Glimpses of Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew attends the Standard Chartered Forum in Singapore on 20 March 2013.

Author: Jerome A. Cohen, NYU

Seldom has the death of a great Asian leader commanded as much appreciation in the West as the passing of Lee Kuan Yew. The mind numbs at the number of well-earned tributes to the man who led Singapore to become a successful and influential nation-state. Read more…

The rights and wrongs of US overflights in the South China Sea

A dilapidated Philippine Navy vessel anchored near Ayungin Shoal, with Filipino soldiers onboard, in the Spratly Islands, the South China Sea on 11 May 2015. The Spratly Islands are a flashpoint for ongoing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sourabh Gupta, Samuels International

Over the past six years, unilateral and escalatory actions by claimants to territories in the South China Sea have exacerbated tensions in the region.

China has not been the precipitator of the tensions in these waters — whether it be in initiating resource exploration activities in disputed areas, introducing military vessels to enforce jurisdictional claims, or conducting land reclamation work in the adjoining waters. 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…

India’s population in 2050: extreme projections demand extreme actions

Indian women travel in a crowded coach on a train at a railway station in New Delhi on February 26, 2013 (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ranjit Goswami, IMT, Nagpur

In 2050 India’s population is projected to be 1.69 billion — China’s will be 1.31 billion.

India has experienced extraordinary population growth: between 2001 and 2011 India added 181 million people to the world, slightly less than the entire population of Brazil. Read more…

Slow but steady for the ASEAN Economic Community

Thai office workers walk past advertising promoting the ASEAN Economic Community in Bangkok on 13 January 2013. The AEC is unlikely to be ready by its deadline. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS

As the ASEAN Economic Community’s (AEC) December 2015 deadline approaches, most observers feel that the initiative’s deliverables — an integrated production space with free movement of goods, services, and skilled labour — will not be achieved. This may be true. But the AEC should be seen as a work in progress. To simply say it will miss its deadline is to ignore other crucial facts about the AEC’s role and circumstances. Read more…

Supporters of an Australian iron cartel have a monopoly on bad economics

Grab buckets unload imported iron ore on a quay at the Port of Rizhao in east China's Shandong province, 7 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Luke Hurst, ANU

As Australia moves away from a decade of resource-driven prosperity, it is even more important that it avoid mistakes that previously might have been papered over by the boom times. Yet there are loud voices calling for the mistakes of the past to be made again. One of the loudest is that of Australian mining company Fortescue’s non-executive chairman, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest. Read more…

The Philippine economy is powering into 2015

A boy walks on one of the trusses of the Quezon Bridge in Manila. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Gilberto M. Llanto, PIDS

The Philippines never had it so good. But with a slowing global economy and an election coming up in 2016, what can it expect from the future? Read more…

China under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership

Visitors look at the bronze statue of Deng Xiaoping which was installed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2004, in Guangan. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Ezra F Vogel, Harvard University

When Deng Xiaoping became pre-eminent leader of China in December 1978, China was still in the chaos from the Cultural Revolution. Per capita annual income was less than US$100.

By the time he stepped down in 1992, several hundred million Chinese citizens had been lifted out of poverty, and China was rapidly becoming stronger, richer and more modern.

Read more…

Australia lacks the inside support for outward integration

Australian Trade Minister and Member of Parliament Andrew Robb, centre, speaks with Filipino businessmen during a forum on Australia's expanding trade with the Philippines Thursday, May 21, 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Annmarie Elijah, Hazel Moir and Andrew Willcocks, ANU

Australian federal government policymakers need to have broader and more robust consultations with business, consumers and state governments when it comes to trade treaties. As an open economy that is heavily dependent on trade for its wellbeing, it is important for Australia to get trade and economic integration right.  Read more…

Economic reform in Jokowi’s Indonesia

Indonesian drivers line up at a gas station in central Java on 17 November 2014 to fill up their tanks before fuel prices rose from 6500 to 8500 rupiah per litre at midnight, marking a crackdown on fuel subsidies. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Creina Day, ANU and Yose R. Damuri, CSIS Jakarta

The first 100 days of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and his government have been distinguished by historic reforms to fuel subsidies, social assistance to the poor, streamlined investment licensing and virtually no new restrictive regulations on foreign trade. Fuel subsidy reform has given the government fiscal space for infrastructure development. Read more…