Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Wednesday, 14 June 2023.
- FIRST UP: China pressures Taiwan to lift exchange restrictions
- People’s Republic of China officials are pressuring Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to lift restrictions on student exchanges and cooperation with mainland China.
- The PRC wants to send 50 students to Taiwan to “enhance mutual understanding, deepen their friendship, and make joint efforts to promote peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.”
Why It Matters: China prefers reunification with Taiwan through Kuomintang (KMT) political success, not military operations. KMT officials have visited mainland China for talks, and remain Taiwan’s pro-reunification political party ahead of next year’s presidential elections. A student exchange is almost certainly aimed at developing pro-reunification sentiment among Taiwan’s youth population, and would likely further enable unconventional warfare operations against Taiwan.
- DEDOLLARIZATION: Egypt exits dollar in BRICS trade
- Egyptian officials announced they’re moving away from the dollar in trade with BRICS countries, and instead will use the local currencies of major trade partners.
Why It Matters: Egypt’s decision to de-dollarize with BRICS is likely a precondition for their joining BRICS+, as India and China have imposed other pre-conditions on prospective members.
- DEFENSE HANDBOOK: Taiwanese MoD publishes civilian war-time guide
- Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense published an updated guide for civilians covering topics such as how to respond to foreign attacks, where to find bomb shelters, and how to distinguish between Taiwanese and Chinese soldiers.
- The update to last year’s 14-page guide says that Chinese soldiers are likely to be wearing their PLA uniforms, while China’s unconventional forces would be wearing other clothing during infiltration into Taiwan.
Why It Matters: Civilian war-time guides are a common practice, including Cold War-era civil defense guides for Americans. Baltic nations have also published similar guides detailing how to conduct guerrilla warfare and stay-behind operations in the event of a Russian invasion.
- MIDDLE EAST: China strikes strategic cooperation deal with Palestinian Authority
- Chinese officials announced a “strategic partnership” deal with the Palestinian Authority, although neither side released the details of what that entails.
Why It Matters: China has replaced the United States as the region’s top security partner, largely due to U.S. inaction on numerous fronts. Additionally, Chinese officials have proposed peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. This strategic partnership could put China in a position to solve the decades-long conflict, following success in negotiating peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
- MEDVEDEV: Russia has no reason not to cut undersea cables
- Russian National Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev accused the West of complicity in the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, adding that Russia now has “no constraints” on destroying undersea communication cables between the United States and Europe.
Why It Matters: Medvedev continues a long series of incendiary and outlandish comments. Some of his recent outbursts, however, are likely within his authority, which makes this implied threat notable. There are two worst case scenarios here: First, Russia is well within its capabilities to cut these vital undersea cables, which would disrupt global communications and international financial transactions. And second, the U.S. or NATO could target Russian ships suspected of plotting sabotage, causing a new front in the very messy war of narrative and escalating conflict outside of Ukraine.
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.