Brexit is blowing up British politicseeks away, and still no

With Brexit day only weeks away, and still no deal in place, now might not seem the best time for British politicians to flip the table over.

But this week, 11 Members of Parliament have done exactly that. On Monday, seven members of the opposition Labour Party announced tha

t they were fed up of their leader Jeremy Corbyn, citing reasons ranging from rampant anti-Semitism to hi

s lack of leadership on Brexit. They will Theresa May tactics of pandering to the harder-line Brexiteers in her own party and

elsewhere. That means it’s now hard to see this new group as anything other than a pro-EU bloc in the UK Parliament, dissa

tisfied with the pro-Brexit positions of both government and opposition.
Why does that matter?
Brexit has made the politics of the UK in

credibly hard to read. Both frontbenches are committed to delivering Brexit. The government agreed a way to achieve this

with the other 27 EU member states. Yet the UK Parliament hates the deal, infamously handing May the heaviest defeat in the history of the

House of Commons.
And it hates the deal for reasons all across the political spectrum (that’s right, the Brexiteers hate the deal just as

much as the Remainers).
Since the 2016, Brexit has redrawn the ideological lines of politics in the UK. Professor Sara Hobolt at the London Sc

hool of Economics explained that there “are more people now who are willing to identify as either Brexiteers or Remainers than as supporters of any par

ty. This new divide is more tribal than old party politics, with both groups tending to be inherently distrustful of one another.”

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The UK government, a key US ally on intelligence and security

  is expected to decide this spring which suppliers can provide technology for 5G networks. If it chooses to allow the use of Huawei gear

it could seriously undermine the US campaign against the company and influence other governments that are weighing how to handle the issue.

  The UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement earlier this w

eek that it was “looking at a range of options” and that “no decisions have been taken.”

  ’A rigorous, ruthless advancement of China’s interests’

  The RUSI report — written by former diplomat Charles Parton, who spent 22 years working in mai

nland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan — warned that the UK government needed to stay alert for int

erference from the Chinese government across a range of fronts, including politics and research.

  Britain is a particularly appealing target for interference as a close

US ally with a large Chinese ethnic community and an open, advanced economy, Parton said.

  Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei: The US ‘cannot crush us’

  ”Beijing’s interference is not aimed at subverting the West, but represents a rigorous, ruthl

ess advancement of China’s interests and values at the expense of those of the West,” he wrote.

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MPs Anne Coffey, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes

Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker and Chuka Umunna announce their resignation from the La

bour Party at a press conference on February 18, 2019 in London, England.

Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday after Ryan’s resignation from the

party, Labour MP Chris Williamson said that he had never known Labour to be “more united

” than it was now, adding it was “regrettable that a minority of MPs” were out of step with the popular mood in the country.

Though many within the party have publicly moved to criticize Ryan’s decision

, her departure will likely fuel concerns that further resignations could follow in the weeks ahead.
In a state

ment after the initial resignations Monday, Corbyn sai

d he was “disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for th

e Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.”

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Labour won people over on a programme for the many

not the few — redistributing wealth and power, taking vital resources into public ownership, inv

esting in every region and nation, and tackling climate change,” Corbyn added.In the most

recent election, Ryan saw her vote share increase substantially, along with a countrywide swing towards Labo

ur, though in her own election material Ryan urged voters not to associate her with the Labour leader.
Whi

le the Independent Group — as the collection of largely centrist ex-Labour MPs is currently called — has so far dama

ged the opposition party, attention will now turn to the ruling Conservatives.
Several Tory MPs are reportedly consi

dering joining the group, over disagreements with Prime Minister Theresa May regarding Brexit, as the vote

to leave the European Union continues to cause chaos in British politics, with only 37 days until it is due to take effect.

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The corridor includes a network of highways, railways and

infrastructure and Gwadar is an important part of it. Pakistan has been trying to get the assistance needed for development and di

versify sources of investment from many countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Gwadar is not an exclusive platform.

The China-funded CPEC helps build the infrastructure at the port, and the improved condition

will attract more investment which then in turn boosts the development of Gwadar and the whole of Pa

kistan. Inclusiveness and multilateral cooperation are exactly the ideas that the BRI champions.

Admittedly, geostrategic competition is prevailing in the region. If added with the different inter

t demands of Afghanistan and Iran and the historical enmity between India and Pakistan, the region can be one of the most volatile plac

es in the world. Joint development is the only path that could lead the region into long-term peace and stability. This is also the broader objective of the BRI.

China hopes that all the investment coming into the region can be connected so as to be best utilized. Regional countri

es should enhance cooperation via coordination. Meanwhile, all should hold an open attitude toward investment from outside the region.

As each regional power vies for a foothold and seeks its development, both competition and cooperation feature in this process. All

the countries face the question of how to turn strategic hedging into benign competition. The BRI provides the answer.

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Japan aims to expand political clout by creating global military

In April and July, Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), a m

ilitary logistics pact, with Canada and France respectively. The Japanese government will tr

y to get it approved by the National Diet this year. Canada and France are also advancing domestic procedures for its approval.

The agreement will enable the provision of food, fuel and military supplies between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and Fren

ch and Canadian armies. Japan has also inked ACSAs with the US, the UK, Australia and India. Why did Japan sign such an agreement?

After WWII, especially in the late 1960s when Japan became an economic powerhouse, it was no longer satisfied with its status as a military microstate.

In the mid-1980s, Japan accelerated the pace to push its SDF onto the world stage with the aim of becoming a major political power.

In 1996, Japan signed the ACSA with the US, followed by one with Aus

tralia in 2010. After the new security law took effect on March 29, 2016, Ja

pan amended the two ACSAs, which enabled more flexible provision of ammunition in wartime between the signatories.

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Japan’s ambition is to become a global political power. But

litical and diplomatic means alone cannot support Japan’s global ambitions. A military presence at the global level is needed if Japan is to expand its political clout.

Compared with old European powers like the UK and France, Japan’s military influence in Europe is jerkwater. But it is different after Japan signed military pa

cts with these countries – Japan’s political influence is increasing because of the support of military powers.

With the influence of the UK and France declining in the Asia-Pacific region, their military activities can get

the support from Japan via the ACSA, which will immensely boost Japan’s military clout. These European countries will not look at Ja

pan through the military lens, which will effectively strengthen Japan’s political might.

Meanwhile, exchange of military provisions will help enhance people-to-people exchanges between Japan and these countries, ex

erting Japan‘s cultural influence in these countries and beyond. Even if Japan fails to become a permanent member of the UN Security Co

uncil, it can still play a major role in the world. This has been part of the global strategies of the Abe administration.

We can see that Japan signing ACSAs with six countries is not just for defense and military purposes, it’s part of an overall plan to influence economics, po

litics, military and culture, which is a long-term strategic mind-set of the Japanese government.

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As election looms, Thais yearn for stabilityl Times Publish

Thailand’s Election Commission rejected Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya’s candidacy for next month’s general elec

tion on Monday. This is in keeping with the Thai tradition that says the monarchy must remain above politics.

This incident has added another twist to the election the run-up to which has been complicated.

In 2014, Thailand’s military seized control of the country after negotiations with rival political factions failed. Sub

sequently, then head of the army General Prayuth Chan-o-Cha took over as the Prime Minister. It is expected that the up

coming general election on March 24 would end the more than four-year-old rule of Prayuth’s junta.

However, originally scheduled for February, the election was postponed by one month due to King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation, which led to unrest.

The military government has not done much for economic development, regardless of its con

tribution to social stability. Thus, the public hopes the election be held as soon as possible so th

at the junta can hand state power back to the people and the nation’s economy can be developed.

Hence, any news of election delay unsettles Thai people. Fortunately, one month is not too long a wait.

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Terrorist issue could be better addressed by Indiarror strike by P

A terror strike by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed killed at least 40 India paramilitary police and injured many others in the India

n-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, Indian media reported. Blind anger toward China was ignited after it.

Some Indian analysts sought to link the deadly attack to “China’s continued protection” of the perpe

trators. By refusing to back India’s appeal to list Masood Azhar, leader of terrorist outfit Ja

ish-e-Mohammed, as a global terrorist by the UN, they argued, China is supporting terrorism against India.

Citing China’s refusal to support the bid to have Azhar blacklisted by the UN, India in recent years has aggressively bl

amed China for allying with Pakistan in shielding terrorists. It disregards the fact that as a victim of terrorism itself, China has

pledged to support the international community’s anti-terrorism efforts and stands ready to work with India and all other countries to fight terrorism.

As for the issue of listing Azhar, Beijing has reiterated its stand several times that New Delhi should pr

ovide solid facts and proofs for banning Azhar. China has reason to cautiously handle the issue. Observers worry that blacklisting Azhar co

uld be used by India to increase its military pressure on Pakistan, thus risking exacerbating tensions between the two countries.

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The US team expressed the willingness to make joint effor

rts with the Chinese team to strive for the conclusion of a deal that meets the interests of both sides.

“We bring the best wishes of President Trump. He’s asked us to state that

he also places great importance on his personal relationship with you,” Lighthizer said.

“We have had two very good days of negotiations. We feel that we have made headway on some very, very important and

very difficult issues,” he said. “We have additional work we have to do but we are hopeful.”

Xi asked Lighthizer and Mnuchin to extend his sincere greetings to President Trump, saying

that he cherishes their good working relationship and would like to keep in contact with him.

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