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

China’s strategic advantages: helping out the euro zone

Authors: Hinrich Voss and Jeremy Clegg, University of Leeds

The changing fortunes of the world’s mature economies relative to the emerging economies have prompted a remarkable reversal of roles when it comes to who might be able to help whom.

And while it would be in everyone’s best interest to help one another in the wake of the global financial crisis, international investment in real assets (as opposed to the purchase of bonds or titles to debt) is the outcome of hard-nosed commercial business decisions. Read more…

US–China collusion and the way forward for Japan

Author: Susumu Yabuki, Yokohama City University

Many people think that current US–China relations are comparable to US–Soviet relations during the Cold War. This is completely mistaken.

It is often said that the US and China are rivals — even potential combatants — in areas near Okinawa and the South China Sea. Some Japanese military strategists go as far as asserting that Read more…

Comparing India’s and Indonesia’s economic performance

Author: Thee Kian Wie, LIPI

India and Indonesia are two of Asia’s most resonant success stories: they are the continent’s third- and fifth-largest economies and are both members of the G20. But the story — and pace — of their success is considerably different.

In Indonesia, as Suharto began to rise to power in 1966 he inherited economic chaos, Read more…

Indonesia and the G20: a door left half open

Author: Maria Monica Wihardja, Bank Indonesia

Indonesia’s participation in the G20 Summit in Los Cabos was focused, strategic and effective. Despite these positives, criticism of Indonesia’s approach is not unwarranted.

Indonesia’s approach was focused because it concentrated on three major issues: its ‘middle-way’ approach to balancing austerity and job creation, financial inclusion and infrastructure investment. Read more…

Japan’s lay judges, and why Australia should listen up

Author: Hiroshi Fukurai, University of California

In 2009 Japan introduced two systems of lay adjudication: a quasi-jury system (saiban-in seido) and a grand jury system, the Prosecution Review Commission (kensatsu shinsakai or PRC).

Much public and scholarly attention has been paid to the quasi-jury trials, where six citizens and three professional judges decide on criminal matters. Read more…

Reviving local level democracy in India

Author: Vikas Kumar, Azim Premji University; Alok Tiwari, Mathura, and Ragupathy Venkatachalam, University of Trento

India is suffering from policy paralysis due to a crisis of credibility across the political system. The world’s largest democracy is threatened by a growing disconnect between the electorate and elected representatives, which is expressed as distrust and a general sense of a lack of accountability of the latter.

Read more…

The Korean War and East Asia

Author: Leonid Petrov, University of Sydney

Koreans commemorated the tragic beginning of the Korean War (1950–53) on 25 June.

What began as a civil war for unification soon escalated into an international war — a protracted Cold War conflict and a surrogate World War III. Read more…

Bolting on the second track key to regional cooperation in the Asian Century

Authors: Ian Buchanan and Christopher Findlay, AUSPECC

As the politically and economically diverse Asian Pacific states adjust toward post-Cold War institutional structures and alliances, Australia faces renewed policy making and economic cooperation challenges.

It is precisely this diversity of economic interests and political systems that dictates the mode of engagement and the degree of centralised control over the ‘scripts’ used by the actors who exercise influence over the region through various policies and fora.

Read more…

Asian cities in the 21st century

Author: Bharat Dahiya, UN-HABITAT and AIT

The rapid demographic expansion of Asian cities that came with sustained economic growth made it a textbook example of the positive correlation between urbanisation and economic growth.

Asian cities are now home to over half of the world’s urban population, or 1.76 billion people. Read more…

China’s growth and future challenges

Author: Minquan Liu, ADBI

Since 1978 China has consistently registered unprecedented rates of economic growth compared with both its own past record and those of other countries.

From 1978 to 2009, for example, while the average world growth rate was 2.7 per cent, China’s was 9.5 per cent. Read more…

Asia: dawn of a new century

Author: Maria Monica Wihardja, Bank Indonesia

The Japanese saying, ‘the name speaks for itself’, appears to reflect accurately the current global economic and geopolitical landscape.

Asia — meaning ‘sunrise’ in Greek and ‘east’ in Assyrian — is clearly rising, and the time has come for the ‘Asian Century’. Read more…

Removing Asia’s economic shackles

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

Liberalisation of markets and opening up to competition in international markets is widely recognised as a key ingredient in Asia’s economic success.

The East Asian ‘economic miracle’ and the more recent Chinese ‘economic miracle’ were a product of many factors but the power of freeing up markets in loosening the constraints on growth was fundamental. Read more…

Economic freedom in the Asian century

Author: Razeen Sally, ECIPE

Economic freedom is often glossed over in discussions about the many facets of the ‘Asian century’, but market liberalisation is a crucial enabler of Asia’s current awakening.

There is much unfinished business, for economic freedom remains substantially repressed across Asia. Expanding it is vital. Read more…

India: which way will the ‘swing state’ swing?

Author: Sandy Gordon, ANU

India seems to have found itself in the enviable position of being courted by both the US and China, thus confirming its status as the ‘swing state’ of Asia.

Two recent meetings highlight India’s emerging role in Asian security. Read more…

The state of democracy in Southeast Asia

Author: Chayut Setboonsarng, CARI

The great philosophical question about the elements of a perfect democracy and their relation to capitalism remains unsettled, and is likely to remain thus.

Yet the recent history of Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand calls for a more practical conversation about the nature and extent of democratic transformation in Southeast Asia. Read more…