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Japan US Abe Obama

Energy shortfall reshapes Japan’s foreign policy

Since the Fukushima disaster, Japan has been forced to import much of its energy. This has created significant geo-political and economic risks and has reshaped its foreign policy. In June, Toshikazu Okuya, Director of Japan’s Energy Supply and Demand Office, presented Japan’s fourth strategic energy plan. The plan details policy options for addressing Japan’s future […]

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U.S. military Pacific

US Decline Series: US shows long-term commitment to Asia-Pacific security

While rising tensions have provoked concern over the United States’ status as the region’s security guarantor, the Pacific Power is not going anywhere. This GRI series challenges the myth of the American decline. In May, a confrontation arose between China and Vietnam over the deployment of a Chinese naval rig in disputed waters. While this event […]

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china property

Chinese real estate firms turn to overseas investment

While Chinese top-tier real estate companies gain a more solid financial foundation, small developers in lower-tier cities face rising risks. Since 2013, Chinese real estate developers have looked overseas for investment opportunities. Led by the developers, Chinese investment in overseas real estate markets reached $7.6 billion, a 124% rise from the previous year. In the first […]

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

China-Vietnam conflict points to geopolitical shift

With tensions increasing on both sides, maritime border disputes are directly affecting life and economic production in both China and Vietnam. However, the disagreements also point to China’s growing assertiveness and shifting geopolitical power. Territorial disputes between Vietnam, the Philippines, China, Brunei and Malaysia over resource rich islands and regions have escalated over the past […]

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China territorial deadlocks hurt regional trade

Tensions between China and several East Asian countries have heated up over the last year. Is it simply another round of disputes that have occurred multiple times since 2007, or something new? The historical wounds in East Asia never heal. Neighboring countries can live in peace and do business together as long as no one brings […]

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

No promise of quick return to democracy after Thai coup

Last week’s military coup follows the traditions of Thai politics, where generals frequently intervene to end political paralysis. Yet, unlike Thailand’s many previous coups, this time there is no promise of a quick return to democracy. For many Thais, last week’s military coup was a welcome development after more than 6 months of political crisis […]

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China high speed rail

China plans multi-continent high-speed railway

China has announced plans to build a network of high-speed rail lines across several continents. Pollution, cost and safety concerns could be major obstacles to implementing the plan. In China’s latest efforts to demonstrate its technological advancement and ingenuity, the Chinese Academy of Engineering has announced a plan to build a high-speed railway that would take […]

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Source: CNN

Anti-China riots most damaging to Vietnam’s economy

Anti-Chinese sentiment is reaching fever pitch in Vietnam. At least twenty have been killed and hundreds injured as Beijing evacuated some 3,000 workers from the country. This marks a sharp escalation that will have profound impact on the Vietnamese economy. Since China’s deployment of a state-owned oil rig near the disputed Paracel Islands, a wave […]

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Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej waves as his wife Queen Sirikit and son Vajiralongkorn look on on his 80th birthday at the Grand Palace in Bangkok

Thailand sits at edge of political storm

With Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s ousting at the hands of the Thai Supreme Court on May 7th, Thailand’s political paralysis is set to restart. The anti-government Yellow Shirts have welcomed the move, but Shinawatra’s zealous Red Shirt supporters have flocked to Bangkok. More ominously, the health of King Bhumibol (Rama IX) continues to decline, presenting a […]

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Maldives Malé

New government in the Maldives gets a shaky start

Despite surprising election results, a fractious political landscape will remain a challenge for the Maldives as the country tackles effects of climate change and growing international attention. Following Abdulla Yameen’s surprising victory over former president Mohammed Nasheed, the Maldives’ political scene remains tense. The Maldives’ Supreme Court just handed the independent election commissioners six month jail sentences […]

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