Everything you need to know about the world to begin the week.
I realized this morning that it’s been a long time since I’ve sent out a full, round-the-world edition of Global Eyes. The Middle East has been monopolizing my attention, as it has everyone’s, I’m sure. But that hardly means the rest of the world has fallen off the map, so let’s look today at what’s happening everywhere else, too.
On Friday, Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair accused Chinese warplanes of buzzing a Canadian helicopter over international waters in the South China Sea and firing flares at it, endangering the crew. On Saturday, China’s Defense Ministry hit back that the helicopter had “unknown intent” and engaged in a “malicious” and “provocative” act with “ulterior motives.” These salvos come the same week that China accused a Philippine military vessel of sailing too close to Scarborough Shoal, territory that China seized in 2012, but which falls within the Philippine’s Exclusive Economic Zone according to international maritime law. And late last month, Manila accused a Chinese coast guard ship of ramming two Philippine ships near Second Thomas, or Ayungin, Shoal, which also lies within its EEZ. This backdrop sets the tone not only for Biden and Xi’s meeting, but for Taiwan’s presidential elections, scheduled for January 2024.
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