By Bonnie S. Glaser
25 April 2016
On May 20, Tsai Ing-wen from the Democratic People’s Progressive Party (DPP) will be inaugurated president in Taiwan. A key concern of the United States is whether relations between Taiwan and China will remain stable or see a resurgence of tensions. During the presidential campaign, Tsai pledged that she would “maintain the status quo” in crossStrait relations. Beijing’s precondition for preserving the status quo is that she accept the “core” of the 1992 Consensus, which is that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. Although Tsai has taken steps to provide reassurances to Beijing, she has not yet satisfied Chinese demands.
By Andrea Frontini and Susanna Mocker
8 April 2016
After a four-year suspension, the 13th EU-India Summit took place in Brussels on 30 March 2016. While several deep-rooted constraints could not be overcome, the Summit’s deliverables reflect a gradually changing and cautiously optimistic mood in the historically challenging interaction between Brussels and Delhi.
By Susanna Mocker
24 March 2016
Indonesia has been described as "the most important country we know least about." With the upcoming Brussels visit of President Joko Widodo ("Jokowi") in April, it is timely to address this shortcoming. In the 15 months of his presidency the way Indonesia relates to the world has changed markedly in several areas.
By Yang Razali Kassim
7 March 2016
Malaysia's rambunctious politics has entered an even more unpredictable phase with political foes Mahathir Mohamad and jailed Anwar Ibrahim joining hands to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak and push for systemic change. Where will all this lead?
By Fraser Cameron, Director
4 February 2016
Visiting Thailand last month I was struck by the superficial calm in Bangkok as well as other cities. Most people go about their daily business without army or police interference. Tourists still come in their thousands to enjoy the many delights of the country. But although there are few visible signs of unrest many Thais wonder when they are going to have an elected government again. There is growing dissatisfaction with the military even among its initial supporters.
By Lena Muxfeldt, Matthias Götz
16 December 2015
In recent decades, it has become a mantra that the EU-Japan relations are full of significant untapped potential. Now, with the negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA; officially: Economic Partnership Agreement) underway, there is momentum to believe that this untapped trade potential will finally be unfolded like a delicate origami.
By Susanna Mocker
23 November 2015
‘Diversity is our pride and our strength’ declared Indian Prime Minister Modi at a public diplomacy spectacle in London last week. This was very reminiscent of President Juncker's last state of the European Union address. The two unions of 28 and 29 states respectively, share a strategic partnership since 2004. On paper, the partners make a great couple: the world's most populous democracy and an entity of 28 democracies considering itself a normative power; a subcontinent launching the ‘Make in India’ campaign and the world's biggest trading bloc; a state seeking technological innovation and a union applying for one third of the world's patents; a remarkably young country excelling in healthcare and a rapidly aging continent wondering how to take care of the elderly. India-EU relations certainly have a lot of potential but to date untapped potential. There was no EU-India summit since 2012 although Modi has visited France, Germany, Ireland and the UK in his 18 months as prime minister.
By Susanna Mocker
17 October 2015
On 8 November Myanmar holds important national and regional elections. While the elections are likely to be the freest since the military took power in 1962, a quarter of the seats in the national parliament remain reserved for the military. The incumbent Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) is being strongly challenged by the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by the iconic Aung San Suu Kyi. Another 90 parties are contesting the election, reflecting the diversity of Myanmar.
By Rajaratnam School of International Studies
30 September 2015
Australia’s new government led by Malcom Turnbull will be very different from its predecessor, though of the same Liberal-National coalition. However residual conservative forces within its ranks mean that major changes in direction are unlikely in the short-term.
Australia’s new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will lead a government that is very different from its predecessor though of the same Liberal-National coalition. Turnbull has described his government as one that will seize the opportunities of the future rather than one seeing only challenges ahead and seeking to preserve the order of the past. The government of his predecessor, Tony Abbott, had become derided for its reactionary mindset, including its failure to accept challenges of the 21st Century, such as climate change and the need for a constructive renewable energy policy.
By Institute of South East Asian Studies
14 September 2015
On 31st December 2015, the ten ASEANY member states will jointly announce the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). At present, these states have yet to fulfil all the stipulated targets stated in the AEC Blueprint. This Blueprint ultimately aims for an integrated market and a production base that allow for free movement of goods, services and skilled labour, as well as freer movement of capital.
One explanation for their shortcoming is the conflicting interests existing within the domestic economy. These generally involve technical, human and financial constraints; national priorities; bureaucratic complexities; preference for unilateral liberalization; differing interests among industry players; as well as lack of coherence in government policies.
What is needed to enhance the AEC beyond 2015 are improvements in four key areas: a) greater policy coherence in domestic economies; b) increased stakeholder consultation; c) identifying of winners and losers to mitigate the negative impact on domestic stakeholders; and d) overcoming resource constraints.