A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: Biden’s new China doctrine, a jailed ex-president won’t go quietly in South Africa (8:44), and carbon border taxes (14:32).
Boeing and Airbus dominate global aviation, but China’s Comac wants to challenge the duopoly with new planes. WSJ’s Jon Sindreu explains how supply chains, technology and geopolitics could help the Western aircraft makers to protect key markets. Photo Composite: George Downs
Inside the company’s automated warehouse in China Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is challenging Amazon by promising fast deliveries from China to anywhere in the world. WSJ visits Alibaba’s largest automated warehouse to see how robots and a vast logistics network are helping it expand globally. Composite: Clément Bürge
At the Chinese Communist Party’s centennial celebration, President Xi Jinping called for defiance against foreign pressure. As China challenges the U.S.’s leadership – from AI to defense – WSJ’s Jonathan Cheng looks at what’s next for the country. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP
The world is entering a new era of warfare, with cyber and autonomous weapons taking center stage. These technologies are making militaries faster, smarter, more efficient. But if unchecked, they threaten to destabilize the world. DW takes a deep dive into the future of conflict, uncovering an even more volatile world.
Where a cyber intrusion against a nuclear early warning system can unleash a terrifying spiral of escalation; where “flash wars” can erupt from autonomous weapons interacting so fast that no human could keep up. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tells DW that we have already entered the technological arms race that is propelling us towards this future. “We’re right in the middle of it. That’s the reality we have to deal with.” And yet the world is failing to meet the challenge. Talks on controlling autonomous weapons have repeatedly been stalled by major powers seeking to carve out their own advantage. And cyber conflict has become not just a fear of the future but a permanent state of affairs. DW finds out what must happen to steer the world in a safer direction, with leading voices from the fields of politics, diplomacy, intelligence, academia, and activism speaking out.
Taiwan has long been a U.S.-China flashpoint, but its tech and military capabilities have come into sharper focus under the Biden administration. WSJ travels to three places on the island to explain how both superpowers could determine Taiwan’s future. Photo: Wally Santana/AP
May 20, 2021: Israel and Gaza, House approves Capitol probe, Abortion in Texas, U.S travel changes, and South China Sea
1. Diplomatic moves towards a ceasefire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gathered pace after President Joe Biden called for a de-escalation.
2. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to create an independent commission to probe the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s supporters. One in six Republicans defied party leaders’ attempts to block it.
3. Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a ‘fetal heartbeat’ abortion bill that bans the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy and grants citizens the right to sue doctors who perform abortions past that point.
4. The Biden administration weighs changes to sweeping travel restrictions that bar much of the world’s population from coming to the United States.
5. China said a U.S. warship illegally entered its territorial waters in the South China Sea and was expelled by its forces, an assertion the United States denies.
Neodymium is critical to making the wheels of a Tesla spin or creating sound in Apple’s Airpods, and China dominates the mining and processing of this rare-earth mineral. So the U.S. and its allies are building their own supply chain. Photo illustration: Clément Bürge/WSJ
Telecommunications giant Huawei is said to be one of the most powerful companies in China. But Huawei has been accused of systematic espionage, and some Western governments doubt whether the company is truly independent of the Chinese government.
This documentary investigates concerns about Huawei and internet security. The company is a major player in the manufacture of smartphones, and enjoys a technological lead in the development of the super-fast 5G broadband network worldwide. But the US and some other Western countries suspect that Huawei works closely with the Chinese government on espionage and sabotage operations.
Has Huawei becomne a pawn in the trade war between the US and China? The arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada in 2018 — at the request of US authorities — marked the climax of the conflict between Huawei and Washington. Some European countries also have concerns about the company.
Does Huawei really have close ties to the Chinese government? And what are the benefits and risks for those foreign clients who choose to work with this 5G giant?
India is positioning itself as a smartphone-production hub amid a U.S.-China trade war that has disrupted global supply chains and left tech firms such as Apple and Samsung looking for alternatives to China to manufacture their products. Photo: Olivier Le Hellard for The Wall Street Journal