese Spy Balloon Calls Back to Cold War U-2 Episode

The echo from the episode, though, serves as a reminder that powerful countries regularly spy on one another, which generally becomes a problem when it goes public or leads to misunderstanding or tragedy. In 1983, a Soviet warplane shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 after it veered into Russian airspace at night, killing 269 […]

Read More

Year Two of the Ukraine War Is Going to Get Scary

But why is backing Ukraine in this war not only in our strategic interest but also in line with our values? “Americans continually struggle to reconcile contradictory interpretations of their interests — one focused on security of the homeland and one focused on defense of the liberal world beyond America’s shores. The first conforms to […]

Read More

China Finds Itself With Limited Options After U.S. Shoots Down Balloon

After an American fighter jet shot down the Chinese balloon that had floated across the United States, the reaction from Beijing — defensive, angered, yet hedging its options — illustrated the challenges facing China’s leader, Xi Jinping, as he tries to stabilize relations while giving little, if any, ground. Hours after the balloon was struck […]

Read More

The Costs of a Long War in Ukraine

The next phase of the Ukraine War, a new Russian offensive and a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive, seems all but inevitable for late winter or early spring. The logic of escalation is prevailing, the mutual belief that no peace deal is possible until the other side understands that it can’t win. The Ukrainian hope for how […]

Read More

Hopes for Peace in South Sudan Are Pinned on a Papal Visit

JUBA, South Sudan — On the last full day of his trip to Africa, Pope Francis met with the displaced South Sudanese who have borne the brunt of the conflict he came to help resolve by issuing blunt and insistent calls for leaders to get serious about peace. “I am with here you, and I […]

Read More

U.S. Presses Turkey and U.A.E. to Weed Out Illicit Trade With Russia

The United States is stepping up efforts to persuade partner nations that have not joined Western sanctions on Russia to crack down on commercial activities in their countries that could be helping Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine, U.S. officials said. Those efforts include pointing out to foreign governments transactions that the United States suspects are helping […]

Read More

Russia Pushes to Take Ukrainian Town Near a Vital Supply Line

KYIV, Ukraine — Russia is deploying thousands of soldiers to southeastern Ukraine in an effort to secure a key supply line that runs from the eastern Donbas region to Crimea and is threatened by Ukrainian forces positioned in and around the strategically important town of Vuhledar. The town, which sits at the intersection of the […]

Read More

When It Comes to Building Its Own Defense, Europe Has Blinked

Rheinmetall, a German arms manufacturer, makes the Leopard tank and has about 200 in storage, and it says it needs up to a year to refurbish them for Ukraine. But Germany could have easily paid the company to get the tanks ready 12 months ago, even for its own military. “Germany already wasted a year,” […]

Read More

Ties to Kabul Bombing Put ISIS Leader in Somalia in U.S. Cross Hairs

WASHINGTON — Bilal al-Sudani was no stranger to American counterterrorism officials. Before joining the Islamic State affiliate in Somalia, Mr. al-Sudani was subjected to punitive sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2012 for his involvement with Al Shabab, Al Qaeda’s branch in the East African country. But it wasn’t until American officials started digging […]

Read More

Balloon Incident Highlights Fragile State of U.S.-China Relationship

After years of deepening mistrust and simmering tensions, ties between the United States and China appeared poised for a modest rebound following the meeting of the two nations’ leaders at a summit last November and recent efforts by Beijing to stabilize its relations with the world. A visit by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken […]

Read More

A Brief History of Spying With Balloons

A Chinese balloon seen hovering over Montana this week has been described as an “intelligence-gathering” airship by the Pentagon and a stray civilian research airship by China. Whatever its intended use, the balloon offers a reminder of how for more than a century, governments have used balloons for surveillance and observation, most often during times […]

Read More

Fears of Russian Nuclear Weapons Use Have Diminished, but Could Re-emerge

Heightened nuclear fears in October came against the backdrop of a successful counteroffensive by the Ukrainian military when it reclaimed a huge swath of territory east of Kharkiv, in the northeast. It then made a drive at Kherson, in the south, forcing the Russian military to eventually retreat from there. With their army in disarray, Mr. Putin […]

Read More

Missing From Czech Spa Town Popular With Russians: Russians

James Bond, poisoned by a villain in the film “Casino Royale,” almost died in the forecourt of the Grandhotel Pupp, a majestic reinvention of what, under Communism, was called the Grand Hotel Moskva, a shabby lodge popular with members of the Czech and Soviet nomenklatura. Rival hotels in the area have complained that widespread hostility […]

Read More

Suspected Spy Balloon Hampers China’s Efforts to Ease Tensions With U.S.

A balloon suspected to have come from China and seen floating over Montana has suddenly upstaged a long-anticipated visit to Beijing by the American secretary of state and threatens to undercut efforts to reduce the simmering antagonism between Beijing and Washington. Pentagon officials disclosed on Thursday that they had detected the “intelligence-gathering balloon, most certainly […]

Read More

As Russia Strikes Ukrainian Civilians, Putin Tells His People the War Is Just

“This is not a repetition of history; this is the daily reality of our country,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement after the attack late on Wednesday. Kramatorsk has been the target of frequent rocket attacks by Russian forces since the war began in February, but in recent weeks, the strikes on the city center […]

Read More

U.S. Detects Suspected China Spy Balloon Hovering Over Northwest

WASHINGTON — The United States has detected what it says is a Chinese surveillance balloon that has been hovering over the northwestern United States, the Pentagon said on Thursday, a discovery that comes days before Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s visit to Beijing. The Pentagon has chosen, for now, not to shoot down the […]

Read More

Biden Aims to Deter China With Greater U.S. Military Presence in Philippines

WASHINGTON — President Biden and his aides have tried to reassure Chinese leaders that they do not seek to contain China in the same way the Americans did with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. But the announcement on Thursday that the U.S. military is expanding its presence in the Philippines leaves little doubt […]

Read More

Britain to Investigate if Deadliest Attack of Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’ Was Preventable

LONDON — Nearly 25 years after a car bomb killed 29 people in the Northern Ireland town of Omagh — the deadliest single attack of the era known as the Troubles — the British government said on Thursday that it would open an independent inquiry into whether security forces could have averted the bombing. The […]

Read More

In Congo, a Pope and a Nation Revitalize One Another

Even the day’s painful afternoon meeting with the victims of gruesome crimes in the country’s embattled east, when survivors put machetes and knives on the floor near the pope to punctuate the horror of their accounts, seemed to remind him of his mission. “Thank you for these testimonies,” he said gravely. And on Thursday, the […]

Read More

Tortured Guantánamo Detainee Is Freed in Belize

A damning 2014 Senate investigation of the covert program disclosed what the C.I.A. did to Mr. Khan when he went on a hunger strike in his second year of detention: His captors “infused” a purée of pasta, sauce, nuts, raisins and hummus into his rectum. His lawyers called it rape. At his sentencing in 2021, […]

Read More

U.S. to Boost Military Role in the Philippines in Push to Counter China

The United States is increasing its military presence in the Philippines, gaining access to four more sites and strengthening the Southeast Asian nation’s role as a key strategic partner for Washington in the event of a conflict with China over Taiwan. The agreement, announced on Thursday, allows Washington to station military equipment and build facilities […]

Read More

China and the U.S. Are Wooing Indonesia, and Beijing Has the Edge

When the U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, visited Indonesia in November, he pressed his counterpart there about a deal to buy 36 American fighter jets. He left without an agreement. Just days before, the same Indonesian official, Prabowo Subianto, met with China’s defense minister, and the two countries pledged to resume joint military […]

Read More