Politburo studies Sci-Tech self-reliance; Wang Yi meets Putin; Qin Gang in Indonesia; Another mine disaster
Summary of today’s top items:
Politburo study session on science and technology - Xi chaired a Politburo Study session on “basic research for self-reliance in science and technology”. The discussant was Gong Qihuang, a physicist specializing in optics who is president of Peking University. The scale of ambition is remarkable. I have included a fairly long translated excerpt of the readout.
Wang Yi meets Putin - Wang Yi’s meeting with Putin was today, Wednesday. From the limited readouts it is hard to see any signs of a shift in the PRC’s relationship with Russia or its position on the war in Ukraine.
Qin Gang in Indonesia - Qin received a warm welcome, met with the Indonesian President, both reiterated the desire to avoid “picking sides” or being drawn into Cold War-like competition. Has anyone suggested a Bandung Conference 2.0?
US-Taiwan meetings - Senior officials including Wendy Sherman, John Finer, Kurt Campbell. Ely Ratner, Rick Waters, Daniel Kritenbrink and others met Tuesday outside DC with a group led by Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. Taiwan media recorded video of US officials arriving and departing. It is unclear if US officials were not trying to hide their meeting at AIT yesterday to send a message to Beijing or they just did not care about being seen. Congressman Mike Gallagher was recently in Taiwan, on an unannounced visit.
Xi is not weakened - So argues Chris Johnson over at Foreign Affairs.
Inner Mongolia mine disaster - There was a collapse at an open pit mine, several are confirmed dead, dozens are missing, Xi has issued an order for “all out” rescue efforts. The company that owns the mine has had repeated issues.
Earlier today I published this week’s episode of the Sharp China podcast - US-China Meeting in Munich; Biden in Kyiv and Wang Yi in Moscow; Blinken’s Warnings on Weapons; The Disappearance of Bao Fan. You can listen to it here. From the show notes:
Andrew and Bill begin with reaction to the meeting between Wang Yi and Anthony Blinken in Munich last weekend, including competing readouts that signal continued tension between the U.S. and China, other statements weekend that underscore Chinese frustrations, and what to look for from both sides in the months to come. Then: Joe Biden is in Kyiv, Wang Yi is in Moscow, and Secretary of State Blinken is warning the rest of the world that China is considering providing lethal assistance to the Russians. They discuss the implications of such assistance, questions about the underlying intelligence, the EU's stance, and the various considerations that make this possibility so concerning for the rest of the world. At the end: The mystery surrounding Bao Fan over the past week, the departure of Ray Dalio, uncertainty clouding the future of US-China travel, and a bit of good news from comedy clubs in New York City.
You can also listen it in the excellent Substack app, which can double as a podcast player:
Thanks for reading.