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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Asia Stumbles Into Year Of The Currency War

True, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin effectively declared an end to the 24-year-old strong dollar policy in January 2018. The White House quickly backtracked as markets quaked. In 2019, expect a new currency push. One motivation: US growth is losing momentum. Trump is anxious to keep the key source of his legitimacy humming along. The bigger objective, though, is reminding Asia who’s boss.

Read Here – Asia Times

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How Sheikh Hasina Used Realpolitik, Textbook Governance To Consolidate Her Power

Over the last decade, Bangladesh’s growth rate has gone up from around 5 per cent in 2008 to 7.86 per cent in 2017-18, with key sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and services growing alongside. During this period, foreign exchange reserves increased five times and both investment and savings enhanced to over 30 per cent of the GDP. Per capita income has risen nearly threefold since 2009, reaching $1,750 this year, and the number of people living in extreme poverty — classified as under $1.25 per day — has shrunk from about 19 per cent of the population to less than 9 per cent over the same period, according to the World Bank.

Read Here – The Indian Express

The Age Of Uneasy Peace

…the post–Cold War interregnum of U.S. hegemony is over, and bipolarity is set to return, with China playing the role of the junior superpower. The transition will be a tumultuous, perhaps even violent, affair, as China’s rise sets the country on a collision course with the United States over a number of clashing interests. But as Washington slowly retreats from some of its diplomatic and military engagements abroad, Beijing has no clear plan for filling this leadership vacuum and shaping new international norms from the ground up.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

A Tale Of Two Cities: Shenzhen Vs Hong Kong

Photo by Frame Harirak on Unsplash

Forty years ago Shenzhen was a rural backwater with a population of 20,000, boasting very little industry or agriculture. Communist Beijing was happy to keep it that way for fear its proximity to the freewheeling capitalist colony of Hong Kong made it a security threat. But after Deng Xiaoping’s reforms the town developed rapidly and is arguably surpassing Hong Kong as China’s leading city for industry and technology.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

What Is Space Junk And Why Is It A Problem?

Low Earth orbit (LEO) is becoming increasingly cluttered after 60 years of continuous rocket and satellite launches. Even the tiniest piece of debris, orbiting at speed, can pose a major threat to the International Space Station and active satellites. China is one of the many countries responsible for the mess.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Huawei Is the Doorway To China’s Police State

The arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was apparently a long time coming. U.S. investigators began looking into Huawei’s dealings when Iran’s once Chinese-backed ZTE was identified as a sanctions-breaker. U.S. prosecutors now appear to have substantial evidence of the Chinese Communist Party’s state-backed mobile and technology company’s violations of the sanctions regime against Iran.

Read Here – The National Interest

Will Xi Jinping Tighten His Grip On Power In 2019?

Coming to the end of 2018, the atmosphere in the People’s Republic has become increasingly dominated by Xi’s presence and image. During the Forum for China African Cooperation in September, an already infamous cover of the official People’s Daily had Xi’s name in headlines almost 20 times on the front page.

Read Here – WarOnTheRocks

It’s All About Modi As India Prepares For Mammoth 2019 Election

Rocked by regional election defeats and investor dismay at the surprise loss of the central bank chief, India’s ruling party is doubling down on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Four-and-a-half years after crushing the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty’s latest scion as he swept to victory, Modi still cultivates his image as a diligent, incorruptible son-of-a-tea-seller who strives to make India a prouder, more powerful country.

Read Here – Bloomberg

British PM May Survives Party Confidence Vote But Brexit Deal Still Teetering

Prime Minister Theresa May survived a confidence vote by the Conservative Party on Wednesday, but a mutiny by more than a third of her lawmakers indicated parliament was heading towards deadlock over Brexit.

Read Here – Reuters

Ousted Sri Lankan PM Wickremesinghe Gets Majority In Parliament Vote

Sri Lanka’s ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe garnered a majority in parliament on Wednesday, weeks after being sacked by President Maithripala Sirisena in a controversial move that plunged the island nation into political turmoil. As many as 117 out of 225 lawmakers in parliament voted to pass a confidence motion in his leadership.

Read Here – The Wire

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