Malaysia’s mess is Mahathir-made

Embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on July 28 replaced his deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin, who has been critical of Najib's handling of the 1MDB scandal, and sacked his attorney general amid a furore that is threatening his hold on office. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Dan Slater, University of Chicago

At least embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is right about one thing. The current mess in Malaysian politics is the making of his greatest nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, who led the Southeast Asian nation with an iron fist from 1981–2003. What Najib fails to fathom is that Mahathir has not produced this mess by criticising his leadership, but by paving Najib’s path to power in the fashion he did during his decades in office. Read more…

Is China a market economy?

China anti-dumping case

Authors: Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs, PIIE

There’s a potential mega-battle brewing over trade rules and the provision of market economy status for China that could reach the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2016.

Whether particular countries grant China market economy status has important implications for the adjudication of anti-dumping cases. Read more…

China aims to set the regional cooperation agenda

Indian soldiers spread a red carpet as they prepare for ceremonies on the Indian side of Nathu La Pass. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Chen Dongxiao, SIIS

In late October 2013, the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee held a conference of Diplomatic Work with Neighbouring Countries  in Beijing, where it unveiled new priorities under its New Neighbourhood Diplomacy guidelines. The new approach makes China’s neighbourhood, covering both continental and maritime Asia, the top strategic priority for the first time. Read more…

Middle-power multilateralism bringing China into the fold

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se in Seoul in May 2015. Middle-power cooperation could provide the basis for productive coexistence with China. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Yoshihide Soeya, Keio University

China is a central concern in the evolving East Asian order, and its aggressive behaviour toward disputed islands in the South and East China Seas is attracting growing concern. China’s uncompromising attitudes reflect growing confidence in its ability to create or re-create a China-centred order in Asia commensurate with its power and interests. Read more…

Down to the wire on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

US Trade Representative Michael Froman shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Akira Amari prior to their talks over deadlocked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, at Amari's office in Tokyo on 19 April 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Officials and ministers from around the Pacific are descending on Hawaii this week for what should be the final round in the negotiation of the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The big two in the arrangement — Japan and the United States — appear to have settled, and this bilateral between the two largest parties to the negotiation will be by far its most significant outcome. But there is still uncertainty about whether the agreement will be put to bed within the week and what its shape will finally be. Read more…

The race to a risky Trans-Pacific Partnership deal

Protestors stand at a rally outside the Sheraton Hotel in Sydney as global trade ministers meet at the venue to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade agreement on 25 October 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

The largest hurdle for the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement — the US president’s ability to get Trade Promotion Authority, or fast track — has been cleared. Many people think that the TPP can be wrapped up in a few months. Read more…

How to secure equal representation in India’s parliament?

Indian women voters wait patiently in a long queue at a polling station during the fifth phase of the Indian General elections in Bhopal, India on 17 April 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Vidisha Mishra, Observer Research Foundation

The parliament of a representative democracy is essentially a mirror of the democracy’s society. Naturally, societies still entrenched in patriarchal constructs have male-dominated legislatures. While women are still globally underrepresented in decision-making roles, the Indian Parliament in particular continues to rank among the lowest in the world in women’s representation. Read more…