Paris’s anger at having lost the contract to supply conventionally-powered submarines to the Royal Australian Navy is redolent with unmitigated hypocrisy.
By bringing together around 3,000 young people rather than political leaders, the New Africa-France Summit sought to chart a new course for the countries involved, but the true measure of success will be the degree to which the views of the participants gain traction among those in power.
There is a consensus in the global community as far as providing financial support for dealing with the economic and humanitarian challenges in Afghanistan is concerned. China, however, has been the only country which has said that economic sanctions against the Taliban should be removed and that the reserves of Afghan Central Bank should be released, given the multiple challenges the country is facing.
The evolving strategic alignment in the Indo-Pacific has ramifications for the region, which could well be the harbinger of a New Cold War, with potential catastrophic consequences. Therefore, American and Chinese leaders will be well advised to manage their strategic competition without any military confrontation(s). The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation’s (SCO) first real test would be to bring back normality and harmony in Afghanistan for overall peace, stability and prosperity in the wider region.
While the world’s first “climate change famine” continues unabated, the Madagascan Government’s ambitious infrastructure plans and updates from two Australian mining juniors with projects in Madagascar bring some welcome good news.
Apart from the discussion of important connectivity projects and events in Afghanistan, the recent Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) Summit was also important because it provided India and China with an opportunity to engage on important issues. The SCO is likely to remain an important organisation in the evolving geopolitical landscape.
The nuclear submarine technology that Australia will acquire through the AUKUS alliance is only one element of a major recalibration of Australian and US strategies to counter China.
The six-kilometre-long Padma Bridge will greatly enhance connectivity across Bangladesh and exemplifies China’s expanding soft power.
New air and diplomatic links between Bahrain and Israel are coming into effect and, together with increased trade volumes, constitute the latest developments flowing from the Abraham Accords, which are beginning to bring demonstrable benefits.
Iran’s role in Afghanistan is likely to be important, due to its geographic location and also because, while Tehran will seek to find common ground with other countries, including China, it is also likely to follow an independent policy driven by its own strategic interests, especially in the South Asian context.