Shanghai turning the corner?; Planting season, Coal and Nuclear power; Austin-Wei finally chat; Solomon Islands
Shanghai may be turning the corner as two districts officially have no new cases outside of the “closed-loop”, though expect things will not be close to back to normal until sometime in May. How the political blame gets doled out is going to be interesting, so far only a handful of low-level Shanghai officials have been disciplined for not doing their jobs, even thought it is clear the incompetence comes from higher up in the city leadership.
The US side has been trying to arrange a call between Secretary of Defense Austin and Central Military Commission Vice-chairman Xu Qiliang for months, but the PRC side refused because past protocol has had the US Defense Secretary’s interlocutor as the PRC Minister of Defense, who currently is Wei Fenghe.
Austin and Wei had their first call earlier today, so it looks like the US side backed off its request. It is good they finally got past the protocol issues and spoke, even if it sounds like they just reiterated increasingly hardening positions.
The PRC-Solomon Islands agreement is quite a win for the PRC, and exposed some rather shocking complacency in Australia and the US. Is the deal another benefit from all the work the PRC has devoted to the Pacific Islands in its long-term struggle to pick off as many of the remaining nations that recognize Taiwan as possible?
Today’s Top Items:
Hurry up and plant
More Coal and nuclear power
NPC Standing Committee session concludes
US-PRC defense chiefs finally chat
Lessons from Ukraine for the PRC
Thanks for reading.