US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently held discussions with Chinese officials in Beijing. The talks were aimed to reduce tensions and prevent unintentional escalation. Rescheduled due to the “spy balloon” incident, the meeting was intended to maintain open channels of communication between the US and China during their ongoing competition. Concrete outcomes of the meetings were limited.
In response to their involvement in North Korean trade, several Chinese entities were added to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list. 31 Chinese companies were included in the Entity List for violating US export controls related to sensitive technology because they were found to have diverted such technology to China’s military or Pakistan’s missile program.
The European Union (EU) publicly proposed a framework for economic security, including the possibility of tightening inbound and outbound Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) screening for security purposes. The specific details of this policy are subject to agreement among member states and consultation with the private sector, reflecting the increasing concern among EU officials about Chinese economic competition. Concern particularly revolves around the automotive industry and security risks associated with China’s military activities. The US is also actively working on implementing restrictions on outbound investment screening.
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has formally signed agreements with QatarEnergy for a previously announced 27-year natural gas contract. CNPC also acquired a 5% stake in one of the LNG trains. China is expected to continue reselling LNG cargoes to Europe throughout the year, with increased piped fuel from Russia and Iran reducing the need for LNG.
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