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October, 2020 Current Topics

 

Source

 

 

 

 

High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2020Q4, October 2020. Disrupted by the COVID-19, Hong Kong’s economy dropped by 9% in the first half of 2020. With the arrival of the third wave of pandemic in 20Q3, Hong Kong’s real GDP is estimated to remain subdued, but with a lesser drop of 6.5%, compared to the same period last year.With the pandemic receding recently and with continued government stimulus packages, the drop is expected to narrow further. The economy is estimated to drop by 4.5% in 20Q4. Unemployment rate is expected to slightly worsen to 6.4% in 20Q4, from the estimated 6.2% in 20Q3. Hong Kong’s GDP is expected to shrink by 7.2% for the year 2020 as a whole, representing a 1.7 percentage points downward revision from our previous forecast...

 

HKU

China's Pandemic Policy, September 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic threatened to damage China’s international reputation just as the Chinese government under Xi Jinping was peaking in its promotion of China as a model political system and superior international citizen. Beijing launched a massive diplomatic effort aimed at both foreign governments and foreign societies. The goal was to overcome initial negative publicity and to recast China as an efficient and heroic country in the eyes of international public opinion. The crisis created an opening for China to make gains in its international leadership credentials as the world saw the superpower United States falter. Ultimately, however, Chinese pandemic diplomacy contributed to a net decrease in China’s global prestige, largely because domestic political imperatives motivated behavior that generated international disapproval and distrust for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government...

 

EWC

The United States and Fiji Reaffirm Security Assistance Cooperation, September 2020. The United States and Fiji continue to strengthen security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. Ties between the regional partners endured throughout Fiji’s 2006 military takeover and resultant domestic political challenges. During this period Washington’s engagement with Suva included humanitarian assistance/disaster response, maritime security, law enforcement cooperation, counter-narcotics, and anti-trafficking of vulnerable populations. The United States also supported Fiji’s participation in existing United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. In turn Fiji continued to support U.S. initiatives regarding United Nations General Assembly resolutions and kept doors open for development aid and private sector investment opportunities...

 

EWC

Japan’s Counter-Strike Debate Amid the Post-Prime Minister Abe Leadership Race, September 2020. Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono on June 15 announced the cancellation of the planned procurement of two Aegis Ashore systems from the United States. The cancellation, which reportedly was discussed and decided only by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga in advance, left a gap in the country’s missile defense against the growing missile threats from its neighbors. The Aegis Ashore decision prompted the government to revise the National Security Strategy (NSS) within 2020. As the NSS is the basis for the National Defense Program Outline (NDPO), the latter is also being revised. Kono in the Lower House Committee on Security on July 8 testified that policy considerations by the government would include possession of “enemy base strike capabilities.”...

 

EWC

The Australia-India Strategic Partnership: Accelerating Security Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, September 2020. After five decades of testy or distant strategic relations, India and Australia began in the early 2000s to forge an increasingly cooperative defence and security partnership. The primary drivers were similar concerns about China’s rise, behaviour, and assertiveness, as well as converging views about the regional strategic landscape. The decreasing salience of their divergences — Cold War-era geopolitics, India’s nuclear status, strained people-to-people ties, and shallow economic and trade links — also helped create more favourable conditions. Starting slowly in 2000, and accelerating in 2006 and 2014, the Australia–India strategic relationship began to involve policy dialogues, military exercises, defence exchanges, and security arrangements of greater frequency and sophistication...

 

Lowy

Ensuring a Trusted 5g Ecosystem of Vendors and Technology, September 2020. 5G will be the next generation of mobile telecommunications. There are differing views on how quickly it will become commonplace and exactly what form it will take, but it will ultimately transform much of what we do and how society functions. The trustworthiness, security and resilience of 5G networks will therefore be critical. A key part of this will be the partnerships that network operators form with vendors to provide and maintain the network infrastructure. There’s now a good understanding that 5G will underpin critical national infrastructure in a way that previous telecommunication technologies don’t, and that supply-chain trust and security are key national security issues. Australia and some other countries have eliminated specific vendors from their 5G supply chains, but the space is globally contested and there is no consensus on what happens next...

 

ASPI

After COVID-19: Australia, the Region and Multilateralism (Volume 2), September 2020. The global Covid-19 crisis continues to dominate the international strategic environment, fuelling uncertainty about the future. The only thing that’s certain is that this pandemic will be with us for some time yet, meaning that Australia, like other nations, needs to be prepared to manage its response to the pandemic while simultaneously focusing on the future.This volume of After Covid-19 builds on volume 1 and identifies some of the future challenges and opportunities as they relate to Australia’s role in the region and the multilateral system.

 

ASPI

Covid-19 Disinformation & Social Media Manipulation, September 2020. A range of actors are manipulating the information environment to exploit the COVID-19 crisis for strategic gain. ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is tracking many of these state and non-state actors online, and will occasionally publish investigative, data-driven reporting that will focus on the use of disinformation, propaganda, extremist narratives and conspiracy theories by these actors. The bulk of ASPI’s data analysis uses our in-house Influence Tracker tool - a machine learning and data analytics capability that draws out insights from multi-language social media datasets. This new tool can ingest data in multiple languages and auto-translate, producing insights on topics, sentiment, shared content, influential accounts, metrics of impact and posting patterns...

 

ASPI

TikTok and WeChat: Curating and Controlling Global Information Flows, September 2020. While most major international social media networks remain banned from the Chinese market in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Chinese social media companies are expanding overseas and building up large global audiences. Some of those networks—including WeChat and TikTok—pose challenges, including to freedom of expression, that governments around the world are struggling to deal with. The Chinese ‘super-app’ WeChat, which is indispensable in China, has approximately 1.2 billion monthly active users worldwide, including 100 million installations outside of China. The app has become the long arm of the Chinese regime, extending the PRC’s techno-authoritarian reach into the lives of its citizens and non-citizens in the diaspora...

 

ASPI

The Chinese Communist Party’s Coercive Diplomacy, September 2020. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is increasingly deploying coercive diplomacy against foreign governments and companies. Coercive diplomacy isn’t well understood, and countries and companies have struggled to develop an effective toolkit to push back against and resist it. This report tracks the CCP’s use of coercive diplomacy over the past 10 years, recording 152 cases of coercive diplomacy affecting 27 countries as well as the European Union. The data shows that there’s been a sharp escalation in these tactics since 2018. The regions and countries that recorded the most instances of coercive diplomacy over the last decade include Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and East Asia....

 

ASPI

Chinese Investments in Industrial Parks: Indonesia and Malaysia Compared, September 2020. Indonesia and Malaysia are keen to use Chinese investments in industrial parks to foster industrial development in their respective countries. This paper seeks to compare Chinese investments in two industrial parks. Specifically, it analyses changes made in the investment climate in each country to facilitate inflows of Chinese investments for the development of the Indonesian-Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) and the Malaysia-China Industrial Park (MCKIP). Investment climate refers to the FDI institutions in a country that are used for facilitating foreign investments. For Chinese investments in industrial parks, a pertinent question to ask is whether these investments are privileged in terms of FDI institutional arrangements and their differences from the existing investment institutional arrangements in a country. The paper finds that Indonesia and Malaysia made special arrangements to facilitate Chinese investments in the two parks although differences also abound in the way FDI is facilitated.

 

ISEAS

COVID-19 and the Poor, September 2020, September 2020. COVID-19 not only highlights existing inequalities, it exacerbates them. Not only do the poor have higher COVID-19 infection and mortality rates, they suffer disproportionately from curtailment measures. As governments try and flatten the infection curve, the misery curve measuring the loss of incomes, livelihoods and lives has been rising. These costs tend to accelerate the longer the lockdown is in place, contributing to an increase in violations that can reduce the effectiveness of the measure itself. In countries without broad-based safety nets, it is no longer a choice between lives and livelihoods because they are the same for the poor. While developed nations debate the trade-off between saving lives and destroying livelihoods, poor countries must consider the trade-off between lives lost through destroyed livelihoods and lives lost to the virus. These ground realities suggest that targeted, time-bound measures rather than prolonged general lockdowns should be considered in poor countries, should infections start rising, while increasing targeted testing.

 

ISEAS

Xi Jinping and the Administrative Hierarchy and Subdivisions in China, August 2020. China’s leadership under Xi Jinping has witnessed fundamental changes in its administrative hierarchy and subdivisions with a major focus on centralization. Xi’s consolidation of power and marginalization of factional voices within the government through initiatives such as the anti-corruption campaign have so far proven to be potent. His efforts to reassert central control are driving the administration to usher into a new era of industrialization and urbanization, enabling China to modernize and fulfil its two centenary goals of (a) establishing a moderately prosperous society by 2021 and (b) establishing a “strong, affluent and modern country” by 2049. At the same time, Xi’s efforts to focus on urbanization and industrialization is supporting economic development, which is allowing China to attain its core objectives, and the overarching goal often described as the “Chinese Dream” of national rejuvenation...

 

ISDP

Xi Jinping and Constitutional Revisions in China, August 2020. The Party Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the “un-written” State Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) determine the legal developments that take place in the country while accentuating the already blurred lines between State and Party. How does the CPC, and President Xi Jinping, serve as the drivers of constitutionalism and transcend the theoretical and political powers of the State? This Focus Asia paper seeks to answer this question and offers an overview of the amendments to the State Constitution, while also highlighting changes made to the Party Constitution that have taken place under Xi Jinping, who serves as the General Secretary of the CPC, Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), and the President of the PRC. The paper attempts to review the nuances attached to such revisions that are emblematic in an authoritarian system to uphold regime stability...

 

ISDP

U.S.-North Korea Denuclearization Negotiations: An Irresolvable Issue? June 2020. This essay is part of an ongoing series by ISDP’s Korea Center to provide different perspectives on peacebuilding on the Korean Peninsula. In so doing, it recognizes that peacebuilding is a long-term process and involves different dimensions, from the diplomatic and military to economic and societal. Despite previous efforts, the North Korean nuclear issue has remained unresolved for six decades since the country, with the assistance of the Soviet Union, began constructing nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in the early 1960s. Over the past decades, each U.S. administration, from Clinton to Trump, has concluded its own agreement either bilaterally or multilaterally with Pyongyang: notably the Agreed Framework of 1994, the Joint Statement of September 19 of the Six Party Talks in 2005, the short-lived “Leap Day Deal” of February 29, 2012, and the latest Singapore Joint Statement in June 2018. Despite these achievements, after extensive negotiations and partial implementation, eventually all past agreements collapsed...

 

ISDP

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Latest ADBI Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest ADB Publications:  

ADB

Asian Development Review, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2020 (Full Report):
It covers topics that include reducing arsenic poisoning, borrowing versus saving among migrant workers, the role of knowledge transfers in promoting balanced growth, and trade volatility.

  ADB
Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2020 (Full Report, and Special Supplement):
  • Part I: Sustainable Development Goals
  • Part II: Regional Trends and Tables
  • Part III: Global Value Chains

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2020 covers 49 economies: Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji Islands, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taipei, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam.

 

ADB

Asian Development Outlook 2020 Update: Wellness in Worrying Times (Full Report. Theme Chapter and Highlights). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt global economic activity, developing Asia's gross domestic product is now expected to contract by 0.7% in 2020. GDP is projected to grow by 6.8% in 2021. This is the region's first recession in nearly 6 decades. Excluding high-income newly industrialized economies, regional GDP is expected to contract by 0.5% this year before growing by 7.2% next year. Softening demand and subdued food prices will keep inflation benign. The inflation forecast is revised down from 3.2% to 2.9% for 2020 and maintained at 2.3% for 2021. The threat of a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and a return to more stringent containment measures is the main risk to the outlook. While economies in developing Asia remain resilient, continued policy support is needed to underpin recovery...

 

ADB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japan’s Demographic Shifts and Regional Security Challenges Ahead, August 2020. Japan is one of the first major countries in the contemporary world to experience population decline. Today there are about one and a half million fewer Japanese than a decade ago, a decline in population that will dramatically intensify in the coming years; declining roughly eight million in the 2020s and ten million in the 2030s alone. Some, such as Brad Glosserman in Peak Japan: The End of Great Ambitions, argue that Japan’s changing demographics will lead to a more inward-looking Japan in the coming years...

 

EWC

Are America’s East Asia Allies Willing and Able to Host U.S. Intermediate-Range Missiles? August 2020. Washington’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in early August 2019 frees it to deploy long-range, ground-launched missiles for the first time since 1988, when the now-defunct treaty entered into force. Russian violations prompted the U.S. to withdraw from the INF Treaty, but China’s unconstrained development of nuclear and conventional missiles played a supporting role in the U.S decision. As the United States and China sink deeper into confrontation and competition, debates over U.S. deployment of missiles in East Asia will become more pressing...

 

EWC

Mongolia’s Response to Increasing U.S.-China-Russia Rivalry in Asia, August 2020. In the midst of heightened tensions generated by renewed U.S.-China-Russia rivalry in Asia, the sparsely populated, landlocked state of Mongolia demonstrates creativity and flexibility in crafting its national strategies. But this is an old story for Mongolia. Historically, Mongolia was viewed as a pawn whose fate was determined by the nature of the Sino-Russian relationship. When its Soviet Union protector dissolved at the end of the Cold War, it had to define new national priorities beyond reliance on just one state and one ideology. It embraced a multi-pillared foreign policy called the “Third Neighbor” to balance its relations with border neighbors Russia and China by reaching out to other democracies, including the U.S., Japan, European Community, and South Korea, for political and economic support...

 

EWC

Cambodia’s State of Emergency Law and its Social and Political Implications, August 2020. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia passed a law which will have huge social and political ramifications for the country, its people, and its political development. The country reported its first confirmed COVID-19 case on January 27. Two months later the number of confirmed cases rose to around 100 and then quickly reached 122, and then no new cases were confirmed for five weeks between April 22 and May 20. By the end of May, Cambodia had three active cases but zero reported deaths from COVID-19. However, cases have spiked since then. As of August 4, there were 241 confirmed cases and no deaths from COVID-19. Of those confirmed, 200 patients (66%) have recovered...

 

EWC

US-Japanese Strategic Dissonance and Southeast Asian Infrastructure Finance, July 2020. U.S. policy in Asia under the Trump administration has sought to compete with China. This is particularly evident in the realm of development finance policy and energy infrastructure development in Southeast Asia. New initiatives include the BUILD Act, which reconfigured the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) as the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the AsiaEDGE agenda, and the Blue Dot Network. Multilateral efforts such as the Japan-US Strategic Energy Partnership (JUSEP) and Japan-US Mekong Power Partnership (JUMPP) have continued to promote a discourse of ‘quality infrastructure’ in Southeast Asia in accordance with G20 and OECD principles...

 

EWC

The Costs of Covid: Australia’s Economic Prospects in a Wounded World, August 2020. Australia is emerging from the pandemic sooner and at less economic cost than widely expected, but with higher unemployment and elevated debt. As the pandemic recedes, it is evident that global output and demand will recover slowly and unevenly. Major advanced economies have sharply increased government debt and their central banks have driven interest rates to rock bottom while buying big shares of additional government debt. At the same time, the US–China quarrel has become more intense, and Australia’s relationship with China has deteriorated. All these changed circumstances, much amplified and extended from their pre-pandemic appearances, limit Australia’s choices...

 

Lowy

The World Trade Organization: An Optimistic Pre-Mortem in Hopes of Resurrection, August 2020. For decades, multilateral trade rules operated to keep government protectionist impulses in check. They provided a foundation of openness for international commerce, as well as a framework for liberalisation and integration. With the trade rules as a guarantor, capital and value chains spread across the globe. The creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 saw these rules reinforced with a feature that is nigh unheard-of in international law: binding and non-optional dispute settlement. For the first time, an international panel of legal experts would have the final say on the legality of trade measures, whether those implementing them liked it or not. On 10 December 2019, a procedural blockade by the world’s largest economy, the United States, culminated in that 24-year experiment being put on hold, perhaps permanently...

 

Lowy

Global Order in the Shadow of the Coronavirus: China, Russia, and the West, August 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a harsh spotlight on the state of global governance. Faced with the greatest emergency since the Second World War, nations have regressed into narrow self-interest. The concept of a rules-based international order has been stripped of meaning, while liberalism faces its greatest crisis in decades. Western leaders blame today’s global disorder on an increasingly assertive China and disruptive Russia. Yet the principal threat lies closer to home. Western governments have failed to live up to the values underpinning a liberal international order — a failure compounded by inept policymaking and internal divisions. The actions of Donald Trump, in particular, have undermined transatlantic unity, damaged the moral authority of the West, and weakened global governance...

 

Lowy

Keeping Indonesia’s Economy Afloat Through the COVID-19 Pandemic, July 2020. Indonesia faces one of the most difficult outlooks in Asia amid the economic pandemic unleashed by COVID-19. The principal economic problem is not the old one of capital flight, but about funding the fiscal response necessary to address a massive once-in-a-lifetime shock. With little on offer from the international system, Indonesia is rightly looking to find its own way, including by having taken the unorthodox step of allowing the central bank to directly finance part of the budget deficit. To enable this, the central bank could establish a clearly defined policy of yield curve stabilisation — buying government bonds in the primary and secondary markets to stabilise bond yields close to ‘normal’ market rates, while providing a readily scalable amount of budget financing...

 

Lowy

Emerging from COVID: Policy Responses to the Pandemic, June 2020. Lowy Institute experts provide policy recommendations for Australia to address issues that are critical to the nation's — and the world's — successful emergence from the pandemic.

Table of Contents:

  • Changing Australia’s conversation about Chinese economic coercion
  • Shaping the US approach to China and the rules-based international order
  • Maintaining Australia's security as American power recedes
  • Strengthening the WHO by giving it legal teeth
  • Curing the G20's irrelevance
  • Forming a coalition of competent middle powers to lead on global health problems
  • Managing Australia's economic recovery
  • Assisting Indonesia through the economic pandemic
  • Stepping up in Southeast Asia
  • Helping the Pacific recover from COVID
  • Reviving Australia's aid program
  • Revaluing Australia's diplomacy
 

Lowy

Biodata and Biotechnology: Opportunity and Challenges for Australia, August 2020. This new ASPI report canvasses the extraordinary recent developments in genome sequencing and genetic engineering, which will transform all biological enterprises, including healthcare, among the most important parts of the global economy. It argues that there is a once-in- generation opportunity for Australia to play a leading role in a major economic and revolution with digital deliverables, capitalising on our high quality biomedical science, agricultural R&D and healthcare systems The report identifies a number of elements for Australia to realize this opportunity. First and foremost, a national strategic and action plan is required for the collection and integration of genomic, clinical and smart sensor data for healthcare, and the development of advanced analytical software and point-of-care reporting systems, which can be exported to the world. This plan needs to be resourced by the Australian government, as a major public good infrastructure project...

 

ASPI

Covid-19 Disinformation & Social Media Manipulation, August 2020. A range of actors are manipulating the information environment to exploit the COVID-19 crisis for strategic gain. ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is tracking many of these state and non-state actors online, and will occasionally publish investigative, data-driven reporting that will focus on the use of disinformation, propaganda, extremist narratives and conspiracy theories by these actors. The bulk of ASPI’s data analysis uses our in-house Influence Tracker tool - a machine learning and data analytics capability that draws out insights from multi-language social media datasets. This new tool can ingest data in multiple languages and auto-translate, producing insights on topics, sentiment, shared content, influential accounts, metrics of impact and posting patterns...

 

ASPI

Discovering Opportunities in the Pandemic? Four Economic Response Scenarios for Central Asia, July 2020. The COVID-19 crisis represents not only an unprecedented economic disruption but also an opportunity for Central Asia. A specific economic policy response may trigger either game-changing reforms that can facilitate the development of full-fledged market institutions or lead to a protracted crisis that would jeopardize almost 30-year long market economy transition progress. As it is rather unclear where the recovery pendulum will make its final swing, the current situation provides fruitful soil for various assumptions. This paper proposes and examines four scenarios of economic response strategies for the region as a whole, and for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in particular, that result in unique development trajectories...

 

ISDP

The Landscape of Pricing and Algorithmic Pricing, August 2020. Algorithmic pricing is the practice of setting prices using computer programs. Understanding the foundations of pricing practices is fundamental to an assessment of the nature and potential of algorithmic pricing. Prices can be set in a number of ways and the practice of price setting has been examined from different and sometimes overlapping disciplinary perspectives – economics, marketing and operations research. The three key activities in price setting are data collection, demand analysis and optimization. Computer algorithms are used in these activities but they may not be fully integrated in practice. The organizational adoption of algorithmic pricing may assume different forms depending on the cost-benefit calculus across different components of price-setting activities...

 

ISEAS

Enhancing Robustness of Enterprise-Wide Risk Assessment on Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, August 2020. MAS conducted thematic inspections on enterprise-wide risk assessment on money laundering and terrorism financing (EWRA) in 2020. This paper highlights inspection observations and MAS’ supervisory expectations of effective EWRA frameworks and processes that financial institutions should benchmark themselves against.

 

MAS

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Latest ADB Publications:  

ADB

Latest ADB Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest ADBI Working Paper Series:  

ADB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southeast Asia’s Small Businesses Need Regional Readiness Boost in COVID-19 New Normal, July 2020. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses have faced significant impact and are critical to economic recovery. The ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently released a Policy Insight on boosting the resilience of MSMEs which is a critical and commendable effort to support small businesses in the region. The Policy Insight highlights how ASEAN can gain from sharing information and best practices in supporting MSMEs...

 

EWC

Tracking COVID-19 in the Age of AI and Tech Wars, July 2020. On June 15, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, 11 founding members – Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – came together to launch the first ever global regulatory regime on artificial intelligence (AI) called the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), hosted by the OECD as the Secretariat. The contactless environment propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly broken the ice on a long-awaited conversation. The launch, in the absence of China, came amid brewing tensions across the Atlantic in the digital realm...

 

EWC

Planning the Future of Korea's New Southern Policy, July 2020. In November 2017, South Korea declared the New Southern Policy (NSP) centered on the 3P: People, Prosperity, and Peace. President Moon Jae-in has visited all 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) and India in the two and a half years since his inauguration. It is the first time that the Korean President has visited all 10 AMS and India within his term. Last November, the ASEAN-ROK Special Summit and the 1st Mekong-ROK Summit were successfully completed, presenting a cooperation blueprint with ASEAN for the next 30 years...

 

EWC

Korea's New Southern Policy: Diversifying Economic and Strategic Portfolios, July 2020. In recent years, Korea has found itself facing more foreign policy challenges than ever. These challenges include North Korea’s nuclear provocations, US-China geopolitical competition in Asia, and rising protectionism and uncertainty in the world economy. Upon taking office in 2017, President Moon Jae-in chose to meet those challenges with new and bold foreign policy initiatives, including the formulation of the New Southern Policy (NSP) toward the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Incorporating ASEAN into Korea’s foreign policy agenda is not new, having been attempted by preceding administrations as well...

 

EWC

A Need to Rethink Peace Cooperation in Korea's New Southern Policy, July 2020. In November 2019, the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and South Korea gathered in Busan, South Korea to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN-South Korea relationship. The summit not only reflected on ASEAN-South Korea cooperation over the past three decades, but also highlighted achievements over the past two years of Korea’s New Southern Policy (NSP) launched in November 2017. The Korean government is now preparing the second stage of the NSP, which will guide its approach to so-called ‘new southern countries,’ ASEAN and India, in the second half of Moon Jae-in’s government...

 

EWC

Korea's New Southern Policy: Progress, Problems, and Prospects, July 2020. Korea’s New Southern Policy (NSP) of the Moon Jae-in government is the country’s first diplomatic initiative focused on Southeast Asia and India. Previously, Korea’s Asia initiatives were either Northeast Asia-focused or encompassed all of Asia. The NSP aims to elevate Korea’s ties with Southeast Asia and India to the level of its ties with the United States, China, Russia, and Japan — the four countries that have traditionally been most important to Korea. Despite high levels of economic ties and people-to-people exchanges, Korea’s relations with Southeast Asia and India receive disproportionately less recognition, both within Korea’s foreign policy hierarchy and in the public’s view...

 

EWC

China's Western Opportunities, June 2020. As the starting point for the novel coronavirus, China has faced unprecedented global criticism. Now, however, China is also emerging from the pandemic’s first wave to restart its economy before much of the rest of the world. In tandem, these circumstances have led Beijing to pursue an unusually aggressive diplomatic posture, counterpunching its critics and pressing its economic advantages. However, China’s current approach is unlikely to pay quick dividends in much of the developed world, especially in Western Europe or East Asia. Beijing’s approach is better placed to work in the regions on its western horizon, across the vast sweep of continental Eurasia that runs through parts of South and Central Asia, into the Middle East, and up to Europe’s doorstep...

 

EWC

The Risks of China’s Ambitions in the South Pacific, July 2020. Over the last two decades China has been steadily building its influence in the South Pacific. Many perceive this expansion to be growing at a rate much faster than what could be considered a natural reflection of China’s growing economic and geopolitical clout. This has left many analysts in the West to ask, what is China’s ambition in the South Pacific, and what risks does this create? In the past three years, China’s footprint in the South Pacific has become so large, and its behavior in other parts of the world so much more assertive, that alarm bells have started to sound in capital cities of the South Pacific’s traditional partners...

 

Lowy

China's Deep State: The Communist Party and the Coronavirus, July 2020. The emergence of a new, deadly virus in Wuhan in late December 2019 triggered multiple, cascading crises in China, from a collapse in the economy in early 2020 to a wave of foreign criticism of Beijing’s handling of the outbreak. Equally important, but less examined, has been how the ruling Communist Party managed the emergency — both internally and, once infections began falling in China, overseas — to corral its critics and limit any backlash at home and abroad. Democracies across the world have come under scrutiny over their capacity to enforce lockdowns, protect health systems, and manage their economies through sharp downturns after the virus spread within their borders...

 

Lowy

Demanding the Future: Navigating the Pacific's Youth Bulge, July 2020. In the Pacific Islands region, high population growth has generated a corresponding increase in the number of young people: at least half the region's population is aged under 23.[1] Of all the challenges the region faces, this ‘youth bulge’ will be one of the most significant. It will affect employment, health outcomes, and sustainable urbanisation, as well as peace and security. The impact of COVID-19 will only exacerbate the predicament. The associated political and social pressures are likely to be particularly acute in the most populous Melanesian island states of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, and Fiji...

 

Lowy

Clean Pipes: Should ISPs Provide a More Secure Internet? July 2020. One of the largest online challenges facing Australia is to provide effective cybersecurity to the majority of internet users who don’t have the skills or resources to defend themselves. This paper explores the concept of ‘Clean Pipes’, which is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) could provide security services to their customers to deliver a level of default security. The Australian Government looks to be implementing a version of Clean Pipes: on 30 June 2020 the Prime Minister announced a funding commitment to ‘prevent malicious cyber activity from ever reaching millions of Australians across the country by blocking known malicious websites and computer viruses at speed...

 

ASPI

Taiwan-Japan (Unofficial) Relations: In a Sea of Troubles, June 2020. Taiwan (The Republic of China, ROC)* and Japan have had a long and vacillating history of engagement mostly consisting of peaceful periods of cooperation yet beset by the Japanese colonial rule of Taiwan from 1895-1945 as well as the atrocities committed during the Second World War. The Taiwan-Japan relationship is a complex one unequivocally entwined with China (The People’s Republic of China, PRC), a country which has been trying to drive a wedge between them. Overall Taiwan-Japan relations remain positive, although they are both constrained by a reluctance to provoke China, which arguably is the single most important external actor in the bilateral relationship. This paper aims to take a closer look at the history of the bilateral and trilateral relations between the states mentioned and to examine in which way China has, and will continue to, influence relations between Taiwan and Japan...

 

ISDP

The Case for Multilateralism: The Korean Peninsula in a Regional Context, June 2020. The Korean Peninsula remains an enduring conflict hotspot and security challenge. Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, efforts to build a sustainable peace have been thwarted amidst a long history of tension, aggression, and broken promises; this despite periods of temporarily improved relations and détente. Conflict resolution impulses have been further hampered by the complexities of geostrategic tensions and power rivalry in the wider Northeast Asian region amidst the enduring absence of any formal regional security structure. With the exception of the ultimately failed Six-Party Talks (2003-09), the main focus of nuclear-related negotiations and agreements have been bilateral in nature, notably the 1994 Agreed Framework and the short-lived so-called 2012 Leap Day Deal between North Korea and the United States. However, breakthroughs have often failed to survive political transitions, geopolitical shifts, and the challenges of implementation...

 

ISDP

Trends in Southeast Asia 2020 #11: Renewable Energy: Malaysia’s Climate Change Solution or Placebo?. Malaysia pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 in relation to its 2005 GDP figure. The sectors listed as the main focus of this effort included: energy, industrial processes, waste, agriculture, land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). Several initiatives under myriad governments have been launched to reduce Malaysia’s climate change impacts; among those has been the emphasis on renewable energy (RE). Malaysia’s current energy mix relies heavily on coal and natural gas. Long-entrenched subsidies on these energy sources, coupled with greatly depreciating prices make it difficult for new RE producers to enter the market and increase their market share. This is in spite of positive developments in RE infrastructure and reduced RE material costs...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2020 #10: Why Did BERSATU Leave Pakatan Harapan?. The Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition won Malaysia’s 14th general election on 9 May 2018, the first time a regime change took place in the country. However, it lost its majority in late February 2020, when Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (BERSATU) left the coalition. The four parties in PH had very different ideologies, especially when it comes to issues of race and religion. But despite taking various steps to create a coalition agreement, the more fundamental differences were never reconciled during the coalition’s time in power. PH won GE-14 with a relatively low level of support from the ethnic Malays, who perceived it to be a coalition dominated by the mainly Chinese DAP. Fearmongering about how PH and the DAP were a threat to Malay privileges further weakened PH while in government...

 

ISEAS

Changes in the Demographic Structure and Economic Growth, July 2020. The population of East and Southeast Asia has been ageing rapidly and will begin to decline ahead of other regions by 2040. By 2060, the elderly will comprise 40% of their total population, thus making them ‘super-aged’ societies. These regions are undergoing major demographic structure changes due to a rapid decline in birth rate and extension of life expectancy. While increased life expectancy and a lower percentage of youth population will have a positive impact on the economic growth in the short and long terms, a higher percentage of older people will have a negative impact in the long term. Additionally, growth in the labour force has a positive impact on the short-term and long-term economic growth. While ageing population will slow down economic growth in the long term, it is possible that this decline could be balanced by a higher labour force growth rate. Surviving in a super-aged society requires policies that proactively enhance economic growth...

 

ISEAS

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Virginia Review of Asian Studies 2020

 

VRAS

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ADB

Latest ADBI Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest ADB Publications:  

ADB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Religion and the Secular State in Kyrgyzstan, June 2020. Since independence, religion has become ever more important as an identity marker in Kyrgyzstan, with increased practical relevance in the everyday lives of many citizens. This religious revival poses challenges for a state that, like the other Central Asian states, has remained secular after the fall of communism. For this Muslim-majority state, the challenge has been to sustain the secularism of the state that was instituted during Soviet times, while replacing the anti-religious prejudice that characterized the militantly atheist socialist system with tolerance and respect for all religions. How has this played out in the past three decades? In the early years of independence, the government took a liberal approach to religion, and the number of mosques and religious schools expanded rapidly. Foreign sources of religious influences, including ideological and financial, met few restrictions and could flow into the country from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Indian Subcontinent...

 

ISDP

Religion and the Secular State in Turkmenistan, June 2020. Since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Turkmenistan has seen an increased presence of religion in everyday life. Islam has been a continuous cornerstone of Turkmen identity for centuries and is even more so in the post-Soviet period. Turkmeniçilik (Turkmen identity) and Musulmançilik (Muslim identity) are correlated. Similar to what is found in several Central Asian countries, Turkmenistan distinguishes between traditional and non-traditional religious practices. In Turkmenistan, the state actively privileges a form of traditional Islam. That is, the leadership mobilizes the faith in its construction of a post-Soviet, national Turkmen identity. Yet, Turkmenistan is an officially secular country with constitutional provisions for the separation of state from religion. What does this mean for religious practice in that Muslim-majority country? What is the role of the state in mobilizing religious practices even as it curtails others? And why are there so few external influences on worship in Turkmenistan...

 

ISDP

A Steady Hand: The EU 2019 Strategy & Policy Toward Central Asia, November 2019. The launch of a new EU Strategy for Central Asia in June 2019 marked a milestone in the gradual development of relations between the EU and the region. The Strategy’s launch coincides with considerable change in and around the region. Internally, Central Asia has experienced a renewed commitment to reform and regionalism; meanwhile, the region has seen a greater engagement by neighboring powers, most immediately through large-scale Chinese and Russian initiatives, but also in the shape of a growing interest on the part of Asian powers as well as the United States. A closer analysis of the EU’s engagement with Central Asia paradoxically indicates a sort of parallel evolution: both the EU and the Central Asian states are products of the post-cold war era, and their relations have intensified along with their own internal evolution into ever more solid entities on the international scene...

 

ISDP

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2020Q3, July 2020. Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong’s economy underwent an unprecedented collapse with a drop of 8.9% in 20Q1. As the disruption from the disease slowly receded, Hong Kong’s real GDP is estimated to have a lesser drop in 20Q2 by 6.4%, compared to the same period last year. With the biggest stimulus package ever unveiled by the Hong Kong government, Hong Kong’s economy is expected to pick up for recovery from the impact of the coronavirus. Although a full output has not yet been resumed, the economy is estimated to improve in the latter half and drop by 4.3% in 20Q3. Unemployment rate is expected to improve slightly to 5.5% in 20Q3, from the estimated 5.8% in 20Q2. Hong Kong’s GDP is expected to shrink by 5.5% for the year 2020 as a whole, representing a 2.5 percentage points downward revision from our previous forecast...

 

HKU

Taking Stock of United States-Vietnam Relations 45 Years After the Fall of Saigon, June 2020. In April President Donald Trump tweeted a thank you note for Vietnam’s shipment of protective suits. Since then, Vietnam has sent about half a million personal protective equipment (PPE) items to the United States. This is how far U.S.-Vietnam relations have come on the 45th anniversary of the dramatic day (April 30) known in Vietnam as Saigon Liberation, or the Fall of Saigon. “I cannot think of two countries that have worked harder, done more, and done better to try to bring themselves together and change history, to change the future, to provide a future for people that is very, very different" - said then Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013 – the year when the two became comprehensive partners. As a young soldier, Kerry had fought and later opposed the war in Vietnam...

 

EWC

The New in the “New Normal” for the Post-COVID Pacific Islands, June 2020. Finding a “new normal” has become a ubiquitous catchphrase expressing the hope that the instability and uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic will end soon. The concept describes either a temporary transitional state on the way back to an old pre-Covid normal or the altered reality of a transformed post-Covid order. For the Pacific Community’s 21 Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs), their post-Covid options will be determined more by the choices made elsewhere than by their own preferences. Ironically, their new normal is likely to be business as usual for the PICTs. External influences have limited the extent to which they can control own their fate for centuries...

 

EWC

Regional Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific: Vietnam’s Role as the 2020 Chair of ASEAN, April 2020. With rivalry escalating between the US and China, the stability of the Indo-Pacific region is under threat. As a newly elected non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and the 2020 chair of ASEAN—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations—Vietnam will have an opportunity to help maintain peace and stability. At the same time, as one of the smaller countries, Vietnam will look for ways to use regional rivalries to promote its own national interest. Vietnam’s perception of the balance of power between the US and China determines its foreign policy toward these two countries and toward ASEAN. In response to the China-US rivalry, Hanoi supports further US engagement in the region, not only to offset Beijing’s influence but also to leverage the role of ASEAN and avoid any extreme outcomes. Keywords: Vietnam, US, China, ASEAN, Indo-Pacific region, South China Sea...

 

EWC

Going Digital, Going Green: Changing Value Chains and Regimes of Accumulation in the Automotive Industry in China, December 2019. This paper analyzes the changes in production and innovation networks in the automobile industry in China that have resulted from the transition to new-energy vehicles and digital driving technologies. This transformation is seen as a fundamental break with the present “neo- Fordist” regime of accumulation in the car industry and a rise of new forms of network-based mass production, comparable to the IT industry since the 1990s. The paper traces the complex politics of this transition embedded in different modes of regulation in the Chinese automotive sector, its impact on work and regimes of production, and the perspective of a broad-ranging “Foxconnization” of car manufacturing...

 

EWC

'Ike Pono—Designing the Political and Economic Systems of the Internet Generation, May 2019. Like the Open World Movement, ‘Ike Pono itself is written using the principles of collaboration, transparency, sharing and empowerment. The stories and ideas in this introductory paper are, in effect, crowdsourced from numerous intellectuals into a single document. "'Ike Pono" is the Hawaiian term for certain knowledge. It is the shorthand I am using here for this dynamic collection of work by thought leaders that explains this movement, reveals its foundations, examines its tool, and provides a vision of what the political and economic systems of the internet generation will look like...

 

EWC

Thailand’s Strategic Drift: Domestic Determinants Amidst Superpower Competition, June 2020. After more than five years of military-authoritarian government following its 13th successful coup in May 2014, Thailand’s most recent elections on 24 March 2019 yielded a controversial parliament and a fractious post-election coalition government, headed by incumbent Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. This report argues that despite the challenges of domestic political preoccupations and the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, Thailand’s strategic role in the Indo-Pacific is too important to be marginalized and that the country is an indispensable piece of the regional jigsaw puzzle in an era of global power shifts and transitions. The current Sino-US competition involves far-reaching battleground between democracy and authoritarianism, and Thailand – one of America’s oldest treaty ally with increasingly close ties with China – is strategically consequential. The report explains the complexity of Thai’s foreign policy and implications for Australia.

 

ASPI

Covid-19 Disinformation & Social Media Manipulation, June 2020. A range of actors are manipulating the information environment to exploit the COVID-19 crisis for strategic gain. ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is tracking many of these state and non-state actors online, and will occasionally publish investigative, data-driven reporting that will focus on the use of disinformation, propaganda, extremist narratives and conspiracy theories by these actors. The bulk of ASPI’s data analysis uses our in-house Influence Tracker tool - a machine learning and data analytics capability that draws out insights from multi-language social media datasets. This new tool can ingest data in multiple languages and auto-translate, producing insights on topics, sentiment, shared content, influential accounts, metrics of impact and posting patterns...

 

ASPI

A Pacific Disaster Prevention Review, June 2020. Disaster risk reduction is a global policy issue. Reducing the likelihood and severity of damage and related cascading and cumulative impacts from natural hazards has become central to all nations and has triggered the evolution of international cooperation, multilateral responses and humanitarian aid efforts over many years. The nexus between natural hazards and vulnerability is central to appreciating the scale of the damage caused by large disasters and resultant sociotechnical impacts. Multilateral efforts to mitigate the impacts of weather and climate hazards have progressed over time. The Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World: Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation was a harbinger for the Hyogo Framework for Action, which emphasised building the resilience of communities and nations to the effects of disasters, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction as the current flagship of unified effort...

 

ASPI

From Concentrated Vulnerability to Distributed Lethality—or How to Get More Maritime Bang for the Buck With Our Offshore Patrol Vessels, June 2020. This report proposes a way for the Australian Government to acquire maritime war-fighting capability quickly and affordably while promoting Australian industry and the continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program. It would deliver substantial new maritime capability in the next few years, in contrast to the current investment program, and it would introduce a transformative force structure for the price of one or two traditional large multi-role platforms. This would address key challenges faced by the ADF by enabling it to transition more quickly to a force structure that better supports operating concepts employing distributed lethality and greater use of autonomous systems and human–machine teaming.

 

ASPI

Trends in Southeast Asia 2020 #9: Advocacy in a Time of Change: Business Associations and the Pakatan Harapan Government in Malaysia, 2018–20. There are at least 80–100 business associations (such as chambers of commerce or industry-specific bodies) in Malaysia today, representing over 600,000 firms. In February–April 2020, a range of chamber leaders and officers were interviewed to record their experiences of the recent Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, and any future lessons for business associations in post GE-14 Malaysia. Few Malaysian chambers have had experience in dealing with changes of government, creating challenges when PH took office. Most associations were able to build effective working relationships with the new administration. Compared to Barisan Nasional (BN) ministers, PH ministers emphasized greater policy rigour, more evidence-based arguments, lower tolerance for corruption, and enhanced public accountability. Criticisms of PH include an early focus by some ministers on seemingly trivial issues, an initial distrust of some parts of the public service, and an inability to have all parts of the federal government work cohesively...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2020 #8: Party Mergers in Myanmar: A New Development. Party mergers are a new development in Myanmar politics. Given that such mergers often assist the consolidation of new democratic regimes, some broader system-wide effects may also occur. Myanmar’s ethnic parties consistently choose merger strategies over other forms of pre-electoral coalition. This highlights a transition from a focus on questions of authoritarianism and democracy to one on the creation of a federal system of government with a stronger cleavage between competing Bamar and ethnic nationalisms. Despite cooperation among political parties outside the electoral process, pre-electoral coalitions such as constituency-sharing or campaigning for allies have generally not been successful. Five of the six mergers among ethnic parties attempted prior to the 2015 general election failed. However, between 2017 and 2019, five mergers involving parties representing the Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin or Karen, and Mon ethnicities, achieved success...

 

ISEAS

When Does Trade Reduce Poverty? Revisiting the Evidence for East Asia, June 2020. East Asia’s openness to trade is often credited as one of the main drivers behind the region’s impressive gains in economic growth and poverty reduction. In this paper, we examine the literature to determine whether there is a sound theoretical and empirical basis for this presumed relationship between trade and poverty reduction. Like many other studies on this topic, we find that the linkages are not automatic; the impact of trade on poverty is highly context-specific, and many factors come into play. Complementary policies are necessary to maximise trade’s potential impact on poverty reduction. We also explore the role of Aid-for-Trade in addressing specific trade-related capacity constraints which prevent developing countries from maximising the benefits from trade.

 

ISEAS

Asian Development Outlook 2020 Supplement: Lockdown, Loosening, and Asia’s Growth Prospects, June 2020. This publication provides updated economic forecasts for Asia and the Pacific, taking into consideration the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Developing Asia is now projected to grow by only 0.1% in 2020, which would be the lowest regional growth outcome since 1961. Contraction is expected in all subregions except in East Asia. Growth will rebound to 6.2% in 2021 but composite GDP next year will remain below its pre-crisis trend, so the recovery will not be V-shaped. Excluding newly industrialized economies, regional growth is forecast at 0.4% in 2020 and 6.6% in 2021. Regional inflation is expected to remain benign at 2.9% in 2020 and 2.4% in 2021.

 

ADB

Asia Bond Monitor, June 2020. This edition of the Asia Bond Monitor reviews developments in emerging East Asian local currency bond markets and discusses how the financial sector can help fund the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Local currency bonds outstanding in emerging East Asian markets climbed to USD16.3 trillion in the first quarter of 2020. Risks remain heavily tilted to the downside given uncertainty about the effects of COVID-19. A section on the financial sector and COVID-19 discusses the use of pandemic bonds and social bonds to mobilize resources and of fintech to support inclusive growth and pandemic resilience. A chapter on financial architecture and innovation examines whether banks or equity and debt markets are more conducive to innovation. It finds that a market-based financial system is more conducive.

 

ADB

Three Decades of International Financial Crises: What Have We Learned and What Still Needs to be Done? June 2020. This paper highlights lessons from the Asian Financial Crisis, the Global Financial Crisis, and the Eurozone Debt Crisis to identify what more can be done to strengthen financial systems. Fragility that periodically erupts into a full-blown financial crisis appears to be an integral feature of market-based financial systems despite the emergence of sophisticated risk-management tools and regulatory systems. This paper compares the three major crises of the past 3 decades to distill the lessons they offer and to identify what remains to be done. Its findings are especially pertinent as policy makers tackle the financial impacts of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

 

ADB

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ADB

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ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, June 2020. The Singapore economy contracted by 0.7% in Q1 2020 compared with the same period last year, slightly less than respondents’ forecasts of a 0.8% decline in the previous survey. In the current survey, the respondents expect the economy to contract 11.8% year-on-year in Q2 2020...

 

MAS

Monetary Authority of Singapore: Macroeconomic Review, Volume XIX, Issue 1, April 2020 (Full Report, Presentation Slides for Briefing):  

MAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2020 #7: From Tao Guang Yang Hui to Xin Xing: China’s Complex Foreign Policy Transformation and Southeast Asia. This article traces China’s foreign policy transformation from 2013 to the present. It also examines Deng Xiaoping’s doctrinal response to the political crises of 1989–91 and compares it to current Chinese foreign policy doctrines. From the early 1980s until the 2010s, China’s foreign policy has generally focused on keeping a low profile. Deng’s Tao Guang Yang Hui foreign policy doctrine is characterized by its “No’s”, while Xi Jinping’s Xin Xing is marked by its “New’s”. The move from Tao Guang Yang Hui to Xin Xing is a major doctrinal shift in China’s foreign policy. Since the 19th Party Congress in 2017, Xi’s “new” narratives have seemingly dominated Chinese foreign policy. However, old principles, particularly that of “non-interference” or “no hegemony”, are still alive, albeit in a different form...

 

ISEAS

Defending the Maritime Rules-Based Order: Regional Responses to the South China Sea Disputes, Published 2020. The seas are an increasingly important domain for understanding the balance-of-power dynamics between a rising People’s Republic of China and the United States. Specifically, disputes in the South China Sea have intensified over the past decade. Multifaceted disputes concern overlapping claims to territory and maritime jurisdiction, strategic control over maritime domain, and differences in legal interpretations of freedom of navigation. These disputes have become a highly visible microcosm of a broader contest between a maritime order underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and challenger conceptions of order that see a bigger role for rising powers in generating new rules and alternative interpretations of existing international law. This issue examines the responses of non-claimant regional states—India, Australia, South Korea, and Japan—to the South China Sea disputes...

 

EWC

Pyongyang’s Foreign Relations: Amidst a Diplomatic Standstill, Will Old Friendships Fade Away? May 2020. North Korea’s tumultuous path over the past few years from nuclear standoff to summit diplomacy put a spotlight on Pyongyang’s bilateral relations across the Indo-Pacific. The February 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Un’s exiled half-brother at the Kuala Lumpur airport dramatized the malign aspects of North Korea’s overseas presence, and presaged Southeast Asia’s role as an important front in the incipient U.S.-led maximum pressure campaign against Pyongyang. As maximum pressure transitioned to engagement with North Korea, U.S.-DPRK summits in Singapore and Vietnam raised hopes that North Korea could follow the examples of these host nations, and move forward on a more hopeful path toward economic development and reconciliation with old adversaries...

 

EWC

The Strengths and the Opportunities of the New Silk Road Strategy in the Middle East, May 2020. The Middle East is situated at the heart of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The new Silk Road strategy is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in modern history, and has the potential to reconfigure and optimize global trade routes. Hence, China seeks to develop its relationships with Middle Eastern states for the need to secure its energy imports, to secure its exports via routes that pass through the Middle East and, in the longer term, to increase its regional influence and displace the United States in the region. BRI has become the main focus of China’s foreign policy in the Middle East. The weaknesses of China’s BRI can be turned into strengths and opportunities as long as Beijing faces them squarely and responds positively...

 

EWC

Same Game, No Winners: COVID-19, U.S.-China Rivalry, and Southeast Asian Geopolitics, May 2020. The COVID-19 outbreak has spawned a plethora of commentaries forecasting the geopolitical consequences of the pandemic. For some observers the virus has caused a decisive shift in the balance of influence, with China emerging as the paramount power (especially in the Indo-Pacific) and America teetering on the brink of losing its status as global hegemon. Other pundits have offered less paradigm-shifting assessments: that COVID-19 is unlikely to upend the existing international order but may catalyze existing global trends. Four months into what is very likely to be a long and wrenching crisis it is, of course, very difficult to make predictions. However, we believe that at least in Southeast Asia, what we are witnessing thus far is less a rupture event and more an amplification of the current geopolitical dynamics...

 

EWC

The United States and Japan’s Semiconductor Supply Chain Diversification Efforts Should Include Southeast Asia, May 2020. Responding to oncoming U.S.-China commercial friction in recent years, firms operating in the complex, dense semiconductor ecosystem centered on the United States and Northeast Asia began a gradual evaluation of whether and how to reshape their supply chains and investments, and still maximize profit. As a foundational industry for maintaining economic competitiveness and national security, semiconductors serve as a keystone in U.S. and Japanese technological leadership. Against the backdrop of nascent U.S.-China technology competition and the standstill from the coronavirus, adjustments to enhance resiliency and mitigate disruption through developing semiconductor supply chains and investments outside of China, including in Southeast Asia, should be supported...

 

EWC

U.S., Japan, and Southeast Asia Cooperation: Building a Data Governance Blueprint, April 2020. Data is the new oil. And as the latest and most valuable resource on the planet, whoever harnesses its currency will dominate the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The United States and Japan are at the forefront of advocating for the free flow of data across the world, while other states such a China and India support localizing data. As the vanguards of the current rules-based international order that embraces cross-border data flow, it is imperative for the United States and Japan to advance a collective vision toward data governance. However, to achieve this, they must work in unison with like-minded states along with diverse stakeholders, especially in Southeast Asia—where there are also conflicting views toward data governance. Such partnerships must be based on mutual interests supported by credible initiatives to bring forth concrete and equitable outcomes...

 

EWC

Assessing the Quad: Prospects and Limitations of Quadrilateral Cooperation for Advancing Australia’s Interests, May 2020. After a ten-year hiatus, the Australia-India-Japan-US Security Quadrilateral Dialogue — informally known as the Quad — was resurrected in 2017 with the aim to support a ‘free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific Region’. While there are important differences among the four countries on threat perceptions, military capability, strategic priority, capacity to bear the costs of potential retaliation, strategic culture and constitutional imperatives, these differences place limitations on Quadrilateral cooperation, but do not preclude it. All four countries have common interests in maintaining a stable balance of power in the region, freedom of the seas, an open rules-based economic order, to counter debt-trap diplomacy and to limit the use of coercion by a state to assert territorial claims. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has become more assertive and ambitious, vigorously pressing its claims in the East and South China seas and promoting its BRI. Concerned to preserve the existing liberal rules-based order, the Quad states have already responded by increasing their cooperation...

 

Lowy

After COVID-19: Australia and the World Rebuild (Volume 1),  2020. This Strategy report offers policy-focused analysis of the world we will face once the pandemic has passed. At a time when all our assumptions about the shape of Australian society and the broader global order are being challenged, we need to take stock of likely future directions. The report analyses 26 key topics, countries and themes, ranging from Australia’s domestic situation through to the global balance of power, climate and technology issues. In each case we asked the authors to consider four questions. What impact did Covid-19 have on their research topic? What will recovery mean? Will there be differences in future? What policy prescriptions would you recommend for the Australian government?

 

ASPI

National Security Agencies and the Cloud: An Urgent Capability Issue for Australia, May 2020. This new ASPI report, argues for the development of a national security cloud. If the community doesn’t shift to cloud infrastructure, it’ll cut itself off from the most powerful software and applications available, placing itself in a less capable position using legacy software that vendors no longer support. The report’s authors argue that if this need isn’t addressed rapidly and comprehensively, Australia will quite simply be at a major disadvantage against potential adversaries who are using this effective new technology at scale to advance their own analysis and operational performance. The report identifies four significant obstacles that stand in the way of Australia’s national security community moving to cloud infrastructure...

 

ASPI

North of 26° South and the Security of Australia: Views From the Strategist Vol. 2, May 2020, is a new report by ASPI’s The North and Australia’s Security Program. The report builds on Volume 1 by presenting an all new series of articles by a range of trusted and up and coming authors exploring the continued importance of Northern Australia to national security and defence strategy. Northern Australia had become key political, military and economic terrain in a new era of major-power competition. Despite those developments, Australian policymakers have struggled to develop a cohesive northern Australia strategy. While Australia has a long-term defence capability plan, we need to continue to test our assumptions about the defence of northern Australia and the north’s significance to national security. In December 2019, Defence had finished the first draft of its internal review of Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper...

 

ASPI

Cybercrime in Southeast Asia, Published 2020. Cybercrime is a serious threat facing Australia and the world, but this criminal activity is often wrongly viewed as a near invisible online phenomenon, rather than a ‘real world’ concern. Behind every attack sits one or more people in a physical location. Those people are products of particular socio-economic conditions, which influence the types of regional and local cybercrime activity they specialise in. Cybercrime isn’t evenly distributed around the globe, but is centred around hotspots, which offer potential breeding grounds or safe harbours from where offenders can strike. This is true in Australia’s own region, where some Southeast Asian countries are emerging as bases for serious regional, and even global, cybercrime threats. We’re not proactively tackling the locations where the cybercrime threat develops and matures...

 

ASPI

Terrorism Is Terrorism: The Christchurch Terror Attack From an Israeli CT Perspective, May 2020. This report by Professor Boaz Ganor examines the different phases of the Christchurch terror attack, its similarities to and differences from Islamic jihadist terror attacks, and the lessons to be learnt for preventing, thwarting and managing such attacks, based on Israeli counter-terrorism experience. Lone-wolf attacks have become a widespread phenomenon in many countries, some have ended with a limited number of casualties. The 2019 Christchurch terror attack resulted in dozens of casualties. This report rigorously examines each phase of the attack to assess where points of intervention may have been overlooked and what can be learned from this experience to evolve counter-terrorism strategy and methods...

 

ASPI

Running on Empty? a Case Study of Fuel Security for Civil and Military Air Operations at Darwin Airport, May 2020. Most Australians have no idea how quickly they’ll be running on empty if fuel supplies from overseas are cut in a crisis. For decades, the nation has relied on risky, “just in time” deliveries of the fuel necessary for transport systems, industry, policing and individual motoring needs—and even the operations of the Australian Defence Force. This report describes how this situation is so fraught, and the national reserve so small, that during major military exercises and actual operations such as the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, fuel stocks have reached critically low levels.

 

ASPI

Economic Corridors in Southeast Asia: Success Factors, Impacts and Policy, May 2020. Economic corridors have gained popularity as a potentially important instrument in the development and transformation of low and middle income economies. But why have some countries had more success with them than others? What role does governance, institutions, finance and policy frameworks play in determining their success? How can we measure their impacts? We try and answer these questions by looking closely at, and drawing lessons from, two case studies of successful corridors in Asia – Malaysia and Thailand. A key conclusion is that economic corridors are more likely to succeed with greater domestic spillovers when the physical and policy infrastructure are conducive.

 

ISEAS

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APEC

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ADB

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ADB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Papua: The Issue That Won't Go Away for Melanesia, May 2020. West Papuan grievances with Indonesian rule, including human rights abuses, militarisation and frustrations about self-determination, have attracted increasing international attention and concern, particularly in neighbouring countries of Melanesia. The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) comprising Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s Kanaks, is the appropriate regional grouping to promote the issue, but struggles to do anything. A rising Indonesia is gaining in influence throughout the region, countering support for West Papuan independence aims, and MSG members have become divided over West Papua. But recent flare-ups between West Papuans and security forces, combined with steady international support for the West Papuan struggle, and the emergence of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), foreshadowed a looming regional diplomatic wrestle...

 

Lowy

Eyes Wide Open: Managing the Australia-China Antarctic Relationship, April 2020. Given recent broader tensions in the China–Australia relationship, China’s global ambitions, lack of progress on key Antarctic policy initiatives and the potential for significant geopolitical consequences for the future of Antarctica and for Australia’s strategic interests, it’s important that Australian policymakers reconsider our long-term Antarctic policy settings. The report found no clear evidence that China is violating the Antarctic Treaty. But it argues we should apply a more sharply focused assessment of the costs and benefits of cooperation, given China’s more assertive international posture and increasing interests in Antarctica...

 

ASPI

Returning to Work During the Pandemic: Testing, Surveillance, Apps and Data as Our Near Term Future, April 2020. National Cabinet is meeting to begin the pathway to get Australia back to work and school. That's while we are still in the midst of 'flattening the curve' and in a world without a vaccine or even effective therapeutic treatment to reduce death rates from the virus. So, how might Australia return to work without getting back on the elevator of exponentially growing infection and deaths? This Strategic Insight sketches out that path, with the answers involving mass testing, and companies funded and supported to do rapid testing, data collection and analysis. It will rely on smartphone apps for data collection to enable outbreak suppression and contact tracing. Critically, national cabinet must communicate how this new approach will work alongside the existing social distancing restrictions, which will need to remain in place for months to come...

 

ASPI

Automation Challenges in Southeast Asia, April 2020. Trends around much of the world toward greater automation are accelerating, with significant implications for workers. In 2018, McKinsey & Co. released a document claiming that, by 2030, up to 375 million people worldwide may forfeit their current jobs due to automation and technological disruption. ASEAN is especially likely to be affected. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the impact of technological disruption on ASEAN will be profound. Automation will result in the obsolescence of jobs in industries ranging from textiles to automotive manufacturing. Southeast Asia’s labor force and economic growth must address this challenge head on...

 

EWC

The Strategic Imperatives of Modi’s Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative, April 2020. The concepts of ‘strategic autonomy’ and ‘inclusiveness’ have been core to India’s Indo-Pacific policies. Without taking a defined position on the contested power politics in the Indo-Pacific, India has largely maintained cordial relations with most countries and stakeholders in the region. As a corollary to this, the rubric of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) advances India’s maritime diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific, reflecting India’s desire to manage maritime security and governance in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposition to establish the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) at the 14th East Asia Summit (EAS) on November 4, 2019, primarily draws on this assertion...

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2020 #6: The Free and Open Indo-Pacific Beyond 2020: Similarities and Differences between the Trump Administration and a Democrat White House. American Indo-Pacific policy will be driven by its China policy, regardless of whether there is a second-term Donald Trump administration or a first-term Joe Biden administration. The Republicans will continue to frame the major challenge as “balancing” against Chinese power and “countering” the worst aspects of Beijing’s policies. Establishment or moderate Democrats under Biden will choose the softer language of seeking a favourable “competitive coexistence” in the military, economic, political and global governance realms, and the reassertion of American leadership and moral standing...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2020 #5: Malaysia’s Student Loan Company: Tackling the PTPTN Time Bomb. The Malaysian National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) was set up in 1997. Since then, it has accumulated a massive debt amounting to RM40 billion in principal plus RM13 billion in interest. All these are guaranteed by the Malaysian government. It is now the biggest provider of student loans in the country and continues to play a very important role in catalysing socio-economic mobility, especially among the ethnic Malays which is the majority community in the country. However, the business model employed by PTPTN is irrational and unsustainable. It borrows from the financial market at, on average, 4 to 5 per cent, and lends to students at 1 per cent. No serious effort has been made to revamp this model, and all public discussions around it have been driven by political populism...

 

ISEAS

Asian Development Outlook 2020 Full Report and Highlights. Growth in the region is expected to slow sharply to 2.2% in 2020 under the effects of the current health emergency and then rebound to 6.2% in 2021. Excluding Asia’s high-income newly industrialized economies, growth will drop from 5.7% to 2.4% this year before recovering to 6.7% next year. Headline inflation accelerated in 2019 as food prices edged up but remained low by historical standards. Inflation will climb further to 3.2% in 2020, but declining food prices in the latter half of the year will set the stage for easing inflation in 2021. Downside risks to the outlook are severe, most notably from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In these difficult times, when challenges to growth abound, innovation is critical to inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth. While some economies in developing Asia are near or at the global innovation frontier, many others lag behind.

 

ADB

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April, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2020Q2, April 2020. Ravaged by the COVID-19 outbreak, Hong Kong’s domestic and external demand is expected to collapse in 20Q1. Hong Kong’s real GDP is estimated to plunge by 8.3% in 20Q1 when compared with the same period in 2019. The instant spread of the pandemic disease likely drags developed economies into recession. Clouded by the coronavirus, trade tension and oil-price war, the output decline is expected to continue and drop by 5.2% in 20Q2, when compared with the same period in 2019. Unemployment rate is expected to worsen to 4.5% in 20Q2. Hong Kong will confront with difficult challenges amid the adverse economic condition in 2020. Hong Kong’s GDP is expected to shrink by 3% for the year 2020 as a whole, representing a 3.4 percentage points downward revision from our previous forecast, and is the largest decline since the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis...

 

HKU

The Path of Least Resilience: Autocratic Rule and External Powers in the Middle East, March 2020. Almost a decade since the Arab uprisings promised democratic revival in the Middle East, most countries in the region remain firmly in the grip of autocrats. External powers, from Russia and China to the United States and Europe, have either helped the region’s dictators stay in power, or have shaped their policies toward the region in the expectation that such regimes will persist. In effect external powers have made a bet on authoritarian resilience, not least because it has seemed an easier way to secure their respective interests. But a closer look at two countries, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where authoritarianism is often said to have been revived, underlines the way regimes are struggling to find a new basis for popular legitimacy. As a result, both regimes are becoming even more reliant than usual on repression, bringing with it risks of new explosions of civil unrest. External powers may have hoped they were making a safe wager on continued authoritarian rule in the Middle East. But the Saudi and Egyptian cases suggest that they have chosen instead the path of least resilience.

 

Lowy

Uyghurs for Sale, March 2020. The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen. This report estimates that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, and some of them were sent directly from detention camps. The estimated figure is conservative and the actual figure is likely to be far higher. In factories far away from home, they typically live in segregated dormitories, undergo organised Mandarin and ideological training outside working hours, are subject to constant surveillance, and are forbidden from participating in religious observances. Numerous sources, including government documents, show that transferred workers are assign minders and have limited freedom of movement.

 

ASPI

Counterterrorism Yearbook 2020. his year’s Counterterrorism Yearbook draws upon 19 contributing authors, each a renowned thought leader in their field, to promote practical counterterrorism solutions by reviewing a global range of terrorism developments and counterterrorism responses. ASIO’s Director General, Mike Burgess commends the publication for its ‘valuable contribution to the public discourse on counterterrorism’. While maintaining its geographic focus, the Yearbook now includes thematic chapters on mental health, strategic policing, the media, the terror–crime nexus and terrorist innovation. These new thematic chapters have been included to encourage governments to consider more proactive CT agendas that move beyond the current focus on disrupting plots and discouraging people from joining and supporting terrorist groups. The focus here has been on promoting new thinking on how to deal with emergent areas of concern, such as comorbidity of mental health, use of gaming platforms, and artificial intelligence.

 

ASPI

A United States-Kiribati Compact of Free Association Would Yield Mutual Dividends, March 2020. A Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the Republic of Kiribati would strengthen the U.S. strategic posture in the Pacific, win the moral high ground in the global climate change debate, and strengthen Washington's diplomatic footing in Pacific regional architecture, while giving Kiribati strong defense guarantees, generous immigration terms, and modest development assistance. Kiribati is a Pacific Micronesian country, as are Nauru and the Freely Associated States (FAS), consisting of Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands...

 

EWC

New Zealand Picks up on the Indo-Pacific, March 2020. The United States should, I have argued, pursue the “Pacific Principle.” The main features of this principle are power, purpose, and commitment to access and engagement across the region in all dimensions from security to public diplomacy. These actions matter more than what the United States calls the region running from our west coast to the eastern coast of Africa. The Pacific Island countries (PICs) and region (PIR) are crucial for many reasons; and not only because of China’s rising activities there. Four Indo-Pacific contests, over the balance of power, order, relations, and narratives, are having particular impacts on the PIR...

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2020 #4: Deepening the Understanding of Social Media’s Impact in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia’s Internet users are far more diverse than usually reported. They range from the urban youth with laptops and high-speed Wi-Fi, to the older generation semi-rural and rural users with affordable mobile phones for Facebook and WhatsApp.Southeast Asians generally trust social media platforms more than in Western societies. This trust in social media reflects a lack of trust in local mainstream media and official sources of information. What campaign information (and disinformation) is being spread and which ones are most successful are essential for understanding how voters in Southeast Asia use and trust social media...

 

ISEAS

Industry 4.0 Policies in Thailand, February 2020. The Thai government has implemented a number of policies to harness the potential of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). These policies can be categorized into three broad categories, namely, digital infrastructure, skill formation, and target industries. As is often observed for other policies in Thailand, the policy coverage for Industry 4.0 is too broad. Many aspects are included without a clear prioritisation. There is no effective mechanism to assess these policies and their implementation largely depends on government agencies’ preferences. The existing assessment mechanism induces these agencies to undertake easy-to-achieve activities such as training...

 

ISEAS

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APEC

The Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Developing Asia, March 2020. A new coronavirus disease, now known as COVID-19, was first identified in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China (PRC), in early January 2020. From the information known at this point, several facts are pertinent. First, it belongs to the same family of coronaviruses that caused the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2012. Second, the mortality rate (number of deaths relative to number of cases), which is as yet imprecisely estimated, is probably in the range of 1%–3.4%—significantly lower than 10% for SARS and 34% for MERS, but substantially higher than the mortality rate for seasonal flu, which is less than 0.1%...

 

ADB

Asia Bond Monitor, March 2020. This issue of the Asia Bond Monitor reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic and deepening global economic uncertainty are weighing heavily on local currency bond markets of emerging East Asian economies. Apart from emerging East Asia, government bond yields have also declined in major advanced economies and select European markets between 31 December 2019 and 29 February 2020. Local currency bonds outstanding in emerging East Asia totaled $16 trillion at the end of December 2019, up 2.4% from September 2019 and 12.5% higher than December 2018. Bond issuance in the region totaled $1.44 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2019, a 9.5% decline from September last year...

 

ADB

Innovate Indonesia: Unlocking Growth through Technological Transformation, March 2020. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation and its tenth largest economy. It is by far the largest country by both measures in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It has sustained average economic growth rates above 5% since 2000 and made significant strides in reducing poverty. Yet economic analyses point to a number of factors constraining Indonesia’s growth potential, notably tepid productivity growth and slowing expansion in the labor force and manufacturing industries. Technology has a key role to play in overcoming these constraints and boosting future growth. Internationally, advanced and developing economies alike see emerging technologies offering sustainable growth...

 

ADB

Work and Social Protection in Asia and the Pacific during the Fourth Industrial Revolution, March 2020. The universal right to social protection remains elusive in Asia and the Pacific, as in the rest of the
world. In developing Asia and the Pacific, most new entrants to the labor market do so informally; beyond the informal economy, the nature of work in the region is often in temporary contracts. Regular, full-time employment in the formal economy encompasses a minority of labor market participants, so the majority of those working are usually without social protection, which has been traditionally associated with labor market participation...

 

ADB

Handbook on High-Speed Rail and Quality of Life, Published 2020.  Since the origin of the railways in the United Kingdom in the early 19th century, “high-speed” has been a time-relative concept. The 56-kilometer (km) Liverpool–Manchester Railway was the world’s first commercial passenger railway developed for intercity transport. The 50 km per hour (km/h) speed record achieved by the steam-powered “Rocket” locomotive in 1830 represented a truly high speed for its time.
Soon, with the changes in technology, passenger rail travel would see tremendous upgrades in speed. The German diesel trains achieved 215 km/h in 1939 and the French electric-powered Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV) holds the current record on steel rails at 574 km/h (set in 2007)...

 

ADB

Asian Development Review, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2020 (Full Report):
This edition discusses current economic, environmental, and development issues in Asia such as poverty, migration, and financial spillovers. It features research studies in Pakistan, the People's Republic of China, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Studies presented in this edition also provide data and information about trends in seasonal poverty and seasonal migration across Asia as well as analyses of financial spillovers between emerging Asia and advanced economies across regions.safe working environment in Viet Nam's manufacturing firms.

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Journal of Bhutan Studies, Volume 40, Summer 2019

 

Bhutan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

  

 
 

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