Global SITREP for Thursday, 16 May 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Thursday, 16 May 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Thursday, 16 May 2024.

  1. PUTIN AND XI MEETING IN BEIJING: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping had their first day of meetings yesterday and signed a 30-page joint statement. Their subordinate secretaries signed ten other ministerial agreements to deepen cooperation.
  • The ministerial agreements include joint development of nuclear facilities, infrastructure development on a disputed river island on China and Russia’s border, expanding BRICS with an “Expert Forum,” media cooperation, and information sharing, among numerous others.
  • While Xi did not meet Putin on the tarmac, he was waiting for Putin at the Great Hall of the People with a 15-minute welcoming ceremony, including a show by the People’s Liberation Army orchestra.
  • China and Russia did not ostensibly sign any defense agreements, but both defense ministers were present for multiple talks.

Why It Matters: Media cooperation and information-sharing agreements are likely to enhance the effectiveness of Gray Zone and Information Warfare against the West, as they allow the East to pool resources and share experiences. All of these steps are meant to give a sense of peace and grandeur in the Eastern Bloc to entice nations away from dealing with the West. In particular, the river island development is symbolically relevant as it shows other nations that former rivals can overcome disputes for the sake of their people, even if those disputes happened within the last 20 years. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot by an assailant that all media is reporting as a leftist member of the Progressive Party. In the released police interrogation, the assailant admitted his motivations were political but did not elaborate on which was the primary motivating position.
    • Taiwan’s Representative to the United States, Tah-ray Yui, while presented as “Ambassador” to a panel on securing Taiwan’s future, declared that incoming President Lai Ching-te views Taiwan as “already sovereign and independent,” negating the need to declare independence, and that cross-strait relations need to be done as equals.
    • China and Pakistan signed an agreement of “Four Commitments,” which include upholding China’s view on the Taiwan issue, bringing the killers of Chinese nationals in Pakistan to justice and increasing counter-terrorism cooperation, advertising the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for third-party use, and cooperation in multinational organizations.
    • France declared a 12-day state of emergency in New Caledonia as rioting expanded to looting businesses and schools, the deaths of three citizens and one police officer, over 200 arrests, and an attempted prison break. France sent 500 officers to reinforce the 1,800 already stationed on the island.

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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