Chinese President Xi Jinping has reportedly turned down an offer by his American counterpart Joe Biden for a face-to-face summit. According to the Financial Times, the Chinese president suggested that the tone and atmosphere of bilateral ties need to improve first. The two leaders spoke on the phone last week for the first time in seven months. Washington and Beijing have been at odds over a host of issues, including the South China Sea, and developments in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Beijing has maintained that the US policy toward China has long been a bone of contention in the relations.
Korean Peninsula tensions
South Korea's military says the North has fired two ballistic missiles into the sea, days after it tested a new long-range cruise missile. Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff says unidentified ballistic missiles have been fired from the North’s central inland area into the sea off its east coast. South Korea has called for a national security council meeting over the missile launch. It comes as Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi is in Seoul for talks with his South Korean counterpart. Chung Eui-yong has pledged to continue fostering peace with the North, urging China's support for the peace process in the Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, Japan has denounced North Korea's ballistic missile launch.
Spain PM in Barcelona
Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, travels to Barcelona for the resumption of talks with regional leaders on Catalonia's independence bid. Sanchez has confirmed that he will meet Catalan leader Pere Aragones on the region’s political situation. Initial talks began in February 2020, but were soon suspended after the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the new round of negotiations begin amid radical differences between the two sides. The Catalan separatists have two key demands: They want an amnesty for all those involved in the 20-17 failed independence bid and a new referendum on self-determination, this time with Madrid's approval. Madrid is firmly against both.