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

China’s air zone stirs tensions but within rights

Author: James Manicom, Centre for International Governance Innovation

On 23 November China announced the creation of an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea. All aircraft flying through the zone are required to lodge their flight plan with Chinese authorities and be available for contact by Chinese authorities. Read more…

Russia and Vietnam taking it to the next level

Author: Victor Sumsky, MGIMO

Vladimir Putin’s visit to Vietnam earlier this month, his third since assuming the Russian presidency, was accompanied by references to the ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ between both countries. This wording has been adopted since last year, clearly indicating that the two countries are getting closer to each other and intend to cultivate a special bond. Read more…

Building ASEAN as a learning community

Authors: Vu Minh Khuong and Kris Hartley, NUS

In October 2003, member states endorsed the ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II), which established a vision for economic integration through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). At the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the deadline to establish the AEC was shortened from 2020 to 2015, underscoring the determination of ASEAN leaders to achieve this ambitious goal. Read more…

The best monetary policy for India?

Author: Ashima Goyal, IGIDR

It is a difficult task to bring down inflation at minimum cost to growth. The problem is even more acute in an economy already facing a negative output gap: where actual output is less than what the economy can produce at full capacity. Read more…

The question of containment

Author: Xinghai Fang, China Europe International Business School

China is the only country in the world that could potentially surpass the United States in total economic size, and whose currency, the renminbi, may one day dethrone the US dollar as the dominant international medium of exchange.

So why doesn’t the United States want to contain China’s rise? Read more…

Thailand’s amnesty bill revives national tensions

Author: Boonwara Sumano, QMUL

In the early hours of 1 November 2013, the controversial Thai amnesty bill was pushed through the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the ruling party, Pheu Thai, by a vote of 310 to 0.

The fact that no one voted against this controversial measure is astonishing because the bill is considered by many as a crude betrayal Read more…

East China Sea raises concerns in Tokyo, Washington

Author: Alan Romberg, Stimson Center

China’s announcement on Saturday that it has created an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea — including airspace over a small group of islands claimed by both China and Japan — has prompted serious concerns and sharply worded protests from Washington and Tokyo.

Read more…

Japanese troops return to the Philippines

Author: Jeffrey Ordaniel, GRIPS, Tokyo

Japanese troops are back in the Philippines, 68 years after the end of the Second World War. This time though, not as aggressors. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to send 1,200 members of the Japan Self-Defence Forces (SDF) to typhoon-devastated areas of the Philippines, along with other forms of disaster-relief assistance, carries more than just the usual soft power significance. Read more…

China invests overseas to develop domestically

Authors: Karl P. Sauvant and Victor Zitian Chen, Columbia

With US$84 billion of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) flows, China became the world’s third-largest outward investor in 2012, behind the United States and Japan. This signals impressive progress given that the country ranked only 20th a decade ago, when the ‘going global’ policy was launched and outflows during 2000–03 averaged US$3 billion. What are the salient features of these flows and why and how is the government helping Chinese firms to invest abroad?

Read more…

Thailand to become the Germany of Asia?

Authors: Mark Carroll and Janna De Vos, Australian–Thai Chamber of Commerce

Is Thailand poised to become the Germany of Asia — a rich, export-driven manufacturing powerhouse and regional logistics hub?

At first thought, the notion strikes as somewhat preposterous. But deeper consideration — and allowance for the Asian context — lends not just credibility to the possibility, but a likelihood of it eventuating. Read more…

Why Australia deserves it

Authors: Pierre Marthinus and Isidora Happy Apsari, Marthinus Academy

Canberra needs to realise that it fully deserves the brunt of Jakarta’s latest diplomatic hostility over revelations that Australian spies tapped the phones of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his close associates. Read more…

Australia’s deficit in strategic trust

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

It may seem odd to both Australian and outside observers that a conservative Liberal Coalition government has been badly wrong-footed on security issues during its first two months of power. At least that’s the optics of it. Read more…

Australia leaves Huawei standing at the altar

Author: Claude Barfield, American Enterprise Institute

The abrupt decision of the newly installed Abbott government to swat down Huawei’s ambitions to participate in the rollout of the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) was a stunning example of diplomatic ineptitude. Though the previous Labor government had initially turned down Huawei’s bid for NBN contracts, during the national election campaign leaders of the Coalition had promised that an Abbott administration would review and possibly overturn Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s negative determination. Read more…

Lack of transparency fuels public unrest in Hong Kong

Author: Joseph Cheng, City University of Hong Kong

Around 120,000 people recently took to the streets to protest against the government’s decision not to grant a free-to-air licence to Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV). The decision sparked public outrage because it was seen to be unfair and contrary to the fair market principles at the very heart of Hong Kong’s economic success. Read more…

A new ASEAN approach to the Korean Peninsula?

Author: Rodolfo C. Severino, ISEAS

The chairman’s statement at the ASEAN Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan last month once again ‘stressed the need to maintain peace, security and stability in the Korean Peninsula’. Read more…