nikkei – Feb. 21 marks the 50th anniversary of U.S. President Richard Nixon’s trip to China, a turning point in international relations.
Washington and Beijing joined together to counter the Soviet Union, but China did not democratize as the U.S. hoped. It has now become an economic and military powerhouse under the one-party rule of the Communist Party. A half-century after the handshake that changed the world, cooperation has turned to confrontation. The U.S.-China relationship and global affairs have all undergone tumultuous change.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo courtesy of the ministryVietnam has urged China to respect its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf after Beijing announced drills in the East Sea.
The Hainan Maritime Safety Administration announced March 4 the establishment of a no-go zone for military drills in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea), the southwest of Hainan Island, saying the drills would start from the same day and last until March 15.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. The two tall smokestacks are at a coal-fired generating station about 3km beyond the nuclear plant. Photo credit: Ralf1969 via Wikimedia Commons.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine began to unfold, Russia’s swift occupation of the Chernobyl reactor complex and the surrounding exclusion zone sparked widespread speculation and concern. The concern was not limited to whether the occupation would cause further radioactive release from Chernobyl; it also included possible Russian military action against other Ukrainian nuclear facilities. These fears were further accelerated when Russian forces shelled and apparently occupied the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex near Enerhodar, Ukraine. There have also been reports of attacks on a former Radon disposal site near Kyiv.
World leaders have expressed concerns, and the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the issue. At the meeting, the US ambassador told the emergency session that the assault on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant “represents a dire threat to the world.”  The IAEA’s Board of Governors passed a resolution that deplored the Russian invasion and urged Russia to allow Ukraine to continue to control its nuclear facilities. The board’s resolution was similar to a UN General Assembly resolution passed on March 3rd. Despite the high levels of concern the reactors at Zaporizhzhia do not appear to have been damaged and there has been no reported radiation release from the facility.