Asia

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un rewrites the book on the art of the deal with shrewd handling of Donald Trump in Singapore

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Kim shows poise and diplomatic flourish to walk away with a win on one of the biggest points of contention Lee Jeong-ho and Kinling Lo South China Morning Post For a 34-year-old who made his first state visit in just the last few months, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seemed to hold his own in Tuesday’s high-profile summit setting with US President Donald Trump. Kim had already surprised many observers with shrewd strategic manoeuvring before the talks and the Singapore ... Read More »

Vietnam cybersecurity law a devastating blow to freedom: Amnesty

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New law aims to prevent users from organising online for anti-state purposes and spreading false information. Al-Jazeera The passing of a new cybersecurity law by the Vietnamese parliament has led to criticism of its potential effect on freedom of speech and expression. Legislators said the new regulation, which will require tech companies to store data about Vietnamese users on local servers, will increase security in the country. But according to critics, this move could possibly stifle free speech for Vietnamese internet users ... Read More »

Anwar in the wings as Malaysia remakes its democracy

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The elevator to the office of Anwar Ibrahim’s nondescript office pronounces “I’m back.” But will the former political prisoner become national leader any time soon? Donald K. Emerson Asia Times Bedecked with skyscrapers, Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is a high-rise city. In that lofty context, the headquarters of the People’s Justice Party (PKR) are down to earth. They occupy one in a row of nondescript low-rise buildings unfashionably far from downtown. Even the lettered number of the floor that includes ... Read More »

Turkey’s Election Reinvigorates Debate over Kurdish Demands

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Ahead of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June, opinion polls suggest a tighter race than many anticipated. ICG The country’s Kurds could be kingmakers, prompting politicians of different stripes to court their votes and… What’s new? Snap presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey appear likely to be more closely fought than anticipated. The country’s Kurds could affect the outcome of both contests. Politicians, especially those opposing President Erdoğan and… Why does it matter? Debate on Kurdish issues has ... Read More »

What’s next for the West?

Members of Oxfam dressed as the G7 leaders protest in Quebec City on June 9, 2018, during the G7 Summit. (Photo by Alice Chiche / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ALICE CHICHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Double, double toil and trouble. Politico Wrecking ball or master negotiator? Either way, Donald Trump is rewriting the rules of international diplomacy. In the span of just a few days, the U.S. president blew up the G7 summit and signed a nuclear deal with North Korea. Europe was left reeling. POLITICO asked experts what’s next for the West. The West is finished Ulrike Guérot is founder and director of the think tank European Democracy Lab and professor for European policy and the study of democracy ... Read More »

US sees TANAP ‘universally’ good for Turkey, Europe

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The United States has expressed very strong support for the trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) that will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to the European continent via Turkey, describing the $8.5 billion-worth project as a… Serkan Demirtaş – ANKARA Hurriyet “TANAP is pretty much universally good. It’s good for Azerbaijan, good for Turkey. Once the TAP [Trans Adriatic Pipeline Project] is built, it will also be good for Europe,” Sandra Oudkirk, the deputy assistant secretary of the… She came ... Read More »

‘World will see a major change:’ Kim, Trump sign declaration

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First-ever North Korea-US summit was an optical success but a substantive failure with a vague, non-tangible outcome Nile Bowie and Andrew Salmon Asia Times The hugely anticipated, first-ever summit between North Korea and the United States – two states which remain technically at war, and which last year appeared on the brink of renewed combat ­– has been declared a… In a joint declaration, both sides agreed to upgrade relations. North Korea committed to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, ... Read More »

How Asian crypto traders leverage the ‘Kimchi Premium’

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The price of Bitcoin is often substantially higher in South Korea than elsewhere, which is leading many investors to turn to arbitrage trading Luke Thompson Asia Times Aside from the futures markets, it is difficult to go short on crypto-currencies. Big gains are made in bull markets and panic selling occurs when the bears have control, such as at the moment. There is, however, another way of leveraging a profit out of crypto markets and Asian traders have found this ... Read More »

I visited the Rohingya camps in Myanmar and here is what I saw

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Myanmar recently claimed to have repatriated its first Rohingya refugee family. Cresa Pugh The Conversation But, as an official from the United Nations noted, the country is still not safe for the return of its estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees, who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape an ongoing state-sponsored military campaign and… Indeed, in recent times, the Myanmar military has been building a fence along the 170-mile border and fortifying it with landmines, to prevent the Rohingya from ... Read More »

Yemen: Averting a Destructive Battle for Hodeida

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More than three years into Yemen’s war, a bloody battle looms for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida. ICG International leaders should work for a UN-led negotiated settlement to stop the offensive and, if this fails, take steps to avoid deepening what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. What’s new? Three years into Yemen’s destructive war, a battle is shaping up for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida, a lifeline for the bulk of Yemen’s population. Forces backed by ... Read More »

New Strategic Dimensions of the Eastern Mediterranean

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For the first time since the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern Mediterranean is in the midst of a tectonic shift. Dr. Spyridon N. Litsas BESA The region presents all the required attributes to function as a distinct sub-regional system in the 21st century’s international environment. The Eastern Mediterranean holds the interest of the great powers (the US, Russia, and China); it contains resolute regional actors that influence the sociopolitical orbit of the region (Israel, Egypt, and Turkey); and ... Read More »

South China Sea: Everything You Need to Know About Asia’s Slow Brewing Showdown

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The recent US B-52 flyby over contested areas of the South China Sea, in response to the recent Chinese landing of a bomber aircraft in the area, is again shining a spotlight upon the underlying roots of the territorial disputes, tensions and provocations in the… Kris Osborn The National Interest While lingering beneath the radar and overshadowed by other pressing international crisis, South China Sea confrontations – and the history which causes them – have not gone away but rather ... Read More »

Deep Freeze and Beyond: Making the Trump-Kim Summit a Success

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The greatest risk to the 12 June summit between the U.S. and North Korea is mismatched expectations. ICG To avoid a return to escalatory rhetoric, both parties should keep hopes modest and adopt an action-for-action approach as part of a four-step plan for denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. What’s new? The on-again, off-again summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is upon us. The parties are in the throes of preparation for the historic 12 ... Read More »

Dying refugee on Nauru barred from coming to Australia for palliative care

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Border force tells 63-year-old with advanced lung cancer he can go to Taiwan or return to Afghanistan Ben Doherty The Guardian A dying Afghan refugee held on Nauru will not be allowed to come to Australia for palliative care. The Australian Border Force has told 63-year-old Ali*, who is suffering advanced lung cancer, he is deemed to have “refused treatment” because he declined to be moved to Taiwan to die. He told the ABF he did not want to go to Taiwan because he ... Read More »

Vietnam cheers G7 for backing ASEAN on South China Sea dispute

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Goal of keeping a clean marine environment only possible when cooperation is preserved, Vietnam PM tells summit. Vu Hoang VnExpress Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has lauded G7 members for supporting the stance of ASEAN countries on disputes in the South China Sea, commonly known as the East Sea in Vietnam. ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has said it is necessary to strengthen cooperation in ensuring security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation, and called for peaceful ... Read More »

Vietnam protesters clash with police over new economic zones

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Protests have broken out in Vietnam against plans for new economic zones, amid fears that Chinese investors will dominate the areas. BBC Police reportedly detained more than a dozen people in the capital Hanoi and halted demonstrations in other cities. Some carried anti-China banners, including one reading “No leasing land to China even for one day”. The government proposed a law last year that would give foreign investors a 99-year lease on Vietnamese land. The bill offers… Vietnam protesters clash… Read More »