Global SITREP for Monday, 20 May 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Monday, 20 May 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Monday, 20 May 2024.

  1. LAI CHINGTE ASSUMES TAIWAN’S PRESIDENCY: Lai Chingte assumed the Taiwanese Presidency overnight. In his inaugural address, he referenced “Taiwan” as a political entity 112 times and referred to Taiwan as an independent or sovereign state eight times.
  • Lai even used the text of Taiwan’s constitution to cease claiming mainland China as part of the Republic of China. 
  • China sanctioned General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems, and Boeing Defense, Space & Security for selling weapons to Taiwan in response to Lai’s inauguration.

Why It Matters: Lai is reaffirming what his representative to the U.S. said last week by treating Taiwan as an already independent nation. Ceasing the Republic of China’s claim over the entirety of China is likely to inflame the oppositional Chinese nationalist Kuomintang Party. Lai is opening up an opportunity for China to take military action and use the Kuomintang to foment internal dissent. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • Legislators in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan physically fought over a bill from the Kuomintang (KMT) that would expand the legislature’s access to governmental documents and establish a contempt of parliament offense. The KMT dared the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to take all 52 KMT legislators to court after the DPP declared the violence to be a “list of atrocities.”
    • The Philippines National Security Council is asking China to open up the Scarborough Shoal for an international environmental inspection. The Philippines is openly building a case against China for environmental destruction.
    • Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash yesterday, along with several other officials who were on board. Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei declared five days of mourning and said that Iran would hold an election in 50 days. Vice-President Mohammad Mokhber will act as president in the interim.
    • Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman postponed his trip to Japan at the last minute because his father, King Salman, is being treated for a lung infection. (If King Salman, 89, dies of the infection, Prince Mohammed is set to become King. – J.V.)
    • The Democratic Republic of the Congo says it thwarted a coup attempt by the New Zaire Movement. Fifty people were arrested, including three American citizens.
    • The U.S. Congress is drafting a bill to sanction the country of Georgia over Georgia’s expanded “foreign agents” bill, which would force non-governmental organizations to register as foreign agents if 20% or more of their funding is from outside Georgia.

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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