Cross-border yuan settlements grow through years
- A recent report (Zh) by China’s central bank shows that the cross-border payments of China’s currency increased to 36.61 trillion yuan in 2021, with 18.1 trillion yuan in settlements and 18.51 trillion yuan in receipts. The payments had grown for four straight years and would probably rise again this year.
Large majority in Donbass, Zaporozhye, Kherson vote to join Russia
- A landslide majority in four Russian-controlled regions in the Ukraine war voted to join the Russian Federal. In the referendums ended on Tuesday, 99.23% in Donetsk, 98.42% in Luhansk, 93.11% in Zaporozhye, and 87.05% in Kherson said they supported the regions becoming part of Russia. The turnouts were 77.13% in Donetsk, 76.09% in Luhansk, 51.55% in Zaporozhye, and 48.91% in Kherson. The four regions make up around 15% of Ukraine’s landmass.
- At a press briefing on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the result. "The situation will change radically from a legal point of view, from the point of view of international law," he said. However, the West denounced the vote as a “sham.”
- Responding to a question about the referendums, a spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry reiterated the country’s long-standing position “that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be observed, that the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken seriously, and that all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises must be supported.”
Nord Stream leak arouses suspicion
- The controversial Nord Stream gas pipelines from Russia to Europe, were found leaking natural gas in the Baltic Sea. Demark, Sweden, and Germany suspected the event to be sabotage. When asked about the cause of the leak, Russian spokesperson Peskov replied, “it is impossible to exclude any options before the results of the investigation appear."
- In a Tweet, Poland’s former Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski implied that the U.S. created the incident. But Polish Secretary of State Stanisław Żaryn soon denounced the claim as Russian propaganda. But some say Sikorski could be right because, in February, U.S. President Joe Biden threatened to “bring an end to” the Nord Stream 2 if Russia’s forces cross the border of Ukraine.
Italian far-right wins election after decades
- Giorgia Meloni is very likely to become the Prime Minister of Italy after her party of Brothers of Italy led the elections on Sunday. She still needs President Sergio Mattarella’s nomination for this position, which could happen in late October. Meloni would be Italy’s first far-right leader after Benito Mussolini, who was in power during World War II.
- The elections in the EU’s third-largest economy were the latest example of the right-wing surge in Europe, a trend also seen in Sweden’s election earlier this month.