We discuss plans for house speaker Nancy Pelosi to arrive in Taiwan and Singapore’s efforts to combat the urban heat.
Taiwan clash tests China’s appetite for confrontation
The Chinese military has warned of its willingness to defend its claims about Taiwan pending an expected visit from US House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
However, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, is also facing a fragile economic and political moment at home, and a crisis over Taiwan could damage his reputation, even if he gains nationalist support.
Xi, who is likely to gain the support of his Communist Party later this year, plans to remain in power. But Pelosi’s potential meeting with Taiwanese leaders could: further challenging its public support as China’s growth falters under Covid outbreaks and shutdowns. If Pelosi perseveres, experts say Xi will likely use military force to convey Beijing’s anger as he tries to avoid a volatile deadlock that would shock markets and bring down China’s economy.
When Xi warned President Biden last week in a call not to “play with fire” and risk self-immolation over Taiwan, his comment was seen as political positioning rather than a threat.
citable: “This is really mid-level warning rhetoric, not high-level warning rhetoric indicating there is a hunger for war risks,” said David Gitter, a China researcher. “It doesn’t suggest they’re about to do something really crazy — like directly threaten the speaker’s safety.”
What’s next: Taiwanese media reported that Pelosi had plans to arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday evening, according to The Associated Press. President Biden’s aides also said they expected Pelosi to continue on what would be the highest visit to the island by a US official in 25 years.
US response: A spokesman for the National Security Council, who warned China not to turn the visit into “some kind of crisis,” said the Biden administration was concerned that China might fire missiles into the Taiwan Strait, send warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone. or conduct activities that intersect the center line of the Strait.
UN peacekeepers kill 2 in Congo
UN peacekeepers opened fire at a border crossing in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, killing two people and injuring 15 others amid escalating protests demanding agency troops leave the region.
The gunmen were arrested, the country’s top UN official said, adding that he was “deeply shocked and stunned” by the “inexplicable” shooting. The killings came just days after at least 19 people, including three UN peacekeepers, were killed and 60 others injured in anti-peacekeeping demonstrations.
Protesters said UN soldiers had failed to protect civilians from a wave of violence by a range of militant groups. Since late last year, hundreds have been killed or injured and more than 160,000 people have been displaced.
American approach: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Congo next week and meet with senior officials to discuss a number of issues, including peace in eastern Congo and the greater Great Lakes region.
Singapore tries to find solutions to combat urban heat
In Singapore, where temperatures are twice the global average, there is a real fear that extreme heat could make the prosperous city-state uninhabitable.
This urgency has led the government to look for solutions. Using high-tech developments, including a mobile cart that measures radiation, researchers on the island are now trying to tackle urban heat through a program the government said could serve as a model for other countries.
The program aims to build a computer model of Singapore that will allow policymakers to analyze the effectiveness of heat mitigation measures.
Researchers say Singapore’s geographic location in Southeast Asia makes it a good model for others, especially countries in the tropics. Located near the equator, the island has an average humidity of 84 percent and year-round temperatures hovering around 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
Facts: A climate change study predicted that the daily average temperature in Singapore could rise between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century.
What’s next: Singapore has planted 388,000 trees towards a goal of one million trees by 2030. “The prevailing hypothesis now is that the presence or absence of shade in a place like Singapore is the critical determinant in adapting to heat exposure” , Winston Chow, a climate researcher, said.
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Adopted chefs find satisfaction and criticism
A growing number of Koreans who were adopted to the US in the 1970s and 1980s and raised by American families are exploring their heritage in the kitchen.
Reflecting on their American upbringing and Korean heritage, these adopted chefs—most of them now in their 30s and 40s—describe their cooking in a number of ways, including Korean-style, Koreanique, and even “a little bit of Korean.” Meanwhile, the chefs find satisfaction and are sometimes criticized by other Korean Americans that their cooking is not Korean enough.
But despite not growing up with the flavors, they make delicious, carefully researched dishes. And many of them see cooking as the ultimate recovery of their Koreanness – and an act that pushes the kitchen to exciting places.