Asia Pacific

Should Australians Have Known more about the Ausgrid Decision?


Treasurer Scott Morrison has decided not to approve a controlling stake for either of two Chinese bidders in Ausgrid, the electricity network in New South Wales. He has cited national security concerns but has refused to be drawn further on the reasons.

In explaining his rejection of the bids, Morrison said, “The only person who’s security-cleared in this room to be able to hear the answer to that question is me.”

Sri Lankan Government Economic Missteps Need Correcting


Eighteen months ago, a new president and government came to power in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has had a national-unity government since August 2015. So what has changed?

The political atmosphere is freer, ethnic tensions are much lower, and foreign policy has been rebalanced, with much better relations with India and the West. However, the government’s Achilles heel is the economy. Here expectations have been dashed. What has gone wrong?

China's Economic Growth Falls to the Policymakers


The pattern of growth that drove the Chinese economic miracle has broadly run its course. China’s future prosperity now rests on the shoulders of its policymakers. Will they be able to steer the Chinese economy to prosperity, or will China be bogged down in the middle-income trap? Broadly speaking, there are three paths the Chinese economy can go down.

Young South Koreans Losing Interest in the North


It is not easy being a young person in globalised South Korea. The intense competition that defines South Korea’s education system and the irregular employment market that awaits graduates has led to rising inequality, falling birth rates, insecure employment and high numbers of youth suicide. Beyond South Korea’s domestic wellbeing, globalisation and its accompanying economic insecurity also have implications for foreign affairs, particularly attitudes towards North Korea.

Japan's GDP Disappoints


The US dollar closed the pre-weekend session well off its lows that were seen in response to the disappointing retail sales report.  It has been unable to sustain the upside momentum, and as North American dealers prepare to return to their posts, it is trading lower against most of the major currencies. The notable exceptions are the Scandi-bloc, which are consolidating last week's gains, and sterling, which remains pinned near $1.29.

Is South Korea Facing 'Lost Decades'?


In recent years, the South Korean economy has slowed significantly. South Korea’s average annual growth rate has fallen from a high of 9.8 percent in the 1980s to an average of just 2.7 percent over the last five years.

Many of the big South Korean industrial giants, such as Samsung and Hyundai, have increasingly moved their new investments abroad to low-cost regions in South Asia and Eastern Europe.

South Korea's High Growth Model has its Shortcomings


Just a few decades ago, South Korea was seen as a model for achieving both growth and equity. In the past half-century, South Korea has gone from being one of the poorest societies in the world to an advanced industrialised economy, joining the OECD in 1996. The country’s rapid industrialisation and export-led development are often cited as an example of ‘compressed growth and transformation’ in the developing world.

Practicing Responsible Middle-Power Diplomacy is South Korea's Way Forward


South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se once again defended the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system on the Korean peninsula in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in late July. Wang responded that Seoul’s decision had ‘harmed the foundation of mutual trust’ between their two countries.