In October 2018, the MoU on the feasibility study of the Muse-Mandalay railway, a part of the USD 20 billion Sino-Myanmar railway, was signed. This led to the speculation that the canceled Sino-Myanmar railway might be resumed.
ASEAN states’ unwavering support of the “ASEAN Way,” characterized by the making of consensus in tackling regional issues, probably suggested that they maintained a prudent and pragmatic diplomatic posture towards China, in between firm rebalancing and full endorsement.
The EU warned that it would withdraw its trade preferences given to Cambodia, if Cambodia could not reverse the perceived deterioration of its human rights situation. The country should not underestimate the potential severe impact of the withdrawal on its garment industry.
A robust, binding code of conduct for the South China Sea has become a “holy grail” for analysts and decision makers alike. Many have tried to find it and failed. The Blueprint for a South China Sea Code of Conduct is likely to fail to gain wide acceptance too.
The EU has started the process to withdraw Cambodia’s trade benefits under the “Everything But Arms arrangement, or EBA, which guarantees completely tariff-free access to the European market for all exports except for weapons and ammunition.”
The near-collision between the United States warship Decatur and a Chinese warship in September 2018 is only the most recent in a series of near misses between their warships and warplanes in and over the South China Sea.
While humankind is generally lulled by its technological mastery and regularization of the forces of nature, natural disasters such as the one which struck Sulawesi reveal the efficacy of such technological apparatuses to be radically contingent on forces that are beyond anybody’s control.
In April 2018, it was revealed that Singapore has invested SGD 27 billion into the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative since the project broke ground in 2015. The four priority sectors are financial services, aviation, transportation and logistics, and ICT.
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative recently released a “A Blueprint for Oil and Gas Production in the South China Sea.” It is an important contribution to thinking about interim solutions to these seemingly intractable disputes.