Domestic politics trumps diplomacy: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken a strong line on Korea to boost his approval ratings
Leaders on both sides need to see the advantages of long-term close relations over fractious bickering
Attempts by "like-minded" Western allies to strengthen the global system will have limited impact if their aim is to assert liberal values rather than shape a new order.
China’s international agriculture investments represent more than a quest for food security. They are a bellwether of the economy and an indication of the competition and collaboration between state-owned and private enterprise, domestic and international actors, and even rival businesses. As protectionism and nationalism impinge more and more on global trade, Chinese direct investment in the food sector will become more agile and diversified, writes Thomas David DuBois, who conducted his research as a visiting fellow at the Fudan University Development Institute in Shanghai.
The rapid expansion of China-Africa economic ties led to questions about a new colonialist dependency. While concerns about debt and oversight persist, the relationship has evolved. Johannesburg-based African business expert Dianna Games argues that it is up to African countries to build the capacity to deal effectively with Beijing.
Persistent and widespread misconduct has fueled distrust in the financial services sector. After an investigation lasting over a year, a commission of inquiry in Australia uncovered a shocking level of systemic malpractice and the culture of self-interest and lack of accountability that led to it. Asia-Pacific countries, where economies and services sectors are expanding rapidly, would be wise to learn from those mistakes, writes business ethics expert Eva Tsahuridu of RMIT University in Melbourne.
With the process for selecting a new managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) starting, Vasuki Shastry, who worked in senior communications and public affairs roles at the organization, argues that Asian countries should overcome their traditional reluctance and geopolitical impediments and differences to support a candidate from the region.
A worldwide sleep deprivation epidemic resulting from disruption of our biological clocks will lead to health and social-economic challenges – threatening human survival. Nowhere is this a bigger crisis than in the Asia-Pacific region, where a lack of sleep has been equated with climate change or a nuclear holocaust in terms of negative consequences. Urgent policy intervention, with political will and commitment, is required to tip the scales, Christopher H Lim and Vincent Mack of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore argue.
China recognizes that poor governance and lack of transparency of Belt and Road Initiative projects could undermine its strategic interests in Southeast Asia. While Beijing will continue to build economic cooperation networks in the region, China’s interests could collide with those of other major powers, leading to geopolitical storms, which ASEAN member states will have to weather, argues Xue Gong of the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative has been heralded as both the largest cooperative infrastructure programme in global history and an attempt by Beijing to achieve world domination. In reality, the opportunities and risks are more nuanced, writes George Abonyi, Senior Research Fellow and Visiting Professor, at the Sasin School of Management of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.
Instead of lamenting China’s increasing global influence arising from its Belt and Road Initiative, European countries, especially Germany, should develop their own infrastructure program for emerging Asia-Pacific economies, Heribert Dieter, Associate Professor at Potsdam University and Senior Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, proposes.
Donald Trump’s surprise meeting with Kim Jong-Un in the De-Militarized Zone border area with South Korea has re-energized the dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang. The challenge for both sides is to translate this renewed contact into a meaningful continuation of the denuclearization process, writes Graham Ong-Webb, Adjunct Fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.
The relationships among the United States, China and Japan have emerged as the world’s most important trilateral network. China’s political system and ideology are unlikely to converge with those of the US and Japan, which means mutual distrust will remain for the long term. But with the strong and assured leadership of Prime Minister Abe, Japan could be the lynchpin the keeps US-China relations from going off the rails, writes Yoshikazu Kato, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Asia Global Institute, The University of Hong Kong.
Japan’s interwar period between 1925 and 1937 was marked by a gradual backsliding in the liberal democratic political system that had developed since the Meiji Constitution was adopted in 1889. Hiroyuki Yamamoto of Tokyo International University draws parallels between the heightened partisan politics of that time that gave way to anti-democratic forces and the unchecked party competition today in many countries including the US.
This month, G20 leaders will endorse guiding principles for “quality infrastructure investment”, a priority for Japan. China’s support of these principles signals a willingness to address criticism of its Belt and Road Initiative. China and Japan, rivals in delivering high-speed rail, appear open to collaborating on projects that would meet high sustainability standards, writes Motoko Aizawa, President of the Observatory for Sustainable Infrastructure, who for 12 years headed the Policy and Standards Unit in the Environmental and Social Department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Disruption, diversification...decoupling?: The fracturing of global supply chains is a major concern for Asian economies
The fallout from the US-China trade battle and the collateral geo-economic disruptions are threatening global economic stability. G20 members meeting in Japan this month need to address the risk of a crisis. The US and China must call off the trade dogs of war – and quickly, writes George Magnus, Research Associate at both the China Centre of Oxford University and at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London.