China and Russia are making strategic and economic deals with the Middle East, especially Iran and Saudi Arabia, which will be detrimental to the domination of the US in the region. Moreover, Western hostility has brought China, Russia, and Iran close to forming a triple axis. To better understand China and Russia’s increasing relations in the Middle East, Sana Azhar explores the economic, strategic, and soft power domains.
On 24th February, with its 12-point plan, China called for a ceasefire and negotiations to end the Russia-Ukraine war. Ukraine and Russia were both open to the idea initially, but after the US’s dismissal of the plan, Ukraine turned away from China’s peace proposal.
The Republic of Cyprus held its 2023 presidential elections in February. It was held in two rounds since no candidate was able to receive a majority of the vote in the first round. It was a face-off between ex-foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides and a seasoned diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis. The former gained 51.9% of votes, while the latter gained 48.1% of votes, thus giving victory to Christodoulides.
Although there are numerous reasons behind the diffusion of power from the West to the East, the declining dominance of the dollar holds significant importance. The US has been able to dominate the world primarily because of the petrodollar. However, the Russia-Ukraine war, the realignment in Saudi Arabia and US relations, the strengthening of BRICS, and improving Chinese influence in the Middle East are some of the reasons responsible for denting the value of the dollar.
On 24th August 2021, Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco, citing Morocco’s recognition of Israel and its support of the Kabyle separatist movement as the two main reasons. In this piece, follow the real story behind why two of North Africa’s biggest powers severed their diplomatic ties, and the events that led to this rift.
The debate around the sentience of artificial intelligence cropped up unexpectedly in June 2022 when Blake Lemoine, a Google engineer, experimented on LaMDA, an AI-driven chatbot. The chatbot not only argued on philosophical questions but also demanded its rights. Sana Azhar determines if such conversations by a chatbot confirm the existence of sentient AI.
Taiwan, the largest manufacturer of semiconductors in the world, has been embroiled in a conflict with China for decades. With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the relations between the island and Beijing have become immensely strained, raising questions about a possible Chinese invasion. Sana Azhar ponders whether the US will back Taiwan if the island becomes another Ukraine. She contends that in the case of a conflict, Taiwan’s semiconductor industry will take the biggest hit and the world will witness a microchip shortage.