It is unlikely that ASEAN will agree to a co-ordinated response to the military coup in Myanmar, leaving it to countries from outside the region to impose stronger measures. Convincing the military to schedule a new election with ASEAN oversight, while not ideal, may be the best-case scenario for ASEAN.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Qatari economy. Economic and diplomatic developments involving neighbouring countries, as well as significant investments in liquefied natural gas production, have renewed optimism for a strong recovery.
China would like to fill the vacuum left if US forces withdraw from Afghanistan, likely due to the country’s strategic significance. While that strategy may be sound, Beijing’s tactics remain questionable.
Plans for the city on the PNG Torres Strait island of Daru are unlikely to come to fruition. It does, however, underscore ongoing interest from China for infrastructure projects in PNG and Australia’s political concerns.
China’s incursions into Kazakhstan’s security construct, traditionally seen by Russia as its domain, could set the tone for Beijing’s future relations with Russia and the other Central Asian states.
The coup d’état in Myanmar will have a wider impact on a region beset by constant tensions in the civilian-military leadership balance, but it also shows how the US and China will play their respective regional roles in the future.
China’s new law authorising its Coast Guard to use deadly force if required against foreign entities is likely a test for President Biden; it comes, however, with significant risk for Beijing, Washington and the region.
While it is difficult to prove the allegation that Addis Ababa deliberately blocked the delivery of food aid, it is likely to tarnish the reputation of its reform-minded Prime Minister.
Confronted by serious domestic issues, the Biden Administration is likely to continue the Africa policy of its predecessor but, as that is framed largely through the lens of China’s presence on the continent, it may become necessary for Washington to finesse its Africa policy sooner rather than later.