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North America

US outlines increased missile defenses as North Korean threats ramp up | Source: NK News

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during the system’s first operational test at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii on Oct. 5, 2011.

The Pentagon will introduce better interceptors and bolster its missile defense posture to respond to challenges including North Korea’s continued development of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). “Despite economic sanctions and the continued impact of COVID-19, North Korea continues to modernize and increase the survivability, lethality and diversification of its missile force,” Top U.S. defense official said.

Source: NK News


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Europe

After Brexit, China has replaced Germany as the UK’s biggest trading partner | Source: Euronews

Shoppers pass a sale sign in a shop window on Oxford Street in London, Aug. 13, 2020.

China overtook Germany to become the UK’s biggest import market as trade in goods with European Union member states plunged because of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, official data show.

Source: Euronews


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Africa

China providing vaccines to almost 40 African states | SOURCE: IRISH NEWS

China has pledged roughly half a billion doses of its vaccines to more than 45 countries, according to an Associated Press tally.

China has pledged roughly half a billion doses of its vaccines to more than 45 countries. The move is an apparent intensification of what has been described as “vaccine diplomacy”.

SOURCE: IRISH NEWS


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Europe

Russia Accuses EU of Stopping Access to Sputnik Vaccine | SOURCE: NOVINITE

The European Union is blocking Russia-made vaccines against Covid-19, the head of Russia’s external intelligence service said. Russia has repeatedly accused the West of political manoeuvring against the vaccine. However, Russian leaders also said early on in the pandemic that the country would not approve widely used Western vaccines made by companies such as Moderna and BioNTech.

SOURCE: NOVINITE


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Geoeconomics

EURASIA

RUSSIA:

  • Russia is turning to Chinese firms to help accelerate the production of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. Over the last couple of weeks, Russia made three deals with Chinese firms in connection with 260 million doses.

SOURCE: DW


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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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Geoeconomics

SOUTH ASIA

INDIA:

  • President Joe Biden met growing calls in India to provide aid regarding Covid-19. The U.S. action was seen as coming too late for an administration that has sought to elevate the Quad security (partnership that also includes Japan and Australia). With the U.S. dragging its feet in offering India help to combat the world’s worst virus crisis, China is moving to drive a wedge between the democratic security partners.

SOURCE: BNN BLOOMBERG


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Geoeconomics

ASIA PACIFIC

CHINA:

  • China’s top economic planner (the National Development and Reform Commission) 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. It identified changes to global governance and trade systems, the ongoing rivalry between China and the US, and growth in emerging markets as the most important factors affecting the project. Moreover, “some BRI countries have long term high geopolitical risks and certain regions have seen an escalation in conflict,” the report said.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST


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Geoeconomics

ASIA PACIFIC

CHINA:

  • 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. By March, more than 100 million doses had been exported, about the same as the combined exports from India and the European Union. The growth in production means China will have a better chance of increasing its influence among developing countries which will look to it, along with India and Russia.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST


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ASIA PACIFIC

CHINA:

  • Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, retained its position as China’s top supplier in the first two months this year. The kingdom beat Russia to keep its ranking as China’s top crude supplier in 2020 despite unprecedented production cuts in a pact between the OPEC and its allies to balance global markets after demand plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SOURCES: REUTERS


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