Articles worth reading
Image : HCM City: 1,000 start-up projects to receive support

HCM City: 1,000 start-up projects to receive support

person Orange Themes access_time Jul 20,2016

The Ho Chi Minh City Young Businesspeople Association (YBA) has said it will support 1,000 creative start-up projects during the 2016-2020 period.

Image : Jihadist siege chokes Syria's Deir Ezzor

Jihadist siege chokes Syria's Deir Ezzor

person Orange Themes access_time Nov 25,2016

In the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, a two-year siege by the Islamic State group has forced taxi driver Mohammed al-Obeid to find a new job and turned its park into a cemetery. Instead of ferrying customers around the eastern city with its fuel

Image : Anthony Rizzo wants more drug testing in wake of Starling Marte PED suspension

Anthony Rizzo wants more drug testing in wake of Starling Marte PED suspension

person Orange Themes access_time Apr 19,2017

Anthony Rizzo wants more drug testing in wake of Starling Marte PED suspension One player who offered some criticism -- not of Marte, but of the testing system at large -- was Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo's beef? Not enough

Latest blog articles

Trumpeting 'One Belt, One Road,' China bids to lead 'Globalization 2.0'

access_time May 16,2017 chat_bubble_outline 4 views

High-speed railways in Indonesia and Hungary. Deep-water ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Gas pipelines across central Asia. All are part of what is arguably the largest overseas development drive ever launched by a single nation.

Even the Marshall Plan, America’s postwar reconstruction effort in Europe, pales in comparison to the more than $900 billion China has pledged for the construction of infrastructure projects in more than 60 countries as part of its “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined his vision for this modern-day Silk Road during a two-day forum in Beijing that ended Monday. While the initiative is still in its early stages, it comes at a critical moment in Asia. Developing countries in the region need to invest some $1.7 trillion per year on infrastructure to maintain growth, tackle poverty, and fight climate change, according to the Asian Development Bank. Meanwhile, the United States seems poised to reverse the Obama administration's plans for a “pivot to Asia.”

Think you know Asia? Take our geography quiz.[/url]" data-reactid="14">Recommended: Think you know Asia? Take our geography quiz.

The Belt and Road Initiative gives China the opportunity to create a political and economic network based on its own rules, with the ambitious goal of establishing what Chinese state-run media have dubbed “globalization 2.0.” Mr. Xi used the forum this week to present himself as one of its leaders – and, in stark contrast to US President Trump, as an advocate for free trade.

“We should embrace the outside world with an open mind, uphold the multilateral trading regime, advance the building of free trade areas, and promote liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment,” Xi said Sunday in his opening speech.

Yet his call for governments to pursue “greater openness” and “reject protectionism” has raised eyebrows. Trading partners who complain that China is the most-closed major economy question whether the Belt and Road Initiative will let foreign companies in on the action. And despite Beijing's decades-long support for noninterference – not meddling in other countries' domestic affairs – foreign policy analysts ask if its growing economic leadership will give rise to more political ambitions, too.


Speaking to an audience that included the leaders of 29 countries – including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Central Asian autocrats – Xi insisted on Sunday that China had “no desire to impose our will on others.” He said economic globalization should be “open, inclusive, balanced, and beneficial to all.”

Xi pledged an additional $14.5 billion to the Silk Road Fund set up in 2014 to finance infrastructure projects and $8.7 billion in aid to developing countries and international organizations. He also announced that two government-run banks would distribute loans of $55 billion to support Belt and Road projects.

China's leader didn’t mention Mr. Trump by name, but the implicit message was clear: If an inward-looking United States is going to focus on “America first,” China is ready with a new economic order for the world to follow.

“The situation in the US and in the EU with Brexit has created an international policy vacuum,” says Peter Cai, a fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney and author of a recent report on the Belt and Road initiative. “China has been emboldened to step into the vacuum and stake its claim as a global economic leader.”

Mr. Cai says China has greatly expanded the scope of the initiative since Xi announced its launch four years ago. What was once largely focused on infrastructure in Asia now extends all the way to central Europe, as well as Africa and the Middle East. In a sign of its growing reach, delegates from more 100 countries and the leaders of international organizations including the United Nations and the World Bank attended the forum in Beijing.

“Britain led globalization for more than 200 years and the US led it for more than 100 years,” says Huiyao Wang, president of the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing. “Now it needs new energy.”

That energy is something China is eager to provide, especially after Trump abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Obama administration’s signature trade agreement, on his first full weekday in office. With American economic influence in the Asia-Pacific region likely to wane, China wants to take its place as it looks to open new markets for Chinese goods and reassert itself as Asia’s leading power.

“Xi wants to make China great on the international stage,” Tom Miller, author of “China’s Asian Dream: Empire Building Along the New Silk Road,” said at a book talk in Beijing last month. “He wants China to predominate in the East, much as the US does in the West.”


Critics say China is trying to rewrite the rules on global trade and security in pursuit of its own economic and geopolitical interests. They warn that Beijing’s proven willingness to work with authoritarian regimes could undermine human rights and environmental standards in the developing world. Meanwhile, economists have raised concerns that the massive infrastructure projects, if poorly conceived or negotiated, could leave poor countries with unsustainable levels of debt.

Supporters of the initiative, such as Zhang Yansheng, chief research fellow at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges in Beijing, say China’s aim is to supplement existing global governance and economic systems – not replace them.

“ ‘One Belt, One Road’ is a way to help rebalance the world economy. It’s about how to reduce the gap between rich and poor,” Mr. Zhang says. “The image China wants to send to the world is that ‘One Belt, One Road’ does not only belong to China, it belongs to the world.”

The parts of the world that the initiative targets are fraught with risk. Cai of the Lowy Institute says nearly two-thirds of the countries that have accepted Belt and Road projects have credit ratings below investment grade. In nations such as Pakistan, rampant corruption and security threats also present significant challenges.

And how far China is willing to go to uphold its commitment to non-interference, the unconditional respect for state sovereignty, will surely be tested as its economic influence over other countries grows. What could China do to protect the $57-billion economic corridor it’s helping to build through Pakistan, where militants have killed 44 Pakistani workers since 2014? What about Beijing's perceived threat from ethnic Uighurs from the western region of Xinjiang who are suspected of fighting with militant groups in the Middle East and accused of killing Chinese diplomats in central Asia?

“China will have a considerable amount of economic leverage as these projects get built,” Cai says. “The temptation to use that economic leverage will always be there, but only time will tell if China decides to use it in pursuit of other interests.”

Xie Yujuan contributed reporting.

Related stories

  • Think you know Asia? Take our geography quiz.
  • In rejecting Obama's Asia 'pivot,' did Trump leap before he looked?
  • Moon election could mean 'sunshine' toward Pyongyang – but a cloudier outlook for DC

Read this story at

Become a part of the Monitor community

  • Become a Facebook fan!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on Google+
  • Link up with us!
  • Subscribe to our RSS feeds!
Global markets wrap up: Asian shares, dollar start week off on strong footing

Asian shares rose on Monday after a solid session on Wall Street, while the dollar held near recent highs against major rivals as investors bet that the U.S. Federal Reserve was on track to raise rates sooner rather than later. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 percent, after Wall Street rallied on Friday, shrugging off growing expectations of tighter monetary policy. Japan's Nikkei stock index slipped 0.5 percent. Data released before the open showed… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Toronto Raptors get physical as New York downed

Toronto (Canada) (AFP) - DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as a physical Toronto Raptors outmuscled the New York Knicks 116-101 on Sunday.DeRozan added five assists and five rebounds for Toronto but it was the no-nonsense defensive effort from his team that delighted Raptors coach Dwane Casey."I was really proud of the way the starters came out and set the tone, especially starting the third quarter," Casey said."(We) came out, set the tone defensively and built a 30-plus (point) lead, so my hats… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Giant pages from ancient Quran on display in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — Books come in all sizes, but one 15th century Quran was so enormous, it's said that a wheelbarrow was needed to carry it.Two consecutive pages of this Quran will be on display during the show "The Art of the Qur'an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts," which opens Saturday at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.The sprawling pages, each measuring 5 feet by 7 feet, have rows of calligraphy standing 8 to 9 inches high. They date from about 1400, and have been on… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

World tiger count rises for first time in 100 years

The number of wild tigers across the globe has increased for the first time in more than a century thanks to improved conservation efforts, wildlife groups said on Monday. Deforestation, encroachment of habitat and poaching have devastated tiger populations across Asia, but countries with the big cats are working to increase their numbers. Data compiled by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Tiger Forum show that the global population of wild tigers has risen to an estimated 3,890… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Soyuz space capsule returns to Earth

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian Soyuz space capsule has landed in Kazakhstan, bringing back three astronauts from the United States, Japan and Russia back to Earth from a 115-day mission aboard the International Space Station.The landing took place Sunday morning near Dzhezkazgan on the treeless Central Asian steppes.Kate Rubins of NASA, Japan's Takuya Onisihi and Anatoly Ivanishin of Russia were removed from the capsule and sat on the steppes still in their capsule seats while they readjusted to the… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

folder_open Assigned tags



Trends in Singapore

Trends in Indonesia

Trends in Philippin