Australia, India, Japan, and the United States make up the Quad, often seen as a response to an increasingly powerful and competitive China. But the commonality and contradiction of interests that India shares with China makes New Delhi’s perspective somewhat different from that of the other Quad countries. One may argue that India’s participation in the Quad is not a move to antagonize China.
Following the flurry of political announcements and promotions at the 2018 National People's Congress, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China released a Plan on Deepening Reform of Party and State Institutions. These reforms elevate foreign policy and aim to make institutions more efficient as interfaces between the Chinese Communist Party and global integration.
Last month, the first session of China's 13th National People's Congress enacted a much discussed constitutional change, opening up a path for Xi Jinping to be president for life. Beyond this spectacular measure, promotions and appointments indicate the direction of the winds for China's foreign partners and competitors.
In tandem with China’s rise, America's geopolitical predominance in Asia has been waning, and this decline in influence has accelerated under the presidency of Donald Trump. Looking further ahead, however, it is not obvious that this "new normal" will be sustained in light of America’s deep economic and security interests in Asia and China’s fundamental fragilities.
India is scheduled to launch the lunar rover Chandrayaan-2 in 2018, an emblematic sign of the country's will to step up its space policy. Its efforts in this arena include a revival of international partnerships and a change in its position on space militarization. In the absence of an adequate global governance regime, such activity extends geopolitical tensions to outer space.
China seems to be of two minds about blockchain, cracking down on cryptocurrencies while recognizing the enormous potential of the technology behind them. Only permissioned, centralized versions of blockchain will be allowed to develop in China, but doesn’t this defeat the purpose of a technology designed to be open, in more ways than one?
In its Nuclear Posture Review released in February 2018, the Trump administration introduced new types of weapons and expanded the circumstances for justifying their use. This reverses nuclear arms control gains acquired through decades of delicate global negotiations.
Almost half of the world's pirate attacks happen in Southeast Asia. Among the most common locations for attacks is the Strait of Malacca, where tankers carry oil from the Gulf region to China, Japan, and South Korea, and via Singapore's refineries. As piracy becomes more prevalent, collaboration across the ASEAN region is more necessary than ever.
Air conditioning has become an inherent part of life in the tropical heat of Southeast Asia. This incurs environmental costs and burdens low-income families with high energy bills. Energy consumption could be reduced, and societal wellbeing improved by cultivating microclimate diversity, with adapted architectural design involving passive cooling and natural shading.
Despite his questionable, often violent leadership, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys an astounding 80% approval rating. In actuality, this support is carefully weighed and highly conditional. While Duterte won the presidency by speaking to the anxieties and hopes of the citizens, he now has to deliver on his promises, and the people are keeping tabs.
Extensive and intensive agriculture is being questioned in various parts of the world for its environmental and social costs. But in China, a series of food safety scandals have led the Chinese dairy industry to move towards large integrated farms run by a handful of mega-producers.
In our rapidly changing global, digital, and urban contexts, we no longer have the luxury of attending to just one region of knowledge. Asian universities are responding with the reinvention of liberal arts programs.
As demand for documented migrant labor has risen across Asia, smugglers have been replaced with migration brokers, who utilize and manage webs of relationships to send workers abroad. With knowledge of both the intricacies of bureaucracy and the informal world of local communities, they are an essential part of the international migration infrastructure.
The age of AI and automation is upon us. This may be music to the ears of technologists, businesses, and investors, but Asia’s factory workers will be severely affected when computers and robots take over labor-intensive jobs. To help workers navigate the new economy, governments and businesses should invest in social safety net programs and education.
Since the practice of cloning farm animals is under-regulated in countries like Argentina, Brazil, and the US, European supermarkets may be selling meat and dairy products produced from clones, despite EU banning. With better regulation at both national and global levels, more accurate data could be produced to enhance transparency and traceability.
On February 1, 2018, AsiaGlobal Online invited Dr Lucas Chancel and Dr Li Yang from the Paris School of Economics to present and discuss trends in global income inequality, on the basis of the "World Inequality Report 2018." The report was co-written with Thomas Piketty and draws on the work of more than 100 researchers around the world, with Chancel as a lead coordinator. Below are videos of the presentations and brief summaries of the key takeaways.
What if the United States withdrew its strategic commitment to allies in the Indo-Pacific? Taking that hypothesis seriously, Hugh White's latest essay, "Without America: Australia in the New Asia," suggests that Australia does not have any other option than engaging China—and neither does the rest of Asia.
North Korea has agreed to march alongside South Korea and to have a joint women’s hockey team with its neighbor at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The sports diplomacy of North Korea is often unpredictable, but could this particular instance signal a geopolitical détente in an East Asia gripped by nuclear fears?