East Asia: Publications

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  • Aceh: The Road Ahead

    The Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM) formally launched its political party on May 23, 2006 at Banda Aceh. It has also appointed two independent candidates for the gubernatorial elections in Aceh, the date for which is likely to be announced after the passage of the Aceh Governing Bill in the Indonesian parliament. The Indonesian government claims that the bill would be passed by the end of May or early June, which would decide the standing of the political party instituted by GAM.

    May 29, 2006

    Hu's Foreign Visits: Emerging "Beijing Consensus"

    Hu Jintao's recent foreign visits are integral to China's foreign policy strategy of building partnerships around the world. As part of this strategy the Chinese President visited the United States, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya last month. The official Chinese position hailed these visits as an important part of the PRC's diplomatic policies.

    May 11, 2006

    Indonesia's Papuan Problem

    Indonesia and Australia have been at diplomatic loggerheads on the issue of granting political asylum to 42 Papuan refugees who sailed into Australia's Cape York Peninsula in January 2006. While Australia has granted them temporary visas, Indonesia has been asking for their repatriation. Papua has been projected as the next East Timor by Australia and this has become an issue for the Indonesian authorities as Papua has rich mineral resources and Indonesia would not like to have Papua go the East Timor way.

    May 09, 2006

    Simmering South China Sea Dispute

    On December 29, 2005, the Vietnamese foreign ministry accused Taiwan of being involved in the construction of a runway in the biggest of all of the islands, Itu Aba, in the disputed South China Sea. Also known as Taipingdao in Chinese, Ba Binh in Vietnamese and Ligaw in Filipino, it is strategically located in the region. Cumulatively, the South China Sea islands, covering about 200 islands and 800,000 square kilometres, are a bone of contention between Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.

    January 18, 2006

    China 's Economy: Statistics versus Reality

    At the end of 2005, China became the world's sixth largest economy if one were to look at the size of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) alone. China 's GDP was estimated to be 15.99 trillion renminbi (RMB) i.e., around USD 1.98 trillion. It now follows the United States , Japan , Germany , Britain and France in GDP terms and is expected to emerge the fourth largest economy before the end of 2006.

    January 18, 2006

    China's GDP & Asian strategic matrix

    The dramatic revision of China's GDP (Dec 20) by the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing reveals that the dragon's economic vitality is far more robust than earlier estimated.

    January 09, 2006

    Japan-China Rift and East Asian Security

    The feud between the two Asian giants is getting shriller. No sooner China had announced its 'peaceful development' policy through a White Paper than the Japanese foreign minister voiced his concern about the 'considerable threat' that Beijing posed. The latest spat in the running battle of charges and counter-charges is the controversial suicide by a consular staff in Japan's embassy at Beijing. The frosty relationship between the two countries is bound to cast a big shadow over the entire East Asian region in the coming years.

    January 05, 2006

    India and the East Asia Summit

    The inaugural East Asian Summit (EAS), representing nearly 50 per cent of the world's population with 20 per cent of global trade, and comprising 16 nations that are on a dynamic path of economic development, is obviously a mega event. For India, it is yet another opening to increasingly align itself with this region and play a commensurate political and security role. There is no question that the centre of gravity is decisively moving to East Asia and developments in this region will offer great economic opportunities and pose serious challenges as well.

    December 20, 2005

    Resolution of North Korean Imbroglio

    The breakthrough achieved on September 19 at the six-party (US, North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan) talks in Beijing has the potential to satisfactorily resolve the North Korean nuclear imbroglio that has been festering since 2002 when Pyongyang unilaterally withdrew from the international agreements that it had entered into over its domestic nuclear programme.

    September 21, 2005

    Onset of Multiparty Democracy in Maldives

    June 2, 2005 will go down as a red lettered day in the history of Maldives. On this day, the Maldivian parliament voted to allow multi-party democracy for the first time in the tiny atoll nation that has been ruled by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom since 1978. The parliament unanimously approved a resolution to allow political parties to seek recognition and contest elections, ending the no-party system in the nation. The motion was moved on the basis of a request from President Gayoom to review its earlier decision not to allow political parties in the country.

    September 03, 2005

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