Asia

Gas, pipeline dreams and gunboat diplomacy in Mediterranean

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A spate of recent deals and gas finds in the eastern Mediterranean Sea has positioned Egypt to be a major energy hub. Chase Winter DW Turkey, which is flexing its military muscles, may be left out. For years, there was hope that gas fields under the eastern Mediterranean Sea would usher in peace and prosperity in a volatile region. But a string of recent deals and gas finds have revealed deep geopolitical fault lines. Since 2009, Israel, Egypt and Cyprus ... Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

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Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi urges nation to stay united amid ‘challenges’

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Yangon:  Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called  for her people to remain united, saying the South-east Asian country faces “challenges” at home and abroad, as she marked two years since her party swept to power in a… Shoon Naing WAtoday In a televised speech, Suu Kyi made only a passing reference to the crisis in Rakhine state, where her government faces mounting international condemnation for a military operation against Rohingya Muslims that has sent nearly 700,000 ... Read More »

China slaps US with up to 25% bigger import tariffs in trade war retaliation

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Beijing is hiking up tariffs on more than 128 US imports, including fruit and pork, as part of a tit-for-tat response to US President Donald Trump’s $60 billion package of tariffs imposed against China. RT The additional fares, which range from 15 to 25 percent, are taking effect on Monday, the Chinese Finance Ministry said on their website. It added that the measure, aimed at “safeguarding China’s interests,” was in response to Washington’s package of tariffs targeting more than 100 types of Chinese goods, ... Read More »

China’s Ministerial March Madness

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A sudden bout of bureaucracy-building sends a strong signal to Chinese officialdom—but it’s unlikely to tackle the system’s deep-seated challenges. Scott Moore The National Interest Most of the attention paid to China’s annual “two meetings” of its National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference has understandably focused on Xi Jinping’s accession to what appears to be a lifetime presidential appointment. But along with the removal of the two-term limit that had limited the tenure of all top ... Read More »

No gun, no Molotov: why did a 19-year-old Palestinian protester die?

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Gaza:  The morning after burying 19-year-old Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, his family gathered in a tent set up to receive mourners, watching and rewatching a video of the moment they say Israeli soldiers shot him in the back of the head. Brisbane Times Washington Post The video appears to show Abdul Fattah, dressed in black, running away from the border fence carrying a tyre. Just before reaching the crowd, he crumples under gunfire. “He had no gun, no Molotov, a ... Read More »

Turkey to host Syria summit with Russia, Iran on April 4

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Turkey will host a trilateral meeting on Syria, gathering leaders from Turkey, Russia and Iran next week, the Presidential Press Office said on March 31. ANKARA – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The meeting hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 4 will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to a statement. Besides regional developments and the ongoing Syrian war, the Turkish and Iranian leaders are also expected to hold talks to discuss ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia has to face a pro-Iranian Turkey

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The unpredictable Middle Eastern geopolitical landscape is heading toward new dynamics, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is positioning itself against a… By KHALID IBN MUNEER Asia Times Since the consolidation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power through a referendum in April 2017, Turkey is once again gearing up for the revival of Ottoman-era dominance in the… But this swift resurgence of Turkey is not being seen through the lens of admiration in the… The history of the confrontation between Arabs ... Read More »

Weaponizing Hydrocarbons: It Was Obama’s Idea to Flood EU With US LNG

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According to some estimates, the US is likely to emerge as one of the major LNG exporters by 2020. Sputnik However, it appears that Washington is seeking to use its liquefied hydrocarbons as an economic weapon in the fight with its geopolitical rivals, Russia and China. Washington has weaponized its liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to kill two birds with one stone — expel Russia from the European energy market and win a “trade war” with China. Following the 2014 February coup in Ukraine and Crimea’s ... Read More »

Towards “NATO-Exit”?

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Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran? By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research Reminiscent of World War I, shifting alliances and the structure of military coalitions are crucial determinants of history. Today’s military alliances, including “cross-cutting coalitions” between “Great Powers” are equally dangerous, markedly different and exceedingly more complex than those pertaining to World War I. (i.e  the confrontation between “The Triple Entente” and “the Triple Alliance”). Contemporary developments point to a historical shift in the… Towards ... Read More »

India presses Tibetan leadership to stop political activity against Beijing

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2018 is going to be a busy year for both the governments of China and India. Sheeroy Desai Dorje Shugden From leaked memos in February instructing all Indian politicians and government officials not to participate in events organized by the Tibetan leadership, to a recent phone call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping to work on deepening bilateral ties, it is clear where Indian interests lie and it is certainly not to the benefit of the Central Tibetan Administration ... Read More »

China Moves Centre Stage in Korean Peninsula Peace Efforts

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After weeks in which other actors have taken notable steps towards defusing fears of war over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, a China-North Korea summit held 26-27 March in Beijing has reasserted China’s pivotal role in efforts to find a solution to the… ICG When North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on 26 March secretly rolled into Beijing on a private armoured train for unofficial meetings with President Xi Jinping, China moved decisively centre stage in the… China also ... Read More »

Amal Clooney to defend Reuters journalists held in Myanmar

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Amal Clooney asserts the innocence of Reuters journalists on trial for reporting Rohingya massacre in Rakhine state. Al Jazeera Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has said she would represent two Reuters journalists on trial in Myanmar for reporting the massacre of the Rohingya people in western Rakhine state. Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested last December, and have been charged under the Official Secrets Act, which could see them jailed up to 14 years. “Wa Lone and… Amal Clooney to… Read More »

Iranians use Serbian route to flee to EU

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Until six months ago, the Lovimi family from Iran had never heard of Serbia. BELGRADE – Agence France Presse Hurriyet But here they are, currently in Belgrade, after arriving without visas last August, waiting to continue on to Germany, where they plan to build a new and better life in the future. The family of four comes from the town of Ahvaz in the province of Khuzestan in Iran’s south west, where the majority of the population is Arabic. They ... Read More »

Criminal code bill will leave Indonesian migrants’ children in Malaysia in legal limbo

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There are thousands of stateless children in Sabah, Malaysia. The estimates vary between 30,000 and 52,000 as there has been no census or statistics collected on them. Clara Siagian The Conversation Most of them are children of Indonesian migrants. These children face the risk of being stuck in legal limbo if an Indonesian bill to amend the criminal code is passed in its current state. Criminalising private activities Indonesia is deliberating the bill to change the country’s 100-year-old criminal code. ... Read More »

How the Taiwan Travel Act Could Start a U.S.-China War

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On March 16, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages “officials at all levels of the United States Government” to visit and meet with their Taiwan counterparts and to “allow high-level officials of Taiwan” to enter the United States and… Paul Smith The National Interest The Chinese government has criticized the new law, describing it as a “mistake” and a violation of the One-China Policy. Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that “any actions and ... Read More »