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China Politics Technology and infrastructure

Technological pull or competitive drive? China’s rover landing sends a message to the United States

On Friday 14th May, China’s Zhurong rover landed on Mars, becoming the first Chinese spacecraft to do so and only the second nation, behind the US, to land a spacecraft successfully on Mars. China hopes their Zhurong rover will give them 90 days of service as it studies the surface of the planet, collecting samples and data. This is an historic moment for China, as they demonstrate yet another arena where they can compete against and match the US. This follows their recent launch of the initial part of China’s first permanent space station, as they push to become technological leaders in a world where technology has become sovereign.

Middle East/North Africa Security

Yemen’s Chance for Peace Weakens as the Fighting against the Houthis Intensifies

As the war in Yemen enters its seventh year the Saudi Arabian-led coalition has begun attempting peace talks with their main adversaries, the Houthi rebel forces that have occupied much of the northwest of the country for the last several years. As President Biden is now committed to withdrawing American support for the coalition, it has left them at a disadvantage which they appear to wish to rectify by negotiating with the Houthis in the hope of reaching an agreement. However, the Houthi forces have largely held a strong position in the war and, as demonstrated by their recent bombings and airstrikes, appear to have little interest in ending the conflict.

Europe Politics

Can the EU work with Biden in the Balkans?

The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) signed in December provides access to the Chinese market for European investors while protecting China’s existing rights in EU trade. However, US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, voiced concern over the deal, stating Washington would welcome early consultations with Brussels when addressing Beijing’s economic relations. The lack of coordinated EU-US strategic thinking on China poses a risk to Euro-Atlantic integration in the Western Balkans. 

Middle East/North Africa Politics

A place in the sun? Assessing the Turkish government’s olive branch to Israel

Following the election of Joe Biden as the next US President, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has set the eyes of an increasingly diplomatically isolated nation on its regional neighbour and former ally. Israel, spurred by the threat of Iran in the region, has also sent signals that rapprochement with Turkey is on the cards. Can the two countries mend their fraught relationship?

Economics Middle East/North Africa

What is next for Turkey?

With the Turkish lira at a record depreciation amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic,Turkish leadership is struggling to deal with an economic impasse and a seismic foreign relations shift as a result of the US election. 

Latin America Politics

Latin America – Russia’s Game in 2021: an Outlook

Latin America is at a turning point and there will be a lot at stake for Russia’s influence building in the region in 2021. The instability created by an unprecedented recession and an increased political polarisation in what promises to be a hectic electoral year as well as a more active US foreign policy after Trump’s neglect will probably increase Moscow’s appetite for the subcontinent.

Africa Security

A Premature Decision? Assessing The Potential Impact Of Us Troop Withdrawal For The Future Of Somalia

The decision of the outgoing Trump administration to pull out US troops from Somalia by 15 January has come at a particularly critical period for the East African region. This could have broader security and humanitarian implications, threatening the progress of the past decade and leaving the country exposed to the influence of regional actors. 

North America Politics

Why is Fox News Parting Ways with Trump?

With an audience hungry for Biden controversies, Fox News knows it will have four very profitable years as the standard-bearer of the anti-Left resistance under a Democratic administration. 

Middle East/North Africa Security

The Clock is Ticking for the Iran Nuclear Deal

Seven days into 2020 it appeared that President Donald Trump had pushed the US and Iran to the brink of war. A few weeks later, an unprecedented global pandemic put a stop to that. Where do Iran and the US stand now, and what does the future hold for their contentious nuclear agreement?

International Security

The Future of US-Russia Relations Post-2020

For half a decade, the spectral presence of Russia has haunted US politics and caused concern on both sides of the aisle. What does the future hold for the complicated relationship between Moscow and Washington?