Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for June 22, 2022

Newsline: Top U.S. Diplomat’s China Speech Sparks 25,000-Word Rebuttal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s speech about the Biden administration’s approach to China has been the subject of widespread censorship inside the country, the top U.S. envoy in Beijing said. Ambassador Nicholas Burns appealed for the Chinese public to be allowed to watch or read Blinken’s May 26 address, which included praise for the Chinese people even as it criticized the government and its increasingly assertive ruling party. Beijing’s response came in the form of a 25,645-word rebuttal published by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on June 19. The long reply—more than three times the length of Blinken’s speech—remains available for China’s public to view, while the secretary of state’s remarks have been scrubbed from the country’s main social media services Weibo and WeChat. “Since the Chinese Foreign Ministry has given such a lengthy response to @SecBlinken’s speech, then it’s time for Chinese government censors to let the Chinese public see Secretary Blinken’s speech on Weibo and WeChat, where it’s being deleted every time we upload it,” Burns said in a tweet in Chinese. (https://www.newsweek.com/antony-blinken-china-policy-speech-media-censorship-nicholas-burns-1717964) “China is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it,” Blinken said in his remarks at the George Washington University. Under the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had become “more repressive at home and more aggressive abroad,” he said. Blinken said the United States doesn’t seek to “block China from its role as a major power,” or from achieving economic advancement.

Newsline: Filipino diplomats urge action after visiting lawyer is fatally shot in Philadelphia

Filipino diplomats met with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and police officials on Tuesday to discuss the fatal weekend shooting of a lawyer visiting from the Philippines, and to underscore their hopes that the case is quickly resolved. The diplomats, who included the Philippines’ consul general from New York and a top police official from the Embassy of the Philippines, requested the meeting to garner updates on the investigation into the death of John Albert “Jal” Laylo, 35, who was shot in the head early Saturday on the way to the airport with his mother. Consul General Elmer Cato said the group left City Hall satisfied with the meeting: “We see that they’re working hard to solve this case.” (https://www.inquirer.com/news/filipino-lawyer-philadelphia-shooting-john-albert-laylo-philippines-20220621.html) Laylo was shot at 4:10 a.m. Saturday near 38th and Spruce Streets in University City. He and his mother, Leah, had just left a cousin’s apartment and were riding in an Uber to the airport for a flight to Chicago to visit family when a vehicle came up from behind and fired multiple shots into the car, police said. The vehicle then pulled up along the driver’s side and fired more shots, striking Laylo in the head, before fleeing. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and died Sunday morning. At least a dozen cartridge casings were recovered from the scene, said Chief Inspector Frank Vanore, who attended Tuesday’s meeting at City Hall. Vanore said the deadly shooting may have been a case of mistaken identity, and that another black Nissan of the same make and model driving near the Uber may have been the intended target. Police are poring over video footage, he said, but there were multiple cars around the Uber when shots rang out, making the source of the shots difficult to determine.

Newsline: G20 chair Indonesia to push for peace diplomacy with Ukraine, Russia visits

Indonesian President and G20 chairman Joko Widodo will visit counterparts in Ukraine and Russia next week and press for a peaceful resolution to their conflict, his foreign minister said on Wednesday, the first such trip by an Asian leader. The Ukraine war has overshadowed meetings of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies this year, with Indonesia struggling to unify its members while resisting pressure from Western states threatening to boycott a November leaders’ summit and pushing for Russia’s exclusion. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the visits by Jokowi, as the Indonesian president is known, to both Kyiv and Moscow would be conducted in a “not normal” situation. “And he’ll keep pushing for the spirit of peace.” (https://news.yahoo.com/indonesia-president-push-peace-ukraine-042934670.html) Jokowi will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, having previously invited both to attend the G20 summit on the island of Bali. Retno did not elaborate on what Jokowi would raise at the talks, which would follow the G7 Summit in Germany and bilateral meetings with leaders of those countries and others. Jokowi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for further details.