April 14-20, 2022 | Issue 3 - PACOM
Francesca Cavazzuti, Muskan Muskan, Ashani Wijesuriya, PACOM Team
Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff
Date: April 16, 2022
Location: Jahangirpuri, New Delhi, India
Parties involved: Indian Government; Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP); Hindu Community; Muslim Community; Hindu extremists; Paramilitary forces; Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants
The event: Clashes erupted between Hindu and Muslim communities in New Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area when hundreds of people celebrating the birth anniversary of the Hindu god Hanuman passed a mosque, chanting Hindu religious slogans. Muslim residents argued with members of the procession, escalating to stone pelting, injuring several people, including eight police officers. Both groups have accused the other of initiating the violence. Jahangirpuri has a significant population of illegal Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants, who were allegedly involved in the clash.
Analysis & Implications:
The clashes during Hindu religious celebrations will very likely intensify communal tensions between Hindu and Muslim communities, especially in states with a significant Muslim population like West Bengal, Delhi (New and Old), Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Hindu extremists will very likely view this incident as a religious attack and will likely retaliate by vandalizing mosques and Muslim owned-properties. As the festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Akshaya Tritiya fall on the same date (May 2), mass religious gatherings will very likely be organized across the nation, increasing the likelihood of further communal clashes.
Considering the role of Bangladeshis and Rohingyas in Jahangirpuri clashes, the Indian government will very likely use this as an opportunity to raid the settlements of illegal immigrants in Delhi and expel them. Paramilitary forces will likely be deployed to avoid any attempt to restrict forces from implementing government orders and to avoid mass gatherings. Local residents and opposition political parties will likely protest this move as a violation of human rights and an attempt to advance BJP's political agenda.
Date: April 18, 2022
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Parties involved: US Envoy for North Korea Sung Kim; US Deputy Jung Park; South Korea’s Nuclear Envoy Noh Kyu-duk; North Korean government; United Nations Security Council (UNSC); Japanese government
The event: Sung Kim arrived in Seoul to discuss North Korea's increased missile launches and possible resumption of nuclear testing. Kim stated that the US and South Korea would maintain the "strongest possible joint deterrent" over North Korea's activities. Kim’s arrival coincided with the beginning of a nine-day annual joint military exercise between US and South Korean forces, involving computer simulations. On April 16, North Korea allegedly tested missiles capable of delivering tactical nuclear weapons. Kim announced his willingness to negotiate, a possibility that North Korea has rejected.
Analysis & Implications:
Kim’s statement very likely suggests that the US and South Korea will strengthen their military cooperation, likely including new joint military drills. If North Korea increases its missile testing, future military drills will very likely include defensive training with artillery and aircraft. The US and South Korea will likely use these drills to show their advanced military capabilities. Faced with a demonstration of likely military superiority, there is a roughly even chance North Korea will be willing to negotiate, fearing a defeat in case of a conflict.
North Korea will very likely conduct further missile testing, including nuclear missiles, in response to the US-South Korean reunion and military drills. North Korea will likely launch missiles near or into South Korean or Japanese waters to provoke and intimidate the US, South Korea, and Japan. If this happens, South Korea and Japan will very likely further deploy and acquire new military technologies for detecting and countering missile attacks, like ground and sea-based multi-function radars, SM-3 Block 2A missile interceptors, and the L-SAM missile interception system.
Faced with increased nuclear missile testing, the US and South Korea will very likely call on the UNSC to impose new and more substantial economic sanctions to limit North Korea’s nuclear program’s financial and technological resources. New sanctions will very likely lead North Korea to increase its missile tests and military drills to challenge the US.
Date: April 18, 2022
Location: Shanghai, China
Parties involved: Chinese authorities; Chinese Communist Party (CCP); Shanghai Municipal Health Commission
The event: Chinese authorities reported the first COVID-19-related deaths in Shanghai. According to the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, all three victims were unvaccinated elderly individuals suffering from underlying health conditions. Although China has an overall vaccination rate of approximately 90%, a low rate among the elderly persists. The city is expected to enter another round of quarantine and mass testing as part of China’s “zero-tolerance” policy to combat the most recent series of outbreaks.
Analysis & Implications:
Authorities will be unlikely to contain the new outbreak in Shanghai, given the highly transmissible and asymptomatic nature of the new “Deltacron” variant. A surge in COVID-19 cases in the most populous city of China will almost certainly strain its economic, medical, and financial resources, very likely exacerbating any existing food, water, and gas shortages. The restrictive and deteriorating living conditions will very likely decrease morale among Shanghai citizens, resulting in a roughly even chance that residents will mobilize collective action against the CCP. The CCP will very likely increase the presence of local law enforcement to deter any demonstrations.
As Shanghai halts its commercial dealings, severe disruption to international supply chains will likely occur, exacerbating the global economy yet to recover from the war in Ukraine. Global markets with significant dependence on Chinese exports, such as the electronics, automobile, and textile industry, will very likely incur significant losses. The price of such goods will likely increase as companies attempt to find economic alternatives to China’s manufacturing capability.
Considering China’s past hesitation in releasing COVID-19-related statistics, its abrupt announcement about Shanghai likely implicates some ulterior motives on behalf of the CCP. The unvaccinated status of all three victims likely represents fabricated health information to incentivize its elderly population to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The CCP will likely use the new outbreak to justify increasing its mass surveillance effort and network of civilian informants. Popular support for the CCP will likely worsen in Shanghai amidst existing internal tension regarding its mismanagement of the pandemic.
________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)
 Jahangirpuri: Shock and anger in Delhi after religious violence, BBC, April 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-61137974
 U.S. envoy vows 'strongest possible deterrent' over N.Korea weapons tests, Reuters, April 2022 https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/us-envoy-seoul-talks-over-nkorea-missile-nuclear-tensions-2022-04-18/
 Shanghai reports first deaths in current COVID-19 outbreak, The Associated Press, April 2022, https://apnews.com/article/covid-business-health-china-shanghai-8a87e198bccadd93d3788b315bc410bf