Political Economy

  • Xi and Putin are working more closely than before in Central Asia.

    Sino-Russian Ties are Closer than before the Ukraine Crisis

    The growing Sino–Russian partnership is evidence that the Western policy of isolating Russia has failed. The policy has only served to push Russia deeper into Chinese arms. Russia and China are planning to increase their engagement in Central Asia and they will coordinate their policies in the former Soviet territories in Eurasia.

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  • Consider no diplomatic fall-out between the US and China a Shangri-La success.

    No Fireworks at the Shangri-La Dialogue

    The recent 2015 Shangri-La Dialogue focused on China, the United States and maritime security. However, those expecting fireworks in the wake of China’s new Defence White Paper and recent sharply worded speeches by US defence officials were left disappointed.

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  • Major power leaders are meeting almost regularly to try to find common ground.

    The Dynamics of World Politics Under the Microscope in 2015

    So far, 2015 is an eventful year for major-power politics. The European Union (EU) and China just held their fifth round of strategic dialogue talks. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. German Chancellor Angela Merkel just visited visit Moscow in early May. In addition, the US–China Summit will be held in September in Washington. While the major powers’ diplomatic exchanges roll on, finding common ground for collaboration remains as important as ever.

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  • Financial warfare, as it relates to oil, is becoming commonplace.

    Oil and Gas Export Reliance Makes a Huge Target for Financial Warfare

    In the age of derivatives, swaps, and electronic money transfers, a new form of warfare has emerged, financial warfare.  Recently, the US has passed sanctions on countries such as Syria, Venezuela, and North Korea, but the majority of energy related sanctions passed have been targeted at Iran and Russia.

    An estimated 68 percent of Russia's government revenue is derived from oil and gas exports, while 80 percent of Iran's revenue comes from oil exports. That presents a very large target for the use of financial weapons.

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  • Hong Kong democrats bristle at Beijing's rules for electing a leader.

    Beijing's Election Rules for Hong Kong's CEO are not Playing Well in Hong Kong

    The Occupy Hong Kong Movement was sparked by Beijing's announcement of rules for the popular selection of Hong Kong's Chief Executive in 2017.  Essentially, Beijing would appoint a 1200-person committee that would vet the candidates and present 2-3 that would be on a ballot for Hong Kong citizens among which to choose.

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  • Like Spain, Italy's election outcome may reject the status quo.

    Italy's Weekend Election May Reject the Status Quo

    There is a specter haunting Europe. A specter that rejects the status quo.  Last weekend, Spain's ruling PP lost majorities in all key municipalities and regional governments.  The opposition itself is fragmented, and nine of the ten major municipalities will be run by what appears to be loose coalitions. One wag said that it was as if Spain got Italian political results with the Italians to manage it. 

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  • The challenges to a legitimate Myanmar election are many.

    Myanmar Will Likely Hold an Election, but Can it Have a Meaningful Outcome?

    A number of major issues threaten to degrade, if not entirely disrupt, Myanmar’s elections scheduled for November. These issues include ongoing fighting between the military and various armed ethnic armies, violent social and religious tensions between Buddhists and Muslims, and the lethargic pace of constitutional reforms.

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  • There are wide ranging views in Australia regarding China's rise.

    Differing Australian Viewpoints on China as a Major Power

    What does China’s rise as a major power mean for Australia? The answer depends on whom you ask.

    In March 2015, the Sydney Morning Herald’s International Editor, Peter Hartcher, described China as a fascist state that bullies its own citizens and neighbouring countries alike. That about sums up the ‘China threat’ view.

    Yet there is also no shortage of CEOs gushing with praise for Chinese government policies that are expected to deliver more than 850 million people into the ranks of the middle class by the end of next decade.

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  • Asia is still dealing with it's past 70 years after the end of the war.

    Asian Countries Take Pride in Economic Integration Achievements While Dealing the Past

    The 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II offers an opportunity for Northeast Asia to reflect on the lessons learnt from the past and to forge a vision for a peaceful and prosperous future.

    The Northeast Asian countries should encourage domestic debate on the facts of history and their moral implications for today. Each nation has its own unique historical experiences that influence reflections on the past, and create heroes and villains in the present. Only free and open discussion of interpretations can give people a full and nuanced understanding of their history.

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