Dr. Swaleha Sindhi is
Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of
Baroda, India. Decorated educational practitioner Dr. Sindhi is a frequent columnist on related topics, too. She is the Vice President
of Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society (IOCES). Contact:
Barçın Yinanç It is an Ankara-based
journalist and notable author.
She is engaged with the leading Turkish dailies and weeklies for
nearly three decades as a columnist, intervieweer and editor.
Her words are prolifically published and quoted in Turkish,
French an English.
By İLNUR ÇEVIK Modified from the original: They killed 1 Saddam and created 1,000 others (Daily Sabah)
Aine O’Mahony Aine O'Mahony has a bachelor in Law and Political Science at
the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently a master's student
of Leiden University in the International Studies programme.Contact:
Elodie Pichon Elodie Pichon has a
bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of
Paris and is currently doing a MA in Geopolitics, territory and
Security at King's College London. Contact :
a MA candidate of the George
Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs. Her
research focus is on cross-Pacific security and Asian studies,
particularly on the Sino-U.S. relations and on the foreign policy
and politics of these two.
ALESSANDRO CIPRI Born in Chile and raised in Rome, Alessandro
Cipri has just finished his postgraduate studies at the department
of War Studies of King's College London, graduating with distinction
from the Master's Degree in "Intelligence and International
Ms. Lingbo ZHAO is a candidate of the Hong Kong Baptist
University, Department of Government and International Studies. Her
research interest includes Sino-world, Asia and cross-Pacific.
email@example.com Hannes Grassegger Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative
journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized
journal. Mikael Krogerus Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based
Elodie Pichon, Ms. Elodie Pichon, Research Fellow of the IFIMES Institute, DeSSA Department. This native Parisian is a Master in Geopolitics,
Territory and Security from the King’s College, London, UK.
Djoeke Altena Muhamed Sacirbey Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey currently lectures on Digital-Diplomacy. "Mo"
has benefited from a diverse career in investment banking & diplomacy, but
his passion has been the new avenues of communication. He was Bosnia &
Herzegovina's first Ambassador to the United Nations Amanda Janoo Amanda Janoo is an Alternative
Economic Policy Adviser to governments and development
organizations. Graduate from Cambridge University with an MPhil in
Development Studies, Amanda worked at the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization (UNIDO)
Michael dr. Logies,
Germany Endy Bayuni
The writer, editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post, took part
in the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum, organized by the
Institute for Peace and Democracy and the Press Council, on Dec.5-6.
Bellevrat is the WEO Energy Analysts
Kira West Kira West is the WEO Energy Analysts
Victor Davis Hanson— NRO contributor Victor Davis
Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author,
most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global
Conflict Was Fought and Won.
Chief Research Fellow at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and
International Relations (Moscow, Russia). In 1989-1991 was a member
of Soviet negotiating team at START-1 negotiations (Defense and
Ingrid Stephanie Noriega Ingrid Stephanie Noriega is junior specialist in International
Relations, Latina of an immense passion for human rights, democratic
accountability, and conflict resolution studies as it relates to
international development for the Latin America and Middle East –
regions of her professional focus.
Syeda Dhanak Fatima Hashmi
Author is a Foreign Policy Analyst and Research Head
at a think tank based in Islamabad. She has done Master of
Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Governance and Public Policy. Her areas of
research include both regional as well as global issues of
contemporary international relations.
Pia Victoria Poppenreiter Davos: The Other Side of the Mirror An “inventor, startup guru, conceptualist and CEO” hangs out at the
world’s four-day power lunch
Jomo Kwame Sundaram,
a former economics professor, was United
Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, and
received the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of
Dr. Guy Millière,
a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of
27 books on France and Europe.
Earlier version published by the GeterstoneInstitute under the title
France Slowly Sinking into Chaos Mr. Masato Abe,
specialist at the UN Economic and Social Commission
for Asia and the Pacific Corneliu PIVARIU
is highly decorated two star general of the Romanina army (ret.). For the past two decades, he successfully led one of the most
infuential magazines on geopolitics and internatinal relations in
Eastern Europe – bilingual journal ‚Geostrategic Pulse’.
Malik Ayub Sumbal
is an award winning
journalist, co-founder of the CCSIS (Caucasus Center for
Strategic and International Studies), and a presenter for the
Beijing-based CGTN (former CCTV) Tanvi Chauhanis a m the US-based Troy University. She is
specialist on the MENA and Eurasia politico-military and security theaters.
Giorgio Cafiero 140
Dr. Haim Koren is a former Israeli Ambassador to
Egypt and South Sudan and Member of IFIMES Advisory Board Elizabeth Deheza is a founder and CEO of the London-based,
independent strategic intelligence entity DEHEZA,focused on Latin
America and Caribbean. Nora Wolf
Audrey Beaulieu Cristina Semeraro
Analyst with the Rome-based Vision & Global Trends, International Institute
for Global Analyses of Italy.
of Leiden University, International Studies program is the EU and IOs
affairs specialist that monitors the EU Commission affairs from Brussels.
Where is a Will – there is Brazil
Society 2020, despite the
Photo by E. Dos
Santos-Duisenberg : Labirinto de David, Búzios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
After a century, the world population faced a new pandemic that fast spread
globally, affecting individuals both physically and mentally. Covid-19
started in late 2019 in Asia, spreading so fast that despite the global
connectivity and highly sophisticated information technology and
communication systems, the interconnected society of the 21st
century was incapable to fast react in order to avoid contagion and prevent
the worst. Gradually, the pandemic is making a tour around the globe
contaminating citizens even in rural communities from all continents.
Worldwide, there have been 32 million confirmed cases with over 1 million
deaths during the first 9 months of this year.
From this universal
pandemic we learned that the interdependent globalized world of 2020 is
connected but not synchronized – or as earlier in crisis, prof. Anis H.
well-noted ‘world on autopilot’.
All scientific, technological and digital knowledge accumulated over
centuries remains inept to protect our civilization from an invisible virus
that, ironically, can be eliminated with just soap and water. Obviously, the
magnitude and the economic, social and cultural impact of this pandemic took
humanity by surprise.
Society was already undergoing a deep
process of transformation on all fronts. Debates were focused on the
fragility of democracy, climate change and sustainability, inequality and
inclusion, gender and race, social media and fake news, virtual payments and
crypto currencies, artificial intelligence and blockchain. Science,
knowledge and technology were advancing at a fast rate in all fields
including genetics, neuroscience and biotechnology. Nevertheless,
health-care was not a top priority for public investments or national
budgets. Yet, with the eruption of the pandemic, priorities had to be
immediately revisited. A human-centred and inclusive approach became
imperative in every corner of the planet. Incontestably, the 2020s is
bringing irreversible disruptions.
Lockdown measures and social isolation
deprived individuals of free movements, restricting social gatherings and
citizen’s mobility. The home-office dismantled solid organizational
structures of daily work conviviality. Closure of schools prevented children
from accessing formal in-person education, creating a childcare crisis for
working parents. Crowded metropolis became empty urban centres, no
shopping, no restaurants and no city life. Cultural festivities and spaces
such as theatres, cinemas, and museums had their activities suspended
leaving artists, cultural and creative professionals as well as
street-vendors out of jobs. Parks and sportive centres became inactive and
international tourism ceased.
Conversely, family life became the
heart of social order. Parents that were extremely busy with their jobs had
to juggle between work and the education of their children. People became
less egocentric and started showing more empathy with the needed ones.
Solidarity has been manifested in donations and collective assistance by
civil society. Companies engaged with social responsibility. Artists,
cultural and creative workers were defied to work even harder at home to
find new niches in the virtual domain. The confined society had to
rediscover its ethical values, principles and priorities.
Free-time and leisure at present
Paradoxically, this shift in human
behaviour brought us back to a theory of economics that emerged a century
ago (Ruskin, 1900) “There is no wealth but life”. In this new-old context,
free-time, leisure, well-being and culture are closely associated. Usually,
we use our free-time to carry out activities that are not directly related
to work, duties or domestic occupations. May be free-time is an illusion
because only in exceptional occasions our time is completely free. Leisure,
however, is a subjective concept which varies depending on the society which
we belong. It is connected with our participation in cultural life,
reflecting the values and characteristics of a nation. Thus, it can be
considered a human right according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights
(1948), and in particular the International Convention on the Economic,
Social and Cultural rights (1967).
Despite some divergent definitions of
leisure there is convergence around three distinctions: (i) leisure as time;
(ii) leisure as activity; and (iii) leisure as a state of mind. Firstly, it
is defined as the constructive use of available time. Leisure as a variety
of activities includes the practice of sports or actions related to
intellectual and human development like reading, painting, gardening etc.
and those can be leisure for ones and work for others. Understanding leisure
as a state of mind is complex since it depends on individual perceptions
about concepts such as freedom, motivation, competency etc. Certain skills
can be considered leisure depending on the degree of satisfaction, emotion
or happiness it causes. Yet, the most important is the possibility of free
Time available for
leisure also varies according to cultural, social and even climate
considerations. The notion of time can be different in Africa, Asia, Latin
America or Europe. Usually people who live in areas of hot climate enjoy
outdoor activities and sports while Nordic people whose habitat is in cold
weather prefer indoors socialization and hobbies like playing chess, classic
music etc. Social leisure embraces communitarian happenings such as going to
the beach, practicing sports in a club etc. Behavioural studies indicate the
benefits of social leisure for the well-being of individuals, self-esteem
and cultural identity.
Moments of leisure
are essential in all phases of our life. During childhood and adolescence
most of our time is devoted to study and sports while at adulthood our time
is mostly consumed with work and family. Indeed, it is at senior age that
retired people generally have extra free-time to enjoy cultural events,
leisure and tourism. Globally people are living longer and a new age
structure is taking shape: the young senior (65-74 years), the middle senior
(75-84 years) and the older senior as from 85 years old. According to the
United Nations,in 2018 for the
first time in history, persons aged 65 years or over outnumbered children
under age five. This partially explains the vast number of people in the
group of risk requiring quarantine protection throughout the pandemic
Well-being and spirituality in
Photo by E.
Dos Santos-Duisenberg : Pirâmide Sinética, Búzios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
the pandemic, reflections about well-being and spirituality gained space in
our minds. It is undeniable that the constraints brought about by lock-down
measures and social distancing, offered us more free-time but very limited
leisure options. We gained additional time to be closer to loved ones and to
do things we like most at home. Enjoying family life, including eating and
even cooking together became a shared pleasure and a new leisure style.
Individuals had to optimize the quality of their temporarily sedentary
Global pandemics affect our collective
mental health. Given the prevailing health and economic insecurity, the
focus of our attention has been on well-being, strengthening friendships,
expanding social network, practicing solidarity, improving self-esteem as
well as reflecting on spirituality and religion. Suddenly the exuberant
society of 2020 is afraid of the unknown virus and its long-term harmful
consequences on day-to-day life. Well-being and happiness became the essence
of achievable goals.
emotionally fragile in this moment of anxiety. Individuals are suffering
losses that will persist long after the pandemic will be over. Some feel
stressed or depressed while others react by searching for relief in
exercising, relaxation, meditation, yoga or mindfulness training.
Individuals are finding new ways to overcome solitude and boost mental
resilience. Current philosophical thinking (Harari, 2018) is reminding us
that homo sapiens have bodies but technology is distancing us from our
Inspirational talks in likeminded
groups have been helpful for reconnecting people dealing with an uncertain
future. Social engagement and advocacy for health causes are used for
promoting social change. Thus, besides upgrading healthcare systems and
putting in place special measures for accelerating economic and cultural
recovery, targeted governmental support will be needed to improve mental
well-being and raise the overall level of satisfaction and happiness of
citizens in the post-crisis.
Culture and e-learning nowadays
In a short period of
time, many went from an exciting social and cultural lifestyle to a simple
life. People had to assume the role of protagonists of their actions. Due to
open-air limitations, free-time activities had to be less
physically-intensive (no bike, tennis, jogging etc.), and more
creative-oriented such as designing, playing music, writing. Much time has
also been spent watching TV series, surfing the internet, viewing live music
concerts, video-gaming, attending video-conferences as well as socializing
in virtual chats. Equally, there are growing concerns about the ethics of
consumer technology and internet addiction “time well spent” (Tristan, 2015).
A recent studycarried out in the
UK to track digital cultural consumption during the pandemic, indicates that
the median time spent daily watching TV are 4 hours, while listening to
music, watching films and playing video games each day are 3 hours
respectively. Understanding human behaviour, in particular youth habits can
help to indicate new cultural trends and consolidate social cohesion in
post-pandemic times. Moreover, policy-makers could consider engaging
cultural institutions and employing artists and creatives to help facilitate
a collective healing process and kick-start recovery.
It is widely recognized that the arts,
culture and creative sectors were hit hard by the pandemic. Whist digital
cultural and creative products for home consumption were in high demand,
others tangible creative goods like arts, crafts, fashion and design
products sharply contracted. Many artists and creatives had no option than
to experiment on work in digital spaces, since they had to go global from
Despite the fact
that 4.5 billion people (60% the global population) use internet,
the availability of affordable broadband access is a pre-condition to use
and benefit from the opportunities provided by digital tools. This applies
to both producers and consumers of cultural and creative digital content.
Currently, videos account for 80-90% of global digital data circulation, but
at the same time Latin America, the Middle East and Africa together
represent only around 10% of world data traffic.
This evidence points to digital asymmetries that are being aggravated.
Creativity only is not enough to transform ideas into marketable creative
goods or services if digital tools and infrastructure will not be available.
The pandemic also
had a strong impact on education and learning. Re-thinking education was
already a topic on the agenda of many countries in order to respond to the
realities of the jobs market in the 2020s. Besides the need to adapt
methodology and pedagogical practices, many believe it is necessary to bring
an interdisciplinary and applied approach to curricula with focus on
science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),
preferably also integrating arts (STEAM). In any case, the education system
has been forced to quickly adjust to remote learning. Globally over 1.2
billion children are out of the classroom in 186 countries.
In Latin America schools are closed and around 154 million children between
the ages of 5 and 18 are at home instead of in class.
Furthermore, access to school-related inputs is distributed in an unbalanced
manner; wealthier students have access to internet and home-schooling while
the poorer have not. Young people are losing months of learning and this
will have long-lasting effects. The loss for human capital is enormous.
On the positive side, continuous
e-learning became a trend and a necessity. Innovation and digital adaption
gave rise to a wide-range of on-line courses. Millions of learners are
upgrading their knowledge and skills in different domains through distance
learning, whether through language and music apps, video conferences or
software learning. Some are free others have to be paid for, but what is
absolutely transformative is that access to knowledge became more
democratic. Independently of age or field of interest, learners from
different parts of the world can have access to prestigious universities or
practical training. E-learning, where teaching is undertaken remotely and
on digital platforms already existed, but demand has sharply increased
during pandemic and this might be a point of no return.
Over these critical 9 months, there are
growing signs that the 2020s will face a new set of challenges and life will
not be back as usual. The future will be very different when compared to the
recent past. Hope and fear are likely to co-exist for a certain time. There
are new values, new lifestyles, new social behaviour, new consumption
standards, and new ways of working and studying. The pandemic has imposed a
deep ethical and moral re-assessment on society. This turning point is
leading to a deep socio-economic renovation and hopefully to a more
inclusive and sustainable society.
About the author:
is an economist renowned for her pioneering work in
research and international policies on creative economy and its development
dimension. She set-up and leaded the UNCTAD Creative Economy Program
launching the UN Creative Economy Reports (2008 and 2010). Advisor
associated with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Member of the International Council of the Creative Industries Policy and
Evidence Centre (PEC, London) led by NESTA (UK National Endowment for
Science, Technology and Arts). She also serves as Vice President of the
International Federation of Internet and Multimedia (FIAM, Montreal).
Advises governments and international institutions and collaborates with
universities in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the United States.
OCTOBER 21, 2020
International Institute for
Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from
Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses developments in the Middle East and
the Balkans. General (Rtd)
is a member of IFIMES Advisory Board and founder and former CEO at Ingepo
Consulting. In his comprehensive analysis entitled “Lebanon
2020: From “The Pearl of the Orient” to failed state?” he is
analysing the economic and social situation in Lebanon – can Lebanon become
again a democratic and modern country of the Middle East.
● General (Rtd) Corneliu Pivariu
Member of IFIMES Advisory Board and
Founder and the former CEO of the INGEPO
Lebanon 2020: From “The Pearl of the Orient” to failed state?
We will not allow for Lebanon to become a compromise
card between nations that want to rebuild
ties amongst themselves. Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai
– August 15, 2020
Before the explosion of the Port
of Beirut (the biggest one in an urban area in the last decades), on August
4, 2020, the situation in Lebanon was circumscribed to the regional focus
only while the disaster caused by the blast (around 200 dead, more than
6,000 wounded and damages estimated to 11/15 billion-dollar) brought again
the small country of the cedars to the international focus as it happens in
fact with any other country where an event of such proportions takes place.
Yet Lebanon is in a peculiar situation since the developments in this
country represent, as I presented on numerous occasions, a signal concerning
possible future evolutions in the Middle East and even in a more extended
The present analysis is prepared at a time when the echoes and international
emotions after the devastating blast of August, 4 have not gone out and
tries to show not only the importance for the area of the developments in
Lebanon but also in order to emphasize that what unfolded in Lebanon during
the last decades and today is perfectly valid for another numerous countries
everywhere in the world, countries which have no resources of their own,
endure a multitude of foreign political influences, are confronted with a
massive emigration as a result of a dire domestic situation and are worn out
Short chronology and
considerations on the political evolution before August, 4
On September, 1st, 1920 France,
through the voice of General
declared, in Beirut (surrounded by political and religious leaders), the
emergence of Greater Lebanon, after centuries of Ottoman occupation and, on
November, 22, 1943, Lebanon proclaimed its independence and the end of the
French Mandate, a day that became since then the country’s National Day.
After the independence, the Lebanese state was founded on the basis of an
unwritten agreement between the two prominent leaders of the time:
and Riad el-Solh, a Christian
and a Muslim, called later on the National Pact (al
Mithaq al Watani), having a capital importance even today.
In the 1950s under the presidency of
Camille Chamoun, the economy grew
as the international tourism exploded and the banking sector developed as a
result of the operations made by the Arab oil exporting countries and of
their deposits with the Lebanese banks. However, the first civil war which
lasts a few months breaks out in 1958 and the US send troops to assist
president Chamoun. The 1960s and the beginning of 1970s witness the
consolidation of Lebanon’s place as a regional center for the rich people of
the Gulf and of the world who were coming to gamble at the Casino du Liban
or to attend the famous Baalbek concerts and festivals.
The Palestinian presence in Lebanon and the attacks launched from the
Lebanese territory on Israel led to dissensions on the domestic political
scene and represent an important factor for triggering the civil war in
1975, a sectarian war which lasted 15 years and 6 months (more exactly
between April 13, 1975 and October 13, 1990 – the forced departure in exile
of general Michel Aoun). The war
resulted in more than 150.000 dead, more than 300.000 wounded and in
immeasurable destruction. Other sources consider the end of the war when the
first parliamentary elections took place in the summer of 1992, after 20
years. During the same period Israel launched two invasions, in 1978 and
1982, and the latter resulted in the departure from Lebanon of Yasser
Arafat, the president of the Palestine Liberation Organization and part of
the Palestinian fighters. In 1982, too, two other important events took
place, the massacres of civilians in
Chatilla refugee camps (450 and,
respectively 3.600 dead) and the assassination of the newly elected
In 1983 two bomb attacks resulted in the death of 241 US marines in their
barracks on the Beirut shore and, in the same day, of 58 French paratroops,
a few kilometers away; consequently, in the spring of next year the
multinational forces withdrew from Lebanon. The 1982 Israeli invasion and
the aforementioned bomb attacks marked the emergence and expansion of
Hezbollah which begun to gradually play an ever-important role in the
country’s political, economic and social life.
In 1988, when the mandate of president Amine Gemayel expired and in the
absence of an elected successor, he designated General Michel Aoun as a
caretaker prime minister who, on March 14, declares war against the Syrian
presence in Lebanon. After seven months of fighting a ceasefire was reached
which was followed by international negotiations that secured the signing of
The Taif Agreement on October 22, 1989, ratified by the Lebanese parliament
on November 5 of the same year. Fights among different factions broke out
again at the beginning of 1990 and after a Syrian offensive bly backed by
the air force; General Michel Aoun left the Baabda Presidential Palace and
took refuge at the French Embassy from where ten months later he was
evacuated by sea to Paris.
After Israel’s withdrawal from the south of Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah
maintains its military power and declares itself Lebanon’s defender
(especially in the south).
On April 26, 2005 the complete withdrawal of the Syrian army from the
Lebanon’s entire territory was over, including the closure of the Syrian
intelligence offices opened in the country. After more than 29 years of
occupation, almost 30.000 Syrian troops left the Lebanese territory in less
than two months, a withdrawal that took place under the circumstances of the
Cedar Revolution that was unfolding in Lebanon, of the international
pressures to withdraw and the b echo of the assassination, on February 14,
2005 of the former Lebanese Prime Minister
During July-August 2006 a new conflict with Israel took place (or, better
said, the confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel in Lebanon) from which
we can assess that the winner was Hezbollah, it strengthened its position
domestically from all standpoints until today and represents the power
without which no political agreement for the governance can be reached. Not
only did Hezbollah effectively exploit domestically the 2005 conflict with
Israel but it also posed Israel military problems by proving ingeniosity and
creativity in conducting the conflict. Its 2006 success was media exploited
by setting up an open-air museum presenting the military bravery during the
fights, a museum (The Resistance Museum in Jibchit – inaugurated in 2010)
which receives yearly a great number of visitors, as a valuable propaganda
for the organization’s military as well as political components.
Syria’s civil war which started in 2011 represented another important
challenge for Lebanon. The numbers of the Syrian refugees in the small
cedars country varied in the course of time in accordance with the intensity
of the conflict and is at present around 1 million (it is estimated that the
peak was reached in October 2016 when the number of refugees came to 1.5
million). It is a major challenge for a country of 6.8 million inhabitants
(2016 est.) already hosting 400,000 Palestinians.
On October 31st, 2016 the Lebanese parliament brought to an end the longest
period of the country’s history with no president (29 months since the end
Michel Suleiman mandate – May 2014) after 45 parliamentary
sessions in which no candidate had the necessary quorum for being elected.
The new president General Michel Aoun could be considered a Lebanon’s
legendary personality. His
mandate ends in 2022. Nevertheless, the way the Lebanese political stage is
conceived and works does not allow the president to take measures short of a
wide political accord, something history proved to be extremely difficult to
reach in Lebanon. In fact, the difficulties the country went through since
2016, with numerous demonstrations and popular protest manifestations:
2015-2016 - “The Garbage Crisis”,
2019-2020 – protests against the decision to increase the prices of liquid
fuels, tobacco and tariffs for on-line communications which later on
expanded to other popular discontents such as lack of electricity, of
running water, unemployment, economic stagnation, rapid devaluation of
national currency, corruption. The economic crisis led to the resignation of
cabinet and the appointment, on December 19, 2019 of a new prime minister,
– the minister of education in the preceding cabinet.
Short overview of the
economic evolution until the August 4
After witnessing a flourishing
economic situation in the 1960s and the beginning of the 70s following the
development of the banking system, the expansion of tourism and the fact
that the Lebanese banks were preferred by the Gulf monarchies for carrying
out financial operations resulted from the oil exports and gaining nicknames
The Switzerland of the Orient or The Pearl of
the Orient which caused great envy in the area, Lebanon went
through a difficult period which it has not overcome until now. The causes
are multiple and this is not the place for an exhaustive approach. The
Lebanese diaspora is more numerous than Lebanon’s population and it is
estimated at 8-10 million people of whom 1.2 million have Lebanese
citizenship and has at its roots the evolution of the country’s political
and economic situation over the years. At its beginnings, the diaspora was
predominantly Christian yet the situation changed gradually and the
percentage of Muslim emigrants grew. The Lebanese diaspora represents a
force that the succeeding governments over the years did not succeed in
mobilizing enough to contribute to the country’s economic recovery (in 2014
the remittances of the Lebanese ex-pats amounted to 8.9 billion dollar or
around 18% of the GDP).
The evolution of the Lebanese economy after the beginning of the civil war
until now represented nevertheless a particular situation as a result of the
Lebanese’s entrepreneurial spirit and their extraordinary desire of survival
and national renaissance. It
seems that this spirit has gradually been exhausted to a certain extent and
the much sought-after recovery has been delayed beyond the hopes of the
majority of citizens.
The difficulties the Lebanese economy has been confronted with were
exacerbated by the lack of natural ,
the dependence on imports and by the change in the structure of the GDP,
mainly by the decrease of the banking and tourism industries’ share of the
GDP; nevertheless, services provide 83% of the GDP.
Lebanon’s external debt amounts now to around 170% of the GDP and the
country, due to failure to repay a 1.2 billion Eurobond outstanding in the
spring of 2020, witnessed a massive devaluation of the national currency
being the first country in the Middle East and North Africa where the
inflation rate exceeds 50% for 30 consecutive days.
The situation impacted the common citizen who was subject to numerous
restrictions including the withdrawal of foreign currency from his account
(for a period it was restricted to 200$/week) or the outside transfers which
were limited to 10.000$/year starting with August 2020.
The current political,
economic and social situation and the outlook to the end of 2020
On August 4, 2020 an extremely
powerful explosion occurred in a warehouse of the Port of Beirut, considered
by the expert as the most powerful blast of the last decades in an urban
area as a result of the ignition of a quantity of around 2,700 tons of
ammonium nitrate. The blast
resulted in more than 200 dead and around 6,000 wounded, more than 300,000
inhabitants experienced important damages of their homes and the windows in
Beirut were broken on a radius of 10 km. 15,000 tons of grains stored in a
nearby silo were destroyed (cca. one month
of the country’s needs), the port activity was suspended, the
electricity crisis amplified, several important hospitals of Beirut were
seriously harmed, under the circumstances of Covid-19 pandemic which
affected Lebanon, too.
I will not insist on the causes and the possibilities that led to the
disaster as it is investigated by a commission with the participation of
international experts, yet I am not the adherent of occurrences or
coincidences in case of such events.
The event brought about the resignation of Hassan Diab on August, 10 and the
president Michel Aoun appointed on August 31st,
as new prime minister.
The French president
Emmanuel Macron remembered that his country had an important
influence in Lebanon and paid immediately (August, 6) a visit to Beirut
which triggered a less than expected reaction of the population that was
exasperated by the incapacity of the authorities and initiated, on August 7,
a petition requesting that Lebanon revert under French authority; the
petition was signed during the first days by more than 60,000 persons.
France proposed immediately the draft of an action plan whereby reforms
(which were to be made through a permanent consultation with the civil
society) have a prominent place (reforms in the economic – electricity
field; financial, governance, justice, fighting corruption, etc.). The
September 15, deadline set by France for forming a new government has
already passed as a result of dissensions for assigning certain portfolios,
especially the finance portfolio which is sought after by the Shia parties –
Hezbollah and Amal. The last compromise suggested was that the portfolio be
taken over by an independent Shia politician. Even that was not enough and
the nominated prime minister tendered his resignation on September 26. Thus,
the Lebanese crisis goes on at its own pace known at least during the latest
years. The existing sectarian algorithm for which no replacement has been
found yet continues to play
an essential role on the Lebanese political stage.
Emmanuel Macron returned to Beirut on September 1st, for marking the
anniversary of 100 years since the end of the Ottoman dominance but
especially for discussing the evolution of the political and economic
situation. He promised to organize an international conference in Paris in
order to secure new assistance for Lebanon. As always, there were voices in
Beirut that denounced the French president’s acts as neocolonial.
Nevertheless, a great part of the Lebanese political forces continue to back
the French initiative according to the latest declarations of the Sunni
leader Saad Hariri and
– the leader of Amal and president of the parliament.
Lebanon’s importance on the international arena is proved by the numerous
delegations who paid visits to Beirut immediately after the blast and in
this regard we mention: the visit of the Turkish vice-president
together with the minister of foreign affairs
on August 8; the Iranian minister of foreign affairs
on August 14; the American assistant secretaries
(former ambassador to Lebanon) in August and
on September 4 (the latter discussed with the leaders of the demonstrates
only); the President of the European Council
on August 8. It is worth mentioning the appeal made by the latter in his
statement: „The local political forces
must use this opportunity and unite in a national effort in order to address
the immediate needs and moreover the challenges the country is confronted
with. It is of utmost importance for Lebanon to implement fundamental
structural reforms. Lebanon can count in its efforts on the European Union –
but the internal unity is the key”.
I don’t think, from previous experience, that the repeated appeal to unity
was heard and internalized by all Lebanese political forces and the latest
example in this regard was the resignation of the appointed Prime Minister
Mustafa Adib nominated to form a new government. He wanted to form a
government run by the technocrats which was to find solutions for overcoming
the crisis and had, in this respect, the French president’s backing.
The sectarian and group interest to which foreign influences should be added
(France, Iran, Turkey, the US, Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries) and Russia, too
(the Russian minister of foreign affairs
arrived in Damascus on September 5 and joined the delegation headed by
the vice-prime minister
who arrived a day before and whose last visit there was in 2012). We
mention that president
paid a visit to Damascus on January 7, 2020. Russia was always a discrete
presence in Lebanon but that does not mean it was less interested in
expanding its influence in the country and used to that purpose not only its
relations with the Palestinian groups in Lebanon, with political formations
of socialist orientation but also with Hezbollah.
Under the circumstances, a new wave of migration emerged and there are more
and more Lebanese who lost hope that the domestic situation can recover and
are searching for a solution abroad. Unfortunately, those who will leave
will be especially the well prepared professionals and with a financial
position that can secure them a new beginning in another country, with work
capacity and determination. Thus, the Lebanon’s possibilities of recovery
will further diminish. A people who for a long period of time went through
severe crises and his fiber was weakened by numerous waves of emigration,
was subject to immigrants’ pressures and foreign interests is not an
inexhaustible reservoir and can be severely affected by these events. How
could we otherwise explain Beirut’s revival after the civil war or even the
optimism during the civil war when artillery bombardments took place in an
area and building was raised in a nearby one? Presently, around 20 hours a
day the centralized state network does not supply electricity and the
situation is considered to be determined by the mafia of generators and fuel
It is not likely that Lebanon’s political and economic situation will
witness a significant improvement by the end of the year. Most likely a new
government will be formed under renewed international pressures, as it
happened in the past but no durable solution and no recovery of the
country’s economic and social situation are in sight in this short time
What are Lebanon’s
forecast on a longer period of the evolutions of the Middle East is a risky
shot and of the Lebanon’s situation is more than hazard a guess. Given the
intertwining of numerous interests and conflicts in Lebanon, the country of
the cedars fully deserves the characterization of being a barometer of the
geopolitical evolutions in the area and even on a more extensive level.
Unfortunately for the Lebanese, when they have fallen prey to those
interests they themselves
brought the country to the present situation.
The discovery of great oil and gas deposits in Eastern Mediterranean gave
Lebanon hopes that it could escape the difficult economic and financial
situation. Exploration operations were launched in February 2020 with the
ship Tungsten Explorer by a consortium made up of Total (France), ENI
(Italy) and Novatek (Russia) and president Michel Aoun stated that the
beginning of drilling operations is an opportunity for “the
country’s coming back from the abyss”. It was most probably a
statement intended to boost the population’s morale.
In 2022 Lebanon should organize both parliamentary (every four years, the
last ones took place in 2018 after more than four years – namely in 2009)
and presidential elections (the president was elected in 2016 and cannot run
for another mandate). It would be in the sense of the Lebanese tradition
that the elections be postponed with no clearly defined time horizon while
the surprise would be that elections be carried out and finalized in time.
The issue here is not the timing but the conditions in which the elections
takes place and especially the replacement of the current sectarian
political system which met the needs of the middle of the XX-th century but
proved later on its limits.
I’d like to hope and to think that Lebanon will not be stationed in the
position of a failed state and will find the resources to become again a
democratic and modern country of the Middle East. A position the Lebanese
people should prove it deserves it in spite of all outside dangers it is
confronted with. It depends first and foremost on the Lebanese! I still
trust the descendants of the Phoenicians!
About the author:
is a highly decorated two-star general of the Romanian army (Rtd). He has
founded and led for two decades one of the most influential magazines on
geopolitics and international relations in Eastern Europe, the bilingual
journal Geostrategic Pulse. General Pivariu is member of IFIMES Advisory
Ljubljana/Bucharest, 6 October 2020
– International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies, based in
Ljubljana, Slovenia, has Special Consultative status at ECOSOC/UN, New York,
The four principles of the Pact are:
Lebanon is a completely independent state.
The Christian community will cease to identify with the West and, in
exchange, the Muslim Community will protect Lebanon’s independence and will
prevent the union with any other Arab state;
Although Lebanon is an Arab state having
the Arabic as official language, it will not severe the spiritual and
intellectual ties with the West to allow for its development in the future;
Lebanon, as a member of the family of the
Arab states, will cooperate with the other Arab states and, in case of a
conflict among the latter it will remain neutral;
Public positions will be distributed
proportionally among the recognized religious groups while the technical
positions and the appointments will be made first of all based on the
competencies, without taking into account sectarian considerations. The
first three positions in the state will be distributed as follows: the
president of the republic must be a Maronite Christian; the Prime Minister –
a Sunni Muslim; the president of the parliament – a Shia Muslim. The
distribution of deputies will be 6 Christians to 5 Muslims.
He was prime minister as well during 1992-1998 and 2000-2004. In 1995 I had
the honor of being received by him three times in Beirut.
Corneliu Pivariu – Important Moves on the Geopolitical Chessboard 2014-2017,
If, during the 1982 Israeli invasion we witnessed powerful artillery
bombardments while we were invited to bars and restaurants in Jounieh (on
the outskirts of Beirut) that were all open, the quiet periods after the end
of the civil war were characterized by extensive reconstruction programs,
predominantly in real estate and especially in Beirut, where the traces of
war disappeared almost completely.
Lebanon imports around 80% of its consumption needs.
As compared to the official rate of exchange of 1,507.5 Lebanese Pounds
(LBP)/dollar ever since 1997, on the parallel market the dollar was sold
against 3,000 LBP in April 2020 and 4,200 LBP/$ in May 2020. On September
11, 2020 the parallel rate of exchange was 7,700 LBP/$.
Ammonium nitrate is used mainly as agricultural fertilizer but in
combination with other substances and an ignition explosive it can detonate.
Since it is very stable and not expensive, it is used as well at civil
For an analysis of the causes one should see which the best answer to the
well-known question is: Qui prodest? (Who benefits?). A latest public
variant/speculation is that the explosion was triggered from space by using
a system of Fresnel lens type. Probably the reality is less complicated
from a technical point of view.
Aged 48, Adib (a career diplomat, ambassador to Berlin 2013-2020) was backed
in his nomination by The Future Movement and a group of former Lebanese
prime ministers and got the votes of 90 parliamentarians out of the total of
120. His nomination took place a few hours before the deadline of September
1st, set by president Emmanuel Macron.
“With a failed political system, affected by corruption, terrorism, with
paramilitary formations, the country drew its last breath. We believe
Lebanon must be placed under French mandate in order to acheve a clear and
durable governance” – the text of the petition mentions among others.
The last official census in Lebanon took place in 1932 when the Christian
population held a slight majority (51%). According to different researches
and documents of late the share of the Christians decreased to around 40%
(even 33% according to certain sources), while the Sunni and Shia Muslims
represents around 55%.
A curator at the Lebanon’s National Museum in Beirut, where the history
stops at 1920 was saying that the Lebanese were ashamed of continuing its
presentation taking into account what they have done to their country.
Probably the situation is quite different, namely that not even in what
history is concerned the Lebanese politicians could not agree upon the way
it is presented.
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OCTOBER 8, 2020
ENOUGH OF DOUBLE STANDARDS!
Dr. Zlatko Hadžidedi
Deutsche Welle recently published a comment on Bosnia-Herzegovina written by
Stefan Schwarz, a renowned German politician. In this text, the author
advocates a revision of the German policy towards Bosnia, proposing a change
of the country's constitution, which needs to be jointly supported by
Germany and the US. According to Schwarz, the current Bosnian constitution,
imposed on the Bosnians by the American 'peacemaker' Richard Holbrooke in
1995, amputated the country's territory and destroyed its soul. The Dayton
operation formally saved the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but has dimantled
its vital functions. Moreover, it has rewarded the convicted war criminals
with huge parts of its territory, which is now controlled by these corrupt
oligarchies as their private property, absolutely guaranteed by the
international contract signed in Dayton. Therefore, says Schwarz, the German
Chancellor, Angela Merkel, commonly considered the most powerful woman in
the world, has a great responsibility to use her power to press for a
constituional order that would make Bosnia compatible with other European
A systematic dissolution, from Lisbon to Dayton
It is difficult not to agree with Mr. Schwartz in his diagnosis of the
Bosnian problems. It is also difficult not to agree about the need for
constitutional changes, although the author does not go into specifics.
Simply, there is no doubt that the current constitution must be changed if
the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina is ever going to start functioning. For, the
Bosnian state institutions are, first and formost, blocked by the existing
constitutional structure, and only then by the will of the local
ethno-nationalist leaders, who only take advantage of it. Yet, the point at
which we, as Bosnians who remember the country's recent past, have to
disagree with Mr. Schwarz is the thesis that Bosnia's ethnic partition was
simply a result of the US-sponsored Dayton Peace Agreement.
For, Dayton was only the concluding part in the process of systematic
dissolution of the country's sovereignty, launched and sponsored by the
European Union and the United Nations, and carried out by their nominated
representatives, Lord Carrington, Jose Cutileiro, Cyrus Vance, Lord Owen,
Thorvald Stoltenberg. This process began at the Lisbon Conference, in
February 1992, several months before the outbreak of the war, having
resulted with the Carrington-Cutileiro Plan, the first internationally
sponsored plan for ethnic partition of Bosnia. The very existence of this
pre-war plan shows that ethnic partition was not proposed as a provisional
solution for the ongoing war, as has been repeated many times ever since,
including the comment by Mr. Schwarz. Rather, the war itself, with ethnic
cleansing as a tool in the creation of ethnically homogenous territories
out of the single territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, served as an instrument
in the physical implementation of the concept of ethnic partition. This
concept was first prescribed by Carrington and Cutileiro in 1992, and then
adopted in all subsequent 'peace plans': Vance-Owen Plan in 1992,
Owen-Stoltenberg Plan in 1993, the Washington Agreement in 1994, the Contact
Group Plan in 1994, and the Dayton Agreement in 1995. Interestingly, the
only concept that has been on the table in all these plans was the concept
of Bosnia's ethnic partition. No EU, UN, American or Contact Group
initiatives have ever tried to consider any other option:
Bosnia-Herzegovina's ethnic partition has always been a must. Even those
rare individuals who attempted to challenge the concept itself have even
more rarely noticed that it had had a history that did not start in Dayton
and that no alternative solution has ever been proposed. Therefore, ethnic
partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina was not a clumsy mistake made by Holbrooke
and the Americans in Dayton; it has been a strategy adopted by the UN, the
EU, and all relevant global powers, a strategy that has not been abandoned
to the present day.
A division of non-divisible, a transfer of non-transferable
This prolonged international consensus about the concept of Bosnia's ethnic
partition craves for identification of its authors and explanation of its
broad acceptance among the most relevant global powers (which includes not
only the EU and the UN, but also all individual members of the Contact
Group: United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia).
However, let us first take a look at the concept from a theoretical point of
view. Political and constitutional theory claims that sovereignty is, above
all, non-divisible and non-transferable. What was being proposed as a
'solution' for Bosnia-Herzegovina, from Lisbon to Dayton, was exactly the
opposite: a division of the state's sovereignty, with a transfer of
sovereignty to its three ethno-religious groups, so as to assign them parts
of its territory over which they would gain sovereign control. Under these
conditions, these groups have been labelled as 'constituent peoples' – a
category otherwise non-existent in political and constitutional theory – as
if they posses the primary sovereignty and thereby constitute the state of
Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose sovereignty is a secondary one, derived from
theirs and divided by implication. According to the Dayton Constitution,
even the last remnants of Bosnia's divided sovereignty have eventually been
transferred to the so-called Office of the High Representative, so that the
High Representative has remained the only level at which sovereign decisions
can be made. At all other levels, including the level of the state of
Bosnia-Herzegovina, all decisions can be blocked by leaders of the three
ethno-religious groups, which practically makes these leaders sovereign.
Yet, the current High Representative has abandoned even these, very limited
constitutional powers, so that in reality no sovereign decisions can be made
above the level of ethno-religious leaders. In other words, as noticed by
Mr. Schwarz, it is not their irrational nationalism that creates their
blockages on the level of the state; it is the constitutional structure
which deprives the state of its sovereignty.
The British 'solution'
Yet, who was powerful enough to reverse the universally valid constitutional
principles, and why has this reversal been applied to Bosnia-Herzegovina, of
all the countries in the world? After all, why this has encountered such
approval by the most powerful global structures, such as the EU and the UN,
as well as the most relevant individual powers, although the principles
applied to Bosnia-Herzegovina are exactly the opposite from the principles
upon which they are all built? Given the presence of British diplomats in
all 'mediating' combinations before and during the war in Bosnia, and given
the fact that the concept of ethno-religious partition is a concept the
British diplomacy had previously applied in the process of decolonization of
India, with the consequent creation of India and Pakistan (including the
secession of Bangladesh), and also in Palestine and Cyprus, one may only
speculate why the British Foreign Office put the ethnic partition of
Bosnia-Herzegovina among its geopolitical priorities. In a broader
perspective, it is certain that such partitions have never produced any
degree of stability, as its advocates tend to claim; quite the contrary, all
these parts of the world have become permanently unstable after application
of the British 'solution' in the form of their ethnic or ethno-religious
partition. Whether permanent instability along or around particular
geopolitical points is one of the pillars of British geopolitics or not,
remains to be more broadly explained by its historians; this is not a proper
place for that. However, a more fundamental question is, why such a
'solution' applied to Bosnia has been acceptable to so many relevant global
players, including the US, Germany and the entire EU? Probably we can never
reach a clear and comprehensive answer to this question, either. However, in
this very context, a clear response is required to Chancellor Merkel's
recent claim that „Bosnia needs more empathy“: Bosnia does not need any
degree of empathy – empathy is to be offered to the powerless. What Bosnia
needs is that the global powers simply cease with application of double
standards, and start applying to Bosnia the same principles, concepts and
values they apply to themselves. Above all, that these powers give Bosnia
back its innate right to sovereignty.
Dr. Zlatko Hadžidedić is the founder and director of the Center for
Nationalism Studies, in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
OCTOBER 4, 2020
Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from
Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses developments in the Middle East,
Balkans and around the world. Tereza Neuwirthová of Leiden University, International Studies program is the EU and
IOs affairs specialist that monitors the EU Commission affairs from
Brussels. In her text entitled “How
to Spend it: An Austro-Franco-German Proposal for a European Covid-19
Recovery Programme” she is summarizing the speech of Dr.
Mario Holzner, the director of WIIW Institute, at the July Conference held
at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna.
Tereza Neuwirthová Leiden University, International Studies program is the EU and IOs affairs
specialist that monitors the EU Commission affairs from Brussels
How to Spend it: An
Austro-Franco-German Proposal for a European Covid-19 Recovery Programme
conference named “75
years of Europe’s Collective Security and Human Rights System”,
which took place on the 1st of July at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna,
brought together experts related to the reality of the Old Continent and its
Union over the course of the past 75 years of its post-WWII anti-fascist
existence. It was jointly organized by four different entities (the
International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies IFIMES, Media
Diplomacy, International Scientific Journal European Perspectives,
and Action Platform Culture for Peace) with the support of the Diplomatic Academy of
Vienna, numerous academia supporting and media partners).
The conference gathered over twenty high ranking speakers from Canada to
Australia, and audience physically in the venue while many others attended
online – from Chile to Far East. The day was filled by three panels focusing
on the legacy of WWII, Nuremberg Trials, the European Human Rights Charter
and their relevance in the 21st century; on the importance of culture for
peace and culture of peace – culture, science, arts, sports – as a way to
reinforce a collective identity in Europe; on the importance of accelerating
on universalism and pan-European Multilateralism while integrating further
the Euro-MED within Europe, or as the Romano Prodi’s
EU Commission coined it back in 2000s – “from
Morocco to Russia – everything but the institutions”.
The event itself was probably the largest physical gathering past the early
spring lock down to this very day in this part of Europe. No wonder that it
marked a launch of the political rethink and recalibration named – Vienna Process.
The panel under the name “Future
to Europe: Is there any alternative to universal and pan-European
Multilateralism? Revisiting and recalibrating the Euro-MED and
cross-continental affairs”, was focused on discussing the
determinants of Europe’s relations with its strategic Euro-MED and Eurasian
neighbourhood, the possible pan-European political architecture as well as
on the forthcoming post-crisis recovery.
On the latter topic, the panellist
Dr. Mario Holzner,
who is the Executive Director of the WIIW Austria, outlined the policy
proposal on the post-pandemic European recovery programme, elaborated by his
Viennese Institute in collaboration with the Paris-based research institute
OFCE and the German IMK Macroeconomic Policy Institute. The Recovery Fund
recently proposed by the European Commission represents a benchmark in
the era of stalled European integration, and during the unstable and
precarious post-pandemic times it holds a crucial role for overcoming the
immense political and economic crisis of 2020. Following on much public
debate about the recovery financing, which however has heretofore lacked the
proposals for concrete projects that the EU should allocate the funds into,
it is now urgently needed to come up with these.
WIIW Director Dr. Mario Holzner addressing the Conference
WIIW, OFCE and IMK, three research tanks dealing with economic topics,
suggested two main pillars - an EU one, and a national one- for the spending
of the Commission’s recovery programme that reaches the amount of €2tn and is to
allotted over a 10-year horizon. The spending of the EU pillar is to be
channelled into the area of healthcare, eventually giving rise to a
pan-European health project under the name Health4EU. Not least, another
efficient allocation of the funds located in the programme’s EU pillar is to
projects helping to mitigate the risks resulting from climate change, as
well as to develop an EU-wide rail infrastructure that would substantively
contribute to achieving the Commission’s goals of carbon-neutrality at the
Among other, the proposal introduces two ambitious transport projects- a
European high-speed rail infrastructure called Ultra-Rapid-Train, which
would cut the travel time between Europe’s capitals, as well as disparate
regions of the Union. Another suggested initiative is an integrated European
Silk Road which would combine transport modes according to the equally-named
Dr. Holzner’s experts team put forward the idea to “electrify”
the European Commission’s Green Deal. Such electrification is feasible
through the realisation of an integrated electricity grid for 100%-renewable
energy transmission (e-highway), the support for complementary battery and
green-hydrogen projects, as well as a programme of co-financing member
states’ decarbonisation and Just Transition policies. Together, the
suggested policy proposals provide the basis for creating a truly
sustainable European energy infrastructure.
From the national pillar, it should be the member states themselves who
benefit from the funding allocation in the overall amount of €500bn.
According to the experts from WIIW, these resources should be focused on the
hardest-hit countries and regions, whereas it is imperative that they are
front-loaded (over the timespan of three years).
The overall architecture of the programme’s spending, involving the largest
part of the budget, needs to be focused on long-term projects and investment
opportunities that would serve as a value added for the European
integration, while also allowing to build resilience against the major
challenges that the EU currently faces. The proposed sectors for the
initiatives which could be launched from the EU’s funding programme are
public health, transport infrastructure, as well as energy/decarbonisation
scheme. Accordingly, it is needed that the funding programme is primarily
focused on the structural and increasingly alarming threat of climate
As stated in the closing remarks, to make this memorable event a
long-lasting process, the organisers as well as the participants of this
unique conference initiated an action plan named “Vienna
Process: Common Future – One Europe.” In the framework of this
enterprise, the contributing policy-makers and academics will continue to
engage in meaningful activities to reflect on the trends and developments
forming the European reality while simultaneously affecting the lives of
millions. The European system, formed over centuries and having spanned to a
political and economic Union comprising 27 states, is currently being
reconfigured as a result of numerous external factors such as Brexit, the
pandemic, as well as the dynamics in neighbouring regions. All of these are
engendering the conditions for a novel modus operandi on the continent,
whereby it is in the best intention of those partaking at this conference to
contribute to a more just, secure, and peaceful European future.
About the author:
of Leiden University, International Studies program is the EU and IOs
affairs specialist that monitors the EU Commission affairs from Brussels.
Ljubljana/Vienna/Brussels, 29 September 2020
– International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies, based in
Ljubljana, Slovenia, has Special Consultative status at ECOSOC/UN, New York,
OCTOBER 1, 2020
Triangularity of Nuclear Arms Control
Possible Implications of China’s Involvement in Nuclear Arms Talks
Alexander G. Savelyev
In December 2019, the United States officially invited China to enter into
a strategic security dialogue. The White House said it hoped Beijing’s
consent to this proposal might become the first step towards an
international agreement encompassing all nuclear weapons of the United
States, Russia, and China. As expected, this proposal was rejected.
China said its nuclear arsenal was much smaller than those of the United
States and Russia, and it would be able to participate in such talks
only when their nuclear potentials were brought to parity with its own.
In March 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump once again declared his
intention to ask Russia and China to hold such talks with the aim of
avoiding a costly arms race (Reuters.com, 2020). The Chinese Foreign
Ministry’s response followed virtually in no time. Its spokesperson Zhao
Lijian said that China had no intention of
taking part in the so-called China-U.S.-Russia trilateral arms control
negotiations, and that its position on
this issue was very clear (ECNC.cn., 2020). He called upon the
United States to extend the New START and to go ahead with the policy of
U.S-Russian nuclear arms reduction, thus creating prerequisites for
other countries to join the nuclear disarmament process. There is
nothing new about China’s stance. A year earlier Chinese Foreign
Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, while speaking at a news conference
in May 2019, made a similar statement. China refused to participate in a
trilateral arms control agreement (Fmprc.gov.2019).
It is noteworthy that while advising the United States and Russia to
downgrade their nuclear potentials to its level, China does not say what
exactly this level is. One of the rare official statements (if not the
sole one) on that score was the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement,
published on April 27, 2004, that China’s nuclear arsenal was the
smallest of all (Fact Sheet China, 2004). Even in that case the Chinese
Foreign Ministry did not specify if it was referring to the quintet of
the UN Security Council’s permanent members. If so, China’s nuclear
arsenal, according to official statistics, consisted of no
more than 190 warheads (Britain’s level
that year). Such (understated according to most analysts) estimates,
have also been mentioned by a number of experts. For example, Harvard
researcher Hui Zhang says China in 2011 had 166 nuclear warheads. There
are other, higher estimates. For instance, Professor Phillip Karber of
Georgetown University believes that China has 3,000 warheads at its
disposal (Karber, 2011), while many other researchers call this in
The estimate offered by H. Kristensen and
M. Korda of the Federation of American Scientists, who issue annual
world surveys of nuclear arms potentials, is shared by most researchers
and draws no objections from political circles in various countries,
including the United States. According to their calculations
as for April 2020, the United States had
3,800 deployed and non-deployed nuclear warheads, and Russia, 4,312
warheads. As for China, the same survey says it has
320 non-deployed nuclear warheads (Kristensen
and Korda, 2020).
While underscoring the importance of nuclear arms cuts by the United
States and Russia to China’s level, Beijing does not specify if this
idea applies only to strategic or all nuclear weapons. In the former
case, if China’s approach is to be accepted, Russia and the United
States would have to slash their nuclear arsenals by 65%-75% (from 1,550
deployed nuclear warheads in compliance with the rules of the still
effective New START). But if the total number of nuclear warheads on
either side is to be counted, each country’s nuclear potential would
shrink by no less than 90%. Only after this will China be prepared to
consider in earnest its participation in nuclear arms control talks.
The United States and Russia can hardly find this suitable. At the same
time, these countries have not yet officially formulated their specific
approaches to and basic provisions of hypothetical trilateral talks and
a future agreement on this issue. For the time being, these issues are
in the focus of experts’ attention in a number of countries, and they
have over the past few years offered a variety of possible formats and
parameters of a future “multilateral” treaty. In most cases, experts
delve into certain aspects of a future agreement that might be
attractive to China. Very few think of what China might lose the moment
it enters into nuclear arms control talks or what military-political
consequences might follow if China eventually changed its mind regarding
participation in such negotiations.
In my opinion, China’s demand for achieving the “comparability” of
nuclear potentials as a precondition for beginning a trilateral dialogue
stems precisely from its evaluation of the consequences of its
participation in the negotiations. This stance is neither far-fetched
nor propagandistic, contrary to what some experts and politicians claim,
but rests upon major political, military and strategic cornerstones.
Disregard for China’s arguments actually reduces to nothing all efforts,
above all those taken by Washington, to engage Beijing in nuclear arms
As far as the United States is concerned, the motives behind its
attempts to persuade China to join nuclear arms talks are not quite
clear. There may be several possible considerations that the United
States is guided by in its policy on the issue. One is that Washington
may be looking for a way to obtain necessary information about the
current state of China’s nuclear potential and plans for its development
in the future in order to be able to adjust its own modernization
programs accordingly. Another explanation is that the United States may
be reluctant to go ahead with the nuclear disarmament policy and hopes
to use China’s unequivocal refusal to participate in negotiations as a
chance to blame it for the disruption of this process and for
dismantling the nuclear arms control system as such. I believe both
explanations may be true, but their analysis lies beyond the scope of
OPTIONS OF ENGAGING CHINA IN NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL TALKS
“Americans performed three very different policies on the People’s
Republic: From a total negation (and the Mao-time mutual annihilation
assurances), to Nixon’s sudden cohabitation. Finally, a Copernican-turn:
the US spotted no real ideological differences between them and the
post-Deng China. This signalled a ‘new opening’: West imagined
China’s coastal areas as its own industrial suburbia.
Soon after, both countries easily agreed on interdependence (in this
marriage of convenience): Americans pleased their corporate (machine and
tech) sector and unrestrained its greed, while Chinese in return offered
a cheap labour, no environmental considerations and submissiveness in
However, for both countries this was far more than economy, it was a
policy – Washington read it as interdependence for transformative
containment and Beijing sow it as interdependence for a (global)
penetration. In the meantime, Chinese acquired more sophisticated
technology, and the American Big tech sophisticated itself in digital
authoritarianism – ‘technological monoculture’ met the political one.
But now with a tidal wave of Covid-19, the honeymoon is over” – recently
wrote professor Anis H. Bajrektarevic on a strategic decoupling between
the biggest manufacturer of American goods, China and its consumer, the
Indeed, Washington has not formulated in detail its official stance on engaging China in
negotiations yet. Disarmament experts consider a number of options that
may be proposed in principle. These options may be grouped into three
main categories. The first one is putting pressure on China with the aim
of making it change its mind regarding arms control. The second one is
the search for proposals China may find lucrative enough, which the
Chinese leadership might agree to study in earnest. And the third one is
a combination of these two approaches.
As far as pressure on China is concerned, the United States is already
exerting it along several lines. For one, China is criticized for the
condition and development prospects of its nuclear arsenal.
Specifically, it is blamed on being the only nuclear power in the
Permanent Big Five that has not reduced its nuclear potential. Moreover,
as follows from a statement made in May 2019 by Robert Ashley,
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency,
“over the next decade, China is likely to at least double
the size of its nuclear stockpile in the course of implementing the most
rapid expansion and diversification of its nuclear arsenal in China’s
history” (Adamczyk, 2019). Both officials and many experts have been quoting
this postulate as an established fact requiring no proof.
China is also accused of the lack of transparency, that is, refusal to
disclose the size and structure of its nuclear forces, programs for
their upgrade, and other nuclear policy aspects. The U.S. leadership
argues that this state of affairs by no means promotes strategic
stability and international security. Some experts believe that China’s
involvement in negotiations would help avoid some adverse effects, for
example, another nuclear arms race under a Cold War scenario (Zhao,
2020). Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control
and International Security in the Barack Obama administration, believes
it may be possible to “make a case for the Chinese to come to the table
early on intermediate-range constraints of ground-launched missiles,
because they are staring at the possibility of a deployment of very
capable U.S. missiles of this kind” (
Apparently, the United States had counted on Russia’s support in such
matters, especially as the Russian leadership said more than once that
the New START, signed in 2010, was to become the last bilateral nuclear
arms reduction treaty and time was ripe for other nuclear states to join
the nuclear disarmament process. However, in late 2019 Russia made a
U-turn in its stance on China’s participation in negotiations. Speaking
at a conference entitled “Foreign Policy Priorities of the Russian
Federation in Arms Control and Nonproliferation in the Context of
Changes in the Global Security Architecture,” held on November 8, 2019
in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia
respected China’s position concerning its refusal to participate in the
talks. Moreover, he stated that declaring China’s consent to participate
in the negotiating process as a precondition looked “openly
provocative.” Thus Russia made it clear that it had no intention of
putting pressure on China regarding the issue, but at the same time it
would have nothing against the Chinese leadership eventually making a
decision to join the United States and Russia in nuclear disarmament
talks. Russia is unlikely to alter its position even under pressure from
the United States, which has long harbored plans for using the
prolongation of the New START as a factor for getting China involved in
the talks in some way, or even securing its consent to become a
signatory to the treaty. Specifically, the U.S. president’s National
Security Advisor Robert O’Brian made an unequivocal statement on that
score (Riechmann, 2020).
Also, in May 2020, the United States came up with an ultimatum
that it would not extend the New START until China agreed to participate
in it. Moreover, the newly appointed special U.S. presidential
representative for arms control, Marshall Billingslea, actually demanded
that Russia “bring the Chinese to the negotiating table.
The United States may exert (or is already exerting) pressure on China
“indirectly,” for example by using such levers as the U.S.-Chinese trade
war and China’s alleged “responsibility” for the spread of the
coronavirus (which the United States regards as proven). Such pressures
may be largely exerted covertly.
Some military and political experts believe that it is worth exploring
compromise options of China’s participation in nuclear arms control.
Such options may accommodate the interests of all partakers and match
the specific structure and quantitative parameters of weapons subject to
control. Establishing transparency in the given sphere would be one of
the “simple” ways of involving China in the strategic dialogue. In other
words, such transparency would imply mutual disclosure of information
about the number of missiles and deployed warheads, their basic
parameters, including range, and also specific locations and deployment
sites (Tosaki, 2019). It must be noted that this seemingly “least
painful” and easy-to-accomplish solution for making China join the
international arms control dialogue is in fact least acceptable to it.
The long list of other proposals includes various options of a “mixed”
approach to the control of missile systems. For instance, reaching an
agreement on a common ceiling for intermediate-range ground-based and
air-launched missiles or a similar restriction on any strategic missiles
regardless of the type of deployment (ground, sea, or air launched), as
well as the intermediate-range missiles of three nuclear powers―China,
the United States, and Russia. The proponents of this approach believe
that this may provide an approximately equitable basis for talks among
the aforesaid states (Zhao, 2020).
of the aforementioned recommendations―and a number of other ideas―for
plugging China into bilateral or multilateral nuclear arms control talks
are based on the past experience of negotiations on the issue. In the
meantime, the specifics of China’s nuclear policy are left unnoticed or
intentionally ignored. It is generally believed that inviting China to
participate in negotiations is tantamount to official recognition of its
status as a great power responsible, like the United States and Russia,
not only for its own security but also for global security. This
recognition is often considered a reason enough to expect China to
consent to participate in such negotiations and the main problem is seen
in the formulation of concrete proposals for discussion. In the
meantime, such an approach looks erroneous.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF CHINA’S NUCLEAR POLICY
China’s policy concerning nuclear arms and their role in maintaining
national security has remained unchanged for more than 55 years,
starting from its accession to the “nuclear club” in 1964. Central to
that policy is China’s pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons
or threaten to use them against non-nuclear countries and countries in
nuclear free zones. It is believed that Mao Zedong made that decision
personally in 1964 (Fravel, 2019).
In accordance with this pledge, China, as it reiterates, maintains its
nuclear deterrence weapons at a required minimum by declaring its
readiness for retaliation against an aggressor in the event of a
hypothetical nuclear attack. China vows it does not participate in a
nuclear arms race against any country. These provisions have remained
unchanged for many years and can be found in many Chinese fundamental
military and strategic planning documents, available from open sources
(The State Council, 2019), and are repeatedly quoted by the Chinese mass
media (Xinhuaneet.com., 2019).
In contrast to the classical nuclear deterrence formula China does not
demonstrate its retaliatory strike capabilities; on the contrary, it
conceals them for various reasons. Enhancing the survivability of
retaliatory strike systems is one. Such “existential” means of
deterrence enables the country possessing a relatively small nuclear
potential to keep a potential aggressor in a state of strategic
uncertainty as it cannot be certain that its first strike would “disarm”
the defending opponent by eliminating all of its nuclear weapons with a
surprise counterforce strike.
confirm its adherence to the no-fist use principle, China declares that
it limits its nuclear potential to the “minimum” defense requirements,
while all upgrade programs are geared mostly to ensuring the
survivability and reliability of
retaliatory strike systems. China’s nuclear forces have become more
due to the creation and deployment of mobile ICBMs, and
measures to shelter a considerable part of its nuclear potential,
including mobile ICBMs and shorter-range
missiles in a network of underground tunnels―the Underground Great Wall
of China. Also, other means of hiding nuclear weapons are used, such as
mock ICBM silos and shelters for nuclear submarines inside coastal
the information about the condition, development prospects and size of
China’s nuclear potential remains scarce, its nuclear policy issues are
in the focus of attention of many specialists and think tanks in the
United States and other countries. Most of them (but far from all)
believe that China’s declared policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons
and estimates of its nuclear potential (around
300 warheads) agree with reality (Pifer, 2019). But other
researchers maintain that under certain circumstances China may revise
its attitude to the no-first-use principle and abandon the minimum
deterrence concept in favor of gaining opportunities for conducting
limited nuclear war. Such conclusions are made on the basis of data
showing the growth of qualitative parameters of China’s nuclear
forces―greater accuracy of nuclear warheads, the deployment of MIRVs on
ICBMs, forecasts for a considerable increase in the overall number of
nuclear weapons at the country’s disposal, etc. (Giacomdetti, 2014;
Yoshihara and Bianchi, 2019; Schneider, 2019).
It should be acknowledged that the lack of official information about the
condition and development prospects of China’s nuclear arsenal and
implementation of programs in the strategic field (creation of a heavy
ICBM, research and development of a missile attack warning system,
deployment of a missile defense, and others) afford ground for a variety
of speculations over China’s compliance with the professed principles
regarding nuclear weapons. In the meantime, this by no means contradicts
the fundamental principle of China’s nuclear policy―no-first-use of
nuclear weapons―which will remain unchanged in the foreseeable future.
Even if one assumes that China does participate in the nuclear arms race
(which is also a subject of speculations), it is by no means its
Certain changes are possible, though. China may acquire real
capabilities for a limited response to a limited nuclear attack. In
other words, the country’s military-political leadership, empowered to
make a decision to use nuclear weapons, will acquire extra opportunities
and options for retaliation other than a massive nuclear strike against
the enemy’s major unprotected targets, such as cities and industrial
centers. At the same time there is no reason to say that the improvement
of parameters of China’s strategic nuclear forces increases the risk of
a first counterforce strike against a would-be aggressor just because
the nuclear potentials of China and the two leading nuclear powers are
incomparable. In this case size does matter.
EFFECTS OF ARMS CONTROL ON CHINA’S NUCLEAR STRATEGY AND POLICY
Should China agree to participate in negotiations or draft an agreement
on control of its nuclear weapons, its nuclear strategy and policy will
most likely undergo the most serious changes. And these changes, in the
author’s opinion, may be far from positive. They will result not from
possible restrictions imposed on China’s nuclear forces or
disadvantageous terms of a future treaty forced upon China, but the very
fact of concluding such an international treaty.
A close look at Soviet-U.S. and Russian-U.S. nuclear arms control
agreements reveals how the parties’ approaches to solving the problems
of national security and strengthening strategic stability have been
changing. At early stages the two sides managed to come to terms
regarding the overall number of ground-based launchers of strategic
ballistic missiles, SLBM capable submarines and SLBM launchers. Later,
the class of strategic weapons was expanded to incorporate
heavy bombers armed with long-range cruise missiles and gravity
nuclear bombs. Some types of nuclear weapons, for instance, strategic
air-launched ballistic missiles were banned. Next, there followed
restrictions on nuclear warheads deployed on delivery vehicles and then
their reductions. A total ban was applied to ground-based intermediate-
and shorter-range cruise missiles. An attempt was made to outlaw ICBMs
with multiple warheads. Each clause of the concluded treaties was
scrutinized by the expert community and drew worldwide interest.
In addition, efforts were made to develop a mechanism to verify compliance
with the assumed commitments. The first Soviet-U.S. agreements SALT-1
(1972) and SALT-2 (1979) assigned the control function to “national
technical means of verification”―intelligence
satellites. The contracting parties pledged to refrain from creating
impediments to their operation. Also, the signatories
undertook“ not to use deliberate concealment measures which impede verification by
national technical means of compliance.” In the next agreements―the INF
Treaty (of 1987) and, particularly, START-1 (1991) ― a comprehensive
system of control and verification was developed and adopted.
It envisaged exchanges of data (including the
geographical coordinates of each ICBM silo) and various notifications
and on-site inspections, which made it totally impossible to conceal
even the slightest violations of these agreements. This system of
verification functions within the framework of the still effective
Russian-U.S. New START, concluded in 2010.
It is hard to imagine a hypothetical agreement with China not including
compliance verification procedures. And it is very unlikely that the
system of verification in such an agreement will be “soft,” as was the
case with the one established under the earlier SALT-1 and SALT-2
treaties. On the contrary, as follows from statements by U.S. officials,
the United States is determined to pay the closest attention to the
verification and control of compliance with all future agreements. U.S.
Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International
Security Christopher Ford has made an explicit statement on this score.
Even if such an agreement does not impose any obligations on China,
requiring reduction of its nuclear potential, Beijing will be expected
to provide exhaustive information about its nuclear weapons and
deployment sites. Also, China will have to give up measures to conceal
its nuclear forces, change the locations of mobile missile systems and
allow foreign inspectors to visit classified facilities (including the
Underground Great Wall of China) in order to confirm that the provided
information is correct and proper action has been taken under assumed
commitments. Besides, China will have to notify other signatories of the
commissioning of new nuclear weapons and withdrawal from operational
duty or elimination of older systems, the redeployment of weapons, etc.
All these measures will make it possible to keep under full control
China’s nuclear potential and nuclear arms delivery vehicles.
These measures, understandable from the standpoint of an arms control
treaty, may have truly disastrous effects on China’s entire official
nuclear policy. Information disclosure and control measures would make
China’s nuclear arsenal totally vulnerable to a first
nuclear strike and partially – to a non-nuclear strike. A potential aggressor,
possessing a considerable advantage in nuclear weapons and full
information about the deployment sites, will have a guaranteed
capability to destroy the adversary’s entire nuclear potential.
Theoretically, it would spend far more nuclear weapons than the victim
of the aggression (in this particular case, China) would lose, but still
retain an enormous attack potential. In a situation like this, there
will be no weapons available to deliver a retaliatory strike. All this
will mean that China’s declared no-first-use policy will lose
credibility. In other words, it will turn into a propaganda slogan, with
no real resources to rely on to implement this policy in practice.
Apparently, it is precisely these considerations that are behind China’s
refusal to participate in nuclear arms control talks, and they will
remain in place at least until the strategic situation in this field
undergoes fundamental change. One of the most important conditions for
China to enter into such negotiations (it says so openly) is further
reduction of nuclear arsenals by Russia and the United States to levels
comparable with China’s potential. As it has been already stated, this
condition, described as a political one, has fundamental strategic,
military and technical grounds.
LIKELY CONSEQUENCES OF CHINA’S PARTICIPATION IN A NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL TREATY
As has been said above, China’s consent to enter into nuclear arms
control negotiations and conclusion of a corresponding agreement will be
unlikely in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, it is worth pondering
on what decisions in the military and political field the Chinese
leadership may adopt if it has to give in to U.S. pressure. One of the
most important decisions is, to my mind, the possibility of China
remaining committed to the no-first-use principle.
Currently, this principle is ensured not so much by the quantitative
parameters of China’s nuclear arsenal, but
as its stealthy deployment, concealment measures, and refusal to provide
relevant information. In order to retain a retaliatory strike potential
in a situation where the information about the deployment sites of
China’s nuclear forces has been disclosed while the amount of nuclear
arms available remains considerably inferior to those of the “partner”
or “partners,” China will have to exert major efforts to ensure the
invulnerability of at least some of them. Doing this will be impossible
without a major buildup of the nuclear potential, above all, of the
least vulnerable strategic systems (mobile ICBMs and
SLBMs). All of this will require
considerable expenses and time. Even if the work on a new treaty takes
two or three, or even five years, one can hardly expect any considerable
changes in the quantitative and qualitative structure of China’s nuclear
forces by the moment this work is finalized.
The problem of strategic nuclear forces’ vulnerability may theoretically
be resolved (at least to a certain extent) by developing and deploying missile defenses around deployment
sites. But this would entail heavy spending, too. Also, such a program
can hardly be implemented within tight deadlines. The problem of greater
vulnerability of China’s strategic nuclear forces can also be resolved
by adopting the “launch-under-attack” concept or “launch on warning”
concept. Their adoption might be considered, although with great
reservations, to conform to the no-first-use principle, but in this case
it will be essential to build a warning
system based on early warning satellites and radars. However, still
there will be no guarantees that such a system will be able to issue a
timely notification to the military and political leadership of a
missile attack against China, if such a strike is carried out with U.S.
SLBMs having short flight-in time and
counterforce capability. Under such a scenario China’s strategic forces
will have to remain on high alert all the time. This means that China
will be forced to give up keeping missile warheads in store separately
and to deploy them on strategic delivery vehicles, thus demonstrating
its readiness for instant retaliation in case of an attack warning.
The above arguments prompt the conclusion that China, if it agrees to
the drafting and signing a nuclear arms
control treaty, will certainly have to
depart from the principle of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, with all
the ensuing negative consequences. This may also trigger an enhanced
arms race and induce China to adopt more aggressive nuclear arms
It is nakedly clear that China finds it far easier to refuse to hold
nuclear arms control talks than address the adverse military and
strategic effects its participation in such an international agreement
is bound to entail. In this situation the United States should give more
thought to its policy of engaging China in nuclear arms control talks
and focus on Russian-U.S. strategic relations, including the
prolongation of the New START without any linkages and preconditions.
As far as Russia is concerned, its current policy of avoiding pressure
on China to make it engage in nuclear arms talks looks reasonable. From
the political standpoint ―alongside with other
considerations―a trilateral agreement would mean that Russia officially
regards China, albeit formally, as a “partner” (if not a “potential
adversary”), just as the United States, and that strategic relations
among such parties are based on the concept of nuclear deterrence, the
balance of nuclear forces, and their capabilities to deliver first and
retaliatory strikes. Incidentally, China’s participation would have the
same implications for Russia. Lending this dimension to bilateral
relations hardly meets the interests of the two countries.
Alexander G. Savelyev,
Dr. of Political Science Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Moscow,
Russia Center of International Security Chief Research Fellow
Beijing explains its firm unwillingness to join the United States and
Russia in nuclear arms control talks by the fact that China’s nuclear
arsenal is incomparable with respective potentials of the world’s two
leading nuclear powers. China urges Russia and the U.S. to go ahead with
the nuclear disarmament process on a bilateral basis, and promises it
will be prepared to consider the possibility of its participation in the
negotiations only when its counterparts have downgraded their arsenals
approximately to China’s level. Washington finds this totally
unacceptable and demands that China either join the existing Russian-U.S.
strategic New START treaty right away or agree to enter into a
trilateral nuclear arms control format. This article studies the
prospects of China’s involvement in nuclear arms talks and analyzes the
true reasons behind Beijing’s desire to avoid any nuclear disarmament
deals at this point. The working hypothesis of this paper is that
China’s stance on the above issue is by no means far-fetched or
propagandistic, and that it is driven by fundamental political, military
and strategic considerations. Disregard for this factor and further
forceful efforts to bring China to the negotiating table to discuss
nuclear arms control will lead to failure.
Keywords:China, the United States, New START, Russia, nuclear arms control,
China’s nuclear doctrine, nuclear disarmament, no-first-use principle.
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Committee X, cover Science and Technology, Environment and National
Development Planning (1988-1997). Currently as Obsever of Nuclear for peace.
Sooyoung Hu Attached to the US-based Berkeley University,
Sooyoung Hu is a scholar at its Political Science and Peace and Conflict
Studies Department. Miss Hu focuses on international relations, international
organizations and its instruments.
Senahid LAVIĆ Nizar Visram Nizar
Visramis a Ottawa-based free-lance writer from Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Recently retired Senior lecturer on Development studies, he extensively
publishes in over 50 countries on 4 continents. He can be reached at
Robert Leonard Rope
He studied at the University of
Michigan, He lives in: San Francisco, California: San Francisco, California, USA
Dr. Enis OMEROVIĆ
Max Hess Max Hess is a senior political risk analyst
with the London-based AEK international, specializing in Europe and Eurasia.
Ananya Bordoloi is a Malaysia based researcher in the fields
of international relations, global governance and human rights. Author has
previously worked with Amnesty International in research and data collection
capacity, and for a publishing company as a pre-editor.
Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and
ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to
understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since
1981. He is the author of ‘Why
Violence?’His email address is email@example.com
his website is here.
Amel Ouchenane is
a member of the organization of Security and Strategic studies in Algeria. She
is also Research Assistant at the Idrak Research Center for Studies and
Consultations. Ms. Ouchenane was researcher at Algiers University from 2011 to 2018.
(Department of International relations and African studies).
Dr. Nafees Ahmad Ph. D., LL.M, Faculty of Legal Studies, South Asian University
(SAARC)-New Delhi, Nafees Ahmad is an Indian national who holds a Doctorate
(Ph.D.) in International Refugee Law and Human Rights. Author teaches and writes
on International Forced Migrations, Climate Change Refugees & Human Displacement
Refugee, Policy, Asylum, Durable Solutions and Extradition issues.
Sinta Stepani International relations specialists
based in São Paulo, Brazil.
Professor of the World History
at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations. He is
also senior anlaysit at the Geneva
International Peace Research Institute (GIPRI)
Juan Martin González Cabañas Juan Martin González Cabañasis a senior researcher and analyst at the Dossier Geopolitico
Dr. Andrew Sheng is
distinguished fellow of the Asia Global Institute at the
University of Hong Kong and a member of the UNEP Advisory Council on
Sustainable Finance. Srdja Trifkovic, Ph.D.,
is foreign affairs editor for Chronicles: A Magazine of American
Culture. He is a professor of international relations at the University of Banja
Luka in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the author of several books. Earlier version of
this text appeared in the Chronicles, under the title: “Greta the Swede, or
Gretinizing the Global Media” Wan T. Lee He is a Hong Kong based scholar and researcher.
Julia Suryakusuma The writer is the author of Julia’s Jihad Early version published by Jakarta Post under the title:
Cover men's eyes, not women's hair!
Responding to new challenges: OIC in the international Arena
Responding to new challenges: OIC in the international Arena ● Itai BRUN
- Deputy Director of INSS,
Research and Analysis VP ● Yael GAT
- Research Assist. to Deputy Director for Research and Analysis at INSS Bich T Tran is a PhD candidate at the University of Antwerp
and a Researcher at the Global Affairs Research Center, Ryukoku
University. Anastasiia Pachina,
Sociologist – Charles University, Prague. She is a Program manager – with
the Culture for Peace Action Platform, and a marketing researcher in IPSOS
CZ. Chloé Bernadaux
is an International Security specialist (Sciences Po Paris),
prolifically writing on the neighbourhood policy, Euro-MED
relations, and disarmament affairs. She is the IFIMES newly
appointed representative in Paris (UNESCO). Dr.Antonia Colibasanu
Geopolitical Futures’ Chief Operating Officer. She is responsible for
overseeing all departments and marketing operations for the company. Dr. Colibasanu joined Geopolitical Futures as a senior analyst in 2016 and
frequently speaks on international economics and security topics in Europe.