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Asia has wary welcome for G7′s answer to Belt and Road | Source: The Daily Star

The Build Back Better World initiative, or (B3W), a plan by the Group of Seven nations to counter Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative has been welcomed by countries in China’s immediate orbit of influence but will need to overcome doubts about Western commitment to emerging market projects. The challenge for B3W will be matching the speed at which China has been able to engage developing economies in the region.

Source: The Daily Star


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China’s Belt and Road projects at risk | SOURCE: NIKKEI ASIA

Prime Minister Imran Khan, left, and Afghan Taliban fighters, shown celebrating the peace deal between the U.S. and Taliban in March 2020. (Source photos by Getty Images)

Pakistan fears that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — in line with the American-Taliban peace deal signed last year — will cause more security threats putting China’s Belt and Road projects at risk.

Analysts feel the uncertainty in Afghanistan has provided Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with a window to attack interests in Pakistan, including the projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC — the $50 billion Pakistan component of the Belt and Road initiative.

CPEC has not traditionally been a top target of TTP in Pakistan. But in recent months, anti-China rhetoric has [surfaced] in TTP propaganda, especially because of China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims.

Pakistan already joined the U.S., Russia and China to call on the Afghan government and Taliban to ensure that Afghan soil is not used for cross-border attacks.

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China´s interest in Sri Lanka | SOURCE: JAMESTOWN ORG

Image: An aerial photo taken on September 23, 2020 shows the construction of a park in Colombo Port City by China Harbor. (Source: CHEC via Xinhua)

Located at the crossroads of global shipping lanes, Sri Lanka has become a significant recipient of Chinese economic and military influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Chinese investments in port capacity have enabled Sri Lanka to enhance its strategic position in the Indian Ocean and become a regional trading hub, with future plans to develop its ability to become a financial center as well.

Access to the Indian Ocean’s sea routes is critical to Beijing, as today China is the world’s top oil importer, principally coming from the Middle East, passing through the Indian Ocean on its way to China.

Sri Lanka has been a critical partner in China’s expansive foreign policy and infrastructure-focused Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The situation further highlights Sri Lanka’s delicate balancing act between China and India. Colombo Port in Sri Lanka is particularly significant for India, as it handles roughly 40 percent  of transshipped container cargo bound for the Indian market.

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India, EU announce Connectivity Partnership to checkmate China | SOURCE: THE ECONOMIC TIMES

India-EU summit: FTA negotiations to resume after 8 yrs; European leaders extend solidarity on COVID-19

India and EU announced a comprehensive Connectivity Partnership on supporting resilient and sustainable connectivity both in India and in third countries and regions, including Africa, Central Asia and the Indo-Pacific that will provide an alternative to China’s mega Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The EU-India Connectivity Partnership covers cooperation in the digital, energy, transport, and people-to-people sector. Is the second such partnership for Europe, after the one between EU and Japan in September 2019.

The India-EU initiative is comprehensive compared to the Blue Dot network formed by USA-Japan-Australia to provide assessment and certification of infrastructure development projects worldwide.

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Pakistan fears Afghan pullback by US will stall Belt and Road | SOURCE: ASIA NIKKEI

Prime Minister Imran Khan, left, and Afghan Taliban fighters, shown celebrating the peace deal between the U.S. and Taliban in March 2020. (Source photos by Getty Images)

Pakistan fears that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will increase instability in both itself and its neighbor, causing more security threats and ultimately putting China’s Belt and Road projects at risk. Uncertainty in Afghanistan has already provided Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with a window to attack interests in Pakistan.

SOURCE: ASIA NIKKEI


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EU, India to Combat China Belt and Road Initiative | SOURCE: NTD

The European Union and India are talking about a global infrastructure agreement. The move is seen as a competition to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

SOURCE: NTD


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WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GEOECONOMICS? (APRIL 2021)

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • 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.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

  • Australia has cancelled two deals struck by its state of Victoria with China on cooperation with Beijing’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative. China has imposed before a series of trade sanctions on Australian exports ranging from wine to coal.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • China’s top economic planner 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.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

  • US sanctions Chinese computer makers as tech war heats up. The measure is the latest sign President Joe Biden is sticking to the tough line taken by his predecessor, Donald Trump, toward Chinese tech industries seen by Washington as potential threats.

SOURCE: TRT

  • Taiwan says its chip firms will adhere to new U.S. rules blacklisting China supercomputing entities.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • China’s Huawei sales downed 16.5% amid US sanctions.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • The United States imposed sanctions against Myanmar’s state-owned timber and pearl industries as the Biden administration seeks to cut key financial resources to the military junta as it violently cracks down on protesters opposing its February coup.

SOURCE: UPI


SOUTHERN ASIA:

  • India will begin full-scale operations in its first foreign port venture at Iran’s Chabahar. It represents a potent commercial challenge to China’s massive port investment in neighboring Pakistan’s Gwadar, a key component of the BRI.

SOURCE: TEHRAN TIMES

  • China is planning a mega dam in Tibet stoking fears in neighbouring India that in reactions has floated the prospect of building another dam on the Brahmaputra.

SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA

  • President Joe Biden met growing calls in India to provide aid regarding Covid-19. Nevertheless, the U.S. action was seen as coming too late for an administration that has sought to elevate its security partnership with India against China.

SOURCE: BNN BLOOMBERG

  • India has emerged as the top buyer of US crude in the first quarter of calendar year 2021, after Saudi Arabia staved off India’s request to boost production to cool prices.

SOURCE: THE HINDU BISINESS LINE

  • India is expecting to restart EU-India talks on trade and investment, to improve relations to end dependence on China.

SOURCE: EURACTIV

  • Pakistan would sign with Iran a Memorandum of Understanding on trade development and opening more cross-border trade centers, as a major step in strengthening bilateral relations.

SOURCE: IRNA

  • Russia is going to supply LNG to Pakistan, as part of its plan to deep bilateral ties, including in energy and trade.

SOURCE: RT


MIDDLE EAST:

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to pay a visit to Iran to sign an action plan for economic cooperation.

SOURCE: IRNA


EUROPE:

  • EU lawmakers had voted in favor of the agreement with Britain on post-Brexit trade arrangements.

SOURCE: THE EPOCH TIMES

  • The White House is in talks to appoint a special envoy to lead negotiations on halting the construction of Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, as Washington looks for ways to hinder completion of the pipe set to deliver Russian gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine.

SOURCE: UNIAN

  • German Foreign Minister opposed to new sanctions on Russia, which has been the willing participant in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. 

SOURCE: ITELLINEWS

  • A Hungarian oil and gas firm is about to give Russia a chance to bypass the Ukrainian gas transit and encircle the Central and Eastern European gas market.

SOURCE: VISEGRADINSIGHT EU


AFRICA:

  • Russia is using vaccine diplomacy in the Maghreb and North Africa to stand out as a serious partner to the countries of the region.

SOURCE: AL MONITOR

  • French energy company Total halted operations on its $20 billion investment in a liquefied natural gas project in northern Mozambique after ISIS attacks and repeated rebel insurgency.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL NEWS


LATIN AMERICA:

  • China bought three-quarters of all Venezuelan oil exports despite buying oil from Venezuela is prohibited by the U.S. Treasury Department.

SOURCE: NATIONAL REVIEW


brian

 

 By Bernardo Foster/

 International Relations Analyst


To read daily news on geopolitics and geoeconomics you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook


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MIDDLE EAST

OMAN:

  • China is seeking greater development of the China-Oman strategic partnership. China is ready to boost bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, 5G, and information technology, in a bid to assist Oman with its strategy to achieve the goal of economic diversification.

SOURCE: PEOPLE´S DAILY ONLINE


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MIDDLE EAST

BAHRAIN:

  • Bahrain agreed with China to enhance cooperation to further strengthen their relationship. China hopes the two sides will enhance the synergy between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in infrastructure construction, big data, e-commerce and other fields.

SOURCE: PEOPLE´S DAILY ONLINE


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