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Last week’s top-level political meetings which took place in Brussels and Hanoi ended up with similar calls on the US to avoid stimulating the American economy by printing more dollars. Trying to stimulate growth by flooding the American banking system with liquidity is only of marginal importance to the US economy’s woes. Yet this is… » 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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Although the United States and its allies have won two military victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, a few years down the track they are facing strategic defeat in both countries. In Iraq, where neo-conservative foreign policies all but buried the movement, a major shift in the regional power arrangement is emerging. In Afghanistan the US… » 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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This week Hanoi hosted the first-ever ASEAN defence ministers meeting plus (ADMM+), attended by 18 defence ministers. The ten ASEAN ministers were joined by their counterparts from China, the US, India, Russia,Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The stated aim of the meeting was to create a framework for regional cooperation on security matters.… » read more

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The IMF’s semi-annual meeting in Washington this weekend has failed to produce concrete proposals aimed at avoiding a currency war. The unrealistic pressure put on China to allow the yuan to suddenly appreciate by 20 percent has been strongly resisted by Zhou Xiaochuan, the Chinese central bank’s governor. He had good reason to do that:… » read more

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On the 4th of October, Nepalese authorities seized the ballots of Tibetan refugees voting in Kathmandu to select candidates for next year’s Tibetan government-in-exile general elections. As Nepal is itself in the midst of a powerful political crisis, its authorities are loath to antagonise either India or China on the Tibet issue. The approximately 120,000-strong… » read more

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