East Asia Mus­cles In

Augustman - - Prelude -

THE FIRST G-20 SUM­MIT held last month in the se­cond largest econ­omy in the world saw the clean­est air in Hangzhou, thanks to the gov­ern­ment-man­dated shut­ting of fac­to­ries in the in­dus­trial city. It demon­strated the coun­try’s tenac­ity in achiev­ing its goals, even as world lead­ers ar­rived to dis­cuss eco­nomic agen­das. One mustn’t for­get the com­plex po­lit­i­cal ma­noeu­vre China is push­ing in the South China Sea. It also con­tin­ues to sup­port North Korea, its in­creas­ingly pug­na­cious neigh­bour, while also strength­en­ing its re­la­tions with var­i­ous coun­tries in the Latin America and Africa. In­deed, the way it is hunt­ing down re­sources across the globe with lit­tle in­ter­est in so­cial change with its part­ners has be­come a source of con­cern to West­ern economies un­used to deal­ing with a gov­ern­ment that’s ag­gres­sively push­ing its way for­ward. Ten­sions have also been felt within East Asia, from Tai­wan to Ja­pan and ASEAN. The ques­tion is, what will we do?

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