Clete Willems on U.S.-China relations under Biden

first_img– Advertisement – Bilateral relations between the world’s two largest countries have deteriorated significantly over the last few years due to a trade war, U.S. sanctions against Chinese companies, and increased American support for Taiwan as well as India.Trump and his administration have blamed China for its unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, and more recently, the coronavirus pandemic.Willems pointed out that the “phase one” trade deal between the two countries addressed some of the concerns the U.S. has over China’s practices. To rein in an 18-month trade war, both countries signed a trade agreement this year that pushed China to strengthen its intellectual property protection plan and increase its purchase of American manufacturing, energy and agricultural goods and services over two years.“If you look at the agricultural market access, if you look for the IP changes, that was some real meaningful stuff and I think that will be a lasting legacy,” Willems said. He added that export controls imposed on Chinese tech giant Huawei, which was labeled a national security risk by Washington, sent the firm into survival mode.“There’s clearly been some successes to point to. I do think that in a lot of respects, there’s a long way to go,” he said, adding that he hopes that if Biden wins, the former vice president can “pick up the torch” from Trump and deal with some of the major issues concerning China that have yet to be addressed. When asked if there was a chance that the U.S., under a Biden administration, may rejoin the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, Willems pointed out the deal faced bipartisan opposition in Congress. While Biden may potentially look at the agreement again, there would need to be renegotiation of some of the provisions before the U.S. considers rejoining the pact, according to Willems.   Being tough on China is what unifies a polarized United States right now, according to former top White House trade negotiator Clete Willems.A day after Americans voted, the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is still up in the air — with six states yet to be called by NBC News.Regardless of who takes the White House, the relationship with China will remain more or less status quo, said Willems, a partner at Akin Gump.- Advertisement – “The truth of the matter is that being tough on China is what unifies us in a polarized nation right now. We’re polarized in our politics but we are not polarized on China,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday.Willems said that if Biden wins, he would be constrained by the political environment and will unlikely go back to some of the China positions he held in the past that were seen as relatively weak.Still, there would likely be more predictability in Biden’s policies. “You’re not going to have tweets announcing tariffs in the middle of the night kind of thing, but overall the trajectory is going to be more or less the same. I think China is going to have to deal with that reality moving forward,” Willems said.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement – President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Londonderry, New Hampshire on October 25, 2020. Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a voter mobilization event in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 12, 2020.Getty Imageslast_img read more

French faithful flash car hazard lights for communion at post-lockdown mass

first_imgTopics : It was held on the seventh day of a progressive easing of France’s strict lockdown instituted in mid-March to brake the spread of the virus which has killed more than 27,000 people in France.Under new, looser regulations, people are allowed to leave their homes and travel up to 100 kilometers. But gatherings of more than 10 people remain prohibited as the country seeks to progressively get back to normal without unleashing a new infection wave. At Sunday’s service in eastern France, hard hit by coronavirus, strict rules applied. Catholics in France’s virus hit east on Sunday gathered for their first mass in weeks, praying and singing hymns from the relative safety of their cars.Some 500 believers gathered in Chalons-en-Champagne in about 200 cars parked at least a meter from one another outside the city’s main exhibition hall. “It is a triumph of life,” bishop Francois Touvet told AFP, adding that the initiative was a first for France and went ahead only after the authorities gave special permission.center_img Cars were checked at the entrance to ensure each occupant was wearing a mask and had access to virus-killing hand gel.No more than four people were allowed per car, and no-one was allowed to get out. At the front of the car park, a pulpit complete with a cross and a statue of the Virgin Mary had been erected on a truck trailer, from where Touvet delivered his sermon over a microphone.  At the foot of the stage, a dozen priests and deacons sat arranged in a semi-circle, their chairs carefully spaced a safe distance from each other.Worshippers who wished to receive communion were asked to switch on their car’s hazard lights, and to clean their hands with sanitizing gel. Priests wearing face masks, their hands also disinfected, then went around from car to car.”Clean hands give the communion, clean hands receive it,” said Touvet. “An exceptional measure for an exceptional situation.”For Marie-Lorene, a 21-year-old resident of Chalons-en-Champagne, the mass was an opportunity to pray “for all those who have died of coronavirus for all those who fight against coronavirus and then for all the people who help the sick”.Touvet told the faithful they would celebrate Pentecost together at the end of the month, either in church, “or here again”, to worship “in this world wounded and overwhelmed by a small, invisible virus”.last_img read more

Rodgers looking for more from Allen

first_imgLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is hopeful a rejuvenated Joe Allen can help his side challenge for the top four this season. Press Association “If we do I can assure everyone that we will compete. There might be one or two new faces to add to that as well (a bid has been made to Atletico Madrid for striker Diego Costa) – we’ll have to wait and see. “I’m really pleased with the boys so far – we haven’t conceded a goal (in five pre-season friendlies) and we’re creating bundles of chances. With the right people in the forward areas, we’ll get lots of goals.” Gerrard signed a new contract last month which keeps him at the club for a further two years and Rodgers has not ruled out the midfielder extending that further. “For me he still has a number of years left yet,” he said. “You gauge players on their hunger, no matter how old or young they are, and Steven is 33 but from the first day I walked in here he struck me with his determination and hunger to succeed. “He is very much hungry for the club to do well. The quality of his movement, his passes and leadership – he knows there is added responsibility with a number of players moving on (Jamie Carragher has retired and Jose Reina loaned to Napoli) – and he is a real talisman and gentleman.” Rodgers also thought the friendly against Olympiacos proved doubly useful. “It was a great day. This was a day which was really about him but he wanted it to be about everyone bar him,” he said. “He has made many friends throughout his career but he wanted this to be a game in preparation for our season. “It was a great send off for him to have won the game and it was great for the supporters to pay homage to an iconic player for this club and who will continue to be so.” Twelve months ago he began well, albeit playing in a deeper role, but his performances tailed off as a shoulder problem became more troublesome and eventually forced him to end the campaign prematurely in order to have surgery. “The first three month of last season Joe was our best player by a mile but he had a problem with his shoulder which curtailed his season,” said the Reds boss. “It meant he could not have that aggressive streak which is part of his game. “Joe has been terrific over the course of pre-season and he did very well. “It is important we have a real strong competitive group as we are trying to build the depth of the group so that I can change the team in games and when we go to play against certain teams I can change the team about.” Substitute Jordan Henderson scored Liverpool’s other goal just seconds after coming off the bench as Gerrard saw two of his fellow midfielders take up the goalscoring responsibility. The Reds captain, celebrating 15 years in the first team, has had to shoulder the responsibility for driving the team forward for years but he is looking forward to being able to share the load in the latter years of his career. “We’ve got some wonderful youngsters coming through and I think everyone is keeping their fingers crossed that we can keep important players at the club,” said the 33-year-old, in reference to unsettled striker Luis Suarez who has been the subject of two failed bids from Arsenal. The Wales international was the Reds’ best player in the first half of Steven Gerrard’s 2-0 testimonial win at Anfield against Olympiacos and could have had a hat-trick in the first half. In the end he had to settle for one, sliding home Iago Aspas’ low cross from five yards, but he displayed some of the desire to get into attacking areas which persuaded Rodgers to spend £15million in order to get former club Swansea to release him last summer. last_img read more

VP Pence’s plane forced back to DC for unspecified emergency

first_imgVice President Mike Pence’s airplane was diverted from New Hampshire back to Washington Tuesday after being called back for an unspecified emergency.Pence was scheduled to visit Salem to participate in a roundtable discussion and deliver remarks on the opioid crisis in New Hampshire.However, shortly before the vice president was expected to arrive, an event official told the crowd that Air Force Two had been diverted because of an emergency.“We do have a situation where the vice president was called back to Washington,” Randy Gentry, a representative of Pence’s office, told the crowd, adding that the event had been canceled.A spokesman for Pence’s office said the vice president needed to go back to the White House, and that he will return to New Hampshire at a later date.It remains unclear to what the emergency pertains.last_img read more

SteelSeries and North partner up

first_imgSteelSeries and Danish CS:GO team, North announced their sponsorship and collaborative partnership on Friday.In addition to providing the org with monetary support, SteelSeries and North will work together as partners in ‘innovative product design and in elevating both brands in gaming and esports’. North was founded last year in a partnership between FC Copenhagen and Nordisk Film, and as such represents a crossover between traditional sports, the entertainment industry and esports. Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO commented: “SteelSeries has played a crucial role in driving the esports industry forward. Our partnerships with players and organisations that compete at the highest levels, and that embody the fundamentals on which our brand was built are what set our standards higher than others. They drive our need for constant innovation and inspire our award-winning products. “Counter-Strike is where our brand began; it’s at our core. We are incredibly happy and proud to announce our partnership with North.”North CEO Christian Sørensen added: “The partnership with SteelSeries is such an incredible opportunity to bring together two international, Danish brand leaders with the goal to not just to win, but to make our mark in esports. We have a talented and dedicated roster of players whom we train and nurture as world-class athletes, and we aim to take the top rankings, not just in Denmark, but in the world. We believe our partnership with SteelSeries is the final piece that will aid in achieving that.”North have a typically packed CS:GO schedule right now with Dreamhack Open Montreal this weekend, and then jetting out ELEAGUE Premier in Atlanta right after for the competition which boasts a $1m prize pot (£757,435).Esports Insider says: It’s partnerships like these which are great to see as they make a lot of sense; both SteelSeries and North are closely related organisations based in Denmark with a lot of potential to make tracks in esports.last_img read more