Russia, China, Del Rio discussed on Morning Edition


Carolina or from all agents. On the next all of it, shrinkflation, janky, baller, pumpkin spice these are a few of the 370 new words merriam Webster just officially welcomed to its pages. We'll speak to the dictionary's editor at large about how words are chosen and will take your calls. I'm Alison Stewart, join me for all of it. Weekdays at noon. On WNYC. It's morning edition from NPR news, I'm Rachel Martin. And I'm Steve inscape. Good morning, more than a dozen national leaders are meeting today in Uzbekistan in Central Asia. Our focus is on two in particular, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Russia's leader is directing a disastrous invasion of Ukraine. China's leader tied his country to Russia in what they called a no limits strategic partnership just before the invasion went wrong. NPR Russia correspondent Charles maines is in Moscow and following the summit, hey there Charles? Hi there. What's the setting for this meeting? Well, you know, the slogan going into the summit has been the world is coming to summer con, and it's almost true. You've got the leaders of 15 countries that represented over 3 billion people gathering in this ancient Silk Road city. A security as you might imagine is very tight. You can now only get into summer con by train, and even then you need a special QR code. This is an annual event, but it's the first time participants have met in person since the pandemic, and that's providing a little curiosity for some like Vladimir Putin. It's a rare venture outside of Russia. Well, for Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, this trip is the first time he's actually traveled anywhere outside China since the pandemic began three years ago. Okay, so each of them is the leader of what is seen in its own way a dominant power, although one is looking less and less dominant in its region by the day. What are their leaders do? Well, you know, these two leaders, they're expected to hold bilateral talks later today, the Kremlin says they'll focus heavily on Ukraine. Head of the trip Putin's foreign policy adviser praised what he called the special significance of the meeting. As you noted, these two leaders last time when they met pledge their friendship had quote no limits. But Russia likes to say that China has a well balanced approach to Ukraine and by that they mean that Beijing is not critical of the Kremlin's actions and supports Moscow's wider argument that NATO expansion in Europe provoked this whole Ukrainian crisis in fact just last week a top Chinese official was in Russia and offered the most vocal support for Russia's military campaign we've heard so far. According to Russian analyst field, I spoke with earlier today, it reflects growing trust between the two sides. The partnership is still very strong. And the very fact that China rejected all attempts by Americans and Europeans to convince Chinese to take distance from Russian behavior and to be at least neutral, if not critical. All those attempts, they failed. You know, but you can have says this fundamentally isn't China's war and she knows it. So for example, he hasn't provided weapons to Moscow, and he hasn't been willing to risk western sanctions. Even as China's plucked up discounted oil from Russia, which it needs to prohibit its economy towards Asia, particularly as Europe wins itself from Russian energy. Listening to your talk, it sounds like there are some limits to the strategic partnership, and I suppose if you're Putin, you have to wonder what happens as you become more and more dependent on your one big ally China. You do, and this is also coming at a time that's not great for the Russian leader. Putin hasn't publicly commented on these recent Ukrainian counteroffensive, these gains that we've seen on the battlefield, certainly in Russia, his spokesman insist the military operation will continue until Russia reaches its objectives, but she named ping Jinping is certainly aware of what's going on and he'll need to decide if and when, Russia becomes a drain on China, either politically or economically. We're not there yet, but the truth is Russia needs China these days much more than the other way around. And Putin will certainly be looking to make sure China's support won't waiver given Russia's recent setbacks. I guess we should also mention when you talk about Samarkand, this is a region of empire that's been contested by different empires for centuries and centuries, China is off to one side, Russia is off to the other side and used to actually control that very city. What else is going on at this summit? Well, there are a lot of subplots here. You know, they're Central Asia, former Soviet republics like Kazakhstan, that are nervous about recent Russian expansionism. There's also kind of a den of rivals aspect to this summit. You know, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan are fighting with one another. Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan are at odds over a border dispute. There's Indian Pakistan, also with their long rivalry. So in that sense, you know, the Uzbeks, the hosts say they'll have a joint statement at the end, but I suspect they'll have to go pretty wide if they're going to satisfy everyone. And Paris Charles maines, thanks so much, really appreciate it. Thank you. It has been nearly a year since tens of thousands of Haitian migrants converged on Del Rio, Texas. You might remember those controversial images. Those border patrol agents on horseback, trying to corral a crowd of black migrants. Since then, this stretch of the remote Rio Grande has become the busiest segment for a legal crossings on the entire U.S. Mexico border. And piers Joel rose was just in Del Rio and he joins me now to talk about what he found. Hagel. Hey, Rachel. So what is the situation in Del Rio at this point? Well, first off, it is much less chaotic now. Remember a year ago those images of tens of thousands of migrants in a makeshift camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. That's not happening now. But border crossings are still very high. I talked to Tiffany burrow, she's the operations director for the Valverde border humanitarian coalition in Del Rio. Folks from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Those would be my top countries that I'm seeing right now. Burroughs organization helps these migrants after they've been released from border patrol custody to catch buses and planes out of Del Rio. Lately, they've been helping well over a thousand migrants per week, which is a lot for this small organization and burrow says there is no end in sight. Okay, so Del Rio has become this main portal for migrants, but it's not just there, right? I mean, there's still activity along the border. Yeah, border patrol apprehensions at the southern border have set a record this fiscal year, and they're on pace to exceed 2 million apprehensions for the first time ever. That could become official as soon as today when the August numbers are released. But what's happening in this part of South Texas really is remarkable. Just in the last few months, this remote sector of the border has become the busiest place for border crossings. So I spent some time there last week trying to find out why this is happening and what it means. And we'll be rolling out those stories soon. We'll look forward to those, but for today you have brought us a story about those Haitian migrants, the ones who crossed into Del Rio a year ago and what ended up happening to them. That's right. Some of those migrants have found their way to safety in the U.S., but thousands more have not. I talked to one woman who was in Del Rio last year, recalling her ester. That's not her real name, but we're using it because that's how she's identified in a lawsuit filed last year. Esther was really desperate. Her 15 month old son was sick and hungry. There wasn't enough food in the camp, so she went back across the river to Mexico to buy some, and when she tried to return to the camp, Esther says she was threatened by border patrol agents on horseback. This is there were horses and the way they were talking to us, asking questions and riding up to us, telling us, go back to Mexico, go back to Mexico. Photographs and video of these encounters between black migrants and border patrol agents on horseback sparked national outrage. But nearly a year later, Haitian migrants and their advocates say no one has been held accountable for how they were treated by immigration authorities. In the camp in Del Rio or in the months since, the event did prompt an internal investigation from U.S. customs and border protection. Not everyone's going to like all the findings, but the investigation was comprehensive and fair. CBP commissioner Chris Magnus announced the findings in July

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