Vietnam needs to bring the dong down


Author: Chu Nguyen, UHD

The appreciation of the Vietnamese dong, coupled with characteristics specific to Vietnam’s transitional economy, leaves the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) with difficult choices in conducting monetary policy. Luckily, the SBV retains adequate fiscal flexibility to respond to this pressure through its exchange rate policy. Read more…

Suu Kyi visit demonstrates changing China–Myanmar relations

Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi receives flowers from supporters at  Yangon International Airport just prior her first visit to China, 10 June 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Dai Yonghong and Wang Jianping, Sichuan University

At the invitation of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), made her first historic visit to China on 10–14 June 2015. Her visit enhanced understanding between the two parties and promoted friendly and cooperative relations between China and Myanmar. Read more…

Jokowi lacks leadership on corruption

To go with: Indonesia-election-politics,ADVANCER by Sam Reeves
In this photograph taken on July 5, 2014, Joko Widodo, the presidential candidate waves to supporters during the final day of campaigning in Jakarta. Widodo popularly known as Jokowi,  will cap a remarkable rise from an upbringing in a riverside slum when he is sworn in as Indonesia's president on October 20, 2014, taking power as the world's third-biggest democracy faces huge challenges and amid doubts about his ability to enact much-needed reforms. Widodo is Indonesia's first leader with out deep roots in the era of dictator Suharto.  AFP PHOTO / AGUS SUPARTO

Author: Liam Gammon, ANU

The higher they rise, the harder they fall. No politician in post-Suharto Indonesia has risen higher and faster than Joko Widodo (Jokowi), whose win in the 2014 presidential elections was considered a breath of fresh air for a vibrant but corrupt democracy. The reality of his presidency, though, is not what civil society, foreign governments and investors were crossing their fingers for. After eight months in office Jokowi looks surprisingly conservative, out of touch, and out of his depth. Read more…

Cambodia’s unsteady foreign policy balance

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen shake hands with Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, during the East Asian Summit family photo at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyidaw on 12 November 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Leng Thearith, UNSW Canberra

Since the fiasco of the 2012 ASEAN Summit, Cambodia has more or less been viewed as a Chinese client state. But this is not wholly true. In fact, Phnom Penh has attempted to strike a foreign policy balance between China on the one hand and ASEAN, Japan, and the United States on the other. Read more…

India gets the message all wrong after Myanmar foray

Indian forces have hunted down and inflicted 'significant casualties' on rebel groups allegedly involved in the killing of 20 soldiers in the remote northeast of the country last week, officials said on 9 June 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Arun Vishwanathan, NIAS, Bangalore

Recent events along the Indo–Myanmar border have proven that India’s Narendra Modi government has a different playbook when it comes to pro-active responses against groups that harm Indian national interests. Read more…

Draft law may test resilience of Chinese civil society

Chinese police stand next to a roped-off plaza near the Shanghai Museum in Shanghai, 27 June, 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Carolyn L. Hsu, Colgate University

In May 2015, a draft of China’s new Overseas NGO Management Law was leaked to the media. The proposed new regulations tighten state control over international non–government organisations (NGOs) working in China. Under the new law, international NGOs would come under the authority of the Ministry of Public Security and would be required to have a Chinese ‘supervisory agency’. Read more…

Compromised investor–state arbitration in China–Australia FTA

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop meets with China's Minister for Commerce Dr Gao Hucheng at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Luke Nottage, University of Sydney

The China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed and made public on 17 June 2015, included investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, which allow foreign investors to claim against host states that violate substantive commitments if the treaty’s inter-state arbitration mechanism is unavailable due to political or diplomatic reasons. ISDS is especially useful when the host state’s laws and procedures do not meet commonly accepted minimum international standards. Read more…