In the same week China landed a lunar probe on the moon and Canada said that 13 of its citizens have been detained in China, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Taiwan to follow the “one country, two systems” model for unification. The president said that “Taiwanese independence should not be tolerated” and urged the start of democratic consultations between the two countries. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, however, said Taiwan will never accept the model, even as Mr. Xi proposed two options: First, military force; or second, the aforementioned “one country, two systems” model.
Later in the week, China’s landing of a lunar probe marked “the world’s first expedition to a lunar region that never faces the Earth”. And in Canada, following the arrest of the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, the government said that 13 of its citizens have since been detained in China. At least eight of the 13 have been released. Continue reading
In Germany, the lack of military preparedness is of little public concern, yet Chancellor Angela Merkel is part of a group calling for some military expenditure and investment. The country, however, has to balance its history across the two world wars with perceived Russian aggression and demands by United States President Donald Trump. And in Taiwan, having pledged to raise defence spending last year and with the persistent and growing threat of China, President Tsai Ying-wen is pledging to boost her country’s security. This comes as Taiwan “lost its second diplomatic ally in less than a month”, after Burkina Faso cut ties this week and after the Dominican Republic did so earlier this month, prompting the resignation of Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. Continue reading
In the past week, the United States has had its geopolitical presence felt in North Korea and in Syria. In North Korea, it was announced that CIA Director Mike Pompeo – who is set to be the next Secretary of State – had made a secret visit to the country to meet with leader Kim Jong-un, marking “the highest-level contact between the two countries since 2000”. Ahead of the planned meeting between President Donald Trump and Mr. Kim, Singapore has also been listed one of five locations under consideration for this meeting. In Syria, American, British, and French forces hit Syria with air strikes, in response to a chemical attack on civilians in the country last week. Continue reading