Council on Foreign Relations – May 27 briefs

Daily News Brief May 27, 2022
  Editor’s note: There will be no Daily Brief on Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.  
Top of the Agenda

Blinken Details U.S. Strategy Toward ChinaU.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out (CNN) the Joe Biden administration’s strategy toward China in a speech yesterday (State Dept.), calling Beijing “the most serious long-term threat to the international order.” Blinken said Washington is determined to avoid a conflict or new Cold War with China. The U.S. approach—called “invest, align, compete”—hinges on efforts to invest in domestic sources of strength, align with allies and partners, and compete with China on issues such as technological innovation. Blinken reiterated that the U.S. strategy toward Taiwan is unchanged, and that Washington seeks to engage and cooperate with China where possible, especially on climate change. Officials said President Biden could hold a phone call (Politico) with Chinese President Xi Jinping within weeks.
  Analysis“[The speech] gave the administration’s China policy a much-needed packaging. It was eloquent. But it came a year late and still failed to address key issues,” CFR’s Ian Johnson tweets. “[The administration] has got to signify some goodwill—right now the Chinese side believes that it doesn’t matter what they do, that if they moderate their policies…we won’t adjust our own stance from a more hostile competition to a more friendly competition,” the University of California San Diego’s Susan Shirk tells Politico.  
Pacific Rim
China, Russia Block UN Sanctions Against North Korea for First Time At the UN Security Council, the countries blocked a motion (Yonhap) to impose new sanctions on North Korea for its missile testing, stressing dialogue with Pyongyang instead. China and Russia supported (AP) all previous UN sanctions against North Korea since they were first imposed in 2006. This Backgrounder explains sanctions on North Korea.
South and Central Asia
Pakistan Hikes Fuel Prices to Meet IMF ConditionsThe price hike came a day (Dawn) after Pakistan’s government failed to reach a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a bailout. India: Indian officials said security forces in India-administered Kashmir killed six suspected militants (Reuters) while militants killed a police officer and a TV artist. The violence comes on the heels of the conviction of a well-known Kashmiri separatist.
Middle East and North Africa
Iraqi Legislature Criminalizes Relations With Israel
A new law bans Iraqis (Middle East Eye) from visiting or promoting normal ties with Israel. The U.S. State Department said it is “deeply disturbed” by the law. 
Algeria/Italy: Italian energy company Eni signed a deal to boost gas exploration (AFP) in Algeria as part of efforts to seek non-Russian suppliers.
Sub-Saharan Africa
Head of Africa CDC Warns Against Vaccine Hoarding
The acting director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said countries should not hoard vaccines (Reuters) that could address a growing monkeypox outbreak in the same way that they did with COVID-19 vaccines. 
Senegal: The president fired the health minister (AFP) following a hospital fire that killed eleven newborn children.
Europe
United Kingdom Announces Windfall Tax on Oil, Gas Companies
Oil and gas producers will pay a 25 percent tax (CNN) on their profits in an effort to address the cost-of-living crisis, London announced. The measure is set to be phased out once energy prices return to normal. 
Ukraine/Russia: Russian forces seized the Ukrainian city (NYT) of Lyman, officials from both countries said. It is the second midsize city to fall to Russian forces this week.
Americas

Colombia Readies for First Round of Presidential ElectionGustavo Petro, leftist former mayor of Bogota, leads polls (FT) ahead of Sunday’s vote. Petro has pledged to better enforce the country’s peace deal and move away from using fossil fuels. This In Brief lays out what to know about Colombia’s election
Brazil: Authorities are investigating reports (WaPo) that police gassed an unarmed man to death in the trunk of a car after a video purporting to show the incident sparked public outrage.
United States
Senate Republicans Block Bill on Domestic Terrorism
The bill had passed the House of Representatives (CNN) last week, following a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that authorities called white supremacist violence. CFR’s Farah Pandith and American University’s Cynthia Miller-Idriss discuss the changing landscape of terrorism in the United States.
  Friday Editor’s PickReporting on a cache of documents known as the Xinjiang Police Files, the BBC reveals images of Uyghurs held in Chinese detention camps.  
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