Russia threatened on Monday to slap sanctions on vegetable imports from Tajikistan, a move that comes shortly after the jailing of a Russian pilot in the Central Asian republic.
Russian pilot Vladimir Sadovnichy and another pilot, an Estonian national, were sentenced to eight and a half years in prison in Tajikistan for smuggling and border violations on November 8. Moscow said the charges were “politically motivated.”
Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Monitoring, Rosselkhoznadzor, said it may impose temporary restrictions on vegetable imports from Tajikistan in connection with what it called “violations” of hygiene regulations.
In a much publicized move, Russia has also deported at least 300 Tajik migrant workers following the jailing. President Dmitry Medvedev said then the expulsion of the Tajik migrant workers had nothing to do with the pilot case. He also said that illegal migrants would be deported regularly from now on....
By Li Hongmei
The Philippines has been playing an active hand in roiling the South China Sea of late. It has not only renamed some water areas as “West Philippine Sea,": following its President Aquino's lead, the Philippine weather bureau has adopted the name "West Philippine Sea" to refer to waters of the South China Sea in its official advisories, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also followed suit addressing the waters as "West Philippine Sea." The Philippines even sent officials to claim sovereignty on a disputed island and called on the ASEAN countries to form a "united front" against China.
The cabinet members of the Philippines have also fiercely lashed out against China, stressing that the U.S.-Philippine military cooperation "delivers a strong warning signal to China."
Philippine’s constant provocations are mostly “political stunt”, far form a real bite; but many people here in China advise that the country should take fitting measures to pay the Philippines back, as they believe it is necessary to prevent another country taking a leaf out of the Philippines' book against China.
As to some of the foul-mouthed Philippine officials, their performance has thus far been taken as an echo posture to Washington’s “Return to Asia” strategy.
But people cannot help but wonder how much the South China Sea issue virtually means to the U.S., and what is the true significance of the Philippines’ high-pitched claims over the sea.
First, it is an unwise move if it insists on playing a meddling hand in the South China Sea disputes. Some analysts take it risky that Washington would stake its prestige on a remote and strategically third-rate ally when it provokes a clash with a neighboring far stronger nation, whom the U.S. has been increasingly counting on to recover its dislocated economy, combat terrorism and shared challenges, and deal with a host of global problems.
A couple of months ago, Prof. Lyle Goldstein painted a doleful picture in the Foreign Policy magazine. He said if U.S. leaders heed his advice, they should shed most commitments in Southeast Asia, which he portrays as a region of trivial importance situated adjacent to an increasingly powerful China. He maintained that "Southeast Asia matters not a whit in the global balance of power."
When tense maritime stand-offs occur in the heated region, it is wise for the U.S. to avoid getting embroiled in the intricate disputes poisoning regional politics, in lieu of what it is currently doing: sowing discord or acting as an agitator in the flare-up. Otherwise, Washington risks a new diplomatic setback for the so-called unconceivable “gains.”
Meanwhile, with the progress of the China-ASEAN free trade zone, which was established in 2010, as well as policy initiatives carried out in both countries, China and the Philippines are embracing new opportunities for cooperation. In 2010 alone, China-Philippines trade amounted to 27.7 billion dollars, making China the third largest trade partner of the Philippines. Both are settled to work to double their trade volume to hit 60 billion dollars in the coming five years.
Hence, it is equally of no wit to play up the South China Sea issue in the world’s only economically dynamic region and at such a critical juncture.
The Philippines will never be so naive that it would sacrifice its vested interests for an intangible and unreal promise from Washington to counterbalance China. ....
On Indo-US ZOG, the BRICS and MENA dreamers....
The main drivers of the relationship on the Indian side are the acceptance that the relationship is vital and that no other relationship can substitute for it in its entirety; the people to people relationship is unmatched; educational linkages are very important; the India-American community is a positive force.
The major sources of constraint are the mismatch between US interests and priorities as a global power and India’s as a regional power, outdated conditionalities linked to arms supplies, the negative activity of American non-proliferation diehards, the complexity of export controls especially on dual technology items, policies towards Pakistan and on issues of terrorism and religious extremism, the uncertainties about the end-game in Afghanistan and US limitations in conducting its China policy even when it steps up its Asia-Pacific commitments and seeks more Indian commitment keeping the rising China threat in mind.
The eventual India-US relationship will have unique aspects as India is unique and US exceptionalism is a thing of the past, buried with the Great Founding Fathers who are long forgotten by the Zioconned and utterly corrupt and criminal US government, is a reality that the Whole World espouses nowadays, at least since the early seventies onward....