Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for August 17, 2022

Newsline: Turkey, Israel to restore full diplomatic ties

Turkey and Israel said on Wednesday they will re-appoint respective ambassadors more than four years after they were called back. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office said on Wednesday the two countries decided to restore full diplomatic ties. “It was decided to once again upgrade the level of the relations between the two countries to that of full diplomatic ties and to return ambassadors and consuls general,” Lapid’s office said in a statement following a conversation between the prime minister and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the appointment of ambassadors was one of the steps in the normalisation of ties. “Such a positive step came from Israel as a result of these efforts, and as Turkey, we also decided to appoint an ambassador to Israel, to Tel Aviv,” Cavusoglu said at a news conference in Ankara, adding Turkey was selecting someone. (https://news.yahoo.com/israel-says-restore-full-diplomatic-112344311.html) The two regional powers had expelled ambassadors in 2018 over the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Newsline: China’s ambassador warns U.S. of Taiwan consequences

China will view further U.S. arms sales, official travel to Taiwan or naval activity near the self-governing island as provocations that will further destabilize relations and prevent progress on other issues, Beijing’s ambassador to the U.S. warned. Ambassador Qin Gang said if Washington doesn’t “show restraint” in the wake of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, there will be “another round of tensions” and no dialogue on issues like climate change and nuclear security. Speaking to small group of reporters in Washington, Qin spoke on-the-record for 80 minutes, fielding questions on a range of sensitive issues — something of a rarity for senior Chinese officials. He rarely strayed far from a set of talking points — which, in the case of Taiwan, were strikingly hawkish — but did concede that Beijing has work to do to improve its image in both Taiwan and in the U.S., where he said “fear of China” was prevalent. (https://www.axios.com/2022/08/16/china-ambassador-warns-taiwan-response-us) China conducted weeklong military drills after Pelosi’s trip earlier this month. They appeared to be a dress rehearsal for subduing Taiwan and involved newly aggressive steps, like disregarding the median line between Taiwan and the mainland.

Newsline: Japan security adviser to meet China’s top diplomat

Arrangements are being made for Japanese national security adviser Takeo Akiba to visit China soon for talks with its top diplomat Yang Jiechi, the Jiji news agency said on Wednesday, citing unidentified government sources. (https://news.yahoo.com/japan-security-adviser-readies-meet-044126470.html) Akiba is likely to voice Japan’s concern over China’s military drills around Taiwan in the wake of a visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and propose building stable and constructive Sino-Japanese ties, the agency added.

Newsline: Russian Embassy in Beijing deletes controversial post

The Russian Embassy in Beijing has pulled down a controversial post on Weibo, praising China’s top drone maker DJI for its products, which allegedly helped Kremlin in “modern warfare.” The post went missing after DJI rebuffed the claim, stating its drones were not meant for military specifications. The embassy’s post on Weibo cited a report from Russian state media Sputnik, based on a new book by Army General Yuri Baluyevsky, the former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, according to South China Morning Post. In his book, Baluyevsky said Chinese commercial drones have brought “a real revolution” to traditional artillery weapons. “When drones hover over a target area to guide the artillery, its pinpoint accuracy and efficiency are comparable to precision-guided missiles, according to the Russian embassy’s Weibo post quoting Baluyevsky. “The Mavic quadcopter drone made by China’s DJI has become a true symbol of modern warfare,” he said. (https://www.ibtimes.com/russia-praises-chinese-drone-maker-weibo-deletes-post-after-dji-protests-3602412) However, the post soon snowballed into a major controversy, as many netizens called out Russian Embassy for uploading something with “malicious intent.” “What do you want by saying this? Western countries to block DJI? Or more sanctions on China?,” one of the most liked comments on Weibo said.