Spotlight on Geopolitics

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During President Obama’s 10-day tour of Asia, he found it opportune to use the State Department’s latest sound-bite, “democracies vs. authoritarian states”. To be sure, premier Singh, an economist, knows why the size of the Chinese economy is four times that of India’s. Alas, democracy is not a contributing factor. After all, the Asian tigers… » read more

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Towards Bretton Woods III

The US Federal Reserve’s second round of quantitative easing has prompted near-universal condemnation by the financial leaders of Germany, China, Brazil, the ASEAN and the EU. From The People’s Daily to Der Spiegel, newspapers are full of criticism and dire predictions of an impending international currency war, which is bound to result from the flooding… » read more

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In a surprising turn of events, Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh has this week launched his new “Look East” trade and foreign policy, during a week-long state visit to Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. India’s main concern these days is that of increasing the country’s foreign trade volume at least to pre-crisis levels. In Japan, premier… » read more

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Slowly but surely, EU leaders are waking up to the fact that they should take regional security into their own hands and promote a neighbourhood diplomacy which would eventually have to exclude NATO or the United States, but would be inclusive of Russia and Turkey. This is the new geostrategic context in which the Sarkozy-Merkel-Medvedev… » read more

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The G20 finance ministers’ meeting which took place last weekend in Gyeongju, South Korea, did not do much to ease fears of a potential currency war between developed and developing nations. The only worthwhile achievement was an IMF-brokered decision to increase India, China and Brazil’s clout and voting power on the IMF board. Geithner’s initiative… » read more

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The US State Department’s summer diplomatic offensive in South-East Asia has been complemented in Japan by calls to strengthen the US-Japan alliance and to design new collective security structures aimed at containing China. Thus, in a recent article (“Keeping the US engaged in Asia”) published in East Asia Insights, Japanese former deputy foreign minister (LDP)… » read more

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US: “reset of the reset”

Whilst the German and French leaders have initiated at Deauville the resetting of their countries’ relationship with Russia, the United States is, according to Robert Kagan, in the process of “resetting the reset”. In a Washington Post article on the subject published on October 1st (“America: once engaged, now ready to lead”), Kagan claims that… » read more

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Whilst the world’s attention was recently focused on a relatively minor incident involving disputed islands in the South China Sea, the 4,000-km disputed border between India and China is quietly being beefed up militarily by both sides. In the words of M. Taylor Fravel, borders specialist with MIT, the border in question is “the most… » read more

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