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The latest article is now up at Brooks Foreign Policy Review, here.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), founded 42 years ago, was created to provide a framework to advance regional stability in Southeast Asia at a time when the withdrawal of colonial powers had created a vacuum. This placed the newly independent states of the region in danger of succumbing to ethnic strife and communist insurgencies. Since the conclusion of the Cold War, ASEAN has embarked on a series of free trade initiatives, linking it to some of the Asian-Pacific regions most dynamic economies.
–Government seeks WTO pledge – Taiwan wants China to be fair in trade negotiations.
–Police crush largest ethnic Indian protest in Malaysia for years – This is very interesting. I do not know much about Malaysia outside of its relationship with Singapore over the last 40 years. It is interesting to see that Indians are having such problems, whereas in Singapore it is the Malay who are on the “demographic bottom”. Unlike the Chinese, from what I know, overseas Indian populations have very mixed results in their aggregate standard of living. Overseas Chinese are generally at the top of the demographic statistics in every nation they live in outside of China.
–Senior political advisor expects closer China-ROK trade ties – I wonder how this increasing integration will effect the current trade problems ROK is experiencing.
–Graduates can only dream of being boss – New grads in China dream of being their own boss. I do not find that shocking as China has a very long history of entrepreneurship. Most of the Chinese I know (born outside the U.S.) do not want to work for other people longer than it takes to learn the business, so they can go into business for themselves. I’m glad to see 50 years of communism has not killed that attitude on the Mainland. I am also glad that China realizes there are significant barriers to entry, and I have long argued that the state can do more to ease these issues by streamlining government red-tape and improving the efficiency of capital allocation, especially between provinces.
–Greenback decline has ripple effects – China worries that the USD decline could cause inflation and speculative investment in their market. China has already raised their interest rate 5 times this year in an attempt to cool their economy.
–Judicial reforms ‘yield good results’ – Its a start, but they have a long way to go. I’m glad they are doing this slowly so that it becomes cultural overtime. Russia did their reforms fast and look at how their court system is. CORRUPT. Changing laws and fronting a democratic system does not automatically change the foundation, building up real institutions takes time.