2 February, 2014 - In elections in Thailand, PM Yingluck Shinawatra's Pheu Thai party wins an outright majority over the Democratic Party, which decides to stand for elections despite calls from opposition politican Suthep Thaungsuban's call to boycott the election.
3rd March 2014 - The WHO announce that the 'Bird Flu' virus has been seen transmitting between humans in China but appeal for calm as this new strain 'H10N8' has a much lower death rate than first feared.
4 March, 2014 - Disney and Toei Animation jointly announce a planned Phineas and Ferb-Pretty Cure crossover to air around 2015.
[May 26, 2014] - Moscow and Beijing hammer out a deal on natural gas supply in a visit by Vladimir Putin to the Chinese capital. Also playing on reducing public anger surrounding air pollution, President Xi Jinping inks the agreement under the lobbying of Gazprom - all part of state's current plans to substitute the country's coal-fire energy plants in a bid to reduce choking emissions. After wrangling over years of pricing disagreements, the contracts signed call for 38 billion cubic meters per year to be transferred by pipelines for $10.40 per million British thermal units, supplanting Russian desires to buttress its European markets. The first shipments in 2018 are scheduled for entry by 4 thoroughfares: In the Russian Far East's Blagoveshchensk, Dalnerechensk, and Vladivostok - and Western Siberia's Gorno-Altaisk into Xinjiang. Today's breakthrough ends over 15 years in negotiations.
[June 9, 2014] - Legal procedures in China and the United States make way for Lenovo Group's $2.91 billion acquisition of Google's Motorola Mobility division, placing the technological multinational over its competitor Huawei for the world's third-largest smartphone provider after South Korea's Samsung Group and the United States' Apple Incorporated. Cross-licensing agreements ensure either party's access to the brand's immense patent portfolio, as Beijing-based Lenovo gains a foothold in the vast markets of North and Latin America. Seeking to expand its LTE offerings in a new triad focus on tablets, PC's, and smartphones, CEO Yang Yuanqing plans to roll out the Motorola name to the company's dominant turfs in China, Indonesia, and Russia, all the while dialing up its presence in Europe and strengthening its mobile launch in Brazil this year.
9 July, 2014 - In a surprise victory over former President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Aburizal Bakrie, Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo of Jakarta wins by a landslide and becomes the 7th President of Indonesia.
[July 20, 2014] - PRC President Xi Jinping hosts North Korea's Kim Jong-un in an invitational state visit to Beijing, the Supreme Leader's first publicly acknowledged stay in the country. Scheduled on the itinerary are private talks between the two leaders throughout the week-long tour, which Chinese state-media giant Xinhua reports are meant to “…encourage peaceful international engagement and strengthen internal development.” Of special note is the possibility of discussions surrounding the DPRK's possession of rare earth elements, the largest known deposits to be found, as reported by the UK-based private equity firm SRE Minerals in January of this year. Seen as an important geopolitical game-changer, South Korea's Park Geun-hye expressed hopes that the visit would “…yield favourable improvements for the economic prosperity of the Peninsula.” For now, the resumption of operations at Kaesŏng Industrial Complex, coupled with Pyongyang's promises of launching another 14 such economic zones, have again fostered hopes of warming inter-Korean relations.
[July 27, 2014] - Before departing for a return flight to North Korea, Kim Jong-un issues cryptic remarks at the close of his week-long Chinese visit. Pledging to “…take the DPRK to greater heights through new mechanisms,” the Supreme Leader commented that dialogue with his Chinese counterpart bore “…the fruit of new knowledge and cooperation.” The particulars of the talks themselves were closely kept under wraps, but President Jinping in his own words reflected that the stay was “informative in its subject matter and assuring in the direction of future ties.” Surprising, however, is Beijing's proposal to host a future 'Trilateral Summit' at the convenience of both sides of the Korean Peninsula - raising the eyes of many in the region, and viewed as a challenge to the Six-Party Talks, still languishing in American diplomatic suspension. Unnamed officials within the Party revealed to Hong Kong press that “…serious concerns on both sides were raised and pushed in-depth” during the visit.
3 September, 2014 - Japanese PM Shinzō Abe approves a controversial constitutional amendment (pending approval in both houses of the Diet) that will amend Article 9 of the constitution and allowing Japan to field a army of its own. This clmes as tensions over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands continue to escalate
3 September, 2014 - The final version of the Bangsamoro treaty between the Philippine government and the MILF is signed. Among other things, it creates a new autonomous Bangsamoro region with sweeping devolved powers.
5 October, 2014 - In a joint session of the Diet, the controversial “War Powers Amendment” passes by a wide margin. China and South Korea protest.
12 October, 2014 - Despite protests from Nur Misuari and the now-discredited MNLF, the Bangsamoro Accords are ratified by Congress, subject to a referendum.
17th December 2014 China announces that certain areas in the North East of the country will be placed under curfew to prevent further spread of the 'H10N8' virus which has claimed over 100 lives in the past week.
31 December, 2014 - The Philippine economy continues to grow at a record pace, going as high as 6.3% this year, and with a projected high of around 7.1% (by some estimates). This has lead some analysts to make the claim that the Philippines could become the fastest-growing economy in the world.
3 January, 2015 - A referendum on the Bangsamoro Accords is approved by 78% of the people. Elections with the devolved Bangsamoro Assembly are scheduled 6 months from now.
January 12, 2015 - The first component in Japan's worldwide medical hub programme is established in Brazil as part of a multi-billion dollar endeavour to provide sophisticated Japanese-style medical care and expertise in foreign countries. The São Paulo centre is the first such iteration, specialising in cancer diagnostics and intensive regenerative therapy. With facilities set to be established in the Indo-Pacific, Middle East, and Eurasia, the latter focus even including branches in Russia and China, the rollout aims to expand the Home Islands' medicinal market to 1.5 trillion yen by 2020, in addition to the management of sixteen such overseas 'hubs.' (an expansion of the initial plan of ten in 2013) Further centres slated to be inaugurated before the end of this year are those in Hanoi, Abu Dhabi, and Khabarovsk. Administration is a joint public-private affair, with both the hands of the native and Japanese governments maintaining the hubs with the support of Japanese educational institutions and multinational corporations such as Tokyo Medical University and the Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.
January 12, 2015 – The BBC revises its decision to finalise its primetime hit Sherlock with its fifth season, instead extending the popular television series for a sixth and seventh on the backs of its highest one-day viewerships ever recorded with today’s broadcast of the fourth series finale – The Red Star. Simultaneously released in all global markets as well as on online platforms, the episode reached an apex of 19.4 million worldwide. Numbers were especially bolstered by Latin American and Asian audiences, where the latter bore responsibility for a quarter of the ratings lead by Chinese telestream service Youku. Reairing throughout the week is estimated to top nearly 40 million, continuing the British programme’s increasing Sino-fame and helming British cultural exports to and proliferation in the billion-member nation. Everyday monikers assigned to the show’s leading characters Fuermosi (福尔摩斯– Holmes) and Huasheng (花生– Watson) are household names as the series is now the most-watched foreign production in the Middle Kingdom, drawing praise from the country’s media outlets for the plot’s nod to the nation (the finale title doubling as a reference to the original 1911 short The Adventure of the Red Circle).
[February 1, 2015] - The Trilateral Talks begin in Liaoning's Shenyang with the face-to-face meeting of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and North Korea's Kim Jong-un. The former's acceptance of last year's initial proposition spawned much public speculation - and consternation by some in regards to North Korean nuclear testing. Although the summit is formally framed as a conference for state interests, in attendance are dozens of Chinese enterprises and Korean Chaebol (재벌 - family business conglomerates). Mediated by Chinese President Xi Jinping, international media describe the first day of discussions as 'deferential,' if not, 'guarded' - setting the tone for the next two weeks of roundtable dialogue. On the board for debate include the expansion of joint-Korean economic zones, many of which are still bound in the preparatory process sorting through bureaucratic red tape. Also on the table is the possibility of a 'cultural exchange,' though the implications of its vague wording have translated into skepticism for many pundits.
March 15th, 2015:
The Shanghai Tower, China's tallest building and the second tallest building in the world after the Burj Khalafa in Dubai officially opens to the public.
At 632 meters, the new super tall skyscraper is the tallest in the Pudong skyline and a symbol of China's future.
24 April, 2015 - The commemorations for the centennial for the Armenian Genocide are held across the world, with Yerevan hosting the main commemorations.
What surprises everyone across the world is that Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President Abdullah Gül, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, and other senior Turkish officials attend the main ceremonies in Yerevan. In a speech addressed to everyone present, PM Erdoğan tells of “a need for reconciliation between our two peoples, for the common good of both our two nations.”
6 June, 2015 - Elections in the 75-seat Bangsamoro Assembly take place. The results are as follows…
Bangsamoro People's Party (Democratic Islamist party) - 31 seats Liberal Party - 23 seats National Front (Left-Wing Nationalism, Independentist) - 12 seats PDP-Laban - 6 seats Independents - 3 seats
18 June, 2015: The Japanese space agency, JAXA, performs Stage 2 in tests to reduce the sonic boom of their experimental airplane designs. The test called D-Send #2 Drop Test uses an unmanned 7.7m model of experimental airplane S-Cube S3CM for short). The test is deemed a success, with the sonic boom impact dropping by more than a half for the design.
October 27, 2015 - The Indonesian government's reckless attack on East Timor, UN Peacekeepers, and dual Canadian-Australian naval forces faces international condemnation from world leaders. Public anger in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto peak into mass demonstrations and calls for retaliation. Rioting outside embassies in Canberra and Ottawa leads to the closure of all Indonesian diplomatic centres in both countries. Such actions come at a pivotal stage in Southeast Asia, as increased maritime deployment by the USN and PLAN in the region are accused as 'provocative' by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
November 5th, 2015:
Less than a year after the completion of the Shanghai Tower, Changsha's Sky City over takes both the Shanghai Tower and the Burj Khalafa at 838 meters becoming the worlds tallest building.
What is remarkable about this structure is that it was assembled in 7 months from prefabricated factory made parts by Chinese construction conglomerate Broad Group. Broad Group intends for the building to be a mixed use skyscraper will inhabitants will live, work and find recreation reducing traffic and air pollution in China's congested big cities. They claim that the building is six times as energy efficient as a conventional skyscraper.
Broad Group promises that future super tall skyscrapers could contain greenhouse farms, solar panels and wind turbines to make them energy self sufficient. Critics point out the dangers in constructing such super tall buildings at breakneck speeds.
Broad Group promises to construct a 500 story, 2 kilometer tall superstructure by 2025. It remains to be seen whether the Sky City would herald the revolution in skyscraper construction Broad Group hoped it would.
Mid-late 2015 : Japanese Emperor Akihito dies, leaving Crown Prince Naruhito to take the throne, ending the Heisei Era.
4 January 2016 - Kuomintang candidate Lin Fong-cheng win the election by such a narrow margin over his opponent Tsai Ing-wen (DPP) that a runoff is called (in which he wins the Presidency by 53%).
In his victory speech, Lin calls for the warming of Cross-Strait ties, while remaining tied to the U.S.
[March 3, 2016] - Turkey's $35 billion nation-wide highspeed rail circuit reaches another point in its expansion. In tandem with negotiations dealing with the upgrading of links to Bucharest, Tblisi, and Baku, Istanbul enters plans with neighbouring Iran to construct an HSR connection from Kars to Tehran - a first, and significantly adding to the Edirne-Kars route's value. Also participating in negotiations are the interests of Chinese consortiums, parlaying an estimated $30-45 billion in loans to help support the proposal, furthered by motives to realize the PRC's plans for its Trans-Asia Railway, or Eurasian Land Bridge project. Such works accompany construction in Kazakhstan, Romania, Serbia and Hungary - adding to the likes of the 1050km Almaty-Astana and the $3 billion Budapest-Belgrade lines.
9 May, 2016 - The Philippines elects Mar Roxas for President. He vows to continue the reforms initiated under outgoing President Aquino.
5 April, 2016 - In response to continued protests from ethnic Tibetans and Uyghurs that led to several noted incidents over the last 5 years, Chinese President Xi Jinping (in a surprise decision) creates a new “Tibetan and Uyghur Board” designed to address their rights.
May 25th, 2016:
The PLAN launches its first indigenous aircraft carrier, The Ningbo, from the Shanghai shipyard which joins its existing carrier, The Liaoning.
China's second carrier is twice the size as the refurbished Soviet vessel, increasing the operational range of the Chinese Navy beyond the South and East China Seas.
China announces plans for two additional carriers by 2020.
The PLA and Chinese Air Force is making increasing use of drones along with their American, Russian and European counterparts. Even Iran and North Korea clàim to have drone aircraft.
June 14, 2016: The Japanese government announces plans to build a trio of gas turbine-powered aircraft carriers in the 36,000-ton range, each one roughly 900 feet long and 110 feet in beam, and designed to handle 45 aircraft and with three catapults. The three carriers were provisionally named JS Fuji, JS Tate and JS Haku, after Japan's three “Holy Mountains”.
[June 14, 2016] - Building upon previous years' talks at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Silk Road Economic Zone is formed, inaugurated by President Xi Jinping - encompassing much of Central Asia to include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and (through Xinjiang) Mongolia. Chief among its supporters are associates China, Turkey, Iran, and Russia - the latter in a statement by Vladimir Putin commenting that “the relationship is complimentary to that of [the Eurasian Union].” Among the primary goals set out for the SREZ is the reduction of interstate tariffs and customs barriers, and to improve the transportation network across the regional belt. Aimed at bridging the markets of the European Union to the economic zones of the Pacific, the SREZ additionally has the incentive of acting as an energy and rail corridor, officiating itself as the continental middleman. Preferential trading and investor rights are granted to the PRC as well as the other three associate members.
August 19, 2016: Miao Wei, Minister for Industry and Information Technology of the Government of the People's Republic of China, announces that China hopes to reach the pinnacle of its Chang'e program for Lunar Exploration with a manned mission to the moon in 2025.
[September 30, 2016] - Microsoft Corporation, in close partnership with China's Huawei Technologies, reveal their expansion of the Mawingu initiative - providing highspeed broadband internet through solar-powered stations. Covering a vast geographical region, the two corporations gain the tacit approval to stretch Mawingu's range across all members of the East African Community from its founding base in Kenya. Through widespread, wireless net access, the multi-state organisation is hoping to unlock the economic potential across its rural swathes. Huawei's 71-year-old President Ren Zhengfei says the dual-company venture is merely “…the first such project” set to occur in concert with the U.S. technological giant, as both seek to tap into the quickly growing African market. A joint-corporate statement promises to introduce Mawingu into emerging centres Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Congo-Kinshasa before the termination of this decade.
January 4 2017: Cambodia, and the other Mexican summit nations announce interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
3 March, 2017 - Construction of Manila's first underground subway has begun for a stretch of subway between the center of Manila and Ninoy Aquino International Airport. When complete around 2028 (in time for the 2028 Olympics), the Manila Metro would stretch some 300 miles over 6 lines and 175 stations across Metro Manila.
March 15, 2017: The JS Iwate (DDH-184) is commissioned into the Japanese Naval Forces as the second Izumo-class helicopter destroyer.
21 August, 2017: The International Civil Aviation Organization sets into motion a set of regulations for the standard values for commercial aviation regarding sonic booms for super and hypersonic commercial airplanes.
October 1, 2017: The People's Republic of China conducts naval wargames in the South China Sea with the Russian Navy, with both countries contributing an aircraft carrier. The exercise is closely watched by Japan and the United States, both of which are wary of growing military friendliness between China and Russia.
October 5, 2017: In a surprise ceremony, the governments of the Russian Federation and People's Republic of China sign the Agreement of Mutual Assistance. It is a significant economic and military partnership, bringing the two countries closer economically but, more importantly to Tokyo and Washington, bringing China and Russia together as official military allies. Both countries, considering themselves victims of an aggressive American foreign policy, are feeling increasingly threatened and so have banded together to present a stronger defence against America as a deterrent against aggression.
7 October, 2017 - 129th IOC Session - In a surprise vote, the IOC awards the 2028 Summer Olympics to Manila, Philippines. In a statement just after the selection, President Mar Roxas welcomes the challenge for the “Pearl City of the Orient”, promising to hold “one of the most memorable, if not THE most memorable Games”.
November 20, 2017: A Japanese F-2 fighter jet is shot down near the Senkaku Islands, triggering an international incident. Both China and Japan deploy forces ready for conflict, as does the US, while Russia puts its forces onto standby.
November 21, 2017: An emergency session of the United Nations manages to gain an agreement from all parties to stand down their military forces, while not blaming any one side for the confrontation. The United States prepares to increase its military commitment in Asia, ready to double the number of troops deployed in Australia.
6 December, 2017 - Both the Turkish and Armenian governments hold the first in a series of talks and discussions aimed at restarting both the stalled rapprochement between the two countries, as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process (which both Russia and the U.S. will take part)
These discussions are hailed by the West (especially the EU) as “the first step towards regional peace and cooperation”. However, protests begin in Azerbaijan, where President Ilham Aliyev vows to “disrupt the process as much as it can”.
[December 9, 2017] - In tune with projections laid out by the International Monetary Fund, China officially surpasses the GDP of the United States, with official statistics running at $20.71 trillion in favour of China over that of the United States' own $19.25 trillion, adjusted for purchasing parity (PPP). These numbers now cement the world's most populous nation as the world's largest economy, and come in on the heels of early figures citing economic growth in China to have rounded off at 8.8% for 2017 - beating the plateau induced by the global recession of the early 2010's. Experts point to the immense growth of the middle class, propping up domestic consumption over dependence on foreign investment.
January 22, 2018 - Natural gas begins crossing Russo-Chinese borders with the wrapping-up of pipeline construction by Gazprom and fellow energy giants Rosneft and Novatek. The 4,000 plus kilometre pipeline network, named the 'Power of Siberia,' is set to step up pumped volumes from the initially agreed 38 to 60 billion cubic meters per year as part of fast-tracked efforts by Beijing to sate exponentially growing liquefied gas needs (buoyed in due part to the domestic demand for energy substitutes - triggered by the gradual government closure of coal facilities nationwide). However, shale gas production has increasingly helped to anchor down the Chinese gas deficit, as the country's unprecedented 1,115 trillion cubic feet of reserves have only just begun to be capitalised on in the basins of Ordos, Tarim, Sichuan, and elsewhere.
February 4th, 2018:
The Chinese Air Force announces the active service of the J-20 stealth fighter with serial production of several hundred models of the 5th generation fighter jet to begin later in the year.
China also announces a marine version of the J-20 capable of landing on the flight deck of China's home build aircraft carriers, the first of which was launched from Shanghai in 2016.
The completion of China's Beidou or compass gps system will allow the J-20 and other aircraft to carry out precision strikes aside from the civilian applications in mapping and navigation.
China's official military budget surpasses $265 billion for 2018, surpassing the rest of Asia combined. It is more than four times the military budget of Japan.
It is expected to surpass $350 billion in 2020.
Several nations, including Japan and the Philippines, embroiled in territorial disputes with Beijing over minor islands, but 5th generation aircraft from the United States out of fear of Beijing's growing regional military hegemony.
Although the move is not specifically directed against China, Delhi announces plans to complete the purchase of the first batch of of 5th generation P-51 stealth jets, developed jointly with Russia by 2020.
[February 9, 2018] - The Opening Ceremonies of the XXIII Olympiad in Pyeongchang take place, putting on an extravagant affair suited to the $6-8 billion thought to have been budgeted for the two-week spectacle, much of it on new sporting and transportation infrastructure. Of much note was the joint entrance of the North and South Korean delegations, heralding the flag of a United Korea (both teams still planning to compete separately). Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un is unexpectedly one of hundreds of international leaders to count themselves in attendance, sparking an intense media frenzy over the figure's intentions. Nonetheless, the celebrations would feature the longevity and richness of Korean history from the Goryeo to Joseon dynasties, including a dramatic in-stadium naval battle. Showcased was the country's longstanding naval tradition, as the medieval exploits of cannon-equipped Korean ships repulsed a reenacted Mongol invasion. Praised as setting a new cultural bar for the Winter Ceremonies, the event is watched and streamed by 2.5-3 billion people worldwide.
March 3, 2018 Joining the launch of Tiangong-3 (天宫三号) in 2015 is the installation of the Chinese Space Station's (CSS) core module in earth orbit by China's National Space Administration. This particular venture is noted for the cooperative participation of another two space agencies - namely, the inclusion of the RKA's Yelena Serova and the ESA's Luca Parmitano on the shuttle launch from Jiuquan. Although both would only visit the station for the duration of the mission, the event marked the CNSA's willingness to bring aboard foreign partners despite its continued exclusion from the ISS. With the bulk of Tiangong's habitable space now complete, further set is the addition of laboratory components in 2020 and beyond. Invitations for CSS visitation and protracted stays are extended towards the respective aerospace institutions of South Korea, Iran, and Canada.
March 27th, 2018:
Bill Gates, founder and CEO of Microsoft announces plans to invest heavily in China's nuclear industry helping that country reach its goal of tripling nuclear power generation ability by 2030.
Microsoft takes particular interest in helping Chinese engineers in Shanghai develop commercially viable 4th generation thorium fission power plants with the slated goal of a working prototype by 2021.
Beijing hopes conventional and thorium fission will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and help mitigate crippling smog and air pollution in China's big cities.
Failing to keep up with Apple, Google and Samsung in its home market in terms of innovation, Microsoft increases collaboration with Huawei to bring cheap high speed broad band to the developing world.
Microsoft also collaborated with Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo to bring affordable smartphones, tablets, phablets, wearable gadgets and other smart devices to developing markets. By 2020, these three Chinese companies have become the three largest electronics manufacturers in the world buy total volume and help raise the total number of internet users in the world to over 5 billion. Huawei is the number three electronics company in the USA and Europe after Samsung and Apple.
Microsoft views the USA as a secondary market by 2020.
May 23rd, 2018:
US President Howard Dean formally inaugurates the trans-Pacific partnership in Manila. The trans-Oceanic pact includes parameters for the reducing tariffs and increasing trade, investment and cooperation in defense throughout the Pacific Rim.
Founding members include the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia, Panama, Chile, Peru, Nicàragua, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
China has “observer” status while also leading the SCO and SREZ.
Many observers see the TPP as a counterweight to China's growing economic and military power. However, China is the largest trading partner of every member and has particularly close ties with some of the Asian members including South Korea, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The TPP is not a formal military alliance like NATO.
Nonetheless, Japan and the Philippines breàth a sign of relief when Dean reaffirms American defense commitments to the Asia-Pacific region and promises to increase the America troop presence in Australia.
The TPP highlights the complex, multifaceted nature of international relations in the Asia-Pacific region.
It remains to be seen whether the TPP becomes the premier international body of the Asia-Pacific region or is gradually replaced by a Chinese led system due to that countries economic significance.
Fracking leads to a surge of gas production in China's interior regions of Sichuan, the Tarim basin, Qinghai and the Inner Mongolia to help meet China's soaring energy demand and decrease smog and pollution in cities attributed largely to coal fired power plants.
The first natural gas power plants open in Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Bèijing and Tianjin in 2019.
Chinese energy giants Petrochina and Sinopec sign a series of deals with German multinational Siemens and American equipment manufacturer caterpillar to acquire advanced machinery to increase gas production.
GDP growth surges in gas producing regions surpassing 15% even as growth rates in the coastal regions slow down somewhat to the 6-7% range.
Chengdu emerges as a world class city due to revenue from fracking and the relocation of some manufacturing from coastal regions of China to the interior where multinationals can take advantage of cheaper labor and abundant, cheap natural gas. Apple already moved some of its factories to Chengdu in 2011 to service both its home market and the growing Chinese market.
Chengdu also attracts ecotourists who hope to visit the indigenous habitat of China's iconic panda bear as well as national parks in the subtropical mountain ranges and bamboo forests of Sichuan province.
May 18, 2019- The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launches the world's first ever space junk cleanup operation, deploying a flexible magnetic 'net' into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) after liftoff from Tanegashima. Hailed by most astronomical scientists as a necessary step in ensuring the future safety of off-earth missions, as well as the continued operation of orbital communications satellites, increasing space traffic has multiplied the amount of space debris into the tens of thousands in recent years. With the casting of the 'net', JAXA chief administrator Naoki Okumura promises a full-fledged cleanup system as early as this December, with the primary goal being to preclude the possibility of the dreaded 'Kessler Syndrome.' Representatives from the ESA and the CNSA report studies into their own such projects, the latter hinting at the possibility of scientific collaboration with JAXA - the first such overture between either respective agency.
August 7th, 2019: China completes a massive new desalination plant powered by natural gas in the northern city of Tangshan with the capacity to supply nearly a third of Beijing's drinking water. With the population of Beijing approaching 30 million, China plans additional desalination plants in parched and heavily populated northern China. A more ambitious proposal calls for diverting 6 trillion liters of water a year from the Yangtze and its tributaries to northern China through a series of canals and dams. Hundreds of water treatment plants will mitigate the effects of air pollution on drinking water.
September 12, 2019 – The Laotian Kunming-Vientane rail link finishes construction, cementing the 193 kilometre per hour transportation corridor as the first real regional thoroughfare for the landlocked nation. Spurring off from Chinese Jinghong, the $7.4 billion railway traverses from northern Luang Namtha through the UNESCO former Lao capital Luang Prabang, all the way to the Thai border to the reach the ports of Bangkok, ferrying passengers and industrial goods. The bill is largely footed by the Lao government through loans provided by the Export-Import Bank of China, in exchange for mineral, timber, and agricultural concessions – as the whole project is part of the grander scale Pan-Asia Railway, through which HSR is further connected with Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The journey from Yunnan to Singapore is cut to a mere 12 hours, as commercial-consumer fares are set to formally take shape by next year.
4 November, 2019 - Construction begins on the new Luzon Link high-speed rail line from Baguio to Matnog, Sorsogon with stops in Dagupan, Angeles-Clark Airport, Manila, Calamba, Batangas, Naga, and Legazpi, with additional lines extending to both Cabanatuan and Olongapo and Subic Bay.
This is part of a massive transportation project by President Mar Roxas, which also includes a potential road/rail tunnel across the San Bernardino Strait.
February 26th, 2020:
Buoyed by surging gas production, infrastructure projects and rising consumption, Beijing moves towards full convertibility of the yuan. China established overseas yuan trading centers in Hong Kong in 2010 and London and Frankfurt in 2014. By the end the 2010s, China had opened additional centers for overseas yuan trading in Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Paris, Dubai, Tehran, Moscow, Sao Paolo, Mexico City, New York and Toronto making the Chinese yuan the third most commonly used currency in trade and the third largest reserve currency after the US Dollar and the Euro.
The yuan is expected to appreciate more rapidly against the dollar and the euro in coming years boosting Chinese consumption of domestic and imported products.
May 11th, 2020:
China completes the world's longest tunnel under the Bohai Sea between Dalian and Yantai, more than twice the length of the Chunnel between England and France.
The tunnel reduces the traveling distance for cars and trains by hundreds of miles between the two cities.
China also constructs a HSR line through tunnel running around the rim of Bohai Sea and connecting to the existing HSR line between Beijing and Tianjin. China hopes the tunnel will help further integrate the Bohai Rim, one of its three most important economic areas.
July 24th - August 9th, 2020: Tokyo Summer Olympics:
The Japanese capital hosts its second successful Olympics games signaling the nations rebound from the 2011 Tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster. Unlike Beijing, Sochi, Rio de Janeiro and Pyongchang, Tokyo does not build massive new stadia or transportation infrastructure improvements for the games since it's existing facilities are more than adequate.
The expanded Russian Federation, China and the USA top the medals table with Japan placing sixth after Germany and Australia.
This games marks the best Russian perfôrmance since the collapse of the Soviet Union which experts attribute to the inclusion of Belorussian and Ukrainian athletes on the Russian team as well as years of investment in sports facilities and training programs by Putin and Medvedev.
The Chinese performance marks decades of investment in sports by that country as well.
3rd place marks the worst USA Summer Olympic performance in decades although still respectable by any standards.
August 9, 2020 – The number of fast-charging EV stations exceeds 210,000 internationally. From Tesla Motors' continental Supercharger networks to the Japanese TEPCO consortium’s CHAdeMO grids, electric charging is estimated to have coverage over 90% of the developed world. Plugless charging is also in the race to power the world’s roads as parking spaces from Tokyo to New York accelerate the implementation of wireless charging pads, with power exchanged through streamlined transceivers. In another huge leap, the South Korean government leads the way in inductive charging, transforming all high-occupancy vehicle lanes in the country to enable mobile charging – which functions through sub-pavement electromagnetic fields. Seoul boldly vows to electrify all HOV lanes as early as next year to the tune of billions of won.
December 19, 2020 - In time to fulfill 2014's promise of a six year deadline, HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. Limited, or HKND Group, of China marks the completion of its massive waterway project in Central America. Running 300 km in length, or triple that of its Panamanian counterpart, the Nicaraguan Canal's capacity is unmatched in its ability to ferry supertankers predictably directed to sate the oil thirst of the Asia-Pacific. HKND head Wang Jing along with dignitaries from across Latin America open the infrastructural mega project with much fanfare, culminating under a decade's work of $60 billion in investment and millions in local manpower. Along with deepwater facilities, airports, and an oil pipeline, so kicks off the renewable 50-year operational lease for the Sino-corporation and double-digit economic growth for Nicaragua, said to have topped 13.5% this year.
April 12th, 2021:
As part of the trilateral agreement between China and the two Korea's, Beijing signs a deal to mine for rare earth mineral in North Korea.
Pyongyang agrees to establish 14 new special economic zones along the lines of Kaesong for Chinese and South Korean investment.
Some see this as a sign that Kim Jong Un is gradually opening up the North's economy despite expansion of his countries nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The US is reluctant to put too much pressure on Beijing over the move because of Chinas growing economic clout. Some call for the USA to try to cash in on North Korea although the US is so far hesitant.
March 20th, 2022: The 2022 Climate Change Action Conference finishes, with substantial promises from all governments in attendance. President Jones congratulated world leaders on the agreement, which she hopes will “slow or reverse the alarming rate of natural disasters the United States and the world now face”. The agreement, which requires a vast investment in clean energy and sweeping fuel-efficiency standards, was ratified by every government in attendance, even after the Japanese envoys threatened to leave the table following the talk of substantial nuclear energy expansion in seismically active areas such as Japan itself. President Dean, who has remained fairly quiet on his successor's Presidency, congratulated her “valiant efforts to combat the most dangerous foe the United States faces today”.
March 23rd, 2022: Former Russian president Vladimar Putin receives a briefing from top Russian generals and President Medvedev over world events during the former KGB officers nearly eight year coma. Putin is pleased that Russia had recovered Crimea, Novorossiya and Belarus but furious that Medvedev had agreed to withdraw from Kiev in response to western pressure. He begins immediately calling for plans to take Kiev and the Baltic States. His generals assure him after nearly eight hours such a move would be too risky in the present political environment. However, they inform him that the time was right to regain control of Kazakhstan and the western Kazakh oil and gas fields which would become a huge source of revenue for the Russian Federation.
31 March, 2022: JAXA releases their supersonic commercial airplane, the NEXST 3, for commercial deployment. Qantas and Japan Airways are the first too buy the JAXA NEXST 3 to run their America-Asia/Oceania routes. This is the first commercially available commercial jet to go into service since the grounding of the Concorde.
April 16th, 2022:
Numbers cross-referenced from the IMF and the World Bank confirm that China overtook the United States as the world's largest economy by nominal GDP in 2021 with a total GDP of $23 trillion USD compared to roughly $22 trillion for the United States. Although China's growth rate slowed to 4.8% for 2021 experts attribute this largely to the country entering a more advanced stage of economic development similar to South Korea or Taiwan in 2000 where double digit growth is very hard to achieve. The surge of shale gas production, infrastructure improvements, exports and the accelerated appreciation of the yuan contributed to its economy overtaking that of America.
The UN now classifies China as a high income nation with a GDP per capita of $16,500 USD and an HDI of 0.802. The income gap between the coasts and the interior regions are huge except for the shale gas producing regions where living standards are approaches those of the advanced economies.
May 7th, 2022:
Although news of China overtaking the US in nominal GDP is seen by some as a blow to American prestige, others see it as an opportunity. US secretary of state Jon Huntsman, himself a fluent Mandarin speaker, visits Beijing negotiating a reduction in tariffs to help American companies sell more products to China's growing middle class. He also negotiates an increase in oil and LNG shipments to China through the Chinese operated Nicaragua Canal in Central America. Huntsman claims exports to China will boost American GDP growth by nearly 2 percentage points a year by 2030.
June 26th, 2022: Meeting in the Chinese gas boom town of Kashgar, envoys from Beijing, Moscow and Tehran meet to discuss plans for partitioning the nominally allied states of Central Asia. Russia makes it clear that they intend to annex Kazakhstan, home to a very large ethnic Russian and Russian speaking population. China is initially furious having established de facto hegemony over the SREZ and recently bècome the world's largest economy. Noticing Russian intransigence, the Chinese eventually acquiesce on the condition that they get to annex Outer Mongolia, portions of eastern Kazakhstan including Almaty and Kyrgizstan as “lebensraum” for their huge population. Chinese mining interests and corporations had already made many of the above regions de facto Chinese colonies. China also demands that Russia continue the flow of Kazakh oil and gas eastwards at current prices in increased volumes. Putin is furious that China demands regions with over 1 million ethnic Russians but sees no choice but to agree to the terms of the most powerful country in Asia to gain their support for Russian gains in the west. Iran demands control over the Turkmen oil and gas fields which Putin accepts more easily. Eventually, the three powers agree to divide the entire massive region with most Tajik and Uzbek areas going to Iran. Given continuing tensions in Chechnya, Putin is somewhat relieved to give predominantly Muslim former Soviet republics to ally Iran not wanting to exxacerbate the threat of terrorism too much.
December 11th, 2022:
Hu Chunhua, governor of Guangdong, succeeds Ji Xinping as president of the People's Republic of China during the annual meeting of the People's Congress in Beijing. This signifies the ascension of the 6th generation of communist leaders during once in ten years transition of power.
Hu identifies many successes of the past ten years including a surge in energy production, modernization and expansion of the military, China becoming the world's largest economy, infrastructure improvements, the growth of the middle class and the adaption of a two child policy.
However, he acknowledges many of the problems China faces including crippling air pollution in its largest cities exceeding 2014 levels, rural poverty, traffic jams and tens of millions of urban residents who don't have access to basic welfare due to failure to reform the Hukou system.
Hu avoids the issue of human rights and freedom of speech.
December 23rd, 2022: Large scale rioting and violence breaks out in the Kyrgyz city of Osh between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. The army moves in the quell violence only to exxacerbate the situation after several police and army units defect to various sides.
January-March 2023: The violence soon spreads to other parts of Kyrgyzstan as well as neighboring Uzbekistan and Tajikstan. By the time the dust settles, nearly a quarter of a million people have become refugees and thousands are dead. Unbeknownst to the world, Russian, Chinese and Iranian agents are behind the violence near the planned future Sino-Iranian border.
January 6th, 2023:
In an emergency congress session, the new Chinese president outlines plans to address air pollution and traffic, now China's worst problems.
Hu promises to double nuclear power production yet again by 2032 while halving consumption of coal to alleviate air pollution and the resulting health problems.
He also promises to transition Chinese automakers towards higher fuel efficiency and the production of electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars. He also mandates the accelerated development of self driving cars in collaboration with search giant Baidu to alleviate traffic jams in China's crowded megacities. He promises data triangulated from the world's four navigation systems, the American GDP System, Europe's Galileo System, Russia's Glonoss System and China's Beidou System will increase the accuracy of navigation.
By 2022, residents in the largest Chinese cities are only allowed to drive their cars one in three days due to air pollution and traffic despite the expansion of highways and HSR. Hu also plans to expand both the Pan-Asian HSR System and China's own HSR network with the construction of the first maglevs using Chinese technology by the end of the decade.
He promises full reform of the hukou system by 2032 as well to reduce urban unrest.
Although transition towards multiparty elections is not on the table, Hu allows an increasing number of local and municipal elections and establishes grievance boards along the lines of the Uighur and Tibetan grievance boards to address the interests of communities threatened by infrastructure and industrial projects.
March 3rd, 2023: After “riots break out in Urumqi,” China sends the PLA to quell the violence increasing its military presence near parts of former Soviet Central Asia, their real target.
March 19th, 2023:
After over a decade integrating the transportation, sanitation, water, telecommunication and energy infrastructure of the Pearl River Delta, China formally merges nine cities into a single megacity of 75 million people. The cities include Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhaoqing, Jiangmen, Zhongshan, Zhuhai and Huizhou.
Although originally slated for completion by 2017, the share scale of construction necessary to merge the nine cities took six years longer than expected. Shale gas revenues and a resulting resurgence in manufacturing finally paid for all the necessary infrastructure and service improvements to “make the delta one.”
The resulting conurbation is twice the size of Wales in area, more than twice the population of greater Tokyo and the largest metropolitan economy at $2.5 trillion.
Greater Delhi and Greater Mumbai had also overtaken Tokyo with populations of over 45 million and 40 million respectively, the previous largest two cities in the world.
HSR makes it possible to travel between any of the nine centers in under an hour while a single metrocard allows residents to use all the region's trains, subways and buses. Energy, cell phone, hospital, education and phone bills fall by as much as 85% in the most extreme cases. An extension of the intra-city HSR system links the South China Megacity to neighboring Hong Kong.
The amalgamation of the Delta also settles the status of over 25 million migrant workers giving them access to health care, education and other basic services. Further reform of the Hukou system could increase the population of the South China Mega City to 100 million by 2030.
This move helps the Pearl River Delta wrest back some competitive advantage from Beijing and Shanghai which had transitioned better into a post manufacturing economy. However, air pollution and traffic remain a huge problem for the south China Megacity despite trillions of yuan invested in mass transit.
China reaches a the point of being 60% urban in 2023 with over 830 million people living in cities.
Central Asian War: March-June 2023
March 21st, 2023: Despite normally peaceful relations between Russians and Kazakhs, mass rallies break out in northern and western Kazakh towns and cities calling for the unification of Kazakhstan with Russia. The protesters are armed and trained by the FSB and assisted by spetsnaz agents who had slipped across the border.
March 24th, 2023: Astana is shocked by the violence and calls on nominal ally Putin to use his influence to help end the stand off in Kazakh cities.
March 26th, 2023: Putin accuses Kazakh president Nursultan of dictatorial practices and calls for more autonomy for Russian speaking regions in a country where Russian was already an official language.
March 29th, 2023: Several Kazakh police and army units defect to the protesters in the largely Russo-phone city of Petropavlovsk north of Astana. The FSB “persuades” Kazakh security forces to switch sides in order to keep their jobs.
April 1st, 2023: US Secretary of State Jon Huntsman compares Russian actions in Kazakhstan to Hitler's takeover of the Sudetenland and promises to increase shipments of American oil and LNG to Europe “to decrease their dependence on Russian and Kazakh gas to zero.”
April 3rd, 2023: Pavlodar falls completely to Russian forces after more army and police forces defect while fighting breaks out in Aktobe, Karagandy and even Astana itself between Kazakh security forces and pro-Russians. Kazakhstan west of the Ural River falls completely to the Russians.
April 4th, 2023: During an emergency meeting in Brussels, Huntsman fails to get European commitment to biting sectoral sanctions against Russia due to lingering mistrust between Europe and America over the later's handling of Syria as well increased trade with Russia despite targeted sanctions in place since 2014.
April 6th, 2023: With violence in Kazakhstan continuing to escalate, the USA seizes the assets if all Russian banks in the United States closing Russia out of the American financial system. Putin had anticipated this move and advised Russian banks to move their capital into yuan, ruble and euro denominated assets.
April 8th, 2023: At 6:00 AM Beijing time, Chinese mining corporations in Mongolia order private NGOs in fact answerable to Beijing to seize mines and accompanying infrastructure they operate in Outer Mongolia.
April 9th, 2023: A 15,000 strong PLA force marching from Inner Mongolia reaches and occupies Ulan Bator. The Mongol Army does not even attempt to fight knowing just how hopeless the situation is for them.
April 10th, 2023: Chinese president declares the annexation of Mongolia claiming to be “reclaiming” territory stolen from the Qing Dynasty. Putin immediately recognizes the Chinese annexation of Mongolia while western leaders remain silent.
April 13th, 2023: Leaders from America, The EU and Japan condemn China's move calling it a “landgrab.” However, no mention is made of sanctions considering China's size and economic importance drawing accusations hypocrisy from many critics.
April 16th, 2023: In the largest airborn operation in history, over 20,000 Russian paratroopers transported mainly by helicopter seize the west Kazakh oil and gas fields to prevent them from being “damaged in the fighting.” Russian forces isolate Kazakh Army units in West Kazakhstan some of which defect in order to “keep their jobs.”
The same day, the PLA crosses the eastern border of Kazakhstan moving towards Almaty and Lake Balkhash.
Iran moves into Turkmenistan capturing the capital Ashgabat right near the Iranian border. Amphibious landings in the Caspian Sea and airdrops secure the Turkmen oil fields in a manner similar to those employed by the Russians. Legions of Iraqi, Iranian and Kurdish militia, many veterans of the conflict in Anbar Province, follow the Iranian Army, now under UIR command, into Central Asia.
April 17th, 2023: The US withdraws it ambassadors from Moscow and Tehran in response to the respective seizures of the Kazakh and Turkmen oil and gas fields. Washington remains noticably silent in China causing many to note Washington's helplessness as three Eurasian powers gobble Central Asia.
April 19th, 2023: Karagandy falls after a Kazakh Army unit defects and other forces are redirectly to defend Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, from the Chinese.
The same day, Russia seizes Artrau in an amphibious assault and the PLA reaches the outskirts of Almaty beginning a brief but fierce fight for the city where many ethnic Russians join the Kazakh defenders felling betrayed by Moscow.
Russia's Central Asia rapid reaction force moves into Kazakhstan to assist in the battle for Astana.
April 21st, 2023: Russian airmobile infantry seize the Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan, a major objective away from the main fighting.
April 23rd, 2023: Almaty falls after fierce fighting claiming the lives of several thousand Kazakh and Chinese soldiers. Precision strikes by Chinese J-20s jets and drones help break the back of the Kazakh Army in that sector.
Russia repeats these tactics in the battle for Astana where it meets its first serious resistance by the Kazakh Army.
April 25th, 2023: Despite orders to continue fighting from Kazakh president for life Nursultan, the Kazakh Army agrees to a “ceasefire” on the Astana front effectively surrendering on the condition that Kazakh soldiers who resisted receive decent treatment from the Russians and Chinese noting how the Kazakhs fought bravely fought against impossible odds. Russia and China agree. China moves into the rest of Almaty and East Kazakhstan provinces while Russia occupies the rest of the country.
More surrendering Kazakh Army units join the Russian Army, predominantly but not exclusively ethnic Russians. Many Kazakhs are bitter over the a Chinese capture and anticipated annexation of the east preferring Russia.
April 27th, 2023: Chinese and Russian soldiers meet and shake hands on the western shore of Lake Balkhash, part of the new de facto border between Russia and China in Central Asia.
The bulk of the PLA in Central Asia, now numbering over 120,000 after receiving reinforcements continues into Kyrgyzstan to “quell the ethnic violence plaguing the failed state.”
April 28th, 2023: With much of the Kyrgiz Army still dealing with violence in Osh and other cities near the Uzbek border, the PLA captures Bishkek unopposed.
April 29th, 2023: Realizing the hopelessness of their situation, Kyrgyzstan surrenders to the PLA on the same conditions as Kazakhstan.
May 2023: The Iranian Army backed by UIR militia moves into Uzbekistan and Tajikstan from Turmenistan and northern Afghanistsn respectively. The Iranians repeat the tactics of the Russians and Chinese with some Tajik and Uzbek units joining them while others are isolated and destroyed by militia who carry out “mopping up operations” with extreme violence.
By the end of the month, all of Uzbekistan and Tajikstan are under Iranian control except for a portion of eastern Tajikstan in the Pamirs seized by Chinese special forces. Iran “reclaims the great Persian cities of Bukhara, Khiva, Samarqand, Dushanbe and Tashkent” promising to bring “stability and development” to the mostly impoverished regions.
June 4th, 2023: Russia, Iran and China announce the annexation of all the conquered Central Asian territories. Russia and Iran hold rigged plebiscites in the regions they control while China simply claims to be reclaiming territories held by the Qing Dynasty, even if very briefly. Beijing adds the “Ferghana and Balkhash” districts as well as a sliver of eastern Tajikstan to Xingjing and combines Outer Mongolia with the Inner Mongolia Semi Autonomous region to form the Mongolian Semi-Autonomous Region.
6 October, 2024 - Construction begins on the new Manila Olympic Stadium that will serve as the venue for athletic sporting events during the 2028 Olympics. Constructed on reclaimed land to the south of the city center (along with the rest of Olympic Park), it is one of the many projects by the Philippine government to prepare the city for the 2028 Games.
27 December, 2024: Thousands of dollars in damages occur alongside 14 deaths are recorded as a block of sub-urban houses are flattened outside of Toronto as a result of a sonic boom coming from a Qantas NEXST 3. News reports equal the damage to a F3 tornado in strength.
3 January, 2025: Results from investigations into the sonic boom created from the NEXST 3 in Toronto reveals a deadly issue with cold conditions and de-icing, destabilising the drag reduction and having an impact on the now famous “no power sonic boom”. All NEXST 3 planes are grounded in airports experiencing cold and icy conditions and their routes are replaced by older planes.
April 13th, 2025:
Japan announces the opening of the Tokyo-Nagoya maglev system, providing 300+ mph service between the two cities. This marks the successful completion of first phase of the Chuo Shinkansen system between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan's two largest cities.
Although originally planned for completion by 2045, Japanese transportation planners pushed ahead the completion date for the entire system to 2030, which would reduce the commuting distance between Tokyo and Osaka to under an hour nonstop.
June 23rd, 2025:
22 years after its first manned space mission, China becomes the second nation after the United States to successfully land men on the moon through its Chang-e program. This achievement is a huge source of national pride to the Chinese.
The USA promises to return to the moon by 2030 while Russia also plans to land its first cosmonaut on the lunar surface by that date.
China, the USA and Russia are all launching reusable rockets for space missions.
Hu Chunhua promises a Chinese lunar base by 2030.
June 29th, 2026: Japanese investors announce plans to use Japanese maglev technology to help build a maglev link between Los Angeles and Las Vegas as part of a larger high speed rail system in the American southwest.
They win out over rival bids by China and German multinational giant Seimens to build the Southwest Maglev System.
Construction is due to begin later in the year with a 2029 target date for completion.
July 14th, 2026:
Despite the tragic Toronto sonic boom disaster, Jaxa announces plans to build off its success in supersonic passenger aviation with a manned lunar mission by 2035. Jaxa becomes the seventh nation or institution after the USA, Russia, China, the European Space Agency, India and Iran to plan or execute manned lunar missions.
Jaxa hopes to follow up a successful lunar landing with a permanent lunar base, a goal echoed by other space faring nations.
July 14th, 2026:
Broad Group, the company behind the Changsha Sky City, completes The Guangdong Tower, a mixed use 500 story 2.1 kilometer tall skyscraper from prefabricated parts in a new district between Guangzhou and Dongguan in the South China Megacity.
This is Broad Group's 20th mega-scraper in China which reclaims the title of the world's tallest building.
The building is derives all its energy from solar and wind power and contains sufficient urban farms to feed its 250,000 residents. Broad Group devotes half the floor space to affordable housing and facilities for former migrant workers.
February 19th, 2027:
Japan wins a contract for a high profile maglev connection between in the United Arab Emirates between Dubai and Abu Dhabi again outbidding its Chinese and German rivals. The scheduled date for completion is in 2031 with possible future extensions to Riyadh, Mecca, Jedda, Doha and Kuwait City. Despite the chaos engulfing much of the greater Middle East, the wealthy gulf states surge ahead with these and other infrastructure projects in collaboration with Japan and other foreign investors.
The Arabian peninsula has seen huge increases in desalination, greenhouse farming and solar power generation in collaboration with foreign, mainly Chinese and Japanese companies.
Dubai is the largest financial center of the Middle East by market capitalization.
Despite a dramatic decrease in wealth, power and influence relative to fast growing emerging Asian economies led by China, India and Indonesia, Japan revives its reputation as producer and exporter of advanced technology and high quality products through its overseas medical clinics, advances in supersonic aviation and high quality maglev trains.
August 31, 2027: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila is picked to succeed the deceased Pope Francis becoming the first East Asian pope. He picks the name of John Paul III in honor of St. John Paul II.
July 24th-August 9th, 2028: Manila Summer Olympics. The Philippine capital successfully hosts the summer Olympic Games becoming the first South East Asian city to do so.
An expansion of the subway and HSR system of Metro-Manila transforms the Philippine capital in time for the games, demonstrating that the Philippine capital is now a world class, first world city. New nuclear power stations and LNG plants burning imported American gas help reduce smog levels that had rivaled those in Delhi, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta, Bangkok, The South China Megacity and other emerging Asian megacities in the early 2020s signaling a commitment from recently developed èconomies to clean energy. Metro Manila has a population of 42 million having absorbed many satellite cities in Luzon, overtaking Greater Tokyo in population. 11 other cities in emerging Asian and African countries also have populations larger than greater Tokyo by this time.
China, Russia and the USA top the medals table. Although no where near the top of the medals table, the Philippines wins three gold medals in boxing, its most popular national sport.
August 18th, 2028:
After sending over a half a dozen supply rockets to the lunar surface, Chinese Taikonauts establish the first permanent lunar base near the site of their nations' lunar landing three years previously.
The Chinese base serves as a research center for future lunar mining, greenhouse farming in a low gravity environment and off Earth energy production.
Hu Chunhua promises a Chinese mission to Mars by 2040 and a permanent human presence on Mars by mid-century. He hints at the possibility of collaboration with other nations as well as private corporations to alleviate the costs of such a huge project.
September 29th, 2028: After successfully hosting the Olympic Games, Manila announcing the creation of the Philippine Space Agency and plans for manned missions in space in the 2030s, joining the growing number of space faring nations and private corporations.
February 3rd, 2030: Joining the growing number of nations and private corporations in space, Jakarta announces the formation of the Indonesian Space Organization.
February 4th-20th, 2030: XXVI Winter Olympics Beijing
Beijing becomes the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympics. Zhangjiakou, 190 km northwest of Beijing, holds the skiing events.
A new magnetic levitation line allows athletes and fans to travel between the two locations in under 15 minutes at speeds exceeding 600 kph.
Thorium fission plants and gas burning plants have helped to reduce Beijing smog from 2022 levels. Cars are several times as fuel efficient further alleviating this problem. Some of the newest models are fully electric, hydrogen powered, self driving, or some combination of the three.
Beijing intends for the 2030 Olympics to signify China's emergence as an advanced economy and a technologically advanced nation.
China's GDP exceeds $45 trillion for that year, more than 60% more than the USA at $28 trillion. China's GDP per capita and HDI exceed $33,000 and 0.85 respectively.
Russia, Norway and Canada top the medals table.
March 2nd, 2030: Despite operating a separate space station and moon base, China agrees to collaborate with certain ISA led international space efforts especially the removal of space junk and the interception of hostile earth bound objects.
China does not announce whether it will join ISA efforts to land people on Mars or act on its own.
April 16th, 2030: Numbers cross referenced from the IMF and the World Bank show that Indonesia has overtaken Mexico to become the world's seventh largest economy at 6.5 trillion US dollars. Indonesia is now a high income nation with a GDP per capita of $20,000 USD, abundant natural resources, a stable democracy and a growing manufacturing sector.
However, critics point out that greater Jakarta, population 38 million and growing, and other large cities are way ahead of less developed parts of the Indonesian archipelago.
The Philippines is now the twelfth largest economy in the world overtaking South Korea at $3.6 trillion USD with a GDP per capita of $30,000 USD. Greater Manila is way ahead of the rest of the country.
Malaysia is now a highly developed country.
May 8th, 2030: The Indonesian Space Organization leases four Skylon space planes for future manned missions to repair satellites, clean space junk and resupply the ISS in coordination with the International Space Agency.
July 5th, 2030: Manila announces the completion of the new Metro Manila International Air and Space Port outside the capital with HSR links to the city center. This new airport contains runways capable of handling the growing number of supersonic jets and space planes in the skies.
Cities from London to Munich to Moscow to Beijing to Tokyo to Chicago are also building new airports and runways for supersonic jets and spaceplanes.
August 3rd, 2030: The PSA purchases three old Dragon-X space shuttles from private contractor Space-X for manned missions.
February 17th, 2031: A Philippine astronaut launches into orbit aboard a Space-X rocket, orbiting the Earth three times and performing a space walk before splashing down in the South China Sea.
June 15-27, 2032: Under contract from the ISA, the ISO, the ISRO, the PSA and several private Malaysian corporations begin a mission to repair a series of weather satellites in orbit around Earth. This is the first time Indonesian and Malaysian astronauts carry out missions bearing the insignia of the respective national space administrations.
September 3-16, 2033: Astronauts from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India collaborate once again on the largest space junk clean up mission in history, removing tons of debree threatening satellites from an assortment of nations and corporations as well as the the ISS and the Chinese Space Station.
The respective nations hire private space corporations to assist them signaling the increased commercialization of space flight.
Sometime in the 2040's : The slow but gradual growing reformations of economic freedom within the People's Republic of China leads the people to become more and more demanding. This leads to a usurper of the single ruling party, leading to the establishment of a new type of government ideology : Corporatalism, government ran by corporations as its name states.