Singapore has played an important role in connecting South Asia with East Asia. It would be fair to say, that in addition to the economic reforms of 1991, and the efforts of successive governments, Singapore deserves credit for helping India strengthen ties with ASEAN.
China’s activities in Southeast Asia indicate that the region remains an important one. The leadership of some countries in Southeast Asia are aligned with the Belt and Road Initiative’s vision of infrastructural connectivity.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe needs the cooperation of Keidanren for persuading Japan’s large MNCs to raise their wages to stimulate consumer spending. These are all necessary ingredients for Abenomics to work and run its full course.
Canada’s economic exchange with China started in the 1960s with wheat exports to China. Today, 50 percent of Canadian exports to China are based on natural resources and the Canadian government believes that they have more resources to offer.
Observers had expected a major breakthrough on the front of trade during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to China in December 2017. Both countries however simply agreed to continue their “exploratory discussions toward a comprehensive trade agreement.”
According to the Thai mass media, the first phase of the Sino-Thai railway connecting Bangkok with Nakhon Ratchasima would begin construction in late 2017. This is Thailand’s first high speed railway line.
US President Donald Trump said that the US trade deficit with China had caused the ruination of US companies, had cost American workers their jobs, and in general was very hurtful to the United States.
Singapore’s SkillsFuture program is a major state-level initiative unveiled in 2015. The Singapore government would be investing SGD 1 billion per year until 2020 to “foster and continually renew deep skills that are critical for the next stage of Singapore’s economy.”
Cementing friendships, standing by its ally, forging military and economic deals with all sides, and reconciling differences; Russia is expanding its footprint in the Middle East and has emerged as a major strategic player. The Saudi monarch’s recent visit is a testimony.
While President Xi has amassed great powers, he is also facing formidable challenges confronting China. He has to manage China’s maturing economy, upgrade quality of life for the middle class, and ensure sustainable growth with less detriments to the environment.