Sixty Portuguese Special Forces personnel will be deployed to Mozambique to help train their local counterparts in the wake of the largest and deadliest attack yet in the jihadist insurgency that is ravaging the LNG-rich province of Cabo Delgado.
The Taliban are failing to understand two basic points: first, reversion to a pre-2001 Islamic Emirate system is not possible (and not acceptable to regional countries); second, the path to the corridors of true power passes through the democratic electoral process.
Chinese and Indian troops have clashed in hand-to-hand fighting in the Himalayas, resulting in the deaths of twenty Indian soldiers.
An emerging engine of growth in South Asia, Bangladesh enjoyed Gross Domestic Product growth of around eight per cent in each of the last two years, largely based on a very successful garment industry that employs four million workers and accounts for 13 per cent of GDP. Among the many consequences of the coronavirus now confronting Bangladesh are the spectres of halved economic growth forecasts and large-scale job losses in previously booming export sectors.
While President Trump’s recent visit to India did not advance a trade deal between the two countries, it did re-emphasise the security partnership, as evidenced by the sale of US military technology to India.
The visit to Australia by President Joko Widodo brought some optimism from both sides as to the future of the bilateral relationship. The priority now will be to improve the economic side of the equation, in the hope that other aspects of the relationship will follow. Working more closely to address shared concerns over maritime security may help to expedite that process.
The crux of the US and Indian leaders’ arguments for withdrawing their countries from the trade agreements is domestic economic policy, expressed succinctly by their respective campaign slogans, respectively “Make America Great Again” and “Make in India”.
The abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution may have occurred as part of Prime Minister Modi’s agenda of “Hindu-ising” India, elevating the BJP’s saffron flag and, thus, overturning Jawaharlal Nehru’s concept of a secular India.
Indonesian voters have returned incumbent president Joko Widodo for a second term in office. Although Widodo will be confronted by some significant domestic challenges, with elections occurring only one month apart in both countries and the eventual ratification of the IA-CEPA trade agreement, Australia is potentially well placed to signal a new phase in its relationship with Indonesia.