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Remittances are ripping off migrant workers in ASEAN


Author: Nicholas Leong, Singapore Singapore has a dirty secret. According to labour advocates, the migrant workers who make up nearly 30 per cent of its workforce are subject to extortion, wage theft, extended shifts with minimal overtime pay or days off as well as unacceptable food and housing conditions. While government reforms encourage foreigners to report workplace […]

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Can China transition to a more innovative economy?


Authors: Shang-Jin Wei, Columbia University, Zhuan Xie, SAFE, and Xiaobo Zhang, Peking University After more than three decades of high growth based on the exploitation of low wages and demographic advantages, as well as incremental market-oriented reforms and international openness, China now confronts higher wages and a shrinking workforce. Future growth will depend increasingly on […]

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Jokowi in Indonesia’s ‘Neo-New Order’


Author: Tim Lindsey, University of Melbourne On 16 September, police broke up an academic discussion at the offices of renowned activist NGO the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH). The topic was the killings of alleged leftists in 1965 and 1966 in the wake of the failed coup that brought former president Suharto to power, public […]

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Economics key to US relevance in Southeast Asia


Author: Jacob Merkle, CSIS US strategic policy in Southeast Asia pays startlingly little attention to the role of economics. With China encouraging ASEAN members to renounce US security involvement in the region, it is time for the United States to step back and re-evaluate how it engages with Southeast Asia. Underlying the pursuit of competing […]

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Southeast Asia’s strongmen looking to China as Trump visits Asia


Author: Editorial Board, East Asia Forum The Communist Party of China’s 19th Party Congress, which finished last week, was memorable for confirming Xi Jinping’s status as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao. It was also memorable for its celebration of China’s governance model, with President Xi noting that China would not copy the political […]

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Cambodian democracy on the ropes


Author: Astrid Norén-Nilsson, Lund University Cambodian democracy is unravelling in the blink of an eye. The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is under threat of dissolution via a motion filed by the Ministry of the Interior on 6 October. There followed amendments on electoral laws on 25 October to allow for the redistribution of […]

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