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In both Washington and Tokyo, U.S. policymakers seem to have lost sight of the big story now unfolding in Asia’s energy marketplace: Energy resource-poor Japan is revving up its diplomatic drive to strengthen relations with the oil- and gas-rich countries of Central Asia in a bid to ensure its energy security amid stubbornly high oil prices. Japan invited foreign ministers of Central Asian nations to talks in early June. And in a more significant move that highlights how passionately Japan is wooing the Central Asian nations, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who steps down in late September, will visit the region [...]
NEW DELHI, India – Amid mixed reports of a rebel withdrawal and relative calm, there continue to be fierce and bloody clashes on the island nation of Sri Lanka between military forces of the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), commonly known as the Tamil Tigers. Some analysts have begun dubbing the ongoing violence the beginning of ‘Eelam War IV’ — a reference to the repeated failure of peace talks in the 20-year-old civil war in the tiny country off India’s southern tip. But Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to deny such, saying instead [...]
The Great Game of the 19th Century was played between empire builders Britain and Russia, using Afghanistan as their football in seeking control of central Asia. Today, there is a new great game under way between two very different competitors — China and India. But this time the ball is Burma. In much the same way that Afghanistan was a poor and undeveloped but strategic piece of territory, so Burma now fits that role for the two burgeoning economic giants. But Burma is more than simply a slice of well-placed geography: It is rich in energy resources, which China and [...]
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