Global SITREP for Tuesday, 28 May 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Tuesday, 28 May 2024.

  1. CHINA MAY BE CONSIDERING FORCEFUL REUNIFICATION & MORE DRILLS: The response to China’s drills around Taiwan last week has been relatively muted but will likely result in a follow-on exercise called Joint Sword 2024B.
  • Taiwanese President Lai Chingte said he would work with China to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait. However, he intends to continue building up Taiwan’s defensive capabilities and foreign backing.
  • A U.S. congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan on Sunday led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul for a four-day visit to congratulate Lai on his inauguration.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Zhang Chi of the People’s Liberation Army’s National Defence University said that each provocation by the Taiwanese would result in large “anti-salami-slicing” moves by the People’s Liberation Army.

Why It Matters: Neither side is backing down from its position, and the Chinese propaganda machine is growing increasingly bellicose. Colonel Zhang’s reference to “anti-salami-slicing moves” is another indicator that China is having high-level discussions about whether peaceful reunification is still possible. It is unlikely that China will conduct Joint Sword 2024B while the Congressmen are in Taiwan, but a response will almost certainly follow their departure. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • China, South Korea, and Japan made several agreements at the end of their trilateral summit. These agreements include restarting routine summits, curbing illegal fishing, and “promoting marine conservation.” (The agreements are likely to lead to a deterioration of East Asian foreign diplomacy as China does not view any of its fishing activities as illegal and will continue fishing in Japan’s waters while hammering Japan on nuclear wastewater. Both ancient enemies will likely use these “broken promises” to justify escalating force. – J.V.)
    • The Philippines National Food Authority (NFA) increased its strategic rice stockpile to 126,000 metric tons from 45,000 tons. The NFA intends to reach 300,000 metric tons, nominally for La Nina weather conditions. (A sixfold increase in strategic stockpile sounds like preparation for war, not weather. – J.V.)
    • The Israeli Defense Force said a shooting incident occurred at the Rafah-Egypt border crossing, and the Egyptian military confirmed one border guard died. According to Israeli Army Radio, Egyptian troops opened fire on the IDF at the border post. 
    • Weather damaged the U.S.’ temporary aid pier to Gaza, causing all four supporting vessels to detach and two to run aground. 
    • Hamas said on Monday they will no longer participate in peace negotiations after Israel bombed a refugee camp in Rafah over the weekend.
    • Poland is launching its largest border defense initiative since 1945, called the East Shield. Poland expects to finish the project by 2028 and is requesting financial support from the EU to speed it up.
    • According to diplomats involved in the discussions, the Biden administration is pressing European allies to abstain from a censure vote against Iran at a June meeting of the  International Atomic Energy Agency. British and French officials told the Biden administration they would move forward with the censure vote and that it was time to draw a line.

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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