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E D I T O R I A L
  DAILY REPORTS
Welcoming China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank initiative (Sep 21)
Author: Andrew Elek, ANU In October 2013, just before the APEC meeting in Bali, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The bank will be launched this year, possibly when APEC leaders meet in Beijing. This new development bank can help fill the vast unmet demand for productive economic […]


Why is Indonesia terminating its bilateral investment treaties? (Sep 20)
Authors: Leon E. Trakman and Kunal Sharma, UNSW The value of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedures has been questioned by Australia and, more recently, Indonesia. The Australian government’s controversial 2011 Trade Policy Statement — stating that Australia would not agree to ISDS in its treaties — caused significant debate. In part, Australia’s policy was motivated by […]


Why cultural values cannot be ignored in international relations (Sep 20)
Author: Kadira Pethiyagoda, Canberra One hundred years ago began the war that was supposed to end all wars. This inauspicious centenary has allowed the foreign affairs commentariat to indulge in one of the things it is best at — drawing historical analogies. It is true that aspects of the global landscape look similar to a […]


Modi’s new financial inclusion plan is a step in the right direction (Sep 19)
Authors: Akshay Gakhar and Geethanjali Nataraj, Observer Research Foundation On Independence Day 2014, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his financial inclusion plan to provide a bank account to every Indian household. His ‘Jan-Dhan Yojana’ (Scheme for People’s Wealth) — which, in typical Modi vernacular, plays on rhyming words — seeks to provide financial independence […]


The Middle East and its armies (Sep 19)
The military successes of the Islamic State - at first apparently just a tatterdemalion bunch of ill-equipped jihadists before they became more clearly in focus as a force to be reckoned with - underlines the question of why regular armies across the Middle East and beyond have frequently proven to be ineffective under fire. - Brian M Downing (Sep 19, '14)


IS and the blowback brewing (Sep 19)
The stresses and fault lines the Middle East today could easily lead to implosions tomorrow, and America's past failure could see it be blamed, rightly or wrongly, for any ensuing mayhem. The critical questions the George W Bush administration ignored when it invaded Iraq remain applicable today for Barack Obama. - Emile Nakhleh (Sep 19, '14


China bargains with Indian territory (Sep 19)
Far away from the cheer of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India and the inking of deals which will boost investments, cut the trade imbalance and build a high-speed rail corridor, Beijing has orchestrated spurts of aggressive intrusions on India's border which reveal up close its true intentions and undermine the sincerity of strategic agreements. - Namrata Goswami (Sep 19, '14)


The Tao of North Korea (Sep 19)
Most outsiders think of the Korean peninsula as starkly divided: to the dark north is Gulag style, while the lights of the south flicker Gangnam Style. Forgot the statellite photos that illustrate the difference - North and South Korea are more Ying and Yang than many suppose, and they're slowly growing closer. - John Feffer (Sep 19, '14)


Desecuritizing Transboundary Water in South Asia (Sep 18)
By Mandakini Devasher SurieSevere floods in the Kashmir region of Northern India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have taken 450 lives so far, and uprooted thousands of residents on both sides of the highly politicized border. Heavy monsoon rains caused the Chenab and Jhelum rivers (tributaries of the Indus River system) to overflow their banks, resulting in a scale of flooding that some are calling unprecedented. In an effort to stem a growing crisis, both governments have ramped up flood relief and rescue efforts...


Financing the Costs of Climate Change in Disaster-Prone Asian Nations (Sep 18)
By Kourtnii S. BrownDisaster insurance has quickly risen up the global policy agenda in the last few years, where phrases like "loss and damage mechanisms" and "micro-insurance schemes" are catching fire in climate change discussions about how to finance the costs...


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