Why this will be crunch week for Europe

THIS week's European Union (EU) summit could be one of the most important for the Brussels-based club. For on the agenda is not just Brexit, but also the future of the EU well into the 2020s, from a new five-year financial framework and a broader strategic agenda with the impending coming into...

COMMENTARY

Johnson's Brexit strategy rests on grand fallacy

BORIS Johnson is facing into a massive few days for his Brexit strategy as he prepares for the forthcoming Queen's Speech and EU Summit of presidents and prime ministers. Since he entered Downing Street, he has repeatedly promised to "get Brexit done" by Oct 31, but this rests on a grand...

Beijing needs to tackle its soft power deficit

CHINA celebrates this month the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. While Beijing has much to celebrate, it also faces several very pressing challenges, of which the demonstrations in Hong Kong are only the most visible right now.

Supreme Court stirs UK political flux

THE House of Commons met again on Wednesday after the sensational UK Supreme Court verdict that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful.

US jostles with China in race for influence

THE Trump team is poised for a major foreign-policy announcement as soon as this week at the UN high-level General Assembly meetings. A new international aid strategy, under which funds would be distributed increasingly on political allegiance to Washington as opposed to humanitarian need, could...

'One Planet' summit aims to inject dose of optimism in battle against global warming

FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron co-hosts on Sunday the "One Planet" Summit at the United Nations in New York. The landmark event, which will see both government and private sector leaders in attendance, is intended to give a jolt of optimism at a time when there is growing pessimism about the...

Extraordinary UK party conference season kicks off

SATURDAY saw the kick-off of what could be one of the most extraordinary UK Autumn Party Conference seasons in living memory. Although the annual conferences are not what they once were in terms of policy influence, they still serve a key democratic purpose, especially this year with a General...

Bolton's sacking comes at a tumultuous time for Trump

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump on Tuesday sacked National Security Adviser John Bolton. The sacking of the hawkish Mr Bolton, Mr Trump's third such adviser, comes as the president is now entering a critical few weeks for his foreign policy which will determine whether he enters his re-election year...

Brexit means big changes for the European Union too

SINCE June 2016's Brexit referendum, much attention has focused on key intra-UK debates about the nation leaving the EU, which the new Boris Johnson government has intensified. Yet, potentially the most important, but often overlooked, outcome of the UK's vote to leave is how this is helping...

Russia asserts in Asia as geopolitical gambit

VLADIMIR Putin is hosting this week the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostock, the latest Russian attempt to increase influence in its Far East. Yet, this region is far from the only focus of Mr Putin's grand strategy to restore Russia's geopolitical prominence from the Asia-Pacific to the...

COMMENTARY

Trump strategy in Europe: Divide and rule

US President Donald Trump and his deputy Mike Pence had both intended to be in Europe this week in a very rare double header visit. This underlines that while this administration is deeply sceptical about EU supranationalism and Brussels, it recognises US interests in the continent, both east...

Why there is climate hope - despite the Amazon tragedy

With a potential environmental catastrophe unfolding in the Amazon, Jair Bolsonaro blocked G7 aid on Tuesday. His childish behaviour, amid a war of words with Emmanuel Macron, reflects the growing way in which climate change has become part of a political culture war between populist and...

COMMENTARY

Why the euro zone and G7 may be jolted by new Italian instability

THE Tuesday deadline for Italian political parties to form a new government following last week's collapse of the previous administration expires on Tuesday, Aug 28.

G7's Biarritz meet will be heated like the 2018 Canadian summit

G7 presidents and prime ministers meet in Biarritz, France, this weekend and it may not just be the weather that proves hot. On a range of issues, further disagreements are likely between the western powers with US President Donald Trump expected to raise the diplomatic temperature.

Beginning of the end for globalisation?

RECENT equity market volatility, including Wednesday's 800- points fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has multiple economic drivers.

From HK to Moscow, will wave of unrest continue?

ANGELA Merkel and other European leaders are preparing on Monday to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the start of the fall of Soviet Communism. Three decades on from initial protests on the Hungarian-Austrian border, which became the first chink in the Iron Curtain, questions are being raised...

COMMENTARY

Trump's Asia-led strategy is not driving 'US endgame' in Afghanistan

SEPT 1 could see the intensification of the post-9/11 US "endgame" in Afghanistan, the nation's longest-ever running involvement military conflict. While the Trump team asserts a potential upcoming "peace deal" with the Taliban is a vindication of its "Asian-centred strategy", it reflects more...

COMMENTARY

George W Bush is best parallel for Boris Johnson's rule

SINCE Boris Johnson entered 10 Downing Street last month, numerous historical parallels have been made for his political leadership, with figures from Ronald Reagan to Winston Churchill, and indeed a more contemporary one in Donald Trump. Yet, the closest analogy may be with George W Bush, given...

Why bombs alone cannot beat insurgents

IT IS widely reported that Hamza bin Laden, son of al-Qaida founder Osama, has been killed in a US air strike. Some two decades after 9/11, while the global terrorism environment has been reshaped by the loss of al-Qaida offshoot ISIS' former territories in the Middle East, the threat from...

COMMENTARY

Five Eyes not united over 5G issue

UNITED States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes a key trip to the Asia- Pacific this week, with a key stop-off at the Asean Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Thailand before heading to Australia.

COMMENTARY

Why Mike Pence's star is on the rise

MIKE Pence visits Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday in the midst of a national tour to build support for the US-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade treaty. In an administration dominated by the polarising persona of Donald Trump, Mr Pence is assuming growing influence, despite widely-held perceptions about the...

New British PM will face Iran challenge

WITH a transition of power underway in London, the nation is facing into a gathering storm following Iran's seizure of a UK-flagged tanker. This is a key challenge for the new prime minister because he will have to navigate not just the spat with Teheran, but also complex, difficult diplomacy...

COMMENTARY

New US-Mexico-Canada deal is cloaked in uncertainty

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met top Mexican officials on Sunday, capping off a multi-day trip to South America, including a stop-off in Argentina. Top of the Mexican City agenda was Washington's ratification plans for the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), anchoring North...

COMMENTARY

Could Canada provide a Brexit breakthrough for the UK?

THE EU and Canada begin a two-day summit in Montreal on Wednesday. Centrestage in the discussions will be the landmark bilateral trade agreement which many Brexiteers believe is the best template for a future EU-UK deal, despite the plethora of potential pitfalls for the United Kingdom.

Boris and Donald can try building US-UK's 'special relationship'

THE UK government is considering fast-tracking a replacement for Ambassador to Washington Kim Darroch, who resigned following Donald Trump's extraordinary war of words against him and outgoing prime minister Theresa May. While it is widely assumed that a change of PM can rejuvenate the so-called...