News That Matters

21/10/2022 ---- 23/10/2022

On October 23, after the 20th Communist Party National Congress, Xi Jinping was appointed as the party’s general secretary for another five years with a norm-breaking unprecedented third term. In his opening speech on October 16th, Xi reported the last five year’s successful results: achieving modernization, social stability, economic well-being, national security, solving corruption issues, advancing technology and science, and raising the attention to ecology. All achievements were due, in his words, to the principles of Marxism, which has guided the nation in the past and will continue to give political guidance in the future. In his intervention, Xi Jinping remarked that huge changes are expected in the next five years of the world economic order and that China will be the key country in the social and political international landscape. Referring to the West, he mentioned that “In pursuing modernization, China will not tread the old path of war, colonization, and plunder taken by some countries”. On the Taiwan issue, he made clear that “resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China's complete reunification is, for the Party, a historic mission and an unshakable commitment” and “the policies of peaceful reunification are the best way to realize reunification across the Taiwan Strait”. He added that the party “will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary”.


While Russia continued striking energy infrastructure in Ukraine, the EU council met on October 20-21 to formulate decisions on several open issues including the Ukraine and energy crisis. The council expressed determination “to defend the sovereignty of Ukraine and rules-based international order”. It reiterated “that Russia bears the sole responsibility for the current energy and economic crises” and the “rejection of the illegal annexation by Russia of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions”. The EU will continue to support Ukraine, providing “political, military, and financial support” and it decides to “conduct an EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine”. The Council condemns the acts of sabotage against critical infrastructures, such as those against the Nord Stream pipelines, and urges nations to cooperate to enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure. To contain gas pricing, the EU decided to encourage joint purchasing and implement a temporary dynamic price cap on natural gas transactions, in particular to the gas used for electricity generation. This will establish a flexible range for gas prices, but more precise details will be known in the next two to three weeks. During the press conference after the council, French president Emmanuel Macron expressed the feeling that gas pricing is not only concerning Russia but the US too. In his words “American gas is 3-4 times cheaper on the domestic market than the price at which they offer it to Europeans. These are double standards", Macron said. According to him, this should become a topic for discussion, since "it concerns sincerity in transatlantic trade". The Council also discussed external relations and pointed to the need to hold strategic discussions with China in preparation for the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit on 14 December 2022. This will be an opportunity to further deepen the European Union’s Strategic Partnership with ASEAN.