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Opinion: The future of the China-US-Russia triangle after Pelosi's visit to Taiwan

Opinion: The future of the China-US-Russia triangle after Pelosi's visit to Taiwan

Since February 24, 2022, the international community's focus was concentrated entirely on the war in Ukraine and the growing Russia – West confrontation. It seemed that nothing could change the situation until the end of hostilities in Ukraine. However, on August 2 and 3, almost everyone’s attention shifted from Ukraine to Taiwan. As the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, stated her intention to visit Taiwan, up to half a million people were watching the trajectory of her plane on air flight tracking sites. The negative reaction of China, including the warning of President Xi during his conversation with President Biden that those who played with fire would be perished by it, created hype around this visit. Many were discussing the possibility of Chinese military jets closing the airspace over Taiwan and preventing Pelosi’s plane from landing in Taiwan, while some enthusiasts were even contemplating the possibility of a US-China direct military clash. As Pelosi landed in Taiwan and met with the Taiwanese President, the global social media was full of amateur assessments about the strategic victory of the US and the confirmation of the US global hegemony. However, as the dust settles down, and information noise and manipulation eventually decreases, a more serious assessment is needed to understand the real consequences of this visit.
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Thousands killed and injured as massive earthquake hits Turkey and Syria

Thousands killed and injured as massive earthquake hits Turkey and Syria

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has struck southern Turkey and Syria, killing and injuring thousands of people. The earthquake, which struck at 04.17 local time on Monday (6 February), was followed 11 minutes later by a magnitude 6.7 aftershock. The number of dead and injured is rising rapidly. As of 08.15 CET, citing Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay, the BBC reports that the death toll in Turkey has risen to 284, with 2,323 people injured. At least 200 people have been killed and over 600 injured in government-held regions of Syria. The number of dead and injured in rebel-held areas is currently unknown. The epicentre was approximately 20km west of the city of Gaziantep, and was felt as far away as Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus. Italy also released a tsunami warning soon after the quake struck, but it has since been lifted. In apocalyptic scenes resembling war-torn Ukraine, footage on social media has shown collapsed buildings and people stuck under rubble calling for help. Rows of tower blocks in major cities across Turkey have been levelled, and in rebel-held northern Syria, the situation is likely to be significantly worsened due to limited access to healthcare and poor living conditions.
Uzbekistan foreign trade turnover up nearly 20%, Turkmenistan gains

Uzbekistan's foreign trade turnover as a whole exceeded $50bn in 2022, an increase of 18.6% or $7.8bn compared to 2021. 

Russia remains Uzbekistan's largest foreign trading partner, constituting $9.2bn - or just under 20% - of Uzbekistan's foreign trade in 2022.

Neighbours Turkmenistan, who for many years have been one of the most economically isolated countries in the world, has also seen its trade with Uzbekistan increase.

patrickn97 Fri, 02/03/2023 - 13:14
EU to give Ukraine €25m in demining support

During the EU-Ukraine summit occurring in Kyiv on Friday (3 February), the EU High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell announced an additional €25 million to support Ukraine’s demining of territories temporarily occupied by Russia.

Speaking on a visit to a demining site, Borrell said:

patrickn97 Fri, 02/03/2023 - 12:32
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: Sweden must re-evaluate its internal and external relations before NATO accession can become reality

Opinion: Sweden must re-evaluate its internal and external relations before NATO accession can become reality

Given the increasingly uncertain political climate in which Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson finds himself, Sweden requires an internal and external positional re-evaluation in order to finalise its accession to NATO, writes Alfred Stranne in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. Meanwhile, Sweden needs to understand the increasing anger coming from Ankara, which is severely hindering its progression towards becoming a member of the alliance. Meanwhile, Sweden must also look within NATO itself to seek support in reassuring Ankara that Sweden will be a significant security provider for the alliance, providing added benefits for Ankara as well. This would repair Sweden’s relations with Turkey and reassure Ankara that despite the ideological and religious differences between Kristersson and Erdogan, Sweden and Turkey have common interests in seeking regional peace and stability.
Armenian and Azerbaijani experts discuss process of confidence-building with EU officials in Brussels
The Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani Liaison Group on Confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus (JOLIG) met in Brussels on 1 – 2 February 2023. Armenian and Azerbaijani experts that form part of the Group discussed recent developments in the South Caucasus, developments in the process of normalising Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and establishing peace in the region, and how confidence-building measures can help overcome present and future problems and challenges. On 1 February, the Group had a substantive meeting with the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, who reiterated the continued and ongoing commitment of the European Union in support of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The group asked EUSR Toivo Klaar to convey their appreciation to European Council President Charles Michel for his continuing efforts to mediate between the two sides. The Group expressed its willingness to contribute with tangible actions and initiatives towards on-going European Union peace efforts in the region.
patrickn97 Thu, 02/02/2023 - 14:42
Georgian, Turkish and Azerbaijani defence ministers meet at close of military drills

Georgian Defence Minister Juansher Burchuladze and his Azerbaijani and Turkish colleagues, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov and General Hulusi Akar, met on Thursday (2 February) to discuss cooperation in regional development and defence at the closure of multinational military exercises in Kars, Turkiye.

patrickn97 Thu, 02/02/2023 - 12:24