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Geopolitics

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GEOPOLITICS? SOUTH ASIA:

MYANMAR’S COUP:

  • The coup’s bitterly contested in Myanmar is presenting China a serious geopolitical headache. The mass groundswell of protests rocking cities across the country have, in moments, taken on anti-China tones, and calling for boycotts of Chinese goods. The current imbroglio places a question mark over billions of dollars in deals and is deepening anti-Chinese sentiment in a strategic country along its border. Beijing was likely satisfied with the pre-coup status quo, one in which its state companies were invested in a slate of enterprises throughout the country while its officials maintained links with the National League for Democracy party.

SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST


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GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: January 2021, from Monday 18 to Sunday 26

January 2021

From Monday 18 to Sunday 26

MAIN TOPICS:

  • CONFLICTS
  • ALLIANCES
  • STRATEGIC RESOURCES
  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
  • ENERGY
  • ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
  • TERRORISM

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation

EAST CHINA SEA: Japan seeks US vow of support in East China Sea, as dispute with China heats up. Chinese ships in the disputed area have become an urgent issue for Tokyo, which also sent a diplomatic note to the UN over China’s activities in the South China Sea.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

 

SOUTH CHINA SEA: China sent warplanes, including fighter jets and bombers, into the South China Sea, breaching Taiwan’s airspace for a second day, provocations that come as a test in the early days of the Biden administration. In recent months, China has ramped up its naval presence in the region and criticized any military operations in the area by the US as “collusion” with Taiwan.

SOURCE: NEW YORK POST

 

CHINA-TAIWAN: China announced imposing sanctions on US officials over enhanced engagements with Taiwan. The move comes days after the US eased restrictions on contacts between American and Taiwanese officials.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

 

CHINA: China´s government assured that none of the key projects involved in China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have been suspended for reasons connected with COVID-19. Assured, as examples, that construction work for the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway and China-Laos railway are on schedule, and 65 companies have moved into the China-Belarus industrial park, with total agreed investment of $1.22 billion.

SOURCE: GLOBAL TIMES

 

CHINA: China’s demand for oil remained strong last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic which caused reduced demand for fuel elsewhere. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, beat Russia, maintaining its ranking as China’s largest crude supplier in 2020. China is the world’s largest oil importer.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

 

EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

HIMALAYAN BORDER: Indian and Chinese troops clashed anew on their contested Himalayan border, highlighting the fraught state of relations between the giant nuclear-armed neighbours.

SOURCE: DIGITAL JOURNAL

 

AZERBAIJAN-TURKMENISTAN: Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan signed a deal on joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources of the Dostlug field in the Caspian Sea. Is the “start of a new stage of energy cooperation” between the two neighboring countries.

SOURCE: YENISAFAK

 

SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

PAKISTAN-CHINA: Pakistan and China are embroiled in their most serious disagreement relating to the Belt and Road Initiative, causing the annual bilateral summit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to be delayed.

SOURCE: NIKKEI

 

INDIA: Iraq’s crude exports to India grew nearly double-digits last year, helping it retain the title of India’s top oil supplier in 2020, but it may struggle to attain similar growth in 2021 if the newly appointed US President Joe Biden resurrects the nuclear deal with Tehran (as expected), which could potentially see the return of Iranian crude, analysts told S&P.

SOURCE: SP GLOBAL

 

AFGHANISTAN: A wave of Taliban attacks and violence has killed dozens across Afghanistan, even as talks are underway between the government and the insurgents in Qatar.

SOURCE: SF CHRONICLE

 

MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

ISRAEL: The Biden administration said it will work closely with Israel on regional security issues and to build on the country’s regional normalisation agreements. Israel is pressing ahead with efforts to expand new relations, following through on last year’s US-brokered agreements to establish full diplomatic ties with a number of Arab countries.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

 

IRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged new US President Joe Biden on the day of his inauguration to return to the 2015 nuclear deal and to lift the sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

SOURCE: TREND AGENCY

 

IRAN: Newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden’s administration will launch an initiative through European mediators to open a direct dialogue with Tehran. New approach will be accompanied by contacts with the allies of the United States in the region, specifically with Gulf countries and Israel.

SOURCE: TIMES OF ISRAEL

 

SAUDI ARABIA: The US military is exploring new bases in Saudi Arabia amid rising tensions with Iran. They already had tested unloading and shipping cargo overland from Saudi Arabia’s port at Yanbu, a crucial terminal for oil pipelines in the kingdom.

SOURCE: TIMES OF ISRAEL

 

TURKEY: Turkey’s presidency submitted a motion extending Turkish forces’ deployment in the Gulf of Aden, Somalia and the Arabian Sea. The Gulf of Aden — near Yemen and close to the world’s fourth-biggest oil transit chokepoint, the Bab el-Mandab strait — is a strategic energy route for Middle Eastern crude oil.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

 

IRAQ: Twin suicide bombings have ripped through a busy market in the Iraqi capital, killing at least 28 people, amid heightened political tensions over planned early elections and a severe economic crisis. Islamic State claimed the responsibility.

SOURCES: IRISH EXAMINERMIDDLE EAST EYE

 

IRAQ: More than two years after the end of the self-proclaimed ISIS caliphate in Iraq, Iraqi politicians and political factions are engulfed by waves of concerns about Washington’s plot to revive the terrorist group in their country. Reports suggest that the US is transferring to the Iraq-Syrian borders for future terrorist operations the ISIS prisoners who were kept in Hasakah jails in northeastern Syria.

SOURCE: ABNA 24

 

SYRIA: “Pioneering” American entrepreneurs have waded into the “murky” oil business in Syria, according to a report by the Financial Times. The FT article raised speculations over why former US president Donald Trump reversed his decision to keep US troops in the region having threatened twice to pull them out of the north-east Syria.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

 

SYRIA: Syria strongly condemned the actions of US occupation forces in the country’s Northeast. In a letter addressed to the UN, Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs renewed the country’s calls for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US forces from the territory.

SOURCE: FARS NEWS AGENCY

 

SYRIA: China called during a UN Security Council session for the cancelling of western unilateral coercive measures against Syria immediately.

SOURCE: SYRIAN OBSERVER

 

EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

MEDITERRANEAN: Turkey and Greece resumed talks aimed at addressing long-standing maritime disputes, ending a five-year hiatus after months of tensions in the eastern Mediterranean. But, despite agreeing to resume talks, Ankara and Athens still appeared to disagree over the topics to be covered in the run-up to Monday’s meeting.

SOURCE: FRANCE 24

 

MEDITERRANEAN: The European Union has decided to hold off on sanctions against Ankara following the positive spirit created by the latest bilateral engagements and exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST EYE

 

THREE SEAS INITIATIVE: Ukraine and Moldova reaffirmed their interest in being part of the Three Seas Initiative, a forum of twelve states in the European Union, along a north–south axis from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea in Central and Eastern Europe, that aims at boosting connectivity and facilitating real convergence among EU Member States, contributing to the strengthening of the transatlantic link.

SOURCE: PORTS EUROPE

 

RUSSIA: Russia intends to deploy newest heavy artillery to Ukrainian border. Russia explains the build-up of its artillery power on the south-western borders by the allegedly increasing NATO’s presence in the region.

SOURCE: UAWIRE

 

RUSSIA: On Saturday, tens of thousands rallied in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, and issued a call for another round of mass-demonstrations this weekend. Russia formally protested to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow over social media posts it said promoted huge anti-Kremlin demonstrations over the weekend.

SOURCE: CBS NEWS

 

AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

EGYPT: Hounded by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after briefly rising to power following the Arab Spring uprising, the Muslim Brotherhood sees a new revolution sweeping aside the current regime. They also expressed little fear at the repercussions of this month’s reconciliations between Qatar and its regional rivals in the Gulf and Egypt, which have branded the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist organisation”.

SOURCE: BUSINESS RECORDER

 

ETHIOPIA/SUDAN: Ethiopia reiterated its call for Sudan to pull back from disputed territories its troops have been in since late last year. In late December, Sudanese soldiers reportedly moved up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) into Ethiopian-held territories, including the contested fertile agricultural region of Al-Fashaga.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

 

NORTH AMERICA:

2000px-Location_North_America.svg

UNITED STATES: President Biden halted efforts to drill in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge hastily enacted by the outgoing administration of former President Trump. The order places “a temporary moratorium on all activities of the Government relating to the implementation of the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program”. The order also reinstated an Obama-era policy closing most federal offshore waters in the U.S. Arctic and Northern Bering Sea to oil and gas exploration.

SOURCE: ARTICT TODAY

 

UNITED STATES: An American upstream oil company discovered oil in US Gulf of Mexico, one of the most important regions for energy resources and infrastructure, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gulf of Mexico federal offshore oil production accounts for 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil production.

SOURCE: RIGZONE

 


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GLOBAL GEOPOLITICAL NEWS: January 2021, from Monday 11 to Sunday 17

January 2021

From Monday 11 to Sunday 17

 

MAIN TOPICS:

  • CONFLICTS
  • ALLIANCES
  • STRATEGIC RESOURCES
  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
  • ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
  • TERRORISM

ASIA PACIFIC:

Sino-Federation

CHINA: The US added Chinese National Overseas Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to a US economic blacklist. It said CNOOC has “repeatedly harassed and threatened offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction in the South China Sea, with the goal of driving up the political risk for interested foreign partners, including Vietnam.”

SOURCE: BUSINESS TIMES

EURASIA:

Eurasia_(orthographic_projection).svg

NAGORNO-KARABAKH: Russian President Vladimir Putin brought together the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan for the first time since a war last year over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, an effort to resolve problems that risk undermining the deal that ended the conflict. For Russia, the conflict highlighted the rising influence of Azeri ally Turkey in the South Caucasus, part of the former Soviet Union that Moscow has traditionally seen as its own sphere of influence.

SOURCE: REUTERS

NAGORNO-KARABAKH: The first meeting between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia after their six-week war over Nagorno-Karabakh last year has clearly shown that Russia is rebuilding its leadership in the Caucasus, leaving little room for Turkey, which helped Azerbaijan prevail on the battlefield. According to the joint statement, Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia will establish a joint working group, while Turkey was not even mentioned in the statement.

SOURCE: AL MONITOR

SOUTH ASIA:

South_Asia_UN_(orthographic_projection).svg

AFGHANISTAN: The US has decreased its number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to 2,500, accomplishing a key goal of President Donald Trump as he prepares to leave office next week. Under a plan instituted by Trump the Pentagon is seeking to completely withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by May, but it is unclear if incoming President Joe Biden will continue to implement the policy when he takes office Jan. 20.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY

AFGHANISTAN: China has cautioned that an unorganized US departure could open the way for militants to re-establish Afghanistan as a regional hotbed of Islamic terror. China is concerned that Afghanistan, which shares a land border with China’s restive Xinjiang province, could in particular become a breeding ground for Uighur Muslim militants. China is seeking to become more involved in intra-Afghan talks.

SOURCE: ASIA TIMES

AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan calls for Iran pivotal role in Afghan peace talks. Foreign ministers of these countries emphasized strengthening and expanding relations between the two countries.

SOURCE: IRNA

AFGHANISTAN: Recent visits by top Taliban leaders to Pakistan ahead of the second rounds of talks that began this month have caused concerns in India about the close ties between the insurgent group and Islamabad. Pakistan has already advised against India’s involvement in Afghanistan, accusing New Delhi of launching terror attacks from the war-torn country.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK

INDIA: India’s Foreign Minister said that trust with China had been deeply impaired after last summer’s border clash which resulted in the first combat deaths in 45 years, and that ties with the United States, on the other hand, were converging and were likely to expand under the new administration in Washington. Together with U.S. allies attempts to balance China’s assertive actions in the region.

SOURCE: REUTERS

MYANMAR: China is planning to expand infrastructure links with the key oil and gas port of Kyaukpyu in Myanmar (Burma) as part of efforts to develop its Belt and Road (BRI) investments in the country. The two governments signed an initial deal.

SOURCE: ARGUS MEDIA

MIDDLE EAST:

Middle_East_(orthographic_projection)

RUSSIA/USA: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Washington is doing everything possible to disrupt the dialogue between Iran and the Persian Gulf states. According to Lavrov, the Russian proposal to create a security strategy for the Persian Gulf is particularly aimed at developing dialogue between Iran and the Arab states.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS AGENCY

IRAN: The governments of France, Germany and the UK have said they are “deeply concerned” by Iran’s announcement it will produce uranium metal, a violation of the 2015 nuclear treaty. Uranium metal can be used as a component for nuclear weapons, and the western governments said in a statement the production of the material has “potentially grave military implications”.

SOURCE: EURONEWS

ISRAEL/PALESTINE: Israel announces new illegal settler homes in occupied West Bank, in last days of Trump’s presidency. Palestinian officials and much of the international community view them as the main obstacle to a viable two-state solution.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

ISRAEL/PALESTINE: Foreign ministers of Egypt, Germany, France and Jordan discussed ways to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, a week before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. The Palestinians suffered numerous setbacks under the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump and have complained about what they say were pro-Israeli steps from Washington.

SOURCE: DAILY MAIL

ISRAEL: Thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Demonstrators have continued anti-Netanyahu protests for 30 weeks.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

 JORDAN: US to build new military base in Jordan, in line with the expansion of military cooperation between this country and the United States, and with the US government’s efforts to fight terrorism and strengthen Jordan’s defense capabilities.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS

YEMEN: United States will designate Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels as a foreign terrorist organization. The designation will take effect on Jan. 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden takes offices.

SOURCE: NBC NEWS

EUROPE:

1200px-Europe_orthographic_Caucasus_Urals_boundary_(with_borders).svg

TURKEY/GREECE: Turkey has offered to resume talks with Greece over the eastern Mediterranean and other issues this month. Greece rejected talks planned for last year after Turkey deployed a seismic exploration vessel to disputed waters.

SOURCE: TRT WORLD

TURKEY: U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will find it difficult to prevent U.S. legislators from imposing sanctions on NATO member Turkey. Erdoğan has angered many politicians in Washington by cosying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, attacking Kurdish militants allied with the United States in the battle against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, and by purchasing S-400 air defence missiles from Moscow.

SOURCE: AHVAL NEWS

NORDSTREAM2: The outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump is reportedly preparing a final round of penalties against Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline that will connect Russia and Germany.

SOURCE: RT

BELARUS: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko instructed the government to impose tit-for-tat sanctions against Western nations that had earlier slapped sanctions on some Belarusian enterprises as punishment for Lukashenko election’s outcome.

SOURCE: TASS

AFRICA:

1200px-Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

SENEGAL: In an attempt to counter Turkey’s expansion in West Africa, Egypt and the UAE seek to consolidate their ties with Senegal, the gateway to West Africa. The year 2020 witnessed intensive activities on the part of Turkey to consolidate its ties with West African countries, namely Senegal.

SOURCE: AL MONITOR

CONGO-BOTSWANA: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Botswana signed respectively a memorandum of understanding with China on jointly building the Belt and Road, becoming successively the 45th and the 46th African partner countries to participate in BRI cooperation. China will continue to actively participate in Africa’s infrastructure construction in such areas as transportation, energy and communications.

SOURCE: PEOPLE CN

TUNISIA: Violent protests broke out in several Tunisian cities as anger mounts over economic hardship. The demonstrations come as Tunisia marks the tenth anniversary of the revolution that toppled late president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

LATIN AMERICA:

1200px-South_America_(orthographic_projection).svg

CUBA: The U.S. announced a decision to designate Cuba as a “state sponsoring terrorism” once again more than five years after removing the country from the list. Cuba strongly condemned the U.S. decision as a hypocritical move full of “political opportunism.” China firmly opposes the United States imposing political suppression and economic sanctions on Cuba under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

SOURCE: CHINA ORG


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EURASIA:

NAGORNO-KARABAKH:

  • The first meeting between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia after their six-week war over Nagorno-Karabakh last year has clearly shown that Russia is rebuilding its leadership in the Caucasus, leaving little room for Turkey, which helped Azerbaijan prevail on the battlefield. According to the joint statement, Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia will establish a joint working group, while Turkey was not even mentioned in the statement.

SOURCE: AL MONITOR


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SOUTH ASIA:

AFGHANISTAN:

  • Recent visits by top Taliban leaders to Pakistan ahead of the second rounds of talks that began this month have caused concerns in India about the close ties between the insurgent group and Islamabad. Pakistan has already advised against India’s involvement in Afghanistan, accusing New Delhi of launching terror attacks from the war-torn country.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK


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SOUTH ASIA:

AFGHANISTAN:

  • The US has decreased its number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to 2,500, accomplishing a key goal of President Donald Trump as he prepares to leave office next week. Under a plan instituted by Trump the Pentagon is seeking to completely withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by May, but it is unclear if incoming President Joe Biden will continue to implement the policy when he takes office Jan. 20.

SOURCE: ANADOLU AGENCY


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EUROPE:

NORD STREAM 2:

  • The outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump is reportedly preparing a final round of penalties against Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline that will connect Russia and Germany.

SOURCE: RT


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EUROPE:

TURKEY:

  • U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will find it difficult to prevent U.S. legislators from imposing sanctions on NATO member Turkey. Erdoğan has angered many politicians in Washington by cosying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, attacking Kurdish militants allied with the United States in the battle against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, and by purchasing S-400 air defence missiles from Moscow.

SOURCE: AHVAL NEWS


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ASIA PACIFIC:

CHINA:

  • The US Commerce Department said it added Chinese National Overseas Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to a US economic blacklist. It said CNOOC has “repeatedly harassed and threatened offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction in the South China Sea, with the goal of driving up the political risk for interested foreign partners, including Vietnam.”

SOURCE: BUSINESS TIMES


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MIDDLE EAST:

RUSSIA/USA:

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Washington is doing everything possible to disrupt the dialogue between Iran and the Persian Gulf states. According to Lavrov, the Russian proposal to create a security strategy for the Persian Gulf is particularly aimed at developing dialogue between Iran and the Arab states.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS AGENCY


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