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Democracy decaying in Bangladesh


Author: Inge Amundsen, CMI Bangladesh has taken yet another turn on its downwards spiral from democracy to authoritarianism. On 8 February 2018, a Bangladeshi judge convicted opposition leader Khaleda Zia — the nation’s former president — of corruption and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment. The decision sparked violence and protests in major cities across […]

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No need to rock the boat in the South China Sea


Author: Sam Bateman, RSIS In the wake of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to Washington, there has been renewed pressure for Australia to undertake assertive freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in the South China Sea. It has also been suggested that France and the United Kingdom should undertake joint patrols in the South China […]

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China’s grand strategy in a new era


Author: Zhong Feiteng, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences In the 19th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress Report, President Xi Jinping claimed that China was entering a ‘new era’. China has transformed its newfound riches into strength, and in the next 30 years, China will inexorably become a leading global power. The big question for the […]

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Moving from defence to offence on trade strategy


Author: Editorial Board, East Asia Forum The trade architecture in East Asia — the most dynamic region in the global economy — is up for grabs. The very system on which regional arrangements are built is under threat. US President Donald Trump’s withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), his ‘America First’ agenda […]

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The new Trans-Pacific Partnership hunkers down against Trump


Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU On his third day in office, US President Donald Trump honoured his election campaign promise to take the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The move left allies and partners across the Pacific in Asia shell-shocked and may well come to be seen as the turning point in US […]

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North Korea’s missile shower cements Japan’s defence strategy


Author: Hiroyasu Akutsu, NIDS Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated in January 2018 that ‘North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and missiles represents an unprecedentedly grave and urgent threat’ to Japan. Indeed, Japan’s North Korea policy has hardened amid an uptick in North Korean missile testing. North Korea simultaneously launched three ballistic missiles in September […]

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What does the Manila Consensus mean for migrant workers?


Author: Tommy KS Koh, UBC Despite the November 2017 Manila Consensus’s renewed commitment to protecting migrant rights, recent revelations of the torture and death of an Indonesian maid in Malaysia have cast doubt over the efficacy of ASEAN’s efforts. Sceptics have claimed the death of Adelina Lisao as evidence for the ephemeral nature of ASEAN’s […]

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South Korea renewing its energy policy


Author: Paul Pryce, UPH Analytics Since being elected as South Korean president in May 2017, Moon Jae-in has shaken up government policy. Notable among these ‘shake ups’ has been his conciliatory approach toward North Korea, most clearly displayed during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. But an even more ambitious direction has been set by […]

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In America’s absence, Japan takes the lead on free trade


Author: Yoichi Funabashi, AP Initiative At a time when Japan is doing more than ever to uphold the post-war international system, it is an extreme historical irony that the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere of Imperial Japan is finally being achieved. Japan’s leadership in obtaining signatures on the final agreement of the Comprehensive and Progressive […]

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