Salman Rafi Sheikh

The Biden Administration Heats Up the South China Sea


As part of its strategy to develop a global coalition against China in and around the Indo-Pacific, the US has been, for past many years, paying very close attention to what can be called ‘territorial flashpoints’ surrounding China – Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang – to demonise and delegitimise China as a global power. Tapping into existing internal/regional…

Turkey Eyes a Major Role in Africa through Arms Deals


Armed with drones and active diplomacy, Turkey is slowly – but surely – charting a path for a major role for itself in Africa. While Russia has historically dominated African arms market with 49 percent of market share, Turkey’s ambitious foray includes geo-political interests, especially with regards to how it sees itself as a natural player in the region as a ‘neo-Ottoman’ state…

Why is the US Stirring Up Tibet as an ‘Issue’?


More than a mere territorial and ethnic question, Tibet, for the US, is a geo-political opportunity to up the ante against China in Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. The US decision to appoint a ‘special envoy’ for Tibetan ‘issue’ comes at a time when the US’ anti-China rhetoric has persistently failed to drive a wave of countries weaning away from Beijing and rushing towards…

How China’s RCEP Undermines the ‘Asia Pivot 2.0’


Even though the Biden administration, following in the footsteps of the Trump administration, has been seeking to build a global anti-China coalition even since coming into power, its efforts in the Indo-Pacific region continue to fail to produce enough support for the US-led ‘war’ against China. To a large extent, a key reason for this failure…

Why the US Cannot Force China Out of the Middle East


The China-Middle East relations have grown multi-dimensional to the extent that Washington’s persistent efforts to unplug them have fell on deaf ears in Abu Dhabi and beyond. At the same time, Washington’s own troubles with other Middle East states, such as Saudi Arabia, have directly allowed China to expand its ties beyond economic cooperation, trade and investment…

UAE Embraces Beijing by Scraping F-35 Deal with the US


A major blow has been inflicted to the US standing and influence in the Middle East by the UAE that is scraping the F-35 deal with Washington. This decision comes on the back of some stubborn US efforts to dissuade the UAE from acquiring the Chinese 5G expertise. The US has been doing everything it could to force Abu Dhabi into sacrificing its relations…

The Geopolitics Surrounding Nord Stream 2


Multiple US interests continue to hinder the completion of Nord Stream 2 project and its uninterrupted supply of gas to Germany/Europe. For the US, Nord Stream project is, to a great extent, a tool to privatise European gas-markets for US gas supplies. While the Joe Biden administration was quick to waive sanctions on the project that…

Western Expansionism Turns Russia-China to a Strategic Partnership


In its latest meeting, the G7 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the USA and the High Representative of the European Union – “condemned Russian military build-up” on the Ukrainian border. While the statement does show the growing anti-Russia rhetoric in the West, the meeting drastically failed…

Democracy Summit: Joe Biden Draws a New ‘Iron Curtain’ on China and Russia


The so-called ‘Democracy Summit’ that the Biden administration recently held was not only divisive, but was also more of a geo-political rather than a normative event aimed at deliberating about the state of democracy as a system of government and politics. The fact that the US deliberately excluded certain countries…

UAE Charts a Path to Regional Leadership


Apart from making a defense deal – which came as a potential snub to the US’ dillydallying on the sale of the F-35s to Abu Dhabi – with France to purchase 80 state-of-the-art Rafael jets, the UAE is cosying up to Iran and Turkey as a means to place itself as a key player in the region, one that is capable of resetting regional balance of power through its moves. The UAE’s moves…

NATO’s Indo-Pacific Expansion to Tackle China


The most recent US decision to do a ‘diplomatic boycott’ of winter Olympics in Beijing has caused a new low in the US-China bi-lateral relations. The decision to boycott has firmly established the drastic failure of the US-China summit that Biden had only recently called to sort out some of the outstanding issues facing their bi-lateral ties since the start of the US ‘trade war…

The French Retaliate against the US in the Middle East


Even though the recent meeting between the US and French presidents on the side-lines of G-20 meeting was said to have ‘restored’ the French-US ties after the AUKUS shock, some recent developments have clearly established that the cleavages caused by the AUKUS are too deep for a single meeting to bridge. In fact, the outcome of that meeting, which has begun…

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