Asia Pacific

Could THAAD Backlash Derail Regional Harmony?


South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s unilateral decision to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence system has sparked serious backlash and protests at home. Many South Korean voters argue that the THAAD’s powerful radar system would make the country a key military target.

In addition, the South Korean defence ministry, in vowing to minimise any impact from THAAD on citizens and the environment, has validated these concerns.

Can Duterte's War on Drugs Succeed Where Thailand's Failed?


The Philippines has scaled up its war on drugs with devastating consequences. President Rodrigo Duterte’s tough talk and anti-drug platform has led to a staggering number of vigilante killings and the mass incarceration of people associated with drug use and its trade. However, we’ve seen this before. 12 years ago, Thailand launched a bloody and ultimately futile war on drugs.

New RBI Governor Patel Faces Many Challenges


Urjit Patel took over as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 4 September 2016. At 52 years of age, he is among the youngest to be appointed to the position. Hopefully this is indicative of a broader trend of appointing younger Indians to senior policymaking positions — in line with the nation’s youthful demographic profile.

China Welcomes the G20 to SimCity


China is gearing up to hold the G20 summit in its eastern city of Hangzhou. It’s a fitting location for the leaders of the world’s 20 leading economies (19 countries and the EU) to meet. Famed for its beauty, Hangzhou is also a key part of one of China’s most entrepreneurial areas, Zhejiang province and a vital contributor to the country’s exports and GDP. Suffice to say, Hangzhou and Zhejiang count for a lot in China.

Indonesia Still Finding its Sea Legs


Implementing Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) vague ambition to become the maritime power connecting the Pacific and India Oceans — a so-called ‘global maritime fulcrum’ (GMF) — will be an enormous challenge for Indonesia. Making matters worse, since the announcement of the GMF, there has been no detailed policy blueprint, even though efforts to realise the vision have been underway.

One Belt, One Road, Many Factors


Since 2013, the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative has become the centrepiece of China’s economic diplomacy. The essence of OBOR is to promote regional and cross-continental connectivity between China and Eurasia. The ‘One Belt’ and ‘One Road’ refer to China’s proposed ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘Maritime Silk Road’.

Encouraging Japanese Board of Director Diversity


The current potential growth rate of the Japanese economy is estimated to be less than 0.5 percent. Given Japan’s rapidly declining working-age population, it will be critical to increase the labour participation rate of women and elderly people in order to promote economic growth. The ‘new three arrows’ of Abenomics stress the need for Japan to ensure the ‘dynamic engagement of all citizens’ in the economy.

Is China's World Order Role Exaggerated?


China’s status within the prevailing global order has sparked one of the most contested debates in international affairs. For some, it evokes their worst fears over a rising revisionist power; for others it creates inflated expectations over what the Chinese leadership is willing to commit to within the global arena.