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  • Hi, I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

  • About six months after the Summer Olympics wrapped up in Tokyo, Japan, the Winter Games have officially ended in Beijing, China.

  • And, at this point anyway, the Games are set to resume on a more normal schedule, with the Summer and Winter Olympics alternating every two years going forward.

  • The European nation of Norway dominated the Winter Games, as Norway tends to do.

  • This medal count is ranked by golds, but the Russian Olympic Committee won the second-highest number of overall medals with 32.

  • In hosting these games, Beijing became the first city to do that for both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

  • There were some controversies; hundreds of people had to spend part of the event in isolation after testing positive for COVID, and some athletes missed their events because of china's strict policies.

  • There were also reports that conditions inside China's quarantine hotels weren't very good, with isolated athletes saying they missed healthy meals, clean facilities, internet connections, and training equipment.

  • Robot waiters and the stringent bubble that separated the Olympic participants from residents, almost 3,000 athletes from 91 countries gathered for the second Olympic Games during the pandemic.

  • Despite the fears, China successfully organized the games with no major outbreak reported inside or outside the bubble.

  • But it had a shaky start.

  • Several nations, including the US and Canada, joined in a diplomatic boycott of the Games to protest China's alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

  • China has denied reports of abuse and Games organizers deflected the criticism.

  • American viewership hit a record low.

  • Around 16 million Americans watched the opening ceremony, a steep drop from the 28.3 million for Pyeongchang four years ago, according to the broadcaster.

  • While Americans tuned out, China tuned in.

  • Games broadcasters say no Winter Olympics has been followed this keenly in China.

  • Some spectators were even allowed in the stands, creating national heroes and overnight stars.

  • Having already won more medals than in the three previous Winter Games, China will remember Beijing 2022 as a great success.

  • That's despite some negative coverage overseasit's all more evidence of the growing gap between the two worlds.

  • Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.

  • A low point, a high point, and a low point again.

  • That pretty much sums up China's relations with the United States after the Asian country's Communist Revolution in the mid-1940s.

  • Diplomatic channels were shut off, trade was limited, mistrust soared between the communist and democratic governments of the rival nations.

  • It began to change in the 1970s, with a significant event taking place exactly half a century ago.

  • What happened then and what's happened since then between these two countries on opposite sides of the Pacific?

  • The Beijing Winter Games closing on the eve of a momentous anniversaryone that paved way for a new era in US-China relations.

  • February 21st, marking 50 years since the historic visit of President Richard Nixon, the first US leader to visit the People's Republic of China.

  • Before that, the rural agrarian nation struggled on the home front.

  • After its founding in 1949 under the Chinese Communist Party, disastrous policies led to millions of deaths in the Great Famine and the Cultural Revolution.

  • For more than two decades, China remained largely closed off to the West, with millions of Chinese being told every day to prepare for war with their number one enemy, US Imperialists.

  • Nixon's trip changed that; he called it "the week that changed the world".

  • This really gave Chinese and Americans, uh, permissionfor the first time since 1950⏤to encounter each other, uh, across the whole scope of their humanity.

  • And it really opened up the floodgates for the period of engagement for Chinese and Americans working together.

  • The gate to friendly contacts has finally been opened.

  • Nixon traveled along with the First Lady and Henry Kissinger, his top aide.

  • He met the country's supreme ruler, Mao Zedong.

  • On his visit to China's Great Wall, Nixon noted the symbolism.

  • Whether they are physical walls like this or whether they are other walls of ideology or philosophy, uh, will not divide people in the world.

  • But today, barriers are back up.

  • From a digital great firewall restricting internet access in China to the COVID-controlled bubble that hosted the Olympic Games, it seems both ideology and philosophy are dividing once again.

  • As presidential visits to China continued for nearly every administration after Nixon, US leaders hoped China would become more democratic.

  • For a time, it reflected a collective leadership in its power structure, which coincided with China's rapid surge in wealth, power, and confidence.

  • But with its rise on the global stage, so, too, came growing scrutiny and backlashes from Washington and elsewhere, deepening distrust of the US back in China, amplified under current president Xi Jinping.

  • 50 years after the opening, uh, we are in a position in which relations are at least as bad as they were then.

  • Xi bringing a return to the undisputed leadership held by Mao during the Nixon years.

  • Under Xi's control, China's flexed its military might in the South China Sea and around the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory.

  • Domestically, China has become a surveillance state, monitoring people's every move.

  • Censorship is at an all-time high, and it's accused of suppressing its own people, including ethnic minorities like Tibetans and Uyghurs.

  • Economically, Beijing continues to tighten its grip over the domestic private sector, while there is an ongoing trade war with the United States.

  • We need wise leadership now in both countries who figure out how to manage this competition such that it doesn't descend into conflict.

  • Likely not the path envisioned by Nixon as he prepared for his visit 50 years ago.

  • That is why I have undertaken initiatives in several areas to open the door for more normal relations between our two countries.

  • Five decades on, that open door appears to be closing.

  • David Culver, CNN, Beijing.

  • 10-second trivia: Which of these nations produces the most avocados?

  • Columbia, United States, Peru, or Mexico.

  • No nation on the planet harvests anywhere near the number of avocados that Mexico does.

  • Millions of tons of avocados each year and most of Mexico's exportsabout 80% of themgo to the United States, except last week.

  • An American safety inspector working in the Mexican state of Michoacán, where all of these avocados come from, had refused to allow a shipment to go to the US.

  • He had questioned the quality of the shipment and wouldn't certify it.

  • And afterward, the US Government said the inspector and his family received a death threat.

  • This had happened before in 2019.

  • And the US Government said then that if another death threat was made, America would stop its avocado shipments from Michoacán.

  • It did that last week and said it wouldn't resume imports until American inspectors in Mexico could safely do their jobs without fearing for their lives.

  • Well, apparently, enough has been done to assuage the US of those concerns with the United States announcing on Friday that after Mexico, and specifically, the state of Michoacán, announced that they would make,

  • uh, a specific amount of security changes and improvements, uh, that the United States would resume inspection operations, which now allows, once again, the flow of avocados from Michoacán to go to the United States.

  • And that's a big deal for a number of different economic reasons.

  • The United States, you know, consumes billions of dollars worth of avocados each year, the vast majority of which comes from Mexico, from the state of Michoacán.

  • Hundreds of thousands of jobs here in Mexico rely on that industry which is now, once again, starting back up.

  • What this doesn't change, however, is the security situation in the state of Michoacán.

  • Crime statistics repeatedly show that that state is among the most dangerous in Mexico year over year.

  • While vacationing in Colorado, a woman from Texas recently lost her engagement ring while she was playing in the snow.

  • The local news covered it.

  • A man with a metal detector saw the report, so he decided he'd search the area where the ring was believed to have been lost to see if he could turn anything up.

  • He turned something up.

  • After a quick search, the ring made a "ping" from a snowball.

  • The engaged woman said her prayers had been answered, and the good Samaritan said he'd donate the 500-dollar reward to a mountain rescue group.

  • Must be twice as nice to find "ice" in ice at any price, detecting a prize with the device has such a nice "ring" to the hand of the wearer, and brings back the "bling" to the pillow of the bearer.

  • It's a wedding of gratitude and good intentions that brings us full circle here on CNN "10-sion".

  • Not sure that worked, but it was fun.

  • Bulloch Academy is in Statesboro, Georgia; let's go, Gators!

  • If you don't go there, and you would like your school mentioned, please subscribe and leave a comment to youtube.com/CNN.

Hi, I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

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China's relationship to the U.S. | February 22, 2022

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/02/28
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