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…

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 importance of reliable resource markets to Australian and Asian security

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a tour of an iron ore mine in the Pilbara, West Australia, 9 July 2014. (Photo:AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Recent talk that would encourage government messing with Australian iron ore markets sits awkwardly in the context of the core strategic importance of raw materials in Australia’s economic relationships with Asia, both sides round. 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…

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…

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…

Best to get the TPP done right, not done fast

A demonstrator protests against the legislation to give US President Barack Obama fast-track authority to advance trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, during a protest march on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 21 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Richard Katz, Oriental Economist Report

Unless the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks are concluded soon, they risk dragging on interminably. If that happens, the United States’ capacity to function as a benign world hegemon will be diminished.

To avoid this, the White House is determined to get the pact signed and ratified by the end of 2015. Read more…