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

Understanding China’s unbalanced growth

Author: Yukon Huang, Carnegie Endowment

That China’s growth is unbalanced is a fact. Consumption as a share of GDP has declined steadily over the past decade to 35 per cent, while investment as a share of GDP has risen to above 45 per cent — the lowest and the highest rates of any major economy respectively. But are these imbalances a vulnerability — as most observers believe — or a consequence of China’s economic rise, and therefore not inherently problematic? Read more…

APEC’s legacy but where to next with Asian integration?

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

Increased economic exchange and integration of markets in North America and Europe were institution-led through NAFTA and the European Union. The diversity — in levels of development, political systems, political closeness and by many other measures — and the geography saw no such institutional arrangements emerge to promote integration in Asia. Yet East Asia has managed to achieve economic integration on par with North America or Europe through market-led efforts. Read more…

Asian trade strategies

Author: Peter Drysdale, ANU

From Japan to China across ASEAN to India, Asia is collectively in need of a new round of economic and trade reform to fulfil its expectations of development. Australia’s Asian strategies need to be now carefully tuned and calibrated to that reality. Read more…

China’s dam environmental problem

Author: Alison Singer, Appalachian State University

As the global leader in hydropower, China must adopt environmental policies that account for methane and carbon emissions as well as ecosystem disruptions and erosion potential. Read more…

What Deng taught Xi Jinping: pragmatism trumps ideology

Author: Christopher Johnston, Georgetown University

When Xi Jinping became leader of the Chinese Communist Party he chose the location of his first official visit carefully. He did not pay tribute at Mao’s tomb, or tour the rural heartland of Hu Jintao. Read more…

China goes west, to Kazakhstan’s benefit

Author: Bakhytzhan Kurmanov, ANU

It is no coincidence that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Kazakhstan accorded with the start of commercial output from the Kashagan field, arguably the biggest oil and gas field in Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region. Read more…

When money’s cheap, reform matters

Author: Maria Monica Wihardja

Central bankers in every emerging-market economy want to know one thing: how exactly does the US Federal Reserve plan to ‘exit’ from its unconventional monetary policy, known as ‘quantitative easing 3’ (QE3)?

The Fed’s recent decision not to taper QE3 may give emerging-market economies some space to breathe but deferring tapering QE3 is not a positive signal. Read more…

China’s tequila sunrise

Author: Juan J. Palacios, University of Guadalajara

On 30 August 2013, nine containers filled with 52,000 litres of 100 per cent-agave tequila were shipped to China by five Mexican distilling companies.

This is the first time Mexico has shipped top-quality tequila to China for it was previously banned by Chinese authorities because its methanol content exceeded the level permitted for spirits consumed in China. Read more…

Pakistan’s dismal education prospects

Author: Sanchita Bhattacharya, New Delhi

The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child recently published a report noting that Pakistan has the world’s second-largest number of children out of school, while in April 2012 UNICEF indicated that some 20 million Pakistani children, including an estimated 7.3 million of primary school age, are not in school.

This phenomenon is one of the by-products of terrorism and insurgency in Pakistan today. Yet the full explanation is even more complex, given that both the state and society of Pakistan have descended into utter chaos. Read more…

The twin faces of Japanese nationalism

Author: Andy Yee, Hong Kong

As George Orwell put it in Nineteen Eighty-Four, ‘[w]ho controls the past controls the future’.

In contemporary Japan, national memory is an ideological battleground. The future of Japan’s nationalism, its post-war pacifist regime, and the international relations of the Asia Pacific depend on whose history prevails. Read more…

China and shared regional prosperity: five risk factors

Author: Hitoshi Tanaka, JCIE

The sheer scale of China’s rise leaves no doubt about its importance to shared regional stability and prosperity.

While stories of China’s burgeoning economy abound, so do concerns regarding risks with the potential to derail its growth story. China faces five highly intertwined domestic and external risk factors. Read more…

North Korea’s rolling economic reforms

Author: Ruediger Frank, University of Vienna

While missiles and nuclear weapons have dominated the headlines, North Korea’s economy under Kim Jong-un has been developing in promising ways on the domestic front. Read more…

The PRC–Central Asia energy nexus

Authors: Fakhmiddin Fazilov and Xiangming ChenTrinity College, Connecticut

China has become the world’s largest energy consumer in less than 20 years, at present accounting for almost 20 per cent of the world’s total energy consumption.

Its rising demand for oil and gas has spun a new web of regional energy ties, with Central Asia caught right in the middle. Read more…

The uncertain future of Myanmar’s democratic reforms

Author: Adam P MacDonald, Halifax

John Blaxland recently acknowledged that return to military rule in Myanmar is becoming an increasingly marginal (but not impossible) prospect. The expected international and domestic retaliatory actions to a return to military rule in Myanmar are a major deterrent, as they could potentially derail Myanmar’s political stability, economic development and threaten important cease-fires. Read more…

The juggernaut of political reform in China

Newly-named Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, front left, poses with newly-named Chinese President Xi Jinping, while delegates clap when Li was announced to be the nation's new premier during a plenary session of the National People's Congress held in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Friday, March 15, 2013. (PHOTO: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

All the commentary suggests that there has been a substantial crackdown on free political expression in China since the new political leadership took over. Read more…