Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for Asia

The current North Korean threat highlights one of the most troubling shortcomings facing today’s Western governments : the almost total inability of diplomacy to help solve such crises. For thousands of years, various states in different periods of history have nurtured the development of a special class of bureaucrats, employed exclusively in the diplomatic service.… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

On the 9th and 10th of July 2015, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has held a landmark summit in Ufa (Russia), its 15th to date. Ufa has simultaneously hosted the BRICS summit, which was meant to further strengthen economic ties between its five emerging economic powers. Founded in 2001 by Russia, China and four Central… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The SCO expands

The EU’s expansion into Ukraine obeys the law of unintended consequences. Alliances that were probably decades into the making are starting to take shape in months, if not weeks. Thus, after ten years of protracted negotiation, Russia agreed to sign the huge gas-supply contract with China last June. The two countries have reinforced their diplomatic… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The New Year begins with a myriad of tribal, ethnic, religious or state-to-state conflicts affecting large areas of the world, from Europe to Africa and Asia. Closest to home is a long-running geopolitical confrontation between the West and Russia for the inclusion of Ukraine within their respective spheres of influence. The contest, which had started… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Superficially at least, the ongoing civil war in Syria appears to highlight the West’s inability, unprecedented for decades, to put a stop to it. Adverse to direct military intervention, President Obama has even ruled out Kosovo-style punitive strikes without the endorsement of Congress. Premier David Cameron’s strident advocacy of military action against Syria has been… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

A feeling of déja vu. Few exceptions apart, the opulent lifestyle and the near-total absence of a social or even a moral conscience are the hallmarks of today’s leading entrepreneurs. For them, increasing the size of their company or of their profits matters much more than the material satisfaction of the people working for them.… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

When elites expire

It has been almost a century since O. Spengler heralded the decline of the West. Apart from a 30-year hiatus between 1945 and 1975, this decline has become irreversible, a development even Samuel Huntington was forced to acknowledge. One of the most telling symptoms of the west’s fall from its former pre-eminence is its citizens’… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

For a few weeks in April, Kim Jong-un has suceeded in making North Korea the hottest flashpoint on the planet. However, even as the international media was focusing on the war of words and the military posturing, inside North Korea significant changes were afoot. According to Andrei Lankov, a Russian specialist on the Korean peninsula,… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

China and the EU model

For almost two years now I have avoided dealing on my blog with China’s spats with Japan, its tensions with ASEAN partners or its apparent inability to reign in the excesses of its obstreperous North Korean protégé. Although China is fast becoming an economic superpower, its foreign policy has remained far less successful than its… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Today’s predator class

The days of Cyprus as an offshore banking centre for rich Russians or Britons are well and truly over. All things considered, however, the 30 billion dollars held by them in Cypriot bank accounts is a paltry amount next to the 20 trillion dollars held by Western corporations and individuals in some 60 fiscal havens.… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi