On the 11th of December 2016 a key WTO provision on China’s accession expired, leaving open whether other countries will regard China as a ‘market economy’ in considering whether to impose anti-dumping measures on its imports. Park this for a moment as its implications will emerge more clearly after reviewing prospects in US-Russian relations based on US President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy and national security appointments.
South Africa’s notice to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has once again raised questions about the ethics of its foreign policy.
Responses to the move have highlighted inconsistencies and contradictions in what has been perceived as the country’s ethical foreign policy.
What do we mean by “ethical foreign policy”? The concept is highly contested. But it can generally be understood as governments taking on an enlightened view of their self-interest by committing to alleviate human suffering and to advance international co-operation. This solidarity is seen in policies related to foreign aid, refugee programs, global human rights and health promotion as well as poverty alleviation initiatives.
By and large Fidel Castro produced a revolution that led to many revolutionaries across Latin America and Africa. The el commandant played a huge role in liberating Southern Africa from the forces of apartheid. As soon as Cuba was free from the dictatorship of Batista following a successful revolution of 1959, it opened its doors to freedom fighters from Latin America and Africa to receive guerilla training and assistance to further their path to liberation (Jacob Zuma Interviewed on SABC News, 26 November 2016).
Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega has won his fourth presidential term overall and his third successive term since his return in 2006. The prominent leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front known by its Spanish acronym, FLNS, won to the chagrin of Washington, which immediately said it was "deeply concerned" about this electoral outcome. It cited the fact that Nicaragua had not invited international observers, which the US did not also do for its presidential elections a week later. The real gripe is that Ortega pursues a socialist option for development in this very impoverished country, he speaks out against US policy in Latin America.
The mini-storm in a tea cup over the telephone exchange of pleasantries between US President-Elect Donald Trump and Taiwan’s pro-independence party head of its government, TsaiIng-wen, is worth trying to unpack. This is not so much for this episode itself in terms of what it may portend for U.S.-China relations under the incoming new administration as much as may tell us about Beijing’s ‘One China’ conundrum. This pertains not just to Taiwan but to Hong Kong and Tibet as well. It may also carry wider implications for other BRICS countries and emerging powers on integrationist ‘national questions’ and those pertaining to regional integration.