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Geostrategic environment (october 20, 2022 am)

Daily Research & Interviews

All that is taken up here, in the complexity of open sources, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Global Eye

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  • (Belarus) Grigory Ioffe, The Jamestown Foundation. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s trip to Astana, Kazakhstan, on October 13 to participate in the 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) turned out to be quite eventful. While there, Lukashenka held face-to-face meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leaders of Kazakhstan and Pakistan, delivered a speech and gave an interview to NBC’s Keir Simmons. Bravado or Strategic Helplessness: What Is Going on Behind the Façade in Minsk?
  • (Chad) Al Jazeera. Chad’s President Mahamat Idriss Deby has declared a state of emergency over flooding that is affecting more than a million people in the country. Chad declares state of emergency as floods affect one million
  • (China) Global Times, Xinhua. “We reaffirm our opposition to unilateral coercive measures and call on imposing states to immediately and completely cease such practice,” a Chinese envoy on Wednesday made a joint statement at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, on behalf of 25 countries. China, on behalf of 25 countries, calls for lifting of unilateral coercive measures at UN
  • (China) Dominik Mierzejewski, The Jamestown Foundation. In the midst of an economic downturn, with the World Bank rather pessimistically predicting 2.8 percent year-on-year economic growth, the challenge of managing the growing tensions and contradictions within Chinese society remains at the top of Beijing’s agenda (South China Morning Post, September 27). In this context, this article examines the recently promoted model for managing contradictions, namely the “Fengqiao Experience” and the institutionalization-digitalization of social tension governance. In his work report to open the 20th Party Congress on October 16, General Secretary Xi Jinping discussed the optimal ways for resolving contradictions in society and cited the “Fengqiao Experience” (枫桥经验, Fengqiao jingyan) as the model solution (CCTV, October 17). Hence, the importance of the Maoist style experiences of Fenqiao, a small village in Zhejiang, have reached the top level. However, throughout this year, People’s Daily has promoted the “Fengqiao Experience” as the most important model to follow for the lower level bureaucrats. The Zhejiang Model: Old-New Tools for Managing Contradictions and Creating Win-Win Outcomes in Center-Local Governance
  • (China) James Yifan Chen, David Hau Feng, The Jamestown Foundation. The Communist Party of China (CCP) convened its 20th Party Congress on Sunday (Xinhua, October 16). When the proceedings conclude, a new Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) will be revealed (China Brief, September 20). General Secretary Xi Jinping is expected to continue his third term as party chief and paramount leader and will also retain the key role of Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman. Although the continuation of Xi’s tenure undermines former supreme leader Deng Xiaoping’s efforts to institutionalize the CCP’s top-leadership succession, the unwritten rule of “seven up, eight down” (七上八下, qi shang, ba xia) still heavily affects the selection process of the other twenty-four politburo members (China Times, October 19). Within the Politburo, those who have reached the age of 68 are required to retire from their positions and duties. With several PBSC and Politburo members headed for retirement, many are wondering who will take their place. The 20th Party Congress is Underway: Will Xi’s Men Dominate the Next Politburo?
  • (China – Ukraine) TASS. The Chinese government has evacuated over 5,200 Chinese citizens from Ukraine since the escalation of tensions. China evacuated 5,200 citizens from Ukraine since escalation of tensions
  • (Germany – Russia) TASS. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz claims that Germany has already overcome its dependence on Russian gas supplies and seeks to cut gas consumption by 20%. Scholz claims Germany no longer ‘dependent’ on Russian gas
  • (Iran) Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Johanna Moore, Nicholas Carl, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. Anti-regime protests have subsided in extent and scale in recent days but may increase on October 20 and 26. Iran Crisis Update, October 19
  • (Israel – Palestine) Udi Dekel, INSS. The growth of the resistance group Lion’s Den in the West Bank, attracting young Palestinians and apparently responsible for the majority of the shooting attacks in recent weeks, is yet another signal to Israel that it cannot sweep the Palestinian issue under the rug.  The Lion’s Den: A Wake-Up Call for Imminent Challenges
  • (Russia) Stephen Blank, The Jamestown Foundation. On July 31, Russia issued its new maritime doctrine, though the reasoning behind its timing remains unclear (Kremlin.ru, July 31). No compelling maritime or bureaucratic pressures seemed to trigger this new strategic outlook. Neither have there been any signs of operational lessons from the Russian navy’s lackluster performance against Ukraine. What Does Russia’s New Maritime Doctrine Signify in a Strategic Sense?
  • (Russia – Iran) Busra Nur Cakmak, Anadolu Agency. Jens Stoltenberg urges Iran not to provide drones or missiles to Moscow, says any supplies will violate UN resolutions. ‘Every indication’ Iran is giving Russia drones: NATO chief
  • (Russia – Iran) US Department of State. On Russia’s Acquisition of UAVs from Iran
  • (Russia – Ukraine) Aslan Doukaev, The Jamestown Foundation. As Russian officials and propagandists scramble to develop a better spin on the continuing debacle in eastern Ukraine, some have begun to evoke the metaphysical dimension of the ongoing fight, while others are reaching deep into Russia’s past for solutions and new insights. To call this effort grotesque would be somewhat unkind, yet not entirely inaccurate. There might, however, be more to this new phenomenon than meets the eye. What Lies Behind Russia’s Increasingly Esoteric Anti-Western Rhetoric?
  • (Russia – Ukraine) Katherine Lawlor, Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW.  Russian authorities are likely setting information conditions to justify planned Russian retreats and significant territorial losses in Kherson Oblast. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, October 19
  • (Russia – Ukraine)
  • (Russia – Ukraine)
  • (Russia – Ukraine – China – India) Amrita Jash, The Jamestown Foundation. On March 25, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a surprise visit to India after stopovers in Pakistan and Afghanistan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China [FMPRC], March 25). The visit was the first by a high-level Chinese official to India since December 2019 and the ongoing border standoff that broke out in May 2020 along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh. The sudden stopover, which was not announced in advance, generated speculation over Beijing’s intentions, particularly as it occurred in the immediate aftermath of Russia initiating its “special military operation” against Ukraine on February 24. This resulted in international condemnation and boycotts, and the imposition of economic sanctions by the U.S., the European Union, Japan and others on Russia. However, countries such as China and India, made an exception by choosing neutrality in condemning Russia. But did this shared position make any difference in improving China-India ties? Hitherto, relations have not substantively improved, notwithstanding the modest progress in the recent border talks. Following  the 16th round of Corps Commander level talks on July 17, China and India stressed the “four-point consensus” they had reached on the resolution of the border issues (Xinhuanet, July 29). This “consensus” was further cited as the reason for the disengagement of troops from Patrolling Point-15 in Gogra-Hot Springs (Global Times, September 9). Notably, the disengagement followed a year-long impasse in the talks process and coincided with both countries’ participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. The Ukraine Crisis and China-India Relations
  • (Russia – Ukraine – Egypt) Mohamed Sabry, Al Monitor. Ukraine accused Egypt of sending observers to monitor Russia-orchestrated referendums to illegally annex four Ukrainian regions amid Moscow’s invasion of its European neighbor. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry categorically denied sending any observers in an Oct. 10 statement. Russian referendums strain Egypt-Ukraine ties
  • (Russia – Ukraine – Moldova) Jaroslaw Adamowski, Defense News. Moldova’s Defence Minister Anatolie Nosatîi has said that the country aims to buy new air defense systems following recent airspace violations by the Russian military. Moldova wants air defenses, as Russian missiles fly overhead
  • (Turkey – Algeria) Faruk Zorlu, Anadolu Agency. Türkiye wants to strengthen its cooperation with Algeria in all areas, particularly in energy and natural gas, the Turkish president told his Algerian counterpart on Wednesday. Türkiye wants to strengthen cooperation with Algeria in all areas: President Erdogan
  • (Turkey – Hungary) Diyar Guldogan, Anadolu Agency. A Turkish-Hungarian friendship concert was held on Wednesday in the capital Ankara, ahead of Hungarian Republic Day. Turkish, Hungarian friendship concert held in Ankara
  • (Turkey – Libya) Talha Yasir Akar, Anadolu Agency. With hydrocarbons deal earlier this month, Türkiye and Libya move to boost cooperation on land and sea fields of North African nation.  What does the Libya-Türkiye hydrocarbons deal mean?
  • (USA) Gabriel R. SanchezNoreen M. Sugrue, and Adrián A. Pedroza, Brookings. Although our extant knowledge of long COVID-19 remains limited, as more data becomes available some patterns are beginning to emerge that can help provide some perspective on the road ahead. Most notably, overall, the Latino population is more likely to struggle with the lingering effects of COVID-19, often referred to as long COVID, than other American populations. This inequality in long COVID is similar to other outcomes that Latinos have been disproportionately facing over the course of the pandemic. In fact, some estimates suggest that Latinos are more than twice as likely to die of COVID-19 than white Americans – The socioeconomic consequences of COVID-19 for Latino families
  • (USA – China) Edward Alden, CFR. The United States is not looking for a new Cold War with China, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a major speech on foreign policy in May. “We don’t seek to block China from its role as a major power, nor to stop China—or any country—from growing their economy or advancing the interests of their people.”. Washington Raises Stakes in War on Chinese Technology
  • (USA – China) John S. Van Oudenaren, The Jamestown Foundation. General Secretary Xi Jinping did not mention “America” in his opening report to the 20th Party Congress (Xinhua, October 16). Nevertheless, Xi made clear that China faces a difficult international environment, precipitated in large part by the U.S. challenge, which threatens the realization of national rejuvenation. For Xi, the threat appears particularly acute in two areas: technology and Taiwan. He called for winning the “battle of key core technologies” by building on breakthroughs in areas such as supercomputing and quantum computing, space exploration, nuclear energy, satellite navigation and biomedicine (Xinhuanet, October 16). On Taiwan, Xi issued a thinly veiled ultimatum to Washington, stating that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will strive for “peaceful reunification” to incorporate Taiwan into the Motherland, which he called “an inevitable requirement for realizing the great rejuvenation.” Should this approach fail, Beijing reserves the right to employ military force to counter “interference by external forces” and “Taiwan independence” separatists (Central Committee Taiwan Work Office, October 16). Can Beijing be Flexible on U.S. Policy?