Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary will be making a trip to Russia, to meet Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister. Johnson believes that “You've got to beware of what they are up to”, the prime minister has also reinforced that the meeting will not be based around “business as usual” and more on an “engage but beware” principle. Johnson also added, “we don’t want to get into a new Cold War. That’s something London and Washington are completely at one on”. Even though these comments may seem rather controversial, they are extremely important issues which need to be resolved such as dealing with the crisis in Syria and Ukraine, unfortunately, they both share different views on each issue, so negotiating may be harder than expected. An FCO spokesman said, “Discussions will focus on the UK-Russia relationship and current international issues including Syria and Ukraine, where we continue to have significant differences”, then continuing on to say, “The foreign secretary will continue to be robust on these issues where we differ”. It is further to confirmed when the two will meet; “Details of precise timings will be confirmed in due course. A potential visit has been in the pipeline for some time, with the Prime Minister and President Putin discussing this when they met in China in September 2016”.
Johnson will be the first minister to visit Moscow on an official visit since 5 years ago. However, just 5 months ago he was accused of “Russophobic hysteria”, due to the calling of protests outside the Russian embassy because of the Aleppo bombing. Even so, Johnson said there is “no case for relaxation”, as he believes that the EU needs to be responsible and take more care over Russia’s actions. Putin himself is currently under question as the UK makes careful moves, after the accusations based on the hacking of the US presidential election. Michael Flynn, who is the US national security advisor resigned due to allegations of leaking information to the Russian ambassador, supposedly then covering up the conversations, between the two. Furthermore, documents from the CIA showed that Russian operatives did, in fact, interfere in the US elections, which then questions whether Russia intervened in the EU referendum vote, even more, so tensions are rising on whether the outcome of the next German and French elections will be legitimate. Overall, there is an uncertain relationship, between Russia and UK, due to trust issues, at the moment, however, the meeting with Johnson is hoped to change this perspective.
China is a significant contributor to the global market and unfortunately alongside, high emissions of greenhouse gases have been contributed on a global scale; which plays a vital role in causing global warming, this can ultimately present the severity of the country's environmental actions. Global warming can simply be conveyed through climate changes such as; unexpected precipitation levels, sea level rises, extreme weather occurrences, and also temperature fluctuations. Sea level rise can be caused by melting ice caps, similarly seen in Antarctica, when a hole in the ozone layer was discovered in May 1985, alike, China’s sea levels which have already started rising. When temperature’s escalate, the earth warms up melting the rocks, which form the earth, essentially slowly dissolving the earth away, not to mention an increased rate in evaporation which would cause increased precipitation.
In China’s case smog has been an extreme issue in public health, with masks been worn to protect people from breathing in dangerous chemicals to avoid the forever increasing risk of asthma and respiratory illnesses. This type of pollution is often referred to as ‘particulate matter’, forever increasing in China, perhaps caused by china's cities exceeding the legal air quality limit. Nevertheless, China is a superior trader and exporter of goods and the fact that the economic stronghold of the country can be intervened by the environment, is fascinating to investigate what will become of China in the future. An increase of 2% in annual rainfall, in northern, southern and northwest rainfall/snowfall have decreased, leaving the risk of droughts; however in the west precipitation has been on the rise, this could potentially reach 5% in annual rainfall. Annual temperature may rise by 0.23 degrees and even rise higher than the global average.
The “third national climate change assessment report”, was put together by 550 experts and scientists, establishing China’s current environmental stance. It is believed that; “overall climate change may further intensify the occurrence of floods and droughts”. This will cause a decline in crop production, which will have numerous effects on China’s economy, through the loss of jobs, higher produce prices and a decrease in the value of land. Eventually, leaving people in poverty and lacking essential necessities such as water and food. The lack of goods will deprive foreign markets and damage China’s trading industry. In the northeast of China, warmer weather will become common, extending the growing season; but leaving the burden of more: pesticides and pests. The report responds by claiming, “This will pose even more severe challenges for management of water resources”.
As mentioned previously, sea level rise is a major issue globally, but China is starting to stand out for the wrong reasons. With an increase of 2.9 millimeters a year of seawater, the country is exceeding the global average, leaving China’s coasts at risk. In order to protect the coastline, more money will need to be invested into development plans and coastal defences, depriving the economy of money which could have been placed on trade deals, in order to further enhance China’s future reputation as a superpower. In a space of 30 years, East China sea could near double from a shocking 7.5 cm to 14.5 cm. When 1 cm of sea rises, the coastline will be reversed backwards by nearly 10 meters. Sea level rise, will especially affect China’s fishing industry, which produces the highest figure in the world of 17.4% of seafood caught, accounting to an incredible 13.9 million tonnes. Having a significant effect on the economy China will be exposed to other competitors in the sea industry, on a global scale, not to mention face a loss of jobs and food for the country, as fish prices will increase, due to the increasing difficulty of the job.
However China has started to take action against global warming, by implementing new policies to prevent the severity of effects it could have on the country. Carbon trading is a new policy being implemented in order to reduce carbon emissions and reduce the burning of fossil fuels, especially for the use of electricity. By introducing incentives for buying hybrids, China hopes to reduce the smog and pollution faced on the roads, by reducing CO2 emissions and pulling high polluting cars of the road. Also, stricter regulations will be put forward to clamp down on the industrial burning of coal, providing cleaner air in the sky. Even though nuclear energy is not exactly, ‘renewable’, it produces the lowest amount of carbon for electricity, as a result the country's plans to build 60 nuclear power plants in the next decade. Slowly, the country will improve their environmental position and hopefully one day set an example on a global scale, to be an environmentally friendly country.
A startling proposition coincided with Trump’s recommendation insisting, Nigel Farage as Britain’s, US ambassador, following through to Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy (prime minister's joint chief of state), travelling to New York and Washington in December, with a desideratum of meeting Trump’s advisers. 10 Downing Street, instated a confirmation that May will be meeting Trump during the spring, through a spokesman commenting by conjecturing, “This was part of a process leading towards the PM’s first visit with President-elect Trump next year”. Subsequent to further negotiations No 10 proclaimed, “During the second phone call with President-elect Trump, the prime minister suggested it would be a good idea for key staff from both teams to meet. “President-elect Trump agreed this will be useful. We are pleased to have been able to make that happen and the Prime minister looks forward to visiting the new president in the spring”. It seems as though Mr Farage has been evicted out of the picture, this is supposedly due to the fact May had been forbidden by ministers, from using Farage as a middle man to her advantage for the sole purpose of improving relations. Downing Street cemented this claim by stating that the government is already prepared and has “well established” connections with the United States. Nevertheless, Trump did affirm that “Many people would like to see Nigel Farage represent Great Britain as their ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!” In response to this comment Nigel acknowledged how he was “very flattered”, by Trump’s compelling feedback.
In Interest to espouse the current ambassador, Mr Kim, Downing Street liberated a statement, promulgating “you have an ambassador who only took up his post earlier this year. He is doing a great job”. Without hesitation Mr Kim kept lights away and met with Ms May to consolidate that his job was indeed safe with him, having no intentions of replacing him with Farage. Mr Kim wrote to the Washington Post that, “Brexit and the election of president-elect Trump captured the mood and will of the electorate. Now is the time move forward together and embrace the opportunities ahead”. Later on addressing Brexit and president-elect Trump both being “fundamentally different issues”, being reinforced from the expression by voters.
A tenacious consanguinity is anticipated to be fabricated between Trump and May, as number 10 said, “They will work together closely, building on a legacy of previous leaders such as President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher”. Similar relations were hoped by Mr Kim, who said Britain and the United states would clasp “ever more closely on trade and security”, to justify the fact, Britain “remains America’s closest partner on defense”. In addition he quoted, “There is much the United States and Britain should, and will, tackle together as they have for 200 years. For decades, our partnership has been the cornerstone of the world order. So we, as an alliance, will continue to be strong”.
Withal, Farage has confirmed that he will be attending Trump’s inauguration later this month, claiming that “he can’t wait” to attend, unsurprising, as they have been close acquaintance’s with the most important time for Trump arriving, the marking of his presidency on the 20th January.
Chilling footage emerged on Sunday night featuring Shai Masot, a senior political officer in the Israeli Embassy and officer in the Israel defence force, who was filmed saying “can I give you some names of MP’s that I would suggest you take down?” The scene took place at a London restaurant and alongside him was Maria Strizzolo, who acts as an aide to the education minister and Robert Halfon, a former political director of the conservative friends of Israel. An alleged victim was reported to have been Sir Alan Duncan, who had close ties with the Palestine state, working as the foreign office minister. Previously Duncan has criticised Israel and was viewed as a wider problem than his boss Boris Johnson, remarked as “basically good” also “idiot without any kind of responsibilities”. As of recently, Duncan has declined to comment on the current circumstances of the situation.
Almost immediately, an apology was made by Mark Regev, the former Israeli ambassador, expressing his views towards Duncan regarding the situation, “the embassy considered the remarks completely unacceptable” and is currently in the process of passing Masot off as a junior staffer. During the conversation Masot revealed numerous details about his biography, which suggest he played an important role within the Embassy and was a well experienced politician. “About me: Interested in international relations and politics, working in the field for the last ten years and intend to continue developing in that section [in] the future. I am spontaneous, philosophical, open views and appreciate good people and aim to do good to the world. Philosophy: we all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more. Books: Niccolo Machiavelli is my god”. In context Masot, seems like a down to earth and well evoked man, but behind the scenes a questionable persona seems to revoke people's mind on what his real intentions are, especially with the state of Israel.
In Conjunction with Duncan, Crispin Blunt, chair of the commons foreign affairs select committee was also mentioned by Masot. Blunt responded with, “Whilst this apparent activity of a diplomat of a foreign state in the politics of the United Kingdom is formally outrageous and deserving of investigation, the real questions should be for the state of Israel itself. Israel’s future peace and security is not being served by ignoring the substantial peace lobby in both Israel and the world wide Jewish community and working to undermine those foreign politicians who share that perceptive”.
In a historical context, there have been on-going conflicts between Israel and Palestine, over the occupation of Gaza, it is thought that Palestine has a more fair right to the land, but this issue remains controversial to this day. As previously mentioned, Shai Masot (Israeli), versed his hatred towards MP’s who were Palestine supporters, showing the effects of the conflict, even in the UK.
The Scottish National Party believes Shai should be immediately removed from the Israeli Embassy regarding his comment to “take down”, the senior government minister. SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman Alex Salmond responded with, “It is completely unacceptable for the UK government to declare the matter closed- Shai Masot must go and go immediately before the end of his tenure at the Israeli Embassy”.
Condescendingly, critics have penalised there attention towards Boris Johnson and believe alongside the government, he is also not doing enough in his power to foresee this investigation. “Boris Johnson must right now revoke Mr Masot’s diplomatic status and remove him from the country as would most certainly have happened had the circumstances been reversed. Perhaps then the Israeli Government representatives will regard the foreign secretary as less of a fool”. It was later remarked, “I would expect the UK government to fully investigate this matter so that we can be confident our elected officials are free to carry out their jobs to the best of their ability and without fear of having their reputation smeared by Embassy Officials who do not agree with their views”.