DailySA: China undermines Pacific rule of law – Forward Observer

DailySA: China undermines Pacific rule of law

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 14 January 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

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TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • China undermines Pacific rule of law
  • U.S. winter drought intensifies
  • Biden to use War Powers to fix rare mineral pricing
  • Washington goes Zero Trust in cybersecurity
  • Hazards Warning

UPGRADE TO EARLY WARNING AND GET THESE BRIEFINGS:

  • Russia-NATO SITREP: RUSSIA’S CASUS BELLI
  • Indo-Pacific SITREP: CHINA TELLS TAIWAN TO “SURRENDER NOW”
  • Domestic SITREP: FURTHER DOMESTIC SUPPLY CHAIN BOTTLENECKS
  • LIC Summary/ INTSUM

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

U.S. SAYS CHINA UNDERMINES RULE OF LAW IN PACIFIC: The U.S. State Department released a new report Wednesday saying China’s historical claims on almost all of the vital trade routes in the South and East China Sea are without merit and “gravely undermine the rule of law.” The report, titled Limits in the Seas, said that aside from its lack of “substantive content”, China’s declaration of “historic rights” over the 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq mile) sea “is deficient for its vagueness.” (Analyst Comment: China’s territorial claims are in conflict with multiple other Pacific nations and were ruled invalid by an international tribunal in the Hague. Despite this, China routinely deploys a naval militia of fishing vessels to harass and block access to disputed territorial claims. Its actions in the Pacific threaten to disrupt nearly $5 trillion in global trade. – M.M.)

WINTER DROUGHT INTENSIFIES: The winter wheat drought area increased from 65% to 69% this week. States that saw the incremental increase were Kansas and Texas with minor improvements in other states. (AC: We are seeing the downline impacts of the drought coupled with supply chain issues in shortages on shelves. High food prices are forecasted to persist into the spring due to constraints on the system. – D.F.)

RARE EARTH METAL PRICE CONTROLS: The domestic public and private sectors are looking for ways to mitigate the risk of China’s monopoly of rare earth metals. The Administration’s plan to have 50% of electric vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030 is causing concerns of dependency on supply markets dominated by Chinese industry under the influence of the Chinese Communist Party. Proposals range from alternative sources to price controls as the United States is looking at authorities used in the lead up to World War II; however, the current challenges will take years to enact. (AC: The United States is continuing to decouple with China as the great power competition increases. Both public and private industries are looking for a way to nearshore their critical resources after challenges with Covid highlighted their vulnerabilities. – D.F.)

ZERO TRUST CYBER STANDARD: The cyber community is changing the federal government standard to a Zero Trust model. Zero Trust is a security framework requiring all users in or outside the network to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated before being granted access. The Biden Administration is aimed to have the federal government completely on the Zero standard by 2024. (AC: National cyber leadership is starting to work under the assumption that their systems are compromised. Major vulnerabilities and teleworking requirements highlight the need for the new standard while legislation is in work to help determine the scope of national vulnerabilities to cyber threats. – D.F.)

HAZARDS/WX

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