US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (L) and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2nd L) meet with Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi (2nd R) and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe (R) for top-level talks in Washington. (Photo: AFP/Mandel Ngan) The defence chiefs and top foreign affairs officials of the two countries met in Washington for a regular dialogue that had been pushed back amid months of spiralling tensions between the world's two largest economies. After President Donald Trump's barbed comments against China in the runup to this week's congressional elections, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo turned conciliatory in tone if not always in substance. "The United States is not pursuing a Cold War or containment policy with China," Pompeo told a joint news conference. "Rather, we want to ensure that China act responsibly and fairly in support of security and prosperity in each of our two countries," Pompeo said. But Pompeo also was upfront about US concerns. While the Trump administration has … [Read more...] about US denies China ‘Cold War’ but deep gaps persist
Always getting colds
Hai, 67, lives in a dingy rented room in Saigon’s Thu Duc District with a woman who used to be her husband. Trang Kim Sa, born Ngo Van Sang, had been married to her for a few years when he decided he would no longer fear social stigma and become the woman he had always wanted to be. This was in the early 1980s. Now 76, come rain or shine, limping, a cap on her head, Sa goes around town to sell lottery tickets, earning around VND100,000 ($4.3) a day, just enough for their day-to-day life. Without any savings or property, the couple have left things to fate, to an uncertain future. Hai (left) and Sa (right). Photo by VnExpress Sang was the youngest son in his family. By the time he was 14 he realized he wanted to be a woman. He liked to wear pretty dresses, have his hair long and hang out with boys. However, he was afraid of the likely stigma and never revealed his secret to anyone. He then went to university, did military service and joined the air force in Saigon. Near … [Read more...] about Saigon woman gets back with gender bender husband
U.S. and China warships have a close brush in the South China Sea on September 30. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Experts also say that the encounter is a sign that tensions have escalated and are unlikely to abate in the near future. Chinese destroyer Luyang approached the USS Decatur, a U.S. guided-missile destroyer, as the latter passed within 12 nautical miles of the Gaven and Johnson reefs of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Sunday. The USS Decatur was carrying out a freedom of navigation operation (FONOPs) in the Spratlys. Captain Charles Brown, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said the Chinese warship conducted a series of increasingly aggressive maneuvers accompanied by warnings for the Decatur to depart the area. He said the Chinese destroyer "approached within 45 yards" of the front of the U.S. ship, adding that the Decatur "maneuvered to prevent a collision." Carl Schuster, a former U.S. Navy captain who spent 12 years at sea, now a Hawaii Pacific … [Read more...] about Another Cold War? Insights from a close South China Sea encounter
Viet Nam News Paul Kennedy So due to time differences and the fact I wasn’t going to stay up until 4am to write this column, England will either be in the final of Sunday’s World Cup or not. I’m not going to stick my neck on the line and look foolish by predicting a winner, but I will say this… it will be either England or Croatia in the final. Setting aside winning or losing, this has been a remarkable, if not completely surprising, World Cup for my home nation. Yet despite equaling their best ever finish in 28 years, when they were knocked out in the semi-final on penalties by Germany at Italia 90, there still seems to be a group of ‘fans’ out there not happy. I’m not talking about the loyal supporters over in Moscow, or those who were no doubt crammed into a bia hơi earlier today cheering on those in white, I’m talking about the keyboard warriors, probably lacking in friends and general social skills, who sit in their … [Read more...] about To all you keyboard warriors, GET A LIFE!
Viet Nam News By Phan Triều Hải Ever since her 32nd birthday last year, Vy had been afraid of gaining belly fat. So instead of eating cheese and drinking lots of beer before sleeping, the couple only drank two small glasses of beer at dinner. The weather in Sài Gòn encouraged beer consumption. Cao thought Sài Gòn was the best place to drink. This city had all sorts of problems: crowdedness, noise, heat, suffocation, traffic, lack of hygiene, pollution and beer was the solution that could dissolve all these issues in the fastest way. A gulp of beer enabled people to endure and relax, and made them irritable but energetic enough to do unexpected things. Beer lovers would never feel tired of Sài Gòn. Nor was there a better place for beer to show off its ability to excite, relieve stress, connect friends or accompany a solitary person. Nevertheless, Cao rarely went out to drink. He wasn’t social. Cao always wanted to be alone. His world … [Read more...] about Cold Beer