Five Eyes intelligence alliance builds coalition to counter China

Chinese President Xi Jinping walks past a soldier. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 October 2018
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Five Eyes intelligence alliance builds coalition to counter China

BERLIN: The five nations in the world’s leading intelligence-sharing network have been exchanging classified information on China’s foreign activities with other like-minded countries since the start of the year, seven officials in four capitals said.
The increased cooperation by the Five Eyes alliance — grouping Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States — with countries such as Germany and Japan is a sign of a broadening international front against Chinese influence operations and investments.
Some of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, said the enhanced cooperation amounted to an informal expansion of the Five Eyes group on the specific issue of foreign interference.
While China has been the main focus, discussions have also touched on Russia, several said.
“Consultations with our allies, with like-minded partners, on how to respond to China’s assertive international strategy have been frequent and are gathering momentum,” a US official told Reuters. “What might have started as ad hoc discussions are now leading to more detailed consultations on best practices and further opportunities for cooperation.”
All the governments involved, including Germany and Japan, declined to comment.
China, faced with a growing backlash from Washington, Canberra and other capitals, has rejected accusations that it is seeking to influence foreign governments and that its investments are politically driven.
The enhanced coordination by the Five Eyes network suggests that, despite signals from US President Donald Trump that he is prepared to go it alone in the confrontation with China, members of his administration are working hard behind the scenes to put together an informal coalition to counter Beijing.
It also represents another blow to China’s fading hopes of convincing European countries, unsettled by Trump’s “America First” policies, to distance themselves from Washington and move closer to Beijing.


Kanye West meets Uganda’s president, gifts pair of sneakers

Updated 15 October 2018
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Kanye West meets Uganda’s president, gifts pair of sneakers

  • Museveni said he and the American rapper held “fruitful discussions”
  • Uganda’s presidency released photos of a hoodie-wearing West meeting Museveni at the State House and exchanging gifts

KAMPALA, Uganda: Kanye West has met with Uganda’s president during a visit to the East African nation and given the 74-year-old leader a pair of white sneakers.
President Yoweri Museveni said he and the American rapper held “fruitful discussions” on Monday about promoting tourism and arts.
West and his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, have been vacationing in a national park in Uganda. He is said to be recording music in a tent.
Uganda’s presidency released photos of a hoodie-wearing West meeting Museveni at the State House and exchanging gifts.
While excited tourism officials see the visit as an endorsement of the country’s tourism potential, some Ugandans wryly pointed out that Museveni cracked down on hoodies earlier this year when he announced that motorcycle riders could no longer wear them in a bid to fight rising crime.
The president, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, has been at the center of unrest in recent weeks as Uganda’s large youth population increasingly expresses frustration over unemployment and accuses Museveni of being out of touch.
Uganda’s government has been criticized over its treatment of a local pop star-turned-opposition lawmaker, Bobi Wine, who alleges torture by security forces. The government denies it.