Emigration from the Tunisian coast signals the absence of a community project for migratory flows

Migration routes to Europe, which originate from the southern Mediterranean, have seen a progressive shift of the departure bases from Libya to Tunisia. The reasons for this variation are various and are attributable to a greater repression by Libyans on migrants who try to leave their shores, an unpreparedness of the Tunisian authorities to face this new phenomenon that concerns them and, finally, the specifically Tunisian emigration to Italy. The economic situation in Tunisia due to the pandemic is the real emergency to which these latest developments are connected. The decline in activity in the textile sector recorded a percentage which decreased by 17%, while in tourism, which represents one of the main items of income, the contraction was 30%; this led to a significant drop in gross domestic product and an exponential increase in unemployment. Beyond the fact that the decrease in the economy is affecting the whole planet, the need for forms of cooperation with the states of the southern shore of the Mediterranean should be at the heart of a Union project, which, however, does not exist, while the initiative is left to the individual states closest to emergency situations. Yet the investment would give both economic returns, both in terms of security and in terms of politics; in fact, regulation of migratory traffic, as well as offering guarantees on the safety of people, could take away arguments from populist and anti-European formations. These reflections are functional to the phenomenon of emigration for economic reasons, which concerns Tunisia, but it should also be extended to other African countries, just as a preventive strategy. Different is the case of those who flee from wars and famines and end up prey to economic traffickers, who operate from the Libyan coast. The attitude of Western governments, especially the Italian ones, has been directed to the delegation of control of the phenomenon to the Libyan government, which has never guaranteed respect for human rights and, indeed, has clearly violated it also thanks to weapons supplied by the Italy. Awareness of the use of violence to contain the migratory phenomenon puts Italian governments, both the current and the previous one, in a position to at least tolerate Libyan methods, which cannot be shared. On the other hand, this reason, that of Libyan violence, may be one of the causes of the shift of the bases of departure towards the coasts of Tunisia, where the state is not prepared to face the phenomenon. The Italian government has threatened to remove the contributions, there is talk of over six million euros to Tunisia, but it is once again about contingent measures, such as the granting of the contribution, which are divorced from a more complex plan, broad and long-term, for which the European Union is needed as the main protagonist, both from a financial and a political point of view. The Tunisian case also demonstrates that repression alone and as the only method of contrasting illegal immigration is not enough, because the solutions that the human tide can find are always different and always involve new subjects, who, perhaps before were out of context. . This is even more true because the numbers of the migratory phenomenon remain more or less on the same values, whether the departure is from the Libyan coast or from the Tunisian coast. So the room for maneuver to start a containment project based on aid could start from certain data and, perhaps, with investments lower than those given to Turkey to contain the Balkan route, but that would not be an emergency solution but a collaborative project where even the states of departure could use aid for economic development and not for weapons, passed as an instrument of control, they are also, of course, but also a functional military instrument for the current government.

US sends Secretary of Health to Taiwan

Since 1979 the United States has not sent a high-ranking official to Taiwan, with whom it has no official diplomatic relations, but Trump’s decision to send the Secretary of Health to the United States creates a new point of friction in the already difficult relationship with China. . The official American attitude is very cautious with Taiwan, however there are offices of American institutions on the island that formally operate as real diplomatic representations. For now, the will of Washington, which has been a constant in the various successive administrations, even of a different political sign, has been marked by caution so as not to hurt China, with which, however, we wanted to maintain a cordial relationship. The nationalist turn of China and the desire to establish itself as a world power, but above all having as its objective the territorial reunification to exercise its influence in the maritime routes, is forcibly changing the US intentions. Trump’s electoral needs are added to the American program of economic and commercial supremacy, which also led to sanctions against Beijing, at the moment given by the polls. It is important for the tenant of the White House to place Biden in a kind of weak position against China, as a dangerous factor for the USA in case of victory for the Democratic candidate. It is also true that after the Chinese attitude towards Hong Kong, the threats already made towards Taiwan take on particular significance. The United States could not remain inert to a possible Chinese military invasion of the island of Formosa; keeping this reflection in mind, the sending of a high-ranking member of the American government would be part of a preventive diplomatic action: a sort of warning to China and its possible intentions about military actions. Another cause of the American decision, certainly not in contrast with the previous ones, is to underline the attitude of Taiwan and the differences with China regarding the pandemic, so as to imply the mismanagement, and even further, of the spread of the virus. This aspect is functional for Trump to try to push away his mismanagement of the pandemic in the United States, by placing the initial responsibility for the medical crisis on China. Now the bad management of the American president on the spread of the virus is more than a fact regardless of where the virus came from and although there are many doubts about Chinese silences at the beginning of the pandemic. A desire to protect Taiwan is certainly acceptable, both for the maintenance of democratic rights, especially after they are canceled from Hong Kong, and to limit Chinese action in the international field and to preserve the possibility of navigating commercial shipping routes, however it is the timing of this action that is suspect, because it coincides with one of Trump’s moments of greatest difficulty at home: both from the point of internal image and due to electoral difficulties. As for the objection of a possible weakness of Biden towards China, this does not seem possible because the path of relations with China seems to be marked regardless of who the next American president will be and which party he will belong to. Certainly there may be different modalities regarding the relationship with China, but by now the opposition is too high and the interests too conflicting to reach, at least in the medium term, more relaxed relations. On the other hand, the relaxed relations remained such until China has expressed its desire to increase its ambitions as a great power, therefore the possibility of a different attitude on the part of the USA, simply cannot be contemplated. One of the reflections that once again imposes itself on this matter is the confirmation of Trump’s inadequacy to hold the most important political office in the world, because his vision is too limited to American internal interests, without contemplating the indirect benefits of proper management of the diplomacy of the first world power, but not only, in addition to such a limited political vision there is also a clear element of personal interest that seems to be able to be placed in the foreground compared to its own government policy: a bad quality for who is the president of the united states.

The European Union against cyber attacks

In 2019 the European Union has equipped itself with a tool capable of creating retaliation against cyber attacks. Although this tool is far from agile, due to the rule that sanctions must be imposed with the unanimous vote of the 27 members, the desire to protect themselves against cybercrime and cyber attacks turns out to be a relevant political fact. With the displacement of conflicts from conventional to asymmetric and the growth of the potential of espionage, practiced from afar, precisely through the use of IT systems, the single action of individual states is no longer sufficient, especially from the political point of view to counteract sanctions, which, if taken at Community level, have a greater relevance, not only in a punitive sense, but also preventively. The acknowledgment of the growth of cybernetic threats at a supranational level constitutes an important variation on the behavior of European states, accustomed to individually fighting this type of attack. The fact that unanimity has now been reached and therefore a collective diplomatic response has been decided, represents a result that wants to indicate an attitude and a warning to the states that use these practices; even the recipients of the sanctions, which are not secondary countries, since they respond to the name of China, Russia and North Korea. The actions of the hackers that provoked the sanctioning measures were directed against companies belonging to countries of the Union, which suffered huge financial losses, theft of sensitive data of many users and companies, with the consequent request for redemption in cash for the return information, industrial espionage and blocking of electricity supply. The greatest impulse to travel the path of sanctions, however, came from Germany and its Chancellor, spied on by Russia just as she collaborated on a rapprochement between Brussels and Moscow. Recently, a probable Chinese intrusion into the Vatican servers was learned to know in advance the intentions of the Pope’s diplomacy towards Beijing. Obviously, these are only a few cases that flank the various attempts to alter the electoral campaigns in different states, perpetrated with IT means and repeatedly encountered. The need, therefore, for adequate responses to threats has resulted in the unanimity of the countries of the Union: a very rare event with enormous political relevance. The penalties imposed include a series of measures that prevent the travel and residence ban on the territory of the Union, the freezing of assets and the ban on accessing European funds. If in the Chinese and North Korean cases the perpetrators of the attacks were companies, not formally connected with the regimes of origin, the sanctions against Russia related, among others, to the special technologies department of the Russian military intelligence services, known as General Directory of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Probably the fact that Moscow’s direct involvement was discovered caused the strongest reaction from the sanctioned states. The Kremlin, after specifying that the sanctions were not justified, threatened symmetrical responses to the sanctions suffered, according to the rule of Russian diplomacy. In any case, these events point out that it is necessary that the adopted instrument becomes more flexible and ready to elaborate not only diplomatic responses, which are the last phase of the process, but also from the point of view of both defensive and offensive action, intended above all in a preventive sense. The numerous potentialities offered by the cyber war involve a multiplicity of topics, which go beyond the military aspects, but which concern industrial secrets, technological and medical research, the control of aqueducts, power plants and the bureaucracy of each individual country. Every aspect of our life can fall under the cyber threat and in a supranational perspective, the damage suffered by a single country cannot fail to have effects and repercussions on others. So the need for greater agility passes from the reduction of unanimity and greater autonomy of the tool against cyber attacks, but achieving these objectives will not be easy, even if the push dictated by emergencies may favor this direction.

The exploitation affects ten million minors

The exploitation of people worldwide affects over 40 million people, higher than the number of inhabitants of countries such as Canada and Poland or Iraq. It is a phenomenon that, for the most part, remains hidden and feeds the exploitation of child labor or the trafficking of human beings, employed as slaves in various productive sectors, not only in countries without any protection of rights, but also in western democracies. Certainly one of the causes of an increase in this phenomenon is the forced emigration of populations affected by wars, famines and the difficult political situation of the states of origin. These emigrations, which take place without any protection and protection from the rich countries, which often even oppose them in different ways, and from international organizations put people in a position of weakness left to themselves and easy prey to criminal organizations. So on the political, but also health, issue, a legal issue that affects everyone is grafted, because, in addition to promoting the exploitation of people, it promotes the growth of criminal organizations, which easily find a workforce at very low or zero costs. Of the 40 million people who fill the exploitation statistics, it is estimated that those under the age of 18, minors, are around ten million, a percentage, therefore, of 25%. This data makes the relevance of the phenomenon even more serious, especially if we consider that the employment that affects the majority of these minors is connected with sexual exploitation. The pandemic and the consequent lockdown, has created an increase in the demand for erotic content services, with consumption increasing by 30% in some European states; these services, deeply connected with cybercrime, employ more and more minors, with a prevalence of approximately 68% of the total, a figure however firm in 2016 for Europe, of female persons. That the figure of 68% of the total number of under-exploited minors has not been updated for four years represents an eloquent factor also as regards the possibilities and the will to contrast the phenomenon; it should also be remembered that the closure imposed by school institutions, albeit justified, has eliminated a factor of control and social prevention, which has favored the use of minors in employment in undeclared and illegal work. The pandemic has however accentuated an already present phenomenon, which has its bases in those ethnic communities where the financial revenues are based on illegality and which exploit the state of need and the absolute weakness, represented by the fact of being outside the own countries, victims. The aspect of child exploitation, although present also in the nationalities of the Union, logically has an origin connected with immigration, especially illegal immigration and the presence of movements opposed to foreigners, shifts the political attention that would be necessary for the protection of minors also due to the ever-decreasing investments in prevention and control, based on the network that local authorities can provide, which have had their central contributions reduced. Although the case of sexual exploitation is the most regrettable, for the obvious moral implications, the sectors involved are also others and also include commerce, catering and the tertiary sector. It is therefore essential that at European level preventive and repressive laws of the phenomenon are needed, but also a greater coordination of national police forces and, above all, a univocal attitude towards the migratory question, of which this phenomenon is part and is included. Tolerating in Europe, which should be the homeland of law, such violations means discrediting the entire legal system of the old continent. It is not easy to reconcile the different positions on migrants, but, at least, to take a unified position on the violations of childhood and adolescence, even those who come from abroad in a non-legal way, should represent a point on which the unity of views should be guaranteed. The issue also falls in the contrast to organizations that exploit human trafficking before, during and after the arrival of migrants, gaining from illicit proceeds and therefore increasingly strengthening themselves with greater economic revenues. Stricter legislation with higher penalties and prevention with adequate structures capable of intercepting specific cases will also be an investment against domestic and foreign underworld.

USA and China towards the new cold war

So the fate of the world is to live a new cold war, which is likely to last many years. But the analogies with the remote conflict between the US and the USSR are very few, apart from the comparison between a democracy and an undemocratic regime. From the economic point of view between the current Beijing and the Moscow of the years from the second post-war period until the fall of the Berlin wall, there are no similarities. Now China is playing a practically equal role with the USA on the economic scene, and indeed this competition is considered the real cause of the confrontation at a distance. Certainly there are problems related to the increasingly authoritarian turn of Beijing, with the intensification of the repression of Muslims, the increasing denial of civil and humanitarian rights and the struggle with dissent engaged in Hong Kong, carried out, inter alia, with failure to comply with an international treaty. But if the counterpart is represented by Trump and his American supremacy policy, especially in economics, these arguments, although valid and shareable, seem a sort of pretext to tighten the relationship with Beijing. Certainly the Chinese behavior is regrettable, made of provocations, of an increasingly consistent use of industrial espionage, of equivocal behaviors, as in the case of the pandemic that started precisely from the territories of China. Washington has exploited all this context, not acting as the first world power, trying to involve allies on a political level for an effective contrast based on programs and principles, but has given the impression of wanting to protect its economic supremacy for exclusive national advantages . Trump envies the Chinese president for his great autonomy and practically unlimited decision-making capacity and this does not make him the champion of the interests of the western field, also because he favors economic results over political ones, such as respect for rights, just like in Beijing. This is also the reason for the timid attitude of the Europeans towards the current administration of the White House, which, moreover, are geographically distant from the disputes that have most involved countries in the western field, such as Japan, Australia or even India in the against Beijing. On the contrary in the populations of USA and China there is a very disheartening common datum: in both peoples and in a symmetrical way there is an aversion to the other country (66% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion on China, balanced by 62% of Chinese who have the same opinion towards the USA), which represents an element that cannot be taken into consideration and also exploited by the respective administrations. One proof is that Trump’s contender in the upcoming US presidential election, Joe Biden, has already expressed his opposition to Chinese politics; the only hope is that it will shift attention from the economy to broader political issues. However, the contingent problem is that the two economies are strongly interconnected, in fact on both sides there is a need for raw materials and processed products that are produced by the opposing country; Trump adopted the strategy of trade tariffs (also imposed on allies) to reduce the trade balance gap with China, a short-sighted strategy, which did not take into account the United States’ global trade balance and which triggered similar Chinese countermeasures. Proceeding on this path does not suit either of the two contenders, but the military unknowns related to the geopolitical aspects remain, which are in close relationship with the maritime communication routes of goods in the Pacific seas and the confrontation on the growth of armaments. The current situation, albeit with a high level of danger, does not seem to be able to turn into an armed conflict, even if the potential opportunities for clashes are not lacking, but rather to settle on a non-traditional conflict based on the use of technologies to influence the respective opinions public, an increase in espionage and, possibly, the exploitation of low intensity local conflicts. If this may seem a good signal for world peace, but not for everyone, it is also true that it is the best situation to keep up the level of a war that can be defined as cold, with all the risks involved: from the return of the balance of terror and nuclear proliferation, up to heavy global repercussions on the economy, with rising prices and limiting the circulation of products and services and therefore the return of phenomena such as that of inflation. It is not easy to resolve this situation, especially considering the constant lack of rights in the Chinese country and Beijing’s willingness to export its model, a danger from which Europe must absolutely preserve itself.

The decision on Santa Sofia, a sign of difficulty for Erdogan

The decision by Turkish President Erdogan on the Santa Sofia building, although sanctioned by the country’s constitutional bodies, has all the appearance of a means of solving internal problems, rather than preferring foreign policy and inter-confessional dialogue. Meanwhile, the signal is solely in favor of the most extreme part of Turkish radicalism and outlines the direction that Erdogan intends to maintain, both in domestic and foreign policy. The question is fundamental if framed in the real position of Turkey in the western field, both from the military point of view, with reference to the conflictual relationship with the Atlantic Alliance first of all, but also from the political point of view in general, with respect to the interests Westerners. Ankara has suffered the refusal of the European Union to be admitted as a member, but the motivation appears to be increasingly justified and fair by Brussels; Turkey, it should be remembered, was not admitted for the lack of essential requirements regarding respect for rights, but, while complaining about the iniquity of this decision, it did not approach European standards. On the contrary, he began a process of gradual Islamization of political life, which further compressed civil rights and placed the centrality of power on the person of the President. A substantially corrupt country, which suffers from an important economic crisis (which came after a period of development) and where power uses a classic scheme when internal affairs go wrong: to divert public opinion with alternative and foreign policy issues. It is not for nothing that Erdogan focused on fighting the Kurds, also supporting radical Islamic militias, who fought with the Islamic State and aggravating the relationship with the United States, most recently the Libyan adventure placed Turkey in open contrast with the Union European. The question of Saint Sophia seems to fit into this framework and this strategy, however the contrast, at least directly, is not with one or more nations, but with religious authorities that have relevance and importance which should not be underestimated. The open hostility of the Orthodox can have repercussions on relations that are not exactly cordial with Russia, was supplemented by the declaration of Pope Francis, who expressed personal pain. The Vatican had opted for a conduct inspired by caution, pending the pronouncement of the Turkish Constitutional Court and for this reason it had been made the subject of heavy criticism precisely by the Orthodox churches. The Pope’s action was probably postponed until the end to preserve dialogue with Erdogan on issues related to the reception of migrants, the management of terrorism, the status of Jerusalem, conflicts in the Middle East and even inter-religious dialogue, an instrument considered fundamental for contacts between peoples. The contact between the Vatican and Turkey has so far survived even the criticisms of the Armenian genocide that the Pope has expressed several times, however the question of Saint Sophia affects not only Catholicism but all members of the Christian religion and the consequences could be negative in the continuation of the same relations between Christianity and Islam, which by far outweigh the contacts between Erdogan and Pope Francis. It is not for nothing that the transformation into a Hagia Sophia mosque is viewed with concern by even the most moderate Muslims, who live in Europe. The interreligious factor should be the one of greatest concern for Erdogan, given that officially there has been no criticism from the USA, Russia (a factor to be carefully evaluated for the importance of the Orthodox community in the country and in support of Putin) and the Union European. The feeling is that this was dictated by the desire not to further damage the relationship with Turkey, despite everything still considered fundamental in the regional geopolitical balances. However, Hagia Sophia’s move seems to be Erdogan’s latest found to be able to use religion as a tool for political propaganda against a public opinion that no longer seems to support his neo-Ottoman policy, due to public spending. increasingly large, especially in military spending, but which does not bring significant improvements in the economic field to the Turkish population. If the support of the economy is lacking, also due to a steadily rising inflation, it may be possible that the sectors unhappy with the growing poverty become welded with that part of society that does not politically share the direction taken by the Turkish president, and on the contrary, it openly challenges it, opening a state of political crisis that is difficult to manage again with just repression.

The European Union must distance itself from Beijing and play a decisive role in defending human rights

The serious relations between the USA and China cannot fail to have repercussions on international balances, as, in part, is already happening; however, it is necessary to question what are the aspects and the effects and how these will affect Europe normally framed in the western bloc. The old continent, and in particular the European Union, are experiencing a difficult period due to internal tensions, caused by the rigidity of the Brussels institutions, the growth of nationalists and the presence of contrary positions, which culminated with the abandonment of the Kingdom Kingdom. The Union has always been a cornerstone of the Atlantic Alliance, but ties seem to have loosened with the Trump presidency. Even American economic policy, closed in on itself, has forced Brussels to search for other partners, outside of the usual choices. There is no doubt that the US has left a vacuum due to Trump’s isolationist policy, which has underestimated the effects of wanting to focus mainly on domestic politics, leaving out the fallout and the effects of the disengagement in foreign policy, precisely on the overall balance of the American position in the world. Beijing, despite all its contradictions, has been able to cleverly exploit this absence also because of a very large availability of liquidity. The economic crises of the most important market in the world, Europe, have been a great ally for China’s expansionist policy, because they have allowed it to establish outposts within areas where access was previously barred. There is little to say about the need and convenience of entering into business with Beijing, however the awareness of establishing ties with a dictatorship has never been examined too thoroughly just for mere convenience calculations. China has introduced a sort of economic soft power based on the ease of investments which the account will present at the right time; meanwhile it has gained almost uniform silence on the repressions of the Uyghurs, political dissent and failure to respect human rights. Currently the United States is not a reliable partner, however it cannot be compared to China, despite the clumsy and almost self-injurious management of foreign policy, the continuous bad figures of its president and also the lack of protection to which the American people have been subjected for the problem of the pandemic. Now for Europe the problem is not on which side to take sides, despite the inconvenience with the USA, it is clear, precisely as a consequence of the worsening of Chinese behavior, both in the case of Hong Kong, and in the persecution of dissidents abroad, which permanence in the western camp cannot be called into question; rather, for Brussels it is necessary to advance in gaining an increasingly important role as an international actor, capable of criticizing and sanctioning China’s behavior, but not only. Interrupting relations with dictatorial states such as Russia itself, which is already subject to sanctions or Egypt and Turkey, just to name a few, must become a priority, as well as a real political program. The first move must be to stop contacts with Beijing for the development of 5G technology, where it would be better to choose an alternative and internal solution to the Union, precisely because of the peculiarity and importance of communications. Taking an attitude of non-subordination to the United States in military matters is equally important for directly managing crises such as the Libyan crisis, which closely affects the whole continent. To do this, it is necessary to overcome the differences in economic matters and the path of European bonds seems to be an excellent start, to put pressure and even clear choices towards those states, such as those of the former Soviet bloc, which do not seem to have accepted European ideals (on the other hand, if the Union has also remained without the United Kingdom, it may very well give up nations that have only taken without giving), to move away from China, first of all economically, because, in the end, Europe is more essential for Beijing rather than the other way around. Being compliant or pretending nothing about human rights means endorsing these policies and these are choices that sooner or later will backfire on those who made them. The German presidency can be an opportunity to go in this direction: the German authority, especially in this new post-pandemic version, can aggregate the nations really interested, to go towards a common goal and increase the European role in the world panorama also as reference point for the protection and defense of human rights. It does not seem but it is also an economic investment.

Cyber attacks against Iran

The military confrontation between Iran and Israel and therefore the United States would continue, albeit not in the traditional way, but in the form of a cyber war. The latest incidents in the Islamic Republic seemed more like sabotage than fortuitous events. There are four serious events that have followed and raised the alarm level in Iran: explosions in gas deposits inside a military area of ​​the capital, an accident in a health facility, which resulted in 19 victims, due to the explosion of oxygen cylinders, a fire in a thermoelectric power station in the south-western area of ​​the country, preceded by a further fire in the assembly center of a nuclear centrifuge. If, in the first moments, the Iranian security apparatuses were leaning towards accidents, the latest developments could have changed the impressions of the investigators, leaving the causes of bad maintenance only the accident that occurred in the clinic. The Tehran government has chosen the path of caution and prudence, but some media outlets have already insinuated the possibility of Israeli-based cyber attacks. The precedents exist and are part of the development of the virus that damaged the Iranian nuclear program. Tehran is one of the signatories of the nuclear non-proliferation program, abandoned by Trump, and according to the International Atomic Energy Organization Iran is not close to the nuclear weapon, despite the decision to reactivate some centrifuges and to design new ones. following the American withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal signed with the European Union, China and Russia. There are mysterious details regarding the fire at the site hosting the centrifuge assembly workshops: in fact, some journalists would have been warned in advance that a dissident organization, perhaps composed of military personnel inside the Iranian security apparatuses, would have carried out an attack. The presence of such an organization within the Iranian armed forces, however, seems unlikely, precisely because of the level of control present in Iranian society and even more in its military structures. To use this ploy may have been foreign powers, not to hide from the Iranian country, but to hide from international public opinion and not suffer public condemnation. On the other hand, it is concretely possible that the Islamic Republic is trying to get to the atomic weapon, both to balance the unofficial alliance between Sunni and Israeli countries, and to have a concrete tool to exhibit within its policy of expansion as a power regional. The sabotage actions should then be framed in a sort of psychological pressure to reduce the possibility of the presence of a new nuclear power in the Middle East region, with this explanation we would understand a potential Israeli action as a further action in an exchange of hostility with Tehran that is going for some time. Similarly, the provocation to Iran could foster a response, which would allow Trump’s United States to act sensationally during the election period. In any case, these are not one-way actions, even two months earlier the Israelis accused Iran of sabotaging aqueducts, altered through the computer, in controlling flows and purification and purification systems. However, it is a conflict fought in a hidden way, to escape the adversaries and international blame, which remains highly dangerous for the negative developments it can cause, but against which it seems useless to appeal in favor of a sense of moderation and caution , which does not exist in the practice and objectives of some governments.

The pandemic increases the global food starvation

One of the effects of coronavirus, in addition to the health emergency, is the increase in poverty and the consequent food shortage for several countries, which, despite a situation of poverty, had not yet been hit by food shortages. The magnitude of the problem concerns the number of people who have been affected by the food shortage: a growing number that already amounts to several million people. The United Nations food agency, which has assisted 97 million people in 2019, plans to help 138 million people by 2020. As we can see, it is a huge dimension, whose growth coincided with the shift of the pandemic from the rich to the poor countries of the world. The current absence of the vaccine prevents us from managing a situation that borders on chaos and that could degenerate, at local level, into unrest but that could affect the world globally through a massive increase in migration. Especially in this second case, the rich countries would be invested, which have shown a poor aptitude for managing the problem also due to the onset of nationalist movements, whose main purpose is precisely the refusal of immigrants. The global contraction of wealth is generating a progressive closure that feeds the increase in inequalities, a phenomenon that also affects rich countries, but which has the greatest repercussions among poor ones. Food assistance no longer includes only the poorest nations, where populations were already victims of food famines for climatic reasons and due to the presence of armed conflicts, but now also concerns nations that had economies slightly above that of subsistence or which they were going through an early industrialization phase. The economic blockade imposed by the pandemic has resulted in the contraction of the ability to find primary goods, food, causing increasing malnutrition, which must be fought first of all for health reasons and then for social and political reasons, including international politics, such as it is seen. The United Nations agency operates, with its support projects, in 83 countries, but needs continuous funding whose needs grow hand in hand with the increase in infections. At this time, to support the effort of the United Nations agency, funding of 4.9 billion dollars is needed only for the next six months; the appeal for the raising of this sum was launched above all towards the rich countries, which would have all the political convenience to support this initiative, but who will have to overcome the internal resistance often represented by right-wing and populist formations. The data to reflect on is that by the end of the year people who will need food support could reach 270 million, with an increase of eighty-two percent compared to the period preceding the advent of the pandemic; moreover, since 2016, the repercussions of the economic crises, climate change and wars have recorded a 70% increase in those who suffer materially from the effects of the decrease or absence of the availability of food. It is understandable that in such a scenario, the fallout from the pandemic has produced an acceleration in the growth of hunger in the world. Currently the health consequences of the pandemic have the greatest effects on the theme of food shortages in the territories of Latin America, where in urban areas, not in the countryside, the loss of a large number of jobs combined with the drop in remittances from emigrants has resulted in a high need for food assistance. It can be understood how an economy that is tending to subsistence poses future problems also for the rich countries that had large market shares in these territories, for their commercial products. But, for the future, the African continent is worrying, on the eve of the monsoon season, the agricultural sector is already compromised by the invasion of locusts and the situation of the pandemic appears to be growing, despite the problem of finding secure official data. The increase of 135% of African people who are in a critical food situation requires an effort by western countries that can no longer be postponed, but to be effective it will only have to be a first step of a larger project, based on international cooperation for ensure effective food independence for African countries.

China promulgates illiberal law against Hong Kong

China is afraid of Hong Kong’s democratic pressures, a fear that affects both the former British colony and the rest of the country. For Beijing it is essential to be able to have political stability in order not to have repercussions on the economic and social levels. The fear of emulations over a territory grappling with vast areas of dissidence, has accelerated the approval of the new national security law, which thus comes into force almost on the occasion of the twenty-third anniversary of the passage of the former colony under the sovereignty of Beijing. It matters little if the pacts with London were different: the much vaunted formula of one country, two systems, ends with the promulgation of this law. In its about seventy articles there are all the legal formulas to crush any democratic ambition. The 162 members of the legislative part of the Chinese parliament, the National People’s Congress, have unanimously approved the law in tribute to the wishes of the leader of China, who now has all the legal coverage to be able to act against those who demand democratic reforms and against whom is opposed to the government in charge, clearly pro-Chinese. The law expresses the sentence of life imprisonment and also the possibility of being judged no longer in Hong Kong but on Chinese territory. It is clear how the intention is to impose a preventive deterrence against dissent. China continues to consider the Hong Kong issue as an exclusively internal factor, comparing the situation of the former British colony with the same need to crush the resistance of the Chinese Islamic populations or even the Tibetan issue. We must recognize what is obvious: the seriousness of the lack of human rights guarantees is the sad common fact, which many states should reflect on, before accepting Chinese funding too easily, however Hong Kong is far from a mere matter internal as Beijing claims, the cession treaty, which China signed, until 2047 provided for the application of the one-state two-system model, contravening this also leads to a defect towards the United Kingdom, the other signatory to the agreement. The first effect, which must be framed in a retaliatory move towards Beijing, was the action of the United States, which began to withdraw the special status that Hong Kong has enjoyed since 1992 and was granted by Washington to promote trade, especially financial. The Chinese state has always used the former colony, precisely by virtue of this status, to carry out its commercial and financial transactions abroad and these prohibitions affect Beijing in a particularly delicate sector in a difficult moment. This has increased the tension between China and the USA, while the Chinese country has been urged by several parties to find a solution capable of maintaining its international commitments; while the United Nations has expressed concern about the violation of human rights. The United Kingdom has long been assessing the granting of three million British passports to Hong Kong citizens who qualify for them; the possibility of becoming British citizens has also been maintained with the passage of the former colony, thanks to the recognition of the status of citizen of British dependencies. The new legal path, developed by the English premier, provides that the visa can be extended from six to twelve months. Potentially this means that Chinese authorities could arrest British citizens and subject them to legal proceedings and penalties even outside of Hong Kong. This could trigger international disputes capable of developing very serious diplomatic conflicts and with consequences that are difficult to predict. Other very harsh reactions have come from Taiwan, which is a party because China considers Formosa to be part of its territory, Japan, South Korea and the European Union. Despite this, China is willing to sacrifice financial advantages and run the risk of difficult relations with London, to eradicate dissent and guarantee authoritarian political stability. It is another example of how China is moving, an example that no western but also African state should keep in mind when entering into contracts with Beijing. The fate is to deal more and more closely with a country where respect for rights and democracy is not contemplated: it is an interlocutor who is not reliable.