Indo-Pacific Geopolitics Newsletter 05/01/2023 | Foreign Brief


RADAR SWEEP Geopolitics Newsletter April 25 – May 1, 2023 US President Joe Biden Announces His Reelection Campaign U.S. President

Geopolitics Newsletter April 25 – May 1, 2023

US President Joe Biden Announces His Reelection Campaign

U.S. President Joe Biden announced [EXTERNAL] his bid for reelection to the presidency in 2024 on April 25. The video announcement focused on Biden’s message of national unity, portraying himself as a unifying force supporting classic American values and Republicans as extremists who wish to curtail American freedoms.  No other Democrats have declared election campaigns, leaving the incumbent President Biden the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.  He will likely face off against Donald Trump, who has already announced his bid for reelection in 2024.

Biden’s announcement comes as the American public braces for the 2024 election season.  In the months leading up to his announcement, many questioned whether the current president should run, citing his age and low popularity, as factors weighing against him. Biden has leaned into his position as incumbent and his history of victory against Donald Trump in 2020 as justification for his reelection. However, both Biden and Trump are highly unpopular [EXTERNAL] with the American electorate.

The 2024 race is too distant to predict a winner. However, current political trends and incumbency slightly favor Biden to win. If Donald Trump secures the Republican nomination as expected, the 2024 race is certain to be incredibly partisan and heated. Expect Biden to play up his achievements in passing legislation and to paint Trump and the Republicans as extremists out of touch with American society.  Trump, meanwhile, is likely to focus on Biden’s age and policy failures, such as the Afghanistan withdrawal and immigration at the southern border.

Biden reelection

US President Biden announced his reelection bid last week | Photo: Jim Watson / AFP

Indo-Pacific Geopolitics

India hosted SCO defense ministers meeting – Apr. 27

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s defense ministers meeting in New Delhi. The meeting centered around addressing shared terrorism threats in the region. This has become particularly salient in recent months as fears of destabilization in Afghanistan threaten an increase in terrorism. Read more

Nepali PM toured India – Apr. 28

Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahalbegan a three-day diplomatic tour of India from April 28-May 1. The prime minister met with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to discuss infrastructure development projects. Read more

Bangladeshi PM concluded Japan visit – Apr. 28

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed concluded a diplomatic visit to Japan on April 28. She met with her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida to discuss increasing FDI and upgrading their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership. Japan is currently competing with China to increase investment in Bangladesh following a drop in investment from the U.S. Read more

Guatemalan president visited Taiwan – Apr. 27

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei concluded a four-day visit to Taiwan to promote Taiwanese sovereignty and bilateral relations. These visits are critical to reaffirm Taiwan’s international support as some of Guatemala’s Latin American neighbors switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. Read more

Finance, Economic and Technology

Russian Business Delegation arrived in India – Apr. 24

A delegation of Russian business leaders visited India to consider expanding ties between both countries’ agricultural sector. The visit comes amid talks for a free trade agreement between India and Russia, a potential reason for why India has not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Read more

European Parliament voted on AI regulation – Apr. 25

The European Parliament held a vote on April 25th to regulate artificial intelligence within the single market. It follows Italy’s decision to ban ChatGPT for data privacy concerns and its lack of age restriction controls. The EU’s decision to regulate AI will likely encourage other states to follow suit as a means of maintaining access to the single market. Read more

Bank of Japan held a policy-setting meeting – Apr. 27

Japan began its policy-setting meeting to address inflation and the weakening of the Japanese yen. Kazuo Ueda, the newly-elected governor of the Bank of Japan, is expected to maintain a looser monetary policy to encourage spending. Read more

Politics and Society

North Korea celebrated its army’s founding – Apr. 25

North Korea celebrated the 91st anniversary of its People’s Revolutionary Army. In a show of military might, North Korea planned to conduct a missile test.  Read more

China expanded espionage laws – Apr. 25

China’s National People’s Congress widened its espionage laws to cover all data and materials related to national security and national interest, without specifying precise definitions for those categories. The laws give the Communist Party of China a powerful new tool to crack down on dissent and could have a chilling effect on Chinese discourse in the country and abroad. Read more

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visited Japan – Apr. 24

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visited Japan as part of a multi-leg diplomatic tour, with other stops in South Korea, Britain and Israel. DeSantis met with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida to discuss bilateral economic ties between Japan and Florida. It was also an opportunity for DeSantis, a potential Republican contender for US President in 2024, to develop personal ties to international leaders. Read more

The Week Ahead

UN meeting on Afghanistan held – May 2

The UN has convened a meeting on Afghanistan to be held on May 2. The meeting is focused on building member consensus on how to deal with the challenges and instability in Afghanistan. It explicitly will not address whether to offer diplomatic recognition to the Taliban government. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Brussel hosted EU-Azerbaijan energy dialogue – May 2

EU Commissioner Kadri Simon will host a dialogue with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov. They will discuss Azerbaijan gas shipments to the EU, part of the union’s larger plan to diversify energy away from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Read more [EXTERNAL]

Pakistani FM to attend SCO meeting in India – May 4

Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in New Delhi on May 4. This will be the first visit to India by a top Pakistani official in nearly a decade. Read more

Contributions by: Wescott Yeaw, Simran Sharma, Kyle Rose, William Van Burkleo and Andrew Alipui


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