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Will the resurrected TPP be ratified?


Authors: Pradumna B Rana and Ji Xianbai, RSIS On the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Vietnam, 11 countries on the Pacific Rim decided to go ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) despite the US withdrawal. The deal was renamed the ‘Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership’ (CPTPP) to reflect the new consensus that […]

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ASEAN needs to move to minilateralism


Author: Richard Javad Heydarian, Manila To save the principle of ASEAN centrality, the regional body should transcend its consensus-based decision-making and embrace minilateral arrangements on divisive issues. The regional body is increasingly suffering from a ‘middle institutional trap’. The type of decision-making arrangements that enabled it to reach its current stage of institutional maturity are […]

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What explains nuclear choices in East Asia?


Author: Etel Solingen, University of California Irvine The North Korean nuclear debacle has renewed academic debates over the predictive accuracy of theories of nuclear proliferation. A recent piece found most of those theories deficient for predicting that case. Are the same mechanisms explaining past choices for nuclear proliferation or nuclear restraint still in place? How […]

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Geopolitical risk on the Korean peninsula


Author: Editorial Board, East Asia Forum With North Korea as a neighbour, geopolitical risk is a fact of life for South Korea. North and South Korea are still technically in a state of war: the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 left the two countries in a perpetual state of ceasefire — with […]

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Where is China’s cutting-edge culture heading?


Author: Michael Keane, Curtin University Visitors to the Chinese city of Shenzhen looking for evidence of cultural innovation are often bemused by the city’s overt showcasing of the artificial — a full-scale replica of the Swiss ski resort Interlaken, a miniature Eiffel Tower in a theme park called Window on the World and Van Gogh […]

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Why does Indonesia seem to prefer foreign aid from China?


Author: Pierre van der Eng, ANU When Australia reduced its foreign aid to Indonesia by 40 per cent in 2015, Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry responded that ‘Indonesia … is no longer a country that needs aid for development’. At face value, this seems to be the case. Data released by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) […]

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Can South Korea lead regional financial governance?


Author: Ramon Pacheco Pardo, King’s College London Regional financial governance in East Asia currently lacks a leading power that can ensure the region’s future development. Neither China nor Japan command the necessary support in the region to assume a leadership role, and both often seem more interested in developing their own bilateral networks. Meanwhile, internal […]

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Fault lines are becoming unbridgeable in US–Pakistan relations


Author: Imtiaz Gul, CRSS Strategic fault lines in US–Pakistan relations have never been more pronounced, nor have Washington’s geo-strategic intentions for Pakistan ever been made more explicit. This is a function of non-negotiable constants that underpin each nation’s attitude to the other that are unlikely to change soon. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated […]

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Overstating Chinese influence in Australian universities


Author: Fran Martin, Melbourne University Both Australia’s national government and its security agency ASIO have expressed concerns over the influence that the Chinese government exerts on Chinese student groups studying at Australian universities. They have also accused Beijing of using those groups to spy on Chinese students in Australia. Ministers, security specialists and the media […]

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