ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 20/02/2018

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South China Morning Post – Reuters / Rodrigo Duterte says Chinese military island bases are there to oppose US, not Philippines

  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tried to allay fears over China’s construction of military bases on man-made islands in the South China Sea, saying they are a defence against the US, not made to attack Asian states.
  • “It’s really intended against those who the Chinese think would destroy them and that is America,” said Duterte.
  • China and the Philippines have long sparred over the South China Sea, but relations have improved considerably under Duterte, who has been courting Beijing in hopes of winning business and investment.
  • “[I] will not commit the lives of the Filipinos only to die unnecessarily, I will not go into a battle which I can never win,” added Duterte.

The Guardian – Kareem Shaheen / ‘It’s not a war. It’s a massacre’: scores killed in Syrian enclave

  • 110 people have been killed and hundreds wounded on a day of violence in the opposition-controlled enclave of eastern Ghouta in Syria. Four hospitals in the area were also bombed on Monday.
  • Over 700 people have been killed in three months in eastern Ghouta, according to local counts, not including the deaths in the last week.
  • “If the massacre of the 1990s was Srebrenica, and the massacres of the 1980s were Halabja and Sabra and Chatila, then eastern Ghouta is the massacre of this century right now,” said a doctor in eastern Ghouta.

The Guardian – Benjamin Haas / North Korea could co-host 2021 Asian Games with South, official says

  • Chang Ung, the sole North Korean member of the International Olympic Committee, said his country could co-host the Asian Winter Games in 2021 with South Korea.
  • Chang’s statement follows a similar offer from Choi Moon-soon, governor of the province currently hosting the Olympics: “We are considering the idea of South and North Korea jointly hosting the Asian Winter Games as one way to increase the usage of the facilities after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and of continuing inter-Korean harmony and exchange.”
  • The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, has been invited to Pyongyang for talks with Kim Jong-un, but has not yet given any indication when the trip might happen.
  • South Korea’s defence ministry reiterated it would hold joint military exercises with the US. The drills were postponed due to the Olympics, but could restart as soon as late March.

Financial Times – Vint Cerf / Rebuild internet governance now, before it is too late

  • Managing the way that a large number of separate legal frameworks apply to the internet is one of the big policy challenges of our time — more complex even than building the internet itself.
  • The international legal system, based on separate national sovereignties, struggles with the transnational nature of online services and the interactions they make possible.
  • Only a concerted joint global effort by governments, businesses, the technical community and civil society will produce a governance architecture that is as generic, scalable and transnational as the internet itself.
  • Next week’s Global Internet and Jurisdiction Conference in Ottawa, Canada, is a unique opportunity for all those actors to make further progress in developing a governance structure that would allow the internet to continue to flourish, while at the same time addressing the problem of harmful abuse.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.

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