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

Central Asia’s tortured Chinese love affair

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (centre) and other foreign leaders leave after taking group pictures during the 14th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Prime Ministers' Meeting, in Zhengzhou, China, 15 December 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Ekaterina Shtukina).

Author: Sebastien Peyrouse, George Washington University

On 30 August 2016, a suicide bomber attacked the Chinese embassy in Bishkek. It was the first time since Central Asian independence 25 years ago that Chinese state symbols have been directly targeted. Read more…

Myanmar’s ongoing great power balancing act

Myanmar's Minister of Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi (right) confers with a member of her delegation during the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York, US, 21 September 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri).

Author: Adam P MacDonald, Halifax

On 7 October 2016, President Barack Obama signed an executive order lifting most remaining economic sanctions on Myanmar. The move comes as the two states progressively normalise relations, though restrictions remain against doing business with Myanmar’s military — the Tatmadaw — and its associated economic conglomerates Read more…

Japan’s indispensable man

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga poses for a photograph during a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in Tokyo, Japan 30 August 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung).

Author: Michael Cucek, Temple University Japan

On 1 November 2016, the General Affairs Council of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) approved a proposal to allow party presidents to run for a third consecutive term. This decision paves the way — pending a rubber stamp vote on the proposal at a party congress in March — for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to continue in his current post past September 2018. Read more…

ASEAN still the critical catalyst for China’s future

Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi greets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang while leaders look on during a photo opportunity during an ASEAN–China Summit in Vientiane, Laos, 7 September 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun).

Author: Kishore Mahbubani, NUS

China is making some serious strategic mistakes in its dealings with ASEAN. It is sacrificing its long-term interests in favour of short-term objectives and its global interests in favour of regional concerns. And in the process, it is undermining a critical catalyst to its peaceful rise. Read more…

China’s great wall of debt

A worker counts money at a recycling yard as he poses for a picture in Beijing, China, 21 September 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter).

Author: Atif Ansar and Bent Flyvbjerg, University of Oxford

For over three decades, China has experienced a staggering public investment boom. In 2014, China spent US$4.6 trillion on fixed assets, accounting for 24.8 per cent of total worldwide investments and more than double the entire GDP of India. Read more…

The way forward in Asia after Trump

Indonesian President Joko Widodo speaks to local company executives as a picture of US President-elect Donald Trump is shown on a screen behind him (Photo: Antara Foto/Reuters).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

There are many things that endure in international relations because of the permanent and entrenched interests of nation states and that are independent of the personality and predilections of particular national leaders. But there’s no doubt that Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency has changed things, partly because of the uncertainties he himself has created about continuity in US policies, partly because of his unconventional conception of the awesome power he is now entrusted to assume.

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Trump’s response to Duterte’s game-changer in Asia

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering a speech in Manila (Photo: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters).

Author: Kavi Chongkittavorn, Chulalongkorn University

Over the coming weeks, the transitional foreign policy team of president-elect Donald Trump has to make a crucial decision: will Trump attend next year’s ASEAN–US Summit in Manila? Trump’s decision will have far-reaching repercussions for US policy in Asia. Read more…

Duterte’s undermining of ASEAN

An inmate who is about to be released wears a wristband with the name of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at Quezon City Jail in Manila, Philippines 18 October 2016 (Photo: Reuters/Damir Sagolj).

Author: David Camroux, Sciences Po (CERI)

If the main foreign policy objective of Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte was to make his archipelagic nation the centre of international relations concerns in the Asia Pacific, he has succeeded beyond expectations. Read more…

Triple talaq: a test case for religious pluralism in India?

Muslim brides await a mass marriage ceremony in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, 3 March, 2013 (Photo: Reuters/Amit Dave).

Author: Deepanshu Mohan, OP Jindal Global University

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently broke his silence on the ‘triple talaq’ controversy, consolidating his government’s position to protect the fundamental rights of Muslim women. While the enforcement of constitutional rights is the new dharma of Modi’s political institutions, the Prime Minister’s interjection to some (like All India Muslim Private Law Board) represents a personal attack on the Muslim community’s freedom to practice their religion. Read more…

India and Japan scale new heights

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe shake hands during a joint press conference at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan 11 November 2016 (Photo: Reuters/Franck Robichon)

Author: Purnendra Jain, University of Adelaide

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi left India on 9 November 2016 for an annual summit with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, two main items were on the agenda. Read more…

A climate agreement that may survive

Greenpeace stage a protest outside the UN Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco, 18 November, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Youssef Boudlal).

Author: Huw Slater, China Carbon Forum

The first post-Paris UN climate talks in Marrakesh last week were heavily affected by the result of the US presidential election. Delegates from around the world, including the United States’ own negotiators Read more…

A message from the Asia-Pacific to President-elect Trump

Activist group 'League of Filipino Students' protested Trump's election outside the US embassy in Manila, Philippines, 10 November, 2016 (Photo: Reuters/Erik De Castro).

Author: Yoichi Funabashi, RJIF

Now that Donald Trump has won the US presidential election, it is high time for him to end the inward-looking ‘America first’ movement and start talking about the United States’ role as a globally engaged leader. Read more…

Rebalancing Philippine foreign policy

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks after arriving from Malaysia, at Davao International airport in southern Philippines, 11 November, 2016. (Photo: Reuters//Lean Daval Jr).

Author: Aaron Jed Rabena, Philippine Council for Foreign Relations

In recent years, the Philippines, with the diplomatic and political support of the United States, has been a leading challenger of China’s historical and territorial claims in the South China Sea. Read more…

Solving China’s savings situation

People walk past a sign outside a branch of Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) in downtown Beijing, China, 12 November 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon).

Authors: Xin Meng, Sen Xue and Jinjun Xue, ANU

For China, the global financial crisis marked the turning point from an export-oriented to a domestic demand-driven economy. In late 2008 and early 2009, China’s exports fell by more than 20 per cent Read more…

Can Trump’s trade policies uphold US credibility in Asia?

An employee of a foreign exchange trading company looks at a monitor showing US President-elect Donald Trump speaking on TV news in Tokyo, Japan, 9 November 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Toru Hanai).

Author: Kyle Ferrier, KEI

As the dust settles on Donald Trump’s far-reaching campaign promises, one thing is clear: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is effectively dead. What replaces it will be of the utmost importance to Asia’s future. Read more…