DailySA: U.S. Navy set to challenge latest Chinese claims on Taiwan Straits – Forward Observer

DailySA: U.S. Navy set to challenge latest Chinese claims on Taiwan Straits

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 29 June 2022.

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • READ TIME: 3 mins 32 seconds
  • Russia-NATO INTSUM
  • Indo-Pacific INTSUM
  • Geopolitical INSTUM

NATO-RUSSIA INTSUM

TURKEY REACHES AGREEMENT ON NATO EXPANSION: Turkey, Sweden, and Finland reached an agreement on expanding the NATO alliance. President Biden will meet with Turkish President Erdogan today to finalize details before NATO formally extends the membership offer. 

UK GENERAL: BE PREPARED TO FIGHT IN EUROPE: Head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, said the West must be “unequivocally prepared to fight” Russia in Europe. “This is our 1937 moment. We are not at war, but must act rapidly so that we aren’t drawn into one through a failure to contain territorial expansion,” he said. “We must therefore meet strength with strength from the outset and be unequivocally prepared to fight for NATO territory.”

BIDEN EXTENDS TROOP DEPLOYMENTS IN EUROPE: President Biden announced on Wednesday the creation of a permanent headquarters for U.S. forces stationed in Poland, as well as new deployments of troops and weapons to Europe amid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. The announcement coincides with NATO’s new Strategic Concept and already announced expansions to the Enhanced Forward Presence and Response Forces. Simultaneously, ‘hundreds’ of troops from the 101st Airborne Division left Ft. Campbell, KY, for a nine month deployment to Europe. “We’re going to check the Russian influence, and we’re going to impact the Russians’ decision-making for probably the next 10-20 years,” said Col. John Lubas during a pre-deployment briefing.

US-CHINA/INDO-PACIFIC INTSUM

U.S. NAVY SET TO CHALLENGE LATEST CHINESE CLAIMS ON TAIWAN STRAITS: A U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, the USS Benfold, entered the South China Sea over the weekend, one day after a Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft flew through the nearby Taiwan Strait. China declared the Taiwan Strait to be Chinese territorial waters earlier this month, sparking concerns that it would militarize the strait and block transit of the key area separating Taiwan and mainland China. The Benfold, homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, sailed through the East China Sea through the Verde Island Passage before entering the South China Sea. The U.S. Navy said the Benfold was on routine patrol and declined to confirm it planned to challenge China’s latest claims on the Taiwan Strait with a freedom of navigation transit.

SOUTH KOREA JOINS U.S.-LED RARE EARTH SECURITY PARTNERSHIP: South Korea joined the U.S.-Led Minerals Security Partnership this month along with Germany, France, Britain, Australia, and Japan. The new security pact aims to secure key resources and break dependence on China for rare earth minerals necessary in the production of high-tech components. China, which holds the largest reserves of rare earth minerals, recently set new restrictive regulations on their mining and export.  Green energy and tech-producing nations have subsequently scrambled for alternate sources of the key minerals in order to protect their production capabilities. 

CHINA STATE-OWNED OIL AND GAS PRODUCER TO SELL OFF WESTERN ASSETS: Analysts are warning that PetroChina, part of the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, is preparing to sell off natural gas projects in Australia and oil sands projects in Canada in order to stem losses and divert funds to more available resource extraction projects in the Middle East, Africa, and central Asia. The divestitures are reportedly driven by poor economic performance of the projects, though concerns of exposure to western sanctions over China’s support of Russia in its war in Ukraine may weigh more heavily behind the scenes.   

GEOPOLITICAL INTSUM

AL-QAEDA LEADER KILLED IN US AIRSTRIKE… AGAIN: US CENTCOM reported it killed senior Al-Qaeda leader Abu Hamzah al Yemeni in an airstrike in Syria on Monday. Known as an Al-Qaeda military leader, Al Yemeni  was  “traveling alone on a motorcycle at the time of the strike.”  CENTCOM previously reported it had Killed Al Yemeni along with another Al-Qaeda leader Abu al-Bara’ al-Tunisi, in a similar strike conducted on September 20th, 2021. Al Yemeni’s death has not yet been independently confirmed.

ZAMBIA’S ECONOMIC WOES RIPE FOR EXPLOITATION: The African country of Zambia says its economy would be highly compromised without foreign support. Zambia had one of the fastest growing GDPs in the world from 2004-2014, driven by the exploitation of its rich copper deposits. Faced with lockdowns and travel restrictions, the country defaulted in 2020 and is now attempting to secure an IMF program to relieve external debts in excess of $17 billion. Zambia has previously been targeted for development by US strategic adversaries. Its recent financial troubles make it a prime target for further exploitation by China and Russia as they seek to expand their presence in the region.

MOSCOW ‘ASSUMES AND ACCEPTS’ G20 INVITE
: A Kremlin official said it assumes Russian President Putin received and accepted an invitation to November’s G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia. “Well, it’s not Draghi who determines [it],” Yury Ushakov said. “He probably forgot that he is no longer the chairman [of the G20].” During the recent G7 meeting, Italian Prime Minister Draghi said, “(Indonesian) President Widodo excludes it. He was categorical: (Putin) is not coming.”

IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Mike discussed the importance of preparedness and provides an update on domestic food and energy availability. You can get access to his daily report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

— END REPORT

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