We might be at the start of a decades-long trade war between China and the US. Photo: iStock

Here Comes the 30-Year Trade War

Alibaba’s Jack Ma has warned that the ongoing US-China trade war could last at least 20 years. As we’ll see, it’s actually more like 30 – up to 2049, the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Steve Bannon always boasted that President Trump was bound to conduct a “sophisticated …

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China's President Xi Jinping, second left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, second right, making bliny [Russian pancakes] as they visit the Far East Street exhibition on the sidelines of the 2018 Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Sept 11, 2018. Photo: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office handout / Anadolu Agency

Greater Eurasia Coming Together in the Russian Far East

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin were involved in a joint cooking venture. Pancakes with caviar (blin, in Russian), chased down with a shot of vodka. It just happened at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Talk about a graphic (and edible) metaphor sealing the ever-evolving ‘Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership’. For a few years now the Vladivostok …

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Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

Get ready for a major geopolitical chessboard rumble: from now on, every butterfly fluttering its wings and setting off a tornado directly connects to the battle between Eurasia integration and Western sanctions as foreign policy. It is the paradigm shift of China’s New Silk Roads versus America’s Our Way or the Highway. We used to …

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Cranes tower above the first, 602-meter-long quay at the Gwadar port in Baluchistan on the southernmost tip of Pakistan last October. This is the site of what is supposed to become a giant trade port as part of China's 'New Silk Roads'. Photo: AFP/ DPA

The New Silk Roads Are Just Pieces in a Giant Puzzle

The New Silk Roads, formerly One Belt One Road, then Belt and Road Initiative, were launched almost five years ago by President Xi Jinping, first in Astana (the Silk Road Economic Belt) and then in Jakarta (the Maritime Silk Road). Way beyond the acronym purgatory – and the “lost in translation” factor that neither name …

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China's private security firms are expanding to cope with the Belt and Road Initiative. Photo: iStock

China’s ‘Private Army’ Prowls the ‘New Silk Road’

It has been described as China’s ‘Private Army.’ Fueled by growing demand from domestic companies involved in the multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, independent security groups are expanding in the country. In 2013, there were 4,000-registered firms, employing more than 4.3 million personnel. By 2017, the figure had jumped to 5,000 with staff numbers hovering …

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Iranians burn an image of US President Donald Trump during an anti-US demonstration outside the former US embassy headquarters in the capital Tehran on May 9, 2018. Photo: AFP/Atta Kenare

‘Tweet of Mass Destruction’ Ratchets Up Tension on Iran

President Trump’s late-night, all-caps Tweet of Mass Destruction threatening Iran is bound to be enshrined in the Art of Diplomacy annals. But let’s go back to how this all started. After unilaterally pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration has issued what amounts to a declaration of economic war on Iran and will …

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China’s Military Interests Along the Silk Road Stretch from Sea to Shining Sea

Leaked Chinese military documents purport that the People’s Liberation Army will seek to expand its presence across the world in order to defend its Silk Road interests. The Japan Times was the first outlet to report on the plans that putatively circulated in Chinese circles back in February and which implored the state to concentrate …

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