Asia Pacific

  • The Ausgrid decision probably could have been more transparent.

    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.”

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  • The Sri Lankan government is in danger of squandering economic opportunity.

    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?

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  • Chinese policymakers are the key to economic growth.

    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.

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  • Apathy toward North Korea is growing in the South among the youth.

    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.

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  • Japan's economic growth plan is still stuck in neutral.

    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.

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  • Chinese investment in Australia is facing challenges from Treasurer Morrison.

    Australian Treasurer Morrison is Blocking Chinese Investment

    China’s state-owned enterprises are becoming increasingly privatised, as government involvement shifts from full control to economic guidance. This means these firms should be treated like any other foreign investor when it comes to buying Australian assets.

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  • The lack of economic growth in South Korea is very worrisome for Park.

    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.

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  • The current income inequalities in South Korea began decades ago.

    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.

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  • Vietnam will integrate militarily with old foes and allies.

    Vietnam's Regional Defense Integration Part of its Economic Future

    The United States’ complete lifting of the decade-long embargo on arms sales to Vietnam marked a historic milestone in US–Vietnam relations, paving the way for a strategic partnership between the two former foes. So what will this mean for Vietnamese security and domestic politics?

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  • Despite its diminutive status, South Korea has made diplomatic strides.

    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.

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