EU and international partners launch ground-breaking partnership on just energy transition with Indonesia

Today, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen , on behalf of the EU, and the leaders of the International Partners Group (IPG), which is jointly led by the United States and Japan and includes Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom, launched a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) with Indonesia . The launch takes place in connection with an event within the framework of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) at the G20 summit, which takes place on 15-16 November 2022 in Bali.

In a joint statement , Indonesia and international partners have announced their commitment to meeting ground-breaking climate targets and related financing. This is done to support the Asian country in an ambitious and fair energy transition, which is in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and which contributes to keeping the global warming limit of 1.5 °C within reach.

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Vietnam won’t be pressured into joining U.S.-led Cold War against China

peoplesworld – October 28, 2022 11:24 AM CDT  BY AMIAD HOROWITZ

Vietnam won’t be pressured into joining U.S.-led Cold War against China

Communist Party of Vietnam leader Nguyen Phu Trong, left, meets with China’s Communist Party leader Xi Jinping in Beijing in 2015. | Xinhua

HANOI—The Socialist Republic of Vietnam will not be coerced into joining the United States-led effort aimed at isolating China and provoking conflict as part of its Cold War 2.0 foreign policy.

That’s a major message expected to come out of the upcoming visit to China by Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Trong will travel to China to pay an official visit to the newly re-elected Communist Party of China leader Xi Jinping. Trong will be one of the first world leaders to visit China since the closing the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, earlier this month.

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How Russian timber bypasses U.S. sanctions by way of Vietnam

A new report says Russian birch wood is routed through Asia before being shipped to American stores.

Washingtonpost – By Michael Tatarski

Plywood allegedly made from Russian birch is being loaded on a ship in Haiphong, Vietnam, for export to the United States in May 2022. (Obtained by Environmental Investigation Agency)

October 1, 2022 at 2:00 a.m. EDT

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Russian birch wood has continued to flow to American consumers, disguised as Asian products, despite U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, a new report says.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a nonprofit watchdog group based in Britain, has found that most birch products currently being exported from Vietnam to the United States originate in Russia. According to Vietnam customs data, roughly 40,000 cubic meters of birch wood is transported every month from Russia andChina into Vietnam, where it’s assembled into furniture and plywood.

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The lost tribe: The CIA’s secret army in Laos

The lost tribe: The CIA’s secret army in Laos | REWIND

Al Jazeera English – 24-8-2019

We trace a forgotten Hmong community in the jungles of northern Laos who helped the US during the Vietnam War.

Half a century ago, as war raged in Vietnam, an isolated community in the jungles of northern Laos was recruited by the CIA to help fight the Pathet Lao – the Laotian equivalent of Vietnam’s Viet Cong.

Over 50,000 of the Hmong tribe became part of the United States’s secret army, helping disrupt Communist supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh trail.

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Indonesia: Thế trung lập của nước mạnh

DANH ĐỨC 22/08/2022 06:45 GMT+7

TTCTMuốn trung lập thật sự phải ở vị thế của kẻ mạnh. Indonesia là ví dụ điển hình ở khu vực Đông Nam Á.

Indonesia: Thế trung lập của nước mạnh - Ảnh 1.

Cho tới nay, có thể nói là ông Jokowi đã lèo lái thành công con thuyền Indonesia trong một thế giới đầy bất trắc. Ảnh: Nikkei Asia Review

Tờ Kompass của Indonesia hôm 12-8 đăng tin: “Binh sĩ Indonesia và Hoa Kỳ diễn tập bắn đạn thật khi căng thẳng Trung Quốc lên cao”. Còn hôm 1-8, Hãng tin News 18 (Ấn Độ) chạy tít: “Tập Cận Bình gặp Widodo của Indonesia: Trung Quốc cần đồng minh giữa cuộc chiến Ukraine và cuộc khủng hoảng Đài Loan”. Vậy thì Indonesia đang đứng về phe nào trong cuộc cạnh tranh toàn cầu mới?

Việc hàng ngàn binh sĩ Indonesia, Mỹ và các đồng minh khác diễn tập bắn đạn thật vào hôm 12-8 được tư lệnh Bộ tư lệnh Ấn Độ Dương – Thái Bình Dương của Mỹ, đô đốc John Aquilino, gọi là nỗ lực của Washington nhằm ngăn chặn một cuộc xung đột khu vực sau “các hành động gây bất ổn” của Trung Quốc xung quanh Đài Loan. 

Kèm theo bản tin là tấm hình chụp ông Aquilino và Tổng tư lệnh Lực lượng vũ trang Indonesia Andika Perkasa thị sát cuộc tập trận mang tên Siêu lá chắn Garuda 2022, diễn ra ở Baturaja, nam Sumatra.

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Between two superpowers: Indonesia’s position in the US-China rivalry

Between two superpowers: Indonesia’s position in the US-China rivalry

South China Morning Post – 25-7-2022

Indonesia is the largest developing economy in Southeast Asia, with a gross domestic product of over US$1 trillion. The country’s size and location have made it Indonesia an attractive strategic partner for China and the United States to influence the Asean region. Indonesia has attempted to remain neutral in the China-U.S rivalry, but if tensions between the two continue to rise, will Indonesia be forced to take sides or adopt a foreign policy that doesn’t align with either superpower?

What’s the fallout from Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan?

What’s the fallout from Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan? | Inside Story

Al Jazeera English – 4-8-2022

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ended her controversial tour of Taiwan.

Despite warnings from China, the most senior American politician to visit in 25 years pledged an ‘iron-clad’ commitment to the self-ruled Island’s democracy.

Beijing is responding with live-fire military drills and import bans.

So how will Taipei and Washington deal with the consequences?

Presenter: Kim Vinnell


Vincent Chao – Former Director of the Political Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States.

June Teufel Dreyer – Professor of Political Science, University of Miami.

Henry Huiyao Wang- Founder and President, Center for China and Globalization.

Vietnam war journalists’ hub: Caravelle Saigon

Al Jazeera English – 23-6-2021

The Vietnam War has been called the first truly televised war – and the Caravelle Hotel in old Saigon was one of its most vital media hubs.

As American involvement in the Vietnam War increased in the 1960s, so did the world’s media attention. International news crews, reporters and photojournalists descended on Saigon, the capital of then-South Vietnam, to beam war stories to the world.

They set up camp in the city’s hotels, especially those on the strategically located Lam Son Square. Media, military and intelligence personnel rubbed shoulders as war stories were sniffed out in the bars and restaurants.

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Civilians killed as Russia intensifies attacks across Ukraine

Russian forces fire missiles and shells across Ukraine after military announces it is stepping up its onslaught.

A girl and an elderly lady walk among the debris of a destroyed local market after a Russian missile strike in the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region on July 16, 2022
People walk by debris of a destroyed local market after a Russian missile attack in the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine [Anatolii Stepanov/AFP]

Published On 16 Jul 202216 Jul 2022

Russian forces have fired missiles and shells at cities and towns across Ukraine after Russia’s military announced it was stepping up its onslaught against its neighbour, with Ukrainian officials reporting that at least 17 more civilians had been killed.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu gave “instructions to further intensify the actions of units in all operational areas, in order to exclude the possibility of the Kyiv regime launching massive rocket and artillery attacks on civilian infrastructure and residents of settlements in the Donbas and other regions,” his ministry said on Saturday.

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The semiconductor problem

The military relies on advanced semiconductors. The U.S. doesn’t make any.

Chips on display in Taiwan.
Chips on display in Taiwan.Credit…Ann Wang/Reuters
David Leonhardt

By David Leonhardt

NYTimes – July 14, 2022

The most advanced category of mass-produced semiconductors — used in smartphones, military technology and much more — is known as 5 nm. A single company in Taiwan, known as TSMC, makes about 90 percent of them. U.S. factories make none.

The U.S.’s struggles to keep pace in semiconductor manufacturing have already had economic downsides: Many jobs in the industry pay more than $100,000 a year, and the U.S. has lost out on them. Longer term, the situation also has the potential to cause a national security crisis: If China were to invade Taiwan and cut off exports of semiconductors, the American military would be at risk of being overmatched by its main rival for global supremacy.

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Marcos takes office

FP – June 30, 2020

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is now the president of the Philippines, 36 years after he fled the country along with his dictator father. Marcos took the oath of office today at a muted ceremony in Manila, urging citizens to look ahead to the future, as his mother, Imelda, looked on.

Marcos, known in the Philippines by his nickname Bongbong, has risen to the country’s highest office after a social media-driven campaign helped to rehabilitate his family’s image, transforming memories of the bloody days of martial law, when thousands were tortured and killed, to a nostalgic golden era.

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PODCAST – Asia Stream: The Philippine Election — Dynasty and Disinformation

nikkeiNearly 50 years after Ferdinand Marcos Sr. declared brutal martial law, the Philippines is poised to elect his son. Has history been forgotten?

Nikkei staff writersMay 7, 2022 03:26 JST

NEW YORK — Welcome to Nikkei Asia’s podcast: Asia Stream.

Every week, Asia Stream tracks and analyzes the Indo-Pacific with a mix of expert interviews and original reporting by our correspondents from across the globe.

New episodes are recorded biweekly and available on Apple PodcastsSpotify and all other major platforms, and on our YouTube channel.

This week, we focus on one of Asia’s most dynamic but flawed democracies: the Philippines. With the election just days away, we get under the hood of the electoral system and investigate the powerful role that dynasties play in the country, with a special focus on Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the front-runner on the cusp of taking power. We then take into account that other essential, if dangerous, tenet of modern Philippine democracy: disinformation, and how it is being used to gain support among the country’s most vulnerable populations.

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U.S.-Vietnam Cooperation under Biden’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

March 2, 2022 Bich T. Tran, Adjunct Fellow, CSIS

On February 11, 2022, the Biden administration released its Indo-Pacific Strategy. The document covers a vast geographic area including many nations and touches on a wide range of issues. What does the new strategy mean for U.S.-Vietnam cooperation?

Diplomatic Cooperation

The strategy names Vietnam as one of the United States’ leading regional partners. Keen observers have anticipated the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership signed in 2013 to be upgraded to a strategic partnership. Although some U.S. and Vietnamese officials have said that the name does not matter, formally upgrading to a strategic partnership with a written joint statement will assure both sides’ commitments.

Economic Cooperation

Vietnam’s digital economy is rapidly expanding. In 2011, only 35 percent of the Vietnamese population used the internet, which doubled to 70 percent by 2020. According to the e-Conomy SEA 2021 report, 71 percent of Vietnamese internet users have made at least one purchase online. The report projected Vietnam’s gross merchandise value (GMV) to reach a total value of $21 billion in 2021, when all sectors, except online travel, experienced double-digit growth. E-commerce is leading the pack, with a 53 percent increase from $8 billion to $13 billion. Vietnam’s GMV is expected to grow from $21 billion in 2021 to $57 billion in 2025.

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