For the past several years, Chinese President Xi Jinping has fundamentally changed the goals and methods of Beijing’s foreign policy, with the Middle East central to its ambitions as a global powerbroker. Given China’s increased relevance in the region, its response to the Israel-Hamas war has been surprisingly underwhelming.
Since his overwhelming victory in India’s May 2019 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has doubled down on Hindu nationalism and illiberalism. Meanwhile, the country faces foreign policy challenges, including its relationship with Pakistan and competition for regional influence with China. What will the rest of Modi’s second term bring?
In recent years, many countries have become much bolder about kidnapping or simply killing political dissidents inside the borders of other countries. Southeast Asia was actually in many ways ahead of this trend. In fact, the region has become a hotbed of extraterritorial renditions, disappearances and killings.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s immediate and forthright solidarity with Israel following Hamas’ attack there stands in stark contrast to his noncommittal response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But India has compelling reasons to side so decisively with Israel in a conflict with Palestinian militants.
In Nepal, the emergence of Hindu nationalism coupled with attacks on the country’s secularist credentials hint at an organized effort to increase the salience of religion in domestic politics. The stakes are urgent, as the health of Nepal’s young democracy would suffer if Hindu nationalism makes significant inroads there.
Attempts to decouple science and technology cooperation between the U.S. and China have intensified over the past five years, occurring across education, government and industry. But even as competition intensifies, the U.S. should think strategically about cooperation with China and not react impulsively to limit contact.
Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has begun to challenge America’s role as the key economic and political actor in Asia. Increasingly repressive at home, Xi has not shied away from asserting China’s regional authority. But while China’s rise often makes headlines, it is not the only trend shaping events in Asia.
A noticeable thaw in relations between China and Australia under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese suggests both sides have agreed to put the acrimony of recent years behind them. But while Albanese has changed the tone of relations, his policy represents continuity, raising the question of whether this approach is just a short-term fix.
New Zealand’s election on Oct. 14 is poised to deliver significant change. The last time the country went to the polls, in 2020, then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s successful pandemic response saw her Labour Party rewarded with an absolute majority. Fast-forward three years and New Zealanders now are more grumpy than grateful.
The effusive rhetoric on display in recent high-level meetings between Russian and Chinese officials masks a significant vulnerability in their strategic partnership: Although both sides champion the creation of a multipolar world order, their actual cooperation on the ground lags far behind, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.
Despite recent economic troubles, Chinese President Xi Jinping still has ambitions to present China as an alternative model of development for the rest of the world through its Global Development Initiative. Though the GDI’s focus is scaled down from the BRI’s emphasis on huge infrastructure projects, its conceptual aims are broader.