Michael Kovrig

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de Septiembre de 2008. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Soldiers of the Chinese Battalion of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in Juba, South Sudan. China routinely deploys a squad of female peacekeepers with every infantry battalion. The PLA says the largest has been a group of 19 deployed to Mali. UN Mulitmedia

China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on 3-4 September with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) to Beijing for meetings that culminated in a resolution to continue strengthening ties and a renewed pledge of billions of dollars in Chinese loans, grants and investments. Over the past decade China’s role in peace and security has also grown rapidly through arms sales, military cooperation and peacekeeping deployments in Africa. Today, through FOCAC and support to the AU and other mechanisms, China is making a growing effort to take a systematic, pan-African approach to security on the continent.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the run-up to Pakistan’s general election on July 25, most political parties stand united in their belief that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will transform Pakistan’s ailing economy. In May, Pakistan’s ambassador to China asserted that “regardless of any political change in Pakistan, our commitment towards the successful completion of CPEC will not change.”

But if political support at the national level appears unwavering, local opposition is growing over the lack of consultation and concerns regarding the inequitable distribution of the prospective benefits. In few places is this more noticeable than the southern Balochistan fishing town of Gwadar, the entry point of the corridor and a microcosm of the center-periphery tensions elsewhere that threaten CPEC’s implementation.…  Seguir leyendo »

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signing a joint declaration at the Capella Singapore on 12 June 2018. Standing behind them are the North Korean leader's sister Kim Jo Yong and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Kevin Lim / ST / Singapore Press Holdings

Doubts and questions swirled before the momentous 12 June summit in Singapore between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Could any good come of a meeting for which preparation seemed to be last-minute and inadequate? Was one of the two unconventional, risk-taking leaders going to pull a rabbit out of a hat? Whose purposes would the summit serve? Was it theatre channelling the domestic political compulsions of Trump and/or Kim? Would it live up to the hopes and calm the fears of U.S. allies South Korea and Japan? Would it bolster or weaken regional security and the balance of power?…  Seguir leyendo »

What’s the significance of the 7th China-Japan-South Korea Trilateral Summit?

The main purpose of the meeting was simply to showcase good vibes among the three leaders. Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul are trying to overcome contemporary disputes and historical grievances so that they can promote regional trade and investment and coordinate their policies, particularly on North Korea. There were three broad priorities: improve diplomatic relations, manage the Korean peninsula crisis and make progress on cooperation mechanisms, as the joint statement emphasizes.

China and Japan also held bilateral meetings in which they signed ten agreements, including a long-delayed one to set up a maritime and aerial communication mechanism that may help manage military encounters, particularly in the East China Sea.…  Seguir leyendo »

China Moves Centre Stage in Korean Peninsula Peace Efforts

When North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on 26 March secretly rolled into Beijing on a private armoured train for unofficial meetings with President Xi Jinping, China moved decisively centre stage in the Korean peninsula drama. China also likely gave its truculent neighbour invaluable assurances and leverage for upcoming talks on its nuclear and ballistic missile program.

For a few weeks in March, it appeared as though China, preoccupied with its own internal political wrangling and reforms, might have been sidelined by the whirlwind Korean Olympic diplomacy. Kim Jong-un’s sister descended upon the Pyeongchang winter games, envoys from Moon Jae-in dined with Kim himself in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) capital, and finally, those same South Korean envoys revealed that U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a roll. In October, the Communist Party he dominates used its national congress to accord him even more authority for his second term, embedding his core position and “thought” in its constitution.

The party’s Politburo is now stacked with Xi loyalists, and two important players on foreign policy, State Councillor “Tiger” Yang Jiechi and party doctrine-shaper Wang Huning, have been elevated to support their leader’s ambitious global agenda.

This month Xi powered serenely through a series of high-level diplomatic meetings, including a summit parley with US President Donald Trump. Despite all the attention it attracted, the US chief executive’s “state visit plus” was more about pageantry, managing risks and deflecting potential problems.…  Seguir leyendo »

“The project of the century” is how Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi touted the Belt and Road Initiative to the world when addressing the UN General Assembly on 21 September. It was only the latest in a series of pronouncements and events, including a Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in May and the ninth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in Xiamen in early September, choreographed to position China at the vanguard of a new stage of globalisation. Step by step, China is demonstrating that the Belt and Road is now the guiding framework for its international economic statecraft.…  Seguir leyendo »

China’s immediate priorities would be evacuating its citizens from affected areas, defending its border, preventing an inflow of refugees, and safeguarding North Korea’s nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons stockpiles.

Locating and securing weapons of mass destruction would likely be a shared objective for China and all other governments involved, and could offer scope for cooperation, eventually under U.N. auspices. China has consistently maintained that it wants denuclearization for the entire peninsula and it would likely seek to ensure that Seoul did not end up with control of nuclear weapons. China’s domestic security apparatus also would have concerns about smuggling that could lead to proliferation.…  Seguir leyendo »