Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity
A day before the QUAD leaders' meeting in Tokyo on May 24th, 2022, India and 12 other countries joined the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) unveiled by US President Joe Biden.
- The framework envisions a free, open and secure Indo-Pacific Region.
- The IPEF seeks to strengthen economic partnership among participating countries with the objective of enhancing sustainability, resilience, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
- President Biden announced that a dozen Indo-Pacific countries that represent 40 percent of the global GDP will join the US in a sweeping economic initiative that has been designed to counter China’s influence in the region.
- The countries include all those falling in the Indo Pacific Region including Indonesia, Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the event and underlined that the foundation of resilient supply chains must be 3Ts - Trust, Transparency and Timeliness.
NATO Summit 2021
The 31st formal meeting of the heads of state and heads of government of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was held in Brussels, Belgium, on 14 June 2021.
Major outcomes of the 2021 Summit
1.NATO Countries’ Communique on China and Russia
- The NATO members issued a communiqué highlighting the “threat” presented by Russia and the “challenges” posed by China.
- “Russia’s aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security," the communiqué read.
- On China, the statement said: “China’s growing influence and international policies can present challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance”. The statement added that the NATO members "will engage China with a view to defending the security interests of the Alliance.”
2.Cyber Attacks and Space Attacks qualify for Collective Defense
- NATO leaders have officially recognized attacks in outer space and cyberspace as qualifying for collective defense.
- This change comes as alliance leaders grow increasingly concerned about China’s and Russia’s aggressive actions in space.
- Previously, the collective defense clause has only applied to traditional military areas of land, sea, and air.
- Outer space attacks primarily refer to interference with NATO country satellites that support military navigation, communication and missile launch detection.
- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 European and North American countries having its headquarters at Brussels, Belgium.
- The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
- A key provision of the treaty, the so-called Article 5, states that if one member of the alliance is attacked in Europe or North America, it is to be considered an attack on all members. That effectively put Western Europe under the "nuclear umbrella" of the US.
- NATO has only once invoked Article 5, on September 12, 2001 following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in the US.
- The current Secretary General of NATO is Jens Stoltenberg – former Prime Minister of Norway.
- The most recent member states to be added to NATO are Montenegro on 5 June 2017 and North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.