Cambodia’s unsteady foreign policy balance

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen shake hands with Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, during the East Asian Summit family photo at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyidaw on 12 November 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Leng Thearith, UNSW Canberra

Since the fiasco of the 2012 ASEAN Summit, Cambodia has more or less been viewed as a Chinese client state. But this is not wholly true. In fact, Phnom Penh has attempted to strike a foreign policy balance between China on the one hand and ASEAN, Japan, and the United States on the other. Read more…

India gets the message all wrong after Myanmar foray

Indian forces have hunted down and inflicted 'significant casualties' on rebel groups allegedly involved in the killing of 20 soldiers in the remote northeast of the country last week, officials said on 9 June 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Arun Vishwanathan, NIAS, Bangalore

Recent events along the Indo–Myanmar border have proven that India’s Narendra Modi government has a different playbook when it comes to pro-active responses against groups that harm Indian national interests. Read more…

Draft law may test resilience of Chinese civil society

Chinese police stand next to a roped-off plaza near the Shanghai Museum in Shanghai, 27 June, 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Carolyn L. Hsu, Colgate University

In May 2015, a draft of China’s new Overseas NGO Management Law was leaked to the media. The proposed new regulations tighten state control over international non–government organisations (NGOs) working in China. Under the new law, international NGOs would come under the authority of the Ministry of Public Security and would be required to have a Chinese ‘supervisory agency’. Read more…

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…

Taiwan gears up for all-female presidential race

Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, DPP, Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen speaks in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo:AAP).

Author: Chen-shen Yen, National Chengchi University

With legislator and Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu confirmed by the Standing Committee of the Nationalist Party or Kuomintang (KMT), the presidential candidates for the two main parties contending for Taiwan’s 2016 election are both women, leading to the foregone conclusion that there will be a female president in Taiwan next year. 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…

Japan deserves some praise on climate change

A floating megasolar power plant on a reservoir in Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture,. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Llewelyn Hughes, ANU

Japan has received some sharp criticism following the G7 meeting in June 2015 for its stance on climate change. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions of 26 per cent below 2013 emission levels by 2030, which is equivalent to 18 per cent less than 1990 emissions. If replicated globally, this would fall short of what is needed to keep the risk of catastrophic climate change to reasonable levels. Read more…