DailySA: German leader visits Beijing, license plate war heats up – Forward Observer

DailySA: German leader visits Beijing, license plate war heats up

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 03 November 2022.

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Inside the Beltway
  • Geopolitics Brief

INSIDE THE BELTWAY

WHITE HOUSE: President Biden will attend a rally hosted by the Democratic Party of New Mexico and a political event for Representative Mike Levin of California.

CONGRESS: Nothing Significant To Report (NSTR)

DEFENSE: Defense Secretary Austin will participate in a briefing with Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-sup at the Pentagon. 

STATE: Secretary Blinken will participate in the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Munster, Germany.

DOJ: The DOJ announced the takedown of a nationwide catalytic converter theft ring. The department is seeking the forfeiture of $545M in connection with the case. 

GEOPOLITICS BRIEF

CHINA VISIT BY GERMAN CHANCELLOR MAY REVEAL LEVEL OF ECONOMIC INTERDEPENDENCE: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to arrive in China Friday to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Scholz is the first G7 leader to visit China since the COVID pandemic began, and his activities will be closely monitored by both China watchers and European economists. Germany’s economic dependence on China, its largest trading partner, is a security concern for U.S. officials. A recent report from a German think tank revealed that German industrial firms are almost completely reliant on inputs from China, a concern to the U.S. since many U.S. manufacturing firms use German-made precision machinery. Those security concerns are also shared by a growing number of German politicians. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, in an interview with German media giant ARD, said, “It is extremely important that we never again make ourselves so dependent on a country that does not share our values.” Scholz is scheduled to meet with both Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Kequiang –  a former Chinese technology titan. 

RUSSIA RETURNS TO BLACK SEA GRAIN DEAL: After a written agreement was reached with Ukraine through assistance from the United Nations and Turkey, Russia announced that it would return to the Black Sea Grain Deal. Russian officials said the Ukrainian agreement “appears to be sufficient” to ensure that the humanitarian corridor would not be utilized for military attacks, allowing the return of Russian commitments but said Russia maintained the right to withdraw at any time. Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak denounced the pause of the deal by Russia as an attempt to use “escalation and threats,” saying, “When you want to play blackmail, it is important not to outplay yourself.”

WHITE HOUSE: NORTH KOREA SHIPPING ARTILLERY SHELLS TO RUSSIA: Speaking at a White House Press conference, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said North Korea had been secretly supplying artillery shells and ammunition to Russia. Kirby claimed the North Korean government allegedly used shipments with false destinations in the Middle East and North Africa to deliver a “significant number of artillery shells” to Russian forces. Citing similar weapons shipments from Iran, Kirby said the North Korean shipments were an indicator of Russia’s defense shortages which required them to turn to “outside sources” for help. 

SERBIA DECLARES OPEN SEASON ON DRONES FROM KOSOVO, INCREASES ALERT STATUS: Speaking to TV media, Serbian Defense Minister Milos Vucevic said drones from Kosovo had violated Serbian Airspace. While the minister admitted he was not sure who the owner of the drones was, he did say he had given orders placing Serbian military forces on a “higher alert” status and authorized them to “eliminate” any drones entering Serbian airspace. Kosovo’s Defense Minister Armend Mehaj denied drones were entering Serbia from his country, denouncing the claims as a “pretext” to “increase the number of Serbian troops” on the border and ”spread panic” amid an ongoing spat over license plates.

In today’s Early Warning, the team looks at the latest from the Fed and what that means for economic uncertainty heading into the new year. Get access to the full brief here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

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