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INSIGHTS

obama-malaysia
Obama’s tricky choices in Asia
by

As US President Barack Obama’s visit to Asia wound down on Tuesday (29 April), China’s state-run newspaper China Daily ran an editorial that said it was becoming "increasingly obvious that Washington is taking Beijing as an opponent". Commitment to allies  Indeed Mr Obama’s visit was focused on...

russia-china
Energy and the Ukrainian crisis: towards Russia’s pivot to Asia?
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As the Ukrainian crisis continues unabated, the US and Europe look set to impose further sanctions on Russia. As a result, Moscow has been making overtures towards a different part of the world, which have led some observers to speak of the “Russian pivot to...

southchinasea
What’s to Come: Cooperation, or Militarisation?
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The Philippines, having taken China to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in an attempt to resolve the South China Sea dispute, has put the global spotlight on an issue that has been churning the seas for many years. While China has refused to be subject to...

FILE - In this April 26, 2006 file photo, an aerial view shows the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in Ukraine. From the air, one can see the damaged reactor encased in cement and steel, image left, put in place after the 1986 explosion to cut down on radiation leaking into the environment. Japan's Fukushima disaster, which will leave taxpayers there with a massive bill, brings to the fore one of the industry's key weaknesses _ that nuclear power is a viable source for cheap energy only if it goes uninsured. (AP Photo/Mykola Lazorenko, Pool, file)
Nuclear Power and Abenomics
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Japan's new Basic Energy Plan sends a clear signal that the country will not abandon nuclear power, spelling bad news for environmentalists and people concerned about nuclear safety. Opinion polls suggest the majority of Japanese citizens are still uncertain about nuclear power. But since taking office...

obama-shadow
Obama in Malaysia: more than the TPP
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When US President Barack Obama touches down in Kuala Lumpur next week, it will be the first time since 1966 that a sitting US president has visited Malaysia. It replaces a planned visit from last October, which was cancelled because Mr Obama was obliged to...

indonesia-elections
Indonesia’s legislative elections: What to look out for
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Indonesia voted in legislative elections on April 9. Only parties winning 25 per cent of the popular vote or 20 per cent of seats in the house can nominate a candidate for president; parties which fall short of these thresholds would need to nominate a...

myanmar-yangon-wiki-600
Myanmar’s financial opening: No shock therapy please
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Myanmar, as ASEAN Chair, has done well to ensure that achieving the AEC 2015 goal has remained a top priority on the region’s agenda. At the 18th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on Saturday, Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to realising the goals...

tonyabbott-abe-2014-600
Japan-Australia FTA: A good precedent for compromise
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Japan and Australia have agreed on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This is the first time a major agricultural exporting nation has concluded a trade deal with Japan, and it sets a positive precedent for the successful conclusion of the regional-level Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...

taiwan-china
Cross-Strait Relations: A Southward Shift in Taiwanese Investments?
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Taiwan has seen protests over a trade deal which it signed with mainland China. The deal, which has not been ratified by the Taiwanese Parliament, would allow Taiwanese and Chinese service companies in fields ranging from banking to beauty parlours to set up shop in...

southchinasea-2
Philippines: One-up Against China?
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The decision of the Philippines to lodge a case on disputed waters in the South China Sea with an international tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has been met with strong criticism from China. The Chinese foreign ministry insisted...