Sino-Indian military posturing and muscle-flexing continues in the eastern Ladakh region. Alongside diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India should insist on the proper delimitation and demarcation of the LAC, pending a permanent settlement of the border, while also firmly holding its ground in any prolonged standoff through the approaching winter.
Until recently, carbon released into the atmosphere from wildfires was not considered a significant component of atmospheric greenhouse gas as it was assumed that over the climatic cycle this carbon would be returned to vegetative re-growth. In Australia this may well be the case. Globally, however, a growing body of evidence suggests that carbon produced by wildfires is making a significant contribution to the volume of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere where it contributes to climate change.
PNG and Timor-Leste are both facing significant economic and political obstacles and are likely to turn towards China for help. Australia is not in a strong position to offer a counterbalance.
The legislation is designed to give Indian farmers greater bargaining power in agricultural markets, which could improve their financial position and Indian food security.
Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s new Prime Minister, will likely continue down the foreign policy path set by his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, as he inherits pressing domestic issues ranging from COVID-19 to the economy and a new East Asian security framework.
The return of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lankan Prime Minister will likely attract further Chinese investments and loans to the country, but has caused concern in New Delhi about Colombo’s further inclination towards Beijing. India, with its sluggish economic growth and limited financial capacity to lure Sri Lanka away from China, must instead continue to support Sri Lanka in in such matters as housing projects, education, health, transportation systems, small and medium business development and training.
The issue of independence in West Papua will likely reignite as Indonesia renews its autonomy laws for the region. The prospects for West Papua’s independence movement are bleak; Indonesia simply has too much at stake in the region and does not face enough external pressure to hold an independence referendum. Further compounding matters, in the current geopolitical climate, concerns relating to China will also heighten sensitivities surrounding the potential vulnerability of an independent West Papua.
At a ceremony to hand over the first tranche of 36 Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly was clear about her country’s support for India as a primary strategic partner.
Washington launched a new partnership with Mekong countries to counter rising Chinese influence in continental South-East Asia. As parts of the region are pulled closer into Beijing’s orbit, however, it is unlikely that the new partnership will alter the geopolitical situation.
Washington’s upgraded relationship with the Maldives and its invitation to build ports and bases in Palau can only add to Beijing’s consternation – and increase the likelihood of conflict between them.