The termination of the Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea agreement means that Timor-Leste and Australia will have to settle their maritime boundary and, possibly, negotiate a new revenue split for the Greater Sunrise area. From a purely realist perspective, it is in Australia’s economic interests to secure as much of the Greater Sunrise area as possible in future negotiations, but there are other important strategic factors that should also be taken into consideration.
As he hands down this year’s national Budget, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan finds himself challenged – once more – by both the poor state of the country’s finances and by political manoeuvrings from within the government.
Initially economically and socially successful, Pakistan subsequently became less so because of political decisions. While problems abound, there is much to celebrate as Pakistan’s economy is again on the upswing.
It is more the fact that neither Washington nor Tehran can be seen to be backing down from their stated agenda rather than any missile test that could lead both states into conflict with each other.
The outcome of the election could mean either a humiliating defeat for hardline Islamic groups or a boost to their legitimacy within the political sphere.
The current Chinese administration has set developing and improving Sino-Indian relations as one of its top foreign policy priorities. Continuing to build upon a decade-long pragmatism in managing territorial disputes, the Chinese and Indian leaders set their sights on expanding bilateral co-operation ranging from trade and investment, to broader issues such as climate change. Recent developments, however, have again highlighted the deep distrust between the two countries.
It appears that Najib is using the Rohingya crisis to shore up credibility from Malaysia’s Muslim population following corruption allegations last year.
The world’s largest democracy will continue to grow in strategic and economic importance. India’s foreign relations are, in general, predicated upon its growing economy and strategic reach, the latter being an outcome of its economic growth, which makes it a valuable market, strategic ally or both.
India has seen major ups and downs since independence in 1947, most notably in its economic development, which saw it overtake the UK in December 2016 to become the world’s sixth-largest economy. Literacy and educational rates have also improved and Indian women are now having fewer children than before.