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Geostrategic environment (september 10, 2022)

TODAY IN EVIDENCE

WORLDS

  • (Afghanistan) September 9, 2022. Riccardo Valle, Iftikhar Firdous, The Jamestown Foundation. On June 18, the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) claimed an attack which targeted a Sikh Gurdwara in Karta-e-Parwan area of Kabul (Dawn, June 18). While ISKP stated there were 50 Sikh and Taliban casualties, two people were reported killed. The operation lasted for several hours and, according to Islamic State (IS)’s Amaq News Agency, one militant named Abu Muhammad al-Tajiki conducted an inghimasi (fighting until death) operation inside the Gurdwara while other supporting members ambushed a Taliban patrol outside it (Twitter/IftikharFirdous, June 19). ISKP Challenges Indian Interests in Afghanistan by Attacking Sikh Worshippers in Kabul
  • (Afghanistan) September 9, 2022. Naheed Sarabi and John W. McArthur, Brookings. Afghanistan’s lessons for the Sustainable Development Goals: Interview with Naheed Sarabi
  • (China) September 9, 2022. Willy Wo-Lap Lam, The Jamestown Foundation. That President Xi Jinping and his faction will dominate the 20th Party Congress is apparent from the Politburo announcement that the week-long, five-yearly conclave will take place on October 16. The Politburo meeting, which was held on August 30, said that the guiding principle of the party and country would remain “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era” (Gov.cn, October 16).  Will the Xi Jinping Leadership Take up Reformist Policies After the 20th Party Congress?
  • (China) September 9, 2022. Kenneth W. Allen, The Jamestown Foundation. As the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Chinese Communist Party (CCP) approaches its 20th Party Congress, which begins on October 16, General Secretary Xi Jinping is set to continue his run as core leader (People’s Daily, August 31). Throughout his tenure, Xi, who is also Chairman of the Party and State Central Military Commission (CMC) and PRC President, has prioritized military diplomacy as a key element of Chinese foreign policy. Consequently, since 2013, the frequency, intensity and scale of China’s military diplomacy has generally increased. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted or limited some areas of engagement, under Xi, the overall trend of military diplomacy assuming a growing role in China’s international engagement is bound to persist. The PLA’s Military Diplomacy in Advance of the 20th Party Congress
  • (China) September 9, 2022. Filip Jirouš, The Jamestown Foundation. As the world embraces green initiatives on an unprecedented scale, so has the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — perhaps surprisingly — embraced the green movement, but has done so primarily to support its own political objectives. Make the Green Serve China: PRC Influence Operations Target International Environmentalism
  • (Indo-Pacific) September 10, 2022. Kei Koga, East Asia Forum. Japan’s vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) is nearing an inflection point. The government is faced with a choice on whether to shift its traditional strategic posture to take a firmer stance against China. Japan must decide how far it will go to defend the existing international order that the United States and its partners have largely constructed and which has diplomatically, economically and militarily benefited Japan. Indo-Pacific vision that promises peace and prosperity
  • (Mongolia) September 9, 2022.  Gordon Feller, East Asia Forum. Mongolia’s dependence on mining has intensified in recent decades. Following the discovery of major coal deposits and gold-copper ore in the early 2000s, its economic significance surpassed that of the traditional livestock sector. In 2022, mining accounts for nearly a quarter of gross domestic product (GDP), up from a tenth in 2000. Mongolia’s unsustainable mining bonanza
  • (Nigeria) September 9, 2022. Joseph Akpokodje, Mofoluso A. Fagbeja, World Bank blogs. Chsimdi Chukwu, a 24-year-old woman from Lagos, collects and sells plastics for a living in Olusosun, a local dumpsite roughly the size of 60 soccer fields. She is exposed to the city’s heavy traffic, fumes from burnt waste, dust, and the smoke of diesel generators used in most homes on any given day.  Her health is resenting it. Like many of the 23 million people living in Lagos, Chsimdi breathes toxic air.  Supporting a Breath of Fresh Air for Lagos
  • (North Korea) September 9, 2022. Ellen Kim, CSIS. On September 9, North Korea celebrated the 74th anniversary of the country’s founding. Amid the growing concern about the country’s possible seventh nuclear test, North Korea held the seventh session of the 14th Supreme People’s Assembly, where the country’s leader Kim Jong-un formally announced that North Korea would never abandon its nuclear weapons arsenal. North Korea States It Will Never Give Up Nuclear Weapons
  • (Papua New Guinea) September 9, 2022. Ruth Moiam, World Bank blogs. Agriculture is considered by most to be ‘the backbone’ of Papua New Guinea (PNG). It is the main source of food, employment and income for 85% of the population who live in PNG’s rural areas.  Surveys consistently show that, besides improved access to health services, education and better road connectivity, agriculture is the sector that most Papua New Guineans consider the most important for government investment. From little things, big things grow: Papua New Guinea’s cocoa farmers defy the pandemic downturn
  • (Sahel region) September 9, 2022. Halimatou Hima, Brookings. The provision of education in conflict-affected and humanitarian settings has shifted from an afterthought to a priority. Globally, 222 million school-aged children affected by conflict, violence, and humanitarian crises are in need of education support, and in the Sahel region, the combined effects of insecurity, economic hardship, and climate-induced humanitarian crises threaten to reverse years of hard-won progress in education. In Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, the number of schools closed due to insecurity has increased tenfold between 2017 and 2021, depriving over half a million children of education. “Schooling” isn’t enough: The urgency of quality education for children forcibly on the move in the Sahel
  • (Taiwan) September 9, 2022. Masaya Inoue, East Asia Forum. Tensions are rising in the Taiwan Strait. In recent years, many developed nations have become concerned over China’s military expansion. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has increased anxiety that China, with its military dominance, will unilaterally attempt to change the status quo in Taiwan. Japan’s stance on the Taiwan Strait
  • (Taiwan) September 9, 2022. John S. Van Oudenaren, The Jamestown Foundation. Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia led a delegation to China in August, which occurred in the immediate aftermath of the extensive live-fire exercises that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted around Taiwan following U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit (Focus Taiwan, August 28; Republic of China, Ministry of National Defense, August 3). Are Cross-Strait Relations Dead?
  • (United Arab Emirates) September 9, 2022. IAEA. An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said the operator of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Barakah Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the first NPP in the Arab region, had strengthened operational safety by fully addressing the findings of an initial IAEA safety review mission five years ago. In order to ensure continuous enhancements also in the future, the team encouraged the Barakah NPP to continue to use the IAEA’s nuclear safety review services. IAEA Sees Strengthened Operational Safety at UAE’s First Nuclear Power Plant, Encourages Continued Improvement

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