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

Are India’s plans in Myanmar a pipeline or a pipe dream?

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi walks after inspecting a guard of honour during her ceremonial reception at the forecourt of India's Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace in New Delhi, India, 18 October 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi).

Author: Atsuko Mizuno, Kyushu University

The Sittwe deep-sea port in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which was financed and constructed by India, will soon be launched. The port is one part of the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) in western Myanmar Read more…

China and Zambia’s resource nationalism

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Zambia's President Edgar Chagwa Lungu at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 30 March 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Feng Li).

Author: Celine Wang, Public Policy Research Centre

Despite growing local resentment towards foreign capital, China’s investment in Zambia’s natural resource industry is hurtling forward. Read more…

Russia’s stake in the THAAD debate

Lockheed Martin's THAAD missile model is displayed during Japan Aerospace 2016 air show in Tokyo, Japan, 12 October 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon).

Author: Anthony V. Rinna, Sino-NK

As the United States takes the first steps to deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence system on the Korean Peninsula, China and Russia have continued their vociferous objections. Read more…

Does China have itself to blame for the trans-nationalisation of Uyghur terrorism?

Paramilitary policemen stand in formation as they take part in an anti-terrorism oath-taking rally, in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, 27 February 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Stringer).

Author: Michael Clarke, ANU

On 15 February, three ’knife wielding’ Uyghur ‘terrorists’ attacked a residential compound in Pishan township, Khotan Prefecture, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), killing five people. Immediately after this attack, Chinese authorities conducted mass anti-terrorism ‘oath-taking rallies’ on 16 and 17 February in the regional capital, Urumqi, and the major southern cities of Kashgar and Khotan. Read more…

Getting Indonesia’s land tax right

A farmer on his land at Karang Malang village in Indramayu, 8 December, 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Antara Foto/Dedhez Anggara).

Author: Arnaldo Purba, ANU

In light of hugely expensive infrastructure projects and diminishing urban housing affordability, the Indonesian government recently announced that a new land tax package is under discussion. Besides increasing state revenue, the new policy is expected to suppress speculative land buying with the intention to ease land prices. Read more…

Beneath the surface of China’s relentless rise

Wang Qishan, head of China's anti-corruption watchdog and member of the Politburo Standing Committee attends the Chinese People's Consultative Conference in Beijing China, 3 March 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Jason Lee).

Author: Dong Dong Zhang, ANU

Amid China’s seemingly relentless economic rise, why has its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) centralised power under Xi Jinping? Answering this question requires an understanding of the sense of impending crisis that has plagued the CCP leadership in recent times. Read more…

Is ASEAN a newfound voice for the Rohingya?

Volunteers on the Malaysian aid ship Nautical Aliya wave the Malaysian flag as they provide relief for Rohingya refugees in Chittagong, Bangladesh, 14 February, 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain).

Author: Mathew Davies, ANU

The democratisation of Myanmar, culminating in the National League for Democracy’s assumption of power in early 2016, was meant to mark a step forward for the Rohingya. The hopes of the international community, Myanmar’s partners in ASEAN and the Rohingya themselves have been bitterly disappointed. Read more…

Climbing the value chain

A woman walks at the Bund in front of the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai. While China’s financial activity overseas is growing rapidly, the country’s financial system remains mostly state-controlled and government policy and administrative guidance is extensive. (Photo: Reuters/Aly Song).

Authors: Wendy Dobson, University of Toronto, and Tom Westland, IHEID

Domestic financial liberalisation and market opening have progressed at different speeds in Asian economies over the past four decades. In the wake of financial crises, more attention has been paid to sequencing domestic reforms to financial markets with reforms to deepen integration through trade and investment. Read more…

Reviving the ‘pivot to Asia’ 

A Chinese magazine poster showing US President Donald Trump is displayed at a newsstand in Shanghai, China 21 March 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Aly Song).

Authors: Mieczysław P Boduszyński and Tom Le, Pomona College

Former US president Barack Obama sought to move the United States away from what he saw as costly, distracting and unwinnable entanglements in the Middle East. Instead, he pivoted his foreign policy efforts towards Asia where he believed that US military, political and economic engagement could reap much greater rewards for the country. Read more…

How will Modi use his new political clout?

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses his supporters at Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in New Delhi, India (Photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

This month’s state elections in India saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi greatly consolidate his political clout.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) victory was overwhelming in Uttar Pradesh (UP), India’s largest state with over 220 million people — were it independent UP would be the fifth most populous country in the world. Read more…

India elections a harbinger of sectarian politics

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik and new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath greet a gathering before a swearing-in ceremony in Lucknow, India (Photo: Reuters/Pawan Kumar).

Author: Arun Swamy, University of Guam

This month’s Indian state elections provided a major boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In addition to the election in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), elections were held in four small states from every region of the country — Uttarakhand in the north, Punjab in the northwest, Manipur in the northeast and Goa in the southwest. Read more…

Did economics triumph in Uttar Pradesh?

People light fire crackers and release coloured smoke during celebrations organised by Hindu nationalist group Vishva Hindu Parishad in the western city of Ahmedabad, India, 19 March 2017, after India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yogi Adityanath was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. (Photo: Reuters/Amit Dave).

Authors: Jonathan Balls, University of Melbourne and Pawan Singh, Deakin University

The unexpected landslide victory this month in India’s Uttar Pradesh state elections by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP party has fuelled a debate about whether politics is changing in North India’s populous heartland state. Read more…

Myanmar’s perpetual ‘other’

Myanmar policemen stand in a check point outside Rohingya refugee camp in Sittwe, Myanmar 3 March 2017 (Picture: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun)

Author: Kyaw Zeyar Win, PRIY

For decades, Myanmar’s elites have identified the Muslim minority Rohingya community as a source of existential security threat. This long lasting policy of treating the Rohingya as outsiders (or ‘others’) has cultivated perceptions of the Rohingya people as ‘enemy others’. This is also the reason why, regardless of leadership or regime change in Myanmar, the conflict appears unending.
Read more…

Should China turn its back on North Korea?

A North Korean soldier looks at the south side as a South Korean soldier stands guard before U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives at the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, South Korea, 17 March 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Lee Jin-man).

Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW Canberra

Recent developments in North Korea’s nuclear missile capabilities suggest that it will soon join the ranks of nuclear-armed states outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, along with Israel, India and Pakistan. Read more…

Hong Kong’s leadership race a choice between lesser evils

Hong Kong Chief Executive candidates former Financial Secretary John Tsang (L) and former Chief Secretary Carrie Lam (R) react at a debate in Hong Kong, China, 14 March 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Vincent Yu).

Author: Steven Yet, University of Toronto

On 26 March 2017, Hong Kong will choose its next chief executive. In December 2016, the city’s current but unpopular leader CY Leung announced that he would not seek re-election just two days ahead of polls for the Election Committee Read more…