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

A chance for Chinese economic leadership

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 25 October, 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Lee).

Authors: Peter A Petri, Brandeis University and Michael G Plummer, Johns Hopkins University

In late June 2020, 15 East Asian countries — representing nearly 30 per cent of the world’s economic output and population — committed to signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November. This will be the largest free trade agreement ever and complements the 2018 Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

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Japan–US relations in a post-COVID-19 world

A US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress from Minot Air Force Base, N.D. and six F-16 Fighting Falcon from Misawa Air Base, Japan conducted bilateral joint training with four Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 off the coast of Northern Japan, 4 Feb 2020 (Photo: Reuters via USAF Staff Sgt Melanie A Bulow-Gonterman).

Author: Fumiaki Kubo, University of Tokyo

Many are insisting that we are seeing a new world order emerge in the current COVID-19 pandemic. But in East Asia there are a number of reminders that we still live, at least partly, in the same world of geopolitics with a high level of tension. Read more…

China, Japan and South Korea can marshal a collaborative response to COVID-19

(L to R) South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, China's Premier Li Keqiang and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend a joint press coference after the 8th trilateral summit meeting in Chengdu, China on 24 December 2019 (Photo: Reuters/The Yomiuri Shimbun).

Author: Choong Yong Ahn, Chung-Ang University

With the spread of COVID-19 triggering global economic disruptions and threatening a repeat of the 2008 financial market meltdown, it’s time for high East Asian economic performers like China, Japan and South Korea (CJK) to marshal their experience and resources to fight the pandemic.

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Why China–Japan economic exchanges override political tensions

A total of 500 parallel-import SUVs of Toyota are lined up at a port in Shenzhen city, south China's Guangdong province, 10 April 2019 (Photo: Reuters).

Author: Amy King, ANU

For more than a century, close economic ties between China and Japan have developed in the absence of cooperative political and security relations. China and Japan offer evidence that cooperative political relations are not a necessary precondition for flourishing economic ties. But the relationship also demonstrates the limits of the thesis that close economic ties can mitigate key sources of bilateral insecurity or political tension. Read more…

The unexpected impact of Japan’s free trade leadership on China’s domestic reform

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe look at media as they walk into the venue of their talks at a Osaka hotel, prior to the G20 Summit at the International Exhibition Center in Osaka, western Japan, 27 June 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Kimimasa Mayama).

Author: Rumi Aoyama, Waseda University

While the threat of protectionism is looming thanks to the trade war between the United States and China, trade-dependent middle power Japan has stepped up as a free trade champion. Read more…

Washington’s old ‘Japan problem’ and the current ‘China threat’

The label reading ‘Made in China’ on a sweatshirt is seen over another shirt with a US flag at a souvenir stand in Boston, Massachusetts, 18 January 2011 (Photo: Reuters/Brian Synder/File Photo).

Author: Nicola Nymalm, Swedish Institute of International Affairs

In April 2019, Kiron Skinner — former director of policy planning at the US State Department — described Washington’s new China strategy as built on the understanding that the current clash with Beijing ‘is a fight with a different civilization and a different ideology and the United States hasn’t had that before’. With China, Skinner proposes that ‘it’s the first time that [the United States] will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian’. Her comments were widely interpreted as referring to Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’.

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Are Japan and China really getting along?

China's President Xi Jinping is greeted by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, 28 June 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque).

Author: Tsuyoshi Minami, Shanghai Normal University

Following the 2019 Osaka G20 summit, Japan–China relations appear to have entered a new period. While improved Japan–China ties are in the national interests of both countries, the ongoing US trade war with China is beginning to have significant effects on the relationship. Can Japan and China continue to improve relations? What benefits does this rapprochement offer the two countries?

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Can a Japan–China rivalry drive high-speed rail sustainability?

A worker stands next to a high-speed train at the maintenance and repair depot of China Railway High-speed (CRH) rail service during a media tour in Beijing, China, 30 August 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter).

Author: Motoko Aizawa, Observatory for Sustainable Infrastructure

Seeking transparent, responsible and sustainable financing for quality infrastructure projects, the G20 leaders endorsed the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment at this year’s summit. Read more…

Japan’s awakening to a multipolar world

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, shakes hands with US Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan prior to their meeting in Tokyo,Tuesday, 4 June 2019. (Photo: Koji Sasahara/Pool via REUTERS)

Author: Lionel Fatton, Webster University Geneva

The world is rapidly multipolarising. Although the United States will remain the centre of the international system for the foreseeable future, the rise of China is shifting gravity towards Asia. Read more…

Time for global leadership, Japan-style

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech at a business leaders' New Year party at a hotel in Tokyo, Japan, 7 January 2019 (Photo: AFLO via Reuters/Yoshio Tsunoda).

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

Japan has taken up the G20 presidency at a key time in global economic affairs and has the opportunity to shepherd the global economy through a period of greater uncertainty than there has been in decades. But the task is tough. Not only are the issues on which progress must be made substantial, but also Japan’s G20 presidency will effectively be one of the shortest ever, with leaders meeting in the middle of 2019.

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Keeping China–Japan relations afloat

China's aircraft carrier Liaoning takes part in a military drill of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the western Pacific Ocean, 18 April 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Stringer).

Author: Ren Xiao, Fudan University

The Japanese government lodged a protest with China in December 2018 over Chinese test drilling activities in a gas field near the Japan-claimed median line in the East China Sea. The protest touches on a longstanding controversy over maritime boundary delimitation between China and Japan. Read more…

The depths of Tokyo’s strategic dilemma

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 26 October 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Lintao Zhang/Pool).

Author: Ryo Sahashi, Kanagawa University

Shinzo Abe made a two-day state visit to China in October 2018, the first in seven years by a Japanese prime minister. Tokyo and Beijing agreed on three principles during the visit: to move from competition towards cooperation, to avoid becoming threats to one another, and to promote a free and fair global trade regime. Read more…

What now for Japan and China?

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks with China's President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, 26 October 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Nicolas Asfouri).

Author: Liu Jiangyong, Tsinghua University

From the 45th anniversary of the normalisation of China–Japan diplomatic relations in 2017 to the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China–Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 2018, China and Japan are experiencing a run of opportunities to improve bilateral relations. Both governments are making the most of this time to strengthen ties. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official visit to China on 25 October, which followed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Japan in May 2018, are significant steps along the way. Read more…

A new norm in China–Japan relations?

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks with China's President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China 26 October 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Nicolas Asfouri).

Author: Shin Kawashima, University of Tokyo

On 25 October 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Beijing to begin his three-day official visit to China. During the visit, Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to realign their bilateral relationship in accordance with three key principles: ‘shifting from competition to cooperation’, ‘forging a relationship as partners, not as threats’; and ‘developing a free and fair trade regime’. Read more…

China–Japan cooperation going global

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Beijing, China, 26 October 2018 (Photo: Kyodo via Reuters).

Author: Editorial Board, ANU

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has just concluded his landmark state visit to China, the first by a Japanese leader to China in seven years. Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the China–Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty, Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a raft of initiatives.

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