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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 03/06/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 03/06/2022

South China Morning Post – Liu Zhen / Beijing urges US to cut military ties with Taiwan after defence chief Lloyd Austin’s remarks

  • China has hit out at remarks by the US defence chief suggesting the United States is willing to expand arms sales and military training to Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own.
  • US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin told Nikkei Asia that “the United States will make available to Taiwan defence articles and services necessary to enable it to maintain a sufficient self-defence capability commensurate with the Chinese threat”.
  • Austin made the remarks in an interview with the news outlet published on Wednesday, ahead of a trip to Asia next week.
  • Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Thursday that Beijing had always firmly opposed US arms sales to Taiwan, “which seriously infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs”.
  • Foreign Affairs – Charles Edel / A fault line in the Pacific

Politico – Lili Bayer / Amid Commission rebellion, von der Leyen defends recovery cash plan

  • Despite unprecedented open dissent from senior members of her European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen is standing by her plan to unlock EU recovery funding for Poland.
  • The Commission president defended her plan in Warsaw on Thursday, even as stinging criticism reverberated around Brussels from top commissioners concerned that she is letting Poland off the hook when it comes to undermining the rule of law.
  • Five commissioners — including three Commission vice presidents — raised concerns about von der Leyen’s plan when it was adopted on Wednesday and several submitted written statements to underscore their discontent.
  • Under the plan, Poland could receive more than €35 billion in grants and loans from the EU’s coronavirus recovery fund if the country meets “milestones,” including a number of judicial reforms.
  • European Commission / Statement by President von der Leyen on Poland’s recovery and resilience plan

The Guardian – Shaun Walker / Ukraine renews diplomatic push for speedy EU membership

  • Ukrainian officials are embarking on a concerted diplomatic push to start the country’s journey towards EU membership, as scepticism remains in a number of western European capitals about a fast-track approach.
  • Since Russia’s invasion, many in Europe, including Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, have spoken in favour of putting Ukraine on a speedy path to EU accession by granting it candidate status.
  • However there are still doubts in Berlin, Paris and other capitals over whether it is possible to begin the formal process already, before a leaders’ summit later this month that is expected to decide on the issue.
  • “It will be very hard to say no, but it will be even harder to say yes,” said one European diplomat briefed on the discussions.
  • CSIS – Pierre Morcos / Ukraine’s road to EU membership

Washington Post – Jacob Bogage and Evan Halper / OPEC boosts oil production as gas prices soar

  • The consortium of the world’s largest oil-producing countries agreed to boost fossil fuel production faster than expected Thursday as energy prices rise worldwide due to Russia’s drawn-out war in Ukraine.
  • The member nations of OPEC+ announced the group would add 648,000 barrels per day in July and August, a modest acceleration of plans that were already in motion to reverse drawdowns related to the pandemic. The boost in production came amid pressure from the White House for OPEC+ to do more to fill the gap created by sanctions on Russia.
  • But while the White House touted the move as a positive step for global energy security, it is unlikely to provide much relief at the pump. Gas prices jumped to another record high Thursday, averaging $4.71 per gallon nationwide, according to AAA.
  • In April 2020, OPEC+ pulled 10 million barrels of fuel per day from the market and has slowly added capacity back as energy demand increases worldwide.
  • The Economist / Why the oil price is spiking again

Longer 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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