Today the so-called foreign fighters seem to pose a serious threat to the security of countries across the world, including many in Asia.
In July 29, 2018, four Western cyclists were killed in Tajikistan's Danghara district by a group of five men who hit them with a car before stabbing them to death. In a video released after the attack, the five men appear to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State, while sitting under a tree in front of the Islamic State flag.
Muslim terrorist organizations in Central, South, and Southeast Asia frequently blur the lines between “jihadist group” and “Muslim separatist movement.” As a result, a spectrum exists from strictly transnational jihadists, to Muslim separatists utilizing jihadist rhetoric and perhaps accepting assistance from transnational jihadist groups, to violent separatist groups that simply happen to identify as Muslim.
Terrorism is becoming a growing concern in Asia: More than 250 people have been reported killed and hundreds more injured after at least seven explosions have hit churches and several hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21, Easter Sunday. Other countries in Asia have been hit in recent years, too, especially after the progressive demise of the Islamic State in the Middle East.
In 2011 a now infamous policy paper by the same author labelled the EU-India relationship as “A Loveless Arranged Marriage”. Seven years later, the EU-India strategic partnership has turned into one of the well most functioning of the EU’s strategic partnerships, even far ahead of the faltering EU-US strategic partnership under US President Trump.
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) stands for 55% of global trade, 60% of global GDP, 60% of the world’s population, 65% of global production, and 75% of global tourism. Figures such as these are published every two years on the occasion of the biennial ASEM summit, but in and of themselves they say very little.
Since the beginning of trade tensions with the US, Beijing intensified its outreach to Europe in search for allies. In a ‘charm offensive’, China showed goodwill by suggesting it would make economic and political concessions. Particularly, it addressed issues of reciprocity, i.e. EU requests to have equal access to the Chinese market as Chinese investors and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) do in Europe, and Europe’s concerns over Chinese initiatives undermining EU unity and rules.
The 12 June summit between Kim and Trump has stirred much speculation about the role and influence of the other state actors involved in the process. Analysts’ opinions mostly split between those that believe that Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign was the real reason behind North Korea’s willingness to come to diplomatic terms, and those that emphasized the role played by the newly elected South Korean president Moon Jae-in. Very few actually investigated the role played by China.
The letter sent by Donald Trump to Kim Jong-un on May 24 gave the impression that no opportunities remained open for a historic meeting between the sitting president of the United States and the leader of North Korea.
In all likelihood, US President Donald Trump will be meeting with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, in Singapore on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of North Korea's denuclearization. It has been an arduous road to get to this point, with the ever-intensifying prospect of war breaking out in the Korean peninsula dramatically shifting to a deepening dialogue over peace, all taking place in the span of a year.