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China Geopolitical Watch – From September 10 to September 16, 2022

From 14 to 09/16/2022: Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit

From September 14 to 16, 2022, the leaders of the core members of the Shanghai Economic Organization (SCO) met at the summit held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), left China for the first time to attend. He met with the heads of state of Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, among others. On the occasion of this summit, the Chinese delegation also pointed out that the countries whose leaders were gathered represented 41% of the world’s population, and 24% of the global GDP.

09/14/2022: Xi Jinping meets Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Nur-Sultan – debate around energy and security, and clear support for the Kazakh neighbour

Before heading to the SCO summit on September 15, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on September 14. The two leaders mainly discussed trade and energy resources issues, but also evoked defense and security partnerships.

Moreover, in a context of border tensions between Russians and Kazakhs – tensions exacerbated by a lack of support from the latter to the former in the face of the conflict in Ukraine – Xi Jinping publicly defended his Kazakh neighbour: “Regardless of the evolution of the international situation, we will resolutely support Kazakhstan in the defense of its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

09/14/2022 : China Baowu partners with Rio Tinto on iron ore project in Australia

Starting from 2023 on, steel company China Baowu will own 46% of the joint venture it will form with Australian firm Rio Tinto, which owns the remaining 54%. The two companies are joining forces to finance a $2 billion iron ore project in Australia’s Western Range. By financing the mine, which can produce up to 25 million tons of iron ore per year, China Baowu was able to enter into an agreement to purchase up to 130 million tons of raw material over a 13-year period. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2023, while exploitation is scheduled to begin in 2025.

09/15/2022: Xi Jinping meets Vladimir Putin in Samarkand 

On Thursday, August 15, during his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Samarkand, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his support for Russia: “Facing this historic turning point, China is willing to accompany Russia in its efforts, assuming together the responsibility of the great powers […], and seeking to establish more stability in a world torn by chaos.”

For his part, the Russian president praised China’s “balanced position” – one has to note the ambiguous position of Chinese authorities, which support Russia’s “right to self-defense”, while enforcing sanctions against the Kremlin. Vladimir Putin also decried the West’s attempt to create an “unipolar world.”

09/15/2022 : China rejects the “Taiwan Policy Act 2022

One day after the “Taiwan Policy Act 2022” was approved by the U.S. Senate on Wenesday, Chinese authorities accused the United States of violating the one-China principle, warning that the vote seriously jeopardizes U.S.-China relations and could put “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” at risk. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said: “It constitutes an interference in China’s internal affairs, violates international law and basic norms in international relations, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces.”

The “Taiwan Policy Act 2022” confirms the Biden administration’s intention to provide more military, diplomatic and economic support to Taiwan. It was approved on September 14, 2022 by a 17 to 5 vote in the Senate.

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