The West is using the Ukraine crisis as a watershed moment to weaponize sanctions in a volatile global setting. This infographic shows the extent and scale of Western sanctions against Russia, both public and private, across different sectors, and in a coordinated manner.
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The Galwan crisis, pandemic and the Ukrainian war have weakened the BRICS’ credibility, a forum that has played a pivotal role in articulating the case for reformed multilateralism. Beyond grandiose rhetoric and vested interests, these five nations need to first infuse the grouping with internal solidarity and enhance mutual trust for peace, stability and prosperity in the Global South.
Pakistan’s latest economic survey reveals the extent of the country’s indebtedness to China. High-interest Chinese loans, reckless multilateral borrowing, and ever-increasing defence budgets have deleteriously impacted Pakistan’s finances. Any lasting solution to these problems will have to involve China.
China’s expansionist nuclear programme aims to bolster its capabilities, so much so, that Beijing's predictions boast 2500 new warheads by 2030, thus rivalling the American and Russian arsenals. As the dragon quadruples its nuclear propensity, heralding the world to something greatly unstable – a tripolar nuclear system; nuclear peace seems a quite convoluted goal.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has been focused on resolving the Afghan crisis. But divergent views of members and the influence of China and Pakistan have eluded a solution. This has been further impeded by the ongoing sanctions and humanitarian issues which are beyond the organisation's scope.
Pro-Khalistan organisations have collaborated with the ISI to disseminate anti-India narratives and influence the Indian diaspora. While this has little traction within the country, there is a need for India to extend support to those expatriate Indian communities which are actively countering the misinformation spread by these organisations and Pakistan-sponsored fringe groups.
A shift is taking place in the business of global dominance and hegemony, from the model of expressing force through troop presence to financial sanctions. But China and Russia, in concert, may provide a way out of the sanctions regime.
The crisis in Ukraine has highlighted the role of both Russia and the West in sophisticated hybrid warfare and disinformation campaigns. The aim is to create a multiplicity of narratives, which fragment the understanding of the opponent. The mind battles are on.
The Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held in Melbourne on February 11, revealed an ambitious plan for economic and developmental affairs, beyond the security concerns posed by China. Despite differing approaches towards Myanmar and Ukraine, the Quad countries are strengthening their cooperation while maintaining strategic autonomy.
Themes of rivalry between China and the U.S., of China's readiness to fill the void left by the U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan, dominate accounts of recent developments in that country. What does China's inclusion in the power game in Asia, with a geopolitical vision remarkably different from that of the West, mean for the developments in Afghanistan?