Signs of stability from summits of Northeast Asia
China, Japan and South Korea convened a trilateral summit in Tokyo on 9 May 2018 after a three-year hiatus. North Korea’s overtures to the international community for peace and reconciliation have warmed the otherwise frosty relations between the Northeast Asian powers, pulling their often-conflicting foreign policy priorities together towards the common goal of peace in the North Pacific.
Matthew Brummer, Hosei University and Muhui Zhang, Pusan National University
China doesn’t yet have a grip on P2P lending risks
China’s online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms have been falling like dominos. This has sparked investor panic, exposing deeper risks long hidden in China’s shadow finance sector. It is yet to be seen if Chinese regulators will be able to manage the risks and effectively regulate P2P in the same way they have done in other areas of shadow banking.
Martin Chorzempa, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Normalising, not denuclearising, North Korea
The historic Trump–Kim Singapore summit in June and subsequent high-level meetings offer a diplomatic opening on the Korean Peninsula. Progress has been made on the non-nuclear fronts of the Singapore deal, such as the suspension of the US–South Korean joint military exercises and the repatriation of the remains of the US prisoners of war. But the current cold streak of progress on denuclearisation suggests that North Korea is determined to set as slow a pace as possible.
Gi-Wook Shin and Joyce Lee, Stanford University
As US President Donald Trump’s trade war escalates against China, the danger of collapse of the global trade regime has intensified. China’s retaliation against the imposition of US tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the United States with the imposition of its own tariffs on US$60 billion US imports into China will hit Sino–US trade. It will also damage both economies through paring back China’s growth and weakening the US recovery from the global financial crisis. The tit-for-tat trade spat between the world’s two largest economies and trading nations, unchecked, will also impact global growth and accelerate corrosion of support for an open global system.
Can China manage Trump’s America without doing damage to itself and the world?
Editorial Board, ANU
SEZs have become common industrial policies with more than 3500 special economic zones (SEZs) in over 130 countries. Though widely seen as a means to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), their end goal is to support industrialisation and contribute to economic growth and development.
Getting SEZs right for development in Fiji
Neelesh Gounder, University of the South Pacific
Womenomics is a bundle of policies aiming to empower Japanese women economically. It was implemented in 2013 as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s broader approach to boosting the economy — a set of policies known as Abenomics.
How successful has womenomics been in Japan?
Is womenomics improving Japanese working women’s lives?
Emma Dalton, RMIT
Japan has revamped its strategy in the Mekong. Earlier this year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s diplomatic right-hand man Kentaro Sonoura delineated Japan’s foreign aid policy for the region, stressing the importance of the aid’s ‘quality’ rather than ‘quantity’. Accordingly, Japan has changed its strategy to focus on improving openness and transparency, human capital development, capacity building and environmental protection throughout its aid to Mekong countries.
Japan is putting quality over quantity in the Mekong
Fumitaka Furuoka, University of Malaya
Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party are settling into their position as Pakistan’s newest civilian government after elections were held on 25 July 2018. The PTI’s campaign during the election and in the years that preceded it focussed primarily on the alleged malfeasance of the former Pakistan-Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government and its ruling family. Outside of its promises to crack down on elite corruption, the PTI party’s economic program is much more loosely defined.
Pakistan’s financing crunch starts to bite
Colin Cookman, United States Institute of Peace
Shinzo Abe’s victory in the Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election on 20 September 2018 qualifies him to maintain his position as Japan’s prime minister for another three years. Abe will be sure to continue giving real energy to accomplishing his foreign policy agenda over this time to strengthen his domestic position and further his legacy in Japanese politics.
Can Abe kick two foreign policy goals in three years?
Kazuhiko Togo, Kyoto Sangyo University
The environmental impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been fraught with contradictions. While there are efforts to finance and promote green development through some BRI projects, other projects are raising serious environmental concerns.
Is China going green by dumping brown on its BRI partners?
Dokku Nagamalleswara Rao and Atmaja Gohain Baruah, Jawaharlal Nehru University