On the face of it, focusing on Taiwan as the world’s worrisome hotspot may seem an odd choice. The past year has witnessed an unusual amount of turmoil – the ravages of the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting global economic fallout, deepening political dissention in the United States and weakening American international leadership, and nationalism, intolerance and isolationism on the ascent across the globe. The entire post-World War II order seems to be breaking down under the strain.
The term Smart Cities is typically associated with the image of sophisticated technological cities with data-driven solutions and highly efficient service delivery. This concept originally gained traction at the beginning of 2000s during a period of “technological push” where global IT companies sought to test and deploy digital solutions in urban environments around the world, promoting them as “smart solutions.”
The news that in November 2020 the Netherlands, a relatively small country of the European Union (EU), had issued its own official strategy on the Indo-Pacific region, generated much discussion around the world. The Netherlands was the third European country, after France (2018) and Germany (2020), to issue a comprehensive view of this new geography in strategic terms. These decisions underscore the increasing importance of the Indo-Pacific maritime geography over the next decades as the centre of gravity of global politics and economics.
For the senior leadership of the People’s Republic of China, space is a key strategic domain. It is tied to key aspects of “comprehensive national power (zonghe guojia liliang; 综合国家力量),” the range of factors that contribute to a nation’s overall capabilities. The development of Chinese space capabilities is seen as a strategic imperative, because its development will help support advancements in the overall level of China’s comprehensive national power.
Indian space policy is undergoing important changes. In the early decades, as a newly independent nation developing its space programme, India was very conscious of the resource constraints and therefore India’s space programme developed with a primary focus on social and economic development of its people.
RCEP, l'accordo di libero scambio firmato domenica scorsa, accelererà gli scambi commerciali nella regione dell’Est asiatico e del Pacifico, accrescendo la centralità della Cina nell’area.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the entire world to adjust to a “new” China. Not only did Beijing rely on more aggressive tools to conduct diplomacy, but the post-electoral U.S. strategy towards the Dragon has also promised to match this level of assertiveness in the years to come, thus sanctioning the continuation of the bilateral competition.
Recently, China launched a series of ballistic (“aircraft-carrier killer”) missiles in the disputed South China Sea (SCS) region. The missile launching took place at a time when US-China tensions and confrontation in the strategic waterway reached a new height and a few months after the US’ latest rejection of China’s claims over maritime jurisdictions. Beijing’s claims in the SCS have been sweeping, encompassing nearly the entire region.
The confrontation between China and India might seem to be a thing of the past. After violent border skirmishes last June resonated high and wide around the world, SARS-COV-2 and the US presidential campaign diluted most non-China-related news spreading from Asia.
Since early May, amidst the pandemic, thousands of Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a bitter confrontation, lined up on positions opposite each other’s, in the rugged Himalayan heights of the Ladakh region.