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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Asia”

Trump Sets Foot In North Korea, Agrees With Kim To Resume Stalled Nuclear Talks

Photo/White House Flickr

U.S. President Donald Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea on Sunday when he met its leader, Kim Jong Un, in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas and agreed to resume stalled nuclear talks.

Read Here – Reuters

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Comfortably Reelected, Indonesia’s Jokowi Opens The Door To China’s Belt And Road

The ballots hadn’t even been counted yet when the deals were announced. On April 26, just two days after Election Day, Indonesia signed 23 memorandums of understanding with China, worth $14.2 billion in all, for several major infrastructure projects. They came after months of silence about Chinese investment in Indonesia—by design, as President Joko Widodo feared attempts by the opposition to paint him as being too pro-China.

Read Here – World Politics Review

Jokowi’s Global Maritime Fulcrum: 5 More Years?

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is set to assume office for another half-decade, giving a sigh of relief to patrons counting on the continuity of his policies…His second term brings immediate questions over whether he will employ the same strategic frameworks in driving the country’s development, and whether the concept of the Global Maritime Fulcrum (GMF) will prevail.

Read Here – The Diplomat

US, China War Drums Put SE Asia On New Edge

Did the recently concluded Shangri-La Dialogue talk shop, long a gauge of the Indo-Pacific’s geo-strategic temperature, presage a coming conflict between China and the United States, and potential end to decades of relative peace and stability in the region?

Read Here – Asia Times

The Complex Issues With China That India’s Modi Carries Into His Second Term

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting with the President of China, Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 26, 2018. File Photo/PIB

During Modi’s first term from 2014-2019, India unambiguously recognised that its strategic interests in Asia would be best served by betting on the US. But beyond the great power rivalry context, Modi will carry forward a complex bilateral agenda with China into his second term. The border dispute between the two countries remains as intractable as ever and concerns in Delhi about China’s big strategic and economic bet on Pakistan are growing.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Is Sri Lanka Really A Victim Of China’s ‘Debt Trap’?

The economic reality is that Sri Lanka leased out Hambantota port to China largely due to a persistent balance of payment (BOP) crisis resulting from the reduction of trade over the years even while external debt servicing costs have been soaring. Sri Lank faced a severe shortage of foreign reserves in light of the upcoming debt servicing payments, due to the maturity of international sovereign bonds. Therefore, the country had to look for various avenues to obtain foreign currency inflows. Leasing out Hambantota port was one of the ways to increase the country’s foreign reserves.

Read Here – The Diplomat

Next Hambantota? Welcome To The Chinese-Funded US$1.4 Billion Port City Colombo In Sri Lanka

Port City Colombo, an ambitious Chinese-funded project to build a new metropolis on a 665-acre island reclaimed from the sea, is set to rise just off the popular spot in a couple of decades. Rising in tandem, however, are concerns about the amount Beijing is lending Colombo, and the circumstances of those loans – with the controversial China-backed Hambantota Port looming large in Sri Lankans’ memory.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Also Read: Sri Lanka Rejects Fears Of China’s ‘Debt-Trap Diplomacy’ In Belt And Road Projects

The Challenges That Drive Up Military Spending – In Asia-Pacific And Beyond

Whereas Sino-American arms dynamics could well be attributed to traditional concerns related to interstate dynamics over unresolved flashpoints, much of the rest of the Asia-Pacific region confronts a holistic array of security concerns, especially those that are transboundary and transnational in nature – natural calamities, violent extremism and even the mundane, daily occurrences of cross-border smuggling and illegal fishing, to name just a few examples.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

How the Sri Lanka Attacks Will Ripple Across South Asia

Despite the temptation to blame violent extremism on foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria and the subsequent rise of the Islamic State’s virtual caliphate, the fact is that the seeds of extremism in South Asia were sown long ago by elites from Kabul to Colombo. Often dressed up in the garb of anti-imperialism and nationalism, their brand of exclusionary politics, based on nativism and sectarianism, barely masks a deep and abiding commitment to a status quo of social inequality.

Read Here – World Politics Review

A Big Reason Why Pyongyang Fears Washington.

Can the United States and North Korea arrive at a deal—any deal—on denuclearization, normalization of relations, or at the very least a nuclear freeze? Given the holding pattern in nuclear diplomacy since the second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, the prospects don’t appear particularly bright. The hold-up in the talks, however, is not simply the product of personality clashes, maximalist negotiating positions, and incongruent objectives between Washington and Pyongyang. History also has a lot to do with it.

Read Here – The National Interest

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