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Marco Emanuele Pensiero Strategico

Geostrategic Diary – June 1, 2022 a.m.

First published by The Science of Where Magazine

FOCUS

  • May 31, 2022. By David AutorKaushik BasuZia Qureshi, and Dani Rodrik, Brookings. In the current digital era, new technologies like artificial intelligence and automation are reshaping economies—and societies. While they hold great promise to boost economic prosperity and raise human welfare, they also highlight, and can deepen, economic and social fault lines across advanced and developing economies. Indeed, economic inequality has been rising in many countries over the period of the boom in digital technologies, stoking social discontent in those left behind, across industries, across the workforce, and across different segments of society. An increasingly unequal society can weaken trust in public institutions and undermine democratic governance. Mounting global disparities can imperil geopolitical stability. Rising inequality has emerged as an important topic of political debate and a major public policy concern. An inclusive future? Technology, new dynamics, and policy challenges

THINK TANKS & GLOBAL NEWS

DIGITAL & TECH

PERSPECTIVES

  • June 1, 2022. By HRW. More than 9,000 students, teachers, and academics were harmed, injured, or killed in attacks on education during armed conflict over the past two years, according to Education under Attack 2022, a 265-page report published today by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). More than 5,000 separate attacks on education facilities, students, and educators, or incidents of military use, took place in 2020 and 2021, a significant increase over the previous two years. Attacks on Education Increased Worldwide During Pandemic

AROUND THE WORLD

ASEAN – USA

  • June 1, 2022. By , The Strategist. This month’s US–ASEAN Special Summit hosted by President Joe Biden in Washington was a symbolically significant and necessary step towards giving Southeast Asian states what they want: respect on their own terms and backing for their economic development and security interests. This was done with a nod to their cherished principle of ‘ASEAN centrality’ in regional affairs and determination not expressly to side with the US over China. But the Biden administration will need to deliver on the commitments outlined in the event’s joint statement if all parties are to secure what they really desire: a demonstrable recommitment to a constructive US counterbalance to China in the region. Biden got his ASEAN promises right—now for the delivery
  • May 31, 2022. By Kavi Chongkittavorn, East Asia Forum. Much has changed since the first meeting between US and ASEAN officials in 1977. But after 45 years of engagement, ties between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States remain unstable. The war in Ukraine has provided a new impetus to reboot ASEAN–US relations in realistic ways. Stronger ASEAN–US ties hinge on careful cooperation

Asia

  • June 1, 2022. By JJ Rose, The Interpreter. With cruel symbolism, last month a UN conference focused on water challenges concluded in Jakarta just as floods deluged parts of South Asia and India’s capital New Delhi suffered water shortages during a heatwave. But the problem of water faced in the Asia-Pacific is not only about disasters but security and sustainability. Water access and safety concerns highlight structural weaknesses that have been around for decades. The UN “Sanitation and Water for All” event was aimed at designing global scale solutions. Water torture: Asia‑Pacific’s “WASH” crisis in need of solutions
  • June 1, 2022. By  , Reuters. Asia’s factory activity slowed in May as China’s heavy-handed coronavirus curbs continued to disrupt supply chains and dampen demand, adding to woes for some countries in the region that are already struggling with surging raw material prices. Asia’s factory activity slows in May as China COVID curbs weigh

Australia

  • June 1, 2022. By , The Strategist. One of Australia’s greatest strategic advantages is our ability to produce and export more than $80 billion worth of food and fibre annually. Our agricultural industries feed three times our population. Exports represent 70% of the total value of Australia’s agricultural production, with the remaining 30% consumed domestically. The value of that strategic advantage is protected by Australia’s biosecurity system, yet its contribution to national security is poorly understood and totally undervalued. Australia must take biosecurity more seriously

Australia – Pacific

  • June 1, 2022. By Miranda Booth, The Interpreter. Australia, Pacific Island countries, and their partners, are each considering how to respond to China’s push for a Pacific economic and security pact. Australia, for its part, should avoid temptation to match, or exceed, China’s commitments. Instead, building genuine partnerships that address different needs of Pacific Island countries is Australia’s best chance to achieve interconnected objectives. And in this, enhanced Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, or HADR as it is known, remains an underexplored opportunity. Competing with China in the Pacific will backfire
  • June 1, 2022. By , The Strategist. With Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s attendance at the Quad summit in Tokyo hot on the heels of an in-flight phone conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding AUKUS, it appears that small-group configurations—‘minilaterals’—have acquired a central place in Australia’s approach to regional security. The new PM’s race to the Quad leaders’ summit only hours after his election victory demonstrates the paramount importance he, like his predecessor Scott Morrison, attaches to such cooperative mechanisms. The Quad and AUKUS strengthen Australia’s hand in a contested Indo-Pacific

Cambodia

China

  • June 1, 2022. By Global Times. Researches in East China’s Jiangxi Province are testing a maglev hanging on an 800-meter-long monorail with a top speed of 80 kilometers per hours, the first of its kind in the country, the Science and Technology Daily reported on Wednesday, marking a new breakthrough in the country’s rapid development of rail technology.  China to test first maglev-suspension monorail in new breakthrough of rail technology
  • June 1, 2022. By Global Times. The Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen has experienced accelerated economic growth in April with faster industrial output, increased scale of fixed investment and a steadily recovery in consumption, official data showed on Tuesday as more Chinese cities walk out of the shadow of Omicron. Shenzhen accelerates economic recovery as more Chinese cities walk out of the shadow of Omicron
  • June, 1, 2022. By  and , Reuters. Shanghai sprung back to life on Wednesday after two months of bitter isolation under a ruthless COVID-19 lockdown, with people driving cars again or cramming into trains and buses to go back to work, hoping to never go through a similar ordeal again. Shanghai lifts lockdown, but residents wary COVID curbs can return
  • May 31, 2022. By Global Times. China has mounted a full-fledged battle to stabilize its economy, as all levels of governments – from the State Council, the cabinet to ministries to local governments – raced to implement a sweeping set of 33 measures aimed at tackling specific challenges and keep economic operations within in reasonable range, according to an official notice on Tuesday. China rolls out 33 detailed measures to boost growth; major rebound expected in Q3
  • May 31, 2022. By Wang Yi, Global Times. The British chambers of commerce in China on Tuesday launched the British Business in China: Position Paper 2022. While pointing out the areas of opportunity for bilateral cooperation, the report is full of unnecessary excessive concerns over the business environment. The paper claims “uncertainty is denting business confidence and eroding China’s position as attractive destination.”. Foreign firms’ undue concerns unnecessary amid China’s jumpstart recovery

China – Europe

China – Kiribati

  • June 1, 2022. By Hu Yuwei and Bai Yunyi, Global Times. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to the Pacific island countries has led to many important agreements covering various areas, Chinese ambassador to Kiribati Tang Songgen told the Global Times on Tuesday. Tang also said that media hype over China suffering a “setback” from Pacific states not signing up to the proposed security deal shows a colonialist and Cold War mentality, with the potential aim of disturbing the normal cooperation between China and Pacific island countries. China ready to boost Kiribati’s law enforcement ability, unaffected by hyping of ‘failed security deal’: envoy

China – Tonga

Japan

  • May 31, 2022. By World Nuclear News. The Sapporo District Court has issued a ruling granting a request for an injunction against the operation of the three-unit Tomari nuclear power plant on Japan’s northern Hokkaido island. Operator Hokkaido Electric Power Company said it will appeal against the decision. Japanese court rules Tomari plant must not restart : Regulation & Safety

Myanmar

Pacific Islands

  • June 1, 2022. By Luke Fletcher, The Interpreter. Pacific Islands are facing a serious debt crisis that has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown of the tourism industry. Research based on International Monetary Fund country reports shows that average debt-to-GDP ratio for Pacific states has risen from 32.9 per cent in 2019 (before the pandemic) to 42.2 per cent in 2021. Fiji, Vanuatu and Palau all have debt-to-GDP ratios greater than 70 per cent. An unprecedented Pacific debt conference, held last month in Suva to address the emerging problem, was sorely needed. Don’t saddle Pacific Islands with disaster debt

Russia

  • May 31, 2022. By Richard Arnold, The Jamestown Foundation. The Russian Far Right is heavily divided on both the pretext and the present course of the Kremlin’s large-scale war against Ukraine, yet this split is weighted in favor of the pro-imperial position. The Russian Far Right and the War in Ukraine

South Asia

  • May 26, 2022. By Stimson Center. Disinformation, especially spread through the proliferation of new media technologies, has played an increasingly important role in crisis dynamics within South Asia. In this South Asian Voices webinar, experts in Washington D.C. and the subcontinent will discuss how disinformation and social media have contributed to the rise of fake news and political polarization in the region and its implications for domestic and interregional crisis escalation in the future. Disinformation and Crisis Escalation in South Asia

South Caucasus

  • May 31, 2022. By Vasif Huseynov, The Jamestown Foundation. On May 22, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and President Ilham Aliyev, respectively, met in Brussels for talks under mediation by Charles Michel, the president of the European Council. The event was a follow-up to their previous three European Union–mediated summits, on December 14, 2021, February 4, 2022, and April 6, 2022. The latest meeting delivered “tangible progress” related to transportation projects and border delimitation. Both sides decided to remain “in close contact” and convene again “in the same format” by August (Twitter.com/eucopresident, May 23). Moscow Warns EU Against ‘Geopolitical Games’ in South Caucasus

South Sudan

Taiwan

  • June 1, 2022. By Reuters. The Chinese military said on Wednesday it had conducted a combat “readiness patrol” in the seas and airspace around Taiwan in recent days, saying it was a necessary action to respond to “collusion” between Washington and Taipei. China says it conducted ‘readiness patrol’ around Taiwan
  • June 1, 2022. By Reuters.  Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator, John Deng, will hold more talks with the United States on bilateral trade on Wednesday, the island’s government said, after being excluded from a major new U.S. economic plan for the Asia Pacific region. Taiwan says to hold more trade talks with United States

Tonga – Australia – China

Uganda

  • May 31, 2022. By IAEA. When Arab traders introduced cassava — a nutty-flavoured root vegetable, rich in vitamins, minerals and protein — in the late 1860s to what is now Uganda, little did they suspect that it would become one of the country’s most important staple food crops in less than a century with almost three quarters of farming households growing cassava. Loved and deeply incorporated into local cuisine, cassava today is threatened by brown streak disease (CBSD). By making the cassava flesh inedible, CBSD can reduce production by 70 per cent, undermining food security and hurting the livelihood of farmers dependent on the crop for food and income. Tackling Cassava Brown Streak Disease in Uganda with Nuclear Techniques

Ukraine

  • May 31, 2022. By IAEA. An expert mission sent by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is this week carrying out nuclear safety, security and safeguards activities at Ukraine’s Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today. Update 78 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine

Zimbabwe

  • May 31, 2022. By IAEA. An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission found that Zimbabwe has made considerable improvements in its national legal and regulatory infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety by drafting a new law that addresses the requirements of IAEA international safety standards. The team of experts said that enhanced efforts to develop education and training in radiation protection and safety will further build national capacities. Zimbabwe Makes Progress in Meeting International Safety Standards for Radiation Safety, IAEA Mission Finds

DEFENSE – MILITARY – SPACE

  • June 1, 2022. By  and , Reuters. Russian troops fought to take complete control of the eastern industrial city of Sievierodonetsk on Wednesday as the United States said it will provide Ukraine with advanced rockets to help it force Moscow to negotiate an end to the war. U.S. agrees to send advanced rockets to Ukraine
  • June 1, 2022. By Zhihui Zhang, East Asia Forum. The core module of the China Space Station (CSS) was launched into space in April 2021. In July and October 2021, two SpaceX Starlink satellites suddenly dropped from a low earth orbit of 500km and 555km, respectively, into the CSS’s path. The CSS made an emergency manoeuvre to avoid a collision. China condemned the United States at the United Nations, claiming the incident threatened the CSS and its astronauts. Avoiding a collision course over space privilege
  • May 31, 2022. By Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense. The US arm of Finnish startup ICEYE intends to build, license and orbit a constellation of somewhere around 18 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites separate from the parent company’s other satellites — a plan initiated to assuage national security concerns voiced by the Pentagon and Intelligence Community about relying on foreign providers, a senior company official told Breaking Defense. To appease DoD and IC, ICEYE boosts ‘parallel’ US-only radar-sat constellation
  • May 31, 2022. By Jaspreet Gill, Breaking Defense. General Dynamics Information Technology is partnering with Microsoft to deliver a suite of Office 365 applications to support the Marine Corps in contested battlefield networks under a new task order awarded by the Defense Information Systems Agency.  GDIT wins new task order to support Marines in contested battlefield networks
  • May 31, 2022. By Agnes Helou, Breaking Defense. As Iraq moves forward with plans to purchase advanced artillery from the United States and France, while also seeking procurement of Rafale fighter jets, questions are rising about its ability to fund these contracts with a caretaker government and other urgent priorities. Iraq says its spending big on artillery and jets. Can it afford them?
  • May 31, 2022. By Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation. The Russian government has a long tradition of raising territorial disputes against any neighboring country that seeks to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) because Moscow hopes that the existence of such purported disputes will slow down or even stop the process of these aspirants’ accession to the transatlantic alliance. To date, that strategy has not succeeded in dissuading any countries from pursuing membership in the alliance nor in outright stopping NATO from enlarging; but it has led to several instances of delays in the accession process. Consequently, it is no surprise that Russia has now broached two territorial issues in the case of Finland, which applied to join NATO earlier this month. But this time around, there is a crucial difference in the Russian approach: Moscow has shied away from reopening the broader question of borders between the two countries because it believes the present status quo favors Russia. Instead, it is citing two other “territorial” issues that are smaller in scope than wholesale border changes yet potentially serious as obstacles to the Nordic state’s accession process. Moscow Raises Two Territorial Issues After Helsinki Requests to Join NATO
  • May 31, 2022. By Tara Copp, Defense One. The United States plans to send Ukraine advanced long-range artillery that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had requested for weeks, but Biden administration officials said would only be armed with limited-range munitions and would not be used to strike targets inside of Russia.  US to Send Ukraine Advanced Rockets; Kyiv Promises Not to Fire Into Russia
  • May 31, 2022. By Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One. Three more countries have joined a coordination effort set up by U.S. Army special forces to help Ukraine, the Army secretary said Tuesday. Three More Nations Join Ukraine Planning Cell Run By Army Special Forces
  • May 31, 2022. By Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, and Frederick W. Kagan. Moscow’s concentration on seizing Severodonetsk and Donbas generally continues to create vulnerabilities for Russia in Ukraine’s vital Kherson Oblast, where Ukrainian counter-offensives continue.Kherson is critical terrain because it is the only area of Ukraine in which Russian forces hold ground on the west bank of the Dnipro River. If Russia is able to retain a strong lodgment in Kherson when fighting stops it will be in a very strong position from which to launch a future invasion. If Ukraine regains Kherson, on the other hand, Ukraine will be in a much stronger position to defend itself against future Russian attack. This strategic calculus should in principle lead Russia to allocate sufficient combat power to hold Kherson. But Russian President Vladimir Putin has chosen instead to concentrate all the forces and resources that can be scraped together in a desperate and bloody push to seize areas of eastern Ukraine that will give him largely symbolic gains. Continuing successful Ukrainian counter-offensives in Kherson indicate that Ukraine’s commanders recognize these realities and are taking advantage of the vulnerabilities that Putin’s decisions have created. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 31
  • May 31, 2022. By
  • May 31, 2022. By Turkey has sent Rolls-Royce a request for proposals as it seeks a deal to co-produce an engine for the country’s indigenous fighter jet, the TF-X, according to the government’s chief procurement official. Turkey sends Rolls-Royce another pitch to co-produce engines for the TF-X jet
  • May 31, 2022. By Mark F. Cancian, CSIS. This week’s controversy is whether the United States should provide long-range rocket systems to Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have been asking for them, and advocates in Congress, think tanks, and the press have supported these requests. The administration seems to be inclined to provide them, but recently the president raised concerns about whether some capabilities would be provocative. What are these systems? What capabilities would they provide, and why are they controversial? Will the United States Provide Long-Range Rockets to Ukraine?