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Showing posts from November 9, 2018

Northern lights to neon lights: Kirkenes to transform into polar Chinatown

Northern lights to neon lights: Kirkenes to transform into polar Chinatown by  Mia Bennett Featured image: In February 2019, street signs in Kirkenes will temporarily go from bilingual to trilingual. Photo: Cryopolitics rendition. Sitting on the rocky coastline of the slate gray Barents Sea, the hilly city of Kirkenes, Norway is located at a literal crossroads between east and west. Russia is only 20 minutes away by car, while Finland lies 40 minutes south. Kirkenes' location on the fault line between two civilizations often at odds has led it to fall repeatedly into the cross-hairs of war. But the city is also an unlikely melting pot where on street signs, the backwards R ("Я") of the Cyrillic alphabet sits comfortably astride the A with a party hat ("Å") of the Norwegian language, as one friend likes to call it. Come February, Chinese characters will also be adorning local street signs. For the  Barents Spektakel , a wintertime arts and culture festival h

Axios China By Bill Bishop

PRESENTED BY SINOCISM   Axios China By Bill Bishop  ·Nov 09, 2018 Situational awareness:  Chinese President Xi Jinping and his team did not get the midterm wave they were hoping for. The Chinese side may once have had a fantasy that the midterm elections would force President Trump to back down on tariffs but there is little to nothing in the results that would lead Trump to change his approach to prosecuting his trade war with China, and in fact he may see reasons to redouble his efforts.  Thanks for reading, and if you want a daily and deeper look at China, please check out my daily  Sinocism China Newsletter , now with a special discount for Axios readers, and follow me on  Twitter @niubi .   1 big thing: U.S. and China initiate round of dialogue The U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, DC. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.   The U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue (D&SD) is  meeting  in Washington, D.C., today. Dri

Treading the trade war tightrope

Stasa Salacanin  | Published: 00:00, Nov 01,2018 | Updated: 23:40, Oct 31,2018      Trump’s latest campaign to put pressure on China, with the option of raising existing trade tariffs of 10 per cent to 25 per cent by year-end, is just part of an escalating trade war between two super economic powers that could have disastrous effects – with the fragile Middle East destined to feel the pinch ONE of the key hotspots of the trade dispute is likely to be Iran — a country with very close ties to China and one of the main Chinese suppliers of crude. After the United States unilaterally walked away from the Iran nuclear deal, China remained the only certain meaningful customer of Iran capable of ignoring US sanctions and retaliation measures.  Of late Beijing has been Tehran’s most important trading partner, accounting for 25.6 per cent of imports and 19.7 per cent of exports. In addition, China has also made clear that it will not stop buying Iranian oil and break commercial ties with

China Expands Its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa

Soldiers of the Chinese Battalion of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in Juba, South Sudan. China routinely deploys a squad of female peacekeepers with every infantry battalion. The PLA says the largest has been a group of 19 deployed to Mali. UN Mulitmedia COMMENTARY   /  ASIA  24 OCTOBER 2018 At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Defence and Security Forum, Beijing showcased an increasingly strategic approach to its defence relations with African countries and its role in managing challenges to peace and security on the continent. SHARE SAVE DOWNLOAD PDFFULL REPORT ALSO AVAILABLE IN 简体中文 Michael Kovrig Senior Adviser, North East Asia  MichaelKovrig China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on 3-4 September with the latest  Forum on China-Africa Cooperation  (FOCAC). The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) to Beijing for meetings that culminated in a