China needs to get the integration ball moving

Residents visit a street market in Gujiao in northern China's Shanxi province. From coal country to the export-driven manufacturing heartland of China’s southeast, millions of people are enduring wrenching economic change. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Jan Fidrmuc, Brunel University

Despite China’s history of experimenting with new policies and the economic liberalisation since the late 1980s, China is still only a partially integrated economy. This has caused regional divergence and inequality. Read more…

How Lee Kuan Yew shaped Singapore’s identity

Officers lift the coffin of late Lee Kuan Yew prior to his procession to Parliament House, at Istana Palace, Singapore, 25 March 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Terence Chong, ISEAS

The passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the most important personality in Singapore’s postcolonial history, will have little to no ramifications on the city-state. Lee has gradually receded from national politics over the last decade and had an obsessive focus on leadership transition. Lee, more than anyone else, endeavoured to ensure that his absence would have as little political or economic impact on the country as possible. Read more…

Time to sow the seeds of land reform in Cambodia

A Cambodian protester, threatened with eviction, shouts slogans in front of anti-riot policemen blocking a road during a protest in Phnom Penh on 19 November 2012. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Alice Beban France, Cornell University

While the majority of Cambodians live off the land, access is precarious. Recently the Cambodian government has been making some encouraging reforms, but troubling signs remain. Read more…

How contact and English proficiency can help Japan’s immigration policy

his photograph taken on 27 September 2013 shows shoppers walking past displays offering clothing on sale in Tokyo's Harajuku shopping district. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: David Green and Yoshihiko Kadoya, Nagoya University

With the foreign population in Japan expected to grow in the future, policymakers have an interest in promoting a more positive view of immigration. Current public opinion toward immigration in Japan, like in much of the rest of the world, is generally negative. But recent public opinion data shows that individuals who are more likely to come in contact with foreigners or who self-assess as being of high English speaking proficiency are more supportive of increases in immigration. Read more…

Using connections brings instant gain but long-term pain for China’s stocks

The Pudong financial district in Shanghai, China. Firms with political connections are more likely to be approved for IPOs by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. (Photo: Joan Campderrós-i-Canas, flickr).

Authors: Li Guoping and Zhou Hong, CUFE

Political connections are invaluable to industries or individual enterprises in China. But while they may bring regulatory benefits to private-owned enterprises during the state-controlled process of going public, they may also lead to China’s stock markets performing poorly. Read more…

Overcoming gender discrimination in India

A woman tends a stall at the Pushkar Fair in the city of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India. (Photo: xile, flickr).

Author: Rajiv Kumar, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi

It is a bitter irony that International Women’s Day came right on the heels of the controversy about the government ban on a BBC documentary about the fatal 2012 gang rape of a young Indian woman known by the pseudonym ‘Nirbhaya’. Read more…

Competition the true marker of Xi Jinping’s economic reforms

Men work on a construction site in Beijing. Xi’s economic reform program has focused on increasing competition not privatisation. (Photo: Ding Zhou, flickr).

Author: James Laurenceson, UTS

The usual assessment of Xi Jinping’s performance as China’s leader goes like this: since taking the reins at the end of 2012 he’s over-delivered on anticorruption and underwhelmed on economic reform. Read more…