Asia-Pacific

Posts on Asia-Pacific

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Social media in China: the regime is more concerned about what people do than what they say

The Internet is essential to a country like China, riding high on the great wave of technology. But it gives the regime the headache of control. Apart from its Great Firewall, the Chinese state runs an elaborate system of censorship and manipulation of social media. It has just proved [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Disputed geometries around the New Silk Road

There were notable attendees at the recent forum in Beijing for the One Belt, One Road Initiative, also known as the New Silk Road, but also significant absences, and delegations that lacked the seniority such an occasion called for. Conspicuous among the absences was that of India, which is [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega India’s brutal demonetisation was not so bad after all

  While all eyes were trained on the presidential elections in the US, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, made a surprise television announcement on 8 November: all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes (worth some €7 and €14, respectively), accounting for 86% of all the cash in circulation, were [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega What leads from a rocky outcrop to an island: geopolitics

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), an obscure but important body with headquarters in The Hague, did not enter into questions of sovereignty, but in the complaint lodged by the Philippines against China in 2013 it ruled in 501 densely-worded pages last week that Beijing’s claims to certain rocky outcrops [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega China viewed from Japan: weakness with stability

Last year the word chosen by a company that annually nominates the most popular expression in Japan was bakugai. In English it translates as ‘explosive buying power’, referring to the Chinese tourists who visit Japan. If one sees young women dressed in kimonos (and often their male companions too) [...]

EU-India relations: let’s focus on getting to know each other better

At the beginning of this month, I had the privilege to be invited to New Delhi (my first time ever) to attend a meeting of European and Indian think tanks on the topic: “EU and India: closer partners in global governance?” The event was organized by the EU-Asia Centre [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The New Silk Road: grand geopolitical engineering

The New Silk Road is the huge Chinese response to the US attempt to isolate Beijing via the Transpacific (TPP) and the Transatlantic (TTIP) agreements, whose fates are still very much in the balance. But it is much more than that. It responds to a clear geopolitical and geoeconomic [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The world trembled with China

“When China wakes, the world will tremble”. Napoleon, in one of the variants of the famous quote attributed to him while in exile on St. Helena in 1816, recommended to “let her sleep”. But China has since awakened, or re-awakened, because this is merely the return to a state [...]
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