The September 2016 meeting of the BRICS leaders, which occurred on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, was noteworthy as it confirmed the new Brazilian government’s commitment to the BRICS grouping.
2016 has proven to be a busy year thus far for diplomats of the major world powers as they flew into South Asia’s capitals to cut deals and cooperate in combating terrorism as well as extending areas of cooperation with geopolitical implications.
The first is the transformation from the national to the global economy. The second is the transformation from elite to mass democracy. The third is the shift in the focus of knowledge from the world to the local, and from the macro to the micro scale.
Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Election was held on September 4, 2016, and there were many new and important political features and implications, suggesting that Hong Kong people would like to change the status-quo by having new political forces and young persons to monitor the government.
In cross-Strait relations, Tsai Ing-wen has vowed to implement a policy of “no provocation, zero surprises, and more communication.” However, by making some subtle yet significant changes, Tsai has planted a time bomb in cross-Strait relations.
Since the announcement of the ruling, all concerned parties are still mulling their next moves. The actions they take will decide which direction Asia heads to: spiral into a Middle Eastern type of crisis, or avoid war and head towards peace and stability.
Hong Kong will hold its sixth Legislative Council Election on September 4. The behavior of some democrats, confrontations between the Executive Branch and the LegCo, the Umbrella Movement, violent mass demonstrations, and localism have contributed to increased divisions in Hong Kong politics.
While hostilities resulting from territorial disputes driven by nationalism and history continue to overshadow the relationship between Vietnam and China, a military conflict is unlikely to occur, unless decision-makers consider the resulting economic, military and political disasters to be bearable.
Donald Trump’s supporters see him as having “the guts to say what he wants,” and he is “saying what a lot of what America’s feeling right now.” Some who find themselves shocked by his politically incorrect speech still find themselves attracted to his message.