Pacific Islanders summit ends in furor over coal

China has moved swiftly to capitalize on divisions in the Pacific over climate change at an acrimonious summit in Tuvalu, offering a regional “step up” initiative to counter cash handouts by Australia and New Zealand. Note: China has the highest carbon emissions of any country in absolute terms, along with the United States, but was oddly not singled out for any criticism in Tuvalu.

Consider: The eleven Pacific Island countries have a combined population of about 2.3 million people, scattered across an area equivalent to 15% of the globe’s surface. China can swallow up the entire Pacific Island population and have the biggest back yard on the planet.

The Increasing Security Focus in China’s Arctic Policy

There are concerns about China’s Arctic strategy internationally, and it is often perceived alongside Russian militarization of the Arctic as a dual threat to the established international order. In a recent report, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) names China as a threat to American interests in the Arctic, labeling it—together with Russia— a challenge “to the rules-based international order around the globe [causing] concern of similar infringement to the continued peaceful stability of the Arctic region”, drawing parallels to Chinese conduct in the South China Sea (SCS) and East China Sea (ECS).

China will soon start building a 30,000-tonne nuclear-powered ship described in the tender documents as an “experimental platform”. This follows the approach that the former Soviet Union took in its development of nuclear aircraft carriers. The Soviets had built five nuclear icebreakers before cutting steel in 1988 for their first nuclear carrier Ulyanovsk, which was never completed.

The dark side of the Caribbean

The Spanish daily El País and the Central American Internet journalism project El Faro have teamed up for a large-scale multi-part report on Mexico’s southernmost frontier, “the Latin American dividing line that is crossed by most people on a daily basis, as one of the most-crossed borders of the world.”

The coastal area shared by Mexico, Guatemala and Belize is one of the most porous and little-known regions in the southern America border. Via three feature articles – in Xcalak, a remote Mexican village that lives off the cocaine that washes up from the sea; in Blue Creek, the powerful economic engine of the Mennonites; and in Puerto Barrios, the dark Guatemalan port in the Atlantic – this special report describes the enigmatic reality that exists just a stone’s throw from some of the biggest tourist attractions in the world.