Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranking tennis player, has just been granted a medical exemption to take part in the Australian Open. Djokovic, who has won the event nine times (one more victory would give him a record-breaking 21 major titles), refused to show proof of vaccination, which is required to enter Australia.
The restrictive, illiberal trend that has come to characterise India over the last five years has a new data point. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government decided that Christmas Day was a good time to deny renewal of a license for the Missionaries of Charity to receive foreign funding. Founded by Mother Teresa, whom the Catholic Church canonized in 2016, this order of Christian nuns has been operating in the country since 1950.
During the Cold War, Europe was America’s strategic priority. East Asia was largely a sideshow, even though the United States (US) fought bloody wars in Korea and Vietnam, and also provided security for Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. But in the unfolding new cold war between the US and China, America’s strategic priorities have flipped.
After a year in which people longed to get back to “normal,” it is now clear that COVID-19 will not make this possible. The pandemic, now heading into its third year, has profoundly affected individuals, communities, countries, and international cooperation, creating four tough challenges for 2022. Rebuilding trust will be critical to confronting all of them. The first challenge is that people’s relationship to work has changed.
Looking at the economic landscape at the start of 2022, one cannot help but notice the emergence of new obstacles to a robust recovery. The United States (US), Europe, China, and others face a growing list of remarkably similar short- and longer-term challenges. The pandemic remains the most immediate concern. Without full global vaccination, new COVID-19 variants will continue to emerge, potentially forcing governments to renew partial or full lockdowns.
The reaction by governments in the Global North to the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in South Africa has provided further proof – as if any more were needed – of the deeply inequitable response to the coronavirus pandemic. The backlash against African countries was swift and severe, as if barring travellers from the region could somehow keep the rest of the world safe. It hasn’t, and closing borders won’t work when the next frightening variant emerges.
Each time a regional process risks impacting ASEAN’s role in driving the wider regional architecture, ASEAN proponents would warn of ASEAN’s centrality under siege. The formation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement was a case in point.
United States (US) President Joe Biden will host a virtual democracy summit for leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector on 9-10 December 2021 with the themes defending against authoritarianism; addressing and fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights as per the statement released on the website of the US State Department. The invitations for the US Democracy Summit are out and more than half of the world was invited while the rest were left ou
The South China Sea (SCS), one of the most in-demand waterways in the world, is the object of contention of several claimant states with overlapping territorial and maritime sovereignty and sovereign rights claims over the disputed waters. The dispute is still unresolved today and can be dated back to the 1950s.The six-primary claimant states of the contested waters of the SCS are China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
European countries are currently divided over whether to join United States (US) President Joe Biden’s diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing. The episode underscores yet again that when it comes to dealing with China, Europe and the US truly are an ocean apart.