A cyber-resilience blueprint for ASEAN

A password attack in progress. ASEAN countries could create a cyber-resilience blueprint that could be an international exemplar. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Tim Scully, ANU

ASEAN is at the moment drifting aimlessly in cyberspace. But it could take advantage of its own rapid growth in internet penetration and the harsh cyber-security lessons of other nations, to create an inclusive, coordinated and adaptive ASEAN Cyber-Resilience Blueprint one that could be an international exemplar. Read more…

Should the UK monitor Hong Kong’s governance?

Richard Ottaway, chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, poses for a picture during an interview at his office in central London on 1 December 2014, after China refused to grant visas to members of the committee to visit Hong Kong. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ivy Lee, CSUS

China’s foreign ministry recent barring of a British parliamentary delegation from entering Hong Kong in response to pro-democracy protests has raised significant questions on the UK’s role in Hong Kong. Read more…

ASEAN labouring under outdated migration policies

A foreign worker is given medicine and marked on her arm during a health check at a foreign workers registration one stop service post for Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos nationals, in a park in Bangkok, Thailand, 16 July 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Giovanni Capannelli, ADB

By the end of 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is expected to establish a single market and production base in the region. With an ASEAN overall workforce of more than 300 million people, the AEC will have strong implications in terms of labour migration and human resource development. Read more…

Election reveals the sorry state of Japan’s political opposition

Members of Japan's House of Representatives shout ‘ banzai’, a traditional cheering gesture at the National Diet in Tokyo on 21 November 2014, as Prime Minister Abe dissolved the lower house. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Purnendra Jain, University of Adelaide

Last Sunday’s general election in Japan has returned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its ally, the New Komeito, with a two-thirds majority in the lower house of the Diet. That the LDP would get a majority of seats was expected, as various polls had shown since Abe unexpectedly announced snap elections in November. Read more…

Rural China’s economic model limps on

This picture taken on November 19, 2013 shows a farmer working in her rice field in the farming village of Gangzhong in China's eastern Zhejiang province. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Graeme Smith, ANU

‘Benghai’ was changing. Returning to my old office, my home for ten years of fieldwork in rural China, it was clear something was amiss. Gone was the grizzled caretaker, listlessly following his mop around the ground floor of the four-storey building. In his stead was a bank of impossibly cheerful uniformed women in their early twenties. Their smiles could signify only one thing: real estate. Read more…

A ‘beautiful’ Japan in the eye of the media beholder

Masataka Watanabe and Shinya Iida hold a press conference after becoming the new president and chairman, respectively, of Japanese daily The Asahi Shimbun, Osaka, Japan, 5 December 2014. They apologised for withdrawn articles on the Fukushima nuclear disaster and 'comfort women' issue. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Chris Perkins, University of Edinburgh

The Japanese media has been set alight by the debate on Japan’s use of ‘comfort women’ — a euphemism referring to the women used for sex by the Japanese Army in World War II. The furore began in August when Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s premier liberal newspaper, admitted that a source used in a number of articles it published on comfort women had fabricated his story. Read more…

Australia needs to refocus on ASEAN

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott holds hands ASEAN leaders during the ASEAN–Australia 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 12 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Gareth Evans, ANU

Things just haven’t clicked the way they should have in the Australian–ASEAN relationship. We seem far removed from the time when as Australia’s Foreign Minister I had no counterparts anywhere in the world with whom I felt more close and comfortable. Read more…

The reign or reining in of Chinese monopolies

A steel worker at a mill owned by Dongbei Special Steel Group Co Ltd, 30 January 2014. DSSG was integrated by three former major state-owned enterprises in Northeast China in 2004. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Patrick Williams, ANU and PKU

Surprise raids by Chinese government officials on the offices of major multinationals in China to catch out monopolistic business activity have created perceptions of bias against foreign firms in the enforcement of the anti-monopoly law. Read more…

What are Myanmar’s Buddhist Sunday schools teaching?

Street vendors offer vegetables to Buddhist monks near a train station on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, 12 December 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Matthew J Walton, University of Oxford

A Buddhist monk sits in front of a classroom of children in a small town in rural Myanmar. He chants lines which the students dutifully repeat, as they do every week at these Buddhist ‘Sunday school’ classes. The monk teaches Buddhist values, regales students with stories of the Buddha’s previous lives, and talks about Myanmar’s history as a Buddhist nation. Read more…

The politics of Japan’s new aid charter

Workers on a Japan-funded aid project in Columbia. (Photo: Neil Palmer, Flickr).

Author: Purnendra Jain, University of Adelaide

2014 marks the 60th anniversary of Japan’s foreign aid program. The nation was still receiving World Bank aid when Tokyo began a modest foreign aid program through joining the Colombo Plan in 1954. Today, as one of the world’s largest donors, Japan is placing an increasingly explicit emphasis on foreign aid for the national interest. Read more…

The arithmetic of Asia’s future growth

A Chinese worker surveys the production of steel at a steel plant in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province, 5 August 2014. China's industrial output growth by a less-than-expected 7.2 per cent in November from a year earlier, though retail sales expanded 11.7 per cent, beating forecasts, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday (12 December 2014). (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

While predicting the future of anything is a loser’s game, we do it automatically whether we know it or not. In our individual, social and our economic pursuits we routinely shape our thinking and behaviour on assumptions about how things might pan out tomorrow, next year or even a decade out. Read more…

Asiaphoria or Asiaphobia?

Chinese workers sew clothes at a garment factory in Huaibei city, 10 September 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Paul Hubbard, ANU

Those in the business of long-run GDP projections expect Asia, and particularly China, to keep growing above world trend rates for some years. The most optimistic — such as former Chief Economist at the World Bank, Justin Lin — have China growing at 8 per cent for at least the next decade. Read more…