Asia

U.S. Claims Chinese Destroyer Encounter was Unsafe

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The U.S. Navy carried out a freedom of navigation operation with the destroyer USS Decatur in the South China Sea on Sunday, with a Navy spokesperson claiming it resulted in an unsafe encounter with a… By MarEx  The Maritime Executive USS Decatur, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Chinese artificial islands at Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratley Islands. The reefs are claimed by China, the… U.S. media outlets have quoted defense officials ... Read More »

Cooperation needed to tackle fisheries subsidies

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In July 2016, an arbitral tribunal established that China — through failing to exercise due diligence in preventing Chinese-flagged vessels fishing in various locations in the South China Sea — had violated the… Margaret Young EastAsiaForum China had not, the tribunal found, exhibited due regard for the Philippines’ sovereign rights with respect to fisheries in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). China was also found to have breached provisions in the Convention relating to the protection of marine environment. The findings ... Read More »

Taiwan is revolutionizing democracy

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TAIPEI — Compared to the established democracies of the West, Taiwan’s is still in its infancy. Yen-Tu Su The Washington Post It did not become a full democracy until 1992, and it only held its first direct presidential election in 1996. And yet, Taiwan’s young democracy has made rapid progress, through social movements, representative politics, the judicial process and now, through direct democracy. In the beginning of this year, it rolled out one of the most citizen-friendly systems for ballot initiatives and ... Read More »

EU to hit Cambodia with trade sanctions, says Myanmar may follow

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union told Cambodia on Friday it will lose its special access to the world’s largest trading bloc, and said it was considering similar trade sanctions for Myanmar in a toughening of EU policy on human rights in Southeast Asia. Robin Emmott, Philip Blenkinsop After months of pressure from rights groups and the European Parliament, the EU’s trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said the bloc was ready to punish abuses in both countries by removing trade preferences. ... Read More »

World politics explainer: The twin-tower bombings (9/11)

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At 8:46am on a sunny Tuesday morning in New York City, a commercial jet plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, cutting through floors 93 to 99. Barbara Keys The Conversation As the news was beamed around the world, shaken reporters wondered whether the crash had been an accident or an act of terrorism. At 9:03am, viewers watching the smoke billowing from the gash in the building were stunned to see a second jet plane dart ... Read More »

World Court orders U.S. to ensure Iran sanctions don’t hit humanitarian aid

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THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The World Court ordered the United States on Wednesday to ensure that sanctions against Iran, due to be tightened next month, do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety. Stephanie van den Berg Judges at the International Court Of Justice (ICJ) handed a small victory to Tehran, which had argued that sanctions imposed since May by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump violate terms of a 1955 Treaty of Amity between the… But U.S. ... Read More »

Pipeline Dreams

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Eastern Mediterranean gas creates new allies—and deepens old enmities John Psaropoulos the weekly Standard Athens On January 30, the deepwater drillship Saipem 12000 sent its drill bit into a cavern beneath one-and-a-quarter miles of water and a mile of rock in the eastern Mediterranean. The Italian oil and gas company Eni, which had contracted the ship, announced a week later that the cavern, called Calypso, was “an extended gas column,” containing an estimated six to eight trillion cubic feet of ... Read More »

Aung San Suu Kyi’s extraordinary fall from grace

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Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader and de facto president, is under fire from all sides. Domestically, she is facing growing criticism for stalled economic and political reforms, glacial progress on policy and service improvements, and the suppression of freedom of expression and press freedom. Authors: The Conversation But it is her international reputation that is most in tatters. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, imprisoned for 15 years over a 21-year period in her struggle for human rights and ... Read More »

Turkey Airstrikes Target Iraqi Christian Villages; Activists Call for War Crimes Investigation

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The Turkish military launched airstrikes targeting Iraqi Christian villages in northern Iraq, a rights group warned. Samuel Smith The Christian Post Local sources have told International Christian Concern, a U.S.-based persecution watchdog, that seven predominantly Christian villages were targeted by Turkish airstrikes last month. September saw an increase in Turkish airstrikes in the north of Iraq. “Turkey attempts to justify these airstrikes by claiming that these villages support or have a PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) presence,” an ICC report reads. “Turkey is ... Read More »

Britain’s Constitutional Responsibilities to the Republic of Cyprus: Past, Present and Future

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Thank you for your kind invitation to this inaugural seminar, I am honoured to have been invited to such an important event in relation to the Constitutional role of Britain according to the Constitution of The Republic of Cyprus. Anna Theologou * When I entered politics 2 years ago I promised myself that I will always speak the truth and my mind and adhere to my principles even at the expense of political cost, because I was never font of ... Read More »

The Cyprus Treaty of Guarantee 1960 and the Responsibilities of the UK Government

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Britain’s Constitutional Responsibilities to the Republic of Cyprus: Past, Present and Future Introduction. The Basic Documents (a) The Lancaster House Agreements  The Prime Ministers of the UK, the Kingdom of Greece and the Turkish /Republic, Harold Macmillan, C. Karamanlis, A. Menteres, on 19 February 1959 signed a Memorandum in London setting out the Agreed Foundation for the Final Settlement of the Problem of Cyprus. Dr. Christos Clerides * The representatives of the Greek Cypriot community and the Turkish Cypriot community declared that they ... Read More »

Arctic Options: Why America Should Invest in a Future with China

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America needs to increase its engagement in the Arctic’s rapidly-changing geopolitical environment because inaction could lead to Washington losing future opportunities in the area. Alison McFarland The National Interest In August, the Arctic’s oldest and thickest sea ice broke up, releasing water on Greenland’s northern coast that typically remains frozen throughout the year. Occurring for the second time this year, the melting ice not only raises environmental concerns, but also brings the potential for geopolitical change. China presents a driving ... Read More »

Australia must demand Myanmar war crimes tribunal, says investigator

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The Morrison government should use its regional clout to demand a peacekeeping mission and war crimes tribunal in response to humanitarian crimes in Myanmar, says a top Australian investigator. Nick McKenzie & Nicole Precel The Age Michael Stefanovic, an Australian seconded to the US State Department’s Myanmar inquiry, said he was horrified by the evidence he had gathered. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is grappling whether to use the term genocide to describe the Myanmar military’s attack on members ... Read More »

The geopolitics of artificial intelligence

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In The WorldPost this week, we examine and evaluate two key developments of the digital age: the emergent geopolitics of artificial intelligence and Facebook’s recent move toward “reputational scores” as a means to signal trustworthy information to users. Nathan Gardels The Washington Post In an interview, AI guru Kai-Fu Lee talks about his new book, “AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order.” For Lee, who is based in Beijing, the world of AI has become a “duopoly” in which ... Read More »

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Regional Elections Test a Brittle Status Quo

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The fallout continues to settle after Iraqi Kurdistan’s fraught independence referendum one year ago. Maria Fantappie ICG In this Q&A, our Iraq Senior Adviser Maria Fantappie surveys the political landscape ahead of the first regional legislative elections since the plebiscite. What’s at stake in the 30 September elections? Voters in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will choose the 111 members of the Kurdistan National Assembly, in the fourth election since the body was founded in 1992 and the… At stake, ... Read More »

The German Government’s Shameful Kowtow Before Erdogan

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In welcoming Turkey’s presidential dictator for a state visit, the EU’s largest member nation is exploring the limits of self-humiliation. A working visit would be quite enough. Benedict Neff The Globalist On September 28th and 29th, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be honored by the German government with a state visit to Berlin. To give such an honor to a man who is relentlessly snuffing out the remaining elements of freedom in his own country is a big mistake. ... Read More »