U.S., Pacific Islands countries sign declaration
- Last week, a spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry said the Pacific Island countries are independent sovereignties and have the freedom to develop relations with other countries. He added that “[China’s] growing relations with the PICs is not about seeking a ‘sphere of influence’ and does not target any third party.”
NATO vows collective action on Nord Stream leaks
- NATO issued a statement on Thursday, saying that available information indicated that the leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were the results of sabotage. “Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” the organization warned.
U.S. sanctions more Chinese companies over Iran
- The U.S. sanctioned two companies from the Chinese mainland, along with eight others, for their involvement in the petrochemical business of Iran. In a statement on Thursday, the Department of State accused Zhonggu Storage and Transportation Co. Ltd. of storing and transferring Iranian oil. Besides the two, three designated entities are from Hong Kong, two from the UAE, two from Iran, and one from India.
China to boost real-estate market
- China is relaxing its mortgage policy to prop up its real-estate market, in a move that observers doubt would have a significant impact. Eligible cities can decide to "maintain, lower or remove the minimum interest rates set for loans that go toward primary-home purchases in their jurisdiction,” the regulator said in a statement (Zh).
Burns calls on China to reopen dialogue
- Speaking at the Milken Institute Asia Summit on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to Beijing Nicholas Burns called on China to resume the dialogues it suspended after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August.
U.S., UK trade discussed China challenges
- Meeting Britain's trade minister Kemi Badenoch virtually on Thursday, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai “highlighted the opportunity to continue working together across multiple platforms to address the shared challenges posed by [China].”
UK’s Truss faces pressure
- The UK Prime Minister Liz Truss is facing pressure from her own Conservative Party amid growing discontent with her plan on tax and borrowing. In a recent survey on their support rates, the opposition Labour party led the Tories by the highest margin since the late 1990s at 33 points.
Saudi Crown Prince named prime minister
- On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman named Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto leader of the world’s top oil exporter, the kingdom's Prime Minister.