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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Donald Trump’s Addled And Ominous Interview With The Times

It is often said, and with ample reason, that much of what Donald Trump says isn’t worth a jot. As Tony Schwartz, Trump’s ghostwriter, noted last year, “lying is second nature to him.” When he isn’t telling outright whoppers, he exaggerates things outrageously, and his utterances often bear little resemblance from one day to the next. On Tuesday, he said that Republicans should let Obamacare crash and burn. On Wednesday, he said that he wanted to see it replaced.

Read Here – The New Yorker

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Progress In The South China Sea?

July 12 marked the one-year anniversary of a United Nations tribunal ruling in a case brought by the Philippines against China over the latter’s claims and activities in the South China Sea. The ruling was a major victory for the Philippines, particularly the tribunal’s decision on China’s “nine-dash line,” through which Beijing attempts to lay claim to vast areas of the South China Sea. A year to the day after the award, the Philippines issued a conciliatory statement even as an energy official announced that Manila would soon offer investors new oil and gas blocks at Reed Bank, off the Philippine coast but within the nine-dash line.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Global Police Spring a Trap On Thousands Of Dark Web Users

When Alphabay, the world’s largest dark web bazaar, went offline two weeks ago, it threw the darknet into chaos as its buyers and sellers scrambled to find new venues. What those dark web users didn’t—and couldn’t—know: That chaos was planned.

Read Here – Wired

Advancing CPEC By Stealth

The corridor is only minimally about transit trade. The power plants, too, are little more than the “early harvest projects”, on commercial terms, designed to jump-start the economy before the real game begins. The real game of CPEC is about granting access to Chinese enterprises to Pakistan’s domestic markets, raw materials and the agrarian economy.

Read Here – Dawn

America’s Pakistan Policy Could Make Or Break Trump’s Legacy

The Trump administration is on the cusp of making three crucial decisions about the sixteen-year war in Afghanistan and the related matter of how to manage the tempestuous relationship with Pakistan, thought by many to hold the key to peace in Afghanistan. These decisions will go far in determining whether America can successfully conclude its military adventure in Afghanistan and lay the groundwork for a more stable and peaceful South Asia.

Read Here – The National Interest

Tharman’s A Perfect Leader For Singapore – So What’s Stopping Him? His Ethnicity?

The Singaporean elite is faced with an unusual dilemma: a potential leader who surpasses all his peers in terms of modern administrative and political skills. In Singapore, where raw brain-power and book learning have long trumped emotional intelligence, Tharman has the intuition and rhetoric to win over and persuade his countrymen like no one else. One has to ask if Singaporeans are truly being served by this failure of imagination on the part of their establishment?

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Trump’s Honeymoon With China Ends As Dialogue Turns Frosty

Three months ago, President Donald Trump had warm words for his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after the two leaders bonded at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Within weeks, the Trump administration was touting early wins in talks with China, including more access for U.S. beef and financial services as well as help in trying to rein in North Korea. Now, the two sides can barely agree how to describe their disagreements.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Saudi King’s Son Plotted Effort To Oust His Rival

As next in line to be king of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef was unaccustomed to being told what to do. Then, one night in June, he was summoned to a palace in Mecca, held against his will and pressured for hours to give up his claim to the throne. By dawn, he had given in, and Saudi Arabia woke to the news that it had a new crown prince: the king’s 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman.

Read Here – The New York Times

Hindu Nationalism Risks Pushing India Into War With China

Where the China-India competition goes hinges on each side’s strength and wisdom. India is weaker than China in terms of national strength, but its strategists and politicians have shown no wisdom in preventing India’s China policy from being kidnapped by rising nationalism. This will put India’s own interests in jeopardy. India should be careful and not let religious nationalism push the two countries into war.

Read Here – Global Times

China’s Railway Diplomacy Hits The Buffers

When Li Keqiang, China’s premier, took 16 European leaders on a high-speed train ride in 2015, the trip revealed more than an enthusiasm for rolling stock. It was also Beijing’s big sell for an engineering technology that it hoped would spearhead the launch of a grand geo-strategic ambition.

Read Here – Financial Times

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