Almost two years after a surge in violence in Myanmar’s Kokang region prompted 50,000 locals to cross the border into China and led the Tatmadaw to fire shells into China’s Yunnan province, a fresh resurgence in violence has prompted over 20,000 locals from Laukkai to flee into China.
In the revived contemporary interest in the Maritime Silk Road, narratives about Zheng He may become part of the current discourse on Chinese plans to revive the maritime trading route which spans cities from China to Italy.
An effect of the warming relations between China and the Philippines has been the de-emphasis in Manila of the South China Sea dispute. This de-escalation of tensions has brought a surge of Chinese investment, as well as possible Sino-Philippine joint exploration of resources in the South China Sea.
Southeast Asia straddles both the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road, and the projects promise to stimulate economic development and trade in the participating nations. China and ASEAN seek to raise their trade to USD 1 trillion by 2020.
In January 2017 during the 20th China-Philippines Foreign Ministry Consultation, the two countries confirmed that they would complete the Code of Conduct framework relating to the South China Sea in the first half of 2017.
The concept of a meme is a useful way of thinking about the widespread adoption of increasing block tariffs, the approach most municipal water utilities in Southeast Asia now use to calculate their customers’ water bills.
Bloomberg reported in November 2016 that Chinese developers were spearheading the USD 100 billion Chinese-made city in Johor Bahru, a city at the southern tip of Malaysia and bordering Singapore, to turn it into the next Shenzhen.
A cancelation of or suspension of talks on the TPP means Vietnam will lose an important opportunity for international economic integration. And it is likely to result in a slow-down in Vietnamese reforms.
Both Malaysia and the Philippines along with others in the original ASEAN-5 are already comfortable in terms of their partnerships with Japan, and they will find working with China to be a productive and possibly value-added new infrastructure construction partnership experience.
Rodrigo Duterte’s silence on the US-Philippines mutual defence treaty ensures a certain degree of US influence on Philippine foreign policy. His posture on foreign policy independence to steer clear of big power rivalries and taking domestic issues as national priorities can meaningfully lower tensions in the South China Sea.