The article uses the recently found Chinese missiles in the Paracel Islands as the backdrop for a larger discussion on US-China relations and geopolitical tensions. The article questions the U.S.'s ability to assert itself geopolitically and pointed to its inability to prevent its allies from joining the AIIB and the growing irrelevance of the G7.
India reaches out to Australia for additional support
The article covers the proposed visit of the Indian Finance Minister to Australia and the possible agenda. India requires significant investment to further develop and build its economic base. India is looking to Australia and the latter’s super funds in hopes that it might help in this endeavor, especially as the Chinese economy starts to face strong headwinds.
China's three-pronged strategy
The article covers China's three-pronged strategy to boost growth: the Belt and Road initiative, coordinated development of Beijing - Hebei - Tianjin, and developing the Yangtze River economic belt. The Belt and Road initiative opens up the relationship with Central and West Asia, and thus Europe, connecting China with South East Asia and Africa. The AIIB, as part of this strategy was launched on Jan 16th. The article also covers the efforts under the Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin and Yangtze River Economic Belt.
To what extent should Western powers be threatened by China's increasing role in international affairs?
This article outlines China's increasingly large contributions and investments in Africa, its aid strategy, and the popular myths that are abound. The author concludes that China's aims should not be misjudged and that there is probably more room for cooperation than conflict between Chinese and Western entities.
The role of the AIIB in the investment sector to address Asia’s needs
There is currently a large amount of demand for infrastructure investment in Asia, prompting private organizations to attempt to fill that gap with strong financial support. The AIIB along with other global financial organizations like the World Bank and IMF play an instrumental role in maintaining investor in the infrastructure investment sector.
China, the renmenbi, and the AIIB
Prompted by selling done by Chinese firms, China has been spending hundreds of billions of dollars to bolster the yuan (RMB). Along with discussions about exchange rates, China plans on discussing the “financial architecture” of the world in the context of the announcement of the AIIB at the upcoming G20 summit.
AIIB just one opportunity for growing ties between China and Australia
China and Australia's strengthening trade and diplomatic relations only encourage further cooperation in political and economic ventures, such as the newly launched AIIB, of which China and Australia are both key members.
Bangladesh officially Joins the AIIB as a Full Member State.
On Tuesday, February 23rd, Bangladesh became a founding member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. The parliament of Bangladesh has approved 6605 shares within the AIIB, each valued at US $100,000, allowing it to become a founding member in the China-led AIIB. The country will soon submits its subscription fees to the bank. State Minister for Finance and Planning, MA Mannan, remarked that membership in AIIB would not “hamper” the country’s relationships with World Bank or Asian Development Bank, and Bangladesh will seek AIIB’s funding for “development activities.”
US Policy Instigating China, Russia
US politics are increasing tensions with China and Russia and will cause a thermonuclear war with those two countries if American policy makers stay course. US policy requires China and Russia to back out of their current military endeavors abroad. Also, Washington is making every effort to counter China's AIIB, in order to protect Western financial interests. As it is unlikely those countries will back out, war is a possibility on the horizon.
Collaboration Across Development Banks in Sri Lanka
The ADB and AIIB are coordinating joint projects in Sri Lanka. ADB president, Takehiko Nakao, stated that this may be just the beginning for collaboration between the ADB and the AIIB.
Poland to invest hundreds of millions into AIIB
The Sejm of the Republic of Poland has “completed the first reading of a bill,” which will ratify the country’s membership in AIIB. Polish Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Katarzyna Kacprzyk, commented that Poland’s decision to join the bank came after “thorough analysis.” Additionally, Kacprzyk noted that Poland’s involvement in the bank would increase bilateral relations with China, and help to strengthen cooperation with other Asian nations.
South Korea’s government to create “consultative body” to help local firms earn more business projects launched under AIIB.
The group will include “state-run policy lenders and private financial firms as advisors. Customs Today notes that representatives from the Korea Development Bank, the Korea Export-Import Bank and the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation will be included in this consultative body. An official from the South Korean Ministry of Finance stated that “tapping into the Asian market can offset the effects of a negative global slowdown stemming from China.” Furthermore, Customs Today reports that these firms are working to win about $35 billion in Asian development contracts through 2020. South Korea’s government will invest over $8 billion to get more local companies to participate in AIIB projects. South Korea maintains the fifth largest member sharer in AIIB.
G20 nations to meet in China this week.
G20 Finance Ministers will meet in Shanghai this Friday to discuss slowing growth and weak commodity prices, which affect China and others throughout the global economy. Channel News Asia remarks that China is at its lowest percentage of growth in over a quarter of a century, and its recent downswing could continue to send shocks throughout financial markets. The meeting this Friday will prepare for a more high-profile meeting of G20 leaders, which will occur in September 2016. That meeting will include US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
First stop, Iran. Next stop, Europe
As a part of China’s “Silk Road” Initiative, a high-speed rail has connected China to the Middle East and Europe. Recently, the One Belt-One Road initiative launched its first train, which traveled 5,900 miles between China and Iran. Another train journeyed 8,100 miles from China to Spain. The rail travels in roughly one third the time required of sea voyage. Underwood asserts that the rail will “accelerate the movement of goods between China and Europe,” while also increasing connectivity between Europe and Asia. Furthermore, The Trumpet emphasizes that relationships between China and Europe will only continue to grow. China’s largest trading partner is the European Union, and as recently as this past December, China was accepted into the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
ASEAN in stuck in tug-o-war match between the U.S. and China
Ota reports that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, is balancing its allegiances with the US and China. In attempts to deter Chinese influence, Ota reports that President Obama recently met with ASEAN countries and developed a new initiative, named “U.S. - ASEAN Connect.” Under the initiative, partnership countries will expand mutual trade and investment, aid technological development, promote science and technology, and advise ASEAN countries in creating small and midsize companies. So-called, “Connect Centers” will be constructed in three cities - Jakarta, Singapore, and Bangkok. However, affiliations with ASEAN countries depend heavily upon how well the US can meet rising needs throughout the Asian economy. As Yasu Ota notes, Asian markets confront issues with security in the South China Sea, the slowdown of the Chinese economy, and regional decreases in demand. Yasu Ota lastly notes that ASEAN countries pursue balance in their affiliations with the US and China, and therefore, “remain purposely ambiguous on some issues.”
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