Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 14, 2022

Newsline: Beijing’s ‘list diplomacy’ bedevils U.S.-China relations

Chinese Foreign Minister WANG YI sent Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN home from their bilat on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Bali with four lists of demands for U.S. action to resolve what Wang called unspecified “outstanding problems” in the relationship. They included the “List of U.S. Wrongdoings that Must Stop,” the “List of Key Individual Cases that China Has Concerns With,” the “List of Key China-related Legal Cases that China Has Concerns With” and the “List of China-U.S. Cooperation in Eight Areas.” It’s not the most sophisticated approach to 21st-century superpower diplomacy by a country that routinely urges the U.S. to view the bilateral relationship “in an objective and rational manner.” (https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-china-watcher/2022/07/14/beijings-list-diplomacy-bedevils-u-s-china-relations-00045717) The list titles would be comical if they didn’t reflect the Chinese government’s stubborn adherence to a transactional foreign policy approach hinged to U.S. concessions on issues of Chinese concern in exchange for progress in other areas of the relationship. Blinken has not publicly commented on the lists or his assessment of how they might complicate an already fraught U.S. China relationship. Both the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. and the State Department declined to comment for this report.

Newsline: Israeli prime minister warns U.S. President that ‘diplomacy will not stop’ Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday publicly urged President Joe Biden to threaten the use of military force against Iran to deter the development of its nuclear program. Appearing alongside Biden at a joint news conference in Jerusalem, Lapid told reporters the Iranian regime “must know that if they continue to deceive the world, they will pay a heavy price.” “Words will not stop them, Mr. President. Diplomacy will not stop them,” Lapid said. “The only thing that will stop Iran is knowing that if they continue to develop their nuclear program, the free world will use force. The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table.” (https://news.yahoo.com/diplomacy-not-stop-them-israeli-124932702.html) Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been a major subject of Biden’s discussions with Israeli officials during the first leg of his Middle East trip this week. Those conversations are expected to continue when Biden travels to Saudi Arabia on Friday. Negotiations among Iranian, U.S. and European officials aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement — which then-President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 — had been stalled since March. But Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, traveled to Qatar last month for a resumption of indirect discussions with Tehran.

Newsline: Ukraine breaks diplomatic relations with North Korea

Ukraine’s foreign ministry announced that it severed diplomatic relations with North Korea after the country recognized the independence of two Moscow-backed separatist regions. “Ukraine today breaks diplomatic relations with DPRK in response to its decision to recognize the so-called ‘independence’ of the temporarily Russian-occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine,” Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, wrote in a tweet. Russian state media TASS reported earlier on Wednesday that North Korea had recognized the independence of eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk People’s Republic, citing separatist leader Denis Pushilin. In a separate article, TASS reported that North Korea’s ambassador to Russia presented a document with official recognition. In a statement, Ukraine’s foreign ministry called the move “an attempt by Pyongyang to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” slamming it as “a gross violation of the Constitution of Ukraine, the UN Charter and the fundamental norms and principles of the international law.” (https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-breaks-diplomatic-relations-north-192703177.html) The foreign ministry said North Korea’s recognition won’t change Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and carries no legal weight.

Newsline: Deposed Sri Lankan president denied US visa

Deposed Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa reportedly flew to the Maldives on a military jet, days after being denied a visitor’s visa by the U.S. embassy in Colombo. Rajapaksa, who fled the presidential palace after it was stormed by angry protesters on Saturday, had requested a visa to travel to California over the weekend. “It was made very clear to him that there will be no visa for him,” a representative from the embassy was quoted by SBS as saying. “He could go there as a head of state without a visa, but the current circumstances are different.” (https://news.yahoo.com/deposed-sri-lankan-president-gotabaya-190620073.html) Another official also confirmed to The Hindu that the 73-year-old’s request for a “safe passage to the U.S.” was denied.