Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

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China’s Vaccine Diplomacy, the “Health Silk Road” and a Global Pledge

15 July 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Under its “Health Silk Road” programme, Beijing is supplying COVID-19 vaccines to over 80 countries, particularly in the developing world, many of which are members and supporters of the Belt and Road Initiative. While efforts to counter the virus are welcomed, the vaccines in question are largely untried and unapproved. Furthermore, while China has indeed donated vaccines to a few countries, the majority have had to purchase their supplies, in some instances using loans offered by Beijing to do so.

Violence Flares in South Africa as Ex-President Zuma Jailed

Now serving a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court, the imprisonment of disgraced former president Jacob Zuma has triggered protests and opportunistic looting while perpetuating the division within the African National Congress government between his supporters and those loyal to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

China in a Post-US Afghanistan

China’s criticism of the US decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is likely due to a deterioration in security, which could negatively affect its investments and BRI-related projects.

Kashmir: From Demographic Majority to Political Minority

Having suffered a political lockdown since August 2019, followed by a Covid-19 lockdown from March this year, in the guise of returning “normality” to the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, the Modi Government has launched an economic snapshot and vision statement to 2030. One indication of Kashmir’s future may be the appointment as Lieutenant-Governor of Manoj Sinha, a close acquaintance of Modi’s and a strong proponent of Hinduisation values.

Biden May Succeed Where His Predecessors Failed

President Biden may well succeed in forging an Israeli-Palestinian peace by restating in the strongest terms that a two-state solution remains the only viable option and working to create the conditions on the ground to that end.

The G7’s Alternative to China’s BRI

While the G7’s “Build Back Better World” (B3W) offers an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, it remains a nascent proposition that may not suit every government, especially not the more authoritarian ones.

Publication Guide

  • Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

  • Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

  • Normally issued in hardcopy, these represent a comprehensive study of one of FDI’s four research areas.

  • Strategic alerts are priority current intelligence items. We provide these alerts when events such as military deployments or foreign election results occur.

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

  • A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

  • A record of discussions resulting from a single, or series of, roundtable conferences.

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