With a population of just over one billion and 400 million individuals, China is facing a demographic crisis that could slow down economic development and threatens social welfare. The leading indicators reveal indeed that the “demographic window” – the stage that helped China to create the conditions for such unprecedented economic growth – is closing.
The establishment of official diplomatic relations between China and Iran dates back only to 1971. Nevertheless, the two countries share a web of economic and cultural interactions rooted in history, which finds in the ancient Silk Road its idealised apogee. A flourishing past, a shared sense of national humiliation, and the idea of a possible alternative world order frame the narrative that backs the Sino-Iranian axis.
Investment in ports is the most visible incarnation in Europe of China’s new maritime Silk Road. In the coming years, China’s footprint in the Mediterranean Sea will continue to expand but will be subject to greater scrutiny and possibly resistance. The adoption of the EU-wide investment screening system in 2019 will help Europe evaluate future investment projects from the perspective of their potential security implications.
The Asia-Pacific has become the Indo-Pacific region as the US, Japan, Australia and India have decided to join forces and scale-up their political, economic and security cooperation. The message coming from Washington, Tokyo, Canberra and New Delhi is clear: China’s Belt and Road Initiative is no longer the only game in town and Beijing’s policymakers better get ready for fierce competition.
The meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Donal Trump of the US in the G20 Buenos Aries in November resulted in a reprieve of sorts – a three month pause on the imposition of further tariffs on goods exported from China to the US. This was despite fears already issued by some of Trump’s administration that over USD200 billion of goods would have taxes introduced and that in some cases these would rise to over 20 per cent by the new year.
After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a new military jargon appeared on the strategic studies scene: hybrid warfare. It has been used since then as a theoretical framework to depict a new way of conducting warfare.
A military base in Djibouti, growing contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, port calls to countries around the world, and joint exercises with Russia in the Mediterranean and the Baltic Seas: in recent years the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)has expanded its international footprint, and it has left no doubt that it plans to become a
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East and North Africa, travelled to Beijing for talks on Dec. 5-6 with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Le Yucheng and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Chen Xiaodong, whose area of responsibility includes West Asia and North Africa.
Cooperation between Russia and China received great impetus after 2014 events, when the international condemnation of the annexation of Crimea pushed Russia to look eastwards, strengthening relations with the other powerful regional actor: China.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has evolved due to a convergence of great power strategic policies in Eurasia, along with immediate post-Cold War concerns about a potential security vacuum in Central Asia as well as the rise