The World in 13-19 of July 2020

Clashes in the Caucasus

Renewed tensions in the Caucasus region led to clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, resulting in 20 deaths. The clashes took place around 300 km north of the contested region of Nargono-Karabakh, with protests in Baku calling for a return to war and mutual accusations over who restarted the conflict.

This region has historically been marked by conflict between both states, dating back to the division of the former USSR, which Azerbaijan and Armenia used to be member republics. Both states claim differing visions of its territorial borders, particularly the autonomous region of Nargorno-Karabakh, which in 1992 declared its independence, leading to massacres of genocidal characteristics within the region at the hands of ethnically Armenian forces over the Azeri population, resulting in an intervention by Azerbaijan and a transnational inter-ethnic conflict. Several cease-fires and attempts at reaching a consensus have shown limited effectiveness, and an inability to reach a definitive resolution.

The reemergence of this conflict has made itself noticed in a phase in which Azerbaijan, a country that is particularly dependent on oil exports, has suffered in the last few months due to low commodity prices. The Turkish defense ministry has already stated its availability to support Azerbaijan, whereas despite the Armenian defense ministry stating that the situation is under control, the Armenian ambassador to Moscow said he hoped Russia would utilize its influence to deescalate the crisis.

China once again

As a response to Chinese patrols flying over the East China Sea, Japan is now scrambling fighter jets against Chinese military aircraft flying from Fujian province. This is part of the row over the contested Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, which is a long standing point of contention between both powers.

Additionally, the USA has stated that there’s room for additional sanctions following Beijing’s stance on the South China sea, where it claims 90% of the maritime territory, with secretary Mike Pompeo stating that its claims constitute a violation of international law.

These developments follow Trump’s declaring of the end of Hong Kong’s special trade status, in light of the enactment of the new national security law by Beijing.

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