Ankit Panda Profile picture
Sep 26, 2018 20 tweets 4 min read
Mahathir Mohammad at @CFR_org. First question on Chinese economic influence in #Malaysia. "Previous government borrowed too much money."
Says he explained to China that Najib was the problem and not Beijing. But now he's talking about payment pathways privileging Chinese SoEs over local contractors. "That is not good for us. Malaysian contractors have no role to play."
"Colonialism can take many forms. Countries can be subject to pressure through economic systems and that is a form of colonialism also." - Mahathir
On Trump: "He changes his views, even in a matter of hours." Cites his cancelation of meeting with Kim in May. "Dealing with people who are inconsistent is very difficult."
On Trump and Asia: "I don't think he knows much about Asia."
Mahathir's remarks on China are imbued with a recognition of how large and powerful Beijing is. He recognizes China's growing gravitational pull in Asia, even as he's critical of the BRI projects in Malaysia.
How would Mahathir have Trump change his Asia policy? "Be consistent." Good advice.
"His response to any possible crisis is to send warships. I don't think that is a very good idea." Getting to #SouthChinaSea policy now.
"30 years from now, Mr Trump won't be around. Other Americans are quite reasonable people." - Mahathir, when asked about the balance of power in Asia in 30 years.
On Najib and UMNO: "Very early on, he told me that cash is king. When you say cash is king, you're saying that bribery is okay."
"The will of the people will prevail over cash." Corruption in UMNO is "very deep," says Mahathir. #1MDB
"UMNO is fragmented now. It is going to collapse. There is no future for UMNO now." - Mahathir.
On Anwar: "I'll keep to my promise" on coalition succession plan.
On rise of Islamist politics in Southeast Asia: "They're not going to do well." Says Indonesian extremism is growing, but Indonesians as a whole are quite moderate.
Mahathir comments on nationalism in Europe, cites Malaysia's multiracial experience. "In 50 years, all the countries of the world will be like Malaysia."
"Rich countries will have a mixed population like Malaysia. It's only a matter of time." - Mahathir
Mahathir answers HRW question on #Rohingya: says it was wrong for ASEAN not to have done anything on Cambodian genocide, says internal interference should be limited, but says something should be done on Rohingya issue. Says genocide is ground for military intervention. (!)
@observingjapan asks question on Japan's role in Asia: "Japan, I think, will sort of be a counterbalance." Says sometimes Japan is too close to the US in a way that's "not healthy."
Mahathir on India: "India, whether it is rich or poor, is too big to swallow.... The presence of India in itself provides a balance in Asia."
Mahathir says he doesn't think China has "complete control" of the #SouthChinaSea. Says BRI is okay as long as China allows ships through Strait of Malacca and SCS. Says no evidence China is hindering navigation of warships (not true).

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More from @nktpnd

Sep 19, 2018
What's alluring about Yongbyon would be the limitation of tritium production, especially if verifiable. Of course, that's a far cry from what the 9/19 Pyongyang declaration suggests.
I'm maybe too cynical, but its inclusion in the declaration seems purely instrumental to incentivize the US to return to high-level talks/a second summit. It'll work in that sense.
This tweet should have followed in this thread:
Read 5 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
PC building day with a friend today. (His PC.)
About to try and POST outside the case.
POST took a bit due to a loose 24-pin motherboard power cable *and* a bad RAM stick. All good now and getting it into the case.
Read 7 tweets
Aug 30, 2018
April 4, 1993: Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin chat about the North Koreans — "Do you believe that the younger Kim is having any influence here?" (Kim Jong Il was the "younger" Kim at the time.)
July 10, 1993 — Clinton reflects on Japan and the NPT.
The way Clinton talks about sanctions/inducements/altering North Korean behavior here jumps out.
Read 5 tweets
Aug 29, 2018
Oh my: "A source also noted that North Korea believes Trump made the same promise to Kim Yong Chol, a top North Korean official close to Kim Jong Un, at the White House on June 1"
So, it all makes sense now. Without it being put in writing, Trump gave KJU in Singapore (and possibly KYC) assurances that he'd do an EoW declaration; his advisors disagree. The bill has come due & admin split on paying up.
One piece of the puzzle now is why NK hasn't made this part of its public messaging about the summit (i.e., as the US has kept trumpeting about what was "agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore," so too could DPRK trumpet what was "agreed to by President Trump in Singapore").
Read 6 tweets
Aug 29, 2018
Some more insight on the mysterious Kim Yong Chol letter: Pompeo’s NK visit cancelled because of demands for immediate end-of-war declaration, NIS says english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_e…
The Moon administration is also on board with an EoW declaration by the end of 2018, with "complete denuclearization" to follow; KYC wasn't out of phase with the inter-Korean understanding here.
Re-reading Trump's June 12 presser remarks, this bit sticks out to me—did he verbally give Kim assurances that the US would sign on to an EoW declaration/treaty? KYC might want to see the money now. (This is why it's good to write things down.)
Read 5 tweets
Aug 17, 2018
It's here!
Okay. Getting around to reading now. A few assorted thoughts to follow. 1/x
Report offers a glimpse at new DF-41 basing options, "including rail-mobile and silo basing." Language is noncommital, so unclear if China is pressing ahead with this or not. 2/x
Read 19 tweets

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