- China would accelerate free-trade negotiations with Japan and South Korea.
- The United States, Japan, India and Australia will work together to secure rare earth metals as part of efforts to counterbalance China’s growing economic power.
- The so-called “Quad” -United States, India, Australia and Japan- agreed to pool financing, manufacturing and distribution capacity to send coronavirus vaccines across Asia, to counter China’s growing vaccination diplomacy in Southeast Asia.
- Chinese investment in Australia plummeted 61% in 2020 amid a growing diplomatic rift between the two countries, since Australia first called for a rigorous investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- India and Japan signed agreements for crucial infrastructure projects. It is being perceived as significant in terms of the commitment by India and Japan to work for a free and stable Indo-Pacific.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited China with a call for Moscow and Beijing to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar and Western payment systems.
- Energy deals are creating a powerful alliance between China and Russia. To highlight this pivot, Gazprom has started a feasibility study for a pipeline through Mongolia towards its northeast.
- Relations of China with the five Central Asian state – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan- are witnessing an impressive growth, as they have emerged as vitally important for diversifying China’s domestic energy mix.
- Turkey’s foreign minister visited Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan searching for cooperation especially in matters related to energy, trade corridors, transportation and defense.
- Russia Highlights Northern Sea Route’s potential after week-long shutdown of the Suez Canal.
- The U.S. and the European Union has suspended all engagement with Myanmar, in response to last month’s military coup.
- Pakistan is considering resuming trade with India, in the latest sign that tensions are easing between the two nations, after their recently commitment to respect a 2003 ceasefire agreement along a disputed border.
- Pakistan is offering access to Gwadar port, a strategic component in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to landlocked Central Asian countries in the hope of stimulating activity at the idle facility.
- Pakistan offer Sri Lanka to join its multibillion-dollar trade and infrastructure scheme with China under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, raising concerns in Indian policy circles, as New Delhi seeks to secure its influence in a region where China’s presence is growing.
- Sri Lanka agreed with China to strengthen mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in all fields, amid the China´s willing to work with Sri Lanka to enhance Belt and Road cooperation.
- India will continue to work on connectivity projects that would support Afghanistan economically, backing a US-proposed process to secure political settlement for the war torn nation.
- India is planning to cut oil imports from Saudi Arabia after calls from India to increase crude production were ignored by OPEC.
- Iran and China signed a economic cooperation agreement, which included Chinese investments in projects ranging from nuclear energy, ports, railroads, and investment in Iran’s oil-and-gas industry. In return, China would receive steady supplies of Iranian oil.
- The Biden administration will enforce Trump-era sanctions against Iranian oil as shipments from the regime to China have soared.
- Bahrain agreed with China to strengthen their relationship according the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
- China is seeking greater development of the China-Oman strategic partnership, to boost bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, 5G, and information technology.
- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built from Russia to Germany is against the European Union’s own interests and threatened Berlin of possible sanctions over the project.
- Ethiopia signed with China an agreement expected to play an important role in strengthening the security and normal functioning of Chinese investments in Ethiopia, establishing security safeguarding mechanism for major projects under BRI in the African country.
- The Venezuelan government accused the United States of organizing attacks on energy facilities in Venezuela, after A gas plant belonging to the state-run oil and gas company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) was targeted by a terrorist attack.
- China confirmed its interest in further developing the Polar Silk Road as a component of the wider Belt and Road Initiative, while calling for further engagement with both the Arctic Ocean region and Antarctica.
By Bernardo Foster/
International Relations Analyst
THE HINDUSTAN TIMES – BLOOMBERG – ARAB NEWS – REUTERS – AL JAZEERA – BBC – NIKKEI – THE DIPLOMAT – ANADOLU AGENCY – 112 – THE WEEK IN – NEFTEGAZ RU – RT – SHAFAQ.COM – OIL PRICE – INTELINEWS – STRAIT TIMES – SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST – ANADOLU AGENCY – JERUSALEM POST – BLOOMBERG – RFE/RL – THE ARAB WEEKLY – POLANDIN – MIDDLE EAST MONITOR – EN PEOPLE – SPUTNIK – WALL STREET JOURNAL – SPUTNIK – ALARABIYA NEWS – VIETNAM PLUS – THE DIPLOMAT – MINT – PEOPLE´S DAILY ONLINE – COLOMBO PAGE