Asia-Pacific Affairs Daily Briefing – 26 June 2020

Asia-Pacific Affairs Daily Briefing – 26 June 2020

GEOPOLITICS

India takes responsibility for sending troops to disputed area with China but calls out Beijing for not obliging with accords.

In a media briefing held on June 25th, the Indian Foreign Ministry addressed the current escalating dispute with China and reiterated India’s intentions of maintaining peace in the region, this being only if the other party follow the same rules. It is the first time that Anurag Srivastava, spokesman for the ministry, officially admitted to the deployment of Indian troops, which he stated occurred as a response to the increase in Chinese personnel.

The declaration said “the deployment of large body of troops and changes in behaviour has also been aggravated by unjustified and untenable claims.

The recent shift in the Chinese position on the Galwan Valley is one example.” The statement ended with a plea towards China to withhold their part of the agreement in order to proceed with diplomatic dialogues and ensure peace in the region.

Despite claims of peaceful resolutions, the India-China border dispute continues to escalate as both nations increase their military presence

Since the clash that took place last week, both parties have strengthened their military capabilities in the region of Ladakh. Satellite images provided by tech-company Maxar showed both nations building new infrastructures along the border.

The pictures clearly pointed out new tents, bunkers and storage units for military devices that were not displayed in May. It was reported that the People’s Liberation Army has also increased the amount of drills they perform in comparison to the previous month.

These practices occurred away from the disputed area. In contrast, Indian military forces have as well staged more exercises but in territories closer to the conflict zone.

These images came at the same time as both Foreign ministries released statements indicating their desires to disengage in the region and resolve the matter with peace.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Despite China’s warnings, the US continues imposing sanctions over Hong Kong

On Friday, the US took action against China in attempts to compel Beijing to reconsider the passing of the national security law. In a public statement, the Secretary of state, Michael Pompeo announced that the US would be imposing a new visa “on current and former CCP officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy” as well as family member of such individuals.

This measure was instilled with the intention of contributing to the collective global pressure being placed on China, led primarily by members of the G7. There were no specifications mentioned in regards to the processing of other types of individual visa.

This press release was given the same day China’s foreign ministry counterattacked several of the previous statements made by the US accusing Beijing of violating human rights, therefore further escalating the tension between the two.

All these declarations occurred only days after the US-China meeting in Hawaii organized in attempts to ease the relationship between the two.

Japanese Minister’s attributes Kim Jong-un’s recent actions with his health

In a briefing at the Japanese Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo, the defence minister, Taro Kono, spoke out on the “strange” actions of the North Korean leader.

As he pointed out the rise of COVID-19 cases in the North Korea, the minister suggested that Japan has “some suspicion about his health”, making reference to Kim Jong-un.

He also used the poor economic conditions of the nations and their lack of productivity this year as possible factors that could be biproducts of the potential deterioration of health of the ruler.

Kono avoided addressing the question directly and instead chose to redirect the focus of the question on to the spread of the virus in North Korea.

UN calls for measures against China in attempts to protect Hong Kong’s freedom

On behalf of several UN independent experts, the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commission released a statement today in Geneva denouncing China’s current attempt to impose authority over Hong Kong.

These experts urged the Chinese government to halt the legislation process and oblige by the standards and rules of the international community.

The document listed all the conditions that would be violation in the Sino-British Joint Declaration if such law were to be passed.

The official document proposed a potential meeting between all parties involved. The statement called “to conduct independent missions and to permit those visits to take place in an environment of confidentiality”.

This message was also directed to the entire global community, urging all nations to stand together. The Chinese authorities are yet to respond.

Sophie Velloso

Sophie Velloso is studying International Relations at Richmond the American International University in London. She is focusing her studies in the areas of transnational public affairs. She has an interest in geopolitics, international security, and sustainable development.
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