East Asia Forum

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East Asia Forum
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Analysis of economics, politics and public policy in East Asia and the Pacific.

Changing North Korea's Course will Take Cooperation

Date: 12 July 2016

The 26th meeting of the North East Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), a one and a half track forum whose membership mirrors the Six-Party Talks, was held in Beijing late last month. North Korea began to attend the NEACD in 2002, but failed to show up in 2014 and 2015.

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UNCLOS Ruling May Not Go China's Way

Date: 11 July 2016

International media have come to focus on Tuesday’s anticipated decision in the Philippines’ arbitration against China. Beijing’s recent propaganda and diplomatic blitz has raised the prominence of the case to new heights.

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China's Changing Economy...it will Take a While

Date: 11 July 2016

China is undergoing profound changes in its economic policy and structure. These changes represent a new model of Chinese economic growth. The recent Five Year Plan (FYP) is an evolutionary document. Building on earlier official statements on the new model of growth, it provides the most elaborate statement to date on the model’s content and implementation.

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Transcending East Asian Politics with Pop Culture

Date: 11 July 2016

Media can only become regional or global in a broadcasting regime that enables content to move freely beyond national borders. Regional broadcasting, which was restricted in the 1980s in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, now allows for the legitimate transfer of content across national borders.

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Are there Strings Attached to Cambodia's Chinese Aid?

Date: 11 July 2016

In a 2006 speech, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen praised China, saying that ‘China talks less but does a lot’. China is certainly doing a lot in Cambodia, becoming the country’s largest aid donor and source of foreign investment.

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Does Philippine President Duterte Need a Better International Image?

Date: 8 July 2016

Since the election of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the next Philippine president in a landslide victory on 9 May 2016, the regional and international media have highlighted his outrageous remarks on various sensitive topics. For instance, he backed the extra-judicial killings of drug dealers, alleged that journalists were killed because they were corrupt and called Philippine bishops critical of him ‘sons of whores’. None of these remarks has dented his domestic support. However, they have attracted international attention and provided a negative one-dimensional view of the new leader.

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Exporting Human Rights Abuses Using Adult Entertainment

Date: 8 July 2016

The history of the Japanese military’s wartime sexual enslavement of women still plays on the mind of East Asia. Japanese leaders make it hard to forget. Most recently, deputy foreign minister Shinsuke Sugiyama told the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women that his government knew of no documents confirming the forcible wartime recruitment of so-called ‘comfort women’. The refusal of Japan’s leaders to admit legal liability or pay reparation to victims makes military prostitution a continuing backdrop to the diplomatic relations of East Asia.

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The South China Sea, The Hague, The Ruling

Date: 7 July 2016

Any day now, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague will hand down its judgment in the case brought by the Philippines about the validity of some of China’s claims in the South China Sea. Attention is focused mostly on the tribunal’s ruling on Beijing’s claim to some kind of ill-defined ownership of all the waters that lie within the famous ‘nine-dash line’.

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Getting Creative in Vietnam to Sustain Economic Growth

Date: 6 July 2016

The biggest macroeconomic challenge facing Vietnam today is sustaining growth. Most doi moi-era growth has resulted either from efficiency gains associated with the introduction of a market economy (opening domestic markets and trade, relaxing restrictions on labour movement and land transactions) or from expanded endowments of low-skill labour and capital. GDP continues to grow at a very respectable rate, albeit lower than that projected in national planning documents.

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Rajan's Exit, then Britain's, has India on Edge

Date: 5 July 2016

‘Brexit’, close on the heels of the shock resignation of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Raghuram Rajan, has triggered a great deal of market turbulence and future uncertainty for the Indian economy.

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Services Closing in on Being Two-Thirds of the Philippine Economy

Date: 5 July 2016

The services sector dominates the Philippine economy. In 2015, it accounted for 59 percent of GDP and 54.5 percent of employment. In recent years the industry sector — which includes manufacturing and construction — has started to recover, growing faster than services. However, given its size, the services sector remains the key driver of the economy contributing more to GDP growth than all other sectors combined.

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Homophobia Still Front and Center in South Korean Politics

Date: 5 July 2016

A notable element of South Korea’s general elections in April 2016 was the hypervisibility of anti-gay political rhetoric, promulgated especially by the fledgling Christian Liberal Party (CLP). An ultra-conservative Protestant political party established in March 2016, the CLP ultimately failed to gain a seat in the National Assembly — but it came close, earning 2.6 percent of votes nationwide, just shy of the 3 percent required for a proportional representation seat.

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Japan's Next Lackluster Election Comes this Weekend

Date: 5 July 2016

On 10 July, Japanese voters will go to the polls in the triennial upper house election. The candidates will be all-too-familiar faces; the party leaders wooden; and policy menus unpalatable. The contest is for only half the seats and voters are expected to either vote for the political status quo or not vote at all.

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Looking in on the Australian-Indian Aid Tie-up

Date: 4 July 2016

Maritime links and commercial interests are bringing India and Australia closer, opening opportunities for the two nations to address the clear danger of climate change in the Pacific through trilateral aid partnerships.

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Australia may Migrate to European-style Investment Treaty Drafting

Date: 1 July 2016

Public debate over how best to manage the interests of foreign investors and host states has resurfaced in Australia. Most of Australia’s free trade agreements (FTAs), like those of many other Asia-Pacific economies, follow a US approach to drafting substantive provisions that liberalise and protect cross-border investment. This includes increasingly detailed provisions for investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS), whereby investors and host states appoint arbitrators on a case-by-case basis.

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Being Smart about Dealing with Disaster in Japan

Date: 1 July 2016

As a country prone to natural disasters, especially earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons, Japan has a long history of disaster education. However, what does Japan’s public disaster education look like and how should it be further developed?

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Asia's Shift to 'Reproductive' from Production Migration

Date: 30 June 2016

The most significant change in inter-Asian migration in recent years has been the shift from male-centred production migration to reproductive migration. Of all migrants in Asia, women represented 42 percent in 2015. Reproductive migration is voluntary migration to form partnerships, help raise children, or work as nurses or domestic carers. The number of female reproductive migrants in Asia has increased dramatically. This has resulted in the ‘feminisation’ of migration.

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Can Turkey Learn from Asia's Refugee Deals?

Date: 30 June 2016

The global refugee crisis took another twist this year when the European Union struck a deal with Turkey to take refugees that make it to Greece. Turkey is not an EU member, so in exchange the EU promised to reenergise talks on Turkey’s EU membership and accelerate visa liberalisation, making it easier for Turkish nationals to work and travel in the EU.

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