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Asia Pacific

China Opens Rail Line, Trade Route to Indian Ocean Through Myanmar | Source: VOA NEWS

China inaugurated a new trade route via ship, road and rail running through Myanmar in keeping with Beijing’s dogged building spree across the Southeast Asian country to reach the Indian Ocean and points west. Analysts say it is one more strand in the ever-expanding web of transportation channels pulling China and Southeast Asia closer under the banner of Beijing’s sprawling Belt and Road Initiative while boosting China’s sway across the region.

Source: VOA NEWS


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Japan calls for engagement with ‘pro-democracy groups’ in Myanmar | Source: Anadolu Agency

Japan urged the new special envoy of ASEAN to hold deliberations with “pro-democracy groups” in Myanmar, fostering dialogue between the military junta that grabbed power this February and its opponents. The Myanmar military seized power on Feb. 1 by ousting the government of Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy.

Source: Anadolu Agency


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China Announces Aid Dispersal to Myanmar’s Military Junta | Source: The Diplomat

A shipment of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines arrives in Myanmar on August 8, 2021.

China’s government transferred more than $6 million to Myanmar’s military government to fund a range of development projects, in the latest sign that Beijing is accommodating itself to the junta that seized power in February. Where Western democracies have imposed a raft of targeted sanctions on the military junta and its key personnel, China has taken a more pragmatic approach.

Source: The Diplomat


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Myanmar remains mired in chaos since February coup | Source: Anadolu Agency

Developments such as mass public protests against the coup, casualties caused by the Myanmar military’s intervention against protestors, armed clashes between protestors and the army, and anti-coup politicians forming a “civilian government” to oppose the junta rule have led to instability and division in the country. Despite the military administration’s actions, widespread protests have grown.

Source: Anadolu Agency


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China Boosts Support for Myanmar Army, Countering U.S. Sanctions | Source: Bloomberg

China says its policy toward Myanmar remains unaffected by the country’s domestic situation, bolstering support for a regime that has faced multiple rounds of sanctions from the U.S. and its Western allies following a coup four months ago.

Source: Bloomberg


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Total Suspends Gas-linked Cash Payments To Myanmar Army | Source: International Business Times

Total suspended cash payments linked to gas pipeline partly owned by the Myanmar military due to “the unstable context” in the country.

French energy giant Total said that Myanmar’s army would no longer receive cash payments linked to a pipeline it operates through a joint venture with the military, following February’s military coup. It added that it “condemns the violence and human rights abuses occurring in Myanmar” and would comply with any potential sanctions against the junta from the EU or US.

Source: International Business Times


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Exclusive-PetroChina ships jet fuel to junta-ruled Myanmar, data shows | SOURCE: REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: PetroChina’s logo is seen at its petrol station in Beijing, China, March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

PetroChina International Singapore Pte Ltd sold a cargo of jet fuel into Myanmar, the first such shipment since before the military seized power in a coup in February. The shipment could raise new questions over China’s role in Myanmar at a time when it has been accused by the junta’s opponents of backing coup leader Min Aung Hlaing – an accusation rejected by Beijing.

SOURCE: REUTERS


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WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GEOPOLITICS? (APRIL 2021)

ASIA PACIFIC:

  • The Chinese air force sent a fleet of aircraft close to Taiwan in the latest sign of military intimidation against the separately ruled island.

SOURCE: HINDUSTAN TIMES

  • South Korea and the United States signed a deal marking what some say is a return to a stronger U.S.-ROK alliance.

SOURCE: NK NEWS

  • Vietnam and China agreed to strengthen military cooperation.

SOURCE: CHINA ORG

  • China cautioned Australia to abide by its ‘One China’ policy after a senior Australian warned of a potential conflict over Taiwanese independence.

SOURCE: VOA NEWS

  • Australia will upgrade four military bases in its north and expand war games with the United States.

SOURCE: NEWS 18

  • Japan will hold a joint military drill with US and French troops in the country’s southwest. It comes as Tokyo seeks to deepen defense cooperation beyond its key US ally to counter Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the East and South China seas.

SOURCE: THE DEFENSE POST

  • Hong Kong’s electoral reform bill has been introduced in the city’s legislature, setting in motion changes that will give Beijing greater control over the process while reducing the number of directly elected representatives.

SOURCE: IRISH EXAMINER

  • The European Union is preparing to impose new collective sanctions on the Myanmar military targeting its business interests.

SOURCE: STRAIT TIMES

  • Russia and China are blocking efforts at the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo to Myanmar.

SOURCE: HUNDUSTAN TIMES

  • Russia is increasing arms sales to Myanmar’s military and steadfastly standing by Myanmar’s coup leader, General Min Aung Hlaing.

SOURCE: VOA NEWS

  • The leaders of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei met in Jakarta to discuss the political crisis in Myanmar.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT


EURASIA:

  • Japan held consultations with the European Union on security following joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Aden and in the Arabian Sea, as well as a joint port call on Djibouti. They aim to extend their cooperation to other partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

SOURCE: EEAS

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that he was against the idea of establishing NATO alliances in the Middle East and Asia, commenting on recent calls for establishing similar bodies in both regions.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR


SOUTH ASIA:

  • President Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001.

SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST

  • India is concerned about a vacuum developing in Afghanistan following the proposed withdrawal of United States from the country. India’s big worry is that instability could spill over into its Muslim-majority territory of Kashmir.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • Afghan and Pakistani troops opened fire at each other at a crossing point in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province in the south.

SOURCE: AFGHANISTAN TIMES

  • A car bomb blast ripped through a luxury hotel’s parking area in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, where China’s ambassador to Pakistan was staying. Chinese nationals and their interests in the region have been attacked before by Taliban militants.

SOURCE: REUTERS

  • Russia – which is helping to construct a gas pipeline between Pakistan’s port city of Karachi and eastern Lahore- will provide unspecified military equipment to Pakistan to fight terrorism.

SOURCE: RFE/RL ORG

  • India held a new round of talks with China to iron out differences over the next phase of disengagement in Eastern Ladakh.

SOURCE: THE DAILY STAR

  • India protested to the United States for a navy vessel conducting a transit through its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) without consent, in a rare row between the friendly navies of the two countries.

SOURCE: REUTERS


MIDDLE EAST:

  • Iran’s foreign ministry has said the country is open to direct talks with Saudi Arabia. The two countries have not had formal diplomatic ties since January 2016.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

  • Iran began enriching uranium to its highest level ever to pressure talks in Vienna aimed at restoring its nuclear deal with world powers.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • Iran has blamed regional arch-foe Israel for a sabotage incident at its key Natanz nuclear site and threatened to exact revenge, in what appeared to be latest episode in a long-running covert war.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The visit will ‘reaffirm the enduring U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership.

SOURCE: HAARETZ

  • The US and Iraq reiterated their mutual intention to continue bilateral security cooperation.

SOURCE: ASHARK AL-AWSAT


EUROPE:

  • Russia ordered a total of seven diplomats from three Baltic nations and Slovakia to leave in a quid pro quo response to the countries’ expulsion of Russian Embassy workers.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • Russian troops began pulling back to their permanent bases after a massive buildup that caused Ukrainian and Western concerns.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

  • The United States imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia to punish it for bullying Ukraine (and interfering in last year’s U.S. election, cyber hacking, and other alleged malign actions).

SOURCES: REUTERS – YENISAFAK

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has threatened Turkey a gainst any more purchases of Russian weapons.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK

  • Greek and Turkish Cypriots have not found enough common ground in order to restart peace negotiations on a formal level after a three-day summit.

SOURCE: RT


AFRICA:

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pressed for an easing of tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia as fears grow of a spillover from the bloody Tigray conflict.

SOURCE: THE ARAB WEEKLY


LATIN AMERICA:

  • Venezuela announced that it is to deploy more troops to the border with Colombia, which has seen heavy clashes between the army and Colombian irregular armed groups.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS


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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ASIA PACIFIC

MYANMAR:

  • 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. The sanctions were imposed two days after the European Union sanctioned 10 people and two entities, which the United States had previously targeted.

SOURCE: UPI


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MYANMAR:

  • The leaders of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei have confirmed their attendance at the April 24 meeting in Jakarta to discuss the political crisis in Myanmar. It reflects the awareness that the deepening crisis in Myanmar risks impacting the region not only in terms of the increased refugee flows and the expansion of Myanmar’s conflict economy, but also in terms of ASEAN’s credibility and standing in the eyes of its international partners.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT


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