China wants to cut Australian iron ore imports
China has asked its companies to diversify iron ore supply to cut down on Australian imports. Chinese firms have been asked by the their regime to boost domestic exploration, widen their import sources and explore possibility of stakes buying in other overseas ore resources. However, no direct restrictions have been put in place by Beijing so far. The move appears part of China’s threats to Australia as for the Aussies iron ore is the biggest export earner. Yet, analysts are almost certain that the Australian iron ore could face various forms of restrictions, delays or increased administrative burdens from China. But experts feel CCP won’t widen the restrictions as prices are at record high and China is dependent on Australian supply for two-third of its imports. China is widening trade war.
Mysterious airbase on the Mayun island
A mysterious airbase is being constructed on the Mayun island located in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Although no country has claimed the base, the Yemeni government suspects UAE’s ownership. However, Saudi Arabia-led coalition has confirmed its military presence on the island and ruled out suspicion over the UAE. Mayun is located in the 20 km narrow opening where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Aden. It thus gives Saudi major influence over the two water bodies and also the Suez Canal, which sees 10% of global trade. Also, it gives them an outpost to attack Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis if needed. But recently, both Saudi and Iran have expressed their backing for ceasefire in Yemen.
Bashar al-Assad reelected Syrian President
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad got reelected as president. It will be his fourth term in a row. Russia-backed Assad’s survival throughout the Syrian civil war and this victory highlights the vast influence that Russia maintains over the region. The election saw 78% turnout. Besides, the war is at its end, it may thus pave the way for return of normalcy to Syria. Many European nations would welcome normalcy in Syria as they will then be able to send the Syrian refugees back to their homeland. Recently, Denmark has began planning to send back Syrians who are residents of Damascus. Denmark says the conditions in Syrian capital are now fit for return. However, such considerations have started heating the political arguments in the EU.