After the U.S. lifted its embargo following former president Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972, China began learning from Western examples. The establishment of a series of special economic zones was part of the lesson China learned, which has now prompted it to set up the Shanghai free trade zone (FTZ).
China has devised a set of comprehensive rebalancing strategies to ASEAN focusing on Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. They would strengthen Bejing's new diplomatic strongholds under the fifth generation leader, President Xi Jinping. Given the present regional strategic environment, ASEAN is the top priority of China's foreign policy towards neighboring countries.
Actually, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III can, by his lonesome, abolish the pork barrel — if he wants to.
As Malaysia's United Malays National Organization (UMNO) prepares to vote in its three vice-presidents on Saturday, the question is whether the incumbents — tacitly backed by Prime Minister Najib Razak — can fend off the three challengers, including a son of former premier Mahathir Mohamad.
Cam Ranh Bay, in southern Vietnam on the South China Sea, is a good natural harbor. Its mouth is about one kilometer wide, meaning the harbor is somewhat protected from waves. The bay was one of the key Soviet strongholds during the Cold War.
2013/10/17, 1 Comment
On the topic of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, I thought it might be good to look back a bit at the history of free trade and the laissez faire system.
Imagine if the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or the Eiffel Tower was closed to visitors because of a government shutdown. If I were a first-time visitor to Bangkok or Paris, that would be a horrendous experience.
2013/10/16, 1 Comment
In Chinese history, a woman's ascension to power is either a sign of profound change or dramatic crisis. Janet Yellen's nomination to assume chairmanship of the U.S. Fed is a sign of changing times. Note that both the Fed and the SEC will be headed by women. After all, Christine Lagarde, Head of the IMF, has said that if Lehman Brothers had been a bit more Lehman Sisters, we would not have had the same degree of tragedy!
This month was to have marked the return of U.S. President Barack Obama to Asia — stops in Indonesia and Brunei to participate in international summits, and presidential trips to Malaysia and the Philippines.
The adoption of the joint haze monitoring system at ASEAN's Brunei summit last week marked an incremental but concrete step in the fight against environmental scourge.