Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as Xi

Astle wants to focus on Test cricket

HAMILTON: Todd Astle doesn’t want to talk about the World Cup, but a call-up to the Test side against Bangladesh is a suggestion that a coveted place is within his grasp.If he is picked in the XI in Hamilton, it will only be his fourth Test in more than six years, and the veteran leg-spinner only wants to focus on the longer format for now.Astle said that as a team, too, New Zealand only have the Test series in mind, especially having made great strides recently, including moving to No. 2 in the Test rankings for the first time.I am more excited than anything. It has been a long time between my Test performances.I played one in 2012, one in 2016 and then another one in 2018. For me, it is nice to be back and get regular opportunity.I have played for a number of years for Canterbury so now hopefully I can kick on and play more international cricket, Astle said.I think we are focused on the first day of the first Test, and then on to the three-match series.We have obviously gone up to No. 2 in the Test rankings.
It is great for us. It is a testament to our group and how well we have played over the last couple of years.Astle, who will be competing with Ish Sodhi for a World Cup spot if he is on the selectors’ radar, has been preferred ahead of left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel for the Bangladesh Tests.He played in the third ODI against Bangladesh, taking 2 for 52, before appearing for Canterbury last week in the Plunkett Shield, where he picked four wickets in his side’s win.He also played in two ODIs against India in January where he took just one wicket.I think the selectors have different requirements.It is great to have such depth in the spin department. I know that Bangladesh will see spin as something they can exploit.They are good players of spin so it is a good challenge for me to see where I am. To restrict them, take wickets, and hopefully allow us to do well, he said.Astle said that a spinner must be patient when bowling behind a strong pace attack. Having taken 320 wickets in 113 first-class games, he wants to use the Test series to establish himself at the highest level.I have been around the (first-class) block for a while. It is time to step up and play more international cricket in the Test arena, he said.Our fast bowlers have been so good in our own conditions. For me, it is to do the best I can whatever the situation I face.

Please follow and like us:

Saudi crown prince meets Chinese president, bags oil deal

BEIJING (AFP) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met China’s President Xi Jinping on Friday and bagged a $10-billion oil deal, pressing on with his diplomatic charm offensive in Asia following a global outcry over the Khashoggi killing.
Mohammed arrived in Beijing on Thursday following visits to Pakistan and India, showing the world that his country still has allies after the grisly murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.
China is a good friend and partner to Saudi Arabia, Xi told Mohammed in a meeting in the Great Hall of the People.Saudi Arabia’s relations with China can be traced back a very long time in the past, the crown prince said.
Over such a long period of exchanges with China, we have never experienced any problems with China.He met with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng earlier on Friday.Is the crown prince’s tour symbolic of Saudi Arabia’s pivot to the East? Yes, Najah al-Otaibi, a senior analyst at the pro-Saudi think-tank Arabia Foundation, told AFP.Riyadh wants to strengthen alliances in Asia — especially now with the continuing fallout with the United States over Khashoggi’s murder and other issues, and attempts by the EU to put Riyadh on a blacklist over money laundering allegations.
Khashoggi, a fierce critic of the prince, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October, a murder that tarnished the image of the kingdom and of the crown prince in particular.Riyadh initially denied the murder, then gave several conflicting accounts of Khashoggi’s death, and now claims he was killed in an unauthorised operation that did not involve Mohammed.
The murder sparked global indignation, with US lawmakers pushing for Washington to distance itself from the crown prince, but the White House has maintained close relations with Riyadh, a major ally in the Middle East.Separately, the European Commission wants to add Saudi Arabia to a money-laundering blacklist of governments that do too little to thwart the financing of terrorism and organised crime.
But China is looking to strengthen its economic ties with the kingdom, as Beijing pursues its ambitious Belt and Road trade infrastructure initiative, while Riyadh rolls out Saudi Vision 2030 — the crown prince’s major programme to diversify the national economy away from oil.Mohammed told the Chinese President they could join the two projects to realise more progress and jointly confront challenges.
Vice Premier Han suggested during his meeting with the crown prince that the two countries deepen partnerships in energy, infrastructure construction, finance, and high-tech.Trade and securityRiyadh’s national oil giant Saudi Aramco said it had signed an agreement to form a Saudi-Chinese joint venture — worth more than $10 billion — to develop a refining and petrochemical complex in northeastern Liaoning province.
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority also announced the signing of 35 non-binding memorandums of understanding, including deals related to energy, mining, transportation and e-commerce.China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner.
As the kingdom diversifies its non-oil economy, it needs a variety of other investors with technical expertise, including the Chinese, Otaibi said.China steadfastly supports Saudi Arabia pushing a diversification of its economy and societal reforms, Xi told Mohammed, according to state broadcaster CCTV, adding he supported the hard work the kingdom has undertaken to promote stability and safety at home.National security is a potential area of cooperation between the Gulf state and China.The two countries should boost partnerships in counterterrorism and law enforcement, and exchange experience on combating extremism, Han said in his meeting with Mohammed, according to a report by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The Saudis said they firmly supported Beijing’s efforts to keep the country secure, and opposed interference by external forces in China’s internal affairs, Xinhua added, paraphrasing remarks by the crown prince.Riyadh has remained silent over China’s treatment of Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the far-western region of Xinjiang.Up to one million Uighurs and other minorities are being held in internment camps in Xinjiang as part of a draconian anti-terror and anti-separatist campaign, according to estimates cited by a UN panel.China has the right to take anti-terrorism and de-extremization measures to safeguard national security, Mohammed told Xi, according to CCTV.

Please follow and like us: