Asia

Who has been driving the crypto boom? Individuals in Asia

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Despite a backlash from some regional governments, Asian retail traders continue to drive demand MARTIN J. YOUNG Asia Times There is no doubt that 2017 has been the figurative Big Bang for digital currency markets. Until last Friday’s selling frenzy, Bitcoin had made a meteoric rise of 1,800% since the beginning of the year. It tumbled last week below US$12,000 to put it on track for its worst week since 2013. Other cryptocurrencies, such as Riot Blockchain and Overstock.com, also struggled. But even with ... Read More »

Ten Tips for Israel when Negotiating with Saudi Arabia and the Arab World

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When negotiating with the Saudis and their friends, Israel’s number one rule should be to make clear that it will not pay anything for peace. By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar BESA If the Saudis want to live in peace with Israel, it will extend its hand to offer them peace in return. But that is all they will get. There is no other kind of peace agreement. If they do not want peace on those terms, then there ... Read More »

Sri Lanka the latest victim of China’s debt-trap diplomacy

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Beijing has been given a 99-year lease on Hambantota port as part of a debt-reduction deal, amid talk of creditor imperialism following China’s buy-up of strategic ports in Piraeus, Darwin and Djibouti. BRAHMA CHELLANEY Asia Times This month, Sri Lanka, unable to pay the onerous debt to China it has accumulated, formally handed over its strategically located Hambantota port to the Asian giant. It was a major acquisition for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – which President Xi Jinping ... Read More »

Israel has transferred Ahed Tamimi to three different detention facilities in the last five days even though she has not yet been charged with a crime

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The recent arrest of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi by Israeli soldiers from her family home in the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh has sparked protest around the world and refocused light on Israel’s unjust treatment of Palestinian children Jesse Rubin  Mondoweiss In the five days since her arrest, Israeli authorities have attempted to coerce confession from Ahed, a minor, without access to a lawyer or a parent (her mother Nariman was herself arrested when she arrived to accompany her daughter ... Read More »

Rohingya: 500,000 unlikely to receive schooling in 2018

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A humanitarian organisation has warned of a “lost generation” with more than 500,000 Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh unlikely to receive schooling in 2018. AlJazeera The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said unless interventions are “urgently funded”, the humanitarian needs of children will only increase. “Education in emergencies is a life-saving and life-changing intervention – helping children recover and cope with the continuing adversity they face,” said Sarah Smith, the… “This is incredibly urgent for Rohingya children; no… Rohingya: 500,000 unlikely… Read More »

Chess federation says Israel excluded from Saudi-hosted match

FILE PHOTO: A chess player looks at the board during a game against Israeli grandmaster Alik Gershon at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, October 21, 2010. REUTERS/Nir Elias/File Photo

Israeli players have been denied visas to participate in a speed chess championship hosted by Saudi Arabia this week, a vice president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) said on Dec. 24. ATHENS – Reuters Hurriyet Seven Israeli players had requested visas for the tournament on Dec. 26-30. It would have marked the first time Saudi Arabia had publicly hosted Israelis as the Gulf state does not recognize Israel and there are no formal ties between them. FIDE Vice President ... Read More »

Egypt denies Russian mediation to restore ties with Turkey

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CAIRO – 24 December 2017: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry denied speculations about Russian mediation between Egypt and Turkey, stressing that the Egyptian and Turkish people have many things in common. Nawal Sayed  Egypt Today “Egypt hopes to overcome tensions with Turkey on bases of respect of countries’ sovereignty without interfering into each other’s domestic affairs,” Shoukry told Akhbar al-Youm newspaper on Saturday. Shoukry’s statements come amid several denials made by Egyptian officials, while Turkish officials have reaffirmed hopes to ... Read More »

David McWilliams: There’s an economic star in the east

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Today, wise men know that the world’s economic future isn’t in the west. It’s in China. David McWilliams Some 2,000 years ago, Joseph and Mary headed from Nazareth to Bethlehem to sign a census. The Irish Times Census night was a big deal in Roman Judea because the Romans were meticulous about economic and demographic affairs. The Romans were fastidious measurers because they were exacting tax-collectors. These taxes, collected in the Judea of Christ, were designed to finance Roman expansion ... Read More »

The Danger to the South China Sea Fishery

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For years, sovereign rights in the South China Sea have been an object of fierce contention among the states that border it: the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam, all members of the 10-nation ASEAN group, China, their giant neighbor to the north, and Taiwan as… David Brown Asia Sentinel But while the bordering states jockey for advantage, with China now clearly the dominant local power, scientists have been warning that the sea is fast becoming the site of an ... Read More »

The Arms Trade Treaty in the Asia-Pacific

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Small steps toward improving a difficult relationship Michael Weiss The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is the first multilateral treaty to regulate the international trade in conventional arms. The Diplomat In this respect, it is a landmark treaty for the international community, focusing on an issue that is of highest importance for many Asia-Pacific countries – trying to find and establish mechanisms to control unregulated flows of arms. Since its entry into force on December 24, 2014, 130 states have signed the treaty ... Read More »

Turkey’s Looming Crisis

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Viewed one way, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks unassailable: He weathered last year’s coup attempt, jailed more than 50,000 opponents, fired more than 100,000 civil servants, beheaded the once powerful Turkish military, eviscerated much of his parliamentary opposition, dismissed almost half of the county’s elected officials, and rammed through a constitutional referendum that will make him an all-powerful executive following the… Conn Hallinan CounterPunch In the meantime, a seemingly never-ending state of emergency allows him to rule by… So ... Read More »

In Britain, the productivity problem has a clear solution

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The UK is lagging in productivity, but it has a secret weapon to leapfrog ahead of its competitors. Deborah Sherry Over the past year, Brexit has been the all-consuming storyline looming over the British economy. Politico As growth has lagged, people have looked to the country’s impending exit from the European Union for explanations. But Brexit or no Brexit, the real crisis is British productivity. In 2016, the U.K. ranked well below the other major economies of Europe in productivity, ... Read More »

PA looks to Russia, China, to upstage United States

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas has said repeatedly that the US has forfeited its role as a mediator due to President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. BEN LYNFIELD JPost Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dispatched delegations to Moscow and Beijing on Tuesday, as part of efforts to find new sponsorship for the peace process, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. The move came as Ahmad Majdalani, a PLO executive committee member who is leading the delegation to China, ruled ... Read More »

Alicia Garcia-Herrero: What US Tax Reform Means for China

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How will the new U.S. tax system affect the world’s second largest economy? Maurits Elen The Diplomat Since the 1980s, the American corporate income tax rate has remained unchanged, all while OECD countries consistently started to reduce their own. With lower rates soon to be signed into law, a key economic policy objective of Trump is taking shape: to make the United States more competitive. The tax overhaul is unlikely to significantly affect the Chinese economy, nor will it pressure China ... Read More »

2017 Global Diplomacy Index: Asia’s ties to the world

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The Lowy Institute has released an updated and expanded 2017 Global Diplomacy Index, which now maps and ranks 60 of the world’s most significant diplomatic networks. Alex Oliver Erin Harris For the uninitiated, the Global Diplomacy Index is an interactive map that plots around 7000 individual embassies, consulates and other representations in over 700 cities across the globe. The expanded Index adds the diplomatic networks of 17 Asian nations to the original set, which covered all 42 countries in the G20 ... Read More »

The reconfiguration of the New Syria

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Whatever happens, the New Syria which is currently reshaping will be the breaking point that will give rise to the new Middle East from which, however, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China and even the United States will no longer be excluded or marginalized. Giancarlo Elia Valori Modern Diplomacy Those who currently think of a repetition of the Cold War on the banks of the Euphrates are badly mistaken. Russia does not want the US expulsion from the ... Read More »