Recently, the Big Data Report of Trade Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative revealed that the 64 countries participating in BRI contributed to 16 percent of the world’s GDP and 43.4 percent of the world’s population.
The US occupation of the Philippines overwhelmed the country with much Americanness in the cultural, social, and political aspects. Yet the search for a Philippine national identity under colonialism drew its people into negative postcolonial mental scripts.
Many countries, including India and China, the security normalizing and economically recovering Japan and the ASEAN Economic Community are all looking forward to working with the incoming Trump administration in the US.
Being in the driver’s seat for regionalism and positing its centrality in East Asia, ASEAN can aggregate the interests of all major powers like US, China, Japan, India, Russia and the EU as well as middle powers like South Korea and Australia.
One indication of a stable Sino-US relationship is revealed in the Chinese reaction to the Trump-Tsai phone conversation. Beijing sought to downplay its significance, and the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi described it as “just a small trick” by Taiwan.
An influence-peddling scandal raised a groundswell of anger towards South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Members of the public took part in large rallies to voice their opposition. On December 9, South Korea’s parliament voted to impeach Park.