The importance of reliable resource markets to Australian and Asian security

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a tour of an iron ore mine in the Pilbara, West Australia, 9 July 2014. (Photo:AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Recent talk that would encourage government messing with Australian iron ore markets sits awkwardly in the context of the core strategic importance of raw materials in Australia’s economic relationships with Asia, both sides round. Read more…

Getting trade and currency policy instruments and objectives mixed up

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks on trade and the economy from in Oregon, USA, 8 May 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Trade flows are clearly linked to the value of national currencies. This is the innocuous starting point that leads the political classes and lobbyists in America into a pickle over the incorporation of clauses that seek to protect against ‘currency manipulation’ into trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that is being pushed by the Obama administration as the economic arm of its pivot towards Asia. Read more…

The rule of law and China’s one-party state

Chinese President Xi Jinping talks with Premier Li Keqiang after the closing session of the annual National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 15March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

While the world now appears to accept and acknowledge the campaign to entrench the rule of law in China, many outside (as well as inside) China are still struggling to understand the meaning of this campaign and what the implications of President Xi Jinping’s success in achieving this goal might mean for how the Chinese political system works and for the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese state. Read more…

Where have all Japan’s young people gone?

Children play in the fountains at Odori Park in Sapporo, Japan, 27 April 2015.(Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The remarkable ageing of the populations in most advanced economies is no more evident or precipitate than in Japan. Earlier, Japan’s and other countries’ anti-natal policies encouraged a lowering of birth rates in an attempt to boost the chances of economic advancement. Read more…

Mr Abe in Washington

Secretary of State John Kerry stands next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Abe's wife Akie Abe for a photograph in front of Kerry's residence in Boston, 26 April 2015. Abe has arrived in the US for a week-long visit. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s week-long visit to the United States this week and his speech on Wednesday to a joint session of the US Congress represent an unusual opportunity for Japan’s diplomacy. Abe is the first Japanese prime minister to address a joint meeting of Congress. 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…

Productivity not reproductivity the new driver of Chinese growth

A toddler playing in a rickshaw in Beijing, China, 2007. Around a quarter of China's remarkable economic growth over the past three decades or so was delivered by the dividend from its demographic structure, with a young population augmenting the workforce and lifting output in new jobs. (Photo: Flickr user 'dominiqueb').

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Around a quarter of China’s remarkable economic growth over the past three decades or so was delivered by the dividend from its demographic structure, with a young population augmenting the workforce and lifting output in new jobs. Read more…