The President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, was in New Delhi for his first state visit to India from July 8-11, 2018, as part of his wider Asia-Pacific trip under the umbrella of Moon administration’s New Southern Policy.
ASEAN’s plans to strengthen connectivity has prompted and heightened competition between the two Asian giants of China and Japan, particularly in the areas of infrastructure financing and high-speed rail construction.
Chinese tourists to Japan are on the rise. In 2017, 26 percent of Japan’s total visitor arrivals came from China. A weak Japanese yen, rise of budget airlines, China’s easing of outbound tourism, Japan’s visa deregulation and a growing Chinese middle class are the reasons.
The Xiangshan Forum and the Shangri-La Dialogue are two of the most important security dialogues regionally and globally. The Xiangshan Forum was inaugurated in 2006 and it became a Track 1.5 event in 2015. The Shangri-La Dialogue has been going strong as well.
Japan’s investment in China and bilateral trade have suffered setbacks in recent years. Unlike the slowing down of economic relations, the new geopolitical situation has encouraged the leaders from the two countries to seek more intimate diplomatic ties.
To facilitate peace on the Korean Peninsula, North and South Korea and the US are not the only critical actors. Russia, Japan and China are also strategically significant, but it is China which will be the most crucial for the US in the next phase of facilitating real peace.
Beyond the Sentosa agreement, what could potentially be significant about Kim Jong-un’s visit to Singapore is how it could mirror Deng Xiaoping’s pivotal 1978 Singapore visit. Could Kim Jong-un be inspired to implement a similar economic reform program for North Korea?
On May 24, 2018, the African country of Burkina Faso announced that it was breaking diplomatic relations with Taiwan. It was the second such setback for Taipei in one month. The Dominican Republic made the same move just over three weeks earlier.