Asia emerges as an economic zone

Source: Bloomberg

Source: Bloomberg

 

Asian currencies (Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Taiwan and China) are now trading in lockstep with the Japanese yen. In large part this is managed: so many Asian countries compete in the same export markets that their central banks try to keep their currencies aligned with each other. Continue reading

Exclusive: Japan plans to send largest warship to South China Sea, sources say

FILE PHOTO: A helicopter lands on the Izumo, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s (JMSDF) helicopter carrier, at JMSDF Yokosuka base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan, December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

 

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, three sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two.

China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation. Continue reading

Saudi King Goes East In Search Of Friends And Cash

 

The Saudi King kicked off a month-long tour of Asia this week, as the oil kingdom looks to bolster ties in the east as it loses confidence in the U.S. as a stable ally.

The trip began in Malaysia where King Salman inked a $7 billion deal, promising to invest in a Malaysian petrochemical complex run by state-owned oil company Petronas. From there, he will tour Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China and the Maldives. Continue reading

How Many Muslims In The World? Islam Set To Overtake Christianity As Most Popular Religion, While US Population Also Rapidly Growing

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and will overtake Christianity as the most popular before the end of this century, according to an analysis of religious surveys published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

With 1.6 billion, Muslims made up 23 percent of the world’s population, according to a 2010 Pew estimate. That figure was still some way short of the 2.2 billion Christians which comprised 31 percent of the population. Continue reading

How China wins the South China Sea war without firing a shot

China is engaged in a broad-ranging information warfare campaign as part of a covert effort to take control of the South China Sea — in the words of ancient strategist Sun Tzu, without firing a shot.

The Chinese cyber attacks have been carried out extensively on regional states along with political influence operations designed to falsely convince the international community that the waters of the sea are and have been China’s sovereign maritime territory.

James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, told a Senate hearing last week that aggressive Chinese cyber attacks were continuing. ”China continues to succeed in conducting cyber espionage against the US government, our allies, and US companies,” he said. Continue reading

China eyes ‘The Art of War’ as Trump signals battle on trade

There’s a Chinese saying that stems from the philosophy in Sun Tzu’s ancient text “The Art of War”: You can kill 1,000 enemies, but you would also lose 800 soldiers.

Centuries later, the proverb is suddenly apt again, being mentioned frequently in discussions around Beijing. Now, it highlights the potential damage U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could inflict if he makes good on his threat to start a trade war with China, the world’s second-biggest economy.

Having backed off some other campaign pledges, it’s unclear if Trump will end up slapping punitive tariffs on China — and Beijing has signaled some optimism he will be more pragmatic in office. Still, the message from China is that any move to tax Chinese imports would bring retaliation: The U.S. economy would take a hit and America would damage its long-standing ties with Asia. Continue reading

China-backed AIIB ‘on track to meet 2016 lending targets’

The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is “on track” to meet its big first-year targets, including lending US$1.2 billion by the end of 2016, bank president Jin Liqun said on Friday.

After bringing many US allies on board and a high-profile launch in January, the multilateral lender moved onto the business of raising funds, gaining expertise, and recruiting experienced executives.

The bank, part of Beijing’s push to expand its regional clout, has lent US$829 million to six projects in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Continue reading

Europe mulls a pivot to ASEAN

Most of EU businesses are ready to increase trade and investment in the ASEAN space over the next five years, with Malaysia and Indonesia to emerge as the most attractive markets. European manufacturers are also pushing for the conclusion of a free trade agreement between the EU and ASEAN to eliminate structural disadvantagesThe EU views ASEAN as a viable alternative to China.

The decline in investments flowing from the European Union (EU) member states to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should not deceive. As witnessed by a recent survey, European companies look in prospect more favorably to the Southeast Asian market than to China’s. Continue reading

ISRO launches record 20 satellites in one go

Setting a record in its space programme, India today successfully launched 20 satellites, including its earth observation Cartosat-2 series, in a single mission on board ISRO’s workhorse PSLV-C34 from the spaceport here.

In a precision launch, PSLV-C34 took off from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, about 110 km from Chennai at 9.26 AM and placed the Cartosat-2 Series and 19 others in the designated polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) about 30 minutes later in clear skies.

Continue reading

Putin Believes Creation of ASEAN-EEU Free Trade Zone Possible

SOCHI (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said the creation of an ASEAN-EEU free trade zone was not only possible, but “a preferred format.”

Continue reading

Russia and Indonesia sign defence co-operation agreement

The presidents of Russia and Indonesia have signed a defence co-operation accord in Sochi, it was reported on 19 May.

Full details of the agreement signed by presidents Vladimir Putin and Joko Widodo were not disclosed. But the heads of state said in a joint statement that they had agreed to widen contacts between defence ministries and security agencies and to conduct an exchange of intelligence information. Continue reading

China Building Missiles to Strike Guam

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Ballistic and cruise missile threat to U.S. island is increasing, congressional commission says

China is building up intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles that pose a growing threat to Guam, the strategic Pacific island that is central to the U.S. military pivot to Asia, according to a congressional report made public Tuesday.

Six different missiles capable of reaching Guam from China are deployed or in late stages of development, says the report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Continue reading

All Of A Sudden, Fish Are Dying By The MILLIONS All Over The Planet

For a comprehensive list on animal die-offs since 2011 please click HERE. The situation has been going on far longer than “sudden”.

 

Why are millions upon millions of dead sea creatures suddenly washing up on beaches all over the world?  It is certainly not unusual for fish and other inhabitants of our oceans to die.  This happens all the time.  But over the past month we have seen a series of extremely alarming mass death incidents all over the planet.  As you will see below, many of these mass death incidents have involved more than 30 tons of fish.  In places such as Chile and Vietnam, it has already gotten to the level where it has started to become a major national crisis.  People see their coastlines absolutely buried in dead sea creatures, and they are starting to freak out. Continue reading

China’s Front-Line Fishermen

TANMEN:  In the disputed waters of the South China Sea, fishermen are the wild card.

China is using its vast fishing fleet as the advance guard to press its expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea, experts say. That is not only putting Beijing on a collision course with its Asian neighbors but also introducing a degree of unpredictability that raises the risk of periodic crises.

In the past few weeks, tensions have flared with Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam as Chinese fishermen, often backed up by coast guard vessels, have ventured far from their homeland and close to other nations’ coasts. These are just the latest conflicts in China’s long-running battle to expand its fishing grounds and simultaneously exert its maritime dominance. Continue reading

Rule of the Sea: China Pushes Boundaries

From 2010’s shift prediction and 2015’s South China Sea giveaway to 2016 where China has solidified the region and is now able to project power. This is where America stands today in Asia:

 

As China’s coastguard bullies its neighbors into submission, America looks on.

At 10 p.m. Saturday night, an Indonesian special task force intercepted a Chinese fishing boat at the southern end of the South China Sea. The event took place within Indonesia’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone off the Natuna Islands, which are far from mainland China.

Onboard the Chinese vessel were nine crewmen, all of whom were taken into custody by the lightly armed Indonesian force. The Indonesian vessel, with the compounded Chinese vessel in tow, began the trip back to an Indonesian base in the Natuna Islands. Continue reading