Chinese navy activities, Taiwan issue: key focuses of QUAD Summit
- QUAD leaders wrapped up their summit on Tuesday with a joint statement covering different aspects, including security, infrastructure, climate, and technology. Emphasizing the shared vision of the U.S., Japan, India, and Australia, the statement appears to target China and Russia, especially the former, without mentioning them directly.
- The introduction of the document stated, “We strongly support the principles of freedom, rule of law, democratic values, sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes without resorting to threat or use of force, any unilateral attempt to change the status quo, and freedom of navigation and overflight, all of which are essential to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and to the world.”
- At a joint press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden before the QUAD summit, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he and Mr. Biden “strongly oppose the attempt to change the status quo by force,” referring to the activities of the Chinese navy. The comments were met with strong condemnation from China. Kishida told the press on Tuesday afternoon that the bloc expressed “grave concern” over “China unilaterally changing the status quo in the East and South China Seas.”
- On Monday, White House officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, came out to declare that the “one-China” policy remained unchanged after President Biden said the U.S. would be willing to “get involved militarily to defend Taiwan.” Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger responded shortly after Biden’s remarks, warning: “A direct confrontation should be avoided and Taiwan cannot be the core of the negotiations because it is between China and the United States.”
- While Japan stands firm with the U.S. in its China rhetoric, Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong attempted to play a balancing role between Beijing and Washington. In an interview published on Monday, Lee said many Asian countries have good relations with both China and the U.S. and don’t need an “equivalent of NATO” that divides countries along a line to confront each other.
China announces 33 measures to boost economy
- The Chinese State Council decided to adopt 33 measures to stabilize the economic development (Ch/En). The measures are related to six areas: fiscal policy, financial policy, supply chain, consumption and investment, energy security, and social security.
- At the same time, the top officials of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) urged (Ch) major lenders to “make use of all resources” to promote lending, resulting in banks in many cities slashing their first-home mortgage rates.
Wang to visit Pacific island countries, Timor-Leste
- With the U.S. launching the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) (fact sheet), Beijing is ramping up its diplomatic bid in the Pacific region. Starting from Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will take a 10-day visit to Timor-Leste and seven Pacific island states — the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea. Wang will also visit the Federated States of Micronesia online during the trip.
Xinjiang in spotlight as UN human rights chief visits China
- The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, has started her six-day tour in China, becoming the first top human rights official from the UN to visit the country in 17 years. Bachelet arrived in Guangzhou on Monday and will go to Xinjiang later this week.
- On Tuesday, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation published the website “Xinjiang Police Files,” demonstrating some alleged “hacked files” from Xinjiang. The Director in China Studies of the Foundation, Adrian Zenz, is the source of most materials for the “Uighur genocide” accusation against China. However, the authenticity of his reports about Xinjiang has been challenged by some scholars (Alison Broinowski, 2021; Dan Steinbock, 2021).