Tackling development challenges such as climate change and ageing demographics requires an understanding of the many different factors contributing to the problem. Global solutions are not always the answer – local approaches combined with systems thinking can prove more effective, writes veteran management consultant Arun Maira, Chairman of HelpAge International, a global NGO aimed at helping the elderly lead dignified lives.
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.
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.
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’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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.