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Asia Pacific

Australia’s Pacific “Step Up” Stumbles

Thursday 5th September 2019

Australia must find its home in the region instead of looking like the uncomfortable colonial among strangers.

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Japan

In Trade War, Japan and Korea Need Anger Management

Thursday 29th August 2019

Leaders on both sides need to see the advantages of long-term close relations over fractious bickering

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China

Whose Rules-Based International Order is it Anyway?

Thursday 22nd August 2019

The Trump administration has turned away from the multilateralism that the United States itself created, leaving the rules-based international order under severe stress. Alejandro Reyes of the Asia Global Institute argues that attempts by some G7 countries and "like-minded" allies to strengthen the global system will have limited impact if their aim is to assert liberal values rather than shape a new order by working with China, India and other players who prefer pragmatism over preaching.

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China

The Driving Forces Behind China’s Agri-Food FDI

Thursday 15th August 2019

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.

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China

Holding Their Own? - China-Africa Relations Mature

Thursday 8th August 2019

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.

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Asia Pacific

Lessons from Australia’s Financial Misconduct Shock

Thursday 1st August 2019

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.

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Asia Pacific

Is Asia Serious About Running the IMF?

Thursday 25th July 2019

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.

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Global

How the Global Sleep Deficit is Bankrupting Humanity

Thursday 18th July 2019

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.

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ASEAN

Belt and Road in Southeast Asia: Inevitable Storms

Thursday 11th July 2019

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.

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China

With Belt and Road Projects, Consider the China Risk

Thursday 11th July 2019

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.

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China

Time for a European Response to China's Belt and Road

Thursday 11th July 2019

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.

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Global

Denuclearizing North Korea: What Must Happen Next

Thursday 4th July 2019

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.

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China

The Power of Three: How US-China-Japan Dynamics Shape Asia Pacific

Thursday 4th July 2019

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.

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Japan

Democratic Backsliding: Lessons from Interwar Japan

Wednesday 26th June 2019

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.

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Global

High-Speed Rail Rivalry: Can China and Japan Drive Sustainability?

Thursday 20th June 2019

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).

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ASEAN

Splintering Global Supply Chains: Asia’s Worst Nightmare?

Thursday 13th June 2019

Disruption, diversification...decoupling?: The fracturing of global supply chains is a major concern for Asian economies

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China

G20 Alert: The Trade War Gets Existential

Thursday 13th June 2019

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.

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India

India in the World: Modi's Moment in the Sun – or the Shade?

Tuesday 11th June 2019

India’s desire to be taken seriously as a major international player is legitimate. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s supporters are counting on him to secure the nation’s position as a global power. But his handling of domestic problems and relations with Pakistan and other neighbors raises questions about whether Modi is the man to put India irrevocably on the world map, writes Mumbai-born journalist and author Salil Tripathi, who is based in London.

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