SINGAPORE — Last week, leaders and officials representing more than three dozen countries from across the world gathered in Beijing for the second Belt and Road summit. The event marks the two-year anniversary since China first convened its flagship initiative to coordinate trillions of dollars of infrastructure across Eurasia and the Indian Ocean in a broad effort to recreate the old Silk Roads. One nation that was missing from the summit: The U.S.Story Continued Below The fashionable position in Washington today is to dismiss the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a power play that won’t last—an attempt at neocolonial debt trap diplomacy, in which China uses unpayable debts to control less powerful states, that is ultimately destined to collapse under the weight of financially spurious projects. On the other hand, there are also those who view BRI as a serious threat—a sign of China’s continued quest for global hegemony and the presence of a new Cold War … [Read more...] about Washington Is Dismissing China’s Belt and Road. That’s a Huge Strategic Mistake.
China accelerates drive for global soft power
HONG KONG - In 1938, in the midst of a long campaign to bring China under Communist Party rule, revolutionary leader Mao Zedong wrote: "Whoever has an army has power." Xi Jinping, Mao's latest successor, has taken that dictum to heart. He has donned camouflage fatigues, installed himself as commander-in-chief and taken control of the 2 million-strong Chinese military, the People's Liberation Army. It is the biggest overhaul of the PLA since Mao led it to victory in the nation's civil war and founded the People's Republic in 1949. Xi has accelerated the PLA's shift to naval power from a traditionally land-based force. He has broken up its vast, Maoist-era military bureaucracy. A new chain of command leads directly to Xi as chairman of the Central Military Commission, China's top military decision-making body. Operational leadership of naval, missile, air, ground and cyber forces has been separated from administration and training - a structure that Chinese and Western defense analysts … [Read more...] about How China is replacing America as Asia’s military titan
Domestic market of gift baskets for Tet Holiday bustling The domestic market of gift baskets for Tet Holiday (the Lunar New Year) is bustling with activities as demand for gifts has increased. Supermarkets and shops are being busy with offering the finest quality merchandise for gift baskets to satisfy all tastes. Co.opmart, Big C, Vinmart, Lotte Mart, Mega Market have been displaying various kinds of gift baskets so that customers can choose it easily. Retailers predict that purchase power will increase by 20 percent compared to the same period last year and gift baskets from VND500,000 ($21.5) to VND1 million are expected very popular. Saigon Co.op, which operates the Co.opmart supermarket chain, announced this year, its supermarket chain including Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food are exhibiting gift baskets containing goods with clear origin and high quality. Moreover, customers can enjoy free delivery if they do online shopping of 38 baskets with fix price. The Saigon Co.op also … [Read more...] about BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF 16/1
It’s a bright September morning in San Carlos, California, and Masayoshi Son, chairman of SoftBank, is throwing me off schedule. I’d come, as he had, to meet with the people he’s tapped to run the Vision Fund, his $100 billion bet on the future of, well, everything. After almost four decades of building SoftBank into a telecom conglomerate, Son, an inveterate dealmaker, launched this unprecedented venture two years ago to back startups that he believes are driving a new wave of digital upheaval. He has staked everything on its success–his company, his reputation, his fortune. We’d both arrived with the same basic question: Where is this massive vehicle heading? But because I wasn’t the one footing the 12-figure allowance, I understood that I’d be the one to wait. In the hubbub of Son’s visit, my 9 a.m. meeting gets rescheduled multiple times until it’s set for 4:30 p.m. When I finally arrive at the Vision Fund’s offices, … [Read more...] about The most powerful person in Silicon Valley
At the end of last year, POLITICO Magazine asked historians if 2017 had been the craziest year in American politics. That was before 2018, when several of President Donald Trump’s onetime cronies were indicted for financial crimes, when rapper Kanye West delivered a soliloquy in the Oval Office and when an accidental alert had Hawaii residents convinced nuclear missiles were inbound for a full 38 minutes. That was before one midterm election and three government shutdowns, before the Trump administration ordered migrant children be separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and before the president’s historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It was before the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and before 13 federal agencies issued a dire report on climate change that the White House attempted to bury. How will history remember this wild year? Which events were significant and which were distractions? POLITICO Magazine asked the smartest historians we know … [Read more...] about What Will History Books Say About 2018?