Here at our CUSEF blog, we share news, updates and stories about China and the United States. We provide more than a cursory glimpse of what’s going on between the two powers - here, we offer an in-depth look into their current state of affairs.

CUSEF Express

CUSEF Express - June 20, 2022

Daily highlights of developments that affect China and the U.S.
Daily highlights of developments that affect China and the U.S.

Putin, Xi speak at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

  • In the speech, Putin defended the Russian military operation in Ukraine and condemned the economic “blitzkrieg” against his country. At the Q&A session, the president criticized U.S. military actions in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria. When questioned about Ukraine’s EU candidacy, Putin said Russia was not concerned about it “because the EU is not a military organization like NATO.”
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping attended (Ch/En) the event via a video link, being one of four state leaders who appeared at the Forum, together with Putin, Tokayev, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Xi’s remarks mainly focused on economic cooperation while mentioning the headwinds of economic globalization and his opposition to “attempts at decoupling, supply disruption, unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure.”

France’s Macron projected to lose majority in lower house

  • France’s centrist coalition led by President Emmanuel Macron will likely lose an absolute majority in the National Assembly. Preliminary vote counts showed the coalition could get 205 to 250 out of 577 seats in the lower and more powerful chamber of Parliament. The projections come amid a surge of far-right and left-wing parties.
  • Although the centrist alliance remains the strongest among parties, Macron could become the first president to fail to secure an absolute majority in the house in two decades. If such projections hold, it would be more difficult for Macron to push forward his domestic and foreign agendas for the rest of his presidency.
  • The elections are the latest evidence of an increasingly divided French society. What is alarming is that both Le Pen’s far-right party and the new left-wing alliance led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon were skeptical about the EU. Such sentiment in the leading EU state not only brings challenges to the regional bloc but further indicates a less comfortable engagement between the EU and the U.S.

Former guerrilla Petro wins Colombia Presidential elections

  • Gustavo Petro, a former member of the leftist M-19 rebel group, won the presidential elections in Colombia on Sunday by receiving more than 50% of the vote. The 62-year-old senator will become the first leftist president in the Latin American country, signaling a possible departure from Bogotá’s traditional relations with Washington. The road ahead will be challenging for Petro as the country faces inequality, poverty, and a fragmented congress.
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