WORLD ROUNDUPVietnam's Island Expansion Aims to Counter China | Gaza’s Gordian Knot | Hungary Threatens to Block EU Aid for Ukraine, Veto Membership Bid, and more

Published 28 November 2023

·  Hungary Threatens to Block EU Aid for Ukraine, Veto Membership Bid
The EU is continuing to withhold around $24 billion the bloc’s post-COVID stimulus fund over concerns about the rule of law in Hungary

·  Analysts: Vietnam’s Island Expansion Aims to Counter China
China claims the Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands as its own maritime territories and has been expanding military installations on the island chains

·  Gaza’s Gordian Knot
Unless the United States and its partners solve the paradox of who controls Gaza, adversaries will continue to try to exploit the situation.

·  Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, and the War on Hamas
Though often distinguished conceptually, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are synonymous

·  US, Partners Announce Task Force to Counter Flow of Money to Hamas
The U.S., U.K. and allies have sought to cut off funding for Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist group by Washington and other governments

·  The Israel-Hamas War Has Upended the Terrorist Threat Matrix
As with past conflicts in the Middle East, the current fighting in Gaza may well provoke terrorist repercussions beyond the region

Hungary Threatens to Block EU Aid for Ukraine, Veto Membership Bid  (Henry Ridgwell, VOA News)
Hungary is threatening to block $50 billion of European aid for Ukraine and veto Kyiv’s EU membership bid, amid a spiraling dispute between Brussels and Budapest.
EU Council President Charles Michel traveled to Hungary on Monday for talks with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in a bid to calm relations ahead of a crucial summit scheduled December 14-15, where EU heads of state are expected to decide on opening formal talks with Ukraine over its accession to the bloc. Neither Michel nor Orban spoke to the press following Monday’s meeting.
Hungary has long been a thorn in the side of the European Union. The dispute over the bloc’s military and economic support for Ukraine comes amid increasingly bitter rhetoric as campaigning gets underway for next June’s European elections.

Analysts: Vietnam’s Island Expansion Aims to Counter China  (An Hai, VOA News)
Vietnam is dredging and filling out the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, a move that appears to be aimed at countering China’s assertive behavior in the disputed waters, analysts said.
Recent Vietnamese expansion work in the Spratly Islands, which began in 2021, was most noticeable at Barque Canada Reef, according to a report last week by the Washington-based Center for Strategic International Studies’ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI).
The report said Vietnam created 0.84 square kilometers of land in the past year.
Vietnam’s reclamation work on Barque Canada Reef, known as Bai Thuyen Chai in Vietnamese, is progressing rapidly, already making it the largest Vietnam occupied feature in Spratly Islands, according to the South China Sea Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Chinese think tank.
Since July, nearly 0.56 square kilometers has been reclaimed, and may involve building a second airfield on the Vietnam occupied features, said the Beijing-based defense group on X, formally known as Twitter, on November 22.