Filipino strongman Duterte not just talk

Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his final campaign rally in Manila, Philippines, 7 May 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Damien Kingsbury, Deakin University

There may be more to the Philippines’ new president Rodrigo Duterte than his tough guy image indicates. In the populist theatrics that are Filipino politics, the overwhelming election of Duterte should not have come as a surprise, even with common, but inaccurate, comparisons to the US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Read more…

Turbulent times ahead for Tsai Ing-wen’s Taiwan?

Tsai Ing-wen waves to supporters during the last day of campaign rallying for the 2016 presidential election in Taiwan on 15 January 2016. Tsai was inaugurated as president on 20 May. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Mark Harrison, University of Tasmania

On 20 May Tsai Ing-wen was inaugurated as president of Taiwan, following her sweeping victory in the January elections. Members of her party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), have already taken up their majority seats in the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s parliament. Read more…

Chinese investment and national security: what Australians think

A patrol boat docking at Darwin Port, 17 May 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: James Laurenceson and Hannah Bretherton, ACRI

In response to recent Chinese interest in infrastructure assets, the Australian government is under pressure to tighten its foreign investment review framework on national security grounds. Read more…

Japan courts Russia at Sochi summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to their talks in Sochi, Russia, 6 May 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: James D. J. Brown, Temple University, and Andrei I. Kozinets, Far Eastern Federal University

The two most prominent features of Japanese foreign policy are caution and the US alliance. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to travel to Sochi for a summit with President Vladimir Putin on 6 May was therefore remarkable. Read more…

Indian jobseekers still waiting for Modi’s ‘good days’

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks to media upon his arrival at the parliament house as Indian Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu stands alongside him in New Delhi, India, 25 April 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Rajiv Kumar, Centre for Policy Research

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of ‘good days’ that underpinned his 2013 election campaign is premised on moving India away from its dole-and-entitlement development model to one that empowers youth by generating large-scale employment. In that context, recently released employment figures from the country’s Labour Bureau are alarming. Read more…

Making peace with the Bangsamoro Basic Law

Filipino Muslims display placards during a rally at the Philippine Senate to coincide with the hearing at the Upper House on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which the Philippine Government and Muslim rebels have entered into that would establish an autonomous region in southern Philippines Monday, 25 May 2015 in Manila, Philippines.

Author: Teresa Jopson, ANU

Securing a lasting peace in the southern Philippines has been an ongoing problem for the Philippine government. Marginalised Moros in the southern Philippines have legitimate grievances against the Philippine government. This much the Philippine government has recognised in signing peace agreements, most recently with the insurgent group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

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Duterte and the politics of anger in the Philippines

Filipino presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during an election campaign rally in Quezon city on 23 April 2016. Duterte, nicknamed 'the punisher', has reportedly won widespread support for his tough-on-crime approach and is the front-runner in the elections. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Julio C. Teehankee, De La Salle University, and Mark R. Thompson, City University of Hong Kong

In the lead up to tomorrow’s presidential elections in the Philippines, Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte appears to be headed to victory. In the latest Pulse Asia national survey from 26–29 April, Duterte maintained his double digit lead against his closest rivals, the Aquino administration backed Mar Roxas and neophyte senator Grace Poe, giving him a clear path to victory in an electoral system without a runoff. Read more…