US–China rivalry: does Asia have to choose?

US President Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping walk the colonnade of the White House, Washington, DC, USA, 25 September 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hugh White, ANU

Can America preserve the US-led regional order by resisting China’s challenge to replace it with ‘a new model of great-power relations’? That depends a lot on how much support the United States can expect from its friends and allies in the region. Read more…

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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Cambodia’s development paradox

Cambodian garment workers ride on the back of a truck heading for a factory on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 23 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Heidi Dahles, Griffith University

In 2015 Cambodia has been hailed for its accomplishments in meeting its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. The recent UN report calls Cambodia an ‘early achiever’ performing particularly well on poverty alleviation. The Cambodian economy grew on average 7.8 per cent in 2004–2014, achieving one of the fastest growth rates in the world during this period. Read more…

A bright future for the Philippines

Philippine Stock Exchange officials lead the bell ringing during the first trading day of the year 2016 at the Philippine Stock Exchange in the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines, 4 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Asian Development Bank

Economic forecasting is always difficult. The American economist John Kenneth Galbraith famously said ‘we have two sorts of forecasters: those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know’. Yet, while some sceptics assert that economic forecasts are of little value, they are useful for governments and firms to develop their plans and budgets for the year ahead. 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…

ASEAN at court in Sunnylands

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, while Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev look on during the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 22 November 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

At the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, in November, President Obama reached out to elevate the United States–ASEAN relationship to a ‘strategic partnership’ and invited ASEAN Leaders to a summit that, it’s now been announced, will take place at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California on 15–16 February. This is a bold initiative of possible geopolitical consequence. Read more…

Evaluating Malaysia’s ASEAN chairmanship

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Foreign Minister Anifah Aman during the plenary session of the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 21 November 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS-YII

Malaysia ended its chairmanship of ASEAN as the grouping announced the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in November 2015. The AEC intends to create a single market across the ASEAN region by standardising economic regulations including those on trade, flows of financial capital and labour migration. Read more…