Trade agreements are in ASEAN’s best interests

A container truck passes by piles of containers at a terminal of Yangshan Deep-water Port in Shanghai, China. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS

At the last Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November 2015, the United States and China advanced their own set of interests with respect to trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region. While the United States celebrated the conclusion of its Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in early October 2015, China stressed the potential of a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

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The new geo-politics in Asia…and farewell

Chinese President Xi Jinping steps out from behind China's flag as he takes his position for his joint news conference with President Barack Obama on 25 September 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Many are trying to get their minds around what the huge change in the contours of regional power mean for the stability of the political order in Asia today. Are we doomed to inevitable conflict between the established powers, the United States in particular, and the emerging powers, notably China, as they jostle for political space? Read more…

Building Asian security

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold a joint news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, DC on 25 September 2015. The United States and China have markedly different approaches to the security order in Asia. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Amitav Acharya, American University

A principal challenge to Asian security today is that the various approaches to the security order seem to be working at cross-purposes. Take the United States and China. Read more…

Navigating the rocky road to a multipolar order

View of a cliff tunnel in Jingdi village, Pingshun county, Changzhi city, north China's Shanxi province. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Andrew Sheng, Asia Global Institute

2015 in the Asia Pacific will be remembered as a year of shambolic shifts towards a more multipolar economic and political order. The United States alone can no longer shape global destiny but will have to share power with allies and rivals, even as regional powers find themselves threatened by their own challenges. Read more…

Pakistan’s year of mixed fortunes

Pakistanis hold a candlelight vigil for victims of the Peshawar school shooting on its anniversary on 16 December 2015 in Lahore, Pakistan. (Source: AAP)

Author: S. Mahmud Ali, LSE

2015 was a turbulent year for Pakistan. A bloodbath at a Peshawar school in December 2014, where Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) assailants killed 145 people, mostly children, darkened the augury for 2015. Seen as a response to counter-TTP military operations in North Waziristan, the blitz on an army-run school inside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s major garrison triggered a 20-point National Action Plan. Read more…

ASEAN still matters for global change

Kuala Lumpur City Centre, location of the 2015 ASEAN Summit, shrouded in haze (Photo: AAP)

Author: John Pang, RSIS

2015 has been a year of high expectations and of disappointment in Southeast Asia. Rarely has the economic and strategic importance of the region been as apparent. As China’s economy is transitioning towards ‘a new normal’ marked by lower growth, investors have looked to ASEAN as both an alternative and a complementary market to China. Read more…

G20 leaders falling US$4 trillion short of growth target

US President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference following the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey on 16 November 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Adam Triggs, ANU

The IMF gave G20 leaders some bad news in Turkey: they are not doing enough to lift growth. The G20 has not implemented enough of their previous commitments and their goal of increasing G20 GDP by US$2 trillion by 2018 is falling short by about US$4 trillion. Read more…