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Health

How the Global Sleep Deficit is Bankrupting Humanity

Thursday, July 18, 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.

Geopolitics

With Belt and Road Projects, Consider the China Risk

Thursday, July 11, 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.

Geopolitics

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

Thursday, July 11, 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.

Security

Denuclearizing North Korea: What Must Happen Next

Thursday, July 4, 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.

Geopolitics

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

Thursday, July 4, 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.

Geopolitics

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

Thursday, June 20, 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).

Economy

G20 Alert: The Trade War Gets Existential

Thursday, June 13, 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.

Politics

How the Rules-Based International Order Took Root

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The governance gap between the US and China - the former focuses on the rule of law, the latter on the rule by the Communist Party - suggests differences in their perceptions of what a rules-based international order should be. This disconnect is better understood by looking at how, at the beginning of the 20th century, lawyer-diplomats took over from military generals in negotiating international treaties, writes Zhiwu Chen, Director of the Asia Global Institute.

Economy

Could the US and China Have Avoided Escalating Their Trade War?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The rise in trade tensions between the US and China may be due to the American side’s failure to appreciate the implications of China’s not being a rule-of-law country – that administrative action, not laws on the books, get things done in China, writes Zhiwu Chen, Director of the Asia Global Institute (AGI) and Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

Politics

Modi 2.0: Old Problems and New Possibilities

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's blend of hyper-nationalism with a welfare-state development narrative successfully bolstered his claim to be the “only man for the job”. It has also given his party wider and deeper appeal, solidifying its national footprint. Armed with a strengthened mandate, Modi could propel India forward to take a leadership role in Asian affairs, writes New Delhi-based Preeti Singh, Senior Advisor at 9.9 Insights.

Population & Society

How New Rules Aim to Reduce Slave Labor in Asia

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The complex nature of global supply chains means that using exploitative labor at any stage, even indirectly, may harm a company's brand and risk legal liability. Consumers do not want to be associated with trafficked workers and will shun goods produced with slave labor. Nations are passing laws to address this problem. Mandatory reporting of anti-slavery actions may provide some protection for both businesses and workers.

Geopolitics

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

Thursday, May 2, 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.

Health

Instagram and the Psychological Perils of Social Comparisons

Thursday, April 25, 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.

Technology

Stablecoins: The First Blockchain Consumer Product

Thursday, April 18, 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.

Security

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

Thursday, March 14, 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.

Geopolitics

What Is Xi Jinping’s Major Power Diplomacy?

Thursday, March 7, 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.

Politics

Allies Not Out of America's Line of Fire

Thursday, February 21, 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.

Money

Waiting, and Waiting, for the Global Renminbi

Thursday, February 14, 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.