- Indonesia and Japan have signed a deal enabling exports of Japanese-made defense equipment as they try to boost cooperation amid China’s rising assertiveness in regional waters.
- South Korea singed with United States a new pact that “reaffirmed the need for a stable presence of US troops in Korea”.
- The U.S. military hopes to create a network of longer-range, land-based missiles in the Western Pacific as a means of deterring China from military action against Taiwan.
- The Pentagon recently asked Congress for an astronomical $27 billion budget increase to support a massive military buildup in Asia as part of its new Indo-Pacific plan.
- US President Joe Biden held the first-ever joint talks with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan as part of an emerging four-way alliance seen as fundamental to efforts to balance China’s growing military and economic power.
- The US State Department released an update to the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, identifying two dozen Chinese officials the United States accuses of reducing the former British colony’s autonomy.
- China and Russia are planning to work together to combat ‘colour revolutions’ in Central Asia and Southeast Asia, where the two neighbours shared common development and strategic interests.
- The U.S. Army released a new strategic policy document that remarks that “the Arctic has the potential to become a contested space where United States great power rivals, Russia and China, seek to use military and economic power to gain access to the region at the expense of US interests”.
- India and Pakistan hold the first meeting in three years representing a thawing in bilateral ties, which have been frozen since 2019.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited recently Bangladesh to develop political and economic ties to undermine Chinese influence in the region.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be visiting India as part of a plan to recalibrate its strategic footprint and focusing on the Indo-Pacific.
- Russia held a conference on Afghanistan, marking an attempt by Moscow to raise its profile in the Afghan peace efforts.
- The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is looking to keep the U.S. troops in Afghanistan past May 1 deadline while exploring a deal in which the Taliban would allow a U.S. counter-terrorism force to remain as they confront their Islamic State foes.
- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China would prioritise its relations with the Middle East in its quest for support and greater influence in the region.
- France has called for a meeting of the US-led International Coalition over the “revival” of the Islamic State in Iraq.
- The United States and Turkey will continue to work together to promote common interests in Syria.
- Iran rejected a European Union offer to arrange direct nuclear talks with the US, saying it wanted a guarantee first that the US would lift some sanctions.
- US warship arrives at Sudan port. It marks an increase in bilateral military engagement and their intention to strengthen security in the region.
- U.S. special operations troops have deployed to Mozambique on a mission to assist the country’s counterterrorism forces with the growing threat of Islamic State militants.
- Egypt is making every effort toward rapprochement with Chad to counterbalance Turkey’s influence in the African continent.
By Bernardo Foster/
International Relations Analyst
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