The DailyBrief

Wednesday May 17, 2017

Road to Mandalay? How far will China’s US$1.3 trillion One Belt, One Road initiative will reach into Southeast Asia, asks Richard Javad Heydarian? Beijing has dangled various rich infrastructure initiatives across the region but few so far have commenced due to tussles over costs, labor and sovereignty.

Seoul, Pyongyang talks? South Korea’s unification ministry said on Wednesday that severed communication links with North Korea should reopen, reports Asia Times . South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in, who says he seeks a dialogue with Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program, is reportedly sending diplomats to the United States, China, Japan and Russia this month to discuss new approaches to North Korea.

Gandhis not untouchable: An Indian court’s refusal to stop tax proceedings against Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul shows this powerful and privileged family are no longer above the law, reports E Jaya Kumar. The tax proceedings that have bought India’s most famous political dynasty to court are linked to a series of high profile money laundering cases.

OBOR’s European hitch: Only five state and government heads from the European Union attended the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, writes Emanuele Scimia. What’s more, a number of European delegations, including Germany, France and Britain, refused to sign a final summit statement on trade because it did not clearly address such issues as public tenders and environmental and social standards.