Xi expected to visit Saudi Arabia
- Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia next week, The Guardian reported. But the Chinese Foreign Ministry said yesterday that it had no information about this to provide. If the plan is true, it would be President Xi’s first visit to a foreign country since January 2020. Such a visit against the backdrop of the U.S.’s strained ties with the leading power of the Middle East would be symbolic.
U.S. recalculates China tariffs
- China’s military operations in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit have made the U.S. rethink its tariff policies on Chinese goods. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo yesterday confirmed that President Joe Biden was considering the trade measures, emphasizing the changed geopolitical situation with China. "After Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, it’s particularly complicated," she said. Chinese Foreign Ministry responded that “the U.S. should not expect China to trade away its core interests.”
Xi-Biden talks could have prevented drastic crisis
- The call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden four days before Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan could have prevented a drastic downward spiral of bilateral relations. Despite the discontent with the planned trip, Xi decided to have the call to minimize the chances of conflicts, sources said. During the conversation, President Xi implied that China did not intend to have a war with the U.S. He also said the two countries needed to “maintain peace and security,” according to the sources.
Lithuanian officials visit Taiwan
- Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Agnė Vaiciukevičiūtė said Vilnius supported the G7 statement on the recent Taiwan crisis. Vaiciukevičiūtė made the comment Thursday during her five-day trip to the island from August 7. The Baltic state and Taiwan are expected to establish direct air services after the visit.
- Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday condemned anti-China forces in Lithuania for their “deliberate violation of China's sovereignty and gross interference in China's internal affairs.” Lithuania is the only EU country publicly supporting Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
- Last year, Beijing downgraded its diplomatic relationship with Vilnius amid a dispute over the name of the island’s representative office. Lithuanian President later said allowing the office to open under the name of “Taiwanese” instead of “Taipei” was "a mistake." But Taipei said it was not asked to change the name.
- So far, China has blocked most of its trade with Lithuania due to the conflicts over the representative office. However, Lithuania said it could shift the US$250 million worth of exports to other Asian markets and plans to open its representative office in Taiwan in September.
China-Nepal railway back under consideration
- China and Nepal revived the discussion on a cross-border railway that was initiated in 2016 after the Nepal-India crisis in 2015. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with visiting Nepalese Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka in Shandong on Wednesday. Wang said Beijing would send surveyors to examine the feasibility of the line between Kathmandu and Gyirong in southern Tibet. The project had been moving slowly due to technical difficulties and cost concerns.