As we reflect on the events of February and March, it becomes apparent that global cooperation is crucial during times of crisis. February has shown us the interconnectedness of our world and the impact that one event can have on the international stage. From devastating earthquakes in the Middle East to political tensions and agreements, the implications of several events that took place this month have far-reaching consequences.

In this edition of Diplomatic Insight, we delve into the significance of these events and their potential effects on the global community. In early February, the Middle East was struck by two devastating earthquakes that resulted in significant loss of life and widespread destruction. The impact was particularly severe in Turkey and Syria, where nearly 50,000 people died.

The damage caused by the earthquakes was felt beyond these countries, affecting neighboring areas and causing concern among the international community. In response to the disaster, rescue teams from 100 nations and 16 international organizations have come together to provide relief efforts.

The political divisions and sanctions have made it difficult to provide aid to those affected, thereby underscoring the vulnerability of the global community to non-traditional security threats and unexpected disasters. The devastation caused by the earthquakes is a stark reminder of the importance of global cooperation in addressing such crises and the need for more effective ways of dealing with non-traditional security threats.

It highlights the critical role international organizations play in facilitating cooperation among nations and responding to crises that transcend national boundaries.

China’s recent “Two Sessions” meetings were concluded in March and focused on addressing the challenges identified at the 20th Party Congress and reviving the economy following the impact of Covid-19.

Economic stability and national security were the top priorities for the country. The National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) confirmed a new State Council leadership team, and the government has set a GDP growth target of about five percent for 2023.

Read More The Diplomatic Insight January 2023

The leadership team is committed to executing the plans set at the 20th Party Congress, including delivering technological self-sufficiency and tackling financial risks.  The meetings also promised measures to lift domestic demand, a modest rise in government spending, targeted tax breaks for small businesses, and a more proactive fiscal policy.

The focus on economic stability and support for the private economy was reinforced by the incoming Premier Li Qiang, who sought to reinforce entrepreneurial confidence. The meetings also renewed commitments to multinational companies and overseas investors, assuring them that reform and opening-up would continue. However, the defining feature of the meetings was the further consolidation of the Party and state.

The policy directions had already been set in stone at the 20th Party Congress last October. Multinational companies operating in China will need to pay close attention to developments in the coming year to identify opportunities and emerging risks.

China has achieved a significant diplomatic victory with the unexpected reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which were engaged in a bitter proxy war in the Middle East for several years. Beijing acted as a mediator in the rapprochement, resulting in both countries agreeing to re-establish diplomatic relations and ease tensions.

This agreement underscores China’s growing influence in one of the world’s most volatile regions and highlights the shifting global order, with China playing an increasingly prominent role on the world stage.

The timing of the détente is noteworthy, given the escalating rivalry between the United States and China, which risks pushing the world toward a new Cold War. Some analysts suggest that the agreement signed in Beijing last week represents a sign of declining US influence in the region.

While the deal may not resolve the deep-seated rivalry between the two regional powers, it has the potential to reduce discord and pave the way for a peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region.

The Diplomatic Insight Magazine for February-March 2023 has now been published. Read and share your views with us. Reach out to our team at info@thediplomaticinsight.com