In the lead up to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, there have been many predictions about who’s in and who’s out of the Politburo Standing Committee, fueled by observers’ fascination about political struggles, cliques, successor regime, etc.
The possible rationales for Manila’s diplomatic course of action may be defined according to Duterte’s “independent foreign policy,” which remarkably, coincides with the Philippines’ 2017 ASEAN Chairmanship.
All eyes in the next few months will be on how former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will play his cards vis-à-vis the Pakistan army. If one were to look beyond the domestic ramifications, the first point which needs to be closely examined is how China has reacted to the instability.
US President Donald Trump wrote: “China is our enemy.” He said China was an enemy because of weak and incompetent US officials that were taken to the cleaners by smart and seasoned Chinese negotiators, and he would fix that and turn China into a friend.
US President Donald Trump unveiled his Afghan policy on August 21, 2017, announcing to ramp up the war effort in Afghanistan. The policy seems to be a compromise between Trump (who wanted complete withdrawal) and his generals (who wanted to ramp up the war effort).
One of the arguments for a coming war is the Thucydides Trap theory. It goes that the situation of a status quo power (Sparta in ancient Greece) and a fast rising power that challenges the former (Athens) creates a condition wherein neither can tolerate the other.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been entangled in the Panamagate scandal revealed on April 3, 2016. The eight offshore companies listed in the Panama Papers are linked to his family members, including a daughter, two sons, and the in-laws of his brother.
The outlines of the Trump administration’s policy toward China and the South China Sea are emerging from a fog of confusing and contradictory statements and actions. It is beginning to look more or less like a continuation of that of the Obama administration, with some new twists.