The Geopolitics of Indo-Pacific Trade

While there is talk of a broader ‘Indo-Pacific’, encompassing the Indian Ocean as well as the Pacific, this is not yet reflected in the geopolitics of trade.

Trade has been at the heart of Asia’s economic growth over the past 50 years. Japan, followed by the four Asian Tigers of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and then – largest of all – China, pursued development strategies based on the export of manufactured products to the US and Europe. This growth was underpinned by a stable geopolitical framework that focused on economic integration and trade liberalisation, while relying on the US post-war security umbrella to maintain and, for the most part, fund security and keep sea lanes open.

The words ‘Asia-Pacific’ and ‘Chimerica’ captured the essence of this relationship, covering the trade flows from Asia across the Pacific and the close integration of economic activities between China and the US. Not all countries chose or were able to pursue this growth path – most notably India (albeit with success in back-office outsourcing services), but also Sri Lankaand Indonesia. As a result, these economies grew less rapidly and were less integrated into the global economy. The economic

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Joe Biden’s foreign policy team to reject Trump’s ‘America First’ mantra

President-elect Joe Biden at an event announcing key foreign policy and national security nominees and appointments on November 24. Photo: AP

  • ‘We can’t solve all the world’s problems alone,’ says Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice for secretary of state
  • Biden creates a new position on the National Security Council wholly devoted to the climate change crisis
    US President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming foreign policy team made clear on Tuesday that they plan to reject President Donald Trump ’s “America First” mantra and instead embrace America’s allies to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

    “We can’t solve all the world’s problems alone,” said Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice for secretary of state. “We need to be working with other countries. We need their cooperation. We need their partnership.”

    “But also confidence”, Blinken added, “because America at its best still has a greater ability than any other country on earth to bring others together to meet the challenges of our time.”

    Blinken was Biden’s national security adviser during the Obama administration and a top adviser during the presidential campaign.


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What’s at Stake in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict

Alexandre Del Valle, an internationally renowned geopolitician, explains that Azerbaijan and its ethnic ally Turkey want to eradicate Armenia — and its Christian identity — from the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region

People walk by houses destroyed in a shelling attack on October 21, 2020 in Ganja, Azerbaijan.

The disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been the scene of bloody clashes since Sept. 27, following several months of rising tensions.

It is the latest escalation of an old and unresolved conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over this region of the South Caucasus with an Armenian ethnic majority. The recent clashes between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces have already caused the death of thousands of servicemen and dozens of civilians on both sides.

To gain better insight into the geopolitical stakes and the various dynamics of this conflict, the Register sought the expertise of Alexandre Del Valle, a French-Italian political commentator and international consultant. The author of numerous essays and a columnist for many media outlets, he is particularly known for his works on the Middle East, Turkey, Islamic totalitarianism and Christianophobia.

According to Del Valle, Azerbaijan is currently leading a neo-colonial war — with the full support of Turkey — against Armenia, which is now engaged in

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France’s Muslims Say New Separatism Law Targets Them (Alexandre Del Valle)

The French government is expected to soon unveil long-awaited anti-separatism legislation — with President Emmanuel Macron making a key speech on the subject next week. The details are still vague, but expectations are already strong and clashing — with the focus on France’s Muslim community, western Europe’s largest. Lisa Bryant reports for VOA from the French capital.

Camera: Lisa Bryant, Agencies

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Judge halts Trump administration order to remove WeChat from app stores

The WeChat app is seen among American flags

WASHINGTON — A U.S. judge early Sunday blocked the Trump administration from requiring Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to remove Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat for downloads by late Sunday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in San Francisco said in an order that WeChat users who filed a lawsuit “have shown serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favor.”

Her 22-page order added the prohibitions “burden substantially more speech than is necessary to serve the government’s significant interest in national security, especially given the lack of substitute channels for communication.”


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From Goldwater to Trump, the long history of ‘Law and Order’ politics

President Donald Trump is fond of blunt campaign slogans. In 2016, it was “Make America Great Again,” “Build the Wall,” “Lock her up!”

In 2020, it’s “Law and Order.”

With the presidential election barely two months away, President Trump appears to have settled on a defining theme for his campaign – one that has a deep and controversial history in American politics.

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Trump warns ‘shot’ Joe Biden won’t be able to stand up to foreign leaders

President Trump warned that former Vice President Joe Biden is “shot” and wouldn’t be able to stand up to the “world-class chess players” who lead other countries.

“Let’s face it, Joe’s shot,” Trump said during an interview Monday on “Fox & Friends.”

“You’re dealing with people that are very sharp. You’re dealing with world-class chess players in the leaders of these countries. I know them all. We do very well with all of them, [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan of Turkey. You can’t have a guy that doesn’t know where he is. You can’t have a guy that’s afraid to leave his basement because he can’t speak any longer,” the president said.

Joe Biden (left) and Donald Trump


Coronavirus: how much is the world economy expected to shrink?

People on a street in Tokyo. March 18, 2020

he world economy is likely to face a long slog back from the coronavirus crisis.

Two reports this week predicted that global growth will struggle to bounce back from the lockdowns, travel restrictions and business closures meant to contain the pandemic.

IHS Markit said that it expects the world economy to shrink 5.5% this year, triple the damage it sustained in the 2008 financial crisis, and then struggle to regain traction.

“While growth in the hardest-hit economies may snap back briefly, the momentum will soon fade,’’ the London-based financial research firm warned.


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In China’s Crisis, Xi Sees a Crucible to Strengthen His Rule

China’s leader is using the country’s success — and the criticism against it — to urge the party and the people to weather tough days ahead.


Before an adulatory crowd of university professors and students, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, offered a strikingly bold message about the global coronavirus pandemic. Summoning images of sacrifice from Communist Party lore, he told them that the calamity was ripe with possibility for China.

“Great historical progress always happens after major disasters,” Mr. Xi said during a recent visit to Xi’an Jiaotong University. “Our nation was steeled and grew up through hardship and suffering.”



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