World News Brief, Wednesday June 24

US-China talks on trade, cybersecurity and climate change begin in Washington DC; UN opens human rights office in Seoul; suicide bomber kills 35 in Nigeria; nearly 1000 migrants picked up off Libyan coast in one day; and more


U.S.-China Talks Open in Washington

Top officials from Washington and Beijing will meet this week as the seventh annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue opens (AFP) in Washington on Tuesday. Trade, cybersecurity, China's claims in the South China Sea, and climate change are expected to top (Bloomberg) the agenda. The meetings open amid recent tensions (WSJ) following a suspected Chinese hack into the records of fourteen million U.S. federal employees and sharp criticism of China's land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea by U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. President Barack Obama is set to host his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in September.


"After 36 years of diplomatic engagement, China and the United States now share more and more converging interests. Our bilateral ties are assuming greater strategic significance as well as global influence. Under these new circumstances, the number of areas where our countries should and could work together has dramatically increased, not decreased," writes China's top foreign policy official Yang Jiechi in Foreign Policy.

"China's leaders surely want international recognition of their country's global stature. But they also want China's rise to high-income status to occur in a way that is—and that is perceived to be—beneficial to its neighbors and the world. The new external focus of China's growth and development strategy seems to be intended to make that vision a reality," writes Michael Spence in Project Syndicate.

"Our security, and that of our partners, will not be aided, however, by a strategy that suggests we have decided that China is, or inevitably will be, an adversary. Our allies and partners in Asia certainly welcome our presence, security and otherwise, in the face of a rising and more assertive China, but they do not welcome hostility toward China. They want to see us work out or at least manage our differences, and to do so in a way that promotes continued economic dynamism and lowers tensions in the region," writes Jeffrey Bader at the Brookings Institution.


UN Opens Human Rights Office in Seoul

The United Nations opened (Korea Times) an office in the South Korean capital of Seoul on Tuesday, amid threats of retaliation by Pyongyang. The new office will investigate and monitor human rights violations in North Korea. Meanwhile, North Korea sentenced (Yonhap) two South Korean detainees to life imprisonment for espionage.


Suicide bomber kills 35 in Nigeria

Nearly 1000 migrants picked up off Libyan coast in one day

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