Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for August 4, 2022

Newsline: China’s mission to EU dismisses joint statement by G7 and European top diplomats

Beijing’s mission to the European Union described the G7 and EU diplomats’ assertion that China was to blame for “unnecessary escalation” of regional tensions as “heinous”. “If there are still people in the world who don’t understand [evil and shamelessness], please take a look at the joint statement by the G7 and European foreign ministers,” the spokesman said when asked about the group’s criticism of Beijing for “destabilising the region”. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/heinous-beijings-eu-mission-hits-093000463.html) China also lodged protests with diplomats from Britain, Germany, Italy, France and European Union on Thursday, British ambassador to Beijing Caroline Wilson wrote on her Twitter account.

Newsline: G7’s top diplomats slam China for ‘destabilising region’

G7 foreign ministers slammed China for “increasing tensions and destabilising the region” over its response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. The G7’s top diplomats said they were “concerned by recent and announced threatening actions by the People’s Republic of China, particularly live-fire exercises and economic coercion, which risk unnecessary escalation”. The joint statement came after Beijing’s announced plans for military drills in areas encircling Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday, with foreign airlines told to avoid these “danger zones”. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/g7-slams-china-destabilising-region-093000020.html) Beijing also banned more than 2,000 Taiwanese products from mainland China’s market following a whirlwind overnight visit by Pelosi, who is second in line to the US presidency, and a small group of lawmakers. “There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally,” read the statement from the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and the EU. It urged China not to “unilaterally change the status quo by force in the region, and to resolve cross-strait differences by peaceful means”. They also made clear there was “no change in the respective one-China policies, where applicable, and basic positions on Taiwan of the G7 members”. Beijing has repeatedly accused Pelosi and the US of violating its own one-China principle, a policy in which China claims Taiwan, a self-governing island, as part of its territory.

Newsline: Top U.S. diplomat to arrive in Pacific amid battle for influence with China

A senior U.S. diplomat will travel to Samoa on Thursday on a multi-leg trip to Pacific Island countries intended to demonstrate re-engagement by the United States with a region in which China has been extending its influence. (https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/top-us-diplomat-arrive-pacific-amid-battle-influence-with-china-2022-08-04/) Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will travel to Samoa and then Tonga, where she will be the most senior U.S. official to visit, before attending World War Two commemorations in the Solomon Islands.

Newsline: China’s top diplomat stresses ties with Southeast Asia

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed his country’s efforts to strengthen ties with Southeast Asian countries at a meeting Thursday with their foreign ministers, which came as Beijing seeks to expand its influence in the region. Wang’s talks with top diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were held amid high tensions in the region, following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which has infuriated Beijing. The group issued a strong statement earlier in the day, urging both the U.S. and China to show “maximum restraint” in the wake of the visit and “refrain from provocative action.” In his opening remarks, Wang did not mention the situation but instead stressed how China and ASEAN countries have strengthened cooperation in recent years. “We have safeguarded the oasis of peace in the face of the turbulence in the international security situation,” he said. (https://news.yahoo.com/china-emphasizes-ties-southeast-asia-063123283.html) ASEAN is made up of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Newsline: ASEAN Top Diplomats Warn Against Miscalculation in Taiwan

Top Southeast Asian diplomats urged “maximum restraint” in the Taiwan Strait, signaling growing regional concern about a potential conflict after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. The joint statement from foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting Thursday in Cambodia expressed concern that developments “could destabilize the region and eventually could lead to miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers.” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-04/asean-envoys-warn-against-miscalculation-conflict-in-taiwan) The statement was released as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Asean counterparts in Phnom Penh.

Newsline: China Cancels Top Diplomats’ Meeting With Japan Over G-7 Foreign Ministers Criticism

China said it called off a face-to-face meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Japanese counterpart over a G-7 statement expressing concern about Beijing’s “threatening actions” around Taiwan in the wake of a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Chinese side had earlier announced the meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, which had been expected as early as Thursday on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Cambodia. (https://news.yahoo.com/china-cancels-japan-meeting-over-081750363.html) Pelosi is set to have talks in Tokyo on Friday with senior Japanese lawmakers. The statement released by the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven on Wednesday was “irresponsible,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters. In it, the group said there was “no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait.” Hayashi on Tuesday declined to comment on Pelosi’s trip, saying only in general it was extremely important for the international community that the US and China have stable ties. Tokyo subsequently lodged a protest over Chinese military drills around Taiwan, some of which were set to be held in what Japan considers its exclusive economic zone close to its southwestern-most islands.

Newsline: Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit Risks Undermining U.S. Diplomatic Efforts in Asia

The Biden administration has spent months building an economic and diplomatic strategy in Asia to counter China, shoring up its alliances and assuring friendly countries that the United States is in the region for the long haul. The president has sent top military officials to seal new partnerships, and paid attention to a tiny nation in the Pacific, the Solomon Islands. He has launched a plan to arm Australia with nuclear-powered submarines and initiated a regional economic pact. He visited South Korea and Japan in May, and for the first time invited the two countries to a NATO meeting, to reinforce that Asia wasn’t forgotten as war raged in Ukraine. The visit to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now threatens to undermine the push by the White House, leaving allies to wonder what damage had been done to the president’s united front in Asia. (https://news.yahoo.com/pelosis-taiwan-visit-risks-undermining-181014800.html) The fear is that the trip, which will also include stops this week in South Korea and Japan, is an unnecessary provocation that distracts from the allies’ efforts to counter China’s military might and economic clout. While U.S. allies have largely remained mum on the visit so far, there’s a sense among America’s friends that they were left out in the cold to watch as China threatened the United States and Taiwan, the self-governed island that China claims as its own.