AIIB: China Outsmarts US Diplomacy on Asia Bank

The Age | Mar 30, 2015

China's new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a very big deal for Asia's economic future, but the way its establishment has played out makes it an even bigger deal for Asia's changing political and strategic order. And Canberra's announcement last weekend that Australia will join the AIIB despite the objections of the United States may come to be seen as marking a  historic shift in Australian foreign policy.

‘Propaganda’: Chinese-Funded Mandarin Lessons in UK Schools ‘Whitewash’ Human Rights

RT | Mar 30, 2015

The Chinese government provides hundreds of thousands of pounds and more than 90 teachers to schools across the UK as part of a Chinese-language teaching project. An investigation by campaign group Free Tibet found that British educational institutions are hosting so-called Confucius Classrooms without prior discussion of their content. Critics argue the language classes present students with a “whitewashed” view of China’s government and human rights record.

How Lawmakers can Leverage the Persian New Year

The Hill | Mar 30, 2015

As the March 31st deadline to reach a political framework agreement between the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany) and Iran fast approaches, Congress is considering a number of initiatives dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. Whether or not there is an agreement with Iran, the issue is bound to be a significant focal point in U.S.-Iran relations for the foreseeable future.

Japan Gets Word Out With Books in English

The Wall Street Journal | Mar 30, 2015

Japan’s government is paying to have Japanese-language nonfiction books translated into English, with the first works to be produced under the program arriving in American libraries this month. The move is one of several nontraditional public-relations steps by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, which is trying to enhance Japan’s profile among U.S. opinion leaders and the general public as it engages in a public relations battle with China and South Korea.

Australia To Join China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

The Diplomat | Mar 29, 2015

Just a few days shy of China’s end-of-March deadline for founding membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Australia confirmed that it will join the AIIB. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government announced over the weekend that it had chosen to sign on to join the bank as a founding member, becoming the latest U.S.-allied state to join an institution that some in the United States see as a competitor to U.S.-led international financial institutions, like the World Bank.

Diplomatic Access: South Korea

The Diplomat | Mar 29, 2015

In this interview, His Excellency Ahn Ho-Young, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the U.S., outlines South Korea’s concerns about and hopes for the Asia-Pacific region, including the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

Turkey's Aid Agency Works Beyond its Mission in Accomplishing Humanitarian Aid

Daily Sabah | Mar 29, 2015

Fuat Oktay, the president of Turkey's Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) remarked that AFAD is engaging in humanitarian aid by hosting Syrian refugees and that AFAD's accomplishments until now are beyond its mission. 

Detoxifying US-Israel Relations

The Jerusalem Post | Mar 29, 2015

Previously strained US-Israel relations have turned “toxic,” in the words of former US secretary of state James Baker. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-election assertions are unlikely to be forgotten by Israel’s strongest ally, which has been committed for decades to the policy of two states for two peoples. While the US is currently reevaluating its options on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a pressing question remains: What can Netanyahu do in order to placate the White House and begin repairing this vital relationship? 

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