Indo-Pacific Geopolitics Newsletter 10/30/2022 | Foreign Brief

RADAR SWEEP Geopolitics Newsletter October 23-30 2022 Financial markets fall as Xi begins third term — October 24 Chinese

Geopolitics Newsletter October 23-30 2022

Financial markets fall as Xi begins third term — October 24

As Chinese President Xi Jinping took office for his third term, China’s financial markets fell across the board. On October 24, Chinese companies listed on New York’s Nasdaq lost a fifth of their combined value at one point. The announcement of a standing committee full of Xi loyalists—none of whom represent a suitable successor to Xi—confirmed to investors that China’s economic problems are likely to continue.

China’s economy continues to face rolling lockdowns, and an easing of Beijing’s zero-COVID policy is unlikely in the near term. Factory activity did not pick up in October, and large multinationals have already begun expanding their supply chains away from China. Apple began shifting production to Vietnam and India. Both Beijing’s increasingly volatile business environment and Washington’s efforts at technological decoupling are likely to accelerate this trend in the coming years.

Xi is likely to use the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change (COP27) to divert attention from ongoing economic woes. Not only are China’s efforts in the energy transition to combat climate change critical, but the world continues to rely on China for green technology products, including 70% of the world’s batteries and 80% of solar photovoltaic panels. China is likely to maintain its edge in green technology this decade. However, this alone may not be enough to get China’s economy back on track.

Xi is the third term

Thomas Peter/REUTERS Xi Jinping attends the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the CCP

Indo-Pacific Geopolitics

South KoreaHoguk Military Exercises Ended – October 28

South Korea’s armed forces held their annual 12-day Hoguk Field exercise, following bilateral naval drills with the US and tensions between the two Koreas have flared in recent weeks as North Korea conducts missile drills. However, South Korea has rejected a NATO-style nuclear weapons sharing agreement with the US Read more

North Korea launches missiles into sea – October 28

As South Korea’s Hoguk military exercises end, North Korea continues to fire missiles. Pyongyang is also widely believed to have completed preparations for its first nuclear weapons test since 2017, which could be carried out at any time. Read more [EXTERNAL]

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Russia to host 16th Russia-Iran Economic Energy Commission – October 29 – November 1

Moscow and Tehran have increased cooperation since the war in Ukraine began, as both countries have been affected by extensive Western sanctions. Iran has become an arms supplier to Russia and could become a key ally in Moscow’s efforts to sell its power further east. Read more

Vietnam’s Communist Party chief will embark on a four-day visit to China – October 30

Vietnam’s Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong is the first leader to visit China after taking office for a third term as president. Read more Trong to greet Xi in his third term and address Vietnam’s close ties with the US [EXTERNAL]


German Chancellor and French President meet – October 27

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron met in person on October 27. Officials from both sides called the meeting a success and the talks focused on energy. However, the cancellation of the expected post-meeting press conference hinted at growing tension between the EU’s two biggest powers. In recent weeks, Scholz and Macron have been at odds over how to resolve the energy crisis, how to overcome the EU’s lacking defense capabilities and the best strategy for dealing with China. Read more

Kishida and Albanese meet in Australia – October 27

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Perth during his three-day visit to Australia. They discussed measures to strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries in the face of increasing Chinese aggression. Cooperation on energy and infrastructure is also on the agenda. Read more

Turkish FM Cavusoglu ends West Africa tour – October 27

Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu ended his West African tour in Benin. Cavusoglu vowed to boost ties with Benin, particularly in the defense sector, and made promises with his Beninese counterpart Arelian Agbenonsi to boost economic cooperation. The two diplomats raised discussions about the future visits of the presidents of Turkey and Benin. Read more

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National security

Czech Republic bans Russian tourists with Schengen-zone visas – October 25

The Czech Republic has banned Russian tourists with Schengen zone visas from entering. Although Czech authorities stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens immediately after Russia invaded Ukraine, the move closed a loophole that allowed travel by Russians holding visas issued by other Schengen countries. The Czech Republic is one of the latest countries to completely ban Russian citizens from entering its territory. Read more

NATO Secretary General meets with Romanian PM Ciuca – October 27

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca at NATO headquarters in Brussels amid rising tensions among NATO member states over whether to negotiate directly with Russia or continue support for Ukraine indefinitely. In a press conference following the meeting, Stoltenberg pledged continued support for Ukraine and emphasized NATO’s focus on strengthening their negotiating strategies by providing more military support. Read more

Russian bank Renaissance Credit takes over SWIFT transfers – October 27

A Russian commercial bank has moved to seize SWIFT transfers made in dollars and euros after Russia was banned from the international SWIFT money transfer system following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The renaissance has been a recent target of Western sanctions and is following orders from the Kremlin to adopt increasingly protective measures. Read more

Finance, Economics and Technology

EU trade ministers discuss trade relationship with US – 30 October

EU trade ministers gathered at an informal meeting of trade ministers in Prague to discuss Europe’s future relationship with the US ahead of the looming fallout from Washington’s recently announced export controls affecting Chinese high-tech products. Read more [EXTERNAL]

South Korea’s economic growth slows – October 27

According to the Bank of Korea, South Korea’s export-driven economy did not grow last quarter due to rapidly falling demand for exports, rising inflation and interest rates, as well as ongoing global supply chain disruptions. In response, the government has pledged to ease regulations on the housing sector and increase support for the ship-building and battery sectors. Read more [EXTERNAL]

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The Australian government released its first national budget – on 25 October

Anthony Albanese’s Labor government released its first national budget amid rising inflation and slowing growth. Highlights include increased subsidies for child care, medical bills and higher education. Read more

Society and Environment

East AsiaThe largest Pride March was held in Taiwan – October 29

Around 120,000 people participated in Taipei’s 20th Pride March. Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019 and has been a beacon for LGBTQ+ rights in the region. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Global tuberculosis deaths rise – October 28

According to the World Health Organization, global deaths from tuberculosis increased during the period 2019-2021, reversing a long-term declining trend. As with malaria and AIDS, efforts to overcome tuberculosis have suffered greatly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more [EXTERNAL]

EU-ACPS meeting before COP27 – 29 October

Representatives of the EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACPS) met in Mozambique to discuss closer cooperation in efforts to mitigate climate change ahead of COP27 in November. Read more

the week before

South Korea and US to conduct Alert Storm air drills – Oct. 31-Nov. 4

The five-day military exercise will involve 200 military aircraft and comes amid rising tensions with North Korea. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Putin, Pashinyan and Aliyev meet – October 31

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will meet in Sochi in a trilateral setting. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Shehbaz Sharif to meet Xi Jinping – November 1-2

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Olaf Scholz to visit China – November 3-4

The German chancellor is the first G7 leader to visit China and meet with President Xi Jinping since the outbreak of the pandemic. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Opening of COP27 – November 6

More than 200 governments will attend the 27th UN Conference on Climate Change in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Contributions by: David Song-Pehamberger, Madeleine McQuillanAnd Shravan Krishna Sharma


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