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 22, 2022

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

Horn of Africa Peace Conference

  • Xue Bing, China’s newly appointed special envoy to the Horn of Africa (HoA), hosted China’s first peace conference with countries from the region, offering to mediate disputes based on the countries’ will. The war-torn peninsular, consisting of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and South Sudan, is critical for China’s access to the Red Sea. A stable and China-friendly HoA can become an anchor of the Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Foreign ministers or deputies from seven HoA countries attended the conference in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, with Eritrea notably absent due to technical issues. Some suspected that Eritrea, which lies along the coast of the Red Sea, could be playing spoiler, leaning on its geopolitical importance and role in multilateral mediation in the region. Eritrea has become a regional powerbroker after normalizing its diplomatic ties with Ethiopia and Somalia in 2018.
  • Despite Beijing’s good wishes, bringing the HoA countries together is bound to be a tough task. The region has long been wracked by inter-state and intra-state conflicts in the post-colonial era. Between countries are three Ethiopian-Somali wars from the 1960s to the 2000s, the Kenyan-Somali war in 1963, the Ugandan-Tanzanian war from 1978 to 1979, the Ethiopian-Eritrean border war from 1998 to 2000, and the Djiboutian–Eritrean border conflict in 2008. Ethiopia and Somalia are still suffering from civil wars, and the fighting within Eritrea only ceased not long ago.
  • However, creating a platform for conversation is a meaningful step, and the willingness of leaders to communicate is crucial to regional peace. To live up to its ambition as a peace messenger, China needs not only courage but also strength, knowledge, and diplomatic skills.

Jan. 6 committee had fourth public hearing

  • The U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol held the fourth public hearing (transcript) on Tuesday. The panel concluded that former President Donald Trump had directly pressured some state- and local-level Republican officials to reverse his loss. Individuals who testified live are from two swing states, Georgia and Arizona:
    • Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R)
    • Chief operating officer in the Georgia Secretary of State's Office Gabriel Sterling (R)
    • Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R)
    • Former Georgia election worker Wandrea’ ArShaye "Shaye" Moss
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