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connectivity

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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Geopolitics

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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Geopolitics

US troops may be deployed from Afghanistan to Russian borders | SOURCE: MEHR NEWS

United States may redeploy troops coming out of Afghanistan into Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, two of the three former Soviet republics bordering the war-torn country to its north, the Wall Street Journal reports. The newspaper’s sources admit, however, that Russia’s military presence in the region and China’s growing influence “complicate plans” for any US deployments in Central Asia.

SOURCE: MEHR NEWS


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Iran Officially Confirms Holding Negotiations With Saudi Arabia to Mend Ties | SOURCE: SPUTNIK

Iran officially confirms is holding negotiations with Saudi Arabia to resolve the issues standing in the way of normal relations between the two countries, which cut bilateral ties in 2016 over scandals around the execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia and Riyadh’s claims of Iran’s meddling in the domestic affairs of regional powers.

SOURCE: SPUTNIK


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Sudan demands Russian military leave | SOURCE: UAWIRE

Sudan banned the construction of a Russian military base in the Red Sea. The agreement was signed shortly before the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir, but the new Sudanese authorities have not ratified it. The naval base would potentially be the “key” to Central Africa, where the Kremlin has interests.

SOURCE: UAWIRE


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Geoeconomics

Biden backs suspending patents on Covid vaccines | SOURCE: TELEGRAPH INDIA

The pharmaceutical industry argued that waiving intellectual property rights would not speed up vaccine production, pointing to other barriers like access to raw materials and distribution issues.

The Biden administration came out in support of waiving intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines, siding with international efforts to bolster production amid concerns about vaccine access in developing nations. Under President Donald Trump, the United States opposed the effort.

SOURCE: TELEGRAPH INDIA


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Geoeconomics

U.K. and France Call in the Navy, Sort of, in Channel Islands Fishing Dispute | SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

French fishing boats at the entrance to the harbor in St. Helier, Jersey, on Thursday.Credit…Marc Le Cornu, via Reuters

An ugly spat over post-Brexit fishing rights has erupted between Britain and France, as naval ships from both countries converged in the waters off the island of Jersey, where dozens of French fishing boats were threatening to blockade a port. Relations between Britain and France had already soured on a range of issues as Britain and the European Union divorced.

SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES


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Geoeconomics

China cuts high level economic dialogue with Australia ‘indefinitely’ | SOURCE: INDEPENDENT

FILE. A Chinese paramilitary police officer gestures and speaks over his two-way radio while standing at the entrance gate of the Australian embassy in Beijing on July 9, 2020. – China has suspended “indefinitely” its key economic dialogue with Australia.
(Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)

China has announced that it is “indefinitely” suspending a key economic dialogue with Australia. Relations have been on the decline since Australia pushed for a World Health Organisation probe into the origins of coronavirus and also banned Chinese smartphone maker Huawei from providing 5G technology for the country’s wireless networks. 

SOURCE: INDEPENDENT


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Geopolitics

EU Considers Training Mission To Quell Mozambique Crisis | SOURCE: VON GOV

The European Union will consider sending a civilian training mission to Mozambique to help the government withstand a growing insurgency. Mozambique’s government has been facing an Islamist insurgency since 2017, putting at risk natural gas projects. 

SOURCE: VON GOV


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Geopolitics

Washington shared its new North Korea policy review with Tokyo and Seoul | SOURCE: NK NEWS

Image: Antony Blinken Twitter | Blinken at Osan Air Base (file photo)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken shared the new U.S. North Korea policy review with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. The three shared concerns about Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs and vowed to work together toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 

SOURCE: NK NEWS


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