PERSPECTIVES AND TENDENCIES
- The situation in Asia Pacific remained volatile and uncertain amid “aggressive actions” between China and the United States. China tracked a US Navy warship as it passed through the Taiwan Strait and has its forces in the area on high alert.
- Growing rivalry between United States and China for influence in South Asia continued. The paradigmatic case was Sri Lanka, which was warned by the United States against its tightening ties with China. (Sri Lanka is ratcheting up its relationship with China with multibillion-dollar BRI construction projects).
- Actions to contain China’s expansion in the Indo-Pacific region continued: 1) India signed with United States a new defense agreement. 2) Japan and Vietnam have agreed to sign a defense deal. 3) The U.S. approved $1.8 billion in new arms for Taiwan. 4) U.S. persuaded Indonesia to align itself more closely to the US-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.
- Tensions diminished between China and India related to violent Himalayan border clashes. Senior Indian and Chinese military commanders were hold fresh talks aimed at ending a months-long standoff along their disputed border in Ladakh region.
- In the South Caucasus, the fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh resumed, despite ceasefire intended to end heavy fighting over the mountain enclave.
- The “changing dynamic” continued in the Middle East when, underpinned by the United States, Sudan normalise ties with Israel, shortly after Bahrain and UAE did.
- The viability of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to fade, after Israel announced plans to construct new housing in the West Bank and in Judea and Samaria. UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain condemned Israel’s decision.
- In Europe two key countries for both the West and Russia have seen their situation getting worse: Belarus and Ukraine. EU leaders broke a diplomatic deadlock and imposed sanctions on Belarus, while massive marches continue to protest against the President Lukashenko. Ukraine was affected by the worsening situation in Donbas.
- Turkey provoked a new crisis in Eastern Mediterranean, with its plans to extend its illegal occupation in part of Cyprus. It is given short after tensions erupted between Greece and Turkey over the eastern Mediterranean’s energy rights.
- The conflict between United States and allies and Russia related to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline escalate, after first ones implemented sanctions against companies involved in the construction of the pipeline, in a fresh attempt to prevent the Russia-led gas pipeline project from completing, as the pipeline could potentially deprive U.S. and its allies of billions of dollars.
- In Africa, U.S made new attempts to push back Russian and Chinese influence in the continent. Among others, the United States tried to increase cooperation with Egypt to control some of the main joints in the eastern region of Libya, where oil is abundant, and where Russia would be approaching.
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