The paradox of Xi’s political power

Chinese President Xi Jinping during an official ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

A key pillar of President Xi Jinping’s program of political reform is entrenching the rule of law through developing the idea of ‘Chinese constitutionalism’, or the authority of the Chinese constitution. If he succeeds, one would imagine, the consequences for governance, and ultimately even the Chinese political system, will be profound. Read more…

Xi’s got the power to guide the CCP to 2049

A man walks past a billboard featuring a photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping beside lantern decorations for the Lunar New Year in Baoding, China's northern Hebei province on 24 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Yang Guangbin, Renmin University

When China’s President Xi Jinping took up his position in 2012, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lacked political leadership. His predecessor, Hu Jintao, had lost control of political power long before 18th Party Congress was held. Read more…

Negotiating Singapore’s meritocracy

Joggers running outside The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Nur Diyanah Binte Anwar, RSIS

Recent debates on meritocracy raise questions as to what Singapore regards as merit. Several concepts have emerged reflecting how meritocracy is evolving in the Singaporean context, such as ‘compassionate meritocracy’, ‘trickle up meritocracy’ and ‘meritocracy through life’. Read more…

China challenges Russian influence in Kazakhstan

The first train linking China and Kazakhstan leaves a container terminal on a rail line in Lianyungang City, east China's Jiangsu province. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Anuar Almaganbetov and Bakhytzhan Kurmanov, Economic Research Institute

On 14 December 2014, the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Astana for the 13th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The premier’s visit signified a new stage in Kazakh–Chinese economic relations. Read more…

India–US relations face hurdles

US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi interact during the India-US business summit in New Delhi, India, 26 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Biswajit Dhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Economic relations between India and the United States seem to be going well. This was recently reinforced in New Delhi with Prime Minister Modi and President Obama endorsing the India–US Delhi Declaration of Friendship. Read more…

China’s nine-dash line still infringes international law

A Chinese government ship trails a Vietnamese Coast Guard vessel with reporters aboard in the South China Sea on July 15, 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Huy Duong, and Tuan Pham, UNSW

Suggestions that China could claim historic fishing rights within the nine-dash line misinterpret international law. While Sourabh Gupta’s arguments, outlined in a recent Forum article, relating to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Articles 62 and 123 have been disputed elsewhere, we argue that his argument regarding Article 56 is also incorrect. Read more…

Some Malaysian inequality measures more equal than others

A boy runs at a temple casted with shadows of traditional Chinese lantern decorations ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Hwok-Aun Lee, University of Malaya

Is inequality in Malaysia going up or down? Answers differ. Official statistics unambiguously show household income inequality going down in the past decade, but almost everyone seems to think it has gone up. So what’s going on? Read more…