Global SITREP for Tuesday, 14 May 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Tuesday, 14 May 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Tuesday, 14 May 2024.

  1. U.S. AND TAIWAN SECRETLY PREPARE FOR JOINT OPS: U.S. Navy officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, announced that they conducted a days-long unofficial naval drill in April with Taiwan’s navy after an “unexpected encounter” between the U.S. and Taiwanese navies involving “half a dozen ships from both sides.”
  • The navies practiced ship-to-ship communication, refueling, and resupply. The official did not clarify whether or not the resupply was a Replenishment-at-Sea maneuver or other form of resupply.
  • China claims the U.S. is only announcing the event now to bolster the pro-independence tendencies of inbound Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te.
  • The same exposé revealed that Taiwan’s Chief of the General Staff, Admiral Mei Chia-shu, attended the change-of-command ceremony for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command on 03 May but was only found when he was seen in the background of an official photograph.

Why It Matters: The announcement or “leak” is possibly to give the impression that the U.S. is able to covertly support Taiwan’s Navy in the event of a Chinese blockade or quarantine. This sends a message of confidence to Taiwan and other regional allies. However, it is highly unlikely that China did not see this exercise happening. We should expect increased Chinese surveillance around Taiwan and possibly an increased shadowing of U.S. Navy vessels. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • Putin is making his first international visit for his latest presidential term to Beijing on the 16th and 17th, reciprocating the move by Chinese President Xi Jinping early last year. The Kremlin announced that Putin would “sign a joint statement of the heads of state following talks and a number of bilateral documents.” (China views the first visit by the head of state as a rank of highest priority, the highest diplomatic honor they can give each other. I expect deepening cooperation, even at the expense of other friends like India. – J.V.)
    • Pro-independence forces in New Caledonia fired guns at French security forces and set fire to cars and a police station during a riot over a failed voting reform bill. Police arrested 82 people, responded to 200 fires, broke up several seized positions, and sustained 51 injured police.
    • Australia is spending 5.5 million AUD to extend the Australian Federal Police deployment to the Solomon Islands. The police will continue to operate alongside Chinese police in the Islands. Australia is also spending an undisclosed amount to develop telecommunications infrastructure on the Islands.
    • The British have summoned the Chinese Ambassador to the U.K. again, this time to lodge a complaint about three people caught spying for the Hong Kong foreign intelligence service.

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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