Now that the dust has settled on China’s big policy announcement, it is time to take a fresh look at China’s Arctic Policy and assess what it means for the US and the other five states that have a coastline on the Arctic Sea: Canada, Greenland (Denmark), Russia, Norway, and Iceland.
US’ withdrawal from the TPP and the Paris Climate Accords, and the recent dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, signal the US’ waning influence and reinforce the collective will of the international community to cooperate.
China is embarking on several mega-projects to supply coal and build new power plants in Indonesia to boost the economy, which has been held back by electricity shortages. China may use these projects as references and applications for its BRI projects.
The Eurasian Economic Union, started in 2015 by Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, followed by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, is now acknowledged as one of the world’s major blocs organized for intra-regional cooperation and trade.
Contrary to Trump’s comments at the World Economic Forum, a trade war remains unlikely despite the ongoing US-China trade deficit, as criticism of China is part of the campaign narrative and making China a scapegoat for things going wrong is old hat.
Bhutan and Nepal, categorized as Least Developed Countries, rank second and third best among South Asian countries in the 2017 edition of the SDG Index and Dashboards Report. This points to differences in the way “development” is defined.
The Marvel Studios production Black Panther has opened internationally to great acclaim, largely in part to its presentation of the fictional kingdom of Wakanda as an Afrofuturist utopia, an “African country that was never colonized and is the most advanced nation in the world.”
Facilitated by under-the-radar low-tech boats, collusion with local corrupt officials, and integration with legal trade and activities, piracy in Southeast Asia remains a challenging problem. Multinational agencies are cooperating to counteract.
The Chinese agenda is to build the “Polar Silk Road” through developing the Arctic shipping routes. What makes it an essential need is the strategic significance of the Northern Sea Route, a potential key trading route between the eastern, western and northern hemispheres.
Singapore has played an important role in connecting South Asia with East Asia. It would be fair to say, that in addition to the economic reforms of 1991, and the efforts of successive governments, Singapore deserves credit for helping India strengthen ties with ASEAN.