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TPP could be revived at Asia-Pacific meeting

BreakingNews @en di

Japan and other remaining members of the Trans Pacific Partnership will this weekend decide how to revive the trade agreement ditched by U.S. President Donald Trump. Their trade ministers will talk on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, where newly appointed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is also due to give more detail of Washington’s trade plans. Uncertainty over those plans after Trump abandoned a trade deal he had compared to the “rape” of America has brought fears of protectionism and strengthened China’s leadership credentials in Asia. Support has built among the so-called TPP-11 for pushing ahead without the United States although trade within the smaller block is only a quarter of that between the original 12 members, according to the most recent data.


APEC discuss priority topics and activities for the APEC 2017 Summit

BreakingNews @en di

Senior officials from the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum gathered at a conference in Hà Nội yesterday to discuss priority topics and key activities for the 2017 APEC Summit to be hosted by Việt Nam. The priority topics of the 2017 APEC include creating new momentum for the future of the Asia-Pacific region; promoting sustainable and creative growth, the role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSEMs) and their competitive capacity, creativity in the digital era; and enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in keeping with climate change.

APEC leaders will continue the formation of a free trade zone in the area

BreakingNews @en/Policy di

Participants in the 2016 summit conference of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum have reaffirmed their intention to continue the formation of a free trade zone in the area. APEC economies will stay committed to the accords made in the format of the World Trade Organization. Leaders of APEC economies will refrain from devaluations of their national currencies and manipulations with exchange rates. They also reaffirmed the important role of mutually-reinforcing policies to buttress our efforts to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

President Obama criticized Iran and Russia’s roles in Syria’s civil war

Obama, during a wide-ranging press conference in Peru on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, criticized Iran and Russia’s role in Syria’s brutal civil war. He also said he was “not optimistic” about the immediate future of Syria, where government forces backed by Russian warplanes have been bombarding rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo. The president said once Russia and Iran backed the Syrian government, it was “very hard to see a way in which even a trained and committed moderate opposition could hold its ground.”

President Putin will visit China in 2017: rapid development of trade and industrial ties with Beijing

BreakingNews @en/Innovation di

Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed plans to visit China in May 2017 at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Peru. Putin praised the rapid development of trade, industrial and high-tech ties between Moscow and Beijing. On Saturday, the two leaders met on the sidelines of the two-day Asian-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC). Putin said he has accepted an invitation to take part in events related to the implementation of Silk Road Economic Belt project, a large-scale initiative unveiled by Xi in 2013 that envisages the integration of trade and investment in Eurasia. One of the goals of a strategic Silk Road Economic Belt project is to link European and Asian countries with a transport, energy and a trade corridor. In June, Putin said he welcomes the project as a promising mutually beneficial initiative saying that wherever the road goes, it first runs through neighboring territories.

Dispute between the US and China for control of the South China Sea goes on

Asia @en di

During the Asia-Pacific Cooperation Summit in Manila, which ended last week, President Barack Obama reiterated the US position, calling on China to stop the construction of artificial islands and new infrastructure in the area of ​​sea dispute. The answer wasn’t long in coming. At the summit of the ASEAN countries, held in Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, through the Deputy Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, accused Washington of wanting an escalation and defended the construction activities at sea, launched in 2013 and still in progress today.

First Obama, at the opening of the APEC summit in Manila, last Wednesday, pushed the issue of the South China Sea on the political agenda of the 21 leaders. After meeting with the President of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III, Obama spoke to the press urging Beijing to cease all military activity in that part of the sea and to accept international arbitration to reconcile differences with its neighbors in South-East Asia.

“We agree on the need for bold steps to lower tensions – Mr. Obama said – including pledging to halt further reclamation, new construction and militarization of disputed areas in the South China Sea,”

Without taking a position on the front of the territorial claims made by the involved countries, the United States consider free navigation on the waters of the contended area as a vital point. For this reason, they confirmed their commitment to the side of the South Asian governments who oppose Chinese expansionism, and ensured the Allies a contribution of $ 250 million for military spending.

Beijing’s response came on November 22, during the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur. Deputy Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin asserted the legitimacy and legality of Chinese government initiatives, reiterating that China has no intention to terminate the building of new facilities off its southern coast. Zhenmin then replied to the American accusations, denying that Beijing is proceeding to a progressive militarization of the area. From Chinese prospective, Washington should instead halt its provocations after that, last month, an American navy ship crossed a maritime area that Beijing regards as part of its territorial waters.

“Building and maintaining necessary military facilities, this is what is required for China’s national defence and for the protection of those islands and reefs,” Deputy Foreign Minister said, adding that Beijing intends to “expand and upgrade” civil infrastructure ” to better serve commercial ships, fishermen, to help distressed vessels and provide more public services.”

The two main contenders positions are, therefore, very far and nothing portends, at this time, a change of course by the Chinese battleship.

Thailand-Japan: together against terrorism

Asia @en di

Monday, November 16, as part of the bilateral talks at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum of Manila, the Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida have reached a preliminary agreement for cooperation in the fight against international terrorism. The agreement comes in response to the attacks that have bloodied Paris on the night of Friday and to the attack suffered by the Thai capital in August, which killed 20 people.



” The international community – said Kishida – should be united to resolutely condemn the terrorist acts”. The two ministers then promised closer cooperation between their countries in the fight against the terrorist threat.

4500 Japanese companies operates in Thailand and over 60,000 Japanese citizens live and work in the country. Foreign Minister Kishida has therefore asked the Thai government to do everything is possible to ensure the safety of its citizens and to protect Nipponese investments. At the same time, he confirmed the support of his government for the development of new infrastructure in the country of Southeast Asia, starting from the rail network.

The meeting also focused on the South China Sea issue and tensions involving the powers of the area, for the control of maritime communications. Keshida hopes that ASEAN, the Association of South-East Asian Nations, launches a joint appeal at the next summit in Kuala Lumpur to demand greater regional stability and respect for the rule of law.

Japan, in fact, is directly interested in the dispute. Although Tokio has not territorial claims, It considers crucial for japanase economy to ensure free navigation on the South China Sea waters and is putting pressure on the Southeast Asia countries to create a joint front that could limit Chinese expansionism. A difficult goal to achieve since Beijing is acting in parallel, on the diplomatic front, to strengthen its positions and weaken the ASEAN countries claims.

Even the Asian stocks initially suffered the effects of the Paris attacks, with substantial losses on Monday, when the markets opened. Fear was short-lived, on the financial markets, and already on Tuesday the main lists of the continent were back in positive territory, with gains over 1%, after the European and US stock markets recorded a first bounce.


Luca Marchesini


Luca Marchesini
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