Should China peg the renminbi to a genuine basket?

China's yuan strengthened to its strongest level in 15 months against the US dollar on 18 May 2015 after the greenback depreciated amid concerns about the economy. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Heikki Oksanen, University of Helsinki

The Peoples’ Bank of China (PBoC) has maintained a close relationship between the renminbi (RMB) and the US dollar since the RMB was first pegged in 1994. Twenty years on, after the PBoC has made the RMB somewhat more flexible, pegging it to a genuine broad trade-weighted basket would promote stability for China and its trading partners. Read more…

Strategic cooperation key to Japan’s peaceful future

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Barack Obama shake hands during a summit meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, USA. on 28 April 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Narushige Michishita, GRIPS

Japan’s most important foreign policy goal is to create an environment under which China’s rise will be peaceful and cooperative. In strategic terms, maintaining the balance of power in the region and creating crisis prevention and management mechanisms are the most effective means of achieving this policy goal. Read more…

A way to go yet for Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the audience during the launch of a special television channel for farmers in New Delhi, India , 26 May 2015. Modi's government is marking their first year in office. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Rajiv Kumar, CPR

There is no doubt that Modi works hard and drives his government at a similar hectic pace. Midnight oil is burnt regularly in the Prime Minister’s Office, which now resembles an omnipotent and omnipresent command station. Read more…

New hope for Indonesia’s ethnic minorities

demonstrators at this rally outside the presidential palace in Jakarta in 2008 called for ahmadiyah to be disbanded. a range of subsidiary laws undercut constitutional guarantees of religious freedom. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Ihsan Ali-Fauzi, Paramadina University, and Ben Hillman, ANU

During the past decade attacks on religious minorities have cast a shadow over Indonesia’s reputation as a tolerant and moderate Muslim-majority nation. Across the archipelago Christian, Buddhist, Ahmadi and Shi’ite communities have been exposed to increasing levels of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and violence, largely at the hands of Sunni hardliners. Read more…

Myanmar’s military wrangle with a new political reality

Myanmar lawmakers and senior military officials attend a ceremony to mark the 67th anniversary of Myanmar's slain Independence hero and opposition leader General Aung San. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Adam P. MacDonald, Halifax

A number of major issues threaten to degrade, if not entirely disrupt, Myanmar’s elections scheduled for November. These issues include ongoing fighting between the military and various armed ethnic armies, violent social and religious tensions between Buddhists and Muslims, and the lethargic pace of constitutional reforms. Read more…

What Australians really think about a rising China

Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the start of a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 30 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: James Laurenceson and Hannah Bretherton, ACRI

What does China’s rise as a major power mean for Australia? The answer depends on who you ask.

In March 2015 the Sydney Morning Herald’s International Editor, Peter Hartcher, described China as a fascist state that bullies its own citizens and neighbouring countries alike. That about sums up the ‘China threat’ view. Read more…

Myanmar elections lack legitimacy without constitutional change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during a press conference at the National League for Democracy party headquarters, 5 November 2014 in Yangon, Myanmar. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Melissa Crouch, UNSW

Constitutional reform is an important part of Myanmar’s transition from military rule. Although widespread political reforms have been enacted since 2011, these have not yet been accompanied by constitutional change. The next few months will determine whether constitutional amendment will take place before the elections scheduled in November. This will affect the very legitimacy of the election itself. Read more…