Thailand’s Cambodian charm offensive

Prime Minister of Thailand Prayuth Chan-ocha walks upon arriving at the international airport in Naypyidaw to attend the ASEAN Summit on 11 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Chheang Vannarith, University of Leeds

The recent state visit by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to Cambodia represented part of the Thai military government’s uphill diplomatic battle to build and strengthen its legitimacy abroad. This visit occurred amid mounting diplomatic pressures from Europe and the US, calling for a rapid return to democracy. Read more…

Why is the Australian government sending refugees to Cambodia?

Cambodian protesters hold a banner during a protest near Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 17 October 2014. Cambodians protest against an agreement between Australia and Cambodia on the resettlement of refugees. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Maria O’Sullivan, Monash University

The recently signed refugee resettlement agreement between Australia and Cambodia has been a highly controversial development in Australian asylum seeker policy. The deal sets out conditions under which persons recognised as refugees by authorities in Nauru (operating as part of Australia’s offshore processing regime) will be voluntarily resettled in Cambodia. Read more…

China’s aspiring global leadership

US president Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping look at each other during a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during APEC, 12 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Chulalongkorn University

This geopolitical summit season has consolidated ongoing trends in international affairs. A still-rising China with global leadership aspirations, a resurgent Russia bent on restoring its superpower status, and sclerosis and dysfunction in Western countries is likely to dominate international politics for at least the next 20 years. In fact, we might only be at the beginning in this long time span where seismic global power shifts are taking place. Read more…

A new vision for Australia-India relations

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Author: Sourabh Gupta, Samuels International

Australia and India have not always been the best of friends.

Seven Indian prime ministers from across the political spectrum and spanning three decades have come and gone without paying a state visit to Canberra, a record broken only now with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Australia following the Brisbane G20 Summit. Four unreciprocated visits were made by Australian prime ministers during the latter half of this period. Read more…

A good week for global governance

US President Barack Obama, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands prior to the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia on Nov. 16, 2014. The three leaders agreed to deepen their security cooperation. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Alan S Alexandroff, University of Toronto, and Yves Tiberghien, UBC

For global governance watchers, this was the big week of the year. Between 7 November and 16 November, the world witnessed an APEC meeting in Yanqi Lake near Beijing complete with a bilateral China–Japan ‘breakthrough’ and a major US–China climate deal; an historic ASEAN and East Asia Summit held in Naypidaw, Myanmar; and a colourful G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia.

Notwithstanding the chorus of those announcing growing disorder, global order seems better off after these summits. Read more…

Uncertainty at home brings calm to the Thai–Cambodian border

Thousands of anti-government protesters march in front of anti-riot policemen on a main road during a massive rally in central Bangkok, Thailand, 11 November 2013. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Nicole Jenne, European University Institute

Domestic uncertainties in Thailand and Cambodia have hindered progress along the heavily militarised border and the Preah Vihear temple dispute.

Between 2008 and 2011 the border around the ancient Khmer temple of Preah Vihear (Phra Viharn in Thai) was the site of repeated clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops. Open conflict was put on hold when Cambodia submitted the dispute to the International Court of Justice in 2011. Read more…

Lifting Australia’s influence on China

A woman holds Chinese and Australian national flags as she waits to catch a glimpse of China's President Xi Jinping as he drives by during the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, 16 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: He Fan, CASS and ANU

Chinese President Xi Jinping is attending the 9th G20 Summit in Brisbane and is about to make a formal state visit to Australia. It could be a historic time for strengthening strategic cooperation between Australia and China. Read more…

Global cooperation on lifting growth and other G20 outcomes

G20 leaders wave during the family photo at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, 15 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Overall, the economies of Asia are a bull element in global recovery and long term development. The advanced countries, although less so now the United States, remain a drag on the world economy with no sign that Europe is likely to emerge from stagnation any time soon.  Read more…

After a big year for APEC, what next?

US President Barack Obama talks with China's President Xi Jinping during a meeting after participating in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing Tuesday, November 11, 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Yuen Pau Woo, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

The APEC summit has only just ended, but like the return of hazy skies over Beijing, clouds of uncertainty surrounding the regional forum have again drifted overhead. This is familiar weather for APEC, a grouping that has faced questions about its future for well over a decade. Read more…

India’s look east policy needs a multilateral vantage point

Indian Premier Narendra Modi shakes hands with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif prior to a meeting in New Delhi, India, 27 May 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sanjay Pulipaka, ICRIER, New Delhi

Active interest by India’s new leadership has provided an adrenaline shot to the flagging discourse on South Asian regionalism. During interactions with South Asian leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Modi reiterated the need for greater regional integration in South Asia. Read more…

Meeting the challenge of China’s rise in Asia

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijng, China, 07 November 2014, as they discuss North Korea's nuclear ambitions and an upcoming summit meeting between President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Donald K. Emmerson, Stanford University

On 10 November 2014 a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum will convene in Beijing, followed in rapid succession by the East Asia Summit in Naypyidaw and the G20 in Brisbane.

Much of what will be said and done at these events will implicate the tectonics of nascent global governance set in motion by China’s campaign for greater influence in Asia. Read more…

Rise of the rest demands a new style of US leadership

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Author: Brad Glosserman, Pacific Forum CSIS

Foreign policy is a search for and an attempt to impose order on an unruly world. That task has become more difficult in recent years, with an ever-lengthening list of threats, challenges and destabilising factors. The rise of Asia in the global system also requires a paradigm shift in thinking about global governance. Read more…

Hard line or soft line? Xi Jinping’s diplomatic choices

Wellwishers greet Xi Jinping, then China’s vice-president, at Haneda airport in December 2009. As president, Xi has the responsibility for promoting peace, tolerance and international trust, and at the same time building ‘powerful armies’ and a ‘strong maritime nation’. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Satoshi Amako, Waseda University

Xi Jinping has tackled serious domestic and foreign policy challenges since he assumed leadership in November 2012. He has put great effort into an astonishingly large-scale domestic anti-corruption campaign and has invested diplomatically in enhancing China’s image as a major country and leader in the region.

Xi’s mission, emphasised repeatedly after the 18th Communist Party Congress, is realising the ‘Chinese dream’. Read more…

The economics of Asian geo-political stability

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands after giving opening remarks before the Australia–China Foreign and Strategic Dialogue on 7 September 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Paul Hubbard, ANU

What can economics tell you about the geo-political challenges in Asia? Many strategic thinkers focus on defence capabilities, ideology, politics, environmental threats or history to envisage strategic futures. Economics provides a lens to focus on the fundamental drivers of regional power relations. National income limits a country’s capacity to mobilise resources for power projection, and hence influence the regional security order. Read more…

Sino–Japanese relations 120 years after the war

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Author: Liu Jiangyong, Tsinghua University

The year 2014 marks 120 years since the First Sino–Japanese War. While the two nations have enjoyed several decades of peace, there is an uneasy feeling in China that recent developments and revisions to the Japanese constitution draw parallels with the decade prior to 1894. Read more…