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Asia Pacific Middle East/North Africa

China serves as a stabilizing force in South Sudan’s fragile peace

On Wednesday, the “final final” peace deal was ostensibly struck– a handshake between South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kirr– signifying a truce in the 5-year civil war that has devastated the young nation.

Asia Pacific Natural resources and energy

Sanctions, oil, and the emerging China-Russia-Iran axis

Although China has backpedalled on proposed tariffs on U.S. crude imports, the move is indicative of its need to diversify sources and steps may now be taken to enable China to play the oil card in the future – including imports from Iran despite sanctions, and drawing closer to Russia. 

Asia Pacific Politics

Cambodia’s pivot to China heralds a new era of authoritarianism

Increasing Chinese influence is casting a shadow over Cambodia’s political freedoms. On the backdrop of the elections, Nathan Paul explores how the result is a great deal of leeway for Prime Minister Hun Sen to suffocate dissent and criticism, and to strengthen his own power.

Asia Pacific Politics

Security or progress? The Australian experiment

China’s growing influence has given rise to a dilemma for its partners, between preserving national security and maintaining access to China’s economic and technological progress. The long-term consequences of how Australia resolves this dilemma may provide insights for the rest of the world.

Asia Pacific Finance

Belt and Road Initiative increases sovereign debt risks in Tajikistan

The BRI aims at dismantling foreign investment barriers and improving international logistics has provided much-needed infrastructure support to its recipient countries. But BRI-related project loans may cause a problematic increase in sovereign debt in certain host countries.

Risk Pulse South and Central Asia

India’s concerns over the strengthened China-Maldives relations

The Republic of Maldives is an important member of the SAARC and offers key strategic value to its allies, especially India. This article examines how a souring in relations between Malé and New Delhi, along with an unprecedented Chinese presence in the archipelago, raises geopolitical risks for India.

Asia Pacific North America

What role does North Korea play in Chinese strategy?

A week after the summit between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ended, the steady drumbeat of analysis goes on. Much of the discussion has focused on what North Korea gained from the meeting.

Economics North America

Opinion: Trump’s trade war will be easy to lose

Trade wars are not easy nor always winnable despite what Trump suggests. Instead tariffs, once implemented, become extremely difficult to remove.

Asia Pacific Politics

What’s the deal with ZTE?

The new ZTE deal could ease bilateral tensions and prevent a global economic crisis, but it has also revealed Trump’s malleability, the growing rift within the US government, and ignored larger security threats.

North America Politics

The US abdicates a key role at UN Human Rights Council

In another sign of its abdication of global leadership, the US has decided to withdraw from the UN human rights council, citing the latter’s hostility to Israel and favorable treatment to regimes with unsavory human rights records. What are the consequences for the world – and the Council’s future?