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Indo-Pacific Geopolitics Newsletter 09/11/2022

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Indo-Pacific Geopolitics Newsletter 09/11/2022

Queen Elizabeth II

RADAR SWEEP

Geopolitics Newsletter September 4-11 2022

Death of Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II

Britain’s iconic and long-serving Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday. Reigning for 70 years, the 96-year-old was the longest-serving Monarch in British history and one of the longest in world history. Ten days of national mourning were declared following the proclamation of the successor, King Charles III—the start of a multitude of national mourning rituals to be observed throughout the UK and the Commonwealth nations where the Queen remained Head of State.

During her reign, she became a symbol of British soft power throughout the world. Although she held a largely ceremonial role, her government oversaw the post-colonial transition from a global empire to a country firmly ensconced in the EU and NATO. She eventually lived long enough to see Britain exit the EU in 2019. However, her soft power had appeal throughout the world and was particularly notable as the head of the Commonwealth—a global organization of former British colonies that have grown steadily to induct even former Belgian and French colonies as members. In recent years, the Commonwealth provided a ready-made platform for Britain to project influence into Africa and the Indo-Pacific as Downing Street looked to restore post-Brexit relationships globally. Despite the growing appetite for republicanism in many Commonwealth—especially Caribbean—countries, the Queen’s standing internationally remained particularly strong until her death. At home, her personal popularity among the British people is the rock upon which the institution of the monarchy maintained its appeal throughout her reign. Read more

Queen Elizabeth II
Crowds flocked to Buckingham Palace in London to keep vigil, despite the late Queen’s body remaining at Balmoral Castle in Scotland – Photo: Leon Neal/ Getty Images Entertainment/ Getty Images

Indo-Pacific Geopolitics

Armenian finance and state delegation concluded its visit to Indonesia – Sept. 3

Arman Poghosyan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Finance, concluded his delegation to Indonesia, where critical meetings on Armenia-Indonesia tax transparency were facilitated. Read more.

US, South Korean and Japanese officials met to discuss North Korea relations – Sept. 7

Officials from the three countries met to discuss a potential response to further North Korean nuclear testing. The likely response was tighter sanctions, as increasing Russia-North Korea ties makes engagement unlikely. Read more.

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) ministerial meeting concluded – Sept. 9

Representatives of the IPEF met in Los Angeles to negotiate targets for the Framework’s four pillars ahead of next year’s summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Read more.

CABEI Guatemala director visited Taiwan – Sept. 10

The Guatemalan director for the Central American Bank of Economic Investment (CABEI)—Pedro Brolo Vila—ended his 5-day trip to Taiwan. Read more.

Diplomacy

Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the Bundestag – Sept. 6

The President of Israel addressed the German federal parliament amid uneasy social ties between Germany and Israel. The two countries’ strong economic ties are likely to remain steadfast looking forward with German-made submarine sales to Israel increasing? in the medium-term. Read more.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. visited Singapore – Sept. 7

The recently-elected Philippine president met with his Singaporean counterpart, Halimah Yacob, in Singapore where several economic and security agreements were signed—signaling the countries’ deepened economic and strategic ties. Read more.

Bermudian premier met with EU Financial Services Commissioner – Sept. 8

Bermudian Premier Edward David Burt met with the European commissioner for financial services in Prague amid Bermuda’s steps to rectify its tax standards as a cooperative member of European financial markets. Read more.

Indian commerce minister concluded US trip – Sept. 10

India’s Commerce Minister Shri Piyush Goyal attended the first in-person IPEF ministerial meeting as part of his US trip, which may boost Indian entrepreneurship and small-size enterprises and US-Indian economic cooperation in the face of close China-Pakistan ties.  Read more.

National Security

Exercise Pitch Black 2022 concluded in Australia – Sept. 8

The biannual Pitch Black 2022 air force exercise, hosted by Australia, concluded after approximately a month of operations. Many nations took part for the first time—largely to demonstrate coordination among Western nations in response to increased Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. Read more.

Finance, Economics and Technology

Australia’s central bank raised interest rates – Sept. 6

In line with rising inflation costs across the globe, the Australian Central Bank raised interest rates by another 0.5%, despite economic sectors remaining stable—unemployment figures dropped while retail spending increased. Read more.

European Central Bank raised target interest rate by 75 basis points (external) – Sept. 8

In line with expectations, the European Central Bank (ECB) raised its target interest rate to 0.75%. It comes as Eurozone faces high inflation along with the uncertainty of high gas and energy prices in winter. Read more.

Society

UN IDP expert Jimenez-Damary concluded Mexico visit – Sept. 9

UN rapporteur Cecilia Jimenez-Damary concluded her press conference regarding current internally displaced persons (IDP) unrest in Mexico. It is expected she will recommend growth in police and military expenditure in order to tackle the concerns in Chiapas, Mexico, where disturbances are greatest. Read more.

Other

Chile voted on a new Constitution – Sept. 5

Chileans have overwhelmingly voted against a new constitution that was drafted to replace the 1980 document written under General Agusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. Following the vote more than 62% of Chileans rejected the draft constitution, resulting in a major setback for progressive president Gabriel Boric. Read more

See Also
Boao Forum of Asia to open

Boris Johnson stepped down as UK Prime Minister – Sept. 6

Following the announcement of the UK’s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, Boris Johnson traveled to Balmoral Castle in order to resign his office with Queen Elizabeth II. Despite his unpopularity at the end of his administration, Johnson showed resolute support for the crisis in Ukraine and spearheaded the significant Brexit movement. Read more.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Americas – Twitter expected to hold shareholder vote on Musk buyout – Sept. 13

Twitter shareholders will vote to decide whether or not Elon Musk will be allowed to completely buy out the company. The results of the vote may have impacts on the broader markets and the Tesla stock. Here.

China – Chinese top legislator Li Zhanshu to conclude three-day visit to Nepal – Sept. 14

Nepal is one stop on a four-country tour for Mr. Li which began in Vladivostok and continued in South Korea and Mongolia. Mr. Li is likely to look to further the Russia-China “no limits partnership during his tour. Here.

Indo-Pacific – 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting to commence – Sept. 14

The annual meeting will focus on ASEAN’s Priority Economic Deliverables, as well as the COVID19 recover and ASEAN external economic relations. Discussions may center on the bloc’s complicated relationships with China, Russia and the US. Here.

Regional Security – Russian President Putin is expected to talk with Erdogan and Xi at the sidelines of SCO – Sept 15.

Putin may discuss Turkey’s desire to mediate the conflict at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant with Erdogan as well as regional security constructs with Xi Jinping. Here.

 

Contributions by: John Milo, Cian Muenster, Joseph Egidio, Sabrine Donohoe

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