China signals COVID policy easing
- By pledging to maintain social order and calling for better implementation of the COVID policy, the Chinese government has stepped up to address the discontent about its COVID restrictions.
- In a statement (Zh) yesterday, the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council urged to get more elderly vaccinated. The top COVID prevention body also shortened the guided interval between the first dose and the first booster from six months to three. Mi Feng, a spokesperson for China's National Health Commission (NHC), told policy executors Tuesday to “reduce inconvenience” caused by the epidemic.
- On Monday, a plenary session of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee vowed (Zh) to “promptly dredge and resolve conflicts and disputes to help solve people's practical difficulties, resolutely crack down on infiltration and sabotage activities by hostile forces and illegal and criminal acts that disrupt social order, in accordance with the law, and earnestly maintain overall social stability.” Chen Wenqing, a Politburo member and the commission’s secretary, presided over the meeting.
China objects to hawkish remarks of Sunak
- A spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry called the comments by UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday “a serious distortion of the facts” and said they “constitute grave interference in China’s internal affairs.” China’s embassy in the UK said the remarks were “full of ideological prejudice,” adding that “the root cause of Britain’s difficulties today lies in itself. We do not accept groundless accusations against China.”
China protests against Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy
- On Sunday, Canada released its latest Indo-Pacific strategy, which described China as “an increasingly disruptive global power.” A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the document was “dominated by ideological bias.” He then accused the document of hyping up the so-called “China threat” and making unwarranted accusations against China.
- Questioned about Canada’s increase in security investment, Mélanie Joly, the Canadian Foreign Minister, said, “We’re making sure that by investing in deterrence, there will be a respect for international norms, which will, in turn, benefit the region.” She added that “We also wanted to put human rights as a key pillar of the strategy because we want to defend our national interests without compromising our values.” Canadians are very proud of our human rights approach being part of our foreign policy,” Joly said.
U.S. Navy enters South China Sea again
- Warships of the U.S. and Chinese navies encountered in the South China Sea for the first time after the in-person meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in Bali. U.S.’s USS Chancellorsville was warned off by the Chinese military after entering the waters near the Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands) on Tuesday. While the U.S. claimed the operation was “consistent with international law,” China’s People's Liberation Army (PLA) said the guided-missile cruiser enter the area “illegally.”
- In July, China drove away the destroyer USS Benfold appeared around the islands. Later that month, a strike group led by the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier entered the South China Sea shortly before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.
Pentagon releases new study on China
- Speaking of Taiwan at a press conference after the report was released, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said, “as the report highlights, we don’t believe an invasion is imminent.” Ryder also said China had been trying to create “a new normal” against so-called “freedom of navigation operation” (FONOP) to claim such passages as violating its sovereignty.
U.S., others announce second Summit for Democracy