Global SITREP for Monday, 29 April 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Monday, 29 April 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Monday, 29 April 2024.

  1. NELSON: CHINA COULD ATTEMPT TO BLOCK U.S. FROM THE MOON: National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) Administration Bill Nelson warned that China could attempt to block the United States from accessing the moon.
  • “I think it’s not beyond the pale that China would suddenly say, ‘We are here [on the moon]. You stay out,’” Nelson said.
  • Nelson added that China’s interest in the south pole of the moon is based on the likely presence of ice, which could be melted and turned into hydrogen. He called the South Pole a kind of “gas station” for space travel.
  • Beijing continues with ambitious plans to land astronauts on the moon by 2030 and previously announced a joint moon base project with Russia.

Why It MattersSpace and the moon represent another area for competition with strategic implications. China is not a signatory to the Artemis Accords, in which 38 countries have agreed to peacefully share space exploration. – M.S. 

  1. TAIWANESE CAPITAL EYES INDIA INVESTMENTS: Jason Ho, Taiwan’s Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in India, called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shift the “Make in India” program’s focus to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) instead of startups.
  • Ho announced that 290 Taiwanese businesses invested in India in 2023, up from 150 at the start of the year. Businesses cover numerous sectors from 28nm semiconductor manufacturing to information technology to footwear. 
  • Ho specifically said the semiconductor industry was open to investing enough that India would not have to invest its own resources and that Taiwan would relocate manufacturing to India.
  • [T]he future will be semiconductors, it will be electric mobility, it will be space industry, it will be drones, it will be clean tech, it will be renewables,” India’s external affairs minister S. Jaishankar said.

Why It Matters: Taiwan may be seeking closer economic ties and investment to entice India to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese blockade of the island. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • Mexico’s longshot presidential challenger is widely said to have won last night’s presidential debate. Xóchitl Gálvez accused ruling Morena Party candidate Claudia Sheinbaum of being a “narco-candidate.” Gálvez remains down in the polls against Sheinbaum, 51%-26%, but may receive a bump after last night’s debate.
    • Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit Serbia early next month to celebrate increased economic ties and a high-speed rail line connecting the two countries. On the same trip, Xi will also visit France and Hungary.
    • China and Japan had a brief spat over the Senkaku Islands this weekend when a Chinese Coast Guard ship tried to prevent former Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada from overseeing a drone surveillance of the islands.
    • The U.S.’, the Philippines’, Japanese, and Australian defense ministers will meet from 02 to 04 May to discuss “China’s increasing maritime assertiveness.” China considers this a fruitless endeavor that will “show cracks and divisions” once the Philippines’ security situation deteriorates.
    • The Philippines Coast Guard reported an unauthorized Chinese research vessel near Philippine islands in the Philippine Sea this weekend. The vessel did not respond to hails and has not been turned away. 

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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