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Geoeconomics

ASIA PACIFIC

CHINA:

  • China’s top economic planner (the National Development and Reform Commission) has warned that the impact of Covid-19 and increased political risks in countries taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative are among the main challenges the multibillion-dollar project faces in the next five years. It identified changes to global governance and trade systems, the ongoing rivalry between China and the US, and growth in emerging markets as the most important factors affecting the project. Moreover, “some BRI countries have long term high geopolitical risks and certain regions have seen an escalation in conflict,” the report said.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST


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Geoeconomics

ASIA PACIFIC

CHINA:

  • China is trying to reshape its pharmaceutical industry and take on an unprecedented role as a major vaccine supplier to the rest of the world in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. By March, more than 100 million doses had been exported, about the same as the combined exports from India and the European Union. The growth in production means China will have a better chance of increasing its influence among developing countries which will look to it, along with India and Russia.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST


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EUROPE

HUNGARY:

  • A Hungarian oil and gas firm is indirectly about to give Russia a chance to finish its work on bypassing the Ukrainian gas transit and encircle the Central and Eastern European gas market. The energy trade route change helps to advance Russia’s geopolitical ambitions.

SOURCE: VISEGRADINSIGHT EU


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ASIA PACIFIC

NEW ZELAND:

  • New Zealand said it would not let the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance — the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand– dictate its dealings with its largest trading partner China, in the latest distancing from the US-led group’s approach to tensions with Beijing.

SOURCE: ALARABIYA NEWS


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Geopolitics

MIDDLE EAST

IRAN:

  • Iran’s foreign ministry has said the country is open to direct talks with Saudi Arabia after media reports said the two regional rivals recently held secret talks. The two countries have not had formal diplomatic ties since January 2016 when Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran was stormed after a prominent Shia Muslim leader was executed by Riyadh.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA


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MIDDLE EAST

IRAN:

  • Iran began enriching uranium to its highest level ever, edging closer to weapons-grade levels to pressure talks in Vienna aimed at restoring its nuclear deal with world powers after an attack on its main atomic site. The move is likely to raise tensions even as Iran negotiates in Vienna over a way to allow the U.S. back into the agreement and lift the crushing economic sanctions it faces.

SOURCE: AP NEWS


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SOUTH ASIA

INDIA:

  • India is expecting to restart EU-India talks in May, in particular negotiations on trade and investment. They are looking to improve relations to end dependence on China.

SOURCE: EURACTIV


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INDIA:

  • India is expecting to restart EU-India talks in May, in particular negotiations on trade and investment. They are looking to improve relations to end dependence on China.

SOURCE: EURACTIV


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EURASIA

RUSSIA:

  • The United States will sanction on Russia for alleged election interference and malicious cyber activity, targeting several individuals and entities. The action will add a new chill to the already frosty relations between Washington and Moscow, which has tested the West’s patience with a military buildup near Ukraine.

SOURCE: VOA NEWS


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ASIA PACIFIC

JAPAN:

  • Japan held consultations with the European Union on security and defence, in particular operational cooperation for maritime security, following joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Aden and in the Arabian Sea, as well as a joint port call on Djibouti. The EU and Japan are determined to pursue their cooperation to protect freedom of navigation and promote maritime security through training initiatives and operational activities at sea. They aim to extend their cooperation to other partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

SOURCE: EEAS


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