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

India inches towards liberalisation at RCEP

A worker loads goods into a container at Thar Dry Port in Sanand in the western state of Gujarat, India, 10 February 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Amit Dave).

Author: Amitendu Palit, NUS

In a move likely to inject momentum into the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) talks, India has indicated it is willing to compromise on its three-tiered tariff schedule. Read more…

China–Russia energy ties won’t short-out

Russia's President Vladimir Putin signs on the first segment of pipeline during a ceremony marking the start of construction of 'Power of Siberia' pipeline at the village of Us Khatyn, 1 September 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Ria Novosti).

Author: Tao Wang, Yicai Research Institute

China used to call Russia its ‘older brother’. But never again since the fall of the USSR. In an effort to portray its status as a less powerful yet assuredly more senior neighbour, Russian officials have recently begun referring to their country as China’s ‘elder sister’. Read more…

How to make womenomics work

A Japanese college graduate publicly promises to do her best to find work during a Tokyo job rally, 20 February, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter).

Author: Nobuko Nagase, Ochanomizu University

According to the latest medium-term Japanese population projections by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, the number of people aged over 75 is expected to increase by 5.3 million from 2015 to 2025 Read more…

Is LNG the new fuel for the global economy?

A LNG tanker is seen behind a port in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan, 4 September, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Yuya Shino).

Author: Tomoo Kikuchi, NUS, and Yohei Tanaka, INPEX Corporation

During this year’s G7 summit, Japan announced its vision of creating a LNG market to meet increasing energy demand. Natural resource markets are a foundation for trade and economic development. Read more…

Accommodating Japan’s youth and women in a silver democracy

Members of the Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy in Tokyo’s Shibuya district hold a cardboard Instagram frame and placards urging young people to vote in July 2016’s upper house election. Young people are more interested in politics but this is not reflected in participation rates. (Photo: Reuters/Toru Hanai).

Author: Nobuhiro Aizawa, Kyushu University

A wave of political activism has animated East Asian politics: Taiwan’s Sunflower Student Movement in 2014, South Korean 2015 street protests against President Park’s new labour law, and protests in Japan in 2015 against Prime Minister Abe’s security bills. Read more…

The PAP’s tightening grip on Singapore

Singapore's Prime Minister and Secretary-General of the People's Action Party (PAP) Lee Hsien Loong is greeted with a dragon dance as he thanks supporters after the general election in Singapore, 12 September 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su).

Author: Garry Rodan, Murdoch University

Before and since Singapore’s September 2015 general election, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has been introducing political reforms in response to Singapore’s increasingly questioning populace. But the striking theme of these changes is not resignation to looser controls over political engagement in the city-state Read more…

The geopolitical rationale for climate action

US President Barack Obama listens during a joint ratification of the Paris climate change agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping (not pictured) ahead of the G20 Summit at the West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou, China, 3 September 2016. (Photo: Reuters/How Hwee Young/Pool).

Author: Christian Downie, UNSW

Ahead of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou this month, the US and China jointly announced that they will ratify the Paris Climate Change Accord agreed to in 2015. But even with ratification the Paris agreement places no legally binding obligation on countries to reduce their emissions. Read more…

Are China and Taiwan moving toward confrontation?

Author: Suisheng Zhao, University of Denver

Deng Xiaoping once proclaimed that China could wait for 100 years to reunify with Taiwan if necessary. More recently, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin started to articulate that China would not wait forever, but lacked the capacity to back up the implicit threat. Read more…

Political concerns fuel Japanese business pessimism in China

Author: Amy King, ANU

The Japanese business community is increasingly pessimistic about the Japan–China relationship. For the past three years the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Japan-based Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) have surveyed Japanese business people about their attitudes to the bilateral relationship with China. Read more…

Indonesia and the revolution in Asian energy markets

A visitor takes a photo during a tour of a Mobile Power Plant (MPP) in West Kalimantan, Indonesia (Photo: Reuters/Antara Foto).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

China has made remarkable advances in the global effort to mitigate climate change, through reducing its huge reliance on coal and improving overall energy efficiency. But a broader look across the Asian region offers a much more mixed picture of the decarbonisation of energy production.

Read more…

Can Indonesia’s energy path be nudged away from coal?

Authors: Kurnya Roesad and Frank Jotzo, ANU

Is Indonesia missing out on the global renewable energy revolution? Looking at Indonesia’s plan to boost coal-fired power generation, the answer may unfortunately be yes. Read more…

Evaluating Bhutan’s development

Men carry a portrait of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his wife Jetsun Pema to display inside a modern office building in Bhutan's capital Thimphu. (Photo: Reuters/Adrees Latif).

Author: Yoichiro Ishihara, World Bank

Bhutan has a very different outlook on development. With a population of less than one million and nestled in the eastern Himalayas, this small country has adopted the sustainable development approach of gross national happiness (GNH), Read more…

Singapore’s succession struggles

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong bows his head in front of a picture of his father and Singapore's former leader Lee Kuan Yew during the latter's funeral on 29 March 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su).

Author: Stephan Ortmann, City University of Hong Kong

When Lee Hsien Loong collapsed during the National Day Rally speech on 21 August 2016, it shocked not only many Singaporeans, but also leaders from around the world. Although he recovered quickly and was able to finish his speech after a short break, Read more…

Pyongyang’s ‘weapons first, negotiations later’ strategy

A rally celebrating the success of a recent nuclear test is held in Kim Il Sung square in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang 13 September 2016. (Photo: KCNA/via Reuters)

Author: Sangsoo Lee, ISDP

On 9 September 2016, the US Geological Survey detected a 5.3-magnitude earthquake in the area of North Korea’s Punggye-ri underground test site. Four hours later, North Korean state television announced that it had successfully detonated a nuclear warhead. Read more…

TPP to tarnish US relations

Former US secretaries of state — Colin Powell, James Baker, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright — meet with President Barack Obama to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership at the White House in Washington, 13 November 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque).

Author: Richard Katz, The Oriental Economist Report

When President Barack Obama said, ‘The TPP means that America will write the rules of the road in the 21st century’, he was not speaking metaphorically. Large passages in the final text were lifted verbatim, sometimes en masse, from past US free trade agreements (FTAs). Read more…