Global SITREP for Thursday, 20 June 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Thursday, 20 June 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Thursday, 20 June 2024.

  1. PUTIN’S DIPLOMACY WITH VIETNAM LIKELY TO IRK CHINA: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed several agreements last night with Vietnamese President To Lam, including oil and gas exploration and cooperation in “defense and security to cope with non-traditional security challenges,” according to Lam.
  • Vietnam’s primary competitor in those two fields is China due to the ten-dash line (formerly nine-dash line) and China’s recently expanded Exclusive Economic Zone claims, which impede Vietnam’s oil and gas exploration opportunities in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Why It Matters:  China views itself as the indisputable center of civilization, Russia as a junior partner, and Vietnam as a lost tributary in accordance with the tianxia or “All-under-heaven”  model. While no grand actions will likely be taken for practical purposes, China and Xi are likely to see this as an insult to their mandate and privately reprimand the Russians. – J.V.

  1. HEZBOLLAH-ISRAELI CONFLICT COULD EXPAND TO THE EU: Amid Hezbollah and Israel’s threats to expand their confrontation into a war, Secretary General of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah announced that Hezbollah would strike if Cyprus opened its airports to Israel.

Why It Matters: Expanding this war into the Eastern Mediterranean would further degrade international shipping and potentially drag Turkey into it. Turkey has a large diaspora on the island, and any military action against Cyprus would block two of its major ports, Mersin and Antalya. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • Indian media reports an abnormal Chinese flotilla patrolled the Indian Ocean for nine days in May. A Luyang-III destroyer, Renhai cruiser, Jiangkai-II frigate, and resupply ship comprised the “anti-piracy force.” China has not published any data confirming this despite usually making major announcements about their anti-piracy missions. (If this is true, China is demonstrating a show of force against India with an unusually large and powerful surface action group. – J.V.)
    • China announced plans to increase subsidies for “small and medium-sized enterprises that are engaged in manufacturing, specialize in a niche market and boast cutting-edge technologies.” (This is likely to further undercut Western products in the same manner as the “overcapacity of electric vehicles,” driving deeper reliance on Chinese goods despite protectionist policies in the West. – J.V.)
    • Ecuador suspended its visa-free travel agreement with China after it noted at least half of the Chinese visitors either left through irregular routes or showed no record of leaving at all. China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has refused to make any solid comment on the action beyond summarizing the agreement.

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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