The Pangoal International Situation Monthly (Vol.16)
The Pangoal International Situation Monthly (Vol.16)

Russia-US Relations Start to Improve Amidst Hardships

On July 16th, 2018, the US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. This was the first official meeting of the two heads after their informal talk at the 2017 G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany, and “encounter” during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Danang, Vietnam, last year.

Since Trump took office, both US and Russian leaders expected an improvement of bilateral relations. However, restricted by the domestic political elements of the US, the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and the development of the Syrian and Ukrainian crises, the bilateral relations, instead of picking up, entered a spiral downturn. The two countries exchanged sharp blows in many fields such as economy and trade, human rights, international hotspot issues, and diplomacy and took turns expelling diplomats and imposing sanctions against each other, pushing their relations toward a “freezing point” not seen since the Cold War.

In July 2017, both houses of the US Congress overwhelmingly passed new sanction bills against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. On August 2nd, Trump was forced to sign the bill. In addition to sanctions against the three countries, the bill specifically put restrictions on the President’s ability to terminate the sanctions on Russia. Till then, Trump’s attempts to improve the Russia-US relations were “handcuffed.”

During the meeting in Helsinki, the two heads of state discussed extensively US-Russian nuclear disarmament, the North Korea nuclear issue, the Iran nuclear issue, the Syria crisis, Russia’s supply of natural gas for Germany, Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and issues related to China. After the meeting, a joint press conference was convened. Trump admitted that the “relationship has never been worse than it is now”; “However, that changed as of about four hours ago...I really believe that.” And Putin remarked the negotiations as “frank”, “business-like”, “a success”, and “very fruitful.” He also expressed the wish that Russia and the US could cast off the vestige of Cold War and ideological confrontation and collaborate to respond to a series of challenges including maintaining international security and stability, coping with regional crises, countering terrorism, cracking down on transnational crimes, and improving the economy and the environment. The two presidents directed their respective security groups to maintain contact and put into practice agreements they had stricken in Helsinki. Furthermore, a high-level working group would be formed to negotiate on Russian and US businesses.

On August 8th, the US website POTITICO revealed that, during their private meeting in Helsinki, Putin presented Trump with the request of conducting new talks on such issues as controlling nuclear arms and prohibiting weapons in space, showing that it was still traditional security issues that concerned Russia the most in Russia-US relations.

The two heads of state coordinated on the problem of international crude oil prices. Recently, the international price of crude oil has been rising; nevertheless, the US remained hesitant in starting to use its crude oil reserves. Meanwhile, the trade wars with China, Europe, Canada, and other countries pushed higher the prices of tires and durable consumer goods. The general public of the US has already been grumpy, putting stress on the Republicans in the approaching November midterm election. While answering questions on the joint press conference, Putin noted that, as two major oil and gas powers, neither Russia nor the US is interested in driving oil prices up, because it will drain liquidity from all other sectors of the economy, but he also said that, “neither of us is actually interested in the plummeting of the prices because, beyond a certain price bracket, it’s no longer profitable to produce gas and shale gas production will suffer.”

It seems that the Helsinki meeting failed to generate practical results; despite this, it’s at least a high-level strategic communication which officially initiated the slow restoration of Russia-US relations. In the future, there is a possibility that the bilateral relations will thaw in certain fields and eventually across the board. Nevertheless, domestic politics of the US will continue restricting further improvement. Trump’s refusal in Helsinki to accuse Russia of interfering in the US election not only incurred criticisms from both Democrats and Republicans at home but also exposed his sharp differences from his national security team, the US intelligence agencies, and judicial authorities, with regard to Russia-related issues.

Just before the Helsinki meeting, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, head of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, issued an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers, charging them with hacking intended to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Some US media reported the Helsinki meeting with the tag of “Trump + Putin V.S. the US”, believing that the “weakness” of Trump in front of Putin will land the administration, and its bilateral ties, in deeper waters.

As sentiments were running high in the US, Trump had to clarify his stance by admitting that his assertion of Russia not interfering in the US election was a slip of the tongue. However, soon after, Trump said that he was looking forward to a second sit-down with Putin; White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also confirmed the news: “President Donald Trump has asked his national security adviser, John Bolton, to invite President Putin to Washington in the Fall”, which raised so much noise from the media that Bolton had to declare in person that the second meeting between Trump and Putin would not be held in 2018.

Trump’s presidency relies on the most conservative faction of the Republican elites with strong Russophobia and Russia-loathing sentiments, so few of them are “friends of Russia.” Since late 2017, the Trump administration released in succession the National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and Nuclear Posture Review. It’s specified in the reports that the major national security challenge the US faces has shifted from fighting terrorism back to inter-state competition, as Russia has become “a rival in strategic competition” and as China has become “a revisionist power” challenging the international order. Evidently, from his interaction with Putin, Trump is more concerned with the gains and losses in concrete issues, while the motives for a better US-Russia relationship at the strategic level remain insufficient.

The root cause of the Russia-US systematic confrontation lies in the former’s reluctance to relinquish its global hegemony and the latter’s proposition of establishing a multi-polar international order. As both of them cannot set aside the tug-of-war over Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and other geo-strategic buffer zones, it remains difficult to see any substantial easing on the Syria and Ukraine contradictions and disputes.

On August 8th, the US abruptly announced plans to impose new sanctions against Russia in response to the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy living in England and his daughter, denying to Russia the export of any product with national security purposes.

The two countries still have a serious lack of strategic trust, and the room for improvement of bilateral ties seems to be limited. Indeed, the US-Russia relations are different from the US-Soviet Union relations during the Cold War. Their political thinking is still mainly based on the deep-rooted sense of geo-strategic competition and mutual vigilance when it comes to strategic security rather than the acute confrontations in terms of ideology, economy, and trade. For international order, their confrontation is more of a regional and individual one instead of a global and general one, hence the possibility that the US and Russia will remain as “limited competitors.”

Trump’s aspiration for improving the US-Russia relations had already been revealed during the G7 Summit in June and the NATO Summit in July. Back then, he called on G7 members to readmit Russia and lift sanctions against Moscow for its annexation of Crimea. This raised concerns from some of its European allies, and the divergence in policies towards Russia further aggregated the transatlantic division.

Inside Europe, opinions on whether to improve relations with Russia also differ. The mentality of debasing and hating Russia has long been pervasive among European elites. The central and eastern European countries, represented by Poland and the three Baltic countries, have always regarded Russia as a threat and strongly advocate intensifying security and containment measures towards Russia.

To balance influences of the stalemated US-Russia relations, Putin is proactively promoting his “westward diplomacy” to “handle the US and Europe separately” and forging ahead with the “eastward policies” by prioritizing the strategic partnership with China. At the current stage, the China-Russia relations are at the best period in history. As to whether the possible improvement of US-Russia relations will pose challenges to the development of China-Russia relations, China is not overly worried.

In the situation where the China-US frictions keep escalating, the Trump administration has labeled China as its “principal rival in strategic competition” and started to make significant changes in policies toward China. This will propel China to protect the good momentum of development in China-Russia and China-EU strategic partnerships and to strengthen the coordination and exploration with Russia and the EU in such fields as economy and trade, energy resources, and military projects as well as in such aspects as implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, facilitating reform and optimization of the international order, and safeguarding integrity of the global free trade system.

In early June, just before the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Qingdao, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for the 24th time. While awarding China’s first “Medal of Friendship” to Putin, Xi noted that, “President Putin is my best and most intimate friend.” Then on August 15th, Putin met with Yang Jiechi, member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, in Sochi. During the meeting, Putin reasserted Russia’s willingness to further strengthen strategic communication with China, so as to promote the all-around strategic partnership of the two countries.

The 20th China-EU Summit held in Beijing on July 16th charted a roadmap for China-EU economic and trade cooperation in the coming years and sent the signal of concerted efforts in improving trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, resisting protectionism and unilateralism, and firmly supporting the rules-based multilateral trade system. Furthermore, the two sides agreed to vigorously implement the establishment of the China-EU Connectivity Platform.

Nevertheless, considering the comprehensive national strength of Russia and its limited degree of integration into the global economic system, it’d be difficult for Russia to be a reliable partner of China in coping with the pressure from Trump. Though EU-US divergences are on the rise, it’s unlikely that the EU will cross the bottom line of transatlantic relations on its own initiative, or take sides between China and the US when it comes to trade issues.

For the US policy makers, the challenges from China are in full scale, and those from Russia remain regional and incomprehensive; however, the former seems to be gradual while the latter more direct and aggressive. So, efforts must be made for a dual containment.

In the future, the four parties, namely China, the US, Russia, and the EU, are expected to engage in a rectangle pattern of gaming, with “zero-sum” characteristics in some aspects and “cold peace” or “positive-sum” in the others. Under the globalization background, all of them need one another, hence both the subjective demand and objective condition for peaceful co-existence and strengthened cooperation. It’s very unlikely that the acute situation where two or three parties form into alliances to fight against another party, or two groups form as in the Cold War emerges.

China-US Relations Move in the Descending Channel

After a two-year debate, and due to their misinterpretation of President Xi Jinping’s Report at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the US political and strategic communities have reached a clear consensus that China is putting all-round pressure of strategic competition on the US, so their “strategic patience” towards China shrank sharply. At present, US politicians and strategists believe that China is working on four aspects. First, politically, China wants to start all over again by building a new world order which shuts the US out and divides the West. Second, economically, China is expected to overtake the US in terms of aggregate volume in the mid-21st Century to become the world’s largest economy and will definitely seek a capacity of innovation and rule-making which can rival that of the West. Third, geopolitically, China is competing for “spheres of influence” with the US in the western Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean, aiming to undermine the US’s geopolitical clout. Fourth, ideologically, China is “re-reforming” the market-oriented reform which has been carried out for the past 40 years, resuming the idea of reviving Marxist theories, and explicitly exporting institutions and models with Chinese characteristics to the rest of the world.

There are two milestones that present the forming of the “consensus”. First of all, the Trump administration released three guidance documents in a row since the end of 2017: National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and Nuclear Posture Review. These reports expressly brand China as the US’s “principal rival in strategic competition” and “a revisionist power” challenging the international order, herald the adjustments to US policies towards China, and announce that the focus of US foreign strategies will be shifted from fighting terrorism back to traditional inter-state competition. Second, in February 2018 both the US Senate and the House of Representatives passed the Taiwan Travel Act without any opposition, signaling a strong anti-Chinese sentiment from both parties. On March 16th, Trump signed the Act to put it into effect.

It is no coincidence that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 351-66 on May 24th, 2018, and the Senate by a vote of 85-10 on June 18th — it is known that the act involves several tough terms concerning China, including disinviting China from participating in the Rim of the Pacific exercise. On August 13th, Trump signed it into law, representing strong signals of military confrontation.

In early August, the US Department of Defense released the 2018 China Military Power Report, highlighting the perception of China as an imaginary enemy. The report states that “the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been developing strike capabilities to engage targets as far away from China as possible”, “likely training for strikes against U.S. and allied targets”; that “the PLA continues to prepare for contingencies in the Taiwan Strait to deter and, if necessary, compel Taiwan to abandon moves toward independence”; and that “the PLA also is likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with China by force, while simultaneously deterring, delaying, or denying any third-party intervention on Taiwan’s behalf.”

The “trade war” waged by the Trump administration against China has been escalating. Trump has repeatedly overturned fundamental consensuses reached between the two sides at the working level, imposed new tariffs on goods imported to the US from China, and expanded the scope of tariffs. All of these show that the situation is not simply a “trade war” nor the so-called “the largest trade friction ever”; rather, it is the beginning of and the fuse for US adjustments to its strategies towards China.

Chinese scholars are increasingly inclined to believe that Trump, formerly an experienced businessman, does understand that China’s countermeasures may cause damage to the US. Nevertheless, he has accepted the viewpoints of the Director of the White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro and taken a gamble with the slogan of “seeking fair trade”. The move aims to halt the continued rapid growth of the Chinese economy, stifle the expansion of the Chinese capital market, and suppress China’s industrial competitiveness and technological innovation in a targeted manner so as to keep China in the middle- and low-end segments of the global industry chain.

Four decades after the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the US, unprecedented changes are taking place in the form and nature of bilateral relations. The economic race stands at the core of China-US competition, of which the impact will gradually extend to issues other than trade.

Prior to the trade war waged by the US is its increasing military and political containment of China. This can be shown by the country’s launching of the so-called “Indo-Pacific” strategy, which, targeting China as an imaginary enemy, is designed to intensify collaboration of military forces and military deployment in the western Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean as well as their neighboring areas and to agitate for a US-Japan-India-Australia “democratic security diamond”. In terms of the South China Sea issue, the US continues to hype up China’s “militarization” and extends their key areas of the “navigation freedom” action from the Nansha Islands to the Xisha Islands. Its “innocent passage” has become offensive and gathered some pace. The US even sent military aircraft to fly directly over China’s islands and reefs. It has also repeatedly sounded out Beijing on its bottom line in the Taiwan issue, indicating that the US may intend to once again make use of such a central and sensitive issue to ensure its favorable position in China-US relations.

The US and its western allies, always following double standards in anti-terrorism, have notably resumed their moral condemnation of China for issues concerning the stability of Xinjiang. Meanwhile, the vigilance of the US against China has increased its presence from strategic security issues outside to political security issues inside.

There is little doubt that the ongoing competition between the two counties has already profoundly and fundamentally influenced how Chinese leadership and a considerable number of Chinese people perceive the US in mental and strategic terms. The two sides should pay sufficient attention to the impact and continue leveraging the role of communication and exchanges, and they must not let the China-US relations uncontrollably move down the descending channel.

The Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen visited the US in late August. Negotiators of the two sides worked to plot a roadmap in a bid to end the escalating trade disputes before the upcoming G20 Summit in November. This November will also see the midterm congressional elections of the US. It is as early as that month that the two countries’ leaders will take advantage of the multi-lateral events for their bilateral meetings.

Progress in North Korea-US Relations Bogged down

Since the North Korea-US summit in Singapore this past June, the two countries have not worked well on implementing agreements reached during the meeting to improve bilateral relations.

On July 6th, North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un sent a letter to US President Donald Trump. In the letter, Kim hoped that two governments could work together for another sit-down and believed that the bilateral efforts for relation improvement and the faithful implementation of the joint statement will open up a new and fruitful future for the two countries.

On July 7th, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concluded his third visit to North Korea. Nevertheless, the US and North Korea gave quite different evaluations of the visit. Failing to meet Kim Jong-un, Pompeo described the talks as “productive” and insisted that “significant progress” had been made. The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, released a statement, slamming the attitude and stance the US showed as “regrettable” and accusing the US of making “gangster-like'” unilateral demands on denuclearization.

The statement said that North Korea was willing to discuss and take simultaneous actions together with the US. They include realizing multilateral exchanges for improved relations between North Korea and the US, making public a declaration on the end of war this year, dismantling the test ground of high-thrust engine to make a physical verification of the suspension of ICBM production, and making an earliest start of the working-level talks for recovering POW/MIA remains. By contrast, the US side came up only with its unilateral demand for denuclearization, never mentioned the issue of establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and took the position that it would even backtrack on the issue it had agreed upon to end the status of war under certain conditions and excuses.

On July 11th, Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), again mentioned “the building of nuclear force” on the front page. It stated that North Korean people should usher in a fresh phase of prosperity with their own efforts on all fronts of the socialist economic construction in the same spirit and mettle with which they advanced without even a moment’s halt to “win the great victory” of the “Byungjin line” despite the unprecedented sanctions and blockade threatening their existence. The official English version of the editorial specially made clear that “Byungjin line” refers to “the line of simultaneously pushing forward the economic construction and the building of nuclear force”.

On July 23rd, satellite images released by the US-based 38 North showed that North Korea began dismantling the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at the village of Dongchang-ri, Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province. From July 20th to 22nd, a number of construction vehicles went in and out of the site to ship out the dismantled facilities. The vehicles were not covered with anything, hence in full view of the US reconnaissance satellite. On the same day, a South Korean intelligence official noted that they also found signs of North Korea dismantling a large tower crane at the Sohae station.

July 27th, 2018, marked the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. The North Korean side was expecting all parties concerned to release a joint declaration on the end of war, but nothing happened. At the end of July, North Korea delivered the remains of 55 US service members killed during the Korean War to South Korea and returned them to the US.

On August 2nd, Trump posted a tweet to thank Kim for keeping his word and sending home the remains of 55 US service members. He also thanked Kim for his letter, stating that he looked forward to seeing his North Korean counterpart again. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump had replied in a letter, adding that there isn’t a second meeting planned yet. On the same day, Pompeo attended an ASEAN-centered Ministerial Meeting, during which he said that “North Korea remains in violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions, and there is still a way to go before achieving the goal of ridding the North of its nuclear weapons”, and emphasized the importance of maintaining diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization.

On August 3rd, the western news organizations disclosed a UN Security Council panel of experts’ report which suggested that North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile program, and the Yongbyon nuclear facilities, including its 5 MW reactor, are still functioning. The report also noted that North Korea resorts to illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil products at sea to evade UN sanctions.

On the same day, the US Mission to the United Nations (USUN) submitted a list of designation proposals to the UN Security Council’s 1718 North Korea Sanctions Committee which was established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006). The list is aimed at cutting off North Korea’s illicit financial activities. Meanwhile, the USUN stated that the US has been clear that if the international community wants to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, the best way to support that process is to remain vigilant in applying the current sanctions to their full extent.

On August 6th, Rodong Sinmun published an editorial accusing Washington of “acting opposite” to its plan to improve ties, despite goodwill gestures by Pyongyang, such as a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, the dismantling of a nuclear site, and the return of the remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean War. The editorial urged the US to drop sanctions.

On August 6th, the UN Security Council’s 1718 North Korea Sanctions Committee approved the initiative proposed by Russia, allowing its member states to, without violating UN sanctions, deliver humanitarian assistance to North Korea if they can offer detailed descriptions of the beneficiaries and where the goods and services go.

On August 23rd, Pompeo announced that he would soon pay his fourth visit to North Korea. On the same day, the South Korea-based Chosun Ilbo reported that the US was urging North Korea to submit the list of its nuclear program at an early date. On August 24th, however, Trump abruptly tweeted that he had asked Pompeo not to go to North Korea, because he did not think the country was making “sufficient progress” on denuclearization.

There are principally two problems. First, the US has plotted a stringent timetable for North Korea’s denuclearization roadmap, while the process is so technically complicated that there’s no way for North Korea to satisfy US demands. Second, North Korea sorely needs to see the US’s goodwill actions on offering security guarantees and lifting sanctions on the country. To this end, Pyongyang even gave considerable weight to Washington’s denuclearization concerns in the preliminary “roadmap” it proposed. The US, however, has not made clear how and what it will offer in return for the country’s denuclearization efforts, hence far from practicing the “simultaneous actions” principle North Korea upholds.

After the North Korea-US summit, Kim Jong-un’s domestic schedule has been nearly dominated by inspections of economic and livelihood projects and field guidance to production and business operation activities. During his tour, Kim visited more than 30 places, including power plants, fish farms, shipyards, machinery plants, hotels, sanatoriums, and factories producing seafood sauces and schoolbags in various provinces. Meanwhile, North Korea also dispatched several national-level and local-level delegations in a row to China to learn about management experience in various fields.

Among Kim’s investigation destinations, the most notable ones include: the Wonsan area, Kangwon Province, which is being developed as an international tourist destination; the Hwanggumpyong special economic zone in Sindo County and Apnok River economic development zone in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province; the ecotourism attractions in Samjiyon County, Ryanggang Province, which are compared to the French Alps; and the Chongjin economic development zone, Orang agricultural development zone, and Onsong Island tourist development zone in North Hamgyong Province. These investigations and inspections send the signals both within and without the country that North Korea will resolutely implement the decisions of the 7th WPK Congress and remain focused on improving its economy and illustrate North Korea’s economic development plan under the assumption that international sanctions are lifted. Meanwhile, they reflect the fact that Kim Jong-un is desperate for real returns from the international community for his denuclearization efforts and gets restless about the economic malaise. The North Korean army and people are also keen to see that the policy adjustments advocated by the leadership can ease international situations, promote economic development, and improve people’s livelihood as soon as possible. The problem is that the ice cannot be cracked without progress made in the denuclearization talks between North Korea and the US.

Iran Nuclear Issue Approaches Brink of Crisis

Following Trump’s announcement to exit the Iran nuclear deal in May, the US has resumed its sanctions against Iran: on August 6th, the first part of the restrictive measures came into effect, covering Iran’s finance, metals, minerals, automobiles and other non-energy related sectors; the remaining sanctions, which will be introduced in November, target Iran’s petroleum-related transactions, port operators, energy sector, shipping and shipbuilding sectors, and transactions between foreign financial institutions and the Central Bank of Iran. Trump issued a warning to Iran’s trading partners, saying that “Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.”

In response to the US sanctions, Iran has taken a tough stance by accelerating preparations for reviving uranium-enrichment activities at a limited level (according to Russian and Iranian press, Iran has taken back the first batch of 20 percent-enriched uranium kept in Russia and will soon receive the second batch). Some European countries also expressed their intention to maintain trading relations with Iran, while proactively seeking “exemption” from US sanctions. Despite of this, the Iranian market was frightened: the Iranian riyal plunged, Iranians hoarded up their gold and converted riyals into dollars, economic difficulties mounted, and the country was faced with an inflation upsurge. In mid-August, the French energy giant Total officially pulled out of Iran its energy program, quitting the development Iran’s South Pars gas field. Other European businesses exiting the Iranian market include the shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk, the French shipping group CMA CGM, the biggest oil product tanker operator Torm AS, the Germany energy company Wintershall AG, etc. Moreover, India, the second largest buyer of Iranian oil, is likely to slash Iranian crude purchases to about half of the previous level and increase crude imports from the US, in a bid to seek exemption from US sanctions.

Meanwhile, the US strengthened its threat of force against Iran. In late July, the Trump administration dispatched three aircraft carriers to the Gulf areas, and Israel played an active role in cooperating with the US to block and combat Iran’s military presence in Syria. Meanwhile, since late August, Syrian government forces backed by Russia’s task forces have been stepping up their preparations for a general offensive against the last opposition-held region Idlib Province. Russia will hold a major naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea with 26 warships and vessels, including two submarines, and 34 aircraft. This move represents a distinct stance of confrontation.

The situation in Iran and the Middle East is back on the brink of crisis, bringing the great power game to a higher level.

Pangoal Events in July and August 2018

  • On July 10th, representatives of Pangoal Institution were invited to attend the Salon themed with “Dialogue and Development of Non-official Think Tank” on invitation.

  • On July 11th, Pangoal Institution co-organized the promotion conference of cultural tourism resources in Shuimogou District of Urumqi.

  • On July 16th, Pangoal Institution hosted the Preparatory Seminar for the 3rd Global Mazu Culture Forum.

  • On July 21st, Pangoal Institution hosted the book launch of China’s Sea Power in the Post-Mahan Era and Seminar on the “Outlook and Trend of China-U.S. Maritime Strategic Competition”.

  • On July 23rd, Pangoal Institution co-organized “Lectures of ICBC International at the foot of Lion Rock: Communication with the Changing World”.

  • On July 27th, Pangoal Institution Aging Society Research Centre hosted a seminar on pension investment model and the Symposium of Aging Society 30 Forum, issuing “ten major topics for discussion in an aging society”.

  • On August 3rd, scholars in Pangoal Institution discussed issues on China-US relations with Bloomberg.

  • On August 7th, delegation of key personnel of four major think tanks in Bangladesh (Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Bangladesh International Institute of Strategic Studies, Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs, and Centre for Policy Dialogue) visited Pangoal Institution.

  • On August 10th, Yi Peng, President of Pangoal Institution conducted a survey of AI enterprises in Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, and held a dialogue with Fang Cunhao, Party Secretary of District Committee.

  • From August 10th to 12th, young scholars of Pangoal Institution Indian Studies Centre participated in International Youth Leadership Exchange Meeting held in India.

  • On August 13th, young scholars of Pangoal Institution Indian Studies Centre were invited to visit OP Jindal Global University and attended a meeting.

  • On August 17th, Mr. Kim Jong Han, Envoy of Embassy of Republic of Korea in China, visited Pangoal Institution again after three months.

  • On August 16th, Pangoal Institution co-organized World Mobile Internet Conference 2018.

  • On August 18th, Pangoal Institution conducted a survey in Beijing New Building Materials Public Limited Company, discovering the new highlight of China’s economy.

  • On August 20th, Pangoal Institution held an internal seminar on capital market situation.

  • On August 27th and 28th, Wang Dong, General Secretary of Academic Committee attended the 3rd Indian Ocean Conference on invitation, and delivered a keynote speech.

  • On August 28th, Pangoal Institution signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jeju Peace Institute.

  • On August 28th, Pangoal Institution and Jeju Peace Institute held the International Seminar on Building a Trust Mechanism in East Asia.

  • From August 28th to 30th, President Yi Peng led a team to Shaanxi to conduct a research on county economy and held a meeting with officials of Hancheng municipality, including the party secretary and the mayor.

  • On August 29th, delegations of Centre for Financial Research & Development of China Development Bank and Belt and Road PPP Research Centre in University of International Business and Economics visited Pangoal Institution and held a meeting. ■

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