Will India’s economy live up to expectations?

Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India during the sixth bi-monthly monetary policy review 2015–16, Mumbai, India. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Richa Sekhani, Observer Research Foundation

Unlike other emerging economies, strong investor sentiment and the meltdown in crude oil prices bolstered India’s growth in the last financial year. Though the projected growth rate for 2016 shows a slight decline of 0.1 per cent, the World Bank predicts that India will grow by a robust 7.8 per cent this year and by 7.9 per cent in the next two years. This means India is shaping up to outpace China in the next three years. Read more…

The NLD’s iron-fisted gerontocracy

Tin Oo, senior leader of Myanmar's National League for Democracy party, arrives to visit the first day of a regular session of the upper house parliament 3 February 2016, in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Nicholas Farrelly, ANU

All the speculation about who will hold Myanmar’s top jobs should come to an end this month. With newly elected legislators taking their Naypyidaw seats, the specifics of further compromises between the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the military will become clearer. Read more…

Presidential hopefuls must find a way to feed the Philippines

A Filipino farmer removes grass at a field in Taguig City, south of Manila, Philippines, 19 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Michael Henry Yusingco, Melbourne

The Philippine presidential campaign period officially begins on 9 February. But amid the same old spiels about political piety, not one of the five presidential candidates current Vice-President Jojo Binay, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe and Secretary Mar Roxas — has raised the most pressing issue facing the Philippines, the country’s massive population. Read more…

‘Old guard’ blocking human rights reform in Indonesia

Indonesian police stand guard in front of a prison during the transfer of death row prisoners in Bali, Indonesia, 4 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ken Setiawan, University of Melbourne

To many, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) election represented a break with the past as he had no ties to existing military or political elites. The new president was also different from his predecessors in other ways. Read more…

Where to from here for Vietnam?

Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong greets delegates upon his arrival for the opening ceremony of the 12th National Congress of Vietnam's Communist Party in Hanoi on 21 January 2016. Trong’s selection for the position of general secretary took many by surprise. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Jonathan D. London, City University of Hong Kong

While Vietnam’s 12th Party Congress was billed as a contest for leadership of the party between sitting party secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and sitting prime-minister Nguyen Tan Dung, it might well be remembered as marking the beginning of a generational shift in the party’s top leadership. Read more…

China’s challenges in 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the parliament in Cairo, Egypt on 21 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Kerry Brown, King’s College London

For China, the story for its economy in 2015 simply reinforced what was already becoming apparent through 2014. GDP growth was slowing, and the political capital the Communist Party could collect from lauding this one statistic was diminishing. Read more…

Dealing with the IS threat in Southeast Asia

A man looks at floral tributes at the scene of a bomb blast at a police post in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 15 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Kumar Ramakrishna, RSIS

On 14 January 2016, four Indonesian militants mounted a brazen lunchtime assault on a Starbucks Café and a police post in downtown Jakarta. The general area boasts government offices, shopping malls and eateries as well as a United Nations office and the United States embassy. Read more…