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Are relations between the U.S. and China simmering in tropical Bali?



Joe Biden and Xi Jinping have come face-to-face in Bali, Indonesia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made his second international trip since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The virus has killed over 5,000 people in China, and 6.6 million around the world.

Beijing maintains a Covid-zero strategy, which has been criticised by Human Rights Watch as “draconian”.

But for one of the world’s biggest superpowers, the so-called ‘democracy versus authoritarianism’ narrative is one Beijing is attempting to stamp out.

This was President Xi’s first face-to-face meeting since his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden took office nearly two years ago.

As Xi touched down in Bali, Indonesia for the G20 Summit, a range of bilateral talks had already been arranged.

China’s President lands in Bali ahead of crucial G20 talks.

His meeting with President Biden was high on the agenda, and signals a dialogue, which the U.S. was denied with Russian President Vladimir Putin, after he withdrew his personal invitation to the event.

Instead, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is in attendance.

At China-U.S. meeting, which is understood to have lasted three-and-a-half hours, there was no secret about the ongoing rivalry between the two states.

“We need to find the right direction for the bilateral relationship going forward and elevate the relationship,” Biden said.

Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Ministry said “President Xi pointed out that the world is at a major inflection point in history.”

President Biden sought to rally G20 nations to condemn the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Xi said he was “highly concerned” by the ongoing conflict, while Biden described the war as “brutal” and “irresponsible”.

A major point for international relations

Twenty of the world’s largest economies have gathered in Bali to exchange their shared challenges: inflation, supply chain pressures, and post-pandemic recovery.

It also provides the space for countries to hold face-to-face meetings on the sidelines of the event.

For example, Australia has shared a defence and security partnership with the U.S. for over 70 years.

In addition, Canberra’s era of economic engagement with Beijing was crucial during the height of the Global Financial Crisis.

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will also come face-to-face with his Chinese counterpart during bilateral talks in Bali.

Meanwhile, his Minister of Defence Richard Marles was speaking in Sydney as President Xi held closed-door talks with Biden.

“Australia values a productive relationship with China. And we expect China will play a more prominent role consistent with its economic and strategic weight,” Marles told delegates at the Sydney Institute Annual Dinner on Monday night.

“We seek that China’s increasing influence is exercised in a manner which reinforces the global rules-based order and promotes habits of cooperation that benefit the interests of all countries.”

Richard Marles is Australia’s Defence Minister.

Marles described Australia’s approach to the Indo-Pacific region as “sober, responsible, and clear-eyed statecraft”.

The ANZUS Alliance—between Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.—has been the cornerstone of Canberra’s defence policy.

Today, the alliance provides technology, and intelligence advantages, which Australia would be challenged to develop on its own.

“That enhances Australia’s sovereignty. It does not diminish it,” Marles said.

However, China’s increased dominance in the region has raised eyebrows between likeminded allies like the U.S. and Australia.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said competition can exist, and Washington should not seek to out=perform Beijing.

“China-U.S. relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes or thrives at the expense of the other,” the ministry said.

Why does this matter?

Biden and Xi made it clear they want to avoid any conflict, for now.

The White House readout from the meeting noted Biden raised “objections to the PRC’s coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan”.

The language was clear: the ongoing tensions “undermine peace and stability” and “jeopardise global prosperity”.

President Biden also raised concerns around human rights abuses and non-market economic practices in relation to U.S. workers.

But President Xi reminded his U.S. counterpart about the global clash between democracies and autocracies, and concerns about Beijing being misunderstood through this lens.

“Neither side should try to remould the other in one’s own image or seek to change or even subvert the other’s system.”


“Instead of talking in one way and acting in another, the United States needs to honour its commitments with concrete action,” China’s Foreign Ministry said.

Washington’s foreign policy changed dramatically since President Richard Nixon’s initial engagement with Beijing.

Since then, China has developed the world’s largest navy, and has entered into the big league of world powers.

The question remains: will tensions reach boiling point?

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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Big tech caught in political drama



Nine Google employees were escorted out of company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, following a sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The protest in Sunnyvale targeted Thomas Kurian’s office, CEO of Google’s cloud division, while in New York, it occupied a common area on the tenth floor.

Videos showed Google security staff and local police involved in the removal. Four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale were reportedly detained, but details of any charges remain unverified.


The protest aimed to pressure Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract known as Project Nimbus, citing concerns about its involvement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The protesters included software engineers and activists from groups opposing tech contracts with Israel. This incident reflects ongoing activism within tech companies regarding political issues, such as Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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Antitrust concerns arise for streaming sports venture



U.S. lawmakers Jerry Nadler and Joaquin Castro expressed competition concerns regarding the planned sports streaming joint venture involving Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros Discovery.

They addressed these concerns in a letter to the CEOs of the media companies, questioning the impact on access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.

Voicing apprehension about potential consumer price hikes and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and distributors, they requested responses by April 30, urging the companies to also send their replies to the Department of Justice.

Despite the companies’ announcement in February of launching a joint sports streaming service in the autumn to attract younger viewers, the deal faces DOJ scrutiny and an antitrust lawsuit from FuboTV. While Disney and Warner Bros remained silent on the matter, Fox declined to comment.

The joint venture encompasses a broad range of professional and collegiate sports rights, including NFL, NBA, MLB, FIFA World Cup, and college competitions, offering non-exclusive access to sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and TNT via a new streaming app.

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Trump trial: will the jury selection impact the trial’s outcome?



The Trump hush money trial has progressed with the selection of the first seven jurors, marking a significant step in the legal proceedings.

  • Seven jurors were selected

  • Defense and prosecution lawyers questioned potential jurors for impartiality

  • The judge warned lawyers he would not tolerate disruptions after he said Former US President Donald Trump audibly muttered during a prospective juror’s questioning

The selection of jurors is a crucial step in ensuring a fair trial, as they will ultimately decide Formers US President Donald Trump’s fate in this legal battle, as reported by Reuters.

The process of jury selection involves careful vetting of potential jurors to ensure impartiality and fairness.

Each juror’s background, beliefs, and potential biases are scrutinised to ensure they can render an impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented in court.

With seven jurors already chosen, the selection process is expected to continue as both the prosecution and defence seek individuals who can objectively weigh the evidence.

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