Situation Reports

Ethiopia Bets on Drones to Break the Stalemate in Tigray

cc Fars News, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mohajer-4_(10).jpg

After tilting the scales in Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria, and Iraqi Kurdistan, will drones do the same in the Ethiopian civil war?

India’s Act East Policy: Warning to China or Flawed Strategy?

CC Presidencia de la República Mexicana, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Visita_Primer_Ministro_de_la_Rep%C3%BAblica_de_la_India,_Narendra_Modi_(27277251430).jpg

Modi’s Act East Policy has boosted naval capacity and morale, but fallen short on overland connectivity and trade promotion.

Ethiopia Launches Offensive as Famine Spreads in Tigray

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Whether or not the offensive succeeds, the Tigray conflict has produced long-lasting scars that will not heal easily.

Malaysia: New Prime Minister, Familiar Challenges

Empty Singapore-Malaysia Causeway during the Malaysia COVID-19 lockdown., cc Lionel Lim, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Empty_Singapore-Malaysia_Causeway_2.jpg

Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Malaysia’s fourth prime minister since 2018, must fix the COVID-hit economy and heal political divisions if he is to avoid the fate of predecessors Mahathir and Muhyiddin.

Inflation Comes to Global Food Prices

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Food insecurity risks are increasing as food prices rally across-the-board to close out 2021.

Biden Sets China Trade Policy Adrift

Vice President Joe Biden talks with Chinese Vice President Xi and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during a luncheon at the State Department, in Washington, DC, February 14, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2012/02/15/vice-president-biden-s-turn-host-vice-president-xi-china-us

A long-awaited speech on trade policy suggests there’s no plan as yet regarding the United States’ most important trade relationship.

China’s Coal Crisis: An Economic Own-Goal?

cc Kristoferb, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&limit=500&offset=0&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&sort=last_edit_desc&search=coal+plant+china+filetype%3Abitmap&sort=last_edit_desc&advancedSearch-current={%22fields%22:{%22filetype%22:%22bitmap%22}}#/media/File:Jiangsu_Nantong_power_station.jpg

Beijing’s punitive trade measures against Australia are costing Chinese energy producers billions every week, and right when the country needs all of the electricity it can get.

Global Shipping Still a Mess ahead of Holiday Season

cc Bernard Spragg. NZ, modifed, https://flickr.com/photos/volvob12b/16998193220/in/photolist-rU5bCU-r4Q6XV-qignqm-kq2MTR-298FFUq-qmuDY4-9pD94m-xMQLeR-Rhskt6-P75Jfr-wwvCPe-57Xaxz-NVPXFw-x3KQhm-9pA8Hg-owpee1-E6PsRg-cFfQ9Y-4VmTae-owpev3-9pDb7U-owpeiu-4Vr5jj-qsQvDo-cJSWiG-kR9GMd-ec68BD-uzDKoq-oHHKrj-bYLbvy-dfinyE-GyiGEW-nKtP4W-jhN7yp-gMhvwP-9pDbxJ-9tKTPT-c4P1aA-4Vr5kW-Y5TeQV-aRgbwB-Ch4Muh-wZBG9F-wXi6AG-9tNQqf-w3AqAs-w3K1BX-xUauoC-ocJ51w-xCqdHb

Global maritime shipping logjams set to generate inflationary pressure into 2022.

Can China’s Belt and Road Open Up Landlocked Laos?

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As a 420 km high-speed railway nears completion, two Chinese-built highways have been given the green light. Will these projects open up Laos, or make it a crossing point on China’s Belt and Road?

Strategic Commodities 2.0: Global Tungsten Supply & Demand

cc Flickr freestocks.org, modified, https://flickr.com/photos/freestocks/36159691101/in/photolist-X6iSo2-bvZE7Z-e8jQ2J-yQdEcX-omfH9M-Kc3R8S-e8ecSR-scdBDW-sdd2so-fa25qT-9a7CiN-2kJ89WS-f5n9Fb-jAzma-pgf1rA-q8N8z4-omfgjS-oEuAag-e8eddB-q7bvBT-5UMtfb-6FMxhr-oCsZ2x-2kEkM9x-2jSN4jU-e8jQZh-2jS8eJC-6HgK8T-mBh7De-HfhviQ-2bDKa2j-6TucJ5-XwGTJU-dZ6jis-XzrpHp-pih5tg-ntCdsM-ophQgL-QBqJ6M-RsGVhu-xJJDR6-4ANyNi-63Wzwi-7Co1eQ-nqzsvq-arKYjJ-4kPzcw-8HDZoY-mBiKdy-BEJPDt

Next in our series on strategic commodities we examine tungsten, another industrial “conflict mineral” that’s dominated by China on the supply end.

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