North Korea and South Korea Pick Sides – March 25

Asia 

North Korea and South Korea Pick Sides

North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, has pledged to develop strategic communication with China to counter hostile forces, all-round challenges, and obstructive moves. In his reply, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that he’s willing to work with North Korea and “other related parties” to “preserve peace and stability on the peninsula to make new contributions to regional peace, stability, development, and prosperity.”

What is crucial to note is that North Korea, which is at logger’s heads with South Korea over diverse issues seeks support from China, and South Korea, in the same vein, receives ample ‘support’ from the United States. 

What does this tell us? More than anything, the war between China and America is more than just a trade war, it’s a battle for global supremacy and influence. 

In April 2018, South and North Korea signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity, and Unification of the Korean Peninsula. This declaration was to allow for the reunification of Korea and to promote economic prosperity. 

However, since it was signed, the liaison building that was constructed to promote relations has been destroyed by North Korea, and not much has been heard about the roads with Donghae and Gyeongui railways that were pledged to the reconnected to promote trade relations. 

If this rift between both nations continues, it will be difficult to see lasting growth in local economies and balanced growth of the regional economies facilitated by good road and rail networks. 

Asia 

China Slaps Back with More Sanctions.

This week, The European Union sanctioned four Chinese officials involved in running internment camps for hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in the region of Xinjiang. 

According to the EU, the listed individuals and entities will be subject to an asset freeze in the EU, as well as a travel ban in Europe. It’s also illegal for EU individuals and entities to make funds available to those listed.

It seemed like a coordinated act as the U.S, Canada, and other countries also imposed sanctions on China for human rights infringement. 

These sanctions created a unified show of force and were an attempt to isolate and pressure Beijing but it doesn’t seem like Beijing is pressured as it has refused to back down. 

In response to these sanctions, China retaliated just like it promised to and sanctioned EU officials, potentially including 27 ambassadors and other political targets.

Multinational companies with operations in the U.S., Europe, and China will be affected as they may be forced to face the sanctions posed by the U.S., EU, Britain, and Canada. 

There will also be an impact on supply chains over time as organizations who do business in the U.S and other countries, but sources from China may experience procurement challenges, amongst other things. These procurement challenges will have adverse effects on the prices and availability of select goods. 

It also serves as a wake-up call to companies and supply chain professionals. Ensure that the integrity of your supply chain is intact. Conduct supply chain due diligence and implement effective compliance programs. Ensure that your supply chain doesn’t go against human rights as more countries are looking out for these and, quite frankly, it is the right thing to do. 

Transcontinental 

Russia’s Stance with Europe

Russia, through her Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has said that it has no relationship with the European Union. According to Lavrov, the E.U destroyed the entire infrastructure of these relations. 

Lavrov made this statement at a press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi. He went further to say that relations between Russia and China “are developing faster than what is left of relations with European countries,” but did not mean that Moscow and Beijing “are friends against anyone.” 

Both countries also agree on opposing the use of “illegitimate sanctions by the US and Europe.” 

With the relations between the US and Europe growing, we are also seeing a growing relationship between Russia and China. 

Will this reflect in the policies and laws from these countries going forward? Time will tell. 

Europe 

The E.U. Seeks a Tech Alliance With the U.S.

The European Union has presented its first official partnership proposal to the U.S. Earlier this month, the United States and the European Union warned of the need to protect themselves against competition from China in key technologies. 

Now, the European Union Commission wants the EU and the US to jointly address global innovation issues and set joint standards on technologies such as 5G mobile networks, artificial intelligence, and data flows – areas in which China is the main global competitor.

For Brussels and Washington, the concern is ensuring that China’s rise as a global power doesn’t accelerate through its control of the production value chain used to produce essential goods consumed by Europe and the United States. 

More importantly, the U.S. is looking to make sure China doesn’t have access to critical technology – especially technology used to produce semiconductors – that can be used for both civilian and military application; so-called dual-use technology. 

Source – Geopolitical Futures 

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