World Economic Davos concludes today
- The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Switzerland’s Davos ends today with Russia and China leaders absent. The five-day event gathered over 50 heads of state and government among 2,500 leaders from politics, civil society, business, and media to discuss various topics. Here are some highlights:
- Regarding the economy, many business and government leaders saw a darkened economic outlook and a dire risk of food shortage.
- Commenting on the war in Ukraine, Former U.S. Secretary of State diplomat Henry Kissinger suggested that “the dividing line [between Russia and Ukraine] should be a return to the status quo ante” to save Europe’s long-term stability.
- On the world order, billionaire financier George Soros warned (full video) that the civilization may not survive the struggle between “open” and “closed” societies.
- On climate, China’s special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua said China aimed to achieve its carbon-reduction targets ahead of the schedule. Xie’s U.S. counterpart John Kerry said the two countries were making progress in forming a group to cut carbon emissions faster.
21 killed in Texas Shooting
- A teenager gunman was shot dead by law enforcement after killing 19 students and two teachers and injuring 17 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. The tragedy triggered a new wave of discussion on gun violence.
- In a speech on the shooting, President Joe Biden called for standing up to the gun industry. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) is seeking to vote on a gun control amendment. However, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused the Democrats of politicizing the issue, saying deploying armed guards on campuses is the best solution.
Xi meets UN’s Bachelet online
- Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with United Nations human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet virtually before Bachelet visiting Xinjiang. Xi welcomed Bachelet, but said that “When it comes to human rights issues, there is no such thing as a flawless utopia; countries do not need patronizing lecturers; still less should human rights issues be politicized and used as a tool to apply double standards, or as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.” (在人权问题上不存在十全十美的“理想国”，不需要对别国颐指气使的“教师爷”，更不能把人权问题政治化、工具化，搞双重标准，以人权为借口干涉别国内政。) (Ch/En)
PLA drills around Taiwan
- With the U.S. stepping up its rhetoric supporting Taipei, China increasingly displays assertiveness over the region. Two days after President Biden said the U.S. would support Taiwan militarily against Beijing, China held large-scale drills around the island, the second of the kind this month. On Tuesday, China and Russia sent their bombers to patrol near Japan while the U.S., Japan, Australia, and India were having the QUAD summit.