In the last decade, the Mekong Region (MR) — that is, the area crossed by the Mekong River and encompassing Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam — has become central to the strategies of major global powers due to a series of economic and geopolitical factors. The most prominent are the region’s growing importance in global trade routes, its geographical proximity to major hotspots (such as the South China Sea and the Malacca Strait) and China’s growing regional activism.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC), and more importantly the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is a major factor in the global information environment. China is both a consumer and a supplier for that network. Some 850 million Chinese people have access to the Internet. China is an integral part of the global supply chain for information and communications technologies (ICT).
China’s growing interest in the Persian Gulf – together with all the talking of U.S. retrenchment from the very same region – gives rise to a question: will China’s increasing economic interest in the Persian Gulf lead to a more activist security policy there? And, to put it bluntly, will China and the U.S. switch roles in the long term? To answer these questions, we need to consider a few aspects. First, what is the strategic relevance of the Gulf to China? Second, how do U.S. and Chinese interests in the region overlap, and how do they separate?
Nepal recently reiterated its progressive approach to gender diversity and self-determination by allowing people to identify as the third gender in census forms. It is a move that is bound to have a positive impact on LGBTQ+ social inclusion and is one of the many ways in which South Asia adopts a forward-looking perspective on gender identity.
L’epidemia da Covid-19 continua ad estendersi a un numero crescente di paesi e con essa non solo i malati, ma anche i danni economici, sebbene al momento difficilmente ponderabili.
Ever since Beijing started stretching its muscles into the Upper Western Indian Ocean (UWIO), New Delhi has refused to be a passive spectator. Some Indian policymakers interpreted Chinese actions in the area through the lenses of the “String of Pearls” theory, according to which China aims to gain access to a series of strategic locations (i.e., “Pearls”) in the Indian Ocean in order to project power.
The Southern Red Sea region has a key role in global energy security. The Strait of Bab el-Mandeb is one of the world’s most important chokepoints for trade flows, and occupies a central role in the Indian Ocean’s routes. Currently, China relies on oil imports from the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden, whose chokepoints are under the military protection of the US Navy.
The implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the increasing Chinese presence in Pakistan is a matter of domestic and regional concern.
Only several countries were able to boast the possession of “unmanned” aerial vehicles (UCAVs) or armed drones between 2000 and 2004, but that number has risen steadily since. Today, approximately 30 countries are known to have operational armed drones, the proliferation of which has been decidedly facilitated by China’s eagerness to sell to essentially any state that is willing to buy them.
The extent of China’s ability to project power worldwide became apparent with the construction of a People’s Liberation Army support and logistics base in Djibouti in July 2017, the first out-of-state military installation for China since 1958. Located less than ten kilometres from Camp Lemmonier (the only US military base in Africa), the Djibouti base broadens the scope of China’s armed forces well-beyond the natural extent of the country’s state borders.