Trump’s aversion to multilateralism ‘very dangerous’

The World Economic Forum's panel titled 'The Geopolitical Agenda' kicked off on Tuesday. (Screenshot)
Updated 22 January 2019
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Trump’s aversion to multilateralism ‘very dangerous’

  • The panel was moderated by the dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Vali Nasr
  • Singaporean academic Kishore Mahbubani said that “rationally what the established power US should be doing is engaging in multilateralism with a rising power like China”

DAVOS: The World Economic Forum's panel titled 'The Geopolitical Agenda' kicked off on Tuesday with panelists from China, Japan, Singapore and the US focusing on the US’s relationship with Asia amid trade wars and President Donald Trump’s policies.

The panel was moderated by the dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Vali Nasr.

“Trump’s aversion and hostility to multilateralism is very much dangerous,” Chairman of the Asia Pacific Initiative Yoichi Funabashi said.

“For the past 30-40 years, Japan and East Asia has benefited greatly from the liberal international order where free trade and multilateralism is an essential part as guiding principles,” he added.

Dean of the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University Yan Xuetong explained how coming to a solution between China and the US amid the trade conflict will not be easy.

However, he stated that the conflict will not spill over to military or ideological ones.

“More and more countries will prefer to do the bilateral discussion than the multilateral, so in that way bilateral diplomacy is gaining momentum,” Xuetong said, adding that “As long as US is the strongest power in the world and US impact still number one and larger than anyone else, the most important thing is that no matter what the US does, it is always an example for others to follow.”

Singaporean academic Kishore Mahbubani said that “rationally what the established power US should be doing is engaging in multilateralism with a rising power like China.”

Mahbubani’s comments fell in line with Director-General of Royal United Services Institute Karin von Hippel’s comments on the Trump administration’s challenges.

“The challenge Trump poses to the order is that he’s been more focused on disrupting, but not focused on what to put in its place” von Hippel said.

The discussion delved further into technological advances and the cyber obstacles that stand in the way and aid countries and nations. 

“I think there’s still so much confusion on what it [AI] means and how to apply it and how to control it, and you can add that the concerns about technology and the rapid changes in technology add to this uncertainty that many of us have,” Von Hippel said. 

 


Donald Trump to declare ‘national emergency’ to fund US-Mexico border wall

Updated 37 min 54 sec ago
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Donald Trump to declare ‘national emergency’ to fund US-Mexico border wall

  • Trump’s plan, announced by the White House on a chaotic political day Thursday, alarmed US lawmakers
  • Signing the spending bill will bring an end to a rolling, two-month battle over government funding

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency Friday to fund his long-sought US-Mexico border wall, after agreeing to a measure that prevents a new government shutdown but excludes the billions he demanded for the barrier.

"I am going to be signing a national emergency," Trump said from the Rose Garden, as he claimed illegal immigration marked "an invasion of our country."

His announcement of his intentions came on the same day as he said he would state his case on Daesh "within 24 hours."

Trump said he would speak about Syria in the coming days, as European allies and Russia wait to see how he will carry out his December decision to withdrawal all 2,000 US troops from the country.

"We have a lot of great announcements having to do with Syria and our success with the eradication of the caliphate and that will be announced over the next 24 hours," Trump said during Rose Garden event at the White House.

He also hailed Pyongyang's "tremendous" economic potential Friday, ahead of a second scheduled summit between the US president and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un.

"Their location between South Korea and Russia and China right smack in the middle is phenomenal. And we think they have a great chance for tremendous economic prosperity in the future," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Pyongyang has yet to provide any official confirmation of the Feb. 27-28 summit, which will be the second time the two leaders come together following their June 12 Singapore meeting.

On his birder wall plans, Trump said he will use executive powers to bypass Congress, which approved far less money for his proposed wall than he had sought. He plans to siphon billions of dollars from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts for the wall.

The move is already drawing bipartisan criticism on Capitol Hill and expected to face rounds of legal challenges.

Trump has been demanding for a wall on the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) southern border

In a rare show of bipartisanship, lawmakers voted Thursday to fund large swaths of the government and avoid a repeat of this winter's debilitating five-week government shutdown. The money in the bill for border barriers, about $1.4 billion, is far below the $5.7 billion Trump insisted he needed and would finance just a quarter of the 200-plus miles (322 kilometers) he wanted this year.

Members of the migrant caravan that has made its way from central America to the US-Mexico border

To bridge the gap, Trump announced that he will be spending roughly $8 billion on border barriers — combining the money approved by Congress with funding he plans to repurpose through executive actions, including the national emergency. The money is expected to come from funds targeted for military construction and counterdrug efforts, but aides could not immediately specify which military projects would be affected.