The inauguration of TAPI – the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline – signals Kabul is on-board with the grand project of Eurasian integration by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) One of the top roller-coaster sagas in what, some years ago, I christened Pipelineistan, has yielded a definitive twist. The US$8 billion,1,814-kilometer Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI) was officially inaugurated on Friday, in full pomp, and with proceedings broadcast live
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by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Beijing is turbo-charging its infrastructure connectivity across the region and the Caribbean A sharp, geoeconomic shift took place last month in Santiago, Chile at the second ministerial meeting of a forum grouping China and the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, told his audience that the world’s second-largest economy and
by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Beijing’s strategic priority is to prevent ETIM fighters exiled in Afghanistan crossing the Wakhan Corridor to carry out operations in Xinjiang The latest plot twist in the endless historical saga of Afghanistan as a graveyard of empires has thrown up an intriguing new chapter. For the past two months, Beijing and Kabul have been discussing the possibility
by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) For billions of people, the Groucho Marx rule applies when talking about Davos. This is the exclusive club, which meets in the luxury Swiss resort each year to discuss the global business environment. Groucho, of course, has been immortalized along with the rest of the Marx Brothers in the zany Hollywood movies of the 1930s, such
by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Under the Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing aims to connect western China to the eastern Mediterranean China’s “Go West” strategy was brought into sharp focus at a forum in Shanghai last weekend. Billed as the Belt and Road Initiative: Towards Greater Cooperation between China and the Middle East, it highlighted key aspects of Beijing’s wider plan.
by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) The art of the non-deal might be the only way out of the stand-off between the US and North Korea High-level inter-Korean talks at the border village of Panmunjeom not only represent a vital step in Winter Olympics’ diplomacy but also offer a tantalizing chance of a breakthrough in stalled six-party discussions. In stark contrast with
by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) The new 55-page “America First” National Security Strategy (NSS), drafted over the course of 2017, defines Russia and China as “revisionist” powers, “rivals”, and for all practical purposes strategic competitors of the United States. The NSS stops short of defining Russia and China as enemies, allowing for an “attempt to build a great partnership with those
At his year-end press conference, the Russian president let drop nuggets essential to understanding what lies ahead on the Eurasian geopolitical chessboard by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) At his trademark annual year-end press conference in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again let drop selected foreign-policy nuggets essential to understanding what lies ahead on the turbulent Eurasian geopolitical chessboard. By now
China’s Belt and Road Initiative heralds a new era with mega infrastructure projects dotting the landscape by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) If you are looking for the latest breakthroughs in trans-Eurasian geoeconomics, you should keep an eye on the East – the Russian Far East. One interesting project is the new state-of-the-art $1.5 billion Bystrinsky plant. Located about 400 kilometers from the Chinese border
by Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times (cross-posted by special agreement with the author) With its focus on Central Asia and Eastern Europe, the Belt and Road Initiative can be seen as fulfilling a strategy of challenging the West that can be traced back to Mao The 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress made it clear that the New Silk Roads – aka, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – launched
In a well choreographed Sochi summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin defines a peaceful future for Syria after the liberation of the country from militants by Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times (cross-posted by special agreement with the author) The main take away of the trilateral, two hour-long Russia-Iran-Turkey summit in Sochi on the future of Syria was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin: “The presidents of Iran and Turkey supported
by Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times (cross-posted by special agreement with the author) A pacified Syria is key to the economic integration of Eurasia through energy and transportation connections Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani will hold a summit this Wednesday in Sochi to discuss Syria. Russia, Turkey and Iran are the three power players at the Astana negotiations – where multiple cease-fires, as hard to implement
by Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times (cross-posted by special agreement with the author) BAGHDAD – On a sandstorm-swept morning in Baghdad earlier last week, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the legendary deputy leader of Hashd al-Shaabi, a.k.a. People Mobilization Units (PMUs) and the actual mastermind of numerous ground battles against ISIS/Daesh, met a small number of independent foreign journalists and analysts. This was a game-changing moment in more ways than one.
by Pepe Escobar TIKRIT and NAJAF, Iraq – Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you to revive, on the spot, the memory of what will go down in history as ISIS/Daesh’s most horrid killing field in Iraq or Syria since the death cult stormed across the border in the summer of 2014; the Speicher massacre of June 12, 2014 – when almost 2,000 Iraqi army recruits were assassinated in and nearby a
by Pepe Escobar for the Saker blog The 19th Party Congress has made it very clear that “socialism with Chinese characteristics” – as codified by President Xi Jinping – is China’s road map ahead. Not only the strategy graphically eschews those much-lauded “Western values”; it will, in Xi’s own words, offer “a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence.”
by Pepe Escobar for the Asia Times China’s Belt and Road Initiative – the New Silk Road – will spark the country’s development and turn the dream into reality. Now that President Xi Jinping has been duly elevated to the Chinese Communist Party pantheon in the rarified company of Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, the world will have plenty of time to digest the meaning of “Xi Jinping
Saudi Arabia pivots to Russia, the new sheriff in town by Pepe Escobar for the Asia Times What a difference a year – an eternity in geopolitics – makes. No one could see this coming; the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadi terror – which Russia fights no holds barred, from ISIS/Daesh to the Caucasus Emirate – beating a path to the Kremlin and about to embrace Russia as
Masoud Barzani has overplayed his hand – no regional powers are going to assent to partition of Iraq by Pepe Escobar for the Asia Times Wily clannish capo Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), has announced that “Yes” won Monday’s non-binding independence referendum. Now that index fingers in indelible indigo ink are out of the way, the real battle between the KRG and Baghdad begins. Iraqi Prime
North Korea, Iran, Venezuela are targets in “compassionate” America’s war on the “wicked few.” It’s almost as though Washington felt its hegemony threatened by Pepe Escobar for the Asia Times This was no “deeply philosophical address”. And hardly a show of “principled realism” – as spun by the White House. President Trump at the UN was “American carnage,” to borrow a phrase previously deployed by his nativist speechwriter Stephen Miller. One
The real BRICS bombshell: Putin reveals ‘fair multipolar world’ concept in which oil contracts could bypass the US dollar and be traded with oil, yuan and gold
By Pepe Escobar for the Asia Times The annual BRICS summit in Xiamen – where President Xi Jinping was once mayor – could not intervene in a more incandescent geopolitical context. Once again, it’s essential to keep in mind that the current core of BRICS is “RC”; the Russia-China strategic partnership. So in the Korean peninsula chessboard, RC context – with both nations sharing borders with the DPRK – is