Global SITREP for Monday, 01 July 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Monday, 01 July 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Monday, 01 July 2024.

  1. STATE DEPT COULD OPEN DIPLOMACY WITH TAIWAN IN FALL: Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives amended the State Department appropriations bill for fiscal year 2025, H.R.8771, to defund the enforcement of anti-Taiwan diplomacy measures installed when the U.S. switched recognition from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the People’s Republic of China in 1979.
  • The bill will take effect on 01 October 2024 if it is passed while retaining the amendment.

Why It Matters: If signed into law, this appropriations bill will be a step toward legally recognizing Taiwan as an independent state and conducting diplomacy accordingly. It will also be a step toward rescinding the Joint Communiques that China frequently cites as the basis for continued diplomacy with the United States. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • China’s State Council unveiled a new series of regulations on rare earth minerals, saying rare earth resources belong to the state and the Chinese government will oversee rare earth mineral industry development. The regulations will take effect on 01 October. (This is likely a retaliatory move against new tariffs and restrictions imposed by the Biden administration targeting Chinese tech development and electric vehicles. China dominates the rare earth mineral trade, controlling 60% of production and 90% of processing. This move could disrupt supply chains for batteries and electronics production. It will also likely impact U.S. defense production, which is dependent on rare earth minerals that are not easily available domestically in the U.S. for advanced weapons and optics. – R.C.)
    • China took two significant steps toward energy self-sufficiency: establishing an onshore deep-drilling consortium for oil and gas and completing the largest natural gas storage facility to date. The storage facility can supply its entire province with gas for 28 months, including major trade hubs like Shanghai and Nanjing. 
    • The Arab League announced that it would no longer classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization after a meeting with Lebanese officials. The Arab League only established this designation in 2016. (The most charitable interpretation is that this is an effort to de-escalate Hezbollah’s actions against Israel while also delegitimizing Israel’s actions. – J.V.)
    • The U.S. Navy loosened its physical fitness requirements again. Commands with Sailors who fail two fitness tests in a row are no longer required to reduce the Sailor’s performance marks to the minimum and separate the Sailor from the Navy. (The Navy is increasingly desperate to retain Sailors despite reported meeting the retention goals for 2024. This will reduce overall readiness for the end of the 2027 Davidson Window. – J.V.)
    • Marine Le Pen’s National Rally won the largest portion of the votes (33%) in the first round of elections in France’s snap general election, followed by the leftist New Popular Front and finally Macron’s Renaissance party. The runoff takes place on 07 July, and two of the three major parties hope to prevent the National Rally from gaining an absolute majority.

THAT’S A WRAP: This does it for today’s edition. Thank you for reading. If you know folks who would also like to receive this email, would you please forward it to them? We appreciate you spreading the word. – M.S.

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