Russia’s War Has Wrecked Beijing’s Hopes of Keeping NATO Away
Ukraine has sparked renewed interest in East Asia tensions.
Ukraine has sparked renewed interest in East Asia tensions.
Thousands of people demonstrated in Tbilisi overnight, waving EU flags and facing down riot police in protest against a controversial law which Georgia’s president says is “dictated by Moscow.” In video footage and photographs, protesters chanted “down with the Russian law” as they squared off with heavily armored police who blasted them with water cannons…
BERLIN — News this month that the number of German soldiers declaring themselves conscientious objectors rose fivefold in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine created little more than a ripple in Germany. For many Germans it’s perfectly natural for members of the Bundeswehr, the army, to renege on the pledge they made to…
The West is using the wrong analogy for Russia’s invasion—and worsening the outcome.
How backing Kyiv can bridge the partisan divide and make U.S. foreign policy great again.
Putin’s attack on democracy is working. Just look at Europe. As winter approaches, cracks in the West’s support for Ukraine are starting to show. By Matthew Karnitschnig Illustration by Ann Kiernan for POLITICO BERLIN — It was a scene that has played out on city squares across Europe for months: jarring eyewitness accounts of the war…
Biden and Ramaphosa, who spoke by phone in April, are expected to focus their talks on trade and investment, infrastructure, climate and energy, among other issues.South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and United States President Joe Biden will meet on September 16, the White House has announced.
Thursday’s announcement comes as the administration looks to draw African nations closer to the US at a time when South Africa and many of its neighbours have staked out neutral ground on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration sees Africa’s 54 nations as “equal partners” in tackling global problems, during a visit to South Africa.
But the administration has been disappointed that South Africa and much of the continent have declined to follow the US in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
South Africa abstained in a United Nations vote to condemn Russia’s action, and Ramaphosa has avoided any criticism of Russia and has instead called for a mediated peace.
Biden and Ramaphosa, who spoke by phone in April, are expected to focus their talks on trade and investment, infrastructure, climate and energy, public health and South Africa’s leading role on the continent, officials said.
“The two Presidents will reaffirm the importance of our enduring partnership, and discuss our work together to address regional and global challenges,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement announcing this month’s meeting.
Biden also plans to host a US-Africa leaders’ summit in December.
During the Blinken visit, foreign minister Naledi Pandor maintained South Africa’s neutrality in the Ukraine war. In a press briefing following the meeting, Pandor accused the US and other Western powers of focusing on the Ukraine conflict to the detriment of other international issues.
“We should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine, as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine,” she said.
Blinken, for his part, underscored that Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports has led to scarcities in grain, cooking oil and fertiliser — an issue that has had disproportionate effects on Africans.
“The US is there for African countries in this unprecedented crisis, because that’s what partners do for each other,” Blinken said. “The United States will not dictate Africa’s choices, and neither should anyone else. The right to make these choices belongs to Africans, and Africans alone.”
South Africa’s neutral position is largely because of the support the Soviet Union gave during the Cold War era to Ramaphosa’s African National Congress in its fight to end apartheid – South Africa’s regime of repression against the Black majority that ended in 1994. South Africa is seen as a leader of several African countries that will not side against Russia.
The Biden meeting will come at a critical time for Ramaphosa, who is facing criticism from opposition parties and from within his own party for a scandal over revelations that $4m was stolen from his cattle ranch.
He has been grilled this week by members of parliament about whether the foreign cash had been properly registered with South Africa’s financial authorities and why he did not immediately report the theft. The scandal has damaged Ramaphosa’s reputation as a leader committed to battling his nation’s rampant corruption.
Ramaphosa faces significant opposition in his efforts to be re-elected as the leader of his party at a conference in December. If he fails to win the party leadership he will not be able to stand for re-election as South Africa’s president in 2024.
South Africa’s economy has been in recession since even before the COVID-19 pandemic and a third of the country is unemployed, so Ramaphosa would welcome any announcement of economic support from the US.
During Blinken’s visit to South Africa last month, he praised South Africa and Ramaphosa for achieving a multi-racial democracy after years of white minority rule. He also used the visit to formally launch a new US strategy towards sub-Saharan Africa.
ISTANBUL The international community has been urged to ensure that the fallout from the Ukraine crisis should not have an impact on global support for African nations.A joint statement released after a meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on Thursday held virtually and addressed by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, urged the international community to “actively help African countries address food security, climate change, energy crisis and other global issues.”Expressing support for a peaceful negotiation between Russia and Ukraine, the statement called on the international community not to “level down support and input to Africa because of the Ukraine issue.”Russia launched a war on Ukraine in February of this year, resulting in hundreds of deaths on both sides and millions fleeing the country, affecting global supply chains, especially energy and food supplies.However, thanks to the efforts of Türkiye and the UN, a grain corridor with a coordination center in Istanbul has been established, allowing food supplies from Ukraine and Russia to reach the rest of the world.“The two sides urge the international community to take seriously Africa’s concerns on expanding development financing and promoting economic recovery, accelerate the channeling of Special Drawing Rights, in a bid to help Africa achieve independent and sustainable development,” the statement said.Wang told the forum that China supports the African side in implementing the “Silencing the Guns” initiative as the two sides noted that the world is facing growing security challenges, condemning all forms of terrorism and violent extremism.Reciprocal supportReaffirming their commitment to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, the Chinese side urged the international community to “provide financial and technical support to counter-terrorism operations led by Africa in accordance with the mechanisms of the African Peace and Security Architecture.”Expressing support to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN-centered international system, the statement urged upholding “equality among all countries regardless of their size, strength and wealth.”Without mentioning any country, the two sides opposed unilateralism, power politics, racial discrimination, the formation of opposing blocs, and division and confrontation.The statement reaffirmed their mutual support for territorial integrity, sovereignty, security, and development interests, saying “there is but one China in the world … Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China.”“The African side reaffirms its commitment to the one-China principle, and its support for China’s national reunification and China’s efforts to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it added.China and African nations also said they will continue to fight COVID-19 with “solidarity, deepen practical cooperation, promote green development, uphold equity and justice.”According to the statement, the two sides will synergize China’s multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative with the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and national development strategies of African countries, “in order to elevate China-Africa cooperation to higher levels.”
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As the war in Ukraine approaches the six-month mark, much has changed. Since Russia invaded, more than 12 million Ukrainians have been displaced, of whom at least 5 million became refugees across Europe. Several cities and towns, particularly in the country’s central and eastern regions, have been reduced to rubble. Some 5,000 civilian deaths have…
Out of the total promised, eight HIMARS have already been delivered to Ukraine. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo By Lara Seligman 07/08/2022 01:34 PM EDT Updated: 07/08/2022 02:35 PM EDT President Joe Biden has approved sending a new type of precision-guided artillery round to Ukraine that the administration believes will give Kyiv a technological edge in its battle…