All eyes are on the third edition of BRI Forum in China amid slump in Chinese economy that has slowed down funding for projects. However, a considerable focus will be on the presence of the Russian President at the Forum who is on a rare visit abroad since the war. Delhi will be a keep close watch on the Forum that will also witness presence of the Taliban. Meanwhile, Indonesian Presidential hopeful and Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto seems to gain grounds with every passing day as the nomination day nears. In Indonesia’s neighbourhood, Indian Foreign Minister is visiting Vietnam and Singapore to promote partnership in the Indo-Pacific region. In Japan, the support rate for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet fell to 32.3%, the lowest level since he became prime minister in October 2021. A U.S. strategic bomber B-52 is set to land in a South Korean air base this week, the United States Forces Korea (USFK) said Monday, in the latest show of force against North Korea’s missile and nuclear threat.
South China Morning Post | 10th October 2023
China has redoubled its commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative and says it is open to any project that can help developing countries. The initiative, which was unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping a decade ago, will continue to be Beijing’s “overarching plan and its top-level design” for opening up and international cooperation, according to a white paper released by the country’s State Council Information Office on Tuesday.
Nikkei Asia | 16th October 2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin is due in China this week for a high-stakes visit that should signal the strength and scope of the countries’ “no limits” friendship. Putin will be attending China’s Belt and Road Forum, set for Tuesday and Wednesday, as Beijing marks the 10th anniversary of its initiative to build infrastructure stretching from Asia to Europe and Africa. The Russian president is expected to push for new energy deals and an expansion of infrastructure projects — two of the six official BRI economic corridors run through Russia — while pitching investment opportunities in the void left by Western companies.
The Economic Times | 16th October 2023
Taliban’s participation in China’s Belt and Road Forum this week is an attempt at “mainstreaming” the group in the presence of over 120 countries invited to the Forum as the Taliban leadership will be attending a mega meet for the first time since they stormed to power in August 2021. The move is also an attempt to create a wedge with India and use the first mover advantage with the Taliban, according to observers who track Taliban. Taliban officials and ministers have at times travelled to regional meetings, but the Belt and Road Forum is the first high-profile summits it has been invited to attend, according to one of the above-mentioned observers. This, he felt, would help to mainstream Taliban, a long-standing desire of the group.
South China Morning Post | 16th October 2023
Indonesian tycoon Hashim Djojohadikusumo is his politician brother Prabowo Subianto’s most loyal supporter – and he is not ashamed to make that known to the world. As the nomination period for the country’s February presidential poll nears, Prabowo, Indonesia’s defence minister and a former commander of its special forces, is dominating surveys that put him as a front runner to succeed the nation’s incumbent leader Joko Widodo. In a likely three-way race involving Prabowo, former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo, 54, and Anies Baswedan, 54, the former Jakarta governor currently aligned with the opposition, whoever gets the nod of approval from the highly popular Widodo is seen as very likely to be the winner.
The Indian Express | 16th October 2023
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday met Vietnam’s top leadership and discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation in areas like trade, energy, defence and maritime security while also sharing perspectives on the Indo-Pacific, amidst China’s aggressive behaviour in the strategic region. Jaishankar, who arrived here on a four-day official visit to Vietnam on Sunday, called on Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Japan Times | 15th October 2023
The support rate for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet fell to 32.3%, the lowest level since he became prime minister in October 2021, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday. The figure declined from 39.8% in the previous poll in September and was below 33.1% in November and December last year, while the disapproval rating rose to a record high of 52.5% from 39.7% in September, according to the two-day nationwide telephone survey. The survey conducted from Saturday also showed that 58.6% of respondents expect the upcoming economic package, planned to be compiled by the end of this month to mitigate the pain of rising prices for everyday goods, will be ineffective.
Yonhap | 16th October 2023
A U.S. strategic bomber B-52 is set to land in a South Korean air base this week, the United States Forces Korea (USFK) said Monday, in the latest show of force against North Korea’s missile and nuclear threat. It would mark the first time that the B-52 Stratofortress has landed at a South Korean air base although the long-range bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons flew over the Korean Peninsula for joint drills between South Korea and the United States. The B-52 is one of the major U.S. strategic bombers along with the B-2 Spirit and B-1B Lancer, which landed at Osan Air base in Pyeongtaek, 60 kilometers south of Seoul, in September 2016.