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Indo-Pacific Geopolitics Newsletter 10/09/2022

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Indo-Pacific Geopolitics Newsletter 10/09/2022

CHIPS act

RADAR SWEEP

Geopolitics Newsletter October 3-9 2022

The U.S. imposed sweeping chip export bans on China — Oct. 7

The U.S. imposed significant new export restrictions for semiconductors headed to China. The new rules ban the shipping of both advanced semiconductors and the equipment used to produce semiconductors. The measures not only affect American products but all semiconductors manufactured using American technology, in effect cutting the Chinese market off from most advanced logic chips and equipment required to make them.

While the export control does not restrict foreign companies from producing their chips in China, it will likely set Chinese high-tech industries back by several years. The aim is likely to stop China from developing and producing high-end weaponry and Artificial Intelligence applications, including technology used for surveillance.

This export ban is comparable to the U.S.’s sweeping 1998 export controls on satellite technology, which crippled China’s space sector in the short run but forced Beijing to become self-sufficient in the long run. These new export controls will likely further strengthen Beijing’s resolve to achieve semiconductor supply chain autonomy. Read more [EXTERNAL]

CHIPS act
The U.S. imposed significant new export restrictions for semiconductors headed to China as part of the strategy with the CHIPS act – Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

Indo-Pacific Geopolitics

CSTO Militaries participated in Kazakhstan exercises Oct. 3

Member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), including Russia, Belarus and several Central Asian countries, participated in the “active” phases of joint exercises in Kazakhstan, in a move intended to project Russian resolve. Read more.

North Korea conducted longest-range missile test yet – Oct. 4

North Korea conducted its longest-range missile test to date, causing Tokyo to issue shelter warnings to its citizens in parts of Japan. In response, the U.S. and Japan conducted joint naval exercises. Read more [EXTERNAL]

U.N. Human Rights Council rejected a proposal to discuss Chinese human rights violations Oct. 6

The U.N. Human Rights Council voted down a proposal to debate the recent report detailing China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The defeat comes as a blow to Western efforts to hold Beijing accountable for its human rights violations against its Muslim Uyghur population. Countries such as Pakistan, Qatar and Indonesia were among those that voted against the proposal. Read more [EXTERNAL]

US and South Korea held joint naval exercises Oct. 7

The navies of the U.S. and South Korea held joint exercises involving a U.S. aircraft carrier, in response to North Korea’s recent missile tests. Washington also announced additional sanctions on North Korean fuel procurements. Read more [EXTERNAL]

South Korea and Japan seek return to the good old days” – Oct. 7

A day after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol talked to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the phone, Yoon declared that both sides sought to return to the “good old days.” This may represent a thaw in relations between the two countries, amidst threats from North Korea and growing Chinese assertiveness. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Diplomacy

Presidents of Finland and Estonia met Oct. 4

Following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine, Finland decided to end its de facto neutrality and join NATO. While Helsinki’s accession process is still underway, President Sauli Niinisto met with his Estonian counterpart Alar Karis to further solidify relations and collaborate in national defense matters. Read more.

Antony Blinken concluded Latin America tour Oct. 7

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded his Latin America tour at the Organization of American States General Assembly in Lima, Peru. Read more

Human Rights Council session concluded Oct. 7

The 51st session of the Human Rights Council was held in Geneva. The Council put pressure on Switzerland–the world’s largest gold importer–for its role in importing illegally mined gold. Read more

Russias charge d’affaires expelled from Lithuania Oct. 8

Lithuania ordered the Russian charge d’affaires to Lithuania, Sergey Ryabokon, to leave the country, following his remarks minimizing Lithuania’s bloody struggle for independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Russia expelled Lithuania’s charge d’affaires in return. Read more

National Security

Russia voted on Ukraine regions to join the Federation Oct. 4

Russia’s Federation Council voted on four regions of Ukraine—Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye—to join the Russian Federation, following Russia’s referendums in those regions. Read more.

European Political Community met in Prague Oct. 6

The European Political Community, a body comprised of EU members, as well as non-EU states like the UK, Turkey and Ukraine, met to discuss issues including the containment of Russian aggression. Read more.

Blast destroyed parts of Russian bridge to Crimea Oct. 8

Parts of the Kerch Bridge—Russia’s only bridge to Crimea—went up in flames and later collapsed, cutting crucial Russian supply lines. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Finland conducted week-long air exercises Oct. 8

Finland concluded its Ruska air combat exercises with 4,000 personnel and around 50 aircraft. Read more

See Also

Finance, Economics and Technology

Arab Parliament reconvened Oct. 4

The Arab Parliament has reconvened following the re-election of Adel Abdulrahman Al-Asoomi of Bahrain for another two-year term as the Speaker of Parliament. The Arab Parliament’s economic and financial affairs committee held a meeting related to economic integration between the Arab countries, the role of the private sector in advancing intra-Arab trade, and a draft guiding law related to artificial intelligence. The session comes at a time when a number of Arab states are facing serious economic crises. Read more.

Judge halted Twitter v. Elon Musk trial to allow Musk to complete proposed $44 billion takeover Oct. 6

A Delaware judge has halted the litigation until Oct. 28 to permit both parties to close the transaction, after Musk said he needed time to bring together funds to close the deal. If the deal does not go through by the deadline, a trial will be scheduled for November. Twitter had sued Musk in Delaware, where the company is incorporated, in an attempt to force him to follow through on the agreed-to purchase of the social media platform. Read more. [EXTERNAL]

Society

Ghanas government collected poverty data Oct. 3

Ghana’s National Household Registry began collecting data on poverty in the Central Region. The registry is working to maintain its recent progress in providing social welfare resources to people living in rural and low-income areas, amid rising tensions over economic instability in the country. Read more.

Man killed 34 in Thai daycare massacre Oct. 6

Thailand was left traumatized after a local ex-police officer went on a killing spree in a  center. Most of the 34 victims were young children. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Environment

Liberia hosted the Environment Forum – Oct. 6

Together with the World Bank, the Norwegian government and other international stakeholders, the Liberian government hosted the final session of the High-Level International Forum on the Environment. The forum is aimed at encouraging private investors and past development partners including USAID, UNDP, the E.U. and the U.K. to fund forestry expansion. Read more

2022 declared the wettest year in Australias history Oct. 7

New South Wales braces for further flooding. This year is already the wettest on record for Australia only nine months in. Read more [EXTERNAL]

THE WEEK AHEAD

Washington, D.C. to host the Hydrogen Americas Summit Oct. 10-11

The summit will include global government leaders and energy stakeholders and aim at advancing the development of hydrogen technology. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Ukrainian foreign minister concludes Africa tour Oct. 12

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will conclude his ten-day Africa tour, during which he will seek to consolidate support for Ukraine. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Astana to host CIS summits Oct. 13-14

Kazakhstan, the current chair of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will hold three concurrent summits, including the Central Asia – Russia Summit. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Chinas 20th Communist Party Congress to commence Oct. 16

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to break with norms and secure his third term in office. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Taiwans economy minister will visit the U.S.

Taiwan’s Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua is expected to visit the U.S. to address semiconductor supply chain concerns. Read more [EXTERNAL]

 

Contributions by: David Song-Pehamberger, Madeline McQuillan, Can Eker and Shravan Krishnan Sharma

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