Both the US and Pakistan seem to be in damage control mode, and they have been making efforts to send a clear message: that while they have significant differences on important strategic issues, neither side can allow the relationship to drift any further.
On February 27, 2018, South Africa’s National Assembly voted to begin a process to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation, potentially redistributing the 72 percent of farmland currently owned by whites to black ownership.
Bilateral ties between India and Pakistan have been on a consistent downward spiral since 2016. Some recent developments have been important, raising renewed hope that both countries are looking at a revival of engagement.
Tsai Ing-wen’s leadership of the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan has drawn much criticism for its inability to accommodate election promises, over-inclusivity of interest groups, and preserving the status quo of cross-Strait relations.
Contrary to Trump’s comments at the World Economic Forum, a trade war remains unlikely despite the ongoing US-China trade deficit, as criticism of China is part of the campaign narrative and making China a scapegoat for things going wrong is old hat.
The Spanish 2017 extradition of 121 Taiwanese suspects to mainland China met with Taipei’s protests. However, it suggests a deep acceptance of Taiwan’s international isolation based on Beijing’s “One China Principle”.
Bhutan and Nepal, categorized as Least Developed Countries, rank second and third best among South Asian countries in the 2017 edition of the SDG Index and Dashboards Report. This points to differences in the way “development” is defined.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited the United Arab Emirates as part of his Middle East trip. Modi also attended the World Government Forum as Guest of Honour, an occasion for those deemed important by the Gulf sheikhdom.
The Marvel Studios production Black Panther has opened internationally to great acclaim, largely in part to its presentation of the fictional kingdom of Wakanda as an Afrofuturist utopia, an “African country that was never colonized and is the most advanced nation in the world.”