Asia’s strategic weight

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the India-China Business Forum in Shanghai, China, 16 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Their sheer size and growth potential mean that China and India will be at the centre of the Asian economic powerhouse over the coming decades, however well it performs. Over the past two decades, the two countries have already more than tripled their share of the global economy. Adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), the Indian economy is now roughly the size of Japan’s. In PPP terms, China’s economy is already nudging that of the United States. Read more…

Back to the future in managing the Chinese economy?

China's central bank raised the value of the yuan against the US dollar by 0.05 per cent, the national foreign exchange market said, ending three days of falls after a surprise devaluation. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Those in the international policy community whose professional responsibility it is to keep abreast of political developments in China have been in a tizz over the past few weeks about the prospects of a return to the command economy. This might seem strange to the economic observer. The most vibrant part of the second largest market economy in the world, generating around two thirds of its industrial product, is its private sector. Read more…

The problems for Asia’s growth

On 24 March 2015, the Chinese government approved three new free trade zones. Trade liberalisation remains important for escaping the middle income trap. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

There has been a great deal of brouhaha about the risks of a collapse in the Chinese economic growth over the past couple of months because of the dramatic fall in Chinese stock markets. The truth is that movement in the Chinese stock market has never been closely related to China’s economic growth rate performance. Read more…

Bridging the trust deficit in Northeast Asia

People walk past the Atomic Bomb Dome beside the Peace Memorial Park at sunset in Hiroshima on 5 August 2015. Japanese Prime Minister is scheduled to make a statement commemorating WWII on 14 August. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

There has been a great deal of soul-searching about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s statement on the anniversary of the end of the Pacific War. On 15 August 1945, Emperor Hirohito made his ‘jewel voice broadcast’ of surrender to the Allied forces, accepting the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and ending World War II in the Pacific. After 70 years, some might wonder what’s the big deal over recognising wartime history. Read more…

The trouble with Japan’s new security bills

People shout slogans as they hold a banner during a rally to protest against controversial security bills which would expand the remit of the country's armed forces, in front of the National Diet in Tokyo on 27 July 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The debate over Japan’s new security bills, which seek to overhaul post-war defence policies, has shifted to the upper house and the streets, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presses on to secure their passage into legislation. On 16 July the lower house passed the package of bills in a vote that was boycotted by opposition parties as tens of thousands protested outside the Diet. Read more…

Down to the wire on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

US Trade Representative Michael Froman shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Akira Amari prior to their talks over deadlocked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, at Amari's office in Tokyo on 19 April 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Officials and ministers from around the Pacific are descending on Hawaii this week for what should be the final round in the negotiation of the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The big two in the arrangement — Japan and the United States — appear to have settled, and this bilateral between the two largest parties to the negotiation will be by far its most significant outcome. But there is still uncertainty about whether the agreement will be put to bed within the week and what its shape will finally be. Read more…

Vietnam and rapprochement with the United States

US President Barack Obama and Vietnamese General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong shake hands during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, 7 July 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The visit, the week before last, of the general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong to Washington at the invitation of President Obama marked another important step on the long journey towards rapprochement between Vietnam and the United States. The visit marked the twentieth anniversary of the ‘normalisation’ of diplomatic relations and the removal of some of the embargoes after the end of the Indo-Chinese war nearly twenty years earlier. Read more…