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New violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka has old roots


Author: Pravin Prakash, RSIS On 5 March 2018, the Sri Lankan government mandated a state of emergency for ten days following riots and a wave of targeted violence against Muslims in the city of Kandy. The latest episode took place after a Sinhalese Buddhist truck driver engaged in an altercation with some Muslim youths and […]

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China and Russia’s uneasy partnership in Central Asia


Author: Paul Stronski, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Bound by common resentment towards the overwhelming power of the West, China and Russia have grown increasingly close over the past decade. They enjoy compatible economies — Russia supplies hydrocarbons and other resources that fuel Chinese industry. They push back at the promotion of Western democracy and […]

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Australia’s anticlimactic ASEAN Summit 


Author: Nick Bisley, La Trobe University The ASEAN–Australia special summit on 17–18 March 2018 concluded with the issuing of the grandly titled ‘Sydney Declaration’. The joint statement nods to many of the issues raised at the summit including security, trade, investment, rights and people-to-people links. Yet there was something anticlimactic both about the document and […]

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Tenets of Thailand’s ASEAN engagement


Authors: John Blaxland and Greg Raymond, ANU ASEAN member states have different perspectives on the significance of the grouping. As one of the founder member states, the second largest economy and a leading state within ASEAN, Thailand’s view is important. A survey of 1800 former and current Thai officials conducted from 2014–17 on Thailand’s relationship […]

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Maintaining momentum in Japan–China relations


Author: Madoka Fukuda, Hosei University In January 2018, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono visited China, meeting officials including his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to confirm the importance of reciprocal visits by their leaders. Although the bilateral relationship has moved on from its lowest points in the 2010s, no state visits have taken place since 2011. […]

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Success ensures ASEAN’s long-term importance to the United States


Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, PIIE At the APEC Summit in November 2017, US President Donald Trump declared, ‘We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore … I am always going to put America first’. Considering Trump’s ‘America First’ philosophy and his disdain for past trade agreements — sentiments proclaimed […]

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Trump’s tariffs a call to arms for global community


Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU American trade policy is being run by an administration that does not understand basic economics and it is a threat to global welfare. US President Donald Trump and his advisors are focussed on reducing a large trade deficit by putting up trade barriers. The main cause of a country’s trade balance […]

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Abe’s Moritomo scandal miseries


Author: Editorial Board, East Asia Forum Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has led a rollercoaster, but often charmed, political life. After being forced to resign prematurely during his first stint as prime minister in September 2007 due to a stinging July 2007 upper house election defeat and a bowel illness, Abe managed a rare political […]

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School of hard knocks reignites Abe’s political woes


Author: Ben Ascione, ANU Japanese politics has once again been rocked by the Moritomo Gakuen scandal, which threatens to take down the Abe government. The scandal appeared to have been shaken off last year, but this time round Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso have been forced to come out swinging for […]

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The Rohingya crisis a test for Bangladesh–Myanmar relations


Author: Syeda Naushin Parnini, University of Malaya Violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar’s north-western Rakhine state has generated a massive influx of refugees to Bangladesh that will test bilateral relations. Between August and November 2017, the Myanmar military’s ‘clearance operations’ forced more than 622,000 Rohingya to cross the border into neighbouring Bangladesh. The Bangladesh government […]

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