Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 23, 2023

Newsline: China’s new ambassador to arrive in Washington

China’s new ambassador to the U.S., Xie Feng, is reportedly expected to arrive in Washington, D.C., as soon as Tuesday on the heels of President Biden leading the G7 summit in Japan. Politico first reported Xie’s impending arrival this week, citing two people familiar with his schedule. (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/chinas-new-ambassador-us-expected-arrive-washington-tuesday-heels-g7-summit-report) Xie, a career diplomat who specializes in U.S.-China relations, will succeed Qin Gang, who departed Washington in January to become China’s new foreign minister. Unlike Qin, Xie reportedly does not have a direct line to Chinese President Xi Jinping, which Qin seemingly levied to advance himself to the more senior leadership role. Xie beat out Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying for the ambassador position, Politico reported, citing a Washington, D.C.-based diplomat with expertise in Chinese foreign policy. Hua is known for espousing more corrosive language toward the United States online, signaling Chinese leadership prefers a different approach to diplomacy in Washington.

Newsline: Canada and China’s diplomatic row deepens

In recent months, Canadian media have released a steady drip of reports, many based on leaked intelligence, about detailed claims of Chinese meddling in the country’s last two federal elections in 2019 and 2021 – the latest Western nation to sound the alarm over concerns of foreign election interference. Chinese officials have denied any interference, calling the allegations “purely baseless and defamatory”. (https://news.yahoo.com/know-canada-chinas-foreign-interference-141047443.html) The efforts are not believed to have altered the outcomes of either general election, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under pressure to launch a national public inquiry looking into the allegations, which have strained already challenging diplomatic relations between the two countries. Most recently in May, tensions ratcheted up with tit-for-tat expulsions of a Chinese diplomat in Toronto and a Canadian diplomat in Shanghai.

Newsline: African leaders seek diplomatic solution to cease hostilities in Ukraine

Six African leaders propose that Ukraine accept opening peace talks with Russia even as Russian troops remain on its soil, South Africa’s presidency said, as South African officials prepare to visit both countries to sell the idea. “First is the cessation of hostilities. Second is a framework for lasting peace,” South African Presidency Spokesman Vincent Magwenya said. (https://neuters.de/world/african-leaders-seek-persuade-russia-ukraine-cease-hostilities-2023-05-22/) President Cyril Ramaphosa first announced the initiative on May 16. President Macky Sall of Senegal, last year’s African Union chairman whose country was not present at the latest U.N. vote condemning Russia in February this year, leads the initiative. It includes presidents Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia – which both voted for the resolution – and Congo Republic’s Denis Sassou Nguesso, and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, which both abstained. The peace mission is expected to travel to both Moscow and Kiyv in early June.