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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.

Asia Pacific Politics

Xi Jinping: China’s Emperor for life?

The annual full session of the National People’s Congress, which began on 5 March, sees President Xi Jinping on the way to becoming China’s “Emperor” for life.

Asia Pacific Economics

Foreign aid and strategic competition in the South Pacific

On February 26, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck 35 kilometres underneath the Southern Highlands in Papua New Guinea, causing at least fifty deaths. An Australian Air Force plane carrying relief supplies landed five days later amid criticism that aid had been too slow to arrive.

Asia Pacific Politics

India’s choice between nationalism and influence

The government of India’s attempt to rewrite history to promote Hindu nationalism is only the latest in a series of domestic actions which could have major international consequences and undermine India’s ability to balance China’s growing power.

Asia Pacific Politics

Competition between China and India heats up in the Maldives

The growing political turmoil in the Maldives could become a major point of conflict between India and China, as the regional giants support opposite sides of a rapidly evolving political crisis.

Asia Pacific Security

An old dispute re-emerges as Russia militarises Kuril Islands

A long-standing territorial dispute continues to disrupt relations between Japan and Russia. This is negatively impacting economic cooperation between the two countries, with the potential to be detrimental for both parties.

Asia Pacific South and Central Asia

China’s strengthening relationship with Pakistan

Beijing’s recent decision to increase diplomatic, economic and strategic ties with Pakistan is part of a broader strategy to bolster China’s regional influence at Washington’s expense. China’s relations with Pakistan

Asia Pacific Politics

Duterte leverages popularity to push for constitutional change

The Congress of the Philippines has begun formal proceedings on changing the government of the Philippines into a federal system. The move is extremely divisive and is interpreted as a power grab. Its success will depend on Duterte’s political capital.

Asia Pacific Environment Natural resources and energy Politics

ASEAN could face a crisis over its appetite for coal

Asia’s developing economies collectively need to invest $14.7 trillion just for power generation by 2030. Coal is filling that gap, with investments pouring in from China and Japan. But are ASEAN governments prepared to face the environmental costs?