Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchange documents during a signing ceremony following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 5, 2019 (AP file photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

With the Winter Olympics now underway, all eyes are fixed on the competing athletes as they take to the ice and snow. But amid the dazzling displays of athletic prowess, significant developments have simultaneously taken place on the diplomatic sidelines of the Games. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived in Beijing last Friday ahead of the opening ceremony of the Winter Games, met his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, marking their first in-person encounter in two years, ostensibly due to Xi’s self-imposed travel restriction amid the coronavirus pandemic. The talks, described by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng as “very successful,” ended […]

President Joe Biden, right, shakes hands with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Jan. 31, 2022 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

Just before U.S. President Joe Biden met with Qatar’s emir, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in the Oval Office on Tuesday, the White House shared a post on Twitter listing the visit’s agenda, which included “security and prosperity in the Middle East, global energy supplies, Afghanistan and more.” It was clear Sheikh Tamim’s visit was not just symbolic. Sheikh Tamim is the first regional leader to meet with Biden since he became president, a sign that Washington views Doha as an important element in confronting urgent U.S. priorities. And as if to underscore that point, Biden announced this week that he had designated […]

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen talks during an online press conference at the European Council building in Brussels, Sept. 14, 2020 (AP photo by Yves Herman).

The European Union has launched a case at the World Trade Organization against China over what Brussels describes as Beijing’s “discriminatory trade practices” toward Lithuania. By doing so, the bloc joins a growing list of countries, including Australia and the United States, seeking to hold China accountable via the multilateral trading system. But with the WTO’s dispute settlement system in disarray due to longstanding procedural obstacles put in place by the Trump administration, the WTO currently lacks the ability to resolve commercial disputes in the absence of a spirit of compromise among the parties involved. So the EU’s move in some ways resembles […]

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