Opinion

South link needs clarity
Opinion

South link needs clarity

As plans for the southern land bridge project make the headlines, doubts are growing on whether the multi-billion-dollar project will ever materialize, despite its economic benefits.Recently, Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered a new feasibility study for a land bridge in the South, which would connect Chumphorn province on the western coast of the Gulf of Thailand and Ranong province on the southeastern shores of the Andaman Sea.According to him, as the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) alone won't be enough to boost the economy in the long run, the government had to look for another megaproject to invest in. Ultimately, it was decided that a land bridge would be a good choice.Two projects were considered -- in addition to the land bridge, the government also looked at buildin...
India-Bangladesh relationship towards a healthy hike
Opinion

India-Bangladesh relationship towards a healthy hike

Despite being torn apart by geopolitical boundaries, Bangladesh shares a common socio-political heritage with its biggest neighbor India.The people of the two countries cherish more affinities than detachment, which is why India invested tremendous efforts for the cause of the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, and Bangladesh has always been very thankful to India for that.There have been minimal disturbances and discrepancies in India-Bangladesh relationship since then, and a strong fraternal unity has kept the two countries tied in harmony for decades.Especially, after the advent of the Awami League Government led by the daughter of Bangabandhu, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the second time in 2008, the relationship between India and Bangladesh has become so strengthened that even ...
Locals in Bangkok resist environmental dictatorship
Opinion

Locals in Bangkok resist environmental dictatorship

Picketing in front of the Government House, Anong Kuson told herself that this was just another test of “our determination to protect our forests and our home community”.Ms Anong, 34, and the mother of three from Ban Muang Takua, Phatthalung province started picketing along with some 20 residents who represented the Muang Takua community in Bangkok after the Phatthalung governor told them he had no power to stop the Irrigation Department's controversial dam project."I told myself never to feel discouraged, never to give up on our mission to stop the Muang Takua dam project. It will destroy our forests, waterways, our abundant nature. It will rob our children of life security and future. I will never let it happen."It has been decades since the protests began. After being shelved by strong ...
It’s time for western universities to cut their ties to China
Opinion

It’s time for western universities to cut their ties to China

Western universities now need to close their Confucius Institutes and end their academic cooperation with China. Following the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, one of the ways China sought to rebuild its image abroad was by systematically forging partnerships with Western universities. At first, these partnerships mainly focused on research collaboration. Later, they grew to include the Confucius Institutes for language education and the establishment of Western universities’ branch campuses in China.At a time when China was undemocratic but liberalizing, such engagement seemed like a sensible strategy. There have always been uneasy moments in Western universities’ relationships with China, whether prompted by tensions over hosting the Dalai Lama or controversies over university self-censor...
The rise of new India as PM Modi fulfils his promises
Opinion

The rise of new India as PM Modi fulfils his promises

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on the country’s 74th Independence Day came with the credibility of six previous speeches in which all promises made by him have been kept. For example, in 2014, PM Modi promised a bank account for every Indian. Then, from 58% Indians in 2014, almost 400 million new accounts have opened now.A billion plus scale financial inclusion has since been used along with Aadhaar (biometric countrywide data base) to affect the largest and most successful Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) policy in the world.Now, during the recent coronavirus induced lockdown, while many developed countries struggled to give out some cash in the hands of the poor, India did it instantly within days of the lockdown utilizing the DBT regime.In the 2015 speech, Modi made the prom...
##  RCEP is China’s strategy to gain access to Indian market ##
Opinion

## RCEP is China’s strategy to gain access to Indian market ##

The Government of India has decided “not to review” its stand to not join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which benefits China disproportionately and opens Indian market to economic threats, especially from Chinese preys.Despite claims that India’s decision is influenced by the initial inaction of China to curb the outbreak of the wide-spread coronavirus, and keeping its information hidden, and the unprovoked killing of 20 Indian soldiers by Chinese troops in a brutal clash on June 15, the Central government has maintained that the recent incidents do not have any bearing on India's decision to not join RCEP. The decision was based solely on economic reasons after multiple Ministerial discussions in November 2019.Most of the countries that are part of the RCEP, incl...
China’s ‘Lackey’ Duterte is smarting as Beijing tightens screws
Opinion

China’s ‘Lackey’ Duterte is smarting as Beijing tightens screws

Philippines President Roberto Duterte has been ridiculed as a ‘Chinese lackey’ and worse time and again for doing a complete U-turn on his predecessor’s policies regarding Beijing and its expansionist strategies to overtake resource-filled Islands.Under former president Benigno Simeon Aquino III, Philippines had taken China to an international tribunal regarding disputes over Scarborough Shoal and the Spratly Islands.Both these islands are said to have untapped oil and natural gas resources and are of great strategic value to the Philippines and the United States. Fears of a Chinese naval and weapons build-up here and on artificial islands being created in the neighboring areas, are of great concern to the Philippines.And even then, Duterte who is otherwise known as the strongman for his o...
PEZA reports investment performance amidst the Enhanced Community Quarantine
Opinion, USA

PEZA reports investment performance amidst the Enhanced Community Quarantine

Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza on Tuesday shared the top investment promotion agency’s performance for the first quarter of 2020 amidst the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).“PEZA’s investments continued to be challenged for the First Quarter of 2020. On top of this issue is still the continuing uncertainty posed by the rationalization of incentives under the pending legislative measures that have created uncertainties. Added to this is the current pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, which has caused a tremendous and immediate impact on PEZA’s export manufacturers and exporters of IT-enabled services (BPOs),” stated Plaza.“Before the declaration of the ECQ on March 16, 2020, PEZA’s total approved investments from January to February 20...
China’s Pinduoduo to invest $200m in appliance retailer Gome
Opinion

China’s Pinduoduo to invest $200m in appliance retailer Gome

Chinese ecommerce platform Pinduoduo announced it will subscribe to US$200 million in convertible bonds issued by Gome Retail Holding, a Beijing-based household appliance and electronics retailer. The move marks Pinduoduo’s first strategic investment after it raised US$1.1 billion in a private share placement in March to enhance its platform’s user experience. According to a statement, the strategic partnership will strengthen Pinduoduo’s position in the household appliances and electronics sector. It will also accelerate its push into the consumer-to-manufacturer space, where Pinduoduo aggregates consumer demand and preferences to help manufacturers customize their products’ designs prior to the manufacturing stage. The bonds will have a coupon rate of 5% per annum and a tenure of three y...
Opinion

Huawei partners with Vodafone to enter European market

With challenges arising from the upcoming devices lack the full set of Google apps and service, Chinese company Huawei has announced announced a partnership with Vodafone to bring its smartphones to the mobile carrier’s European markets. It includes Oppo, the sister brand of Vivo under Dongguan-based electronics holding company BBK. Under the deal, Oppo’s portfolio of advanced 5G handsets as well as value-for-money models will be sold into the U.K, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Romania and Turkey.Last year, Vodafone has taken back Huawei phones from its U.K. 5G network following the U.S. export ban that stripped Huawei models of certain Android services. However, it can now tap Oppo’s wide range of mobile products in a heated race to sign up 5G customers.  The collaborators wi...