Keeping Asia peaceful and prosperous

Chinese navy sailors stand on the guided-missile destroyer, Qingdao, right, before departure for a naval drill at a military port in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province.  (Photo: AAP)

Author: Hugh White, ANU

Thanks again to Robert and James for raising such key issues in their riposte to my second post in this exchange. I think there are five questions here.

First, there is the question of what China wants, on the one hand, and what it will settle for, on the other. I agree completely with Robert and James that China’s conduct these days does not suggest it wants parity with the United States in Asia: it suggests that China does indeed, as they say, want some kind of ‘21st century neo-tributary system or version of an Asian Monroe Doctrine’. Read more…

Financial scenarios for Asia and the world

Visitors look at jewellery displayed at a jewellery fair to attract Chinese consumers in Shanghai, China. (Source: AAP)

Author: Andrew Sheng, Fung Global Institute

The Asian century is a foregone conclusion, but no-one has clarified whether it will be good or bad for Asia.

The region has 60 per cent of the world’s population and, according to Asian Development Bank estimates, will probably be responsible for half of global GDP and financial assets by 2050. Asia is too big to ignore and too diverse to be able to predict how it will shape this century. Read more…

Japan: a voice of freedom in a stifled region

Voters listen to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), during the final campaign of the Upper House election in Tokyo, Japan, 20 July 2013, the eve of the election voting day. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Barak Kushner, University of Cambridge

Japan and China have been vying to lead East Asia for the past hundred years, and while initially Japan seemed to surge ahead the game has changed.

In the past few years Japan has been criticised for its economic ‘lost decades’, and its prestige has suffered over its slow response to the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident. Japan’s lustre of the 1980s has dimmed. Read more…

Getting close to China: How different states pivot to Asia

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard toast during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on 9 April 2013. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Irvin Studin, University of Toronto

Pivots to Asia today are primarily China-driven. On any reasonable analytic account, therefore, the Asian century refers mainly to everything concerned with the economic and strategic rise of China over the past three decades.

While most non-Asian countries currently seem broadly aware of the need for some species of Asia — or China — driven pivot, the character and intensity of the pivot among countries around the world varies greatly, Read more…

Prospects for Japan as a middle power

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, center right, bows as he visits Yasukuni Shrine in April 2013, one of several visits by government members which caused protests by South Korea and China. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Yoshihide Soeya, Keio University

After World War II Japan virtually stepped down from the stage of power politics and accepted that two documents would be the pillars of its foreign policy: its postwar Constitution (particularly the ‘pacifist clause’, Article 9) and the US-Japan security treaty. Read more…

Australia–US cooperation in the ‘Asian century’

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the US ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich in Canberra on 3 July 2013. Mr Bleich hosted the United States independence day celebrations at the United States embassy. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Ellen L. Frost, East-West Center

The Australian Government’s 2012 White Paper Australia in the Asian Century highlights Asia’s dynamic growth, codifies the priority that Canberra has long assigned to Asia, and lists the steps that Australia needs to take to remain competitive. Read more…

No simple scenario for uniting the Koreas

South Korean President Park Geun-hye speaks to a joint session of Congress in Washington 8 May 2013. Park highlighted her vision to make Northeast Asia a more peaceful and harmonious region unbound by history and territorial tensions. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Chung-in Moon, Yonsei University

It is a daunting challenge to predict the future of the Korean peninsula in the Asian century because there are so many variables involved.

But the key factor is clear: the peninsula’s regional and international status and influence will be determined by the nature of inter-Korean relations. Read more…