EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 27/07/2020

File:USCG-Chengdu.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

The Guardian – Lily Kuo / Flag lowered at US consulate in Chengdu as China takes control

  • Chinese authorities have taken over the US consulate general in Chengdu, marking the diplomatic mission’s official closure and a new low point in ties between the world’s largest economies.
  • At dawn on Monday, the American flag outside the consulate was lowered while police held back crowds that had gathered over the weekend to watch. At 10am, the mission was closed, according to China’s foreign ministry.
  • Chinese soldiers took up their posts outside the consulate, while teams of workers in hazmat suits and Chinese officials dressed in white short-sleeved dress shirts and black briefcases entered the mission.
  • Workers draped grey clothes over signs bearing the consulate’s name. “Competent Chinese authorities entered through the front entrance and took it over,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
  • Foreign Policy – Jack Detsch and Amy MacKinnon / Was China’s Houston consulate trying to steal the coronavirus vaccine?

Foreign Affairs – Thomas J. Bollyky and Chad P. Bown / The tragedy of vaccine nationalism

  • Trump administration officials have compared the global allocation of vaccines against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 to oxygen masks dropping inside a depressurizing airplane.
  • The major difference, of course, is that airplane oxygen masks do not drop only in first class—which is the equivalent of what will happen when vaccines eventually become available if governments delay providing access to them to people in other countries.
  • Absent an international, enforceable commitment to distribute vaccines globally in an equitable and rational way, leaders will instead prioritize taking care of their own populations over slowing the spread of COVID-19 elsewhere.
  • Without global coordination, countries may bid against one another, driving up the price of vaccines and related materials. Supplies of proven vaccines will be limited initially even in some rich countries, but the greatest suffering will be in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The Atlantic – Sarah Zhang / A vaccine reality check

Financial Times – Guy Chazan and Alice Hancock / Tourism industry reels as Covid-19 spike triggers European travel curbs

  • Shares in Europe’s biggest travel companies tumbled on Monday as newly imposed travel curbs following a string of local spikes in coronavirus infections raised fears over the pandemic’s lasting impact on the industry.
  • Spain’s tourism sector is particularly feeling the brunt of the latest caution, prompting an angry response from Madrid. “Spain is a safe country,” said foreign minister Arancha González Laya.
  • Germany has also seen a fresh uptick in Covid-19 cases in recent days, which health minister Jens Spahn attributed to travellers returning from certain regions such as the West Balkans and Turkey.
  • The surge highlights the dilemma facing policymakers: on one hand they fear reimposing a shutdown that has devastated their economies, but on the other they worry the return of mass travel will trigger a second wave of the pandemic.
  • Project Syndicate – Anne O. Krueger / The open secret to reopening the economy

Politico – Eline Schaart / Poland to withdraw from treaty on violence against women

  • Poland will begin the process of withdrawing from a treaty to prevent violence against women, which the right-wing government in Warsaw says imposes controversial ideologies about gender, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said Saturday.
  • Poland signed the Istanbul Convention for the prevention and combating of violence against women and domestic violence in 2015 under the previous administration of centrist party Civic Platform (PO).
  • Critics of the treaty believe that the convention violates parents’ rights by requiring schools to teach children about gender ideology that go against Polish family traditions. The convention has been signed by 45 countries and the EU, and ratified by 34 countries.
  • Thousands of people, mostly women, protested in the capital and other cities on Friday after the government had signaled it was planning to withdraw from the convention.
  • Euractiv / ‘Alarm’ at Poland’s plan to leave treaty protecting women

Today’s reckoning:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.

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