Breaking the deadlock on the Korean peninsula

Shin Han-yong, vice president of a group of South Korean firms with factories at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea, speaks to reporters after returning from the park, 20 April 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sangsoo Lee, ISDP

With the Six Party Talks — the main multilateral mechanism to negotiate North Korea’s denuclearisation — moribund since December 2008, the North Korean nuclear issue appears increasingly intractable. North Korea has proceeded with its nuclear program and enshrined its nuclear status in its constitution. Read more…

Pakistan faces perilous choice on Yemen

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif delivers a statement on the Yemen-Saudi Arabia conflict in Islamabad, Pakistan, 13 April 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Abdul Basit, RSIS

Saudi Arabia’s demand that Pakistan joins its coalition against the Houthi uprising in Yemen has put Islamabad in a catch-22 between joining the Saudi alliance and not antagonising its neighbour Iran. Joining the Saudi coalition would have long-term political, economic and security repercussions for Pakistan. Read more…

Xi Jinping’s comprehensive fight against corruption

Chinese Peoples Armed Policemen are on patrol at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, 9 November 2013. An elite body of Chinas ruling Communist Party opened a crucial policy conclave Saturday (November 9 2013) to endorse reforms to bolster a slowing economy and address imbalances built up during years of torrid growth. The four-day meeting of the Central Committee, in keeping with tradition, is taking place behind closed doors and with minimal real-time publicity. The official Xinhua News Agency issued a terse report confirming the meetings opening. It said the body would discuss major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms.If the party hews to past practice, details of the gathering wont be released until it closes Tuesday. Among the reforms on the table, according to officials and state media, are reforms to create more space for private businesses, liberalize the financial sector and make it easier for rural Chinese to move to urban areas.

Author: Angus Nicholson, ANU

Xi Jinping’s recent announcement of the Four Comprehensives is crucial to reform in the Chinese Communist Party (CPC).

The Four Comprehensives are likely to be put forward as Xi’s contribution to the CPC theoretical canon, providing the ideological legitimacy for his reform and anti-corruption campaign. Read more…

China–ROK maritime boundary talks can foster safer seas

South Korean destroyer Yulgok YiYi patrols in waters around Ieodo, south of Jeju Island, South Korea, 2 December 2013. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sukjoon Yoon, KIMS

Talks between China and South Korea on boundary delimitation in the Yellow Sea offer a chance to improve bilateral relations and the prospect of extending the agreement to other seas, in particular the South China Sea. Read more…

Compromise essential to resolve Myanmar’s minority conundrum

Karen people crossing from Myanmar to a clinic in Thailand. There are still no peace agreements in place between major ethnic groups and the government. (Photo: William Daniels / Panos Pictures).

Author: Nicholas Farrelly, ANU

Four decades civil wars have raged along Myanmar’s ethnic fault lines.

In the official count the country tallies up 135 different ‘national races’. The majority Bamar people, who drive national expectations of language, culture and politics, make up around 60 per cent of the population. The minority groups, most with their own distinct tongues, customs and clothes, make up the rest. Read more…

China–US economic relations no zero-sum game

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping drink a toast at a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 12 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Li Shengjiao, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China

The ‘China threat theory’ is once again in vogue, as US President Barack Obama pushes to overcome domestic resistance to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Read more…

The quest for Asian pluralism

Hmong children. The Hmong are a recognised ethnic minority in many countries, including Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, but not China. (Photo: Jeremy Horner / Panos Pictures).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

A defining characteristic of the Asian continent is its pluralism. The vast Chinese civilisation on one side and the civilisation of the Indian sub-continent on the other each embraces its own rich cultural, social and ethnic diversity around a dominant cultural stream. Read more…