- China says it's to help the region, including with humanitarian assistance.
- Neighbouring countries + US say it's an attempt to extend sovereign territory.
- China attempting to shift balance of regional power away from US.
- US has dominated the area since WW2, but now China building artificial islands (some with airstrips) in attempts to claim & extend maritime sovereignty
- 5 other nations (plus the US) contest many of China's claims.
- US conducting sporadic naval pass-throughs to challenge China's assumptions.
- Recession ending but growth still slow: PM Shinzo Abe’s plans (Abenomics) for reviving the economy have had mixed results.
- Negatives: Government debt remains large and a problem, so fiscal reform urgently required, but apparently not happening fast enough.
- Positives: Consumer sentiment healthy, exports solid despite global wobblies off China slowdown.
- Formerly Erdoğan was a uniting figure for Turkey, but now he rules by divisiveness.
- The identity of his ruling party now = Sunni, Islamist, Turkish.
- Shia, secularists & Kurds made to feel left out.
- In power: Military-backed ruling party.
- Opposition: Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD)
- Impossible to predict outcome as limited polling data.
- Solid win for Erdogan's ruling moderate Islamist party (the AKP).
- It was a vote for stability.
- But result may sharpen social divisions.
- Secularists vs. Islamists.
- Turks vs. Kurds.
- Westernised urban elite vs. religious/conservative rural masses.
- Introduced 1979 off fears of runaway population growth.
- Believed to have prevented 400m births but now problem of ageing population and shortages of workers.
- Now 2 children allowed per couple - official approval will be required for the 2nd.
- 2.3m Syrian refugees in Turkey.
- EU scared of them slipping into Europe.
- Therefore tolerating Turkey's slide to one-man rule.
- So far yes.
- Partly attributed to recent large influx of missiles from Sunni Gulf states.
- Gulf States + Saudi Arabia are backing the rebels, with US approval.