John Ruwitch

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Peng Shuai is one of China's biggest tennis stars. In her prime, she was one of the world's top-ranked players, competing at the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and other major tournaments.

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President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping talked by video link Monday night in an effort to dial down tensions that have eroded trust and raised the specter of conflict between the world's top two economies.

It was the first time since Biden took office 10 months ago that the two leaders had met face-to-face — albeit by video from nearly 7,000 miles apart — to try to find ways to coexist and keep an overtly competitive and at times acrimonious relationship from deteriorating.

BEIJING — A lawyer-turned-citizen-journalist in China who posted videos on social media from Wuhan in the early days of the pandemic is on the verge of dying in prison after staging a months-long hunger strike, according to her family and her lawyer.

This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on countries to support Taiwan's participation in the United Nations. The self-governed island has not been a member of the body since October 1971, when the U.N. gave Beijing a seat at the table and removed Taiwan.

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Microsoft says it's pulling the plug on LinkedIn in China. The decision concludes a seven-year run for the business networking service. As NPR's John Ruwitch explains, Microsoft's decision was a long time coming.

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In many parts of the U.S., China remains a huge business opportunity despite recent friction. That's the country where Apple makes its phones and Nike stitches its shoes. U.S. farmers sell soybeans to China and Wall Street investors trade Chinese stocks.

Yet inside the Washington Beltway, China is a security threat. Full stop. It's one of the few things Democrats, Republicans and most everyone else in the capital agree on.

"An adversarial, predatory Chinese leadership poses our biggest geo-political test," CIA Director William Burns said in congressional testimony.

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It's been one month since the Taliban reasserted control in Afghanistan. And they've gradually introduced rules and policies for how they intend to run the country this time around.

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The Chinese government has been tightening its control over culture and the economy in that country. In recent days, its sites have apparently turned towards an A-list movie star. NPR China affairs correspondent John Ruwitch reports.

BEIJING — America's two-decade presence in Afghanistan was always a mixed bag for neighboring China.

"On the one hand, [China] didn't love the fact that there [were] American military bases literally on their border in Afghanistan," says Raffaello Pantucci, a fellow with the Royal United Services Institute, a security think tank in the United Kingdom. "On the other hand, you know, they thought, well, at least someone is dealing with the issues there. And we don't have to."

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