Due to the coronavirus pandemic and its deep and ongoing negative financial effects, FDI must close its doors for the final time. As CEO and Institute Director, I wish to thank all our readers over many years, our range of benefactors who have contributed and all those who have written for us, provided advice and encouraged us to continue for as long as possible.
A formal alliance between the world’s largest and most powerful democracies would constitute an unstoppable force. It could prove a very potent deterrent to China’s misbehaviour along the Line of Actual Control border with India, and, when further considered in light of the AUKUS alliance and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue alignment, in the South China Sea.
In the midst of Pakistan’s serious economic challenges, Saudi Arabia’s offer of US$4.2 billion in financial assistance will help to bring Saudi-Pakistan relations back on track. The Saudi move is also intended to signal that, while improving ties with India, it also wants to check any further deterioration of links with Pakistan and that, in spite of the recent rising clout of the UAE and Qatar, Riyadh is still the dominant strategic player in the Gulf.
Foreign aid for Rohingya refugees has declined since the economic fallout triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the world must not turn its back and should aid Bangladesh, which hosts the vast bulk of the refugees, by providing comprehensive financial assistance. The failure of repatriation, together with funding shortages, could risk untoward future developments, the toll of which the international community will not be able to avoid.
China’s goods trade with the Portuguese-speaking countries, many of which supply the raw materials that have powered China’s own economic transformation, continues to grow, aided by the status of Macao as a Portuguese-speaking Special Administrative Region.
While Pakistan has hinted on multiple occasions that it wants a multi-dimensional relationship, not just one driven by security, the US has made it clear that, in the short term, ties with Pakistan would be centred on Afghanistan. While it was believed that the Biden Administration may tweak its predecessor’s policy, it has essentially followed a similar approach. Given the state of Pakistan’s economy, it cannot depend solely on Beijing and more acrimony with the US is not good news.