Pubblicato in: Cina, Commercio, Diplomazia, Geopolitica Asiatica

Myanmar. La Cina riannoda salde relazioni politiche ed economiche. Oceano Indiano.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-09-02.

2021-09-03__ Myanmar Cina 001

Negli ultimi trenta anni la Cina si è evoluta da paese misero a primaria potenza politica, militare ed economica.

La ricetta di simile sviluppo è semplice, financo banale: trattative bilaterali su base paritetica e nessuna interferenza negli affari interni dei paesi contraenti.

È l’esatto opposto di quanto propugna il credo liberal, che erge i suoi seguaci al rango di giudici universali inappellabili, che condannano e sanzionano chiunque non si sottometta alla loro ideologia.

Il risultato finale di tale visione del mondo è stata la débâcle in Afghanistan, che ha fatto perdere ogni credibilità nell’America e la ha declassata da grande potenza ad un mesto ruolo locoregionale.

* * * * * * *

«China’s special envoy for Asian Affairs Sun Guoxiang visited Myanmar last week for talks with its military rulers, as a new route spanning the Southeast Asian nation opened up connecting Chinese trade flows to the Indian Ocean»

«As opposed to most Western countries that have condemned the army for ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, China has taken a softer line and said its priorities are stability and not interfering in its neighbour»

«During his Aug. 21 to Aug. 28 visit, Sun met military ruler Min Aung Hlaing as well as foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin and Minister for the Union Government Office Yar Pyae and “exchanged views with them on the political landscape in Myanmar”»

«We will work together with the international community to play a constructive role in Myanmar’s efforts to restore social stability and resume democratic transformation at an early date»

«China supported Myanmar working with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to implement a five-point consensus aimed at resolving the crisis and “opposes undue external intervention”»

«it was possible Myanmar’s other big neighbour India could decide to follow suit»

«China’s embassy in Myanmar announced the opening of the new trade route linking Yangon’s port on the Indian Ocean to the Chinese border province of Yunnan and by rail onwards to Chengdu in the southwestern province of Sichuan»

«Successful testing of the new Indian Ocean route is an important breakthrough in strengthening China-Myanmar trade relations»

* * * * * * *

Poter utilizzare il porto di Yangon, significa per la Cina disporre di un accesso sicuro sull’Oceano Indiano, a poco meno di mille kilometri di strada ferrata dal centro logistico di Chengdu. Accorcia di circa sette migliaia di kilometri la lunghezza delle rotte marittime con la Cina, evitando il passaggio attraverso lo stretto di Malacca, posto a 1,956 kilometri di distanza in linea di aria.

La Cina non si cura minimamente di cosa stiano pensano glio ccidentali. Proprio per nulla.

Non solo.

Per il Myanmar genera una occasione unica di generare posti di lavoro qualificati, qualificare il porto di Yangon, generano altresì un indotto di tutto rispetto economico.

Poi, a Cina aveva già provveduto a costruire una linea ferroviaria ad alta velocità tra Chengdu e Lincang.

Chinese High-Speed Rail Network Reaches Myanmar’s Border

«The opening of the Chengdu-Lincang line will further mainland Southeast Asia’s historic reorientation toward the north.

Lost among the torrent of disheartening news from Myanmar was a report on the official opening of a new rail line bringing China’s high-speed railway network to the country’s border with Myanmar. The recently completed railway runs from Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, to Lincang, a prefecture-level city in Yunnan province opposite the town of Chinshwehaw in Myanmar’s Shan State. ….

the railway’s opening ceremony on August 25 that the border would function as an important node of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and would work to write a new chapter in the history of friendly “paukphaw” relations between Myanmar and China.

The new rail line is just the latest in a flurry of transport links that have bound Yunnan province, once a sparsely populated frontier region at the outer reaches of the Chinese empire, into China’s dense highway and rail network. It also reflects the long process of China’s deepening integration with Myanmar and the other nations of mainland Southeast Asia.»

*


China envoy visits Myanmar as new route to Indian Ocean opened.

China’s special envoy for Asian Affairs Sun Guoxiang visited Myanmar last week for talks with its military rulers, as a new route spanning the Southeast Asian nation opened up connecting Chinese trade flows to the Indian Ocean.

As opposed to most Western countries that have condemned the army for ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, China has taken a softer line and said its priorities are stability and not interfering in its neighbour.

During his Aug. 21 to Aug. 28 visit, Sun met military ruler Min Aung Hlaing as well as foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin and Minister for the Union Government Office Yar Pyae and “exchanged views with them on the political landscape in Myanmar”, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.

“We will work together with the international community to play a constructive role in Myanmar’s efforts to restore social stability and resume democratic transformation at an early date,” Wang told a regular news briefing in Beijing, when asked about Sun’s trip.

China supported Myanmar working with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to implement a five-point consensus aimed at resolving the crisis and “opposes undue external intervention”, Wang said.

Opponents of Myanmar’s junta have accused China of supporting February’s military takeover that has sparked daily protests leading to hundreds of deaths and thousands displaced by fighting between the army and hastily formed militias.

Beijing has rejected such accusations and said it backs regional diplomacy on the crisis.

A spokesman for Myanmar’s National Unity Government made up of opponents of military rule did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Chinese visit.

But members of the shadow government have previously urged countries to deal with them rather than the military.

“China seems to be endorsing the junta by the way it is conducting diplomacy,” said Sai Wansai, a political analyst from the Shan ethnic minority, who said it was possible Myanmar’s other big neighbour India could decide to follow suit.

Separately, China’s embassy in Myanmar announced the opening of the new trade route linking Yangon’s port on the Indian Ocean to the Chinese border province of Yunnan and by rail onwards to Chengdu in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

“Successful testing of the new Indian Ocean route is an important breakthrough in strengthening China-Myanmar trade relations,” the embassy said on its Facebook page.

Pubblicato in: Diplomazia, Geopolitica Asiatica, India

India. Colloqui formali ai massimi livelli con i Taleban in Doha, Qatar.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-09-02.

Afghanistan 002

«Indian foreign ministry said that India’s ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met with the head of the Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, in Doha»

«Mittal and Stanikzai discussed the safety, security and early return of Indian nationals who are stranded in Afghanistan as well as New Delhi’s concerns around Afghanistan being used as a base for terrorism»

«There is a practical necessity of engaging with the Taliban given that it would be one of the most — if not the most — important political stakeholder in Afghanistan»

«The Taliban had requested the meeting, which took place at the Indian embassy in Doha»

«The Indian ambassador also raised New Delhi’s concerns around Afghanistan being used as a base for terrorism»

«Reports said that India has invested $3 billion in multiple infrastructure and trade projects and has undertaken over 400 projects in Afghanistan»

«India’s meeting with the Taliban was a “necessity” that was in some ways dictated by the evolving political realities in Afghanistan»

«Outreach at lower levels had already begun but this is the first official, explicitly-stated Indian outreach to the Taliban»

«China has also stepped up its diplomatic efforts to engage with the Islamist group»

«If eventually the Taliban succeed in bringing together an inclusive government, with various stakeholders, then there is no reason why India would not move forward with a new momentum in its engagement»

«the issue of recognizing the Taliban as the legitimate power in control of Afghanistan won’t emerge anytime soon»

* * * * * * *

È del tutto naturale che gli stati siano guardinghi nei confronti dei Taleban, osservando i loro comportamenti in politica estera.

«most of the countries would be waiting and watching as to what the Taliban actually do on the ground»

Ma sarebbe altrettanto naturale almeno il semplice prendere atto della loro esistenza ed iniziare ad avviare colloqui sui temi di reciproco interesse.

La Realpolitik presenta sempre dei vantaggi reciproci.

*


India holds first formal talks with the Taliban in Qatar

–  Indian foreign ministry said that India’s ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met with the head of the Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, in Doha.

– It was the first time an Indian diplomat formally met the group and marked a drastically different approach from New Delhi compared to when the Taliban were last in power in the 1990s.

– Mittal and Stanikzai discussed the safety, security and early return of Indian nationals who are stranded in Afghanistan as well as New Delhi’s concerns around Afghanistan being used as a base for terrorism.

– “There is a practical necessity of engaging with the Taliban given that it would be one of the most — if not the most — important political stakeholder in Afghanistan,” said Harsh Pant at the Observer Research Foundation.

* * *

India announced its first formal diplomatic meeting with the Taliban on Tuesday — their first official talks since the group seized power in Afghanistan as the U.S. withdrew its forces from there.

The Indian foreign ministry said India’s ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met with the head of the Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai. The Taliban had requested the meeting, which took place at the Indian embassy in Doha, according to the ministry.

Mittal and Stanikzai discussed the safety, security and early return of Indian nationals who are stranded in Afghanistan as well as travel prospects for Afghan minorities who want to visit India, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The Indian ambassador also raised New Delhi’s concerns around Afghanistan being used as a base for terrorism.

“The Taliban Representative assured the Ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed,” the foreign ministry said.

Days before Tuesday’s meeting, Indian media reported that Stanikzai said the Taliban wanted to continue Afghanistan’s political, economic and cultural ties with India. It was reportedly the first time a member of the Taliban leadership spoke about the future of India-Afghanistan relations since the group captured Kabul.

The Taliban’s return to power would likely impact Afghanistan’s neighbors, amid rising concerns of regional instability, refugee inflows and the prospect of Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorist activities again.

New Delhi did not have diplomatic relations with the Taliban when they were last in power in the 1990s, in part because of the militant group’s ties to Pakistan.

But India had forged close ties with the U.S.-backed civilian government in Kabul over the last two decades and provided Afghanistan with development assistance. Reports said that India has invested $3 billion in multiple infrastructure and trade projects and has undertaken over 400 projects in Afghanistan.

Analysts say India’s commitments and the recent shift in power has left New Delhi in a tough strategic state.

‘Practical necessity’

India’s meeting with the Taliban was a “necessity” that was in some ways dictated by the evolving political realities in Afghanistan, said Harsh Pant, head of the strategic studies program at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

“There is a practical necessity of engaging with the Taliban given that it would be one of the most — if not the most — important political stakeholder in Afghanistan,” Pant told CNBC. “Outreach at lower levels had already begun but this is the first official, explicitly-stated Indian outreach to the Taliban.”

India reportedly made efforts in June to engage with the Taliban as the U.S. withdrawal deadline loomed. China has also stepped up its diplomatic efforts to engage with the Islamist group.

“If eventually the Taliban succeed in bringing together an inclusive government, with various stakeholders, then there is no reason why India would not move forward with a new momentum in its engagement,” Pant said.

He said the issue of recognizing the Taliban as the legitimate power in control of Afghanistan won’t emerge anytime soon.

“For the foreseeable future, it would largely be an engagement to assess where Taliban might be going with their agenda,” Pant said.

“I think most of the countries would be waiting and watching as to what the Taliban actually do on the ground.”

Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Asiatica, Stati Uniti

Cina vs Usa. Gli alleati degli Stati Uniti in Asia orientale contro una linea dura sulla Cina.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-08-17.

Pollo allo Spiedo 001

Tempi grami per la Harris-Biden Administration.

«U.S. Allies in East Asia do not support a hardline on China»

«Biden would adopt a less confrontational approach to relations with China. They have been disappointed»

«Early steps by the new American administration toward China seemed to be a continuation of President Trump’s hardline policies»

«the new secretary of state echoed the charge of his predecessor that China was engaged in genocide against the Uighurs in Xinjiang. The tariff barriers on bilateral trade have been left in place»

«that competition is now the principal driver in the bilateral relationship. For much of the last 50 years, the U.S. was confident that China’s growing wealth and power did not threaten the U.S.’ vital interests and their differences could be managed by diplomacy and engagement»

«The U.S. is seeking to adjust to an international situation in which it is no longer the sole superpower»

«This is not so much because of a decline in power, but because other countries have risen to major power status and China, of course, is the first and foremost example of that»

«A new multipolar world is emerging»

«→→ At the same time, there is no question that the social and political polarization that has been a prominent feature of the U.S.’ domestic scene over the last half decade has damaged the international image of the U.S. and the perception of its reliability as a great power ←←»

«China, in turn, in a remarkably short period of time, has regained the wealth and military strength that are the attributes of major powers»

«Of particular importance for US-China Relations, the administration has reaffirmed that it will adhere to one-China policy and that it does not support independence for Taiwan, and it is also seeking a pattern of regular consultations between Beijing and Washington»

«However, the reality is less positive»

«President Biden needs congressional support for his domestic programs and congressional attitudes toward China are hostile»

«A hardline American approach to China does not mesh well with the interests of US allies and friends in East Asia who do not wish to see the region polarized»

«In other words, the U.S. that tries to work with our friends and allies will discover that they do not support a hardline approach to China»

* * * * * * *

Il problema è semplice.

La Cina è cresciuta, e sta continuando a crescere sia economicamente, sia politicamente, sia militarmente.

Nei rapporti esteri, massimamente con gli Stati Uniti, reclama relazioni inter pares, nel pieno rispetto dell’altrui sovranità nazionale, senza ingerenza alcuna nei fatti interni.

In carenza di questi requisiti, sarà sempre un dialogo tra sordi.

Ma adesso anche i tradizionali alleati degli Stati Uniti nel sud est asiatico stanno disimpegnandosi da questa politica estera americana: per loro i rapporti politici ed economici con la Cina sono assurti a grande importanza, e non possono essere più a lungo ignorati.

La Harris-Biden Administration sembrerebbe sempre più autoescludersi da questo scacchiere in piena crescita.

* * * * * * *


U.S. Allies in East Asia Do Not Support a Hardline on China

When President Donald Trump lost the November 2020 presidential elections in the U.S., some people hoped that President Joe Biden would adopt a less confrontational approach to relations with China. They have been disappointed. Early steps by the new American administration toward China seemed to be a continuation of President Trump’s hardline policies. Shortly after the administration took office, the new secretary of state echoed the charge of his predecessor that China was engaged in genocide against the Uighurs in Xinjiang. The tariff barriers on bilateral trade have been left in place. Senior officials in the Biden administration bluntly stated that the U.S. engagement strategies toward China had failed and that competition is now the principal driver in the bilateral relationship. For much of the last 50 years, the U.S. was confident that China’s growing wealth and power did not threaten the U.S.’ vital interests and their differences could be managed by diplomacy and engagement. That is no longer the case. And the question is why. 

A starting point to understanding what has happened is to recognize that the U.S. and China are both in the midst of fundamental transitions that affect their respective places in the world. 

The U.S. is seeking to adjust to an international situation in which it is no longer the sole superpower. This is not so much because of a decline in power, but because other countries have risen to major power status and China, of course, is the first and foremost example of that. A new multipolar world is emerging. Not surprisingly, the U.S. is reluctant to give up the dominant position that it has occupied since the end of the Cold War and to accept the adjustments that it must make in order to establish a new equilibrium. At the same time, there is no question that the social and political polarization that has been a prominent feature of the U.S.’ domestic scene over the last half decade has damaged the international image of the U.S. and the perception of its reliability as a great power.

China, in turn, in a remarkably short period of time, has regained the wealth and military strength that are the attributes of major powers. This has altered the psychology of the Chinese people. This is what Zheng Bijian didn’t take into account when he came up with the concept of peaceful rise. The Chinese people now are demanding a more muscular foreign policy, consistent with China’s growing power. And this has changed Chinese behavior patterns, which have become more assertive. As a result, regional countries, including the U.S., are finding China’s assurances that it will rise peacefully and never bully its neighbors less and less credible.

These are two of the key background factors that have influenced the sharp plunge in the bilateral U.S.-China relationship, to the lowest depths in half a century. This has created a dangerous situation where missteps by either side or by both could plunge the world into an unprecedented crisis. I use the term unprecedented because China and the U.S. are both major nuclear powers. Confrontations between them are particularly dangerous, and repair work by both sides is vitally necessary. 

Fortunately, despite some superficial similarities, the Biden administration is fundamentally different from its predecessors. President Biden has more foreign policy and national security experience than any American president since the first President Bush 30 years ago. In contrast to the Trump administration, President Biden has appointed capable and experienced officials as secretary of state and national security advisor. These are officials who could sit down without talking points and talk for hours with Chinese counterparts about any issue in the world. Now this was totally missing in the last administration. The Biden administration is moving carefully, to iron out internal differences and adopt sustainable policies that will not simply reflect the whims of a woman. 

Of particular importance for US-China Relations, the administration has reaffirmed that it will adhere to one-China policy and that it does not support independence for Taiwan, and it is also seeking a pattern of regular consultations between Beijing and Washington. The recent consultations between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng were marked by a barrage of charges by each side against the other.

However, if one reads carefully the public reports regarding the consultations, it is evident that there were constructive elements. According to the Chinese account of the meeting, Deputy Secretary Sherman called the US-China relationship as the most important bilateral relationship in the world, noted many times that the two sides have had contact with each other since President Biden was sworn in, expressed U.S.’ willingness to have open and candid contacts and dialogues with China, declared the U.S.’ hopes that the two countries could coexist peacefully, said that the U.S. has no intention of restricting Chinese development and does not want to contain China and would like to see China develop further, and noted that the two sides can engage in healthy competition, cooperate on climate change, drug control in international and regional hotspots, and strengthen crisis management capacity and avoid conflicts. American accounts of the meeting she had are consistent with the above statements. These are encouraging words that you would not have heard from the previous administration. 

However, the reality is less positive. President Biden needs congressional support for his domestic programs and congressional attitudes toward China are hostile. Changing these attitudes will be difficult but not impossible. A hardline American approach to China does not mesh well with the interests of US allies and friends in East Asia who do not wish to see the region polarized. In other words, the U.S. that tries to work with our friends and allies will discover that they do not support a hardline approach to China, and I think that will have an impact overtime. But as the first step, it would be useful for both China and the U.S. to tone down their rhetoric toward each other. Governments have the responsibility not only to formulate wise foreign policies, but to talk in ways that develop public support for those policies — and we are not doing that. We are talking publicly in ways that undermine the wise policy that we should be pursuing. So as a starter, let’s get our rhetoric under control and I hope that will have some chance to exchange views about other steps that could be taken.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Asiatica, Senza categoria, Stati Uniti

Afganistan. La débâcle americana è peggio del Vietnam. È devoluzione dell’America.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-08-16.

Afganistan 001

La decisione di Joe Biden di abbandonare l’Afganistan esula dal fatto contingente: è la constatazione che gli Stati Uniti non sono più, ovvero non vogliono più, essere una grande potenza mondiale politica, economica e militare.

Per decenni hanno creduto di poter gestire le guerre per procura, e che la loro potenza aerea e marittima le consentissero di dominare il mondo.

Questo assunto si è dimostrato essere falso, incominciando dal Vietnam.

In Afganistan aviazione e marina non servono a nulla.

Non è questione il dibattito, sterile, su chi abbia avuto per primo l’idea di lasciare l’Afganistan: fatto sì è che Biden è fuggito da quel paese senza essersi prima assicurato uno stato ed un esercito locale degno di quel nome. La situazione era infatti diventata insostenibile. Il suo esercito femminilizzato ha perso la volontà di combattere ed i problemi economici e sociali in patria sono ingravescenti.

Ma questo è solo l’ultimo degli errori fatti.

Per motivazioni ideologiche hanno tentato di esportare un reggimento democratico in un paese la mentalità del quale gli è aliena: è un paese tribale e mussulmano. Un esperimento destinato a fallire per definizione.

È patognomonico il fatto che i media occidentali riportino non quanto accade in Afganistan dal punto di vista degli afgani, bensì cose ne pensa la loro ideologia: nessuno sforzo per cercare di capire quella mentalità.

* * * * * * *

«The rout of Afghan forces as Taliban fighters take one provincial city after another provides a stark answer to anyone wondering about the success of two decades of U.S.-led efforts to build a local army»

«Despite about $89 billion budgeted for training the Afghan army, it took the Taliban little more than a month to brush it aside»

«They now stand almost at the gates of Kabul»

«But still, there has been shock at the lack of resistance put up by many Afghan army units»

«because they believed defeat was unavoidable»

«Once morale goes, it spreads very quickly»

«American officers have long worried that rampant corruption, well documented in parts of Afghanistan’s military and political leadership, would undermine the resolve of badly paid, ill-fed and erratically supplied front-line soldiers – some of whom have been left for months or even years on end in isolated outposts»

«Would you give your life for leaders who don’t pay you on time and are more interested in their own future?»

«The defeat highlights the failure of the United States to create a fighting force in the image of its own highly professional military with a motivated, well-trained leadership, high-tech weaponry and seamless logistical support»

«But whether it was ever a realistic goal to create a Western-style army in one of the world’s poorest countries, with a literacy rate of 40% and a social and political culture far from the developed sense of nationhood underpinning the U.S. military, is an open question»

* * * * * * *

Gli Stati Uniti stanno lentamente ma implacabilmente devolvendosi.

Certamente sono e rimarranno una grande potenza nucleare, ma il loro esercito rispecchia fedelmente la società americana.

Facciamoci infine una domanda. Chi ha finanziato, addestrato, armato e coperto politicamente il movimento talebano? Ebbene, costoro sono i veri vincitori.

* * * * * * *

Taliban surge exposes failure of U.S. efforts to build Afghan army

Aug 15 (Reuters) – The rout of Afghan forces as Taliban fighters take one provincial city after another provides a stark answer to anyone wondering about the success of two decades of U.S.-led efforts to build a local army.

Despite about $89 billion budgeted for training the Afghan army, it took the Taliban little more than a month to brush it aside. Over the last few days, the insurgents have seized every major city in Afghanistan – from Kandahar in the south to Mazar-i-Sharif in the north, Herat in the west to Jalalabad in the east.

They now stand almost at the gates of Kabul.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani praised Afghan security and defense forces in a brief televised address on Saturday, saying they had “a strong spirit to defend their people and country.”

But still, there has been shock at the lack of resistance put up by many Afghan army units. Some abandoned their posts and others reached agreements with the Taliban to stop fighting and hand over their weapons and equipment.

In some instances, U.S. officials say, provincial governors asked security forces to surrender or escape, perhaps in order to avoid further bloodshed because they believed defeat was unavoidable.

Where deals were not cut, Afghan forces still appear to have melted away.

“Once morale goes, it spreads very quickly, and that is at least partly to blame,” a U.S. official said.

American officers have long worried that rampant corruption, well documented in parts of Afghanistan’s military and political leadership, would undermine the resolve of badly paid, ill-fed and erratically supplied front-line soldiers – some of whom have been left for months or even years on end in isolated outposts, where they could be picked off by the Taliban.

Over many years, hundreds of Afghan soldiers were killed each month. But the army fought on, without any of the airborne evacuation of casualties and expert surgical care standard in Western armies, as long as international backing was there. Once that went, their resolve evaporated.

“Would you give your life for leaders who don’t pay you on time and are more interested in their own future?” a second U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, asked.

It is an analysis shared by some in the Taliban movement itself.

One Taliban commander in the central province of Ghazni said the government forces’ collapse started as soon as U.S. forces started withdrawing “as they didn’t have any ideology except fleecing the Americans.”

“The only reason for this unexpected fall of provinces was our commitment and the withdrawal of U.S. troops,” he said.

‘REALISTIC’

The defeat highlights the failure of the United States to create a fighting force in the image of its own highly professional military with a motivated, well-trained leadership, high-tech weaponry and seamless logistical support.

On paper, Afghan security forces numbered around 300,000 soldiers. In reality, the numbers were never that high.

Dependent on a small number of elite Special Forces units that were shunted from province to province as more cities fell to the Taliban, the already high rate of desertion in the regular army soared.

As government forces started to fall apart, hastily recruited local militias, loyal to prominent regional leaders such as Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum in the northern province of Faryab or Ismail Khan in Herat, also rushed in to fight.

Western countries had long been wary of such militias. Though more in line with the realities of traditional Afghan politics where personal, local or ethnic ties outweigh loyalty to the state, they were also open to corruption and abuse and ultimately proved no more effective than conventional forces.

Dostum fled to Uzbekistan as the Taliban advanced and Khan surrendered to the insurgents.

But whether it was ever a realistic goal to create a Western-style army in one of the world’s poorest countries, with a literacy rate of 40% and a social and political culture far from the developed sense of nationhood underpinning the U.S. military, is an open question.

U.S. army trainers who worked with Afghan forces struggled to teach the basic lesson of military organization that supplies, maintaining equipment and ensuring units get proper support are key to battlefield success.

Jonathan Schroden, an expert at the CNA policy institute, who served as an advisor to U.S. central command CENTCOM and the U.S.-led international force in Afghanistan, said the Afghan army functioned as much as a “jobs program” as a fighting force “because it’s the source of a paycheck in a country where paychecks are hard to come by.”

But the chronic failure of logistical, hardware and manpower support to many units, meant that “even if they want to fight, they run out of the ability to fight in relatively short order.”

Afghan forces have been forced repeatedly to give up after pleas for supplies and reinforcements went unanswered, either because of incompetence or the simple incapacity of the system to deliver.

Even the elite Special Forces units that have borne the brunt of the fighting in recent years have suffered. Last month, at least a dozen commandos were executed by Taliban fighters in the northern province of Faryab after running out of ammunition and being forced to surrender.

Richard Armitage, the former U.S. diplomat who organized a flotilla of South Vietnamese Navy ships to carry some 30,000 refugees out of Saigon before it fell in April 1975, has watched as the threat of a similar disaster unfolds in Kabul.

As deputy Secretary of State under former President George W. Bush when the United States invaded in 2001, he was deeply involved in Afghanistan diplomacy. He said the Afghan army’s collapse pointed to the wider failures of two decades of international efforts.

“I hear people expressing frustration in the press that the Afghan army can’t fight a long fight,” he said. “I can assure you the Afghan army has fought, can fight and if it’s got a trigger and something comes out of the barrel, they can use it.”

“The question is, is this government worth fighting for?” he said.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Geopolitica Asiatica, Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici

Indonesia. Carbone. Dice di volerlo dismettere e costruisce nuove centrali termiche.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-07-08.

2021-07-08__ Indonesia Coal 001

Una buona parola amicale costa nulla, poi, si vedrà.

L’enclave liberal socialista occidentale ha dichiarato guerra al carbone e vorrebbe che tutto il mondo lo seguisse.

L’Indonesia a  parole va dicendo che entro il 2050 sarà totalmente green, ma per l’intanto costruisce numerose centrali a carbone per incrementare la propria produzione di corrente elettrica.

L’importante nella vita è essere persone pratiche.

* * * * * * *

«The electricity generation capacity in Indonesia reached about 69.6 gigawatts in 2019»

«this capacity would not be sufficient for long and additional capacities must be created quickly»

«electricity consumption will increase from the current 270 terawatt hours to over 500 terawatt hours by 2027»

«Indonesia had been relying largely on coal and gas to meet its electricity demands»

«Both raw materials are available in great quantities, are dispatchable, and the corresponding power plants can be built cheaply»

«In 2020, coal mines were obliged to sell 25 percent of the production volume on the domestic market»

«the state-owned electricity supplier PLN received a maximum price of 70 U.S. dollars per ton of coal purchased»

«the minimum target of 550 million metric tons has been met and the demand for coal is expected to rise again due to a cold winter in China and the Chinese ban on Australian coal»

«At the same time, it’s building 21 GW of new coal plants that will have an operating life until 2065»

* * *

«Indonesia set its coal benchmark price higher in July at $115.35 per tonne»

«The price is 14.97% higher than June’s benchmark price»

«Indonesia’s state-owned utility says it will start shutting down coal-fired power plants and phase them all out by 2055»

«At the same time, it’s building 21 GW of new coal plants that will have an operating life until 2065»

«Indonesia says it will begin retiring coal-fired power plants for good — while still continuing to build more than a hundred new ones»

* * * * * * *


Indonesia sets coal benchmark price at highest in a decade

Jakarta, July 5 (Reuters) – Indonesia set its coal benchmark price higher in July at $115.35 per tonne, an official document published by its energy and minerals ministry showed on Monday.

The price is 14.97% higher than June’s benchmark price and the highest since the $117.6 per tonne in May 2011, Refinitiv data showed.

The document did not show what accounted for the price jump. An energy ministry spokesman told Reuters that a statement will be issued later on Monday.

*

Indonesia to retire coal-fired power plants while also adding more

«Summary.

– Indonesia’s state-owned utility says it will start shutting down coal-fired power plants and phase them all out by 2055, amounting to 50 gigawatts of capacity.

– At the same time, it’s building 21 GW of new coal plants that will have an operating life until 2065 — a contradiction that activists say undermines the coal phase-out plan.

– The mixed message is the latest from a government that still doesn’t have a unified policy on a clean energy transition, and which continues to lavish generous subsidies and incentives on coal miners and power plant operators.

– Energy policy experts say the president needs to publicly weigh in on the issue, including declaring a deadline for Indonesia to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. ….

Indonesia says it will begin retiring coal-fired power plants for good — while still continuing to build more than a hundred new ones, in the latest mixed message from one of the last coal-friendly countries in the world»

* * *

Coal power industry in Indonesia – statistics & facts

The electricity generation capacity in Indonesia reached about 69.6 gigawatts in 2019. For a dynamic, emerging country, this capacity would not be sufficient for long and additional capacities must be created quickly. According to forecasts by the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, electricity consumption will increase from the current 270 terawatt hours to over 500 terawatt hours by 2027.

                         Indonesia’s focus on natural resources.

Indonesia had been relying largely on coal and gas to meet its electricity demands. Both raw materials are available in great quantities, are dispatchable, and the corresponding power plants can be built cheaply. Furthermore, coal in particular can be used to promote Indonesia’s export business and support remote areas in their economic development. Coal mining has therefore been a cornerstone of politics and a likely target for government interventions. In 2020, coal mines were obliged to sell 25 percent of the production volume on the domestic market and the state-owned electricity supplier PLN received a maximum price of 70 U.S. dollars per ton of coal purchased.

                         Coal production outlook.

Not surprisingly, coal producers expected a thriving market in Indonesia. However, the coal industry has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and it is therefore unlikely that the coal output will have increased further in 2020. And yet, according to the Department of Energy, the minimum target of 550 million metric tons has been met and the demand for coal is expected to rise again due to a cold winter in China and the Chinese ban on Australian coal. A flourishing export market is important as around 70 to 75 percent of Indonesia’s coal production is exported abroad. The main export countries include China, India, Japan and South Korea. In 2018, about one third of the global coal exports was exported from Indonesia, making it the largest coal exporting country in world. However, the Indonesian energy program could turn the industry into an internal market. For that reason, and to achieve independence from the global market, several large Indonesian mining companies have expanded directly into the energy sector in order to become an integrated energy company that uses its own coal.

                         Coal’s impact on the environment.

On the other hand, the production of coal and especially electricity generation from coal does have an impact on the environment. Back in 2016, it was estimated that the emissions of carbon dioxide amounted to 4.6 billion metric tons in Southeast Asia. Taking current developments in Indonesia and other countries into account, not less, but more is to be expected.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Diplomazia, Geopolitica Asiatica

Giappone. L’occidente liberal si frantuma sul Myanmar.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-05-28.

2021-05-20__ G7 GDP (Statista) 001

«Japan should play a bridging role to Myanmar’s junta rather than following the Western policy of regime change»

«Japan must position itself as a bridge between the Tatmadaw and the United States and other democratic countries rather than blindly aligning itself with the Western policy of regime change»

«Japan must position itself as a bridge between the Tatmadaw and the United States and other democratic countries rather than blindly aligning itself with the Western policy of regime change»

«Myanmar’s huge development project of Thilawa Special Economic Zone development»

«Japan, a major aid donor with long ties to Myanmar, has not placed explicit sanctions against the Myanmar military, unlike other nations such as the United States and Britain.»

«The Japanese government did halt negotiations on new aid to Myanmar, but not existing aid projects»

«Leveraging its decades-long economic cooperation, Japan can now directly work with the Tatmadaw to reverse China’s geoeconomic influence»

«Any drastic move to cut ties with Myanmar’s military could result in China winning more influence»

«Chinese investment in Myanmar has surged in recent years, driven by Beijing’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan»

«Japan must realise its historic mission of guiding Myanmar’s military government in service of a free and open Indo-Pacific and remain unafraid even if its actions diverge from those of the U.S. and other democratic allies»

* * * * * * *

Il problema è dannatamente semplice.

I liberal degli stati occidentali ed occidentalizzati si credono investiti della missione di imporre la loro ideologia ad un mondo che proprio non ne vuole sapere. Reputano di essere i depositari della verità assoluta.

Solo che in altri tempi riassumevano gran parte del pil mondiale e dettavano legge, mentre ad oggi ne costituiscono poco più di un terzo: troppo poco per potersi imporre con lo strumento economico.

Non solo.

I liberal socialisti sono in declino ed il loro sistema economico sta devolvendosi, mentre quello dei paesi eurasiatici è in forte crescita, attirando investitori ed investimenti occidentali.

Cina. 2020. Investimenti esteri +81% YoY. Superano quelli negli Usa.

Foreign investment in China up 81 pct in 2020.

Cina. Abolite le restrizioni agli investimenti esteri nel settore energetico.

BlackRock anticipa l’apertura cinese alla finanza occidentale. 3.4 trilioni in tre anni.

*

Giappone. Aprile21. Export +38.0%, Import +12.8%, aprile21 su aprile20.

Il Giappone esporta negli Usa per 1,276.134 milioni di Yen, mentre l’Asia raccoglie 4,156.211 milioni di Yen di esportazioni. L’Asia conta quindi poco meno di quattro volte gli Usa.

La scelta di campo sta diventando obbligatoria.

Però questa presa di posizione del Giappone rompe drammaticamente quello che una volta era il bastione dei G7, spezzando la unità di intenti del fronte liberal. E la riunione del G7 è imminente.

*


Japan should not follow the Western policy on Myanmar – Diplomat op-ed

Japan should play a bridging role to Myanmar’s junta rather than following the Western policy of regime change, said a senior official at the Japan-Myanmar Association, which has strong ties with Myanmar’s military.

“I argue that Japan must position itself as a bridge between the Tatmadaw and the United States and other democratic countries rather than blindly aligning itself with the Western policy of regime change,” Yusuke Watanabe, the association’s secretary general, said in an opinion piece for the Diplomat magazine.

The Japan-Myanmar Association is a private group Yusuke Watanabe’s father and politician Hideo Watanabe launched to rally support for the wave of Japan’s investment in the Southeast Asian country. The association includes retired government bureaucrats and business executives and members of big Japanese companies.

A former cabinet minister Hideo Watanabe has long been Tokyo’s point man for economic relations, backing Myanmar’s huge development project of Thilawa Special Economic Zone development, and has a long track record of working closely with the junta, including junta leader Min Aung Hlaing.

Myanmar’s military overthrew the elected government on Feb. 1, citing alleged fraud in an election three months earlier, and has since waged a deadly crackdown which has killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands of people.

Japan, a major aid donor with long ties to Myanmar, has not placed explicit sanctions against the Myanmar military, unlike other nations such as the United States and Britain.

The Japanese government did halt negotiations on new aid to Myanmar, but not existing aid projects.

“Leveraging its decades-long economic cooperation, Japan can now directly work with the Tatmadaw to reverse China’s geoeconomic influence,” Watanabe added, also warning of Russia’s growing influence in Myanmar.

Any drastic move to cut ties with Myanmar’s military could result in China winning more influence, a senior Japanese official told Reuters in February after the coup. read more

Chinese investment in Myanmar has surged in recent years, driven by Beijing’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan.

“Japan must realise its historic mission of guiding Myanmar’s military government in service of a free and open Indo-Pacific and remain unafraid even if its actions diverge from those of the U.S. and other democratic allies,” Watanabe said.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Asiatica

Cambogia. 2021. Pil anno su anno stimato al 7.1%.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-05-08.

Cambogia 004

La Cambogia è un paese misero, che però aveva raddoppiato il proprio pil nel volgere di dieci anni.

La crisi pandemica ha di fatto bloccato il turismo e gran parte delle attività industriali ed agricole.

Adesso si iniziano a vedere i primi segni di una ripresa.

2021-05-01__ Cambogia 001

* * * * * * *

2021-05-01__ Cambogia 002

«Cambodia’s economy is forecast to grow 4 percent in 2021 and 5.5 percent in 2022»

«ADB [Asian Development Bank] said the Southeast Asian nation’s economy contracted by 3.1 percent in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic»

«industrial production is expected to rise 7.1 percent in 2021 and 7 percent in 2022»

«Agriculture is expected to grow by 1.3 percent in 2021»

«Services will recover more slowly, expanding by 3.3 percent in 2021 and 6.2 percent in 2022»

2021-05-01__ Cambogia 004

* * * * * * *


ADB says Cambodia’s economy to rebound by 4 pct in 2021, higher next year.

Phnom Penh, April 29 (Xinhua) — Cambodia’s economy is forecast to grow 4 percent in 2021 and 5.5 percent in 2022, as the economic recovery in its major trading partners boosts demand for the kingdom’s exports, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report has said.

ADB country director for Cambodia Sunniya Durrani-Jamal said the Southeast Asian nation’s economy contracted by 3.1 percent in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The government has responded quickly to the recent spike in cases, and we expect the economy to return to growth in 2021,” she said in a press statement on Wednesday.

“This will help increase household incomes, but not all sectors and regions will benefit equally, so it will be essential to closely monitor household welfare and the need for additional support,” she added.

According to the bank’s report, industrial production is expected to rise 7.1 percent in 2021 and 7 percent in 2022 on the back of a rebound in the garments, footwear, and travel goods sector, as well as growth in other light manufacturing such as electronics and bicycles.

Agriculture is expected to grow by 1.3 percent in 2021 and 1.2 percent in 2022, underpinned by higher crop production after last year’s flood damage, continued growth in aquaculture, and rising agriculture exports to China, it said.

Services will recover more slowly, expanding by 3.3 percent in 2021 and 6.2 percent in 2022, the report said, adding that efforts to contain a local outbreak of COVID-19 that began on Feb. 20 are dampening service sector activities.

Travel restrictions are expected to remain in place for most of 2021, which means tourism is not expected to boost services this year, it said. Real estate is expected to recover from last year’s contraction, in line with a similar trend for the construction industry.

“The uneven pace of the recovery across sectors will continue to put pressure on some households and firms this year, which will slow down the overall recovery,” Durrani-Jamal said.

“Key risks to the outlook include widening community outbreaks of COVID-19, slower than expected growth for Cambodia’s major trading partners such as the United States and EU, continued weakness in domestic demand, and stress on financial services and banking,” she added. Enditem

Pubblicato in: Cina, Diplomazia, Geopolitica Asiatica

Australia. La Cina sospende sine die il dialogo economico.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-05-08.

2021-05-08__ Australia 001

«China “indefinitely” suspended on Thursday all activity under a China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, its state economic planner said, the latest setback for strained relations between the two countries»

«Recently, some Australian Commonwealth Government officials launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination»

«Australia must bear full responsibility»

«Bilateral ties were strained in 2018 when Australia became the first country to publicly ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from its 5G network. Relations worsened last year when Australia called for an independent investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus, prompting trade reprisals from China»

«The last meeting was in Beijing in 2017, when Australia’s trade minister signed an agreement on cooperation on Belt and Road projects in third-party countries.»

«In April, Canberra cancelled two Belt and Road cooperation deals struck by the state of Victoria, prompting the Chinese embassy to warn that ties were bound to worsen»

«In the 12 months to March, Australia exported A$149 billion ($115 billion) worth of goods to China, excluding services, of which iron ore was by far the largest product»

«Rio Tinto Chairman Simon Thompson said: “Specifically in relation to iron ore, at the moment there are relatively few alternatives available to China.”»

«But the dispute will continue to have an impact on Australia’s commodities sector by discouraging Chinese investment and it indicated that effective bans on Australian imports are set to continue»

«China has effectively banned imports of Australian thermal coal. Since December, copper concentrate imports to China have also slumped»

* * * * * * *

Australia. La Cina porta al 175% il dazio su Treasury Wine Estates Ltd.

Guerra sinoamericana sui cavi internet e telefonici sottomarini. Il cavo ‘Peace’.

Australia. La Cina la accusa alle UN di violare gli ‘human rights’ dei migranti.

China urges Australia to close offshore detention centres.

Cina. Le severe sanzioni all’Australia sono un drastico monito per tutto il mondo.

Australia. New South Wales. Un caso di corruzione molto istruttivo.

Australian state premier had secret relationship with China-linked politician

Cina mette dazi severi sull’orzo australiano. Relazioni deteriorate.

Australia. Le variazioni climatiche erano incendi dolosi. 183 arresti.

Nazioni Unite ‘mange les pissenlits par la racine.’. La Australia.

* * * * * * *

La Cina era il maggior partner dell’Australia, che le esportava beni e merci per 103 miliardi di dollari Usd, contro i 10.57 miliardi di export negli Stati Uniti.

Con la presa in carico della Harris-Biden Administration, gli stati liberal occidentali hanno scatenato una grande attacco diplomatico e mediatico, meno economico, contro i paesi eurasiatici.

Il rispetto degli human rights, così come sono intesi dai liberal, sono il loro pretesto.

In particolare la Cina è accusata dei fatti di Hong Kong, e di aver messo a punto un ‘genocidio’ sui mussulmani dell’Uiguri, Xinjiang e di altre fantasiose nequizie.

Nella realtà è in gioco il controllo della parte occidentale dell’Oceano Pacifico, degli stati da questo bagnati. L’occidente inizia ad essere veramente preoccupato dalla crescita economica dei paesi afferenti il Rcep e della Cina, il pil ppa dei quali ha superato quello occidentale.

Mosca in soccorso di Pechino: Nello Xinjiang nessun genocidio degli uiguri

«Il Cremlino è sceso affianco alla Cina contro l’Occidente nella guerra delle “fake news” sullo Xinjiang. Il 4 maggio è apparso sulla Rossijskaja Gazeta un progetto russo-cinese di “smascheramento della menzogna occidentale” sul genocidio degli uiguri, preparato dagli sforzi comuni dei media russi e cinesi. È stata proposta perfino un’applicazione mobile d’informazione Rossija-Kitaj-glavnoe “Russia-Cina-attualità”. Nei servizi si esalta “l’amore per il lavoro del popolo dello Xinjiang” in occasione della festa del Primo maggio, “che merita il rispetto del mondo intero”. Si afferma che gli uiguri “lavorano volontariamente nell’industria locale”.»

* * * * * * *

L’attuale situazione è di stallo e così stando le cose non redimibile: è un muro contro muro.

L’attuale manovra cinese va a mordere duramente il sistema economico australiano.

Sono passati i tempi nei quali era l’occidente ad imporre sanzioni: adesso è il turno della Cina.

*


China suspends economic dialogue mechanism with Australia as relations curdle.

China “indefinitely” suspended on Thursday all activity under a China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, its state economic planner said, the latest setback for strained relations between the two countries.

“Recently, some Australian Commonwealth Government officials launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination,” China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a short statement on the decision.

The commission did not say in the statement what specific measures prompted the action.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, told a daily conference the suspension was a “necessary and legitimate” response to Australia “abusing” the concept of national security to pressure cooperation with China.

“Australia must bear full responsibility,” he said.

The Australian dollar fell sharply on the news and was as low as 0.7701 to the U.S. dollar from Wednesday’s $0.7747.

Bilateral ties were strained in 2018 when Australia became the first country to publicly ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from its 5G network. Relations worsened last year when Australia called for an independent investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus, prompting trade reprisals from China.

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the commission’s decision was disappointing because the economic dialogue was “an important forum for Australia and China to work through issues relevant to our economic partnership”.

“We remain open to holding the dialogue and engaging at the ministerial level,” he said in a statement.

The last meeting was in Beijing in 2017, when Australia’s trade minister signed an agreement on cooperation on Belt and Road projects in third-party countries.

Australia has, however, declined to sign agreements on direct participation in China’s flagship foreign policy initiative.

In April, Canberra cancelled two Belt and Road cooperation deals struck by the state of Victoria, prompting the Chinese embassy to warn that ties were bound to worsen.

Australia’s federal parliament granted veto power over foreign deals by states in December amid the deepening diplomatic dispute with China, which has imposed a series of trade sanctions on Australian exports ranging from wine to coal.

Successive Australian trade ministers have been unable to secure a phone call with Chinese counterparts since diplomatic tensions worsened in 2020.

In the 12 months to March, Australia exported A$149 billion ($115 billion) worth of goods to China, excluding services, of which iron ore was by far the largest product.

Experts expect the bilateral strains would not have a major impact on the iron ore trade, but could have an impact on Chinese investment in Australia.

“We believe the iron ore trading relationship between Australia and China will remain ring-fenced in relation to current political tensions between the two nations,” said Atilla Widnell, managing director at Singapore-based Navigate Commodities Ptd Ltd.

“This is a co-dependent relationship whereby either party cannot survive without the other.”

Executives of mining giant Rio Tinto said the tension between Australia and China was not hurting their business.

“We sell more than half of our products into China and we have a good relationship and we are unaffected,” Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm told reporters after the company’s annual meeting in Perth.

Rio Tinto Chairman Simon Thompson said: “Specifically in relation to iron ore, at the moment there are relatively few alternatives available to China.”

But the dispute will continue to have an impact on Australia’s commodities sector by discouraging Chinese investment and it indicated that effective bans on Australian imports are set to continue, said Yanting Zhou, senior economist at Wood Mackenzie.

China has effectively banned imports of Australian thermal coal. Since December, copper concentrate imports to China have also slumped.

“We estimate that the volume impacted is around one million tonnes per annum of copper concentrate, which is looking for homes in other Asia-Pacific smelters,” said Gillian Moncur, also at Wood Mackenzie.

Matt Bekier, CEO of No.2 Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group Ltd (SGR.AX), which relied on Chinese tourists until Australia closed its borders due to the pandemic, told the Macquarie Australia Conference he was unconcerned about China’s suspension of the Strategic Economic Dialogue.

“I’m probably a bit more optimistic that people will do what they’ll do. That’s not to say that (there won’t be) a number of months of challenges in the government relations,” he said.

*


Australia disappointed with China’s decision to suspend economic dialogue.

Australia is disappointed with China’s decision to “indefinitely” suspend all activity under a China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, Trade Minister Dan Tehan said on Thursday.

“We remain open to holding the dialogue and engaging at the ministerial level,” Tehan said in a statement.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Diplomazia, Geopolitica Asiatica

Myanmar. Occasione di accordo politico per l’Asean.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-03-02.

ASEAN–China Free Trade Area. China and ASEAN in blue 001

Asean si auto definisce come ‘One Vision. One Identity. One Community.’

Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), Brunei, Cambodia, Laos sono gli stati membri.

«The ASEAN–China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is a free-trade area among the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China.»

«The free trade agreement reduced tariffs on 7,881 product categories, or 90 percent of imported goods, to zero. This reduction took effect in China and the six original members of ASEAN: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand …. The remaining four countries …. to follow suit»

* * * * * * *

«The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has traditionally had a strict policy of political non-interference in the internal affairs of member states»

«And the association remained true to that principle despite the events of the past five years in member state Myanmar»

«Part of what enabled ASEAN to function as normal regarding Myanmar through the Rohingya crisis was that most of the refugees fleeing the country ended up in Bangladesh, which is not a member of the association»

«Tens of thousands of Rohingya went south by sea, washing up on the shores of Malaysia, Indonesia and other members of the grouping»

«Where the US and the EU have outright condemned the coup and demanded a full reversal of the situation, Indonesia took a more delicate and much more promising approach»

«It called on the military to hold elections later this year, as it promised it would do during the coup, and proposed that the elections be monitored by ASEAN observers»

«This is a wise move for a number of reasons»

«First, the demand goes no further than holding the new military government to its own word»

«Secondly, it gives the military government of Myanmar a way out that does not involve a political concession of having made an error or having done something wrong …. This saves face and that is something that will carry a lot of weight for the generals …. it may shield military leaders from any legal or constitutional liability for having ordered the coup»

«Lastly, this move brings the entire weight of the trading bloc to apply pressure on the military government to leave power in a way that may well prove to be the most effective means to that end, all while nominally maintaining the principle of “non-interference.”»

«It remains to be seen whether this first foray into this area will bear any fruit, but the effort is certainly a noble one and a very well executed one too»

* * * * * * *

Biden orders sanctions on Myanmar generals as key Aung San Suu Kyi aide detained

White House. Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to the Situation in Burma

«the military overthrew the democratically elected civilian government of Burma …. undermining the country’s democratic transition and rule of law, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.  I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat»

*

Gli Stati Uniti vedono nei fatti accaduti in Myanmar, che loro denominano con l’esonimo Burba, un pericolo imminente e reale alla loro sicurezza nazionale, così grave da dichiarare “a national emergency”. Quanto accaduto mette in crisi la loro ideologia, che evidentemente non fa presa sulle altre nazioni: quindi, sanzioni, come ai bei tempi nei quali gli Stati Uniti contavano ancora qualcosa nel mondo.

Quanto sia differente la risposta dell’Asean è lampante.

Rispetta la sovranità nazionale, non impone alcunché, propone una soluzione che contemperi tutte le esigenze.

Questo è ciò che comunemente è denominato essere la diplomazia. Ossia l’arte del reale non disgiunto dal buon senso.

 *


ASEAN must become political to deal with Myanmar.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has traditionally had a strict policy of political non-interference in the internal affairs of member states. And the association remained true to that principle despite the events of the past five years in member state Myanmar, where the military carried out “clearing operations” against some 1 million civilians belonging to the Rohingya minority. But this will not remain an option for much longer. And the pivot of the transformation will be Myanmar.

Part of what enabled ASEAN to function as normal regarding Myanmar through the Rohingya crisis was that most of the refugees fleeing the country ended up in Bangladesh, which is not a member of the association. But that has not been universally the case. Tens of thousands of Rohingya went south by sea, washing up on the shores of Malaysia, Indonesia and other members of the grouping. Concerns about what is happening in Myanmar had been raised within ASEAN forums by Malaysia and Indonesia, but these efforts were resisted. Now Indonesia is paving the way for a new approach, prompted above all by the recent coup d’etat carried out by the military in Naypyidaw.

Where the US and the EU have outright condemned the coup and demanded a full reversal of the situation, Indonesia took a more delicate and much more promising approach. It called on the military to hold elections later this year, as it promised it would do during the coup, and proposed that the elections be monitored by ASEAN observers.

This is a wise move for a number of reasons. First, the demand goes no further than holding the new military government to its own word. The motivation the military cited for the coup was “electoral irregularities” in the polls last year and its claim was that all it wanted was a “fair” re-run of the election. The presence of ASEAN observers would do much to guarantee a more fair election than one run entirely by the military itself. As such, the move could even fly under the threshold of “political interference” in the internal affairs of Myanmar, either by Indonesia or by ASEAN

Secondly, it gives the military government of Myanmar a way out that does not involve a political concession of having made an error or having done something wrong. This makes it much more likely that it would allow this to happen, as opposed to the explicit demands coming from the West that it should not be in power. This saves face and that is something that will carry a lot of weight for the generals. But, perhaps even more importantly, it may shield military leaders from any legal or constitutional liability for having ordered the coup in the first place. They would thus be allowed to walk away from the path of direct military government in Naypyidaw in a way that means they would not immediately face prison as soon as they yielded power to a civilian government.

Lastly, this move brings the entire weight of the trading bloc to apply pressure on the military government to leave power in a way that may well prove to be the most effective means to that end, all while nominally maintaining the principle of “non-interference.”

Of course, this will in practice be interference: Everyone knows that elections would overwhelmingly return support for parties opposed to the military and its powerbase, primarily the National League for Democracy (NLD) of Aung San Suu Kyi — especially if the elections are allowed to be overseen by ASEAN observers. So for Indonesia and ASEAN to call for a fair election is in effect for them to call for an NLD government; and so ASEAN will have become politicized and a force for democracy in Southeast Asia. And that’s no bad thing.

In time, the institution will likely come to acknowledge this explicitly and even embrace this new political role. It remains to be seen whether this first foray into this area will bear any fruit, but the effort is certainly a noble one and a very well executed one too.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Geopolitica Asiatica

Malaysia. Pil 2021 proiettato tra il +6.7% ed il +9%.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-02-18.

Malesia, Indonesia, Stretto di Malacca 001

Cina. Rcep. Non enfatizzato, il vero obiettivo è il controllo del mondo.

Asia. Firmato l’Accordo Rcep. Nasce il più grande mercato libero mondiale.

«The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region between the ten member states of ASEAN, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and five of their FTA partners—Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. The 15 negotiating countries account for about 30% of both the world’s population and the global GDP, making it the largest trade bloc. It was signed at the Vietnam-hosted virtual ASEAN Summit on 15 November 2020. ….

ASEAN leaders stated that the door remained open for India, which opted out in November 2019, to join later. ….

RCEP potentially includes more than 3 billion people or 45% of the world’s population, and a combined GDP of about $21.3 trillion, accounting for about 40 percent of world trade ….» [Fonte]

* * * * * * *

Porsche to set up assembly plant in Malaysia: The Edge

«the United States …. is losing in influence»

«a community of sovereign nations».

Il 2020 ha visto una modesta contrazione del pil della Malaysia, ma tutti gli analisi concordano nell’affermare che esso dovrebbe salire molto bene nel 2021.

«The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is projecting Malaysia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at a rate of 9%»

«HSBC Holdings plc co-head of Asian economics research Frederic Neumann forecast Malaysia’s economy to grow at 6.7% this year»

La Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) è stata una delle opere magistrali di Mr Xi. 15 paesi del sud-est asiatico posti ai bordi dell’Oceano Indiano che formano una zona di libero scambio per il 45% della popolazione mondiale, che produce 21.3 trilioni di Usd come pil.

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IMF Expects Malaysia’s GDP Growth to Bounce Back to 9% in 2021

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is projecting Malaysia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at a rate of 9% next year, the fastest among the five major developing economies in ASEAN. The ASEAN-5 – namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – is expected to witness an average GDP growth of 7.8% during 2021, following a contraction of 0.68% during 2020. Malaysia’s economy is forecast to contract by 1.7% during 2020.

The IMF’s 2021 projection for Malaysia is much higher than Fitch Ratings’ growth forecast of 5.8%, and the body has cautioned for extreme uncertainty around its global growth forecast as the world is battered by the global COVID-19 pandemic and oil price crisis.

IMF has also forecast a global GDP growth of 5.8% for 2021, in contrast to 3% contraction for 2020. IMF cautiously anticipates that consumer confidence and sentiment will turn positive by 2021 and Malaysian households will remain financially sound, with better employment conditions and stable incomes during global and domestic economies recovery period. In terms of economic fundamentals, IMF expects Malaysia to continue to grow, supported by the government’s fiscal discipline and fiscal consolidation, a sustainable current account surplus, healthy foreign-exchange reserves as well as manageable inflationary pressure.

Nevertheless, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd stated that no emerging markets, including Malaysia, can escape the downside risks of global recession in 2020, as advanced economies fall into recession. As of now, sovereign rating agencies would continue to monitor Malaysia’s macroeconomic developments, focusing on its economic growth, fiscal deficit and government debt, from the impact of COVID-19 and low global oil price.

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HSBC forecasts 6% GDP growth in 2021 for Malaysia, ringgit to hit 3.96 by year-end

The reintroduction of the Movement Control Order (MCO) across major states in Malaysia is expected to pose some challenges to economic activity early in 2021, though experts anticipate the effects to gradually disappear as the year unfolds.

HSBC Holdings plc co-head of Asian economics research Frederic Neumann forecast Malaysia’s economy to grow at 6.7% this year, following an estimated contraction of 5.4% last year.

“The MCO 2.0 in place poses economic challenges in the beginning of the year, but we are quite confident that these economic effects will dissipate quickly over the course of this year, allowing Malaysia’s economy to achieve 6.7% growth,” he said at a press briefing on HSBC’s Asian Outlook for 2021.

HSBC expects another policy rate cut by Bank Negara Malaysia due to the lockdown and its economic impact at the beginning of the year.

From a regional perspective, Neumann expects South-East Asia to register strong growth from the second quarter onwards as the roll-out of vaccines in the region may take longer than some developed markets, which may impede recovery in sectors like tourism.

“There are downside risks if the vaccination programmes are not handled on time, but we think the risk is relatively low. “We look forward to a reasonable normalisation of domestic activity starting in the second half of the year, which is slightly delayed from the normalisation in developed parts of Asia like North-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, but we think it is coming through,” he added.

On the ringgit, HSBC global head of foreign-exchange research Paul Mackel forecasts the local note to strengthen and trade at RM3.96 against the US dollar by year-end.

He expects the headwinds that are working against the ringgit currently to ease throughout the year, with higher commodity prices supporting the currency further.

“We deem it to be a relatively undervalued currency and that should help bolster the case for the ringgit to appreciate. Perhaps, there may even be some silver lining at some point with regard to the tourism angle as well,” he said.

Mackel expects Asian currencies to be resilient this year as a “benign” US dollar would help alleviate currencies in the region.

HSBC’s preference leans more towards emerging-market (EM) currencies, with the ringgit, Singapore dollar and the Philippines peso likely to stand out this year.

On the equity market, HSBC head of equity strategy for Asia Pacific Herald van der Linde pro- jects the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI to edge towards 1,780 points by year-end.

He said Malaysia is typically considered to be a “defensive” market due to the good domestic demand for its equities and little volatility in valuation.

“That has changed to a certain extent because you have glove makers who have done phenomenally well.

“It was not a surprise for Malaysia to be the best performing Asean market, which was up 3.6% last year.

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Malaysia. Belt and Roads. La Cina si avvantaggia della desistenza americana.

«The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is one of the largest in scale infrastructure projects in our history, which was proposed by the PRC as far back as 2013»

«Its main aim is to link via roads, railways, deep water ports, wharfs and industrial zones all 5 continents and approximately 130 of the world’s nations, which, on becoming a part of the BRI could promote trade and other activities and thus reap substantial economic benefits»

«The BRI initiative had such a successful start that by 2020, projects worth almost US$4 trillion had already been completed»

«Still, the ambitious nature and global scale of China’s economic expansion caused reservations among some participating countries with low and medium GDPs. On the one hand, these nations viewed the initiative as the only source of funds for financing their own infrastructure projects, and on the other hand, they worried about their growing debts to Beijing»

«the reaction to BRI in countries of South East Asia whose economic ties to China are strengthening with each passing day is noteworthy»

«It is no secret to anyone that some of the biggest projects of China’s global initiative are being implemented in South East Asian countries. In fact, it would suffice to mention the cross-border railway between China and Laos (US$ 6 billion), high speed rail in Indonesia (US$6 billion), the Kyaukpyu deep water port in Myanmar (US$ 7.3 billion) and many others»

«Malaysia is among China’s most important trade partners in South East Asia with the bilateral trade volume of US$124 billion in 2019»