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

Russia looks beyond China to avoid a shaky Asian pivot

Author: Artyom Lukin, FEFU

Facing trouble on its western borders, Russia is pinning its hopes on the East. Moscow has initiated its own Asian pivot, making efforts to cultivate political allies and economic partners in Asia.

This eastward drive has been in the making for quite a while. Read more…

Subtext important to the Australia–Japan sub deal

Author: Amy King, ANU

Procuring a new fleet of submarines is a daunting task for any government. The capability requirements, technological challenges, project timelines, and costs involved all make submarine procurement a complex challenge. But, in Australia, procuring new submarines has become an unusually complicated endeavour. Read more…

Lee’s legacy

Author: Michael D. Barr, Flinders University

The recent passing of Lee Kuan Yew all but ends the direct connection between the ‘old guard’ generation of leaders that brought Singapore to independence in 1965 and the Singaporeans of today. Unlike other old guard leaders who retired or otherwise departed public life in the 1970s and 1980s, Lee stayed in politics long enough to usher in the new century and remained a public figure at the time of his death. Read more…

Lee Kuan Yew: death of an outstanding statesman

Author: Bob Hawke, former prime minister of Australia

Lee Kuan Yew was quite simply, and unquestionably, one of the outstanding national leaders of the last hundred years. He worked on a small canvas, but what he achieved in tiny Singapore not only transformed the lives of his own people profoundly, but had an immense impact beyond Singapore in shaping the Asia of today. Read more…

Time for China to let go of the dollar

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

China’s Third Plenum reforms, introduced under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in November 2013, promised deep market-based reform in the economy, including reform of financial markets and liberalisation of the capital account of international payments. Read more…

Time to unpeg the renminbi

Author: Guonan Ma, Bruegel

The Chinese economy is simply too big to remain tied to the once useful monetary anchor of the renminbi–US dollar peg. It is time to let it go.

The Chinese renminbi depreciated 2.5 per cent against the US dollar in 2014. It was the largest annual fall since 2005, when Beijing timidly started loosening its tight dollar peg. Read more…

Refining the Western counter terrorism strategy

Author: Amin Saikal, ANU

The US-led international coalition may well be able to roll back the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, but this will not be the end of the story. As long as the conditions and causes that have given rise to IS persists in the Middle East, the emergence of a similar group is always possible in the future. Read more…

Why Indonesia should take a leading role in ASEAN

Author: Pattharapong Rattanasevee, Burapha University

ASEAN would benefit from stronger leadership. But Indonesia, the country best placed to take up that role, appears unwilling.

Indonesia could be the leader that ASEAN needs, but it intentionally refrains from asserting its influence over the association. Read more…

Fiji’s ‘coup babies’ just starting to log on to democracy

Author: Jope Tarai, USP

The ‘coup babies’ are the generation that were born around the years before and shortly after Fiji’s first coup of 1987. The majority of this generation voted for the first time in Fiji’s 2014 elections, after living through two coups in 1987, one in 2000 and a fourth in 2006. Read more…

China needs to get the integration ball moving

Author: Jan Fidrmuc, Brunel University

Despite China’s history of experimenting with new policies and the economic liberalisation since the late 1980s, China is still only a partially integrated economy. This has caused regional divergence and inequality. Read more…

How Lee Kuan Yew shaped Singapore’s identity

Author: Terence Chong, ISEAS

The passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the most important personality in Singapore’s postcolonial history, will have little to no ramifications on the city-state. Lee had gradually receded from national politics over the last decade and had an obsessive focus on leadership transition. Lee, more than anyone else, endeavoured to ensure that his absence would have as little political or economic impact on the country as possible. Read more…

Time to sow the seeds of land reform in Cambodia

Author: Alice Beban France, Cornell University

While the majority of Cambodians live off the land, access is precarious. Recently the Cambodian government has been making some encouraging reforms, but troubling signs remain. Read more…

How contact and English proficiency can help Japan’s immigration policy

Authors: David Green and Yoshihiko Kadoya, Nagoya University

With the foreign population in Japan expected to grow in the future, policymakers have an interest in promoting a more positive view of immigration. Current public opinion toward immigration in Japan, like in much of the rest of the world, is generally negative. But recent public opinion data shows that individuals who are more likely to come in contact with foreigners or who self-assess as being of high English speaking proficiency are more supportive of increases in immigration. Read more…

Using connections brings instant gain but long-term pain for China’s stocks

Authors: Li Guoping and Zhou Hong, CUFE

Political connections are invaluable to industries or individual enterprises in China. But while they may bring regulatory benefits to private-owned enterprises during the state-controlled process of going public, they may also lead to China’s stock markets performing poorly. Read more…

Overcoming gender discrimination in India

Author: Rajiv Kumar, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi

It is a bitter irony that International Women’s Day came right on the heels of the controversy about the government ban on a BBC documentary about the fatal 2012 gang rape of a young Indian woman known by the pseudonym ‘Nirbhaya’. Read more…