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.
Thu, 08/04/2022 - 13:52
Biden meets C5 leaders to confirm commitment for Central Asian countries security and prosperity
US President, Joe Biden, on Tuesday (19 September) met in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly, the leaders of the five Central Asian Republics. Attending the meeting were the presidents of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This was the inaugural C5+1 presidential summit.
A readout from the White House said that the leaders discussed a range of issues, including security, trade and investment, regional connectivity, the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, and ongoing reforms to improve governance and the rule of law.
Wed, 09/20/2023 - 09:17
Biden to meet Central Asian leaders in the first C5+1 presidential summit
For a number of years, the United States has promoted a mechanism for dialogue with the five Central Asian Republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Known as the C5 + 1 these meetings have usually be en held at the level of foreign minister. The first meeting was held in 2015, and the mechanism now also has a secretariat to ensure continuation between meetings.
Today (19 September) in New York, US president Joe Biden will take the relationship further, by upgrading the dialogue to presidential level. This is both symbolic and significant.
For a long time the United States has been accused of abandoning Central Asia, tacitly accepting that this was Russia's back yard. Well if it ever was, it no longer is. China has become an even more important player in Central Asia than Russia, and the Central Asian Republics are desperately trying to open up to the world. A slow, painful but hugely necessary process of reform is taking place in the five countries, in some pursued with more enthusiasm than others.
At today's meeting, President Biden is expected to give encouragement to this reform process, but the key message will be one of support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the five countries - a welcome message in the region given Russia's continued pressures.
Also on the US president's agenda will be Afghanistan, which neighbours a number of the C5 countries. And of course there is the issue of sanctions against Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine. Russia has been trying to use the Central Asian republics to circumvent the sanctions. This is an important issue for the international community and the US president will seek the best way to secure the support of the C5 governments.
Tue, 09/19/2023 - 08:18
India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) hails a new era in global connectivity
India, the European Union, the United States and Saudi Arabia announced a mega deal to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) at an event on the sidelines of the G20 summit on Saturday. The leaders of India, Italy, France, Germany, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union and Saudi Arabia signed the memorandum of understanding.
While announcing the corridor at the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that IMEC will usher in a new chapter in global connectivity and sustainable development. He also stated that the corridor would act as a "major medium of economic integration between India, West Asia, and Europe”.
The project will be developed under the G7 nations’ Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII) initiative. PGII aims to bridge the infrastructure gap in developing countries. The new IMEC project is being seen as a response to China’s Belt and Road initiative. While the cost of the project has not been officially announced, reports indicated that the countries might spend around $20 billion on developing the corridor. The new project will consist of two corridors. The east corridor will connect India with Gulf countries and the northern corridor will connect Arabian Gulf with Europe.
The corridors will consist of a ship-to-rail transit network to facilitate cost-effective transport routes for the countries. The memorandum of understanding read,” It will enable goods and services to transit to, from, and between India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Europe.” The countries also plan to lay down a cable network for electricity and digital connectivity along with pipes for clean hydrogen export.
EU President Ursula von der Leyen said that IMEC will be the most direct connection between the countries and it is expected to cut travel time by 40 per cent.
Mon, 09/11/2023 - 09:34
G20 summit in Delhi turns into India's "coming of age" party as country starts the process of adopting a name-change
The G20 summit opened in India's capital New Delhi on Saturday (9 September) with a speech by prime minister Narendra Modi during which he welcomed the African Union as the 21st member of the grouping, whose name will presumably now change to G21. It seems also that it is not the only name that is changing. The country name-plate in front of Modi during his speech did not say India, but Bharat. Commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that the G20 summit had become a coming of age party for India, as it projects increasing confidence and assertiveness in the international arena. Having recently celebrated the success of having a successful lunar mission, the summit was an opportunity to come down to earth with a bang. The decision of prime minister Modi to speak as the leader of Bharat was a symbolic gesture marking a break between the country and its long and often painful colonial era past. By securing the admittance of the African Union in the G20, India also consolidated its role as one of the leaders of the Global South - a role India actively played in the 1950s and 1960s under prime ministers Nehru and Gandhi, but one which in recent years appeared to take back stage to more immediate urgent issues. For the G20, India has thrown a lavish party. But guests were left under no illusion that this was not also a Modi celebration. The Indian prime minister faces a tough election next year, and appearing as the leader amongst global statesman helps the prime minister's image. A reminder perhaps that in India these things matter, because India is a democracy, and in the end it is the people that have the final word. One reason perhaps why two G20 leaders were conspicuously absent: President Xi of China, and President Putin of Russia. Their absence was noted, although not necessarily missed.
Sat, 09/09/2023 - 09:54
September's G20 summit in India will meet under the slogan "One Earth, One Family, One Future."
India will underline the need for further diversity, the voice of the Global South as well as a human-centric approach to globalism as the country gears up for the G-20 leader’s meeting on 9 and 10 September in New Delhi under the motto "One Earth, One Family, One Future."
India, as a developing country, has placed utmost importance on inclusivity for its G-20 presidency and has within this scope invited several non-G-20 members for the range of meetings held during the country’s term. The 32 countries, in addition to the G-20 members and guest countries, are present in the programs. The G-20 includes the European Union and the major economies of all continents, including the U.S., China, Russia and Germany.
The Indian Presidency has drawn out six focus points, namely inclusive and resilient growth, progress on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), green development and life, technological transformation and digital public infrastructure, reforming multilateral institutions as well as women-led development.
India announced that it made a proposal for the African Union to be a permanent member of the G-20. The world’s economic gravity center has shifted dramatically in the past years. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the share of emerging markets in global trade increased from 32% to 46% between 200 and 2019, while their share of receiving global foreign direct investment (FDI) rose from 15% to 46% and most of the world’s GDP growth occurs in those emerging markets.
India, the most populous country in the world, for its part, is aiming to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2027. In 2014 it was the 10th largest, while today it ranks fifth.
Sat, 08/26/2023 - 10:01
BRICS leaders invite six countries to join the group at the end of their summit in South Africa
The summit of BRICS - the group bringing together Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa concluded this morning with an invitation to six countries to join as from 1 January 2024.
Speaking at a briefing at the end of the summit, the president of host country South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, said
"We reiterate our commitment to inclusive multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter. We are concerned about ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world. We stress our commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and inclusive consultation." Ramaphosa said that BRICS is a diverse group of nations.
"It is an equal partnership of countries that have differing views but have a shared vision for a better world."
"As the five BRICS countries, we have reached agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process, which has been under discussion for quite a while.
We have consensus on the first phase of this expansion process, and further phases will follow.
We have decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS. The membership will take effect from 1 January 2024."
Thu, 08/24/2023 - 11:08
U.S. holds "extremely frank" talks with Niger military leaders as airspace is closed
Senior United States official, the Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, has held talks with the military leaders of Niger following a coup last month.
Speaking to reporters from capital Niamey, Nuland said that, in talks lasting more than two hours, the U.S. had offered its help "if there is a desire on the part of the people who are responsible for this to return to the constitutional order". The U.S. was not "in any way taken up on that offer", she said.
Tue, 08/08/2023 - 07:49
Saudi Arabia to host summit on peace in Ukraine on Saturday
The Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah is to host a global summit on reaching peace in Ukraine on Saturday (5 August).
The summit will be attended by some 40 countries including many countries of the "Global South", as well as China. Russia was not invited to the talks, however, and Moscow has said that they will "monitor" the summit.
The discussion and future implementation of Ukraine's Peace Formula, set out by President Volodymyr Zelensky during an address to the G20 in November, will be the subject of the summit in Jeddah.
Sat, 08/05/2023 - 08:45