Global Political Calendar: Trump's SOTU, details of U.S.- DPRK summit
By Duan Fengyuan

U‍.S. President Donald Trump will finally get to deliver his State of the Union (SOTU) address, the date and location of the second summit between Trump and leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un will (probably) be announced, Canada will host a Lima Group meeting over the Venezuela crisis after the group recognized Venezuela's opposition leader as interim president, and China and Portugal will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Trump's show time

Trump will deliver his SOTU speech on Tuesday, which was initially scheduled for January 29. The date was finally decided after Trump signed a bill to fund parts of the government through to February 15, surrendering to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in their fight over the government shutdown. Trump is known for his many "surprising" announcements, such as the latest scrap of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and troop pullout from Syria. Will he surprise the world again in his second SOTU address?

Vietnam and late February?

Trump said that the date and location of his second meeting with Kim Jong Un, leader of the DPRK, have been decided and will be announced within this week. U.S. Special Representative for the DPRK Stephen Biegun also traveled to Seoul on February 3  for a meeting with his DPRK counterpart Kim Hyok Chol to prepare for the second Trump-Kim summit scheduled later this month. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the venue is "someplace in Asia." Will the summit be held in a Vietnamese city as reported by the media?

Dialogue or further confrontation?

The situation in Venezuela is still highly volatile as political turmoil continues. On January 26, some Western countries sent an ultimatum demanding Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to call for new elections within eight days. The deadline expires on February 3. Meanwhile, Maduro proposed early parliamentary elections. Earlier before this decision, a senior air force general expressed his allegiance to the self-proclaimed interim president Guaido. On Monday, the Lima Group is convening a meeting in Ottawa to boost support for Juan Guaido. What will be the next chapter for the Latin American country – talks, more confrontation, or further economic sanctions?

China-Portugal ties

China and Portugal established diplomatic relations on February 8, 1979. In 1999, the two countries properly resolved the question of Macao through friendly consultations. Beijing and Lisbon upgraded relations to comprehensive strategic partnership in 2005 with cooperation embarking on a fast lane of development. In early December last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a two-day state visit to Portugal and praised that this year is a "new starting point in history" for the bilateral relations.


Monday: German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays a two-day visit to JapanRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visits Tajikistan, Canada hosts Lima Group over Venezuela's turmoil, and Sri Lanka celebrates its 71st Independence Day in Colombo.

Tuesday: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers the delayed 2019 State of the Union address, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov starts a two-day visit to Turkmenistan, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras starts a two-day visit to Turkey.

Wednesday: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier attend anniversary festivities marking 100 years of the Weimar Constitution.

Thursday: German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets the prime ministers of the Visegrad Group – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – at a summit in Bratislava.

FridayChina and Portugal celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, and U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testifies behind closed doors.

Saturday: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren plans to formally launch her 2020 presidential campaign.

SundayThe 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU (African Union)'s Heads of State and Government starts in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.