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Defence

It has become fashionable to ascribe efforts to build a pan-Asian economic and institutional order to rising Chinese assertiveness or, more precisely, to Chinese ambition. And that is a simple and straightforward enough narrative.

 

Despite the powerlessness so vividly highlighted by the Islamic State’s beheading of two Japanese hostages, Japan has not adopted even one amendment to the “peace constitution” that the occupying American forces imposed on it in 1947.

 
  Neither U.S. President Barack Obama nor King Salman of Saudi Arabia can be comforted with the mess that their countries have made in West Asia. Tragically, the only pathway they seem to favour is the one that would create more distress
 

There is already a substantial partnership with Japan -- a country which Modi has visited already, and Vietnam, with which three high-level exchanges were held in recent months. "Our push in the region and what we want from it is organic. And if US help us expand that reach, it is welcome."

 

China said on Monday it had strongly protested with Japan the comments made by its Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Arunachal Pradesh during his recent visit to New Delhi, saying it had "lodged serious representations" with Tokyo.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joko Widodo (better known as "Jokowi") of Indonesia are often compared to each other. Both achieved high office despite their humble origins. Both have raised surging expectations, of being harbingers of transformational change, in their respective countries but confront similar challenges - of complex democratic polities, entrenched bureaucracies and a legacy of corruption.

 

At a time of economic uncertainty, growing belligerence from Beijing and a visible warming of relations between Washington and New Delhi, Australia is recognising the benefits of its proximity to India.

 

The Chinese zodiac calendar designated 2015 as the Year of the Ram. The 12-year rotating cycle of life that oriental astrology depicts in animal signs has long been a part of Chinese and some other East Asian cultures. The animals not only portray virtues and vices that we tend to associate with beastly existence; they also give hints of what the future might hold in the year that each of the chosen animals represents.

 

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is feeling quite confident, having recently sought a new electoral mandate and received it midway through his parliamentary term. 

 

Saudi Arabia's refusal to cut oil production despite the price of crude bottoming out in the vicinity of $60 per barrel around mid-December serves to undercut Iran in a manner that the UN sanctions never could.

 


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