Japan wants a massive trade deal without the US — but these countries stand in its way

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next to a map of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership participating countries. [TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP / Getty Images]

 

  • Negotiators from the 11 remaining TPP countries are holding talks this week on how to ink a deal without Washington, but internal divisions are a key obstacle
  • Vietnam and Malaysia, in particular, are looking to re-open discussions on certain provisions, complicating Japan’s desire to cement an agreement

As the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership countries continue talks without Washington this week, certain member states now need convincing to stay on board with the massive trade deal. Continue reading

U.S. To Be A Top-Ten Oil Exporter In Three Years

US

 

PIRA Energy has predicted that U.S. crude oil exports will top 2 million barrels by 2020, reaching 2.25 million bpd. That’s more than what most OPEC members export, the FT notes, citing the research company’s figures. As of 2016, the U.S. average daily export rate was just 520,000 bpd, although in May, the average daily was 1.02 million barrels, after the 1-million-bpd mark was passed early in the year. Continue reading

Russia-Philippines Relations: Defense Agreements But Short Of Military Alliance

Putin with Duterte (Source: Kremlin.ru)

 

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.[1] 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.”[2] Continue reading

China Heads New Alliance of Asian Universities

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

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

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

Malaysian police: Deadly VX nerve agent killed Kim’s half-brother

VX nerve agent, a chemical on a U.N. list of weapons of mass destruction, was used to kill the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in last week’s murder in a busy Kuala Lumpur airport, Malaysian police said on Friday. The two women who assaulted him wiped the deadly chemical on his face as he prepared to board a plan for the Chinese territory of Macau. Continue reading

Beijing’s second aircraft carrier ‘takes shape’ after two years, nine months of construction: media

Mainland China’s first domestically made aircraft carrier, the Shandong, pictured during construction in Dalian in December 2016. Photo: Kyodo

 

Building of the Shandong by mainland China likely to further unnerve Taiwan and other neighbours about its growing military assertiveness

Beijing’s second aircraft carrier was “taking shape” after two years and nine months of construction, mainland Chinese media reported – a move likely to further unnerve Taiwan and other neighbours about its growing military assertiveness.

Construction of the Shandong, named after a province in China’s east coast, began in 2014, the mobile app of Shandong television and radio said in a report seen on Tuesday. 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

Russia flags war games with US ally Philippines

The Russian Navy said Tuesday it was planning to hold war games with the Philippines, as two of its ships made a rare stop in Manila following Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s pivot from the United States.

Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, the deputy commander of the Russian Navy’s Pacific fleet, said the joint military exercises would focus on maritime piracy and terrorism, which he described as the region’s two top security concerns. Continue reading

China, Malaysia pledge to narrow differences on South China Sea

The Philippines were yesterday, Malaysia is today. Which nation will next help shift the global order in China’s favor under an often-mentioned Asian bloc? This is only one step for Malaysia, but will prove to be another huge setback for America in Asia in the near future. Military cooperation between the two Asian nations is now in the pipeline.

 

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Premier Li Keqiang attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

 

Kuala Lumpur also agrees to buy four Chinese naval vessels as part of Najib Razak’s visit to Beijing

China and Malaysia vowed to deepen cooperation on the ­disputed South China Sea on Tuesday as Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak met Premier Li ­Keqiang in Beijing.

Li called on Malaysia and China to further consolidate their relationship, especially when it came to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as part of China’s efforts to win over member nations of the bloc.

Continue reading

China urges Australia to be ‘cautious’ on South China Sea

BEIJING: China hopes that Australia acts and speaks with caution on the South China Sea and that its words and actions on the matter match each other, a senior Chinese officer told the visiting head of the Australian Defence Force.

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has previously drawn criticism from China for running surveillance flights over disputed islands in the South China Sea and supporting U.S. freedom of navigation exercises there. Continue reading

Is Chinese salvage ship searching for flight MH370 spying on Australia?

The Chinese embassy in Canberra has strongly denied accusations that a Chinese government ship involved in the international effort to find the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is spying on the Royal Australian Navy. The ship, the Dong Hai Jiu 101, is a salvage and rescue vessel built in Shanghai in 2012 and currently sailing under the Chinese flag. In April, the Chinese government contracted the Dong Hai Jiu 101 to join the international search effort for the wreckage of Flight MH370. The Boeing 777 aircraft disappeared over the South China Sea on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, to the Beijing Capital International Airport in China. 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

Japan to grant patrol boats to Malaysia to counter China

VIENTIANE — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will promise to give Malaysia patrol boats during Wednesday’s leaders summit between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Laos.

The Southeast Asian nation is locked in a territorial dispute with China over waters in the South China Sea. Tokyo and the Malaysian government are negotiating a pact in which Japan will transfer military hardware and provide technical support. Continue reading