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Winter is coming for Pakistan’s military as US aid freeze sets in


Author: Michael Kugelman, Wilson Center In early January 2018, the Trump administration announced a suspension of security assistance to Pakistan. Nearly US$2 billion in assistance could be affected. The administration has left open the possibility of releasing the funds if Pakistan cracks down more robustly against Pakistan-based terrorists who target US troops in Afghanistan. But […]

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Shine wearing off Taiwan’s Tsai

Author: Kwei-Bo Huang, National Chengchi University Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has dominated both the executive and legislature since 20 May 2016. Despite this, Taiwan has not experienced stability under the government of President Tsai Ing-wen. Taiwan has instead experienced the rudeness, uneasiness and nonchalance associated with mediocre governance. The Tsai administration’s rudeness is apparent […]

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Thailand’s deepening authoritarian rule


Author: Eugenie Mérieau, University of Göttingen With the help of Thailand’s military government, King Vajiralongkorn revised and then promulgated the country’s 20th constitution on 6 April 2017. The constitution is part of a roadmap towards the return of civilian rule (which is currently planned for 2018). Planned elections promise to be a masquerade: the junta […]

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China has unprecedented opportunities but bigger shoes to fill


Author: Kerry Brown, King’s College London 2017 was a very good year for China. There were no major domestic crises or disasters, and the leaders in Zhongnanhai had the rare pleasure of seeing their own politics seem tame by comparison to a United States that was beset by challenges and a spate of internal divisions […]

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Sorting out strategic confusion in the Indo-Pacific


Author: Editorial Board, East Asia Forum The Indo-Pacific idea appears to be on a roll. On his Asian trip last year, US President Donald Trump called for a new Indo-Pacific security strategy of strengthening partnerships (among the democracies) in the region. The Abe administration then hastily unveiled its own more fuzzy version of what economic […]

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All shot and no powder in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue


Author: James Curran, University of Sydney Australian advocates of the so called ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’ (which brings together the United States, Japan, India and Australia) must now feel as if the wind is well and truly in their sails. Late last year, the Turnbull government’s Foreign Policy White Paper signalled that Australia is open to […]

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Indonesia’s e-ID scandal looks set to take another scalp


Author: Matthew Woolgar, Oxford University There have been many subplots in the saga of Setya Novanto, formerly both speaker of the People’s Representative Council (Indonesia’s house of representatives) and head of the Golkar party. Novanto dodged previous corruption allegations before being named a suspect in connection with the ‘e-ID’ graft scandal — several high-ranking Indonesian […]

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Malaysia’s economy is back on the ball but must benefit all


Author: Shankaran Nambiar, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research How did the Malaysian economy perform during 2017? Net exports surged from a negative growth rate of –14.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 to 1.4 per cent. These figures are higher than expected due to two key factors. Malaysian exports became more competitive because […]

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Reining in red entrepreneurs


Author: David Kelly, China Policy Although China undertook market reforms nearly 40 years ago, it has retained a state-dominated economy. Its own descriptor has for nearly three decades been a ‘socialist market economy’. While private enterprises have emerged, ‘private’ is a formal category of ownership that can be summed up as ‘less state’. In a […]

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The Empire Strikes Back: Hong Kong edition


Author: Ray Yep, City University of Hong Kong 2017 was a year of disillusion and anxiety for Hong Kong’s people. It started with a false dawn. The unexpected decision of the hugely unpopular Leung Chun-ying not to seek a second term as chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region offered a glimpse of […]

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