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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.

Africa Security

Hundreds of Nigerian Students Kidnapped… Again: Is Nigeria a Failed State?

The NY Times reported another kidnapping in northern Nigeria this past Friday. Armed men abducted 317 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara state. One police officer was killed during the attack. 

This is the second mass abduction in as many weeks and part of an alarming trend going back to 2014, when the violent extremist organization (VEO) Boko Haram abducted 276 girls from a school in Chibok, Borno state. 

Security Southeast Asia

Myanmar Coup: a Return to the Dark Ages?

Myanmar is turning its back on a decade of democratization processes whilst facing a nationwide reckoning with its historical ethnic and religious divisions. If the military junta has decided power-sharing is no longer on the table, the choices Myanmar faces are stark.

Africa Politics Security

The Political Economy of Sudanese Reform

Since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir, the civilian Council of Ministers headed by Abdullah Hamdok has been tasked with realising the aspirations of the Sudanese people who took to the streets to protest for a better future. All the while, they are hindered economically by the legacy of Sudan’s affiliation with transnational terrorism. Meanwhile, the presence and influence of Sudan’s military officers remains significant, especially in the face of myriad security concerns, whose political ambitions are undimmed.

International Politics

Russia and the Arctic Council in 2021: a New Security Dilemma

Coming May, Russia will assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council until 2023. In a region so strategically significant, the challenge for Russia lies with rhyming its military build-up in the arctic with the cooperative nature of the council, whilst not letting the council jeopardize its freedom of movement in any way.

Africa Politics

Mali’s “Fresh Start” is Becoming a Pipe Dream as Colonel Malick Diaw is Elected Head of Interim Legislature

The Malian coup d’état, that came to fruition on the 18th August last year, was motivated by a need to end the corruption and bad governance that had brought the country to standstill and to address the instability that continues in the north of the country. In the aftermath, the Comité Nationale pour le Salut de Peuple (CNSP) followed through, conducting consultations with key stakeholders to develop its charter for transition. It vowed to return the country to civilian leadership within a “reasonable timeframe”. Nevertheless, as the CNSP has become comfortable in its position of power, cracks are beginning to show. Army personnel dominate the interim government and even with ECOWAS bearing down, the hope of a more transparent and democratic government is beginning to dissipate. 

Asia Pacific Security

Australia-Japan alliance: A blueprint for something bigger?

Is the strengthening of bonds between Japan and Australia merely an attempt to balance China, or is it a sign of a more promising future?

China Special Reports

China’s international partnerships: Beyond One Belt, One Road 

China is redrawing the global security map beyond Asia-Pacific. This article, the first in a four-part series, examines the background of China’s geopolitical restructuring efforts and how they have unfolded within the context of relations with a critical security partner, Bangladesh. 

Technology and infrastructure The Security Briefing

Building Infrastructures: Reviewing Cypriot Cybersecurity Practices

A lack of attention in addressing Cyprus’ cyberspace and security systems is a major problem for the country. The rise of newer technologies and threats require an upgrade in the

China Politics

America’s Huawei challenge in Asia

The United States has undertaken a global diplomatic offensive to dissuade allies from working with the Chinese telecom firm Huawei, who has spearheaded the cutting-edge 5G network.