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China has adopted a right path since the COVID-19 outbreak, criticizing the politicization of origins tracing: top expert Zhong Nanshan

Global Times – 3 October 2021 A ‘zero-Covid’ strategy has been the right path for China, according to top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan. Zhong noted that “China’s COVID-19 control reflected the principle of “healthy China” that is achieved not via treatment but by prevention. It is also in line with traditional Chinese medicine’s philosophy —…

Pakistan, Russia on track to develop strong relations

Muzaffar Rizvi, Khaleej Times – 5 June 2021 Experts analysing the recent visit of Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, to Islamabad say that there is strong potential for Russia and Pakistan to develop a closer political and economic relationship if they can overcome their long-standing rivalry. Read the full article here.

Russia fortifies Central Asia military clout before US Afghan exit

Dimitri Simes Jr., Nikkei Asia – 27 May 2021 Andrei Serenko, head of the Center for the Study of Modern Afghanistan, talked with Nikkei Asia about Russia’s military interests in Central Asia since the announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. According to Serenko, “Russia is primarily interested in strengthening its military and…

Asean needs to stay neutral and united amid US-China tensions: Tommy Koh

Eileen Ng, The Straits Times – 26 May 2021 Tommy Koh, Singapore’s ‘ambassador-at-large’, said in a recent webinar that what makes Asean countries the coordinator of regional operations is their neutrality and efforts to unite in the face of China-U.S. tensions. Professor Koh stated “Our strategy is to be a friend of both the US…

Will India Balance China in Asia? The U.S. Can Only Hope

Tobin Harshaw, Bloomberg – 22 May 2021 Tobin Harshaw, Bloomberg Opinion, talks with Tanvi Madan, director of the India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, about whether or not India can really help the U.S. to balance China in Asia. Madan states, “questions about India’s trajectory as a pluralistic democracy could affect the pace…

Will Japan and South Korea Relations Move Forward After Rare G7 Face-to-Face Meeting?

Duncan Bartlett, Japan Forward – 7 May 2021 “The joyless faces and grim accounts of the meeting are not very encouraging. Fortunately, there was one important common ground: North Korea”. In this article on Japan Forward, Duncan Bartlett analyses the subdued discussion between Japan and South Korea’s foreign ministers on the sidelines of the recent…

Iran’s decade of protests: an interview with Firoozeh Farvardin and Nader Talebi

Gennaro Gervasio and Enrico De Angelis, openDemocracy – 22 March 2021 “Everyday life has become a constant gamble. A taxi driver once told us that ‘they turned the country into a huge casino’”. In this interview Farvardin and Talebi, both Iranian academic researchers at Berlin’s Humboldt University, specialising in Middle Eastern politics, nationalism, migration and gender…

‘Electoral autocracy’: The downgrading of India’s democracy

Soutik Biswas, BBC News – 16 March 2021 According to Freedom House and The Economist Intelligence Unit data, democracy around the world is in decline and one country where this is most apparent is the world’s largest democracy, India. This article in BBC News explains why Modi’s government are being blamed for these new rankings…