Indonesian government unites against the spread of IS

A police armoured vehicle is parked outside a Starbucks cafe following the attack in Jakarta, Indonesia, 14 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Yang Razali Kassim, RSIS

On 14 January 2016 Indonesian supporters of so called Islamic State (IS) militant group launched a coordinated bomb and gun assault in the heart of Jakarta. The attack is a game changer for terrorism in Indonesia. But Indonesia’s leaders are closing ranks as the government of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) pursues a long-term response to the growing IS threat in the region. Read more…

Vietnam’s uphill battle against corruption

Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong speaks at a press conference next to Party's Chairman of the Propaganda and Education Commission Dinh The Huynh after the closing ceremony of the 12th National Congress of Vietnam Communist Party in Hanoi, Vietnam 28 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hai Hong Nguyen, The University of Queensland

The day after the 12th national Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), the Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam announced the suspension of its two governing board members. The men allegedly committed ‘wrongdoings in management’, a term usually used by the authorities for offences associated with corruption. Read more…

Taiwan’s energy conundrum

Thousands fill Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei, Taiwan on March 14, 2015 as they rally against nuclear power in their country. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Paul Pryce, UPH Analytics

The newly elected Taiwanese government led by President Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will be faced with significant challenges in energy policy. Most urgently, viable replacements for Taiwan’s ageing fleet of nuclear reactors must be found.

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Keeping Australia productive after the boom

The market boards show the volatility at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in Sydney. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Jenny Gordon, Australian Productivity Commission

Australia’s 2015 Intergenerational Report assumed that labour productivity would grow at an average annual rate of 1.5 per cent over the period 2015 to 2055. This is slightly lower than the growth in labour productivity over the last decade because multifactor productivity has stagnated.

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US–China rivalry: does Asia have to choose?

US President Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping walk the colonnade of the White House, Washington, DC, USA, 25 September 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hugh White, ANU

Can America preserve the US-led regional order by resisting China’s challenge to replace it with ‘a new model of great-power relations’? That depends a lot on how much support the United States can expect from its friends and allies in the region. Read more…

What the Jakarta attack means for Indonesian terrorism

Indonesian police officers patrol near the site of the 14 January terrorist attacks in Jakarta, Indonesia, 17 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Greg Fealy, ANU

Two weeks after the terrorist attack in front of the Sarinah Department Store in central Jakarta, a clearer picture is emerging of the key figures behind the operation and its significance for Indonesian jihadism.

On 14 January, four perpetrators launched a mid-morning attack in the busy Sarinah area of Jakarta. Read more…

The Bank of Japan’s sub-zero shock

Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks during a press conference following a monetary policy meeting at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, 29 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Masahiko Takeda, Hitotsubashi University

This winter has been relatively mild in Japan, but at least in financial markets, it is sub-zero. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda of the Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced on 29 January that the BoJ would apply a negative interest rate of minus 0.1 per cent to deposits that financial institutions hold at the Bank, starting from 16 February. Read more…