The Guardian – Julian Borger and Vincent Ni / Biden and Xi prepare for virtual summit amid rising tensions
- Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will hold a virtual summit on Monday intended to halt, or at least slow down, the downward spiral in US-Chinese relations.
- The two leaders have talked twice by phone since Biden took office in January, but this video conference will be their most substantial discussion so far.
- It comes days after the two countries surprised analysts by agreed to boost climate cooperation in Glasgow. But it also comes at a time of increasing friction over Taiwan – the most dangerous potential flashpoint between the two countries.
- On Tuesday, the People’s Liberation Army conducted the latest in a series of combat readiness exercises off the Taiwanese coast, while in a phone call on Saturday the nations’ top diplomats traded warnings about the island.
- Foreign Affairs – Danny Russel / When Biden meets Xi
The Washington Post – Steven Mufson and Annabelle Timsit / ‘It is not enough’: World leaders react to COP26 climate agreement
- Many world leaders and activists expressed disappointment this weekend with the climate deal that emerged from two weeks of heated negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland — warning that countries will have to strengthen their commitments if they want to avert disastrous consequences and help at-risk nations cope with the damage that’s already occurring from climate change.
- Key officials in the United States and Europe vowed to work harder to help developing nations shift to cleaner energy sources, after delegates from China and India proposed a last-minute edit that weakened a provision in the text to phase out fossil fuels. The paragraph initially called for the “phase out” of unabated coal and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, but the final agreement refers only to a “phase-down.”
- European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement that while some meaningful progress was made on the goals of COP26, more work remains and that the key to determining the impact of the conference will be how the commitments secured in Glasgow are actually implemented.
- “1.5 degrees Celsius remains within reach; but the work is far from done,” she said, referring to a long-standing global goal of limiting warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.
- The Guardian – Fiona Harvey / What are the key points of the climate pact?
Financial Times – Sam Fleming and Andy Bounds / China accuses the EU of threatening global trade
- Beijing has accused the EU of risking damage to world supply chains by throwing up regulatory and trade hurdles to foreign businesses, warning “discriminatory” practices could strain the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Chinese ambassador to the EU said the European Commission’s drive to sharpen its trade toolkit was seen by some businesses as heralding “more inward-looking and unilateral measures” and the creation of “new trade barriers”.
- “The moves taken by the EU will also have global consequences, and such moves might create further stress to the global supply and industry chain,” said Zhang Ming in an interview with the Financial Times.
- The ambassador also attacked a recent EU-US deal on steel and aluminium tariffs that seeks to restrict imports from more carbon-intensive producers including China, saying it would “aggravate the tension” in industrial supplies and worsen inflationary pressures.
- Bloomberg – Alberto Nardelli and Eric Martin / US, EU eye global coalition to fix steel, aluminium markets
Politico – Carlo Martuscelli / Josep Borrell: more Belarus sanctions to come Monday
- The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell confirmed details Sunday of new sanctions Brussels is set to approve against Belarus, targeting people and entities involved in the migrant crisis on the border with Poland.
- In an interview with French newspaper Journal du Dimanche, Borrell said the sanctions should be agreed at Monday’s EU Council of Foreign Ministers.
- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is accused of bringing migrants from Iraq, Syria and other countries to the border with Poland to engineer a crisis that EU leaders have denounced as a “hybrid attack.”
- Borrell explained that ministers were ready to sign-off on an expanded legal framework to widen penalties and include entities including airlines and travel agencies involved in ferrying migrants to Belarus, banning their leaders from traveling and freezing their assets in Europe.
- Vox – Ellen Ioanes / Why Belarus is using migrants as a political weapon
Today’s further reads:
- Project Syndicate – Josep Borrell / A Strategic Compass for Europe
- Financial Times – Demetri Sevastopulo / China’s nuclear build-up: ‘one of the largest shifts in geostrategic power ever’