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Asia Pacific Natural resources and energy

Sanctions, oil, and the emerging China-Russia-Iran axis

Although China has backpedalled on proposed tariffs on U.S. crude imports, the move is indicative of its need to diversify sources and steps may now be taken to enable China to play the oil card in the future – including imports from Iran despite sanctions, and drawing closer to Russia. 

Asia Pacific Politics

Cambodia’s pivot to China heralds a new era of authoritarianism

Increasing Chinese influence is casting a shadow over Cambodia’s political freedoms. On the backdrop of the elections, Nathan Paul explores how the result is a great deal of leeway for Prime Minister Hun Sen to suffocate dissent and criticism, and to strengthen his own power.

Asia Pacific Politics

Security or progress? The Australian experiment

China’s growing influence has given rise to a dilemma for its partners, between preserving national security and maintaining access to China’s economic and technological progress. The long-term consequences of how Australia resolves this dilemma may provide insights for the rest of the world.

Asia Pacific Finance

Belt and Road Initiative increases sovereign debt risks in Tajikistan

The BRI aims at dismantling foreign investment barriers and improving international logistics has provided much-needed infrastructure support to its recipient countries. But BRI-related project loans may cause a problematic increase in sovereign debt in certain host countries.

Asia Pacific Economics

Pushback against BRI in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian nations are pushing back against China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), wary of Beijing’s creeping influence and unmanageable debts. Japan and India are seeking to capitalize on this setback and bolster their presence in the region, but standing up to Beijing could carry economic costs for regional states.

Asia Pacific North America

What role does North Korea play in Chinese strategy?

A week after the summit between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ended, the steady drumbeat of analysis goes on. Much of the discussion has focused on what North Korea gained from the meeting.

Asia Pacific Politics

What’s the deal with ZTE?

The new ZTE deal could ease bilateral tensions and prevent a global economic crisis, but it has also revealed Trump’s malleability, the growing rift within the US government, and ignored larger security threats.

Asia Pacific Natural resources and energy

China and India establish “oil buyers’ club” to counter OPEC

Should this “oil buyers’ club” become a reality, New Delhi and Beijing will have greater leverage to negotiate with OPEC about oil prices and will also have a significant say in matters such as importing more crude oil from the US.

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.