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

Getting organised on Asian drug trade

Members of the Philippines' armed forces on a drug raid in Manila in October 2016. Rather than reduce crime, hard-line policies may consolidate drug groups. (Photo: Damir Sagolj/Reuters).

Author: Roderic Broadhurst, ANU

The immense demand for amphetamine-type stimulants (or ATS, such as crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy), opiates and new psychoactive substances among the increasingly wealthy urban residents of East Asia — and beyond — has revitalised organised crime in the region. Read more…

Australia must capitalise on Chinese diaspora

Chinese national flags are seen as tourists crowd along Nanjing Road, a main shopping area, Shanghai, 4 October 2014. This streetscape was once dominated by four great department stores, owned by Chinese Australians, known as the ‘Australian stores’. (Photo: Reuters/Aly Song).

Author: Peter Cai, Lowy Institute

Nanjing Road is arguably one of the most famous shopping strips in Shanghai, the commercial capital of China. In the 1930s four great department stores — Sincere, Wing On, Sun Sun and Sun Company — dominated the streetscape. These towering buildings boasted elaborate window displays and were modelled after Anthony Hordern & Sons in Sydney. Read more…

Solving the puzzle of Park Geun-hye

People march toward the Presidential Blue House during a protest demanding South Korean President Park Geun-hye's resignation in Seoul, South Korea, 7 January 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji)

Author: Kim Kee-seok, Kangwon National University

The Park Geun-hye scandal of 2016 brings both despair and hope for South Korean democracy. Read more…

Getting the China option in perspective

Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 17 January 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Laurent Gillieron/Pool).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

The advent of the Trump administration has left the world faced with the threat of disintegration of the economic and security order that has been the lynchpin of global prosperity and stability for more than three-quarters of a century. Read more…

A time of test for the China model of economic growth

A woman rides a tricycle past a giant poster of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in Beijing. The poster reads, ‘Development is the absolute principle’. China has come a long way since Deng initiated economic reforms in 1978, but much remains to be done to create a more sustainable China model. (Photo: Reuters/Reinhard Krause).

Author: Suisheng Zhao, University of Denver

The ‘China model’ of economic growth has been essentially a story of a hyper-charged economy led by an authoritarian state. But now the model has become unsustainable, with China experiencing economic slowdown as well as rampant corruption, growing inequality and environmental destruction. Read more…

Timor-Leste’s maritime ambitions risk all

A group of student protesters in front of Timorese police while the government holds a meeting with an Australian delegation discussing the sea border between Australia and Timor-Leste in Dili, 26 October, 2004 (Photo: Reuters/Lirio Da Fonseca).

Author: Bec Strating, La Trobe University

A recent joint statement by the Timor-Leste and Australian governments announced that Timor-Leste has officially notified Australia of its wish to terminate the 2006 Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS). Both states claim an interest in the lucrative Greater Sunrise gas field in the Timor Sea. The decision to terminate CMATS could have serious ramifications for Timor-Leste as its economy is among the world’s most oil dependent. Read more…

Indian print media defying the odds?

A local villager reads one of the many print newspapers in circulation in India, 4 September, 2015 (Photo: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri).

Author: Usha M. Rodrigues, Deakin University

One of the most widely read business newspapers in India turned broadsheet on 12 September 2016, defying the trend in developed countries to go digital only, creating more space for editorial and advertising content. This example shows the stark difference in market conditions for newspapers in India compared to the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Read more…

Japan must form a bulwark to protect globalisation

Japan's national flag is seen in front of containers and cranes at an industrial port in Tokyo, Japan, 25 January 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon).

Author: Todo Yasuyuki, Waseda University

US President-elect Donald Trump has announced his intention to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A wave of protectionist policies is rising around the world, as evidenced by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and Indonesia’s imposition of export restrictions on raw mining resources. Read more…

Indonesia, immigration and returning foreign fighters

Indonesian police stand guard at the site of a militant attack in central Jakarta, Indonesia, 16 January 2016 (Photo: Reuters/Darren Whiteside)

Author: Satrio Dwicahyo, RSIS

Increasing concern over foreign terrorist fighters returning to Southeast Asia has prompted Indonesia to enhance immigration cooperation with ASEAN member countries. But regional cooperation must be preceded by significant internal improvement, particularly in regards to the integrity and capability of the country’s immigration apparatus. Read more…

The domestic frays in Sino–Malaysian ties

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak meets China's President Xi Jinping at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, in Beijing, China, 3 November, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Jason Lee).

Author: Ngeow Chow Bing, University of Malaya

In the very first week of 2017, two People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels visited the port of Kota Kinabalu, headquarters to Malaysia’s Naval Region Command 2, which oversees the disputed South China Sea waters. Read more…

Trump’s Twitter diplomacy troubles US–China relations

The Twitter logo is shown with the US flag on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson).

Author: Peter Layton, Griffith University

As President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration approached, tensions in the South China Sea have continued to evolve. In mid-December it became apparent that China is militarising its newly built islands in the Spratly group. Read more…

Vietnam struggling with ageing population

Elderly people exercise in a park in Hanoi. (Photo: Reuters/Damir Sagolj).

Author: Linh Tong, International Eurasia Press Fund

Vietnam’s population is ageing quickly. In 2017, more than 10 per cent of the population will be 60 and older, and in 15–20 years the elderly will account for one third of the total population. This raises concerns about healthcare, welfare and pensions for the elderly at a time when Vietnam is focusing on economic integration and requires a large labour force. Read more…

What does Trump mean for Asia?

Copies of Taiwanese daily newspaper Liberty Times, with its front page on the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, are seen a printing house in Taipei, Taiwan, 21 January 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

Author: Ja Ian Chong, NUS

The incoming Trump administration may promise a rewriting of the US-backed liberal world order in place since the end of World War II. Based on campaign promises and post-election statements, Trump promises either taking on a highly aggressive outward stance or turning the United States strategically inward as it reverses US participation in international affairs. Read more…

China returns to ‘bird in the cage’ economic policy

A man tries to make his birds speak in a street in Shanghai 21 October 2009. (Photo: Reuters/ Nir Elias).

Author: Tristan Kenderdine, Dalian Maritime University

With the world’s attention still focused on the United Kingdom and the United States going dark on international trade, many have overlooked another crucial shift. Throughout 2016, China pulled back from financial liberalisation reforms. Read more…

Trump — and the United States — at the crossroads in Asia

US President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, looks up while signing an executive order in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, 23 January 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque).

Author: Sourabh Gupta, ICAS

Placing his palm on the same Bible that President Lincoln used at his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was sworn in amid pomp and protest as the 45th president of the United States on 20 January. On the same day 156 years ago, with the Civil War looming, Lincoln had counselled his countrymen to renew the common ties that bound them. Read more…