China-Pakistan, Economic Corridor: Initially hailed as a key part of China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ vision, the US$56 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has yet to translate into the ‘game changer’ envisioned by its sponsors. F.M. Shakil writes that the imported labour from China, tax exemptions for Chinese firms and security costs have combined to bring debt of over US$2.5 billion and Pakistani analysts are now asking how Islamabad will see any benefit.
Pyongyang-Washington, conflict possible: US President Donald Trump said that although a solution through diplomacy and economic sanctions is still being sought, a major conflict with North Korea is still possible. Asia Times reports that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded by warning that the situation on the Korean peninsula could escalate or slip out of control.
Duterte, court charges: Just as the Philippine president rolls out the red carpet as Asean summit meeting host, a complaint was filed against him and 11 Philippine officials at the International Criminal Court. George Amurao writes that the complaint accuses Duterte of “repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously” committing mass murder and crimes against humanity through extrajudicial killings allegedly conducted by the so-called “Davao death squad” beginning in the 1990s.
Japan-Sharp-Sony, results good: Sony said it expects operating profit to rise 73.2% while Sharp reported a lower than expected loss in the year just ended, as new owner Foxconn cut costs, reports Asia Times. Sony’s outlook is helped by the reopening of an earthquake-damaged image sensor factory while Sharp looks to build on its unpredicted results by considering a bid for the chip unit of beleaguered Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp.