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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “ASEAN”

Apec Summit Ends Without Agreement As US And China’s Deep Divisions Over Trade Emerge

The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit ended without agreement on a joint communique for the first time in its history as the escalating rivalry between the United States and China dominated proceedings. The impasse emerged a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping and the US Vice-President Mike Pence had blamed their rivals in the ongoing trade war in back-to-back speeches.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

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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

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

Forget US-China Trade War Tariffs, This Is What Really Worries Asia

Is US President Donald Trump really going to amp up trade tariffs against China? And with its back against the wall, will Asia’s biggest, most influential economy use a sharp currency devaluation as a form of retaliation? In Southeast Asia, home to some of the world’s most China-dependent economies, astute market watchers say they are as clueless as the man on the street when it comes to these two questions. But one thing is certain, they say: in the financial markets, bearish “animal spirits” have taken hold…

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Narendra Modi Calls For Unimpeded Trade, Access In Indo-Pacific, Cautious On China

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, at Istana – Presidential Palace, in Singapore on June 01, 2018. Photo/PIB

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for equal access at sea and in the air for all Asian countries at a major defence conference on Friday, but avoided singling out China’s claims to the hotly contested South China Sea. Modi outlined his regional vision at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, attended by defence chiefs from over 40 countries, including U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Read Here – Reuters

Read text of Modi’s speech here

Singapore’s ASEAN Chairmanship: High Expectations For A High Achiever

Singapore skyline at night/Photo by Lily Ivnatikk on Unsplash

 

Singapore, this year’s ASEAN chair, faces some tough tasks. It must lift confidence in the organisation and inject the inspiration it needs to overcome a ‘midlife crisis’ while encouraging favourable conditions for continued economic growth. And it must do this in a time of geopolitical turbulence while trying to balance relations with the great powers. If anyone in the region can handle such pressure, it’s Singapore.

Read Here – The Strategist

India’s One Belt, One Road-Block

In a sense, India’s foreign policy is still passive. The hallmark of power is not that countries will take your money and use it to build refineries, or that foreign leaders will visit and eat your food at interesting summits about maritime security. The real test of power is whether a country can make other countries do what it wants. And for all the activity involving India this past week, none of it suggests that India is amassing that kind of power. Instead, India is thwarting Chinese power. It is doing this because it wants to, but more than that, because other countries want it to. India is playing on the world stage, and that is notable – but it is playing at the invitation and with the blessing of others. It is not master of its fate.

Read Here – Geopolitical Futures

China Pledges More Investment In Cambodia, But Is Phnom Penh Selling Itself Short?

Road signs and advertising boards in Phnom Penh were traditionally written in two languages: Khmer and English. But things are changing in Cambodia’s colourful capital. Dotted around the city these days are signs, both literal and metaphorical, of China’s growing influence in one of Southeast Asia’s poorest nations.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

China And Its Interest In The Mekong

When China and the leaders of nations along the Mekong River meet on Wednesday at the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation summit in Cambodia, a top item will be mapping out a five-year development plan that would include building hydropower dams and other projects for the region – pointing to its importance in China’s ambitious belt and road infrastructure plan.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Five Things To Look Out For When Singapore’s leader Lee Hsien Loong Visits China

As Singapore is the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations next year, how Beijing manages its ties with the city state will be crucial to the relationship between China and the Southeast Asian nations – some of which have their own claims to the South China Sea.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

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