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China’s Xi Jinping delivers thinly-veiled swipe at US


The Chinese leader spoke at the same time as the final US presidential debate was taking place in Nashville, Tennessee between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden. During the debate, the two opponents clashed over who would be better positioned to handle China, with both men promising to stand up to a resurgent Beijing.
In his speech Friday, Xi highlighted alleged acts of US aggression towards China during the Korean War and emphasized the claim that an outgunned Chinese military managed to defeat its “legendary” American counterpart.

Xi, who is also commander-in-chief of China’s People’s Liberation Army, warned that while Beijing wanted peace it would not back down from a fight.

“The Chinese people mean that we should speak to the invaders in a language they understand,” Xi said.

In China, the war has long been hailed as a great victory, despite North Korea failing to make any gains after its initial invasion of the South was rebuffed. Pyongyang would likely have been defeated without Beijing’s assistance.

Ahead of Xi’s speech, held before a packed audience at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing, the room rose to applaud a group of Chinese Korean War veterans who were in attendance, and held a moment of silence in tribute to the nearly 200,000 Chinese soldiers killed in the conflict.

The event was the latest in a series of high-profile government commemorations and newspaper articles marking the anniversary and China’s claimed victory over the US.

In a lengthy front-page commentary published Wednesday in the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the official newspaper of China’s military, the author hailed the “glorious victory” that “left the Americans with the deepest impression that what Chinese people say counts,” and to respect “China’s red lines.”

Xi’s speech and the surrounding propaganda blitz stand in contrast to the more understated events that were held 10 years ago on the 60th anniversary of China’s entry to the Korean War.

As rivalry with Washington heats up, Beijing commemorates 'victory' in 'war to resist US aggression'

In 2010, the commemorations culminated in a symposium held in Beijing attended by the nation’s leaders including then Vice President Xi, who delivered a keynote speech. While touching on many of the same points about the war’s historical significance, Xi’s remarks back then noticeably lacked the not-so-subtle rebukes and warnings aimed at Washington found in Friday’s speech.

Tensions between the two world powers have risen across a range of fronts in recent years, including the status of Taiwan, allegations of widespread human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in the western region of Xinjiang and disagreements over technology and trade.

In an op-ed published Wednesday, US national security adviser Robert O’Brien said that Xi’s “ambitions for control are not limited to the people of China,” while Biden has vowed to continue pursuing closer ties with Taiwan in an op-ed for America’s largest Chinese-language newspaper, World Journal.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is applauded as he arrives for a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of China's entry into the Korean War, in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on October 23.

“Seeking hegemony… will not work”

Chinese troops, redesignated as the People’s Volunteer Army, crossed into North Korea in October 1950 to assist their fellow Communist regime, which was being rapidly pushed back toward the border with China by the combined forces of South Korea and the United Nations.

During his speech Friday, Xi painted the US as an imperialist aggressor with far superior technologies and weaponry, that was nevertheless repelled by the combined forces of China and North Korea.

“After painstaking efforts in the war, the Chinese and Korean armies finally defeated the opponents and also broke the legendary US Army, who were supposed to be invincible,” Xi said.

The Chinese leader said that their victory in the Korean War was a message to the “suppressed nations and peoples in the world.”

“Any country or any army, no matter how powerful they used to be, standing against the trend of the international community and acting perversely … will surely backfire,” he said.

While Xi never mentioned the US outside of his comments specifically on events during the Korean War, he ended his speech with a warning to states who endorsed “unilateralism, protectionism and extreme egoism.”

“No blackmailing, blocking or extreme pressuring will work. Acting in one’s own way and serving one’s own interests will not work. Seeking hegemony and bullying others will not work and will lead the world to nowhere but a dead end,” he said.

CNN’s James Griffiths contributed to this article.

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Poland abortion ruling: Police use pepper spray against protesters


Pepper spray is used against crowds in Warsaw after Thursday’s controversial court ruling.

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Presidential debate: Second Trump v Biden debate in pictures


Donald Trump and Joe Biden went head-to-head in the second and final US presidential debate.

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Hunter Biden: What was he doing in Ukraine and China?


An article

has appeared in the New York Post focused on an email from April 2015, in which an adviser to Burisma, Vadym Pozharskyi, apparently thanked Hunter Biden for inviting him to meet his father in Washington.

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South Korea deaths ‘not linked’ to flu vaccination drive


The influenza season usually begins by the end of November and there are fears that if it runs parallel with the coronavirus pandemic, it would increase the risks for those vulnerable groups. According to Yonhap, around 3,000 flu-related deaths are recorded in South Korea each year.

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US Election 2020: Trump and Biden row over Covid, climate and racism


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  • US election 2020

image copyrightReuters

US President Donald Trump and his White House challenger Joe Biden clashed over Covid and race while trading corruption charges, in the last debate.

On the pandemic, Mr Biden would not rule out more lockdowns, while Mr Trump insisted it was time to reopen the US.

Mr Trump cited unsubstantiated claims Mr Biden personally profited off his son’s business dealings. The Democrat brought up Mr Trump’s opaque taxes.

Mr Biden has a solid national lead with 12 days to go until the election.

But the margin is slimmer in the handful of states that could vote either way and ultimately decide the outcome.

  • Live updates – reaction and analysis

  • Key takeaways from the debate

More than 46 million people have already cast their ballots in a record-breaking voting surge driven by the pandemic.

Thursday night’s primetime debate in Nashville, Tennessee, was a more restrained affair than the pair’s previous showdown on 29 September, which devolved into insults and name-calling.

But there were plenty of personal attacks between the opponents, whose mutual dislike was palpable.

media captionWho really decides the US election?

What did they say about coronavirus?

The two offered starkly different visions for how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about his support for more lockdowns if the scientists recommended it, Mr Biden did not rule it out.

But Mr Trump said it was wrong to consider more shutdowns because of an infection from which most people recover.

media captionBiden or Trump? Persuading an undecided voter

“This is a massive country with a massive economy,” said the president. “People are losing their jobs, they’re committing suicide. There’s depression, alcohol, drugs at a level nobody’s ever seen before.”

Mr Biden laid responsibility for the 220,000-plus American deaths from the pandemic at Mr Trump’s door.

“Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America,” he said.

What did they say about race?

During a lengthy back on forth on race relations, Mr Trump said: “I am the least racist person in this room.”

He brought up the 1994 crime bill that Mr Biden helped draft and which Black Lives Matter blames for the mass incarceration of African Americans.

But Mr Biden said Mr Trump was “one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire.”

He added: “This guy is a [racial] dog whistle about as big as a fog horn.”

media captionCan election polling predict who will become the next US president?

The mute button, or at least the threat of it, seems to work. In the second presidential debate, both candidates were more restrained. They allowed each other to speak. They used respectful tones. Even when they went on the attack, they did so in a calm, deliberate manner.

After a pugnacious first debate, during which Donald Trump’s constant interruptions may have cost him support in subsequent opinion polls, the president has very visibly dialled down the volume – and it made him a much more effective debater.

This time, the content of what the candidates were saying might be what the American public remembers from the debate – not the chaotic manner in which it was delivered.

Once again, Biden largely held up under fire – avoiding the kind of gaffes and stumbles that could have played into Republican attempts to question his age and mental acuity.

The Trump campaign will try to make an issue out of Biden’s call for a “transition” from oil-based energy – a risky thing to throw in at the tail end of the debate. In an era of hybrid cars and energy-efficient homes, however, when even petroleum companies employ similar language, it may not hit Americans as hard as Republicans imagine.

In the end, the raucous first debate probably will be what the history books record. And with polls showing most Americans already having made up their minds – and more than 45 million already having voted – the chance that this evening has a lasting impact on the race seems slim.

What was the immigration row about?

The two again argued when Mr Trump was asked about his policy of separating hundreds of children from undocumented immigrant adults at the southern US border.

The president pointed out that migrant children were also detained under the Obama administration.

“Who built the cages, Joe?” he said, referring to the chain-link enclosures where unaccompanied migrant children were held during the Obama-Biden administration.

But the former vice-president said the Trump administration had gone further by cruelly separating families and the practice was “criminal”.

What did they say about corruption?

Mr Trump brought up purported leaked emails from Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, about his business dealings in China.

But Mr Biden denied the president’s unfounded insinuation that the former US vice-president somehow had a stake in the ventures.

“I think you owe an explanation to the American people,” said Mr Trump.

Mr Biden said: “I have not taken a single penny from any country whatsoever. Ever.”

The former vice-president referred to the New York Times recently reporting that Mr Trump had a bank account in China and paid $188,561 in taxes from 2013-15 to the country, compared with $750 in US federal taxes that the newspaper said he had paid in 2016-17 when he became president.

“I have many bank accounts and they’re all listed and they’re all over the place,” said Mr Trump. “I mean I was a businessman doing business.”

What happened in the climate debate?

The two clashed again on energy policy, as Mr Trump asked his challenger: “Would you close down the oil industry?”

“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” said Mr Biden, adding, “because the oil industry pollutes significantly.”

He said Big Oil had to be replaced by renewable energy over time with the US moving towards net zero emissions.

“Basically what he’s saying is he’s going to destroy the oil industry,” said Mr Trump. “Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that Pennsylvania, Okalahoma, Ohio?”

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Australia child abuse: Police arrest 44 suspects and rescue 16 children


The arrests took place across the country and 16 children were “removed from harm”, police say.

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Covid: US gives full approval for antiviral remdesivir drug


“Veklury is the first treatment for COVID-19 to receive FDA approval,”

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Why fishing is a stumbling block in Brexit talks


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