U.S. TO SECURE CRITICAL MINERAL SUPPLY CHAIN
- The U.S. administration on Tuesday announced new investments into its domestic supply chain of critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite to “break the dependence on China” on these resources.
MORE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA
- The U.S. and its allies are piling up sanctions over Russia’s recognition of two Donbass regions. Germany halted the Nord Stream II pipeline project, and the UK and Canada imposed financial restrictions against Russia. U.S. President Joe Biden has added new punishments on Russian debts and financial institutions, calling the Kremlin’s move an “invasion.”
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the threats,saying, “we're used to it. We know that sanctions will be imposed anyway, in any case. With or without reason.”
- Talks between Russia and the U.S. have been abandoned, too. U.S. Secretary of States Antony Blinken canceled a planned meeting with his Russian counterpart Lavrov, and Biden scratched a potential summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
FRANCE HOLDS INDO-PACIFIC FORUM
- France, which is in its six-month EU presidency, hosted the bloc’s first Ministerial Forum on the Indo-Pacific on Tuesday. Foreign ministers from 27 EU members and some 30 Indo-Pacific countries attended the event, with China and the U.S. not invited.
HONG KONG AIMS TO JOIN RCEP
- Hong Kong has applied to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in the middle of January and hopefully will become a member in 18 months, a Hong Kong official said at an event on Monday.
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