On May 24, 2018, the African country of Burkina Faso announced that it was breaking diplomatic relations with Taiwan. It was the second such setback for Taipei in one month. The Dominican Republic made the same move just over three weeks earlier.
Hours after the Mahathir-led opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan clinched a surprising victory at the Malaysian 14th General Election, Mahathir told reporters that his new government “may renegotiate” some deals with China.
Malaysia’s 92-year old Dr Mahathir Mohamad is voted back into power. He is likely to reach out to other opposition figures as well as anti-Najib factions within the former ruling party, as he pursues justice for the scandals plaguing Malaysian politics.
On the morning of May 10, 2018, Malaysians woke up to the return of their long-time political strongman Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir had a decisive victory and it seemed voters in rural as well as urban areas were in favor of bringing him back.
ASEAN needs to make substantive adjustments to meet new challenges and adapt to new situations. They need to discuss and communicate with Beijing and come up with a role for ASEAN that plays to its strengths in the process.
The 32nd ASEAN Summit was held in Singapore from April 25-28, 2018. Top of the agenda was ASEAN’s call to form a grid of smart cities by connecting Southeast Asia’s top tiered cities. ASEAN was also concerned about the trade tensions between the US and China.
The American perception of China has gone through an intriguing transition over the last century. Once, compassion was dominant. Today, increasing hostility is prominent with rumbles of a serious trade war in the air.
Major players in global trade will consider possible countermeasures and strategies to moderate the medium- and long-terms impacts of Donald Trump’s trade protectionism. Amid the trade war, China, Japan, and South Korea are reviving the delayed agenda of East Asia integration.