Morning Consult Global: Russia Demands Response to Ukraine Demands by Next Week
 

Global

Essential news & intel on how business, politics and economics intersect around the world to start your day.
January 14, 2022
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Morning Consult Global will be off Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The weekday newsletter will resume Tuesday.

 

Top Stories

  • Russia has demanded the United States and NATO respond in writing by next week to its demands for the alliance to halt any eastward expansion. (The Associated Press) With Moscow massing 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, many in Europe are now anxious that the continent stands on the brink of war, but ordinary Russians seem to be facing the prospects of bloodshed or economic sanctions with a degree of sangfroid. (The Guardian)
  • British intelligence officials have alleged that Christine Ching Kui Lee, a woman linked to the Chinese Communist Party, has been working to interfere in the United Kingdom by coordinating with Beijing’s United Front Work Department to finance parliamentarians and establish a network of friendly lawmakers. (CNN)
  • North Korea conducted another missile test, according to South Korean authorities. It was the second this week after a hypersonic missile reportedly traveled over ten times the speed of sound on Tuesday, and follows the Biden administration’s imposition of further sanctions on key figures within Pyongyang’s weapons development program. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Australia’s immigration minister canceled Novak Djokovic’s visa once again and sought to deport the Serbian tennis star for allegedly lying about his COVID immunization status on immigration forms to play in the Australian Open. The saga has shaken Prime Minister Scott Morison’s government in the lead-up to elections, and Djokovic’s lawyers say they will appeal the decision. (Politico)
 

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What Else You Need To Know

Multilateral
 

US says only ‘a few weeks left’ to save Iran nuclear deal

AFP via France24

There are only “a few weeks left” to save the Iran nuclear deal, and the United States is ready to look at “other options” if negotiations fail, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.

 

Investors resist pull of Chinese rare earth magnet maker JL Mag

Kenji Kawase, Nikkei Asian Review

Despite link with EV makers, shares slide 17% in Hong Kong debut.

 
Asia-Pacific
 

China defends sweeping maritime claims after US criticism

The Associated Press

China on Thursday defended its “historical rights” to virtually the entire South China Sea, following a new U.S. government report saying Beijing’s claims are almost entirely invalid.

 

China’s trade surplus hits annual record as exports soar 30%

Thomas Hale et al., Financial Times

Global demand offsets challenges for economy grappling with property slowdown and Covid restrictions.

 

Investors face dilemma as Chinese developers offer bond swaps

Kenji Kawase, Nikkei Asian Review

Holders told to accept reduced and delayed repayment or take bankruptcy risk.

 

China agrees with U.S. to release oil reserves near Lunar New Year

Nidhi Verma and Timothy Gardner, Reuters

China will release crude oil from its national strategic stockpiles around the Lunar New Year holidays that start on Feb. 1 as part of a plan coordinated by the United States with other major consumers to reduce global prices, sources told Reuters.

 

South Korea eyes further rate increases after 2nd straight hike

Kim Jaewon, Nikkei Asian Review

Government announces a $12bn supplementary budget to help small businesses.

 

China Looks to Secure Supplies as Strains With U.S. and Its Allies Grow

Lingling Wei, The Wall Street Journal

An emphasis on security of anything from food to energy and raw materials comes with political overtones. 

 

China takes aim at US after new North Korea sanctions go into effect

Chaewon Chung, NK News

Chinese foreign ministry says Beijing opposes Washington’s ‘unilateral sanctions,’ advocates return to six-party talks.

 

China’s local governments rush to embrace metaverse despite state media warnings

Xinmei Shen, South China Morning Post

Authorities in several major cities have unveiled plans to support the development of the metaverse. Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily warned people in November to stay rational amid “metaverse mania”.

 
Europe
 

EU extends Russia sanctions over Ukraine peace deal failures

The Associated Press

The European Union on Thursday prolonged economic sanctions against Russia for six months for failing to live up to its commitments to the peace agreement in Ukraine, amid concern that Moscow may be preparing to invade its former Soviet neighbor.

 

U.S. Pushes Europe Over Sanctions With Wary Eye on Putin

Alberto Nardelli et al., Bloomberg

The U.S. is putting pressure on European allies to agree on potential sanctions against Russia, worried about slow progress despite weeks of talks and heightened concerns that President Vladimir Putin could soon invade Ukraine, said people familiar with discussions that have taken place this week.

 

Germany sees need for toughness with Russia after European security talks

Deutsche Welle

German leaders registered a range of reactions after this week’s security talks with Russia. Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the situation “serious” and said talks with Moscow need to continue.

 

Russian markets hit by rising worries over potential invasion of Ukraine

Tommy Stubbington, Financial Times

Ukrainian assets under pressure after Kremlin says US-Nato talks were ‘unsuccessful’.

 

Ukraine government websites hit by massive cyberattack

AFP via South China Morning Post

Websites of Ukraine’s foreign, agriculture, education and other ministries hit. Incident comes as tensions between Russia and the West soar over Ukraine.

 

Renewed calls for PM to resign over parties on eve of Philip funeral

Lucy Campbell, The Guardian

Queen followed Covid rules at husband’s funeral, sitting alone in face mask away from rest of family

 

Anti-vaccine protesters try to storm Bulgaria’s parliament

Tsvetelia Tsolova, Reuters

Anti-vaccine protesters tried to storm the Bulgarian parliament on Wednesday and briefly scuffled with police officers during a massive rally against coronavirus restrictions in downtown Sofia.

 

France ends UK travel ban

Julia Buckley, CNN

As infection rates soar across Europe, France has relaxed its travel ban on arrivals from the UK — just in time for the peak ski season. France banned all but essential travel from the UK on December 20, when the Omicron variant was spiraling in the UK but had not yet taken hold on the continent.

 
Latin America
 

105 Mexican immigration agents linked to corruption

The Associated Press

Mexico’s immigration agency said Thursday that 105 of its agents have been reported to the internal affairs office for allegedly corrupt behavior. The National Immigration Institute did not describe the purported wrongdoing, but said it was combatting extortion, as when border agents demand bribes to allow people to enter the country.

 
Middle East and Africa
 

Report: Iran launched solid-fuel satellite rocket into space

The Associated Press

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard last week launched a solid-fuel satellite carrier rocket into space, the country’s official IRNA news agency reported Thursday.

 

UN chief: Mali military must speed transition to democracy

Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press

The United Nations chief urged Mali’s military leaders on Thursday to accelerate the transition to democracy, expressing “great concern” at their recent announcement delaying next month’s elections until 2026.

 

A Syrian colonel is jailed for life in a first torture trial for the Assad regime. It’s one step in a ‘long path to justice,’ say victims’ families

Tamara Qiblawi et al., CNN

A German court has sentenced a former Syrian army colonel to life in prison, in the first-ever torture trial against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

 
North America
 

U.S. Refines Tool to Evaluate Havana Syndrome Cases

Mark Walker and Julian E. Barnes, The New York Times

The tool, essentially a standardized battery of questions and medical tests, can help determine the kind of care needed by people affected by the “anomalous health incidents.”

 

Senate Blocks Sanctions Aimed at Nord Stream 2

Daniel Flatley, Bloomberg

The Senate blocked a measure to impose new sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany after the Biden administration warned it could disrupt allied unity in the confrontation over Ukraine.

 
Opinions and Perspectives
 

Biden Can No Longer Ignore Growing Iran-China Ties

Bradley Bowman and Zane Zovak, Foreign Policy

Washington may be tired of the Middle East, but Beijing is just getting started.

 

India and China’s Border Conundrum

Michael Kugelman, Foreign Policy

Talks have failed again because neither side has much to gain from backing down now.

 

How Too Many Boys Skew China’s Economy

Nathaniel Taplin, The Wall Street Journal

The government’s fight to control housing prices and insulate the economy is bound up with some very fundamental human impulses—and decisions made decades ago.

 
Morning Consult