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
At a special summit, the 27 remaining European Union (EU) leaders signed off the Brexit agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez lifted his threat of an effective veto, but UK Prime Minister Theresa May will find it challenging to convince her parliament to vote for the deal. In the same week, defence ministers of 25 EU countries also agreed to form a join EU intelligence school to deepen defence cooperation. In France, major protests against mounting gas prices and eco-taxes – which have morphed into a wider demonstration against the government – led to dozens of arrests. And in Ukraine, the country’s parliament voted to declare martial law in areas bordering Russia after a naval clash. Continue reading
A landmark ruling in Cambodia found two Khmer Rouge officials guilty of genocide, while disagreements between China and the United States – with different narratives of the disagreements, as both countries blamed one another – resulted in the failure of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to agree on a leaders’ communique for the first time in its history. In Cambodia, where more than 1.7 million people died from forced labour, starvation, and execution under the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979, an international tribunal found two Khmer Rouge officials guilty of genocide. And in Papua New Guinea, APEC failed to agree on a leaders’ communique because of deep divisions between China and the United States over trade and investment, and the chairman of the meeting said “the sticking point was over whether mention of the World Trade Organisation and its possible reform should be in the [declaration]”. Continue reading