Monday, November 10, 2014

APEC/TPP/ASEAN ... That's what Xi said. Sorta. Internet utility

Between now and the last time I posted about the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty (TPP), a number of game-changers have occurred.  There was the uprising in Thailand, head-scratcher activity in North Korea, and, most recently, warmer overtures of both Japan and China toward each other despite the ongoing South China Sea disputes.

Is Japan now willing to overlook the kidnapping of its citizens these days?  Is the issue of "comfort women" during World War II suddenly forgivable when it wasn't last week?

At any rate, Japan has had ongoing tariff issues with the TPP which a more friendly response to China's leadership would probably accommodate better than the U.S. leadership might, and this, friends & neighbors, is where we find the crux of the power tussle going on within APEC this week.

Consider these two reports on NHK World: APEC to discuss economic integration and Xi: China is ready to lead Asia Pacific economy.

I'll bet it is.  A statement like that is like saying that Turkey is ready to lead the Eurozone economy--what's an Armenian, what's a Kurd?  I can almost hear my Chinese readership roaring with laughter at this because as a national economy, Turkey really isn't comparable. Ah, my Chinese friends, in terms of relations with it's neighbors, it IS comparable. And we know you're playing footsie with Russia, who thusfar hasn't been mentioned in any news about APEC.

The TPP is going to have the same trouble with geography that I've mentioned before regarding South American member states--their continental neighbors, being excepted for not having Pacific ocean-front property, are going to have to respond to that, and probably in competition, with middle-most continental nations playing both ends (Pacific and Atlantic) against the proverbial middle. And Putin just might be taking notes about that, being in the middle between China and the Eurozone.

Yeah--as a chess game, this APEC thing is well worth watching.  China, you might be able to play with history like you would a dry-ink whiteboard, but you'd be the only one betting on that gambit. Lotsa luck with that.    Not.

Related: NHK World on Abe and Harper

What brought about Obama's statement about making the Internet a utility was this APEC situation, particularly with China in mind, and the hew/cry over here Stateside is that Obama's blindly making declarations with total disregard for ramifications of that in the broader, more future sense.  Future.  What chess masters foray into, nevermind Doctor Who.  Which is why I depart from such critics.  What Obama's Internet move is, is best characterized as a shrewd gambit.  I'll betcha a stack of chips that this man knows exactly what he's doing, and how the moves are going to go from that point forward.

Veterans' Day mini-UPDATE: Yup, I'm out and about, not posting a separate post for today. FYI, I'm partial to flyboys when you get right down to it.  I now refer you to a previous post I posted for this occasion, The Great War's Armistice Remembered.


Hey Jim Gray!  Fancy meeting you again on Newsvine!  I think you'll like Google Plus, though!

P.S. UPDATE: Getting the China presser at this moment.  In short, an agreement was reached with China, basically "to work together" on stuff including visas.  I'm sure various news venues will be filling in various details in the morning. It's starting to sound like there's gonna be a tug o war between the U.S. and Russia over China's favor.  Climate agreement has been reached, and that sounds definite.  It also sounds like China-Japan accord mentioned by NHK earlier today is definite, too. G'night everybody.

Page 2--Myanmar: Big topic is China's belligerence in the South China Sea. For Japan, also East China Sea. So, China, you think you're ready to LEAD?  You aren't. 

Sunday mini-UPDATE, Zakaria GPS edition: Interesting take that Fareed has on Russia kissing up to China and China's attitude of institutional megalomania.  There's no doubt that Putin is over a barrel, figuratively and literally, which can't be of assistance to his own megalomania.  But economic prosperity can't last forever, China, and megalomania is extremely expensive to maintain, becoming exponentially more costly with the passage of time.  So are Putin's designs on Ukraine.  It's just a matter of time.
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