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Chilean Moderation, Russian Internet, Iranian Strait, Climate Politics and the Week in Review

Blog / Weekly Review

Chilean Moderation, Russian Internet, Iranian Strait, Climate Politics and the Week in Review

Everything in moderation. Especially Chile. Two of Chile’s main electoral coalitions, the left-leaning Apruebo Dignidad and the center-right and currently governing Chile Vamos, held presidential primary elections. Communist Party member Daniel Jadue was trounced by a relative moderate, Gabriel Boric, while Sebastián Sichel – technically an independent – came out of nowhere to defeat two-time presidential candidate and presumptive frontrunner Joaquín Lavín. Over 3 million people turned out to vote in the primaries – far higher than in 2013 and in 2017.

What it means: We said a few months ago that much of the media freak-out over Chile going off the deep-end was over-wrought. This is not Peru! These results demonstrate that clearly. It is also a very good sign that voter turn-out is high, as low turn-out scared us more than the media narrative about Chile turning to the left. As a reminder: check out LatamPolitik if you want more updates on Latin American geopolitics.

A plethora of internets. ​​Russia’s Roskomnadzor, the federal agency in charge of supervising Russia’s communications and media, held new exercises to experiment with disconnecting Russia’s internet from global networks.

What it means: We’re moving away from a global network that anyone can access anywhere in the world toward separate networks for respective nation-states, even for private companies. 5G, Artificial Intelligence, automation, big data – all the promise of these technologies is getting filtered through Geopolitics 4.0.

Bypassing the Strait of Hormuz. ​​Iran opened a new oil terminal near the port city of Jask in the Gulf of Oman.

What it means: Previously, over 90 percent of Iranian oil exports emanated from a terminal at Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf. That necessitated traversing the narrow Strait of Hormuz (see map here) to reach global markets. Jask is outside of the Strait of Hormuz – still vulnerable to a theoretical U.S. blockade, but much less so. If Iran can bypass the Strait of Hormuz, it can also theoretically block traffic in the strait without damaging its own economic interests. The UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia all export their oil via the Strait of Hormuz, to the tune of 21 percent of global petroleum liquids consumption.

Climate politics. China’s Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Environment and Ecology released new guidelines that require Chinese overseas investments to avoid environmental risks and to focus on building infrastructure projects that are compatible with renewable energy and that account for environmental protection measures.

What it means: This touches on two trends Perch has been harping on for the last year: 1) the increasing politicization of climate change, especially pertaining to global competition over investment and technology, and 2), China’s emphasis on environmental protection as one of the three most serious issues facing China in the future (the others being financial risk and poverty).

Honorable mention

Remember to check out the Perch Perspectives podcast page – Cousin Marko returns for an episode to be released Monday, and in the meantime, our most recent episode featuring Kamran Bokhari is excellent (if we do so say so ourselves). 

Following German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s White House visit, the U.S. and Germany will work together to make sure Russia cannot use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a weapon against Ukraine.

The European Central Bank’s Governing Council will keep ECB interest rates to “at their present or lower levels until it sees inflation reaching two percent,” i.e., for the foreseeable future.

At a meeting to announce Argentina’s new Directive on Military Defense Policy, Argentine President Alberto Fernández said Argentina will move forward with the construction of a naval base at Ushuaia.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will visit China after all for a meeting with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng…as well as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Daimler, the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz, announced that it is preparing to go all-electric by 2030 “where market conditions allow.”

OPEC+ reached a deal to boost oil production by 2 million barrels per day before the end of the year, starting with an additional 400,000 bpd in August.

Pedro Castillo is officially Peru’s new president-elect.

Soldiers from South Africa and Rwanda arrived in Mozambique to fight Islamist insurgents that have taken over northern portions of the country, including strategic towns near a $20 billion Total LNG project that the company has since suspended due to the breakdown of law and order in the area.

Madagascar’s government arrested several individuals it claimed were plotting to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina.