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July, 28, 2016

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Commentary > China Post > Special
As Pakistan's policies and paranoia have turned it into a pariah state, our alliance with China has stayed rocksteady.
 
In a span of three days last week, from Thursday to Saturday, five men died by what appeared to be summary execution in the Philippines -- two in Negros Occidental, two in Iloilo and one in Negros Oriental, all in central Philippines.
 
After admitting in a recent press conference that he is no longer a Catholic, Rodrigo Duterte remarked that he had a new religion: "Iglesia ni Duterte (Church of Duterte)."
 
The first anniversary of the Gorkha Earthquake has drawn considerable reflection, and as predicted, most of it is discouraging. There has been little progress in physical rebuilding, and none in improving the governance that failed citizens before and after the disaster.
 
Last Tuesday, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte presented his Cabinet-in-waiting to the public for the first time. The rite of political passage was quickly overshadowed, however, when Duterte's news conference took a by-now-familiar turn for the bizarre.
 
A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. That was how British statesman Winston Churchill described Russia, but it also fits China, which has risen astoundingly in just over three decades to become the world's No. 2 economy.
 
With the country stuck in the middle-income trap for more than a decade, the government says it is now booting up "Thailand 4.0" to pluck the Kingdom from its "lost decade." How that will come about is perhaps more important than what the ambitious plan is all about.
 
The United States' decision to lift all restrictions on arms sales to Vietnam slays the ghosts of the Cold War, even as it shows how Washington is squaring up to face new challenges to its global dominance.
 
It was a challenging conversation. The Moroccan parliamentarian I was talking to wasn't having any of it. Egypt was the largest Muslim country in the world, he insisted. Why on earth was I talking about Indonesia?
 
Like turkeys praying for a Christmas they would probably never enjoy, large sections of Britons are being lured by a Europhobic popular press and jingoistic politicians into thinking it would be a good thing if their country left the European Union.
 
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