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(Now former) Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang attends a press conference after talks with his Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra in Beijing.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

China's missing foreign minister is out (of a job)

A full month after he vanished from public view, China confirmed the exit of Qin Gang as foreign minister. Qin will be replaced by Wang Yi, who had the job for almost a decade before Qin and is currently the country's most senior diplomat. (Wang also runs foreign policy for the ruling Communist Party, which puts him higher in the CCP pecking order than Qin).

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​China brokers deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia
China brokers deal between Iran & Saudi Arabia | Quick Take | GZERO Media

​China brokers deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hello and good Monday morning to everybody. It's Ian Bremmer here, and a Quick Take to kick off your week. Want to talk about China and specifically this big announcement, a breakthrough diplomatic deal negotiated by Xi Jinping, between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Two countries with all sorts of problems between the two proxy wars and major security challenges. When they had the big demonstrations inside Iran against the government, they were blaming the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia for undermining and trying to overthrow the regime. And now instead, you have the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers meeting together with the Chinese Foreign Minister and signing a trilateral agreement saying that they're going to open formal diplomatic relations within two months.

That's a big deal for a China that historically would have played no leadership role in any major negotiations outside of things that are of critical national security importance in Asia, in their backyard. And here we have Xi Jinping announcing a deal that the Americans, the Europeans, literally played no role in and couldn't play a role. The United States doesn't have diplomatic relations open with Iran. Should be welcomed by the world. It's better for everyone if these two major countries in the region are able to engage diplomatically with each other. But of course, it also shows a more significant footprint for Xi Jinping's China on the global stage. A country that right now has bad relations with the United States, no trust and increasingly heading in a confrontational direction.

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Paige Fusco

What We’re Watching: Global stagflation warning, food fight at the UN, China in Cambodia

World Bank issues stark stagflation warning

The war in Ukraine has frustrated attempts to revive the pandemic-battered global economy, creating an endless loop of bad news. That trend continued Tuesday when the World Bank slashed its global growth forecast to 2.9% – down from a January prediction of 4.1%. (It was 5.7% in 2021.) What’s more, the body warned that “subdued growth” will likely continue throughout the decade and could give rise to 1970s-style stagflation – the double whammy of a stagnant economy coupled with double-digit inflation. But the impacts of the lingering global economic crisis won’t be felt equally. The World Bank says that while wealthy countries like the US and China will experience slower-than-usual growth, developing countries will be hardest hit as borrowing costs rise. This is already playing out: Cash-strapped Sri Lanka was recently forced to default on its sovereign debt for the first time. Crucially, the World Bank also warned that the deepening food crisis could cause social upheaval in import-reliant countries in the near-term.

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Jess Frampton

Enter China, exit policeman: How the world has changed since 9/11

The world has changed dramatically since the terrorist attacks on New York And Washington on September 11, 2001. Pop culture has evolved — significantly — as have the ways we eat, communicate, work, and get our information about the world.

Geopolitically, the past two decades have been transformative, and these developments have impacted how many observers reflect on the post-9/11 era.

Here are three examples of big geopolitical shifts over the past two decades, and how they may influence our understanding of global events today.

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The future of the Chinese Communist Party
Ian Bremmer: The Future of the Chinese Communist Party | Quick Take | GZERO Media

The future of the Chinese Communist Party

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Happy Monday. Starting to bake in New York City in the summertime, but glad for it, given the alternatives.

And I thought I would talk a little bit about the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. Big speech coming up from President Xi Jinping, a big historic plenary for the party. Already, a big meeting by Xi and a number of the senior leaders just a week ago at the new Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, reaffirmation of loyalty oaths to the party. At a time when Communist party membership, which had been flattening over previous years, is now growing in a robust way. Again, you've got almost a 100 million members of the Communist party across China and it's hard to get in. Only about 10% of applicants actually are accepted. It is increasingly seen as a way to be successful in core state-owned enterprises, opportunity, political access, economic access, you name it. If you're a young elite and you want to make a difference in China, having a party membership card and being seen to be loyal and having behaviors that are befitting a Communist party member are increasingly important.

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What We're Watching: Latin America's vaccine shortage, Juneteenth a new national holiday, China cracks down on HK free press

Latin America needs vaccines: The World Health Organization has called on the G7 countries that pledged to donate a billion COVID vaccine doses to the developing world to prioritize Latin America, with WHO officials pointing to the fact that out of the top 10 countries with the highest COVID death tolls per capita over the past week, nine are in Latin America, where many health systems are overstretched and vaccines are scarce. This call comes as Latin America's COVID death toll has surpassed 1 million. Cases and deaths are soaring in Argentina and Colombia, for instance, while Brazil has fully vaccinated just 11 percent of its population despite recording the world's second highest death toll. Even Chile, which has carried out Latin America's most successful vaccination campaign to date, has been forced to delay reopening due to a recent surge in infections among unvaccinated younger people. The WHO says prioritizing the region for vaccine donations makes sense in order to stop large sustained outbreaks that may spur potentially more infectious COVID variants that'll cross borders and wreak havoc in populous states. Most of the donated shots will be distributed through the COVAX facility, which is a problem for countries like Venezuela, shut out from COVAX because of payment problems.

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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: China's social media spin blitz

China is no stranger to using social media networks to influence public opinion. But as Chinese foreign policy becomes increasingly assertive, they are doing a lot more to win foreign hearts and minds on Facebook and Twitter. A joint investigation by the AP and the Oxford Internet Institute has revealed how Chinese diplomats and state media outlets are coordinating on social media to strategically amplify messages from Beijing — which are then further amplified by an army of fake accounts that Facebook and Twitter keep playing whack-a-mole with. We take a look at China's public diplomacy activity, reach, and engagement on Facebook and Twitter over the span of a few months since mid-2020.

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