Publication in Economics, Politics and Public Policy in East Asia and the Pacific

New rules for the Asian Century?

Author: Veronica L. Taylor, ANU

No one now seriously doubts Australia’s interdependency with its Asian neighbours.

Our borders are porous, we are exposed to one another’s risk, and our trade, investment, economic and social development, political stability and regional security depend on mutual cooperation. Read more…

Internationalising the Chinese currency

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

In 2010, China became the second largest economy in the world, overtaking Japan, signalling an important turning point in many aspects of China’s role in the world economy, from the balance of economic power to its role in the global financial system.

Certainly if China, the United States and Japan are to continue their current trend growth rates, then China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy by 2030, many would say even as soon as 2022. Read more…

Liberalising China’s international capital movements

Author: Yu Yongding, CASS

After the Chinese government launched its so-called Pilot RMB Trade Settlement Scheme in April 2009, efforts to internationalise the renminbi have made impressive headway.

By September 2011, RMB deposits in Hong Kong reached RMB622.2 billion, and it was widely expected that the amount would surpass RMB1 trillion by the end of 2011. Things turned out otherwise. Read more…

Prosecuting corruption in India

Authors: Vikas Kumar, Azim Premji University and Poonam Mehra, NISM

Last year India witnessed heated debates between those who want a powerful national anti-corruption ombudsman and those who are in favour of reforming the current decentralised anti-corruption machinery.

Social activist Anna Hazare has resumed his campaign, which resulted in the lower house approving an anti-corruption legislation in December 2011. Read more…

Economic rebalancing in China is a long-term issue

Author: Wang Xiaolu, NERI

Economic imbalance in China — as indicated by the country’s very high investment rate, large export surplus and low proportion of domestic consumption — represents a long-term structural problem.

According to official statistics, the ratio of final consumption to GDP dropped sharply from 62.3 per cent to 47.4 per cent over the past decade. Read more…

Ozawa Ichiro: more shadow than shadow shogun

Author: Michael Cucek, Shisaku, Tokyo

Yesterday Japan’s political kingmaker, Ozawa Ichiro, was found not guilty of violating the Political Funds Control Act.

In a confusing decision reminiscent of the Scottish practice of allowing rulings of not only ‘Guilty’ and ‘Not Guilty’ but also ‘Not Proven’, the Tokyo District Court on 26 April found Ichiro Ozawa not guilty of conspiring to violate the Political Funds Control Act, while maintaining that Ozawa did allow the filing of misleading political fund account reports in his name. Read more…

Cambodia hosts the first ASEAN summit for 2012

Author: Rodolfo C. Severino, ISEAS

Earlier this April, the leaders of the 10 ASEAN states came together in Phnom Penh for the first of two annual summits for 2012.

The ASEAN Charter, which entered into force in December 2008, calls for at least two meetings a year. Read more…

Bangladesh and Myanmar resolve longstanding maritime dispute

Author: Pranab Kumar Panday, Cornell University and Rajshahi University

The longstanding maritime dispute between Bangladesh and Myanmar came to an end after the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea gave its final verdict on 14 March 2012.

The procedure began back in October 2009, when Bangladesh eventually brought the issue before the international tribunal, having exhausted attempts to reach a bilateral agreement.

Read more…

Reconsidering the role of the military in Thailand

Author: John Blaxland, ANU

Popular perception in the West often characterises the Thai military as being a totally self-serving and coup-prone organisation.

But in reflecting on political developments in Southeast Asia, Western observers tend to follow the classic Western liberal tendency of painting complex situations in black-and-white terms. Read more…

Rethinking science education in India

Author: K. P. Mohanan, IISER-Pune

The 21st century seems to have brought to India a new optimism, a confidence that it can become a global economic superpower alongside the US and China, and an eagerness to achieve this as quickly as possible.

Government agencies in control of funds are aware that an important prerequisite to economic growth is innovation and leadership in science and technology. Read more…

South Korea’s 2012 national assembly elections

Author: Yongwook Ryu, ANU

South Koreans went to the polls to choose their national assembly representatives on 11 April.

 The elections were dubbed a prelude for the presidential election to be held later this year, and generated much enthusiasm and heated debate among the public. Despite the initial predictions suggesting a landslide victory for the opposition party, the Democratic United Party (DUP), the result was a surprising victory for the ruling conservative party, the Saenuri Party. Read more…

Asia’s century one of turbulent transition and volatility

Author: S. Mahmud Ali, LSE

International security literature has developed a new sub-genre focusing on the upcoming ‘Asian Century’.

Explanations of precisely what this term might mean still vary widely, but the changing power relations between the US and its presumed peer rival, China, lie at the core of the discussion. Read more…

A structural approach to China’s rebalancing

Authors: Luke Deer and Ligang Song, ANU

China’s leaders have taken on an ambitious 12th five-year plan to rebalance China’s economy away from investment-led growth and toward more consumption-led growth.

A useful way to think about economic rebalancing might be as a policy to tackle the structural challenges arising from the dynamism of China’s transitional economic structure. Read more…

Japan faces political trench warfare over consumption tax

Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW, Canberra

The political trench warfare in Japan over increasing the consumption tax has taken on the appearance of a ‘final battle’ between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and party strongman Ichiro Ozawa.

Noda and Ozawa are said to be playing a game of ‘Russian roulette’, but the reality is much more akin to brinksmanship, where only one victor can emerge. Read more…

African competition in China’s market for iron ore

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

The boom in resource prices, fuelled by China’s surging industrialisation and steel demand over the past couple of decades, has lifted Australia’s terms of trade to a 100-year high.

Resource exporters around the world have been enjoying good times. Read more…