Being clear-eyed about China’s power (Editors, East Asia Forum)

There are many anxieties and uncertainties out there in the world about China and its future. In this year’s Pew polling, almost 90 per cent of those surveyed in Japan are anxious about growing Chinese power with only 11 per cent having a favourable view of China. In Australia, the proportion is 52 per cent and 43 per cent of those surveyed saw their country’s relationship with China as important, the same proportion as those who nominated the relationship with the United States important.

Russia’s ‘turn to the East’ (Andrei Kozinets, James D. J. Brown, East Asia Forum)

At the beginning of September, Vladivostok hosted the second Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), the showcase for Russia’s ‘turn to the East’ policy. Russia’s leadership describes the economic and political pivot to Asia as the country’s foreign policy priority in the 21st century.

Power play in the South China Sea (Huiyun Feng, East Asia Forum)

In September 2016, Russia and China started their routine naval drill, ‘Joint Sea-2016’, off the coast of China’s Guangdong province. This was the fifth joint naval drill between the two nations since 2012, but the first to take place in the South China Sea. The decision to carry out this exercise in the South China Sea was announced after The Hague ruling in July, which China has strongly rejected.

The struggle for peace in Mindanao (Mark Turner, East Asia Forum)

Duterte has called for an end to ‘centuries of mistrust and warfare’ on Mindanao at his first State of the Nation address. This plea related to a consistent theme of President Duterte’s election campaign — how to secure peace and development in Mindanao.

How ‘urban’ is India’s urbanisation? (Niranjan Sahoo, East Asia Forum)

‘Urban’ seems to be the latest buzzword in India’s public policy circuit. Despite being a latecomer to the urbanisation process, India’s urban population is likely to exceed 590 million people by 2030 — more than the total population of the EU.

President Tsai and Beijing clash (Suisheng Zhao, East Asia Forum)

The Taiwan Strait has been a hot spot in East Asia since the Chen Shui-bian administration’s push toward independence in the early 2000s. The KMT’s return to power in 2008 started eight years of progress toward peace, but the good old days of stability have been replaced by a stalemate after the DPP returned in 2016.

Duterte’s strongman populism is working (Richard Javad Heydarian, East Asia Forum)

Less than three months into his term, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is confronting a paradox of power. Duterte has amassed enough political capital to radically reform and revitalise the country’s emaciated institutions. He has swiftly expanded his grip on the Philippine political system, making him arguably the country’s most powerful president since the fall of the Ferdinand Marcos regime.

The CCP returns to Chinese cultural roots (Yingjie Guo, East Asia Forum)

The Chinese Communist Party’s recent return to Chinese roots has brought about a new synthesis between political and cultural nationalism. China’s one-party state has not only moved away from its usual revolutionary style but it is also promoting Sino-centrism with uncharacteristic gusto. This shift has notable ramifications for China both domestically and internationally.