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Dark clouds over Rakhine State


Author: Adam Simpson, Hawke Research Institute Early on the morning of 25 August 2017, Fortify Rights — a regional human rights NGO — held an internal workshop at their Bangkok office. The previous day, the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State had delivered their final report to the Myanmar government. The researchers at Fortify […]

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New regulations forcing China’s online ideas market out of business


Author: David Bandurski, China Media Project More than a decade ago, columnist and professor at Peking University Zhang Yiwu wrote on his blog that a new form of ‘comment culture’ was emerging in China. Chinese citizens were web-enabled ‘netizens’ who were empowered to comment critically on the pressing issues of the day. Like Zhang, many […]

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Pulling Myanmar back from the brink


Author: Katherine G Southwick, George Mason University Violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State has erupted again after several months, and this time around, the international community is less able to look the other way. Following the 25 August attack on 30 police posts and an army base by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), the […]

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Managing the North Korean nuclear issue


Author: Editorial Board, East Asia Forum The North Korean nuclear threat has ratcheted up in recent months, following new rounds of missile and nuclear weapons tests by Pyongyang. In July, North Korea undertook two tests of an intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM). Then on 3 September, it undertook its sixth nuclear test of a new thermonuclear […]

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The dangers of flip-flopping on North Korea


Author: Dongxiao Chen, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies The security situation on the Korean peninsula seems to be moving further away from Beijing’s preferred objectives. Of most concern are the uncontrollable risks engendered by North Korea stepping up the development of its nuclear weapons and missile capabilities. The prospect of rolling back the nuclearisation of […]

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What’s next for women in PNG politics?


Author: Kerryn Baker, ANU For the first time in 20 years, Papua New Guinea has no women at all in its 111-seat national parliament. While a record 167 women (5 per cent of the total 3340 candidates), including the three female incumbents, contested the 2017 elections, none were successful. The electoral contest in Papua New […]

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Rethinking Southeast Asian economic diplomacy


Author: Henry Wai-chung Yeung, NUS In today’s global economy of cross-border production networks, the need to understand the changing ways in which the state and firms work together has become even more pressing. While the state plays an important role in supporting these production networks, it is firms and other private organisations — industry associations […]

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Big ideas to shape BIMSTEC’s future


Author: Prabir De, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). BIMSTEC was established to expand cooperation among Bay of Bengal countries. While long maintaining a relatively low profile as a sub-regional grouping, BIMSTEC […]

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Much at stake for the Japan–EU trade deal


Author: Martin Schulz, Fujitsu Research Institute The announcement of the Japan–EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA) on 6 July 2017 was timed perfectly: the day before the G20 summit in Hamburg. At a time of growing concern about economic integration and US unilateralism, JEEPA signals that complex trade agreements are still possible, that they can be […]

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Is this the end of South Korea’s ‘Samsung Republic’?


Author: Hyung-A Kim, ANU The billionaire heir-apparent to South Korea’s largest family-owned conglomerate or chaebol, Samsung Electronics, has been jailed for five years for bribery and embezzlement. Lee Jae-yong is alleged to have offered or pledged 41 billion won (US$36 million) in bribes to Choi Soon-sil, a confidante of former president Park Geun-hye, in return […]

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