Barrages of rockets by Palestinian militants from Gaza land into Jerusalem, amid of another round of air strikes by Israeli military forces. Violence follows weeks of mounting tensions and confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the city, sparked in part by Israeli plans to carry out evictions of Palestinian families in a neighborhood of east Jerusalem.
SOURCE: VOA NEWS
Japan’s ground troops began a large-scale joint exercise with the United States and France for the first time on Japanese soil. The move comes as Tokyo and Washington boost their alliance over regional issues including the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by Beijing, in the East China Sea amid an escalation of China’s maritime assertiveness in the East and South China seas.
Pakistan fears that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — in line with the American-Taliban peace deal signed last year — will cause more security threats putting China’s Belt and Road projects at risk.
Analysts feel the uncertainty in Afghanistan has provided Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with a window to attack interests in Pakistan, including the projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC — the $50 billion Pakistan component of the Belt and Road initiative.
CPEC has not traditionally been a top target of TTP in Pakistan. But in recent months, anti-China rhetoric has [surfaced] in TTP propaganda, especially because of China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims.
Pakistan already joined the U.S., Russia and China to call on the Afghan government and Taliban to ensure that Afghan soil is not used for cross-border attacks.
Located at the crossroads of global shipping lanes, Sri Lanka has become a significant recipient of Chinese economic and military influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Chinese investments in port capacity have enabled Sri Lanka to enhance its strategic position in the Indian Ocean and become a regional trading hub, with future plans to develop its ability to become a financial center as well.
Access to the Indian Ocean’s sea routes is critical to Beijing, as today China is the world’s top oil importer, principally coming from the Middle East, passing through the Indian Ocean on its way to China.
Sri Lanka has been a critical partner in China’s expansive foreign policy and infrastructure-focused Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The situation further highlights Sri Lanka’s delicate balancing act between China and India. Colombo Port in Sri Lanka is particularly significant for India, as it handles roughly 40 percent of transshipped container cargo bound for the Indian market.
India and EU announced a comprehensive Connectivity Partnership on supporting resilient and sustainable connectivity both in India and in third countries and regions, including Africa, Central Asia and the Indo-Pacific that will provide an alternative to China’s mega Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The EU-India Connectivity Partnership covers cooperation in the digital, energy, transport, and people-to-people sector. Is the second such partnership for Europe, after the one between EU and Japan in September 2019.
The India-EU initiative is comprehensive compared to the Blue Dot network formed by USA-Japan-Australia to provide assessment and certification of infrastructure development projects worldwide.
Pakistan fears that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will increase instability in both itself and its neighbor, causing more security threats and ultimately putting China’s Belt and Road projects at risk. Uncertainty in Afghanistan has already provided Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with a window to attack interests in Pakistan.
SOURCE: ASIA NIKKEI
United States may redeploy troops coming out of Afghanistan into Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, two of the three former Soviet republics bordering the war-torn country to its north, the Wall Street Journal reports. The newspaper’s sources admit, however, that Russia’s military presence in the region and China’s growing influence “complicate plans” for any US deployments in Central Asia.
SOURCE: MEHR NEWS
Iran officially confirms is holding negotiations with Saudi Arabia to resolve the issues standing in the way of normal relations between the two countries, which cut bilateral ties in 2016 over scandals around the execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia and Riyadh’s claims of Iran’s meddling in the domestic affairs of regional powers.
Sudan banned the construction of a Russian military base in the Red Sea. The agreement was signed shortly before the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir, but the new Sudanese authorities have not ratified it. The naval base would potentially be the “key” to Central Africa, where the Kremlin has interests.