The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
Biden, Xi to meet virtually by year-end amid tense relations
WASHINGTON - The United States and China reached an agreement in principle for U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to hold a virtual meeting by the end of the year, a senior U.S. government official said Wednesday.
The announcement was made following talks between U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Switzerland, as Washington seeks to manage the growing rivalry and tension between the world's two largest economies.
Britain officials meet with senior Taliban in Kabul
ISLAMABAD - Britain officials met in Kabul with the senior Taliban figures on Tuesday to discuss humanitarian aid and safe passage for those who wish to leave Afghanistan, in the first high-level contact since the Islamists came to power in Afghanistan in mid-August.
The delegation led by Simon Gass, high representative for Afghan transition of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, held talks with acting deputy prime ministers Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund and Mawlawi Abdul-Salam Hanafi, as well as Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting foreign minister, according to the British Foreign Office.
Japan's largest labor body Rengo gets 1st female chief
TOKYO - Tomoko Yoshino became the first-ever female chief of Japan's largest labor organization Rengo on Wednesday after her promotion from vice president was approved at a regular convention.
Yoshino, 55, from a labor union mainly representing small and medium-sized manufacturers in Japan, will serve a two-year term, succeeding Rikio Kozu, who led the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, as Rengo is formally known, for six years.
Gov't to sell 1 tril. yen tranche of Japan Post shares
TOKYO - The Japanese government said Wednesday it will sell by early November a 1 trillion yen ($9.0 billion) tranche of shares in Japan Post Holdings Co., a postal and financial services group privatized 14 years ago.
The Finance Ministry said the proceeds from the share sale, which will lower the government's stake from 60.6 percent to 33.3 percent, will finance reconstruction work in northeastern Japan areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Hong Kong leader aims to enact laws on treason, state secrets theft
HONG KONG - Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said Wednesday that the government will try to enact new legislation to implement an article of the city's miniconstitution on treason, theft of state secrets and other crimes, in a bid to strengthen security in the city.
In the fifth and final policy address of her term as the chief executive, Lam proposed enacting laws to give effect to Article 23 of the Basic Law that states prohibition of seven offenses including treason and theft of state secrets, which are not stipulated by the national security law imposed by the mainland in June last year.
List, MacMillan win Nobel chemistry prize for molecule-building tool
STOCKHOLM - German scientist Benjamin List and U.S.-based Scottish chemist David MacMillan on Wednesday won this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a tool for molecular construction known as organocatalysis, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
List, director at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, and MacMillan, a professor at Princeton University, showed that organic catalysts can be used to drive multitudes of chemical reactions, a discovery that "has had a great impact on pharmaceutical research, and has made chemistry greener," the academy said in a release.
ASEAN mulls downgrading Myanmar representation at summit
SINGAPORE - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is considering whether to downgrade Myanmar's representation at ASEAN's summit meeting later this month due to its lack of cooperation with the group in ending the military-ruled country's political conflict, its special envoy said Wednesday.
ASEAN ministers are discussing whether Myanmar be represented at the Oct. 26-28 summit and, if so, who is going to represent it, Brunei's second foreign minister, Erywan Yusof, who was appointed as special envoy in August but has been unable to visit Myanmar to fulfil his mandate, said in an online press conference from his country's capital.
China could acquire ability to block Taiwan Strait in 2025: Taiwan
TAIPEI - Taiwan'sDefense Ministry said Wednesday that China could acquire the ability to block the Taiwan Strait and its vicinity as early as 2025, posing a "grave challenge" to the self-governed island's air and sea defense operations.
Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng separately told Taiwan's legislature that military tensions with China are at their worst in over 40 years and that China would be fully capable of mounting an invasion of Taiwan in 2025.
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