SIGN UP FOR INSIGHTS

Global

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.

Geopolitics

China and the Rise of Africa

Thursday, January 24, 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?

Population & Society

DNA and the Globalization of Humanity

Thursday, January 17, 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.

Environment

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

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Beyond climate change, there’s the Anthropocene. Humans have altered the planet to such an extent that it has entered a new age. The Anthropocene and the unprecedented changes it brings call for a new way to think about how humans relate to the planet.

Economy

Personal Business: Why Nigerian Traders Travel to China

Thursday, January 3, 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.

Inclusiveness

More Women in Boardrooms Means Greener, Better Business

Thursday, December 20, 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.

Health

Mind Games: The Effects of Air Pollution on Cognition

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Air pollution has countless victims—nearly nine out of ten people across the globe breathe polluted air, according to the World Health Organization. New research suggests that it even reaches the unborn, moving from a mother’s lungs to the placenta and fetus. Not only does it cause health and economic ill-effects, but it also impacts human cognition.

Geopolitics

China in Africa: Practicing Diplomacy as a Great Power

Thursday, December 6, 2018

China’s strategic approach to foreign policy has changed, and governments need to reorient to this new reality. A look at its actions in Africa reveals how China is employing its status as a great power on the diplomatic stage.