CHINA/XI – As expected the National People’s Congress voted to abolish the 2-term limit for presidents. This opens the way for President Xi to rule indefinitely and overturns the system imposed by Deng Xiaoping in 1982 to prevent a lifelong dictatorship as under Mao Zedong.

RUSSIA/MISSILE – The Russian Defence Ministry says it has test-fired a hypersonic missile from a fighter jet.  This is the Kinzhal – a weapon President Putin described in his national address last week. Reportedly it can accelerate to 10 x the speed of sound and travel up to 1, 243 miles.

N FRONT/BANNON –  Former White House strategist Steve Bannon spoke at France’s far-right National Front congress over the weekend saying “History is on our side,”.

ISIS/PHILIPPINES – The Philippine army says it killed an estimated 44 pro-Islamic State militants from the Bangsamoro faction in an attack in southern Maguindanao province.

COMING UP –  

China’s National People’s Congress continues to meet (until 20th) but the headline news has already happened – see news item above. So instead it will fall to Russia to surprise us, or not. Putin is expected to win the Presidential landslide by an election. And yes, you read that right.  Sometime this week we may see new sanctions imposed by the US on Russia.

DIARY –

Mon – It’s unconfirmed but the head of S Korea’s intelligence agency is expected to set off to visit Japan, China and Russia for briefings on North Korea’s offer of talks.

Tues – US Sec of State Rex Tillerson concludes weeklong, five-nation tour of Africa with stops in Chad and Nigeria.

Tues – Colombia’s National Liberation Army’s unilateral cease-fire expires.

Weds – German parliament will formally vote on Angela Merkel’s candidacy for chancellor.

Thurs –  7th anniversary of the start of the Syrian civil war.

Thurs – EU and US officials meet in Berlin to discuss the Iran nuclear deal.

Fri – The U.S. Taiwan Travel Act takes effect and is expected to lead to higher level political and business connections. China is not happy.

Sun –  Russian Presidential election.

Sun –  End of Pyeongchang Paralympic Games in South Korea.

 

 

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