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Is China changing its strategy towards North Korea?

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Author: Feng Zhang, ANU and NISCS Something paradoxical has happened in Chinese thinking about North Korea. US President Donald Trump’s impulsive decision to accept North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s invitation to a summit has stunned China, as it has many other countries. But other than South Korea, China should be the country most elated about such […]

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The CCP is eating the state

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Author: Jessica C Teets, Middlebury College The recent move to abolish presidential term limits in China was met by surprised consternation. Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping established term limits in 1982 to prevent the country from sliding back into the chaos that plagued China under its prior leader, Mao Zedong. Rules like this have helped […]

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Elections won’t give Thailand’s junta legitimacy

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Author: James Ockey, University of Canterbury After seizing power in May 2014, Thailand’s General Prayuth Chan-ocha set out a ‘roadmap’ for a return to civilian rule. Portraying himself as a reluctant coup leader, he announced that an elected government would return by the end of 2015. The current proposal is an election in February 2019. […]

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Third Inter-Korean Summit could change the region

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Author: Stephen Costello, AsiaEast The planned summit between North and South Korea, the announcement of a summit between North Korea and the US, and the meeting between North Korea and China have made March 2018 a pivotal month. These three meetings, and their related contacts, will likely remake the regional landscape for years to come. […]

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A deepening dictatorship promises a grim future for China

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Author: Kevin Carrico, Macquarie University Few had the foresight to predict how bad the political situation in China would be in 2018. The removal of the last effective checks on Supreme Leader Xi Jinping’s power last month, while likely politically disastrous for China, serves as an important reminder about the nature of the Chinese Party-state: […]

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Time for reform of Indonesia’s food policy regime

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Author: Editorial Board, East Asia Forum The politics of food is a vexed question in Indonesia. The ambition to achieve what Indonesians call kedaulatan pangan (food self-sufficiency) plays an outsized role in the country’s political imagination — a result of memories of the appropriation of the country’s rich natural resources by colonial rulers and of the economic […]

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Indonesia is hungry for a better food policy

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Authors: Rainer Heufers, CIPS, and Arianto A Patunru, ANU Despite years of reasonable economic growth, 19.4 million Indonesians are still unable to meet their daily dietary needs. The 2017 Global Food Security Index ranks Indonesia 69th out of 113 countries, and its overall score (which is independent of relative country rankings) has barely increased over […]

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China’s outdated war on drugs

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Author: Emile Dirks, University of Toronto Every year, tens of thousands of people worldwide die from opioid-related overdoses, many of which are linked to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. Journalists and politicians have called on China, the primary source of fentanyl, to do more to stamp out production and interdict shipments of the drug. These […]

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Australia and Vietnam tie the knot for strategic partnership

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Author: Luc Anh Tuan, UNSW Canberra Australia and Vietnam upgraded their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership during Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Australia from 14–18 March 2018. The move is not a surprise. As the Australian government states, this elevation ‘reflects Australia and Vietnam’s mature and diverse bilateral relationship’ Hanoi has […]

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Sun setting on Timor-Leste’s Greater Sunrise plan

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Authors: Clive Schofield, University of Wollongong, and Bec Strating, La Trobe University On 6 March 2018, Australia and Timor-Leste signed a landmark treaty that draws permanent maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. The treaty is the result of the United Nations Compulsory Conciliation (UNCC) processes that have facilitated negotiations between the two states for over […]

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