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Indo-Pacific Geopolitics Newsletter 11/13/2022


Indo-Pacific Geopolitics Newsletter 11/13/2022

US mid term elections


Geopolitics Newsletter November 6 – 13 2022

US mid-term elections indicate Democrats to hold a senate majority with implications for US foreign policy

The US held elections for 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 Senate seats this week, in a major mid-term report card on Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration. While final results are not expected for at least another week, preliminary tallies have the Republicans on target for a slim majority in the House. The Senate seems to be going the Democrat’s way—defying pre-election predictions of a more comprehensive Republican win in both houses. The House controls funding for the government and the White House is likely already preparing for the end of budgetary support for any controversial new legislative initiatives.

The election has implications for American foreign policy, with the isolationist wing of the Republican party—led by former President Donald Trump—opposing further funding for the defense of Ukraine but a more hawkish stance on China. However, the unexpectedly close results have already put a cloud over such sentiment, as mainstream Republican opinion supports ongoing fiscal—but more conditional—support for Ukraine. The mainstream wing of the Republican Party enjoyed much greater electoral success than Trump’s faction. Divided government in the US traditionally signals a shift in presidential focus away from domestic priorities to foreign policy where the President has more leeway to act without congressional authority. Read more [External]

US mid term elections
President Joe Biden will be forced to work with a less supportive Congress for the remainder of his term after the US mid term elections. Photo: Associated Press

Indo-Pacific Geopolitics

Chinese Premier Li begins six-day trip to Cambodia – Nov. 8

Premier Li began his six-day tour of Cambodia this week. His attendance at the 17th East Asia summit—an increasingly important Indo-Pacific multilateral forum—is traditionally used by Beijing to strengthen Chinese influence in the region, especially among ASEAN states. This year China is pressing for a neutral stance towards the invasion of Ukraine and a pro-China stance in the US-China rivalry. Read more

US-Taiwan trade talks conclude – Nov. 9

Per the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, the US and Taiwan concluded economic trade discussions in New York this week. A critical aspect of Washington-Taipei relations, the trade talks will likely facilitate tightening of the U.S-Taiwan relationship and raise alarm regarding the growing Chinese influence in the area. Read more

Western Pacific Naval Symposium 2022 concludes – Nov. 10

The 2022 Japan-led Western Pacific Naval Symposium concluded this week. This biannual event facilitated the continuation of Tokyo’s International Fleet Review military meetings earlier in the week, with navy interoperability and affiliation on the agenda. North Korea’s recent missile tests in Japan’s vicinity have provoked increased naval action in the region. Read more

Yellen attends US-India Economic and Financial Partnership meeting – Nov. 11

Secretary Janet Yellen visited New Delhi to attend the ninth U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership meeting this week. She met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and discussed advancing US-India bilateralism in response to a rising post-pandemic economic environment. Read more

President Biden attends G20 Summit; meeting with Xi Jinping scheduled – Nov. 13

Biden landed in Indonesia for a four-day trip to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit as well as the first face-to-face meeting between Biden and Xi since the former took office. It comes at a time of geopolitical divide in the G20 among those countries opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and those taking a more neutral stance. Read more


Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov meets with Indian counterpart – Nov. 8

Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as well as Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov to discuss Indian-Russian bilateral trade and development since the invasion of Ukraine. India has been a major purchaser of Russian oil, especially in the face of Western sanctions and willingness to reduce oil imports. Read more

Paraguayan president visits Germany – Nov. 10

The president of Paraguay, Mario Benitez, met German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and president of the German parliament, Barbel Bas, to discuss German trade with and investment in Paraguay and Latin America. Poor environmental protections in South America have stalled EU trade and investment in the region. Read more

First session of Pan-African Parliament concludes – Nov. 11

The session focused on environmental concerns within the African continent and cooperation with the UK to address those concerns. The UK committed to increase financial support to African nations at COP27 and is expected to send approximately $1.7 billion by 2025 as Africa’s largest individual lender. Read more

Nepali president concludes visit to Iceland – Nov. 12

Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Nepal’s second female leader attended Reykjavik Global Forum —Women Leaders conference as its keynote speaker. Nepal is expected to attempt to maximize foreign investment as it suffers from economic stagnation as a relatively new democracy.  Read more

2022 Paris Peace Forum concludes – Nov. 12

The forum is meant to manage challenges caused by COVID-19, conflict and supply chains. France, the UK and Germany are expected to forge closer ties with each other and promote multilateral cooperation in foreign affairs.

Read more

National Security

Sweden seeks Turkish ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership – Nov. 8

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson met with Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara this week to progress Turkey’s ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership. Turkey and Hungary are the only remaining member states of the military alliance yet to ratify Sweden and Finland’s membership. Read more

Ukraine liberates Kherson City as Russia withdraws troops – Nov. 11

Ukraine has liberated the southern city of Kherson—the only regional capital to be captured by Russian forces in Moscow’s eight-month long invasion. Russia’s announcement of the withdrawal earlier this week was met with caution from Kyiv out of fear of a possible trap. The liberation of Kherson marks a significant victory for Ukraine and a major defeat for Russia. Read more [External]

Finance, Economics and Technology

International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions concludes in Brazil – Nov. 11

See Also

A key goal of the international NGO is to improve government auditing capabilities in times of natural disasters or economic crises. The meeting comes as host-nation Brazil continues to take a strict audit stance against the country’s largest oil producer, Petrobras, in light of decade-long corruption at the state-owned company. Read more


COP27 conference begins in Egypt – Nov. 7

The two-week UN-hosted conference is the biggest annual climate change meeting seeking to facilitate international commitments to limit global warming, Thousands of government leaders and officials, multilateral organizations, NGOs, industry lobbyists and climate activists are in Egypt to influence decisions reached by governments. This week developed countries refused to pay developing countries climate reparations. Read more [External]


Israeli election results officially confirm a new right-wing government – Nov. 9

Israel’s elections authority confirmed the results of the country’s general elections held on November 1. It affirmed right-wing political veteran Benjamin Netanyahu’s ability to form a government between his center-right Likud party and far-right nationalists. Read more

Bahrain holds general election – Nov. 12

The Sunni-led Bahraini monarchy has almost complete dominance over the House of Representatives. The election was held amid the repression of the Shia opposition, with the main opposition leader imprisoned, and a decade-long repression of independent media.  Read more

Slovenia holds second-round presidential elections – Nov. 13

The run-off election for the largely ceremonial office was triggered after no candidate obtained 50% of the vote in the first-round, with right-wing Anze Logar facing liberal Perc Musar—vying to become Slovenia’s first female president—who champions LGBTQ rights and other liberal stances. Read more


President Joe Biden to meet with President Xi Jinping – Nov. 14

The first face-to-face meeting between the leaders and it comes as relations remain fraught over US support for Taiwan in recent months and years of tit-for-tat trade sanctions against each other. Read more [External]

Indonesia to host G20 conference – Nov. 15

The long-awaited face-to-face show-down between the West and Russia’s Vladimir          Putin will now not happen as Putin is not attending. Read more [External]

APEC Leaders’ Summit to be held in Thailand – Nov. 18-19

The largest regional economic bloc in the world will host its first in-person summit after     the past two summits were held online due to the Covid-19 global pandemic Read more           [External]


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

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