How New Silk Roads Are Shaping Southwest Asia

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The tall buildings of Abu Dhabi. Business people in the United Arab Emirates and other parts of the Middle East are thinking about being part of the Belt and Road scheme. Image: iStock

 

Businesses in the Middle East have begun to think ‘Make trade not war’ and being part of China’s Belt and Road scheme

Singapore, aiming high for the status of Asia’s unofficial capital, seems like the ideal venue for a conference to discuss how the Middle East could learn a few lessons from ASEAN’s multi-layered relations with China, especially involving partnership in the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

But first, let’s get things straight. The “Middle East” is, of course, a Eurocentric, Orientalist denomination. From Asia’s – and China’s – cultural and geographical point of view, the “Middle East” is correctly seen as Southwest Asia. Continue reading

China Significantly Boosts Size of Navy and Air Force, Downsizes Army

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An airman of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force operates an aircraft during a drill on the second flight training day of the New Year at Liaodong Peninsula on January 3, in Liaoning province, China. (Getty Images)

 

‘Transformational changes’ in military priorities are enhancing Beijing’s ability to flex its muscles far beyond China’s borders.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (pla) is undergoing “transformational changes” to greatly boost the size of its navy and air force and to downsize its land-based army by nearly half, the nation’s official Xinhua news agency said on January 20.

“This new data is unprecedented in the history of the pla,” the agency wrote. As a result of the changes, it said, “the Army now accounts for less than 50 percent of the total number of pla troops; almost half of our noncombatant units have been made redundant.” Continue reading

Russia’s nuclear-capable underwater drone to be deployed

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The Poseidon multipurpose ocean system in a screenshot from a video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry. Photo: AFP/Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation

 

Skeptics play down the threat posed by Moscow’s latest weapon, which is set to be used in the Pacific

Russia is ready to deploy nuclear-capable Poseidon underwater drones in the Pacific area as part of its oceanic multi-purpose system, Russian state media have reported.

Given the poor state of relations between the Kremlin and the United States, the American superpower is evidently the primary target of new Russian weaponry, but the deployment of Poseidon could eventually become an issue for China as well. Continue reading

America Frozen Out of World Trade

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Yet another trade agreement excludes the U.S.

A new trade agreement that covers more than 13 percent of the world economy, accounting for 15 percent of global trade, was ratified by its first six countries on December 30. The Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (cptpp) will cover 500 million people.

Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore will be joined by another four countries that have already signed but not yet ratified the agreement. Vietnam joins on January 14, while Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru will join the deal 60 days after completing the ratification process. Continue reading

Hong Kong Overtakes New York as City With Most Super-Rich People

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More proof that the Hong Kong transfer was a colossal loss for Great Britain, and a massive gain for China

Hong Kong has overtaken New York City to become the city home to more super-rich people than any other metropolis on the planet, according to a study published on September 6 by the Wealth X research firm.

The study tallies the number of individuals worth $30 million or more, labeling them ultra-high net worth individuals. In recent years, the number of these individuals living in Hong Kong has risen to about 10,000. Continue reading

China’s Command Innovation

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Image: Visual Capitalist

 

Hardly a day passes without some sort of China news in the financial headlines. There’s a good reason, too. China is the global economy’s 600-pound gorilla, second in size only to the US. Yes, it was largely a copycat business economy up until the early 2000s, but Chinese entrepreneurs have really taken charge in the last 10 years. Fueled by the profits from huge consumer demand, they are expanding not only in China but globally. This story is largely ignored in the US and in much of Europe. We hear about a few projects here and there, but we don’t understand the extent.

China is on its way to becoming the largest economy in the world, which because of its population, it should be (possibly with the exception of India, if they ever get their act together). Short-term events and arguments sometimes obscure this longer-term reality. China’s transition from rural poverty to export powerhouse to consumer goliath may be the most consequential economic event in centuries. Possibly ever—I can’t think of a historical example to rival it. Historians might argue the British Empire or even the US from 1800–2000, but that took centuries. China has done it in a little over 30 years. Continue reading

Struggle for Influence in the Western Pacific (I)

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The US-led RIMPAC 2018, the world’s largest naval maneuver, began yesterday with German soldiers participating. According to the US Navy, the naval exercise will also include operations in the Western Pacific. The region of the Southwest Pacific islands will thus come into focus, which – even though largely ignored by the European public – has been gaining significant global influence. On the one hand, the influence of Western countries has shrunk recently, while that of their strategic rivals, such as Russia and China, has significantly grown. Some Pacific island nations have since then been seeking to pursue a foreign policy independent from the West. On the other hand, the Southwest Pacific has become even more important also for Australia and the Unites States: as the political economic backyard for Australia and “gateway to the Indo-Pacific” for the U.S.A. Germany is also attempting to increase its activities in the region.

Continue reading

China Adds Advanced Missiles to South China Sea Islands

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Pentagon plans major response to Chinese hegemony

China’s military has stepped up militarizing disputed islands in the South China Sea by deploying advanced missile systems on the Spratly islands, according to the Pentagon.

Defense officials disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that the militarization has raised alarm bells about China’s creeping takeover of the strategic waterway used for some $5 trillion annually in international trade. Continue reading

USS Truman airborne strike group in place opposite Syria

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DEBKAfile

 

In position off the Syrian coast is the nuclear-powered USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier – from which the US, UK and France launched their April 14 attack on the Syrian army for launching a chemical attack. The US Navy strike group entered the eastern Mediterranean over last weekend. US task force commander Rear Adm. Eugene Black announced that its arrival “sends a powerful signal to our partners that we are committed to maintaining peace and security in the region and everywhere that there is a threat of terrorism.” Continue reading

Here Is The Full Text Of The Letter Signed By Trump And Kim

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There was some confusion in the immediate aftermath of the signing of a letter by President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un to commemorate the conclusion of the historic Singapore summit, for the simple reason that nobody knew what was in the letter, and analysts were forced to extract its contents from photos…

Moments ago Bloomberg released the full text. Here’s what it says (highlights ours).

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Continue reading

N. Korea will never fully give up nuclear weapons: top defector

North Korea will never completely give up its nuclear weapons, a top defector said ahead of leader Kim Jong Un’s landmark summit with US President Donald Trump next month.

The current whirlwind of diplomacy and negotiations will not end with “a sincere and complete disarmament” but with “a reduced North Korean nuclear threat”, said Thae Yong-ho, who fled his post as the North’s deputy ambassador to Britain in August 2016.

“In the end, North Korea will remain ‘a nuclear power packaged as a non-nuclear state’,” Thae told the South’s Newsis news agency. Continue reading

CIA Prepares To Replace Spies With Artificial Intelligence

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The Central Intelligence Agency CIA understands that artificial intelligence  AI is the next big thing for the secretive intelligence community. This comes at a time when the intelligence agency was all over the news later year when WikiLeaks published over 8,000 documents — apparently classified CIA files — revealing the agency’s top-secret spy tools.

In a spy versus spy scenario, CIA field officers operating abroad are expected to be followed by adversarial spies hoping to unearth their critical sources, said CNN.

But now, foreign spies often do not need to bother because technology can do it for them, said CIA’s Science and Technology division deputy director Dawn Meyerriecks. Continue reading

World War 3: Britain sends THIRD warship to Asia-Pacific as tensions rise with North Korea

HMS Sutherland is being deployed to the Pacific (Beutner/ullstein bild via Getty)

 

THE UK has deployed a third navy warship to the Asia-Pacific as diplomatic tensions with North Korea continue to rise. HMS Albion will join HMS Sutherland and will help enforce UN sanctions against North Korea, as well as take part in joint training and exercises with regional allies.

The Ministry of Defence previously announced that HMS Argyll would also be deployed, arriving in the region later in the year to take part in an exercise with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore. Continue reading

The Rise of China as a Superpower

Shanghai, China (ISTOCK.COM/LIUFUYU)

 

 

It is one of the most impressive economic and political miracles in modern times. And it isn’t over yet.

China is a sovereign state with a population of over 1.3 billion people. The nation possesses the world’s largest economy by some measurements, the world’s largest population and the fourth-largest territory.

These are the building blocks of a superpower. While the world anticipates China gaining superpower status, analysts debate over when and whether its rise will be peaceful.

The Trumpet forecasts that China will continue to grow as a formidable power, combining its strength with Russia. Further, we forecast that it will play a major role in waging economic war that will devastate America.

Where do these forecasts come from? Continue reading

Are China and Singapore Allying Against the United States to Control the South China Sea?

 

 

On Sept. 20, 2017, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi called Lee’s three-day visit “a reflection of the closeness of the two countries’ relations,” according to Fox News.

And that could mean trouble ahead for the United States… Continue reading