Is the US Losing East Asia to China?
Bob Savic, THE DIPLOMAT
The election of Donald Trump to the US presidency is continuing to send shockwaves in the corridors of power across East Asia. The trend in emerging rifts between a number of formerly US-centric East Asian states and the Obama administration had been visible, under the radar, for several years. However, in the last few weeks and months before the American elections, there was an eruption of anti-American sentiment, principally from the increasingly populist-oriented democracies of Southeast Asia.
In Pictures: New Satellite Imagery Shows Chinese “Weapons” on South China Sea Islands
HONG KONG FREE PRESS
New satellite imagery shows China has apparently installed “significant” defensive weapons on a series of artificial islands it built in the South China Sea, a US-based think tank said Wednesday. Beijing has created seven islets in the Spratly Islands in recent years, built up from much smaller land protuberances and reefs.
Cuba, Venezuela Vow to Revive Regional Socialist Alliance
Cuban leader Raúl Castro and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro vowed Wednesday to revive the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA). At a political rally for the 12th anniversary of ALBA in Havana, Castro and Maduro declared their commitment to the ideas and principles of the ALBA founders — late Cuban revolution leader Fidel Castro and late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
North Korea News: South Korea To Fortify Military With New Projects To Tackle Threat From Pyongyang
Vishakha Sonawane, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES
South Korea has started building a 3,000-ton submarine equipped with ballistic missiles to fortify its maritime capacity amid growing threats from North Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday citing the state arms procurement agency. The country is also planning to develop indigenous long-range air-to-surface missiles to tackle threats from Pyongyang.
Soviet Leader Gorbachev Says a New Union Could Rise Again
Adam Taylor, THE WASHINGTON POST
This winter marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union. But Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, isn’t over it yet. In interviews with the BBC and the Associated Press both released Tuesday, the 85-year-old Gorbachev said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “worthy president.” In an interview with Russian News Agency TASS, Gorbachev went further. “The Soviet Union cannot be restored, but a new Union can be established.”
Russian Police Detain Dozens of Opposition Activists to Disperse Constitution Day Protest
US NEWS & WORLD REPORT
Russian police on Saturday detained dozens of opposition activists who had tried to hold a demonstration in central Moscow on Constitution Day. News reports said police detained 33 people, including Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin. Since Vladimir Putin was first elected president in 2000, Russia has seen a steady erosion of democratic and civic institutions. The opposition has largely been barred from elections and national television has been put under Kremlin control.
Taiwan Is Both Exhilarated and Unnerved by Trump’s China Remarks
Javier C. Hernández and Amy Qin, THE NEW YORK TIMES
President-elect Donald Trump stunned the world on Sunday by suggesting he might abandon the One China principle, the bedrock understanding under which the United States established relations with Beijing and cut official ties with Taiwan nearly four decades ago. His apparent willingness to rethink longstanding American policy that prioritizes China over Taiwan has energized many opponents of the One China principle in Taiwan. But it has also left them anxious about what the future holds for Taiwan.
Lily Hide, NEW EASTERN EUROPE
Around eighteen unsolved disappearances and deaths are cited by Abdureshit Dzhepparov and other human rights activists as evidence of human rights violations by authorities since Russia occupied and annexed Crimea in March 2014. Since annexation the Crimean Tatar representative body, the Mejlis, has been banned as an extremist organization, and dozens of Crimean Tatars have been hit by fines and court cases. The disappearances further deter anyone from showing dissent and resemble a policy Russia has perfected in the North Caucasus.
Suspended Venezuela Tries to Crash Mercosur Trade Bloc Talks
Venezuela’s foreign minister threatened to enter Argentina’s foreign ministry through a window if necessary, but she still didn’t get into a meeting of South American countries that suspended her nation from the Mercosur trade bloc. Venezuela was suspended from Mercosur earlier this month over what other member nations said was its failure to comply with commitments made when it joined the group in 2012.