He was responding to a question on whether Southeast Asia would prefer Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to win the election.“Actually, to be frank, I don’t think Southeast Asians really care,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday. “Southeast Asians have already experienced an enormous boom in bilateral trade with China.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – SINGAPORE — The U.S. is important geopolitically, but China is the “real game” in terms of business for Southeast Asia, according to the founder of a political risk consultancy.“It’s quite clear that China matters so much more than the U.S.,” said Karim Raslan of KRA Group. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh addresses a live video conference during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-US Ministerial Meeting.Nhac Nguyen | AFP | Getty Images Asked what America can offer to the region, Raslan pointed to the continued inclusion of Indonesia in its Generalized System of Preferences, which waives duties on products from developing countries.He said there is “some capacity,” but that America’s investments — by Facebook into e-commerce company Bukalapak, or from Google into ride-hailing platform Gojek — have paled in comparison to China’s.“These numbers are dwarfed by the Chinese investment in nickel smelting in eastern Indonesia,” Raslan said. “As I say, billions and billions of U.S. dollars have been pumped over there.” “The U.S. is a sideshow. It’s important for geopolitics, but the real game in terms of business — and these are mercantilist nations — is China.”Raslan noted that Southeast Asia is China’s largest trading group, after surpassing both the U.S. and the European Union this year.“I think what we’ve got to bear in mind is that the perception of U.S. power, U.S. influence, has diminished enormously,” he said. I think what we’ve got to bear in mind is that the perception of U.S. power, U.S. influence, has diminished enormously.
… dumps defending champ Lauren Davis from ASB ClassicDEFENDING ASB Classic champion Lauren Davis has been dumped out of this year’s event, humiliated 6-1, 6-2 by the unheralded Sachia Vickery.Having muscled her way through the qualifying rounds, the 22-year-old Vickery made easy work of her American compatriot, winning in just over an hour.Davis, ranked 48 in the World as of January 2018, and who made a name for herself in Auckland last year with her tenacious style and grit, was merely going through the motions by the end of the match.She managed to win just 41 per cent of service points – including just 19 per cent of her second-serve points – and was visibly frustrated with herself. The 24-year-old lashed out in irritation on multiple occasions.Vickery, meanwhile, was far from perfect but nailed more than 60 per cent of her first serves and capitalised ruthlessly on Davis’s implosion.The Florida-based world No.122 will face Veronica Cepede Royg next, following the Paraguayan ace’s 6-3, 6-3 demolition of Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena. The victor is then likely to play Agnieszka Radwanska.“Honestly, me coming through qualifiers, maybe I had a slight advantage because I’d already played a few matches and this is her first,” Vickery said.She added, “Sometimes it’s not such a bad thing, to go through qualifiers. I’m just taking it match by match – I’ve been playing well, I like the courts here and the atmosphere, so I’m just going to keep on playing and fighting.”Vickery defeated Pole Magdalena Frech, Swiss player Conny Perrin and Italian Deborah Chiesa on the way to this week’s Classic main draw.Davis, meanwhile, has won just 10 matches since the start of April.Sachia Vickery, despite not being born in Guyana, would let the world know that her heart belongs to the homeland of her parents Rawle Vickery and Paula Liverpool, and she showed many that she belongs in tennis and isn’t going anywhere.