Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 15 November 2022.
U.S. TO BUY SOUTH KOREAN MUNITIONS BOUND FOR UKRAINE: South Korean and American defense officials confirmed negotiations were underway to export South Korean 155mm artillery shells to the United States. Citing American aid to Ukraine, South Korean officials claimed the materials were being sent to the U.S. to bolster dwindling inventories. The announcement comes amid claims by Western media outlets that the U.S. will supply 100,00 artillery shells to Ukraine following their purchase from South Korea. South Korean officials have denied these claims, insisting the negotiations were being conducted on the condition that the United States be the end user of the munitions, saying, “We will not supply lethal weapons to Ukraine.” – R.P.
BIDEN – XI TALKS: BLUNT DISCUSSION LEADS TO CHINA CALLING A RED LINE ON TAIWAN: On Monday, U.S. President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping concluded over three hours of blunt talks centered on relations between the two countries, regional security issues, climate change, and Taiwan. The two leaders detailed their various “red lines” in a purported effort to avoid both a new Cold War and a hot conflict over Taiwan. In a statement after the meeting, Xi said Taiwan is the “first red line” that must not be crossed in U.S.-China relations. Biden’s comments reiterated the U.S. “One China” policy had not changed, stressing there was no need for a new Cold War and that he didn’t believe an attempt by China to invade Taiwan was imminent. Biden also appeared to concede that neither the U.S. nor China had the ability to rein in North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. Both leaders agreed to renew communications on climate change, debt relief, and other peripheral issues. – M.M.
RUSSIA LEGALIZES CONSCRIPTION OF FOREIGN CITIZENS AND EXPATS: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree altering Russia’s procedures for conscription, allowing the conscription of foreigners and expats. The decree, publicly released by the Kremlin, redefines the term citizen in Russian conscription laws to include those with “citizenship of a foreign state” and those with a “residence permit: or other document confirming the right to permanent residence as a citizen in the territory of a foreign state.” Russian laws previously exempted foreigners from military conscription, allowing only voluntary enlistments. – R.P.
AMLO DENOUNCES MEXICAN ELECTION REFORM PROTESTS: Speaking at a press conference, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) denounced a political rally and protest in Mexico City, characterizing it a ”pollical striptease” organized by his opponents “in favor of corruption, … racism, classism, (and) discrimination.” The comments come after 50,000-60,000 protestors took to the streets to protest AMLO’s plan to cut the National Electoral Institute’s (NIE) budget and change the selection criteria for its board. Critics say the reform to the NIE Board selection criteria is a power grab by AMLO’s government as it would require candidates to be put forth by the government’s legislative, judicial, and executive branches, which are under AMLO’s influence. AMLO denounced the criticisms of the plan as “unfounded,” saying the reforms would protect against fraud and strengthen democracy by allowing the Mexican public to vote for the NIE board. – R.P.
In today’s Early Warning, we cover the agreed ‘cooling period’ for a strike in the rail industry. Additionally, the team covers the latest inflation expectations from the Fed and plans for more layoffs. For this and the latest geopolitical indicators, get access to the full brief here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe