New Zealand’s elections and the geopolitics of the Pacific

Introduction  The convincing victory of Jacinda Ardern is important for more than just one reason. First, the 40 year-old Ardern’s centre-Left Labour party has won convincingly — securing 49% of the vote, and securing 64 seats in the 120 seat assembly. Ardern has delivered the biggest election victory for her party in half a century. The … Continue reading New Zealand’s elections and the geopolitics of the Pacific

New thorns in the Special Relationship: Persian, Chinese, and populist

The past few days have been witness to some important statements made in the context of the Joint Comprehensive Program for Action (JCPOA) — also referred to as the Iran Nuclear deal. US allies, including the UK and some EU member states, do not seem to be in agreement with the US President’s Iran policy … Continue reading New thorns in the Special Relationship: Persian, Chinese, and populist

The Al Ula Accord: Qatar’s gains, the UAE’s losses, and Iran’s quiet win

Introduction  Days after the signing of the solidarity and stability agreement – the Al Ula accord – between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia’s allies, the Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, made it clear that Doha would continue to pursue an independent foreign policy driven by its own national interest. The Qatari Foreign Minister was alluding … Continue reading The Al Ula Accord: Qatar’s gains, the UAE’s losses, and Iran’s quiet win

The Saudi-Qatar thaw

Introduction On January 5, 2021, at the annual Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit, at Al-Ula, an agreement was signed between Saudi Arabia (along with its allies) and Qatar that restored diplomatic ties. Blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt had imposed a trade, travel, … Continue reading The Saudi-Qatar thaw

EU-China trade talks: More than just economics

The in-principle agreement between the EU and China over the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) is significant both from an economic and geopolitical standpoint. The first round of talks for EU-China CAI began in January 2014 (it was only in 2016 that there was some agreement between both sides on the broad contents of … Continue reading EU-China trade talks: More than just economics

UK-Turkey Free Trade Agreement: Beyond the Economics

Introduction On December 29, 2020, the UK and Turkey signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which will become effective January 1, 2021, after the UK leaves the EU. Turkey’s Trade Minister, Rushkar Pekcan, and the British Ambassador to Turkey, Dominick Chilcott, signed the agreement.  The timing of the agreement was interesting, since the FTA was … Continue reading UK-Turkey Free Trade Agreement: Beyond the Economics

On Joe Biden and America’s relationship with Iran

One of the important foreign policy priorities of President-elect Joe Biden, which will have an impact not just on the US but a number of its allies in the West – such as the UK, Germany, France (the E3), India, and Japan – is Washington’s ties with Iran.  It will be interesting to see the … Continue reading On Joe Biden and America’s relationship with Iran

Post-pandemic trends in post-Brexit British foreign policy: Asia or the Atlantic?

Introduction In January 2020, the UK had given a go-ahead to Chinese telecom giant Huawei to participate in its 5G network – with restrictions and conditions. The Trump administration conveyed its displeasure to the Boris Johnson administration. Not just the US President, but senior officials of the US administration are supposed to have said that this … Continue reading Post-pandemic trends in post-Brexit British foreign policy: Asia or the Atlantic?

The View from New Delhi: China’s post-pandemic belligerence

Introduction In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the increasingly belligerent behaviour exhibited by China in South Asia and South East Asia, and China’s imposition of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, it is interesting to see the tone of the English language media on China. Yet a genuinely comprehensive peek into the Chinese view on crucial political, … Continue reading The View from New Delhi: China’s post-pandemic belligerence

The View from New Delhi: Trump vs. Biden

Introduction In the run-up to the US elections, presumptive Democrat candidate Joe Biden’s lead over Donald Trump has been steadily rising, and is well over 10%, according to various polls. There are four months to the election, however, and it is too early predict the outcome. Many believe that the mercurial Trump is likely to … Continue reading The View from New Delhi: Trump vs. Biden

What will a post-pandemic British foreign policy look like?

Introduction The United Kingdom’s post-corona foreign policy is likely to be driven by some crucial economic factors. On the one hand, it will continue to work closely with countries like the United States, Japan, Australia, and India to reduce its dependence upon China. On the other hand, the UK cannot totally bank on the US … Continue reading What will a post-pandemic British foreign policy look like?

The view from New Delhi: Pakistan and the coronavirus

Introduction The number of cases arising out of coronavirus in Pakistan continues to rise steadily. As of April 14, 2020, there were well over 5,000 cases (5,716) and deaths due to the virus totaled 96. China is providing assistance to Pakistan in dealing with the virus, and apart from medical assistance in the form of … Continue reading The view from New Delhi: Pakistan and the coronavirus

Despite pressure from Trump, Iran’s world role will continue to be important

Introduction Ever since taking over as President, Donald Trump’s approach towards Iran has been excessively rash and lacking in nuance. The US withdrawal from JCPOA (Joint Comprehension for Plan of Action), the imposition of sanctions, and brash statements by Trump have heightened tensions between both countries. Allies of the US, including EU member states (especially … Continue reading Despite pressure from Trump, Iran’s world role will continue to be important

A decentralized look at the U.S.-China trade war

For the time being, it is highly unlikely that the Trade war between Beijing and Washington will be resolved. In May 2019, Trump increased tariffs on Chinese commodities (worth $200 billion) from 10% to a whopping 25%. So far, the US has imposed tariffs worth about $250 billion on China, while China has retaliated with tariffs … Continue reading A decentralized look at the U.S.-China trade war

The nature of the China-US-Vietnam economic triangle

While addressing a joint press conference in Hanoi, after his summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, US President Donald Trump spoke not just about the Summit, but also the current state of US-China relations. Trump criticised his predecessors for not doing enough to address the trade imbalance with China, while also making the … Continue reading The nature of the China-US-Vietnam economic triangle