Monday, September 12, 2016

Diet Wars: Return of the Yatou

The new face of Japan's opposition looks to be Renho - and she's a badass:

Julian Ryall in the SCMP: Minshinto's baggage a challenge for Renho (also gratuitous 80's pinup pics)

Economist: Rehno long on style, short on substance

Tokyo on Fire: After capturing Minshinto leadership, Renho aims for Lower House, Abe in crosshairs (Video, ffwd to 14:10 for takeaway)

Also: Trividesh Singh Maini - No IPEC without APEC

All stakeholders need to play an important role. India needs to focus not just on land connectivity with Myanmar, but seamless connectivity within India itself. Greater emphasis also needs to be laid by India on maritime connectivity between Southern India and South East Asia, this can complement the current efforts to connect North Eastern India with Myanmar. Apart from physical connectivity, India also needs to integrate with the larger Asia-Pacific region by becoming part of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation). The US needs to back India’s membership a number of other countries like Australia have strongly backed the same.
Read the rest at Modern Diplomacy

Speaking of Myanmar - Chinese investment and northern unrest has forced a double pivot in foreign policy. So far they seem to have the room to do it:
Myanmar’s new willingness to court partners like the United States, India, and Japan raised anxiety in Beijing and Kunming that economic interests in Myanmar could be compromised and that Naypyidaw could be integrated into a strategy of “encircling” or “containing” China. However, Suu Kyi’s decision to visit China before the US seems to have assuaged fears that Myanmar is seeking to pivot away from Beijing and toward Washington. A joint statement with President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the bilateral “pauk-phaw” (“kinfolk”) relationship and pledged cooperation on border security, trade, climate change, natural disasters and communicable diseases. China expressed support for Myanmar’s democratic transition and national reconciliation, while Myanmar welcomed the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative and affirmed the “One China” principle regarding Taiwan, Xinjiang, and Tibet... 
In Washington, Suu Kyi will likely encounter a warm welcome from an Obama administration eager to solidify Myanmar as one of its foreign policy successes. To reward and help consolidate Myanmar’s democratization process, the Obama administration is considering further reducing sanctions. However, Congressional and NGO concerns about the military’s enduring political role and the treatment of ethnic Rohingya — tens of thousands of whom have been displaced by nativist violence — may limit further sanctions relief. The State Department’s 2016 Trafficking in Persons report downgraded Myanmar to “Tier 3,” indicating failure to meet minimum anti-trafficking standards or exhibit significant efforts to do so. Suu Kyi’s assurances of Myanmar’s positive trajectory on human rights can influence US sanctions policy. However, the phased rather than expedited lifting of targeted sanctions may have political utility for the NLD as a bargaining chip with the Tatmadaw military leadership, and as domestic political justification to pursue further reforms.
The Diplomat

Finally - Harry Kazianis on how Chinese foreign policy moves have turned satire into a bad joke:
But Ministry of Education officials defended the new “251-dash map” by pointing to several Qing-era documents which show the Caroline, Northern Mariana and Marshall Islands under Chinese control. 
“The study of what constitutes Chinese territory is ongoing,” said one ministry official. 
At press time, proof had been found that the Ming Empire once controlled a large portion of Antarctica. The Ministry of Education said it would immediately begin production of a new, revised map.” 
Only reading the open paragraphs—and certainly before taking a more detailed look at article—I assumed like many of my colleagues at the conference it could very well be possible. Heck, if China has the guts to try to make a case for claims on Okinawa, why not go all in? Call it ‘mapfare’ on steroids.
National Interest

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