Beijing-Pyongyang-Washington, shifting alliances: China’s state-run news outlet Global Times this week wrote that Beijing should not respond militarily if the US carries out a surgical strike on North Korean nuclear facilities. Christopher Scott writes that although Beijing is officially an ally of North Korea, it’s clearly now aligning with the US and South Korea over Pyongyang and this marks a seismic and potentially game-changing shift in Northeast Asian regional politics.
India-economy, reform needed: An OECD report says India’s economic growth is a success story blighted by the one-third of young Indians that are underemployed or poorly trained. Seema Sengupta reports that significant structural reform is needed as India is now a test case for whether a high rate of economic growth is on its own enough to alleviate poverty.
Indonesia’s energy troubles: Joint venture energy giants Inpex Corp and Royal Dutch Shell will not say if they will continue to pursue the development of Indonesia’s massive Masela natural gas project. John McBeth reports that neither company has spoken publicly since Jakarta’s surprise decision to move its processing facility onshore, pushing observers to ask whether the government can continue to attract the foreign investment needed to develop its abundant natural resources.
China-soccer, political tensions: Guangzhou Evergrande football fans unfurled a “Annihilate British dogs, wipe out poisonous Hong Kong independence” banner during their side’s AFC Champions League trouncing of Hong Kong’s Eastern, reports Asia Times. The atmosphere in the stadium – held in Hong Kong’s urban Mong Kok district – was hostile from the start, with both sets of supporters hurling obscenities and political insults, and at times having to be restrained by a heavy security presence.
Udine film festival: At Udine’s Far East Film Festival, Chinese director Feng Xiaogang picked up a Golden Mulberry lifetime achievement award, writes Mathew Scott. The festival also screened Feng’s work, I Am Not Madame Bovary, that has made more than US$70 million at the box office and serves as a timely reminder that Chinese directors can make films that are stylish, realistic and successful.