On May 23, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. However, Duterte had to suddenly return back to Manila, due to a terrorist attack that hit the southern island of Mindanao. Nevertheless, his ministers signed close to $1 billion worth of business deals with Russian firms. The Philippines and Russia have also signed an Agreement on Defense Cooperation. The defense cooperation will expand “exchanges in terms of training, seminars and best practices between the two countries, with the end to develop relations in the field of military education, including military medicine, military history, sports, and culture as well as experiences in consultation, observer participation in military training exercises, and military port calls.” Continue reading
China has organized an alliance of Asian universities to compete with western educational institutions. The alliance will share resources and increase exchanges of students and teachers.
The new organization is called the Asian University Alliance (AUA). It was launched in late April at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The Chinese university was elected as chair of the group that includes a total of 15 universities from 14 countries and areas. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
BEIJING – 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
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
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 disadvantages. The 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
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.
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