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…

Australia: a haven for Chinese sinners?

Zhou Yongkang, center foreground, formerly the Chinese Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee member in charge of security, stands as he faces officials in a courtroom at the First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Neil Thomas, ANU

China has an emigration problem. Corrupt officials have decamped to all corners of the world and the Chinese Communist Party wants to haul them home. Australia should help China investigate these officials, but should try suspects in Australia rather than extradite them to China. Read more…

Asian Century must begin with great-power accommodation

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Annenberg Retreat in California. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hugh White, ANU

US geo-strategic leadership has been the foundation of peace and stability in Asia for so long that most people can hardly imagine anything different, and many certainly don’t want anything different. But the Asia-Pacific is going to get something different, whether we like it or not. Geo-strategic leadership in Asia is changing fast, in ways that have profound implications for the political and economic future of the entire region. How that change occurs, and where it leads, matters deeply to everyone. Yet most are still in denial about the fact that it is happening and are therefore doing nothing to try to steer it in directions that might suit their interests or at least reduce the risk of disaster. Read more…

India should get on board China’s Maritime Silk Road

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 15 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Geethanjali Nataraj, Observer Research Foundation

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the concept of the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) — now a part of the One Belt, One Road initiative — during his visit to Indonesia in October 2013. The MSR is an attempt to promote economic cooperation and connectivity by reviving the ancient maritime Silk Road trading route. To this end, China has pledged US$40 billion in the Silk Road Fund to develop infrastructure along the route. Read more…

Where is China headed?

A man looks at portraits of the Chinese President Xi Jinping along with his predecessors Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin and Deng Xiaoping. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Jerome A. Cohen, NYU

Forecasts of China’s future run the gamut. I do not endorse either extreme. There is no significant chance that in the foreseeable future the Communist government will follow the fate of the Soviet Union. Nor do I share the view that the People’s Republic of China is becoming so powerful that it will dominate the world. Read more…

What’s next after Australia’s trade deal with China?

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott looks on as Chinese Minister of Commerce Dr Gao Hucheng and Australian Minister for Trade Andrew Robb sign the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries in Canberra, 17 June 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

The landmark Australia–China Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has been signed, sealed and delivered, completing a trifecta of trade deals since last year with Australia’s three Northeast Asian neighbours — China, Japan and South Korea. Read more…

World needs new hands on the global finance tiller

China's Minister of Finance, Lou Jiwei, with representatives of other founding member countries at the Beijing ceremony at which the memorandum of understanding to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was signed. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Kishore Mahbubani, NUS

In our rapidly changing world, new global contradictions are emerging rapidly. Today, the biggest global contradiction is this: the demand for global leadership has never been greater but the supply seems to be diminishing.

Why is the demand increasing? Read more…