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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 19/11/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 19/11/2021

The Guardian – Helen Davidson / Peng Shuai: WTA prepared to pull out of China over tennis star’s disappearance

  • The Women’s Tennis Association is prepared to pull its tournaments out of China if there isn’t an adequate response to Peng Shuai’s allegation that she was sexually assaulted by China’s former vice premier, chief executive Steve Simon has told US media.
  • Peng, Chinese tennis star and former doubles world No.1, has not been seen in public since she accused the former high-ranking official, Zhang Gaoli, of sexual assault in a Weibo post that was deleted half an hour later.
  • In the lengthy 2 November post, Peng alleged that Zhang had forced her into sex after inviting her to his house to play tennis with him and his wife three years ago. She also said she and Zhang had previously had an on-off consensual relationship.
  • Peng also said in the post that she could provide no evidence to back her allegations, but was determined to speak out.
  • South China Morning Post – Owen Churchill / Women’s Tennis Association head casts doubt on purported Peng Shuai email

Financial Times  –  Demetri Sevastopulo / Biden considers diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

  • Joe Biden said he was considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in a move that would inject fresh tension into the US-China relationship just days after his first meeting with that country’s leader Xi Jinping.
  • Speaking in the Oval Office alongside Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, Biden, the US president, on Thursday said a diplomatic boycott was “something we are considering” when asked whether he was contemplating the move.
  • Earlier this year, the Biden administration issued several strong statements about China’s persecution of Uyghurs. Antony Blinken, secretary of state, has accused Beijing of committing “genocide” in Xinjiang, where the regime has detained more than 1m Muslim Uyghurs and other minority ethnic groups.
  • Biden’s statement came after several months during which his administration had been less vocal about Xinjiang, sparking concern from human rights groups that the US president was muting his criticism ahead of last Monday’s virtual meeting with his Chinese counterpart.
  • The Washington Post / Why the Beijing Winter Olympics are facing cold winds

Politico – Thibault Spirlet / Belarus clears migrant camps at Polish border

  • Belarusian security forces escorted thousands of migrants who were amassed in makeshift camps at the Poland-Belarus border to a transport and logistics center a few hundred meters away, according to Polish border forces.
  • The area has been the scene of violent clashes, with migrants trying to push through razor-wire fences and Polish security forces blasting them with water cannons. But Belarusian authorities removed the self-made camps Thursday, according to a video posted by the Polish border force, which could not be independently verified, and a report by the New York Times.
  • The EU has accused Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko of manufacturing the border crisis by attracting migrants from the Middle East and driving them toward the EU in retaliation for sanctions from Brussels.
  • Airlines have restricted flights to Belarus in a bid to contain the migrant influx, as the EU advances a new raft of sanctions to punish those involved in orchestrating the migrant crisis.
  • Project Syndicate  –  Slawomir Sierakowski / The home front of Poland’s border debacle

South China Morning Post  –  Teddy Ng / Europe decoupling from China ‘wouldn’t be right’, Angela Merkel says

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that decoupling from China is not the right option for Europe despite tensions in the relationship.
  • The outgoing leader also told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that Germany may have been naive in some areas of cooperation with China.
  • “Maybe initially we were rather too naive in our approach to some cooperation partnerships,” she said. “These days we look more closely, and rightly so.”
  • But Merkel said it was important for Germany and the European Union to continue to cooperate with China and to learn from one another. “Total decoupling wouldn’t be right in my view, it would be damaging for us,” she said.
  • Project Syndicate  –  Melvyn B. Krauss / Germany’s Chinese kowtow

Further reads for the weekend:

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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