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Geopolitics

Chinese Waves: The Limits to Beijing’s Influence in the South Pacific

Thursday 2nd May 2019

China’s engagement with the states of the South Pacific Ocean has accelerated in recent years. But while policymakers and academics in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island states increasingly talk about China’s growing influence, Beijing actually operates in the region under a number of constraints and there are limits on the role it can play.

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Health

Instagram and the Psychological Perils of Social Comparisons

Thursday 25th April 2019

With more than 1 billion active users, Instagram has become one of the fastest growing social media brands. But as the platform grows more popular, so too its links with poor mental health become more apparent. The Asia-Pacific region, a social media growth hotspot, is already seeing increasing levels of anxiety and depression – but it is also taking measures to deal with the problem.

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Technology

Stablecoins: The First Blockchain Consumer Product

Thursday 18th April 2019

The extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies in 2018—which saw the most widely traded cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, plunge from US$10,166 in January to US$3690 in December—made even the most bullish traders recoil from their terminals. However, one sub-sector of the nascent asset class defied the trend: stablecoins.

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Population & Society

How Social Enterprises Can Serve Asia’s Underserved

Thursday 11th April 2019

Why are mobile phones and bottles of Coca-Cola available in even the most remote parts of Asia, but reliable essential services, such as drinking water, electricity, and clean cooking fuels, are not? More inclusive and effective basic service delivery models are needed to benefit the poor, and the social enterprise sector may hold the key.

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Environment

Restoring Forests the Natural Way: The Best Bargain Ever

Thursday 4th April 2019

Deforestation lets countries develop economically through commodity production, mining, and infrastructure-building, but makes many previously forested areas unsuitable for people and animals. The solution to this isn’t reforestation—it’s natural regeneration. Nature is our best ally and business partner.

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Technology

Establishing an Asia-Pacific Cryptocurrency Hub

Thursday 28th March 2019

Asia is leading the way in digital asset markets, but individual countries are taking markedly different paths toward regulation and management in establishing themselves as cryptocurrency hubs, balancing innovation and regulation. Investors should be vigilant about the risks associated with alternative capital-raising methods.

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Economy

Challenges of Dispatch Work in China

Thursday 21st March 2019

As China embraces the digital economy, subcontracting—the practice of using intermediaries to contract workers, whether through agencies or other multilayered contracting—is raising new challenges over legal protections and corporate responsibility, as well as labor unrest.

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Security

Progress on a Nuclear-Free North Korea Stalled, Not Halted

Thursday 14th March 2019

As the dust settles on the Hanoi summit, critics argue that the absence of an agreement between Trump and Kim is a sign that diplomacy between the U.S. and North Korea has failed. But even without a roadmap to denuclearization, the summit promotes important goals in these early stages: dialogue, a continued freeze on nuclear testing, and hope for a gradual lifting of economic sanctions.

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Geopolitics

What Is Xi Jinping’s Major Power Diplomacy?

Thursday 7th March 2019

Since Xi Jinping ascended to the presidency, he has spearheaded a reorientation of China’s major power diplomacy. With China’s foreign policy in the spotlight during the annual meeting of its legislature, Yoshikazu Kato of the Asia Global Institute outlines his thoughts on what this diplomacy is and how it came about.

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Population & Society

Reckoning with Graying Asia

Thursday 28th February 2019

The Asia-Pacific population has been undergoing dramatic aging, which is transforming the region’s demographic landscape beyond recognition. The region is currently ill-equipped to meet this critical challenge, particularly due to a lack of sound and efficient pension systems.

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Politics

Allies Not Out of America's Line of Fire

Thursday 21st February 2019

With the U.S.-China trade conflict worsening by the week, Australia, Japan, and India may see security ties as a chance to boost their status in Washington. But the Trump administration’s crusade on trade could very well engulf them, too.

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Money

Waiting, and Waiting, for the Global Renminbi

Thursday 14th February 2019

Just a few years ago, the renminbi seemed destined to become one of the world’s most significant currencies. However, its attractiveness has plunged as international investors seek currencies with legal security, ease of use and, critically, unrestricted convertibility.

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Security

The Philippines’ Maritime Conundrum

Thursday 31st January 2019

The Philippines, a major maritime nation, must better protect its resources and exclusive sovereign rights. The South China Sea disputes, where China has exerted increasing dominance over one of the planet’s vital waterways, have been a sorely-needed wakeup call.

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Geopolitics

China and the Rise of Africa

Thursday 24th January 2019

Chinese investment in Africa supports the continent’s growth, but as concerns of a “new colonialism” arise, what will define the future of China-Africa relations?

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Population & Society

DNA and the Globalization of Humanity

Thursday 17th January 2019

Two questions that have occupied the human mind since the beginning of civilization are “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?” Today, with just a swab of saliva, millions of people worldwide have been able to take a peek into their genetic past, thanks to DNA testing. In most cases, such testing reveals a complex global and regional circulation of bloodlines.

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Environment

Why the “Anthropocene” Is Not “Climate Change” and Why It Matters

Thursday 10th January 2019

Humans have altered the planet to such an extent that it has entered a new age. The Anthropocene requires a new way to think about how humans relate to the planet.

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Economy

Personal Business: Why Nigerian Traders Travel to China

Thursday 3rd January 2019

The internet has taken much of the human interaction out of international trade. But many commercial buyers continue to emphasize face-to-face communication with sellers.

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Inclusiveness

More Women in Boardrooms Means Greener, Better Business

Thursday 20th December 2018

Growing media and societal attention on environmental issues has prompted researchers to examine factors that contribute to making companies greener. New research has found that corporations with more women in their leadership teams are less likely to be accused of breaching environmental law.

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