Lurking below the surface of the Gulf crisis, are rival, yet troubled, attempts by Qatar and its detractors to use sports to boost soft power and/or launder tarnished images of their autocracies.
Authors: Ajmal Sohail & Nicolas Frank Boehmer
Since Donald Trump took over the oval office, uncertainty has two-folded and the International Liberal Order came under jeopardy. Even some analysts smack the drum of the end of the unipolar world. It was more evident during the G20 summit, which American lost its leading role to encourage the summit participant to condemn North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test. Trump’s foreign policy objective to make America great again not only isolated the country, but also caused mistrust amid the US strategic partners.
The launch of Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by North Korea on 4 July 2017 has sparked new tensions between United States, China and North Korea. The intercontinental ballistic missile has the capacity to reach 578 miles with the potential of reaching an altitude of 1700 miles. This would mean that the missile has the capability to get to Alaska, USA.
About a hundred miles north of Bangalore, India, in the village of Thimmamma Marrimanu grows an eponymous banyan tree. There are all kinds of records for trees: the tallest, the stoutest, the oldest, and so on, but the record for the largest canopy, at an astounding five acres, is held by this banyan. And it also holds the key to the Korean enigma.
Amid clashes between police and protesters, the top advanced nations known as Group of 20, or simply ‘G-20’ summit is getting underway on 7-8 July in the German port city of Hamburg with terrorism, global trade and climate change among the major issues on the agenda. From Paris Climate Accord to North Korean Nuclear threat, US-Russian ties to Indo-China strain, this G20 summit will witness the global superpowers in their worst, trying to make their best.
Although China and Russia never use the term of ally to describe their current relationship, the entente has been the fait accompli between the two countries since 1996. With the state visit of President Xi Jin-ping to Russia on July 3-4, this is his sixth visit to Russia since his assumption of presidency, and was also the third meeting between the two heads of states in a period of six months of 2017.
The North Koreans sent the U.S. a gift on its July 4th Independence Day. In the morning, -- their time, it was still July 3rd evening in Washington -- they launched a missile. It reached a height of 1741 miles (2802 Km) which was 400 miles higher than the earlier May 14 launch. Calling it the Hwasong-14, they have claimed it has a range of 10,000 km and can reach anywhere in the world.
Today, if at all any two big powers share territories and conduct trade mutually beneficially and they do not have any serious problems, then, Russia and China fit the bill. The bilateral ties between two veto members and former communist states in Europe and Asia have been improving tremendously.