– China’s defense minister gets face time with Kim Jong-Il on the third day of his visit to North Korea.
– A high-ranking Chinese military envoy was in Moscow for discussions with Russia’s defense minister.
– A high-ranking Chinese political envoy was in Quito to discuss deepening ties with Ecuador. Among the deals signed was a credit line for Ecuador to purchase Chinese military aircraft. That’s pretty remarkable, given the extent to which Ecuador’s military has historically been U.S.-trained, equipped and oriented. (Little-known fact: There’s a small but visible Chinese expat population spread throughout Ecuador. Second little-known fact: Ecuadoran-style Chinese food is really, really bad.)
– For the record, Beijing is still opposed to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. On a related note, Nov. 20 marked the 24th year that Generalissimo Francisco Franco was still dead.
– Balochistan’s nationalist parties rejected Islamabad’s aid package, unveiled yesterday, saying they want to control the province’s resources and coastline. They characterized the package as “peanuts” and “mega projects.”
– Russia has announced the latest list of “strategic” state-owned companies and holdings to be privatized. The fire sale is expected to raise at least $1.9 billion. For more on Russia’s state capitalism model, see Ian Bremmer and Alexander Kliment’s WPR feature article (sub. req.)
– Qatar and Thailand signed a MoU to strengthen ties.
– More details emerge on the meeting between Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Israeli Trade Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who was in Ankara on a diplomatic mission to improve strained relations.
– Support for Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon slipped to merely “highly popular.” His approval rating dropped 4 percent, to 58.2 percent.
– Elections in Côte d’Ivoire have been postponed again.
Researched by Kari Lipschutz.