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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

How A Luxury Hong Kong Home Was Used As Cover In Deal For China’s First Aircraft Carrier

The high-profile purchase of an opulent home on The Peak in 1998 by a Hong Kong-based businessman was cover for the purchase of what would become China’s first aircraft carrier. Xu Zengping, 65, the People’s Liberation Army Navy proxy who bought the unfinished carrier from a Ukrainian shipyard, said the purchase of the HK$220 million (US$28.1 million) luxury home in 1998 was aimed at convincing the outside world that he had the financial capability to turn the 300-metre Varyag into a floating casino. It instead became China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was commissioned in 2012.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

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Decoding The Korean Peninsula Missile Rhetoric

History might not be a perfect guide, of course, given the unusual circumstances we now face. North Korea has reached the point of perfecting its missile systems. It may well be unwilling to subordinate the pace of testing to political calculations when it is so close to the goal-line. As for the U.S., whose president has elevated unpredictability to an art form, it is hard to turn to the past for reliable instruction regarding the future.

Read Here – International Crisis Group

China Is Waging A Water War On India

Beijing is fashioning water into a political weapon by denying India flood-related hydrological data since May, even as major flooding has hit the region from Assam to Uttar Pradesh. Data on upstream river flows is essential for flood forecasting and warning in order to save lives and reduce material losses. China’s data denial crimps flash flood modelling in India.

Read Here – Hindustan Times

Conflict Movies Lift China’s Box Office As Studios Find More Yuan In Every Bang

With Wolf Warrior 2 crossing the 5 billion yuan (US$749 million) mark at the mainland Chinese box office on Sunday, analysts see the trend of patriotic military and action films continuing, not only boosting sluggish Chinese movie ticket sales in the second half but also lifting the fortunes of companies that invested in the smash hit.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

An Economic Fallout Is Coming From All The Asian Military Standoffs

The stakes are high for the U.S. as tensions in Asia ramp up. The country has $1.3 trillion of two-way trade with the region, based on annualised data in the first six months of this year. That’s 52.5 percent of America’s total foreign trade. But that is only part of U.S. linkage with Asian economies. Fixed-asset investments generating those trade flows have also to be taken into account as they directly affect employment and income levels in about one-third of American aggregate demand.

Read Here – CNBC

The Guardian Of The Liberal World Order

The global financial crisis, which began ten years ago this month, showed that the Western-led rules-based international order’s long-term survival is not inevitable. It is often assumed that if and when the United States loses its place as the global hegemon in that system, China will be the country to lead the world. But what would a Chinese-led order look like?

Read Here – Project-Syndicate

Guam: Second Step In China’s Naval Plan To Own The Pacific?

China has a clear strategy to control the Pacific, west of Hawaii, and challenge the US for dominance in the eastern Pacific. In 1950, the US articulated its strategy to box in China and the Soviet Union. The first line of defence was based on the First Island Chain, enclosing five seas: Okhotsk, Japan, Yellow, East China and South China. Should the communists break through this chain, the Second Island Chain encloses the west Pacific from the Aleutians, Guam, and down to Darwin in Australia. And should the communists break through this, the defence line becomes Aleutians, Hawaii, and down southward.

Read Here – Swarajya

Chernobyl: City Of Ghosts

In a post-Cold War world, the fear of nuclear holocaust has receded from the global consciousness. Donald Trump’s threat of unleashing “fire and fury like the world has never seen” against North Korea was an untimely and unwelcome reminder of a past, perilous era. Even by Trump’s standards these statements were a new low. And they are dangerous. History teaches us that the journey from political logorrhea to global disaster can be terrifyingly short.

Read Here – Politico Europe

China’s Plans To Rule The Seas Hit Trouble In Pakistan

China’s strategic ambition to extend its maritime power across the Indian Ocean is hitting severe obstacles in the giant, volatile Pakistani province of Balochistan. Beijing’s priority is to develop the sleepy Baloch fishing port of Gwadar, 300 miles west of Karachi, to project its commercial and naval influence further west. But kidnappings, drive-by shootings and bomb attacks in the past few weeks and months offer a chilling warning that China will have to pay a high price for a deep-water harbour near the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Read Here – Politico

Bannon’s Path From Trusted Attack Dog To Toxic Liability

Steve Bannon’s departure as White House chief strategist abruptly severs Donald Trump’s most important political relationship — at a pivotal moment in his presidency. Exactly a year and a day ago, on Aug. 17, Bannon, a fiery populist who ran the right-wing Breitbart News, took over Trump’s struggling presidential campaign. The two outsiders joined forces to pull off the most shocking upset in U.S. presidential history.

Read Here – Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Also Read: Steve Bannon tried to destroy “globalism.” It destroyed him instead

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