Weekly Roundup (5 December-9 December)

Trump fires opening salvo in risky test of wills

6 December 2016, Washington D.C., US – Reuters – Donald Trump challenges the Sino-American status quo over Taiwan by calling Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wan. This action threatens to unravel the years of American acceptance of the ‘One China’ policy, which recognizes Taiwan as part of greater China, not as an independent state. This could be a precursor to renewed and intensified Sino-American confrontation in 2017.

Japan Inc warns of global trade contraction under Trump presidency

8 December 2016, Tokyo, Japan – Reuters – A corporate survey conducted by Reuters on what Japanese companies expect to find under a Trump administration suggest a negative outlook. Most Japanese companies believe that Trump will usher in a period of contracting global trade.

Indonesia Falling Behind Vietnam in English Proficiency: Survey

9 December 2016 Jakarta, Indonesia – Jakarta Globe – This is a worrying trend since neighboring Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines are certainly at the higher end of the English proficiency levels in Southeast Asia, something that gives them economic advantage in their dealings with the West. But for Indonesia, English is important for another reason, relations with southern neighbor Australia – a country with which it has had its fair share of misunderstandings in the past.

France Returns to Its Conservative Roots

9 December 2016 Paris, France – Spiegel Online International – As the right wing tide in Europe is growing, steps are being taken by the political elites to curb this trend. In France, Francois Fillon (right-wing conservative) has been thrust into the spotlight to head off far right challenger Marie Le Pen. If successful, Fillon will have to deal with Le Pen supporters and the unmet expectations of a French public sick of the old ways of government.

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