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. 

 


Pakistan asks UN to help defuse Kashmir tensions with India

Updated 44 min 39 sec ago
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Pakistan asks UN to help defuse Kashmir tensions with India

  • A suicide bombing last week in India’s sector of disputed Kashmir region killed at least 41 Indian troops
  • New Delhi has blamed Islamabad and warned of a ‘jaw-breaking response’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign minister appealed to the UN Secretary General on Tuesday to help ease tension with India that has escalated sharply following a suicide bomb attack in the Indian part of disputed Kashmir, that India blamed on Pakistan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, facing an election by May, has warned Pakistan to expect a “strong response” to the bombing claimed by a Pakistan-linked militant group, raising fears of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

“It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“It is imperative to take steps for de-escalation. The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” he wrote, blaming India for deliberately ratcheting up its hostile rhetoric for domestic political reasons.

The Pakistani appeal follows days of rising tension between the old rivals after a suicide bomber blew himself up near an Indian police convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Thursday, killing at least 40 paramilitary police.

Jaish-e Mohammad, a militant group said to be based in Pakistan which wants the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to be part of Pakistan, claimed responsibility but the Pakistani government has denied any involvement.

“Attributing it to Pakistan even before investigations is absurd,” Qureshi said.

“India must be asked to conduct an open and credible investigation on Pulwama incident,” he said.

Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, a former princely state on the border between India and Pakistan, has been in dispute since the partition of India in 1947.

Control is split between the two countries but each claims the region in full.

The neighbors have fought three wars since 1947, two of them over Kashmir. They have fought countless skirmishes along their de facto border, which the United Nations monitors, in the Himalayan region.