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.
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.
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’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.
While the increasing international pushback against China’s coercive tendencies may be viewed as the international community finally standing up to Beijing, the more pertinent question ought to be: how much more pressure can General Secretary Xi endure without feeling overwhelmed or cornered and lashing out militarily?
It is unlikely that the protests will bring about major change in the short-term future, as activists continue to be arrested. They do, however, represent a generational shift in Thai politics and could lead to similar protests in the future.
Having previously won praise for its successful handling of COVID-19, the Mauritian Government now faces the wrath of its citizens after its poor handling of the MV Wakashio oil spill, which continues to wreak environmental damage.
Due to China’s aggressive pursuit of its national interests, the erosion of Sino-US relations and international loss of confidence in US leadership, middle powers must secure their own interests and provide alternatives for smaller countries to siding with China or the United States.
Riyadh has forced Islamabad to choose whether to fall in line and end its criticism of Saudi policy or give up its access to Saudi financial aid and cheap oil supplies.
Building the new capital has been delayed until Indonesia’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. That, however, could take several years, although the government will still likely push for construction to begin before the end of Jokowi’s term in office.