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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Asia”

ASEAN’s Torn Over China-US Struggle. Will Mahathir Lead The Way?

The Singapore meeting starting Monday – the second Asean summit this year – will be Mahathir’s first since he stunned Asia by defeating his protégé Najib Razak in May elections to reoccupy the political hot seat he held from 1981 to 2003. Diplomatic observers are hoping the firebrand nonagenarian, a self-professed regionalist, will inject some vigour into the bloc…And with Asean nations facing rising pressure to take sides in the escalating US-China rivalry, some insiders in the grouping are hoping for lessons from the elder statesman on how to balance the two powers without being dragged into their respective orbits.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

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Hun Sen’s Power Paradox

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is continuing to push the limits of personal power consolidation. While his strategies have been highly successful so far, they are likely to result in greater political insecurity in Cambodia. Several concerning developments have emerged in 2018. Since the Supreme Court banned the main opposition party — the Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP — in November 2017, Hun Sen has further consolidated his power by appointing family members to top government positions.

Read Here – East Asia Forum

Why India Looks The Other Way On Myanmar

While the West moves to re-isolate Myanmar after a short period of re-engagement, neighbouring India is taking a more realpolitik approach to reports of massive rights abuses by the nation’s security forces. Indeed, India is doing its utmost to improve relations while the United States and European Union impose new sanctions aimed specifically at Myanmar’s military, including top soldiers involved in the abuses.

Read Here – Asia Times

Asian Rivalries And The Sri Lankan Constitutional Crisis

Sirisena’s move may seem puzzling, especially because he was elected to move his country back toward greater democracy after Rajapaksa’s rule between 2005-2015, but ultimately, he is looking after his own interests: He has lost support and has proved unable to wean Sri Lanka off of its debts to China. It is not surprising that he made an “if you can’t beat them, then join them” calculation.

Read Here – The Diplomat

Sri Lanka Political Crisis Deepens As One Dies In Shooting

One man died and two others were injured when shots were fired on October 28 in Sri Lankaas a constitutional crisis over the shock sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe turned violent. Bodyguards for Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga fired live rounds as a mob loyal to Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena besieged the Cabinet member in his office, police said.

Read Here – The Hindu

All Of Vietnam’s Power Is In Trong’s Hands

Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong is set to assume the presidency, an unprecedented consolidation of power that could make him the Xi Jinping of Vietnam…Now, Vietnam appears to be moving in the same direction as China, raising the possibility that the consensus-based decision-making structure – the foundation on which the Communist Party has limited individual power and unchecked influence – could be coming to a close.

Read Here – Asia Times

Asia’s Strongmen And Their Weak Economies

Many people seem to believe that authoritarian rulers deliver better economic results. And yet, with the possible exception of China’s Xi Jinping, Asia’s autocrats, from India to the Philippines, are presiding over increasingly fragile states and even more vulnerable economies.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Abdulla Yameen Concedes Defeat In Maldives Presidential Election

Maldives’ President Abdulla Yameen has conceded defeat after a surprise election win for the opposition in a poll that was billed as a test for democracy in the troubled island nation. “The citizens of the Maldives had their say … and I accept that result,” Yameen said in a televised speech on Monday.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

China Expands Its Footprint In Sri Lanka

China’s role in Sri Lanka, which has grown remarkably in recent years, is poised to expand geographically as well. Hitherto, Beijing’s projects were confined to the southern parts of the island. It is now making inroads into the Northern Province and the rubber, tea, and coconut plantations of the central highlands.

Read Here – The Diplomat

The US-China Cold War Is Now Playing Out In Pakistan

Are America and Pakistan finally breaking up? The short answer is no. As much as both states are fed up with each other, they remain far too co-dependent to simply walk away.  What we are seeing instead is a tough and protracted re-negotiation over the terms of the relationship. The question of Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan is not necessarily the hardest issue…The far bigger question… is what India and Pakistan’s role will be in the emerging cold war between the US and China.

Read Here – Defense One

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