Now serving a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court, the imprisonment of disgraced former president Jacob Zuma has triggered protests and opportunistic looting while perpetuating the division within the African National Congress government between his supporters and those loyal to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Biden may well succeed in forging an Israeli-Palestinian peace by restating in the strongest terms that a two-state solution remains the only viable option and working to create the conditions on the ground to that end.
While the G7’s “Build Back Better World” (B3W) offers an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, it remains a nascent proposition that may not suit every government, especially not the more authoritarian ones.
In the face of a water crisis started by arsenic poisoning of groundwater and further compounded by climate change-induced salinity, the Bangladeshi Government will need to act swiftly to prevent a future surge of climate refugees.
For Canadian exporters and service providers, ICA-CEPA presents an opportunity to expand into a youthful, growing and technologically-aware market that is also the largest economy in South-East Asia. It will also complement the rising awareness in Canada of the increasing strategic and economic importance of the Indo-Pacific.
While France has undertaken to work with both sides and to respect the outcome of the vote, if this year’s referendum results in a “yes” to New Caledonian independence, the loss of territory and influence will not be welcomed. For partners such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States, a potentially reduced French presence in the south-west Pacific at a time of growing Chinese influence in the region is likely to be viewed with some concern.
Unlike when it first struck a year ago, the recent Covid-19 wave has affected several ASEAN countries severely. While the absolute numbers of fatalities are not high in countries other than Thailand and Malaysia due to strict restrictions having been imposed, the slow rate of inoculation remains a concern.