The DailyBrief

Tuesday January 17, 2017

Economic globalization has become a Pandora’s box for many, but global problems are not caused by it, said President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, who became the first Chinese leader in two decades to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland. Xi also warned countries against returning to protectionist trade policies, saying “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.”

On Friday, the United States will inaugurate its 45th president and shortly after there will be a new ambassador to Japan. Grant Newsham writes that there is more to the relationship than the military angle and there are other matters that must be considered such as bolstering Japan’s Self-Defence Force to reduce the reliance, and relieving the burden, on America.

An estimated 500 Indonesian nationals are believed to be in Iraq and Syria, consisting of about 200 fighters and 300 dependents, John McBeth writes for Asia Times. Terrorism specialists are changing their tune over predictions that these battle-hardened Indonesian jihadists will return from Syria and Iraq to sow violence at home. As of October, more than 100 Indonesians had died fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but that number must be on the rise with recent intense fighting.

China’s central province of Hubei plans to shut all of its coal mines within two years while boosting the use of cleaner-burning natural gas and renewable energy, state news agency Xinhua reported. The province shut down surplus coal mining capacity of 10.11 million tonnes in 2016, Xinhua cited the province’s planning agency as saying. Last year the province also cut 3.38 million tonnes of steel production capacity, in addition to removing 4.16 million tonnes of obsolete steel-making capacity.

From the Kyrgyz people’s perspective, the developing ties with China can be best described as a difficult yet necessary relationship that cannot be avoided, writes Gabriele Battaglia. This is particularly so as Kyrgyzstan is the gateway to Central Asia and the first step on China’s “new Silk Road,” launched by President Xi Jinping as part of his One Belt One Road project.