US President Joe Biden has arrived in South Korea, the first stop in a five-day Asian tour that will also bring him to Japan. The trip – Biden's first to Asia since taking office – is meant to reaffirm the US commitment to restraining China, despite the recent focus on the Ukraine war. How Biden intends to pursue this objective, however, remains unclear. His main economic tool to contain China — the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) — and its participants will be finally unveiled.
While the war in Ukraine is a game changer for international and in particular European security, China appears to be marching on. And, in some ways, it is true. Since Xi Jinping took power in 2012, China’s foreign policy has significantly shifted from a defensive to an assertive approach. For decades, Beijing worked to integrate into the liberal international order, presenting itself as a peacefully rising power.
President Joe Biden’s upcoming trip to Asia between the 20th and 24th of May will conclude a two-step diplomatic effort to gain region-wide consensus, a process that was kicked off with the US-ASEAN Summit in Washington D.C. on May 12th-13th. However, Biden’s visits to Tokyo and Seoul may lead to a different outcome compared to the previous summit.
Most of the developed world reacted to Russian government’s military operations in Ukraine with a prompt economic counteroffensive.
Foreign producers who have heavily invested in Russia over the past two decades – betting on Russia’s political stability, size, and access to the post-Soviet market - now face a hard choice: how to do business without losing face. Many are considering to go-in-between jurisdictions (Armenia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, etc.) to continue trading with Russia to circumvent sanctions.
Russia’s lack of a major success in the war against Ukraine and the unexpected scale of Western sanctions have brought uncertainty to Sino-Russian relations. Their power asymmetry as well as Moscow’s dependence on Beijing’s imports is likely to have deepened. The limitations of the ‘alliance in all but name’ have come to the fore, too. While Beijing has continued its incessant political support, echoing and amplifying the Kremlin’s justifications for war, we have not witnessed any substantial economic or military assistance so far.
Pivot to Asia is our monthly newsletter focusing on the most significant issues and trends in Asia. Today, we turn the spotlight on the effects of the rise of commodity prices in the region.
As Asia was divided in its condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the rise of the price of commodities is having an uneven impact over the region.
The more advanced economies are facing challenges similar to those that Europe is experiencing, where inflation and energy demands are the primary concerns.
In contrast, emerging markets are more concerned for their national food security.
While differences might remain in the interpretation of how the war in Ukraine could have been avoided and what the consequences will be, it is unanimously understood that the conflict has recompacted the Western front and has in fact divided the world. This division was very visibile on 2 March, at the United Nations, when the General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion was passed with 141 votes in favour, 35 abstentions, and 5 against.
La guerra in Ucraina rafforza la spinta cinese verso la transizione energetica. Interessata anche la Belt and Road Initiative. E qui si punta sul gas di Mosca.
Pivot to Asia is our monthly newsletter focusing on the most significant issues and trends in Asia. Today, we turn the spotlight on the war in Ukraine and Asia’s reaction.
Asia is divided in its condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The more advanced economies, such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore, not only approved the resolution, but they had already imposed sanctions on Russia. Taiwan, too, although not represented at the UN, has expressed its condemnation of Russian actions and aligned itself with Western sanctions. However, many Asian countries have opted for a broadly neutral approach with significant differences between their positions. The most relevant ones are those of China and India.
The gloves are off. There is very little disagreement among (non-Chinese) scholars and analysts that China is the elephant in the room in the Indo-Pacific. China is challenging and indeed changing the territorial status quo in the South China Sea, has increased its unlawful intrusions into Taiwanese-controlled airspace and intrusions into Japanese-controlled territorial waters in the East China Sea.