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#9| GGN News on Geopolitics and Geoeconomics: Weekly Top 10.(From May 14 to May 20, 2021)

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connectivity

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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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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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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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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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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U.S. General Worried About China’s Efforts to Establish Military Base on Africa’s West Coast | SOURCE: NEWSWEEK

China has approached several countries stretching along Africa’s west coast about establishing a navy facility capable of hosting submarines or aircraft carriers, according to a U.S. General who heads U.S. Africa Command. This news comes after President Joe Biden claims competition with China is a top foreign policy challenge. 

SOURCE: NEWSWEEK


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