Currency cooperation, not finger-pointing, is the way forward

A Chinese clerk counts yuan and US dollar banknotes at a bank in Nantong city on 1 March 2016. The US Treasury has placed China on a ‘Monitoring List’ for its suspected engagement in what the US terms ‘unfair currency practices’. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sourabh Gupta, ICAS

For over a quarter-century now, the US Treasury Department has released a formulaic report on the currency policy and practices of key economies on a semi-annual basis. On occasion, it has hauled up a trading partner as a ‘currency manipulator’ and proceeded to jawbone that partner to appreciate its currency and shrink its bilateral trade surplus. This was the case with South Korea and Taiwan in 1988. And again in 1992 with China and Taiwan. Read more…

Brinkmanship in the South China Sea helps nobody

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, joins his hands with Japan's Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, and South Korea's Defense Minister Han Min Koo during their trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 15th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore. (Photo AAP).

Author: Sam Bateman, RSIS

Recent months have seen a continuing increase in military activities in the South China Sea, particularly by the United States and China, but also by ‘bit players’ like India and Japan. These activities only serve to heighten tensions in the region at a time when the priority should be to demilitarise the area. Read more…

Trump and the future of US power in the Pacific

Donald Trump waves to supporters at a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada on 10 January 2016 (Photo: flickr/Darron Birgenheier).

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

The rise of Donald Trump from ‘joke’ candidate to the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party in the US presidential election primaries has come as a shock not only to the US political establishment, but also globally to those who worry about what a Trump presidency might mean beyond the borders of the United States. Read more…

What Asia needs to know about Trump

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Omaha on 6 May 2016 (Photo: AAP).

Author: T J Pempel, UC Berkeley

Virtually every Asian academic, business leader, policymaker or taxi driver I have encountered in the last six months has, within minutes, pummelled me for answers to the Trump question. Read more…

A WTO challenge to China’s internet censorship is long overdue

View of a Baidu office building in Shenzhen city, Guangdong province, 2 March 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Claude Barfield, AEI

For the first time this year, the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) ‘National Trade Estimate Report’ took note of China’s Great Firewall. Granted, it was with this tame statement: ‘China’s filtering of cross-border Internet traffic has posed a significant burden to foreign suppliers’. Read more…

Can Obama kickstart Asia-Pacific reconciliation?

US Secretary of State John Kerry puts his arm around Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida after they and fellow G7 foreign ministers laid wreaths at the cenotaph at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan, 11 April 2016. US President Barack Obama will travel to Hiroshima in May 2016 in the first visit by a sitting American president to the site where the US dropped an atomic bomb. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Christian Wirth, Tohoku University

At the end of this month President Obama will become the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima. The momentous visit is planned around Obama’s trip to nearby Ise-Shima for the G7 Summit. Read more…

Obama and the absence of apology in Hiroshima

US President Barack Obama speaks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Tessa Morris-Suzuki, ANU

‘As President of the United States of America, I express my profound apologies for the sufferings inflicted on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the atomic bombings’. These, of course, are the words that we are not going to hear Barack Obama speak in Hiroshima on 27 May Read more…