How Washington’s Asia pivot and the TPP can benefit Sino–American relations

US President Barack Obama (right) meets with Vice President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington,  February 14, 2012. (Photo:AAP)

Author: Patrick Mendis, George Mason University.

In November 2011, President Obama embarked on an unusually lengthy ten day tour of the Asia Pacific during which he met with over 25 heads of state, reiterating America’s commitment to and presence in the Asia Pacific and, most significantly, reaffirming the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The TPP aims to create a tariff-eliminating, free trade zone through a network of expansive trade agreements with eligible Pacific Rim economies. Read more…

Not made in China: Japan’s home-grown national security obsession

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe bows after being named Japan's new prime minister at the lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, 26 December 2012. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Amy L. Catalinac, ANU

On 16 December 2012 Japan held a House of Representatives election, which catapulted the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) back into government and Shinzo Abe back into the prime ministership.

The election was notable not only because it exposed the degree of voter dissatisfaction with the incumbent government, led by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), but also because of the starring role played by national security in the campaign. Read more…