Asia

Economic realpolitik brings Asia’s big guns together

There were deals a-plenty between China and Japan in Beijing on Friday, as Asia’s top economies hedge against global financial risk William Pesek Asia Times Nothing beats a potential financial crisis to bring geopolitical rivals together. This dynamic was on full display in Beijing Friday when the premiers of China and Japan joined hands on a US$30 billion currency swap, a yuan clearing bank and business deals worth billions. The steps agreed upon by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and ... Read More »

Israel’s Netanyahu meets Sultan Qaboos in surprise trip to Oman

Visit by Israeli prime minister forms part of policy of ‘deepening’ ties with the states of the region, statement says. Al Jazeera Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made an unannounced trip to Oman, according to his office, in an apparent sign of warming ties between the two countries. Netanyahu and his wife Sara were joined by Mossad intelligence chief Yossi Cohen, who has reportedly been responsible for clandestine talks with Gulf Arab governments, and… The Israeli delegation reportedly flew to Oman ... Read More »

Don’t Mention The War In Wentworth: Dr Peter Slezak

The furore over the Morrison government’s ‘riffing’ on moving Australia’s embassy in Israel has distracted from the even greater crimes being perpetrated against Palestinians. Dr Peter Slezak explains New Matilda Despite the storm of local and international condemnation, Prime Minister Morrison’s willingness to consider moving Australia’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem is a significant public relations win in the larger political scheme of things. Whether or not the harshest criticisms of the proposal are warranted, the furore over the embassy issue has ... Read More »

German jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges

His family claimed Patrick K. was on a hiking holiday, but Turkey said he was fighting for the Kurdish YPG militia. Author Rebecca Staudenmaier (with DPA) DW Now a court in Sirnak has sentenced the German man to over six years in prison. A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a German man to six years and three months in prison for membership of a terrorist organization. In addition, he received a suspended sentence of one year and eight months in jail for entering a ... Read More »

Magnum China: Panoramic portrait of a global superpower

Photographers at Magnum Photos have had a long-standing cultural engagement and fascination with China. BBC Co-founders Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson first covered the country on photography assignments in the 1930s and 40s, marking the beginning of a relationship with the country that has continued throughout the decades. Magnum’s photos provide a panoramic portrait of China and its people through the changes and upheavals in its recent history. Here is a small selection from the… Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1949 Henri Cartier-Bresson’s… ... Read More »

Khashoggi’s Murder Heralds a New Era of Impunity

The ugly geopolitics in the wake of the Saudi journalist’s death point to a world in which impunity reigns The head of the United Nations delivered a dark and, it turns out, prophetic warning several weeks ago. Uri Friedman The Atlantic As power diffuses from the United States, the world is devolving into chaos. “Impunity and unpredictability” are becoming “the name of the game,” António Guterres told me. At the time, the UN secretary-general had the kaleidoscopic and catastrophic Syrian war top ... Read More »

Why India needs to worry about climate change

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned of disastrous consequences if current trends of global warming are not reversed immediately. Aayushi Awasthy explains why this has… BBC The IPCC report, which was released earlier this month, has been called the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures. The report says that the impact of a 1.5C increase in global temperatures will “disproportionately affect disadvantaged and vulnerable populations through food insecurity, higher ... Read More »

Late night text messages reveal Indonesia’s anger over Jerusalem embassy announcement

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi’s late-night flurry of angry text messages to Australian counterpart Marise Payne was the first direct contact between the two over the Morrison government’s… David Wroe The Canberra Times Extraordinary exchanges in a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday morning have also revealed the government decided to announce its review of Australia’s stances on Jerusalem and the Iran nuclear deal without consulting a… Foreign Minister Marise Payne acknowledged under questioning from Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong ... Read More »

Not one government official was consulted about Australia’s major Israel foreign policy shift

Just after lunchtime on Monday last week, the head of Australia’s Foreign Affairs Department, Frances Adamson, took a call about the government’s planned Jerusalem announcement. David Wroe WAtoday Public servants, even the most seasoned, aren’t unimpeachable, but they are the government’s bedrock for advice on major and complex issues. So it must have been a surprise for the nation’s most senior diplomat that the call from Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s office wasn’t so much asking for her input as letting ... Read More »

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia’s uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria’s upcoming… ICG This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace. Libya’s Economic Reforms Fall Short Libya has seen… Watch List 2018… Read More »

China’s hidden camps

What’s happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang? BBC China stands accused of locking up hundreds of thousands of Muslims without trial in its western region of Xinjiang. The government denies the claims, saying people are willingly attending special ”vocational schools” which combat ”terrorism and religious extremism”. Now a BBC investigation has found important new evidence of the reality. Detention in the desert On 12 July 2015 a satellite swung over the rolling deserts and oasis cities of China’s vast ... Read More »

China Expands Its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa

At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Defence and Security Forum, Beijing showcased an increasingly strategic approach to its defence relations with African countries and its role in managing challenges to peace and security on the continent. Michael Kovrig ICG China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on 3-4 September with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) to Beijing for ... Read More »

Beyond Short-Term Solutions in the Middle East and North Africa

The United States and Europe should pursue a strategy of long-term civil society development in the MENA. They should also seek stability and an end to conflicts in the short term. Richard LeBaron The National Interest In the final months of 2018, seven years after historic change swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), countries in the region still face significant political, economic and security challenges. In most countries that underwent a transition, the situation is worse than before: ... Read More »

Chinese missile buildup strained US-Russia arms pact

The 1987 INF Treaty banned land-based missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Gregory Hellman Politico U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a landmark arms control treaty with Russia comes after nearly a year of appeals from top military leaders to confront China’s rising missile ambitions — perhaps the… Trump told reporters Monday outside the White House that Beijing’s growing arsenal played into his decision to withdraw from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, even ... Read More »

Trump, Saudi Arabia and à la carte Human Rights

Saudi Arabian Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and then killed. It has been widely reported that Khashoggi was cut to pieces in the embassy whilst still alive. Turkish secret recordings of the murder are said to confirm this. Vasilis Giavris * Khashoggi was a dissident who was critical of the Saudi Royal family. He relocated to the United States in June 2017, where he obtained permanent residency and began ... Read More »

‘Not the work of a great mind’: Gorbachev slams Trump’s nuclear pact withdrawal

Moscow: US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia has drawn sharp criticism from one of the men who signed it — Mikhail Gorbachev, who called the… New York Times The Age In announcing that he would withdraw from the treaty, Trump cited Russian violations of the pact, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed in Washington in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and… Gorbachev, who is now 87 years old, cast Trump’s decision as a ... Read More »