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.
In October 2018, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa won the general elections of Bhutan while the governing party was eliminated. Many analysts believed that the new government would reduce dependence on India while strengthening cooperation with China.
It’s on everybody’s lips: the smoother relationship between China and Japan, the world’s second and third economies. The conventional explanation for this round of cozying up is that the common challenge of trade wars is uniting the two Northeast Asian rivals.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s landmark three-day visit to Beijing from October 25-27, 2018, exemplifies the changing undertone in the fragile relations that have been severely affected by territorial disputes and contentions over Japan’s past aggression.
On October 23, 2018, Saudi Arabia kicked off the “Future Investment Initiative” conference, showcasing the country’s progress and reforms. One of the high-profile guests at the conference was Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The Xiangshan Forum, one of East Asia’s premier security forums, is being held in Beijing from October 24 to 26, 2018. What has attracted the attention of international observers is Pyongyang sending a delegation led by two heavyweights.
The recent by-election results in Pakistan should serve as a wake-up call for the PTI government led by Imran Khan. While renegotiation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with China has helped in the long run, the economy is in the doldrums and patience is clearly wearing thin.
The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived on September 30, 2018 on his first official visit to India. This visit came soon after the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Uzbekistan, as part of her visit to the Central Asian Region.
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.”
While the debt issue is definitely a major obstacle to some projects, it is not detrimental to the Belt and Road Initiative. In order to address this problem, China has strengthened cooperation and policy coordination with the BRI states and made some progress on it.