OPINION

Latest Opinions

  • ASEAN: Is it a Successful Sustainable Model for Other Key Actors?

    When ASEAN came into official existence in 1967 a pessimistic environment has surrounded its establishment. Bilahari Kausikan a prominent Singaporean diplomat described its unconducive vulnerable regional setting in the following terms: Consider the situation in 1967. All five ASEAN countries faced Chinese- inspired, if not directly-backed, internal Communist insurgencies…At the same time, almost every member of the five original ASEAN members were at the other’s throat. ...
  • Sino-Russia Relations in the Era of Great Power Politics

    President Putin made an official state visit to China to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional economic and security organization that includes China and Russia along with other South and Central Asian countries. Its head of states meeting took place in the coastal city of Qingdao. Before the summit, Putin had bilateral meetings with the Chinese leadership in Beijing, including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. ...
  • A Resurgent Russia and A Rising UAE in the Gulf

    During a working visit to Russia in last week, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, concluded a Declaration of Strategic Partnership with his host, Russian president Vladimir Putin. The elevation in bilateral ties aims to strengthen cooperation in various dimensions, including oil market stability and combatting terrorism. Given that this declaration is a first for Russia in the Gulf, it implies that the United Arab Emirates has become ...
  • Trump’s Abrogation of JCPOA: Prospects of Rising Powers’ Surge in the Middle East

    It is expected that Trump’s unilateral abrogation of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) will increase the influential role of Rising Powers’ surge in Middle Eastern politics. At least such a moment of reckoning meant a happy day for Russia and China emboldened as they should in their efforts to gain futuristic lucrative strategic deals with Iran on similar fashion to selected EU companies “win-win” relationship with Tehran. Thus, in July 2017 the French ...
  • A Newly Coined Phrase: “Sharp Power” and Reasons for Attributing it to China

    The new definitions of power as a term of international relations appeared in the 21th century. While the West feels uneasy about the rise of China, in the last quarter of 2017 Western academia added a new term to define China besides “soft power” and “hard power” and began to call the country as “sharp power”. Unlike hard power, soft power and smart power, sharp power is called a term that helps the authoritarian regimes (such as China and Russia) to strengthen their ...
  • The Rising Powers’ Challenge to Mitigate Corruption: Cases of Brazil, South Korea and South Africa

    A number of rising powers’ leaders were recently confronted with legal charges centred on corruption or corrupted practices ending in harsh judicial judgements that aren’t always favourable to the general public. Brazil , South Korea and South Africa amongst others. In the case of Brazil Lula da Silva the previous President of Brazil for 2 terms has been sentenced for nine years and six months in prison after being found guilty on corruption and money laundering. The ...
  • Afghanistan: Beyond the Tashkent Summit

    From March 25-27th, the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, co-hosted with the Afghan government the Afghanistan Peace Conference, a summit that took place just a few months after the Samarkand Security and Sustainable Development Conference. These events show that the region is seeking peace and stability as a primary objective in order to allow its full development as a secondary, but very important objective.  Both of these summits and the region’s organization towards peace are ...
  • China, Russia and Security in Central Asia

    In February, Central Asian news outlet Ferghana News quoted a number of officials in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense who stated that an agreement had been reached with the Chinese government to open a base in the Afghan province of Badakhshan, near the border with Tajikistan. Chinese officials were quick to deny these reports, with the Afghan officials then reaffirming them. The base, if opened, would be China’s second foreign military base following the opening of a ...
  • Chaos in the Middle East: Its Historical Roots and a Sykes-Picot 2.0 to the Rescue

    In January 2018, Turkey started a military offensive in Afrin, Syria. The official aim of Operation Olive Branch is fighting (a non-existent-in-the-region) ISIL and the Kurdish-led Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, its armed wing People’s Protection Units (YPG), and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). In February, a US-led coalition struck pro-regime forces while Israel did the same with Iranian targets in Syria. These military operations are the latest events happening ...
  • Rising Powers’ Efforts to Stamp Corruption: The Chinese Case

    BRICS efforts to stamp corruption in all its forms and shapes is an essential factor for achieving a number of objectives: strengthening state-systems, societal enablement and national human development. Furthermore, such strenuous, risky and long drawn efforts to stamp corruption “if permitted and endorsed” can go a long way in restoring the image of honesty, integrity, and international trust to the Rising Powers systems and policies. From this perspective, analysing ...