India’s role in Asia may not fit ‘Indo-Pacific’ agenda

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and China's President Xi Jinping wave to the press before their meeting in Xian, the capital of the Chinese Shaanxi Province, on 14 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Hugh White, ANU

Many observers tend to assume that India will play a large and growing part as a great power in a wider ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategic system, that it will use its growing power to balance and limit China’s regional weight. But some caution is called for — although this outcome is possible, it is far from inevitable. Read more…

Ms Park goes to Beijing, but will Xi cooperate on North Korea?

South Korean President Park Geun-hye speaks during a luncheon meeting with members of charity groups at presidential house in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Zhiqun Zhu, Bucknell University

South Korean President Park Geun-hye will visit China from September 2–4 to attend Beijing’s official activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, including a military parade on 3 September. Her visit comes fresh off the heels of inter-Korean tensions triggered by a North Korean landmine which maimed two South Korean soldiers. Read more…

New measures are needed to understand gender and poverty

A woman living under the poverty line cleans rice, which she purchased from a fair-price shop in the Public Distribution System in the Indian state of Orissa. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Priya Chattier, ANU

The World Bank’s International Poverty Line (IPL) is the benchmark for tracking progress in the reduction of global poverty. But the US$2 a day guideline has drawn criticism among academics and policy circles for subsuming all those below the IPL under the ‘poverty’ category, and for its unidimensional focus on monetary poverty. A new, better measure is out there — and policymakers should use it. Read more…

Gay Asia should resist liberal assimilation

A Filipino protester from a gay and lesbian activist group mocks 'Lady Justice' in a rally calling for the resignation of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, 24 July 2014. The group condemned the social injustices caused by the Aquino regime. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sherman Tan, ANU

While it is incredibly difficult to make generalisations about LGBTIQ advocacy efforts or debates over gay rights across Asia, many commentators have expressed optimism after a number of public expressions or political initiatives in support of gay unions and rights.

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Where to now for the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation?

An Indonesian employee prepares rupiah banknotes at a money changer in Jakarta, Indonesia, 25 August 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Kaewkamol Pitakdumrongkit, RSIS

East Asian financial cooperation is at a crossroads. The Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) and its surveillance unit — the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) — are continuing to grow in size and importance. But the structure of these two entities must change to accommodate this growth.

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Is Abe’s womenomics working?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe poses with his new female Cabinet Ministers (clockwise), Yuko Obuchi, minister of economy, trade and industry, Haruko Arimura, minister in charge of supporting women's empowerment, Midori Matsushima, minister of justice, Eriko Yamatani, chair of the National Public Safety Commission and minister in charge of the abduction issue, and Sanae Takaichi, minister of internal affairs and communications, in Tokyo on 3 September 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Helen Macnaughtan, University of London

In September 2013 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to create a society in which ‘all women can shine’. Abe acknowledged that women had long been an underutilised resource in the Japanese economy. He promised to boost female labour participation rates, increase the presence of women in corporate board rooms and improve gender equality. Two years on, is womenomics working in Japan? Read more…

ASEAN’s ambitions risk outstripping its capacity

The group photo at the opening ceremony for the 47th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 22 August 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Barry Desker, RSIS

Southeast Asia looks set to usher in a new era of cooperation and stability following the ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in early August. But significant challenges to regional integration remain and the risk is that ambitious claims may outstrip the capacity to deliver. Read more…