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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 16/11/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 16/11/2021

Financial Times – Demetri Sevastopulo and Tom Mitchell / Biden urges Xi not to allow competition to ‘veer into conflict’

  • Joe Biden has told Xi Jinping that their countries must not allow competition to “veer into conflict” at the start of a virtual meeting that takes place amid rising tensions over Taiwan. 
  • “We need to establish a common sense guardrail, to be clear and honest where we disagree and work together where our interests intersect,” the US president told his Chinese counterpart. “None of this is a favour to either of our countries . . . it’s just responsible world leadership.” 
  • Biden wanted to hold an in-person summit but Xi has not left China for almost two years because of the coronavirus pandemic. US-China relations are mired in their worst state since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1979. 
  • Xi said the countries should “respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue win-win co-operation” in a mantra that critics say means letting China pursue controversial policies such as the repression of Uyghurs and the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. 
  • The South China Morning Post – Robert Delaney, Owen Churchill and Teddy Ng / Xi Jinping urges Joe Biden to put US policy on China back on track

Euractiv – Vlagyislav Makszimov / EU meets troubled Eastern Partners in run up to leaders’ summit

  • Despite proclamations of “strong commitment” to Eastern partners, the EU’s reluctance to fast-track integration for its most ambitious next-door neighbours is causing increasing frustration as top diplomats met in Brussels on Monday (15 November) to chart the policy’s future.
  • EU top diplomats and foreign affairs ministers met with their counterparts from the Eastern partnership (EaP), the EU’s policy towards its eastern neighbours Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova and Ukraine ahead of a leaders’ EaP summit set for 15 December.
  • The meeting, meant to lay ground for the political approval for future goals of the policy next month, was supposed to show the EU’s “strong commitment to the Eastern Partnership”, as one senior bloc official put it ahead of the ministerial.
  • Pressed by journalists on whether the policy is dying, EU top diplomat Josep Borrell rejected the claims and said Brussels is “paying more and more attention to our Eastern neighbours”.
  • Bloomberg – Aoife White / Tensions rise on Europe’s eastern front

Euractiv – Frédéric Simon / ‘A step in the right direction’: EU reacts to COP26 deal

  • The United Nations target of containing global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius “remains within reach, but the work is far from done,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission.
  • Despite widespread disappointment over coal, von der Leyen welcomed the Glasgow deal, saying “COP26 is a step in the right direction,” with progress achieved on all three objectives the EU had set for itself ahead of the conference.
  • “We have made progress on all three objectives,” von der Leyen said in a statement, adding that “COP26 is sending a clear message that time is up for fossil fuel subsidies and unabated coal”.
  • Under the Paris Agreement, 195 countries set a target to keep average global temperature change below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C, a target von der Leyen said was still within reach.
  • Bloomberg – Ewa Krukowska / Climate activists call for tougher EU emissions goal after COP26

Politico – Carlo Martuscelli / Europe braces for another coronavirus winter with ICU staff at the limit

  • Europe is better prepared for a second pandemic winter as case numbers again spiral into record territory, with countries investing heavily to expand the number of beds in their hospitals’ intensive care units.
  • But front-line staff are at the very limit, warn health experts and professional groups, as ICU doctors and nurses who have been working flat out for a year and a half increasingly cut back their work hours due to exhaustion — with some even quitting the health profession entirely.
  • “Morale is very low among nurses. We’re tired and we’re disillusioned,” said Alda Dalla Valle, a veteran nurse who works in the emergency unit in the Epicura Hospital in the Belgian town of Hornu. 
  • The good news is that, compared to a year ago, the EU finds itself better prepared, with vaccines, new medicines, and more bed and ventilator capacity than ever. 
  • Financial Times – Martin Arnold / Europe is better able to withstand Covid winter wave, economists say

Today’s further reads:

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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