At the end of July, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of Foreign Ministers held a two-day meeting in Uzbekistan’s capital – Tashkent. The foreign ministers of the member states deliberated on matters of regional and global security, cooperation, and SCO’s membership. Amna Walistan notes that the conference provided Pakistan, represented by FM Bilawal Zardari, the opportunity to participate in the discussion of several issues, including the economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
In its quest to contain the Chinese influence by supporting India, the US has compelled Pakistan to seek an alliance with Russia and China. Huda Raza and Sher Ali Shahid analyze the Indo-US strategic partnership, particularly in the realm of nuclear technology, and its impact on the balance of power in South Asia. The authors note that the India-US nuclear deal represents a shift in the US foreign policy from Pakistan to India. Although the two parties claim that the deal is for peaceful purposes, it poses a threat to the stability of South Asia and elevates Pakistan’s security dilemma.
Hassan Saeed Khan explains how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was driven by both domestic and international politics. With inflation encircling the US, the Democratic Party views the protection of Taiwan’s freedom essential to its success in the midterm elections. However, even Taiwan is currently witnessing a political race between the pro-Taiwan party and the pro-Beijing party.
The West believed that the sanctions on Russia would completely leave the latter immobilized. Hafsa Ammar notes that while that was very likely, Russia’s influence and resources insulated itself from economic shocks. One significant Russian resource would be crude oil, as it has now become the primary oil supplier to both China and India—a position that once belonged to Saudi Arabia.
President Putin’s visit to Iran has caught significant attention amidst the fragile global political and economic conditions. Faran Feroze considers the visit to have raised various concerns among Washington and its allies as the two leaders met to discuss economic cooperation and deepening partnerships through an MOU between Gazprom and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the installation of the Rasht-Astara railway line, among others.
A book sought by CSS aspirants and students of international relations, Henry Kissinger’s World Order sets the stage by addressing the evolution of the state as a permanent and fundamental entity in conducting international relations. He puts light on the significance of the Peace of Westphalia (1648) in the first institutionalising international order among states. In so doing, Kissinger deftly explains the role of the state and its enduring legacy in structuring relations between and among the states.
The G20 is a strategic platform connecting the world’s major economies, with annual summits being hosted by one of the G20 member states. India will be hosting the G20 summit for the first time in 2023. Needless to say, some of the meetings are expected to be held in the Indian Administered Jammu & Kashmir. Huda Raza believes that this move disregards the sanctity of the internationally recognised disputed status of the territory.
Since the 1980s, the People’s Republic of China and Australia have maintained strong economic ties regardless of their political dynamics. Asra Zahid examines the history of diplomatic relations between Australia and China and how they’ve transformed. In recent years, Australia’s ties with Taiwan and its alliance with the US have led Beijing to question Canberra’s commitment to its one China policy.
From textile to food, the 2022-23 trade exhibitions in China will cover numerous subjects. China will further host webinars, conferences, workshops, and delegations, all of which are of particular interest to Pakistan. Starting from August 2022, Pakistan is expected to attend 13 trade exhibitions in China.
Agricultural development in Pakistan is just one of the many facets of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Muhammad Bilal Farooq notes that the corridor is promoting corporate farming and boosting the agricultural productivity of Pakistan. CPEC’s infrastructure projects can reduce the transportation time and cost of agricultural produce. On top of dedicating 4 special economic zones (SEZs) to food processing, China and Pakistan, under CPEC, are also cooperating in the research and development of new varieties of crops.
Rich in natural resources and blessed with quicker transportation routes, the Arctic has piqued the interest of countries and businesses all over the world. Hadia Ibrar notes China’s evident interest in building the Polar Silk Road across the Arctic and paving the way for the establishment of a new maritime route.
The partnership theme in the EU-Africa co-operation seems to be based on mutual respect and a commitment to the SDGs. However, Zunaira Malik notes that the relationship is peculiarly asymmetrical, by virtue of the EU’s overwhelming dominance in global economics and politics.
China’s use of soft power in its relations with the international community has given it an edge over the US. In Africa, China has used different forms of economic diplomacy to strengthen its ties with the regional states. Zunaira Malik notes that while China’s investment in Africa has been widely criticized by the West and even labeled as a manifestation of Chinese colonialism, the China-Africa relations are mutually beneficial for the parties involved.
Hong Kong’s fate has largely been tied to China – with the exception of the 155-year rule by the British. The Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 was drafted to ensure Hong Kong’s “high degree of autonomy”. Referring to the national security law imposed on Hong Kong in 2020, Wasif Hassan discusses how China is failing to honor the agreement.
Institutions, specifically good/inclusive ones and those from Europe and North America, have been synonymous with economic growth. Afifa Iqbal proposes to eliminate the dichotomous view of institutions and instead, pay attention to the dynamics between the concerned state and society, the socio-political realities, and the historical entanglements.
Atiqa Javed explains the China-Taiwan conflict through the lens of social constructivism. She argues that both China and Taiwan have constructed separated identities in their respective population’s consciousness. On top of that, the clash between the growing Taiwanese consciousness and the traditional Chinese identity has heightened the tensions between the two parties, jeopardizing East Asian stability.
Pakistan is one of the leading suppliers of rice imports to China. In just four months of 2022, Pakistan’s rice exports to China have shown a significant surge, with expectations of better numbers ahead.