The new geo-politics in Asia…and farewell

Chinese President Xi Jinping steps out from behind China's flag as he takes his position for his joint news conference with President Barack Obama on 25 September 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Many are trying to get their minds around what the huge change in the contours of regional power mean for the stability of the political order in Asia today. Are we doomed to inevitable conflict between the established powers, the United States in particular, and the emerging powers, notably China, as they jostle for political space? Read more…

Get used to living with Chinese economic tremors

A concerned Chinese investor looks at a screen displaying prices of shares at a stock brokerage house in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province on 11 January 2016. Red indicates the price is rising, green that it is falling. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The economic tremors that accompanied the New Year falls in the Chinese stock market have spooked markets and policymakers around the world. Get used to it. Read more…

Taiwan’s political choice

Supporters of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen cheer as she speaks during a large campaign rally in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on 9 January 2016. Taiwan will hold its presidential election on 16 January. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

On Sunday, Taiwan will elect its next president, the successor to President Ma Ying-jeou from the Kuomintang (KMT) party who has been in power for the past eight years and is ineligible to run for another term. The vote will almost certainly record a decisive choice for political change. Read more…

ASEAN at court in Sunnylands

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, while Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev look on during the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 22 November 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

At the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, in November, President Obama reached out to elevate the United States–ASEAN relationship to a ‘strategic partnership’ and invited ASEAN Leaders to a summit that, it’s now been announced, will take place at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California on 15–16 February. This is a bold initiative of possible geopolitical consequence. Read more…

Picking up the pieces in Pakistan

A Pakistani civil society activist holds candles near portraits of victims during a rally on the eve of the first anniversary of the Peshawar Army Public School attack, in Karachi, Pakistan on 15 December 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The bloodbath at a Peshawar school in December 2014, when Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists killed 151 people, among them 125 children, triggered a 20-point National Action Plan aimed at retribution and securing Pakistan against ongoing attack from within. Read more…

Vietnam’s pivot to the West?

A street vender walks down a street in Hanoi, Vietnam on 8 December 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Signing onto the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Atlanta last October and the high-level state visits of half the politburo to the United States put Vietnam in the international spotlight and, when the dust had settled, left the Southeast Asian diplomatic status quo profoundly shaken. Read more…

Indonesia’s fateful choices

A restaurant employee prepares rendang, a traditional West Sumatranese meat cuisine, in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

It was Indonesia that led its ASEAN partners down the path towards the ambitious ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The AEC was signed onto in Kuala Lumpur at the ASEAN leaders meeting in November. This was the year of delivery. Well, perhaps but not exactly — and that is probably an apt descriptor of where Indonesia is at on many fronts after the first year of the Joko Widodo (Jokowi) presidency. Read more…