US presidential campaign mustn’t undermine Xi’s state visit

US Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio, who wrote an op'ed in the Wall Street Journal detailing his tough stance on China, speaks at a town hall Ohio, 21 August 2015. There tends to be a difference between campaign-trail rhetoric and the realities of political office. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Elizabeth Ingleson, United States Studies Centre

Another year of presidential campaigns, another round of China bashing. In the wake of China’s stock market crash in August 2015, Republican presidential candidates have turned their attention towards China. Citing China’s ‘active manipulation’ of its economy as contributing to its own ‘Black Monday’, candidate Scott Walker demanded US President Barack Obama cancel Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit. Read more…

The next step for the US-Japan alliance

Japan Ground Self Defense Forces' type 92 anti-landmine missile firing while 74 tanks stand by during an exercise at the Higashi-Fuji training ground in Gotemba, some 100 kilometres west of Tokyo. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hitoshi Tanaka, JCIE

US-Japan relations gained momentum with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s US visit in late April. Abe’s historic speech to a joint sitting of the Congress was well received. The two countries also announced the first revision of the US-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines since 1997, based on the understanding that the Japan Self-Defense Force (SDF) will take on a larger role and US-Japan security cooperation will be expanded. Read more…

Strong export growth in Vietnam masks underlying challenges

Vietnam's export boom may be overshadowing some structural problems. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Suiwah Leung, ANU

Unlike many countries in Asia, and indeed in the world, Vietnam is for the moment blessed with a raft of positive economic news. But beneath the surface, structural problems and a lack of industrial deepening persist.  Read more…

China takes the lead on economic integration

A worker sits in the partial shade of a cement truck outside a construction site at the central business district of Beijing, China. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Andrew Elek, ANU

China’s One Belt, One Road initiative is currently the most important program for deep economic integration. The program envisages the revitalisation of old trading routes with a continental Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st century Maritime Silk Road. Despite its awkward name, the initiative is a well-conceived way for China to connect its economy to the rest of the world, with an early emphasis on links towards Europe through the rest of Asia. Read more…

Best to get the TPP done right, not done fast

A demonstrator protests against the legislation to give US President Barack Obama fast-track authority to advance trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, during a protest march on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 21 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Richard Katz, Oriental Economist Report

Unless the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks are concluded soon, they risk dragging on interminably. If that happens, the United States’ capacity to function as a benign world hegemon will be diminished.

To avoid this, the White House is determined to get the pact signed and ratified by the end of 2015. Read more…

What the AIIB can learn from World Bank shortcomings


Author: David Dollar, Brookings Institution

To understand the impetus for launching the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), look no further than China’s concern that the governance structure of existing international financial institutions was evolving too slowly. An important agreement to increase the resources of the International Monetary Fund and to raise the voting shares of fast-growing emerging markets, ratified by other nations, has been stalled in the US Congress. Read more…

A new vision for China–Australia relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott walk together as they leave the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, 17 November 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Stuart Harris, ANU

Australia’s foreign policy has been a mix of positives and negatives under the Liberal-National Coalition government, as was true of the previous Labor government. Former prime ministers Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke recognised the need for Australia to think strategically about future regional developments, and John Howard’s thinking gradually moved in that direction. Read more…