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

Australia: a haven for Chinese sinners?

Author: Neil Thomas, ANU

China has an emigration problem. Corrupt officials have decamped to all corners of the world and the Chinese Communist Party wants to haul them home. Australia should help China investigate these officials, but should try suspects in Australia rather than extradite them to China. Read more…

Japan deserves some praise on climate change

Author: Llewelyn Hughes, ANU

Japan has received some sharp criticism following the G7 meeting in June 2015 for its stance on climate change. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions of 26 per cent below 2013 emission levels by 2030, which is equivalent to 18 per cent less than 1990 emissions. If replicated globally, this would fall short of what is needed to keep the risk of catastrophic climate change to reasonable levels. Read more…

Asian Century must begin with great-power accommodation

Author: Hugh White, ANU

US geo-strategic leadership has been the foundation of peace and stability in Asia for so long that most people can hardly imagine anything different, and many certainly don’t want anything different. But the Asia-Pacific is going to get something different, whether we like it or not. Geo-strategic leadership in Asia is changing fast, in ways that have profound implications for the political and economic future of the entire region. How that change occurs, and where it leads, matters deeply to everyone. Yet most are still in denial about the fact that it is happening and are therefore doing nothing to try to steer it in directions that might suit their interests or at least reduce the risk of disaster. Read more…

Leadership in Asia under scrutiny

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Leadership in Asia today confronts the ‘most interesting of times’. The emerging powers of China, India and Indonesia face the twin challenges of unprecedented economic and social transformation, and crafting an approach to manage their new weight in the world, including expectations among the established powers in North America and Europe about how they should share the burdens of international leadership. Read more…

Who sets the rules of the game in Asia?

Author: Sri Mulyani Indrawati, World Bank Group

It is now a commonplace to refer to the 21st century as the Asian Century. With the world economy struggling to recover from the global financial crisis, the Asia Pacific region, and especially its developing countries, has provided much of the impetus for global growth. Read more…

India should get on board China’s Maritime Silk Road

Author: Geethanjali Nataraj, Observer Research Foundation

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the concept of the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) — now a part of the One Belt, One Road initiative — during his visit to Indonesia in October 2013. The MSR is an attempt to promote economic cooperation and connectivity by reviving the ancient maritime Silk Road trading route. To this end, China has pledged US$40 billion in the Silk Road Fund to develop infrastructure along the route. Read more…

Indonesian village decentralisation is all money no plan

Author: Blane Lewis, ANU

Nearly 15 years after embarking on its large scale decentralisation initiative, Indonesia has decided to extend its efforts to the village level. Decentralising to the nearly 74,000 villages is intended to improve service delivery performance at the lowest administrative tier and reduce social inequality and poverty. But the initiative is all money, with no clear plan. Read more…

North Korea’s changing climate of environmental cooperation

Author: Benjamin Habib, La Trobe University

The North Korean (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK) government would appear to have a compelling prima facie self-interest in participating in the global climate change mitigation and adaptation project centred on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Read more…

Australia and Indonesia at odds at sea

Author: Sam Bateman, RSIS

Australia and Indonesia both have a keen interest in the law of the sea as both possess large maritime areas of jurisdiction. But this commonality does not mean their interests necessarily coincide. Australia has a keen interest in freedoms of navigation through the archipelagos to its north, but Indonesia, as the largest of these archipelagos, is most sensitive to the movement of foreign ships and aircraft in and around its archipelagic waters. Read more…

Don’t go wobbly on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea

Author: Raul (Pete) Pedrozo, United States Department of Defense

In a recent East Asia Forum article, Sam Bateman criticised a decision by the US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to develop military plans for more assertive freedom of navigation (FON) operations in the South China Sea (SCS). Specifically, Bateman asserts that ‘there are significant legal, operational and political risks involved with these operations’. While there may be risks associated with conducting FON operations in proximity of China’s man-made islands in the SCS, much of what Bateman states in support of his position is misplaced. Read more…

Where is China headed?

Author: Jerome A. Cohen, NYU

Forecasts of China’s future run the gamut. I do not endorse either extreme. There is no significant chance that in the foreseeable future the Communist government will follow the fate of the Soviet Union. Nor do I share the view that the People’s Republic of China is becoming so powerful that it will dominate the world. Read more…

What’s next after Australia’s trade deal with China?

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

The landmark Australia–China Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has been signed, sealed and delivered, completing a trifecta of trade deals since last year with Australia’s three Northeast Asian neighbours — China, Japan and South Korea. Read more…

Australia needs a diplomatic sea change in the South China Sea

Author: Greg Raymond, ANU

Despite its calls for ‘more Jakarta and less Geneva’, the Abbott government appears to have fallen into a passive approach to multilateral diplomacy. And as tensions in the South China Sea ratchet up, the Australian public deserves to know more about why their regional foreign policy may suddenly be lurching onto a military track. If this is the case, the government needs to show that diplomacy has been seriously tried and found wanting. Read more…

World needs new hands on the global finance tiller

Author: Kishore Mahbubani, NUS

In our rapidly changing world, new global contradictions are emerging rapidly. Today, the biggest global contradiction is this: the demand for global leadership has never been greater but the supply seems to be diminishing.

Why is the demand increasing? Read more…

Will Modi’s arrows hit the mark?

Author: Alok Sheel, Kerala

A visionary new leader, Narendra Modi, has recently come to power in India. He seeks to realise India’s huge growth potential and make it a major global player. This has generated enormous optimism nationally, and internationally, about an Indian resurgence. What challenges must India overcome to achieve this?

Read more…