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Asia Pacific Economics

Chinese-Malaysian ties after the election

The new Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir, has indicated that he will reverse significant gains made by China under the outgoing Prime Minister, Najib Razak. In response, China has called

Asia Pacific Economics

Buying friends through dollar diplomacy

Despite its successful self-governance, the Chinese-claimed territory struggles to maintain international support and acknowledgement as an independent country. Beijing’s ‘dollar diplomacy’ will continue to chip away at Taipei’s legitimacy, leveraging smaller impoverished nations in an effort to solidify and justify its influence over the Taiwan Strait.

Asia Pacific Security

China playing the long game with aircraft carrier plans

This week, China’s second aircraft carrier set out to begin testing, although it is not expected to enter service until 2020. The unnamed carrier is the first to be built in China—China’s other carrier was purchased from Ukraine.

Asia Pacific Politics

Malaysia’s post-election challenges

Malaysia is undergoing a period of upheaval following the unprecedented electoral defeat of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and the subsequent release of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Although these are promising steps to restoring public and investor confidence in Malaysia’s government, a number of challenges need to be navigated before democracy can be fully achieved.

Asia Pacific Economics

Death of a salesman – China attacks private debt

As China’s transitions from prioritizing economic growth to maintaining economic stability, the government has begun levying steep penalties on high-debt private companies for “economic crimes.” Kiana Mendoza looks at several recent examples of these trials, and examines what this could mean for the future.

Asia Pacific Security

Trump vs Kim: The art of the nuclear deal

The US and North Korea are likely to attempt diplomacy for a few months, but impossible expectations and intentionally vague promises could frustrate both sides. If this causes the deal to fall through, bilateral tensions could boil over once again.

Asia Pacific North America

US seeks to weaken China’s high-tech global ambitions

In the midst of trade war threats between the US and China, Trump’s latest trade tariffs emerge as the new American strategy to weaken Xi Jinping’s plans to transform China into a major high-tech player.

Asia Pacific Security

Australia wary of China’s growing stake in the South Pacific

China’s growing interest in the South Pacific will have alerted key Australian political and defence officials. Should Beijing eventually opt to establish a military base in this region, Canberra will have a firm action plan in place designed to counter China’s influence and reinforce Australia’s regional preeminence.

Asia Pacific Politics

MD3 bill likely to increase political risk in Indonesia

Indonesia’s parliament recently passed a controversial legislative amendment that bans public criticism of the government. The law, known as MD3, highlights a growing problem with the lack of accountability for Indonesian politicians.

Asia Pacific Europe

Chinese economic interests and the threat to EU cohesion

Today, some of Europe’s poorest countries are critical to China’s global economic development strategy. Under the 16+1 sub-regional framework, which includes eleven countries from central and eastern Europe and five from the Balkans (CEEC), China is pursuing investment opportunities in infrastructure in order to enhance its connectivity with the European region.