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connectivity

China´s interest in Sri Lanka | SOURCE: JAMESTOWN ORG

Image: An aerial photo taken on September 23, 2020 shows the construction of a park in Colombo Port City by China Harbor. (Source: CHEC via Xinhua)

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.

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Geopolitics

U.S. Humanitarian Aid and Supplies Help Respond to Insecurity in Mozambique | SOURCE: US DEPARTMENT STATE

The United States is working to increase humanitarian assistance in Mozambique in response to the devastating violence by ISIS-Mozambique in Cabo Delgado province. The United States is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Mozambique. 

SOURCE: US DEPARTMENT STATE


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Geoeconomics

MIDDLE EAST

LEBANON-ISRAEL:

  • Lebanon and Israel resumed indirect talks with U.S. mediation over their disputed maritime border. They each claim about 860 square kilometers  of the Mediterranean Sea as being within their own exclusive economic zones. Lebanon is paving the way for potential lucrative oil and gas deals.

SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST


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what is happening in geopolitics?

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GEOPOLITICS? (APRIL 2021)

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • The Chinese air force sent a fleet of aircraft close to Taiwan in the latest sign of military intimidation against the separately ruled island.

SOURCE: HINDUSTAN TIMES

  • South Korea and the United States signed a deal marking what some say is a return to a stronger U.S.-ROK alliance.

SOURCE: NK NEWS

  • Vietnam and China agreed to strengthen military cooperation.

SOURCE: CHINA ORG

  • China cautioned Australia to abide by its ‘One China’ policy after a senior Australian warned of a potential conflict over Taiwanese independence.

SOURCE: VOA NEWS

  • Australia will upgrade four military bases in its north and expand war games with the United States.

SOURCE: NEWS 18

  • Japan will hold a joint military drill with US and French troops in the country’s southwest. It comes as Tokyo seeks to deepen defense cooperation beyond its key US ally to counter Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the East and South China seas.

SOURCE: THE DEFENSE POST

  • Hong Kong’s electoral reform bill has been introduced in the city’s legislature, setting in motion changes that will give Beijing greater control over the process while reducing the number of directly elected representatives.

SOURCE: IRISH EXAMINER

  • The European Union is preparing to impose new collective sanctions on the Myanmar military targeting its business interests.

SOURCE: STRAIT TIMES

  • Russia and China are blocking efforts at the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo to Myanmar.

SOURCE: HUNDUSTAN TIMES

  • Russia is increasing arms sales to Myanmar’s military and steadfastly standing by Myanmar’s coup leader, General Min Aung Hlaing.

SOURCE: VOA NEWS

  • The leaders of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei met in Jakarta to discuss the political crisis in Myanmar.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT


EURASIA:

  • Japan held consultations with the European Union on security following joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Aden and in the Arabian Sea, as well as a joint port call on Djibouti. They aim to extend their cooperation to other partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

SOURCE: EEAS

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that he was against the idea of establishing NATO alliances in the Middle East and Asia, commenting on recent calls for establishing similar bodies in both regions.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR


SOUTH ASIA:

  • President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001.

SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST

  • India is concerned about a vacuum developing in Afghanistan following the proposed withdrawal of United States from the country. India’s big worry is that instability could spill over into its Muslim-majority territory of Kashmir.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • Afghan and Pakistani troops opened fire at each other at a crossing point in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province in the south.

SOURCE: AFGHANISTAN TIMES

  • A car bomb blast ripped through a luxury hotel’s parking area in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, where China’s ambassador to Pakistan was staying. Chinese nationals and their interests in the region have been attacked before by Taliban militants.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • Russia – which is helping to construct a gas pipeline between Pakistan’s port city of Karachi and eastern Lahore- will provide unspecified military equipment to Pakistan to fight terrorism.

SOURCE: RFE/RL ORG

  • India held a new round of talks with China to iron out differences over the next phase of disengagement in Eastern Ladakh.

SOURCE: THE DAILY STAR

  • India protested to the United States for a navy vessel conducting a transit through its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) without consent, in a rare row between the friendly navies of the two countries.

SOURCE: REUTERS


MIDDLE EAST:

  • Iran’s foreign ministry has said the country is open to direct talks with Saudi Arabia. The two countries have not had formal diplomatic ties since January 2016.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

  • Iran began enriching uranium to its highest level ever to pressure talks in Vienna aimed at restoring its nuclear deal with world powers.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • Iran has blamed regional arch-foe Israel for a sabotage incident at its key Natanz nuclear site and threatened to exact revenge, in what appeared to be latest episode in a long-running covert war.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The visit will ‘reaffirm the enduring U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership.

SOURCE: HAARETZ

  • The US and Iraq reiterated their mutual intention to continue bilateral security cooperation.

SOURCE: ASHARK AL-AWSAT


EUROPE:

  • Russia ordered a total of seven diplomats from three Baltic nations and Slovakia to leave in a quid pro quo response to the countries’ expulsion of Russian Embassy workers.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • Russian troops began pulling back to their permanent bases after a massive buildup that caused Ukrainian and Western concerns.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • The United States imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia to punish it for bullying Ukraine (and interfering in last year’s U.S. election, cyber hacking, and other alleged malign actions).

SOURCES: REUTERS – YENISAFAK

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has threatened Turkey a gainst any more purchases of Russian weapons.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK

  • Greek and Turkish Cypriots have not found enough common ground in order to restart peace negotiations on a formal level after a three-day summit.

SOURCE: RT


AFRICA:

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pressed for an easing of tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia as fears grow of a spillover from the bloody Tigray conflict.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY


LATIN AMERICA:

  • Venezuela announced that it is to deploy more troops to the border with Colombia, which has seen heavy clashes between the army and Colombian irregular armed groups.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS


brian

 

 By Bernardo Foster/

 International Relations Analyst


To read daily news on geopolitics and geoeconomics you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook


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what is happening in geoeconomics?

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GEOECONOMICS? (APRIL 2021)

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • 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.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

  • Australia has cancelled two deals struck by its state of Victoria with China on cooperation with Beijing’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative. China has imposed before a series of trade sanctions on Australian exports ranging from wine to coal.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • China’s top economic planner 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.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

  • US sanctions Chinese computer makers as tech war heats up. The measure is the latest sign President Joe Biden is sticking to the tough line taken by his predecessor, Donald Trump, toward Chinese tech industries seen by Washington as potential threats.

SOURCE: TRT

  • Taiwan says its chip firms will adhere to new U.S. rules blacklisting China supercomputing entities.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • China’s Huawei sales downed 16.5% amid US sanctions.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • The United States imposed sanctions against Myanmar’s state-owned timber and pearl industries as the Biden administration seeks to cut key financial resources to the military junta as it violently cracks down on protesters opposing its February coup.

SOURCE: UPI


SOUTHERN ASIA:

  • India will begin full-scale operations in its first foreign port venture at Iran’s Chabahar. It represents a potent commercial challenge to China’s massive port investment in neighboring Pakistan’s Gwadar, a key component of the BRI.

SOURCE: TEHRAN TIMES

  • China is planning a mega dam in Tibet stoking fears in neighbouring India that in reactions has floated the prospect of building another dam on the Brahmaputra.

SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA

  • President Joe Biden met growing calls in India to provide aid regarding Covid-19. Nevertheless, the U.S. action was seen as coming too late for an administration that has sought to elevate its security partnership with India against China.

SOURCE: BNN BLOOMBERG

  • India has emerged as the top buyer of US crude in the first quarter of calendar year 2021, after Saudi Arabia staved off India’s request to boost production to cool prices.

SOURCE: THE HINDU BISINESS LINE

  • India is expecting to restart EU-India talks on trade and investment, to improve relations to end dependence on China.

SOURCE: EURACTIV

  • Pakistan would sign with Iran a Memorandum of Understanding on trade development and opening more cross-border trade centers, as a major step in strengthening bilateral relations.

SOURCE: IRNA

  • Russia is going to supply LNG to Pakistan, as part of its plan to deep bilateral ties, including in energy and trade.

SOURCE: RT


MIDDLE EAST:

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to pay a visit to Iran to sign an action plan for economic cooperation.

SOURCE: IRNA


EUROPE:

  • EU lawmakers had voted in favor of the agreement with Britain on post-Brexit trade arrangements.

SOURCE: THE EPOCH TIMES

  • The White House is in talks to appoint a special envoy to lead negotiations on halting the construction of Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, as Washington looks for ways to hinder completion of the pipe set to deliver Russian gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine.

SOURCE: UNIAN

  • German Foreign Minister opposed to new sanctions on Russia, which has been the willing participant in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. 

SOURCE: ITELLINEWS

  • A Hungarian oil and gas firm is about to give Russia a chance to bypass the Ukrainian gas transit and encircle the Central and Eastern European gas market.

SOURCE: VISEGRADINSIGHT EU


AFRICA:

  • Russia is using vaccine diplomacy in the Maghreb and North Africa to stand out as a serious partner to the countries of the region.

SOURCE: AL MONITOR

  • French energy company Total halted operations on its $20 billion investment in a liquefied natural gas project in northern Mozambique after ISIS attacks and repeated rebel insurgency.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL NEWS


LATIN AMERICA:

  • China bought three-quarters of all Venezuelan oil exports despite buying oil from Venezuela is prohibited by the U.S. Treasury Department.

SOURCE: NATIONAL REVIEW


brian

 

 By Bernardo Foster/

 International Relations Analyst


To read daily news on geopolitics and geoeconomics you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook


Categories
Geopolitics

EUROPE

CYPRUS:

  • The UN Secretary-General has said that rival Greek and Turkish Cypriots have not found enough common ground in order to restart peace negotiations on a formal level after a three-day summit. Three attempts to reunify the island have failed since 2004.

SOURCE: RT


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Geopolitics

MIDDLE EAST

IRAN:

  • U.S. Navy fires warning shots in new tense encounter with Iran.  The incident comes as Iran negotiates with world powers over Tehran and Washington returning to the 2015 nuclear deal. It also follows a series of incidents across the Mideast attributed to a shadow war between Iran and Israel, which includes attacks on regional shipping and sabotage at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG


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Geoeconomics

EUROPE

GERMANY:

  • German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he is opposed to new sanctions on Russia.   Many EU member states would like to normalise relations with Russia, including Germany, which has been the willing participant in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project and has just closed a deal to buy 30mn Sputnik V coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine doses. 

SOURCE: ITELLINEWS


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Geopolitics

EUROPE

UKRAINE:

  • Russia’s defense minister ordered troops back to their permanent bases following massive drills in Crimea that involved dozens of navy ships, hundreds of warplanes and thousands of troops in a show of force amid tensions with Ukraine. Last week, Russia has announced that it would close broad areas of the Black Sea near Crimea to foreign navy ships and state vessels until November, a move that drew Ukrainian protests and raised Western concerns.

SOURCE: AP NEWS


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Geopolitics

MIDDLE EAST

IRAN:

  • Iran and the United States will begin indirect talks in Vienna aimed at bringing both countries back into full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal that Washington abandoned three years ago. Iran has steadily overstepped the accord’s limits on its nuclear program in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the accord in 2018 and its reimposition of sanctions that have crippled the Islamic Republic’s economy.

SOURCE: GLOBAL NEWS


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