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Asia – Asia is in a critical position to kick-start global trade reform (East Asia Forum)

Jake Read write: At the G7 summit in June in Cornwall, participants recognised the need to defend and modernise the multilateral rules-based trade system and agreed to get behind urgent, wholescale trade reform. They acknowledged that the rulebook has long been out of date and that the world trade system is in need of repair.

go to East Asia Forum: Asia is in a critical position to kick-start global trade reform (eastasiaforum.org)

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China/India – The rise of China and India’s remote humanitarian aid (East Asia Forum)

Lina Gong writes: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many disruptions to humanitarian action since 2020. As traditional donors struggled with domestic COVID-19 responses, emerging donors such as China and India seized the opportunity to increase their humanitarian footprint. Both countries provided humanitarian aid to over 150 countries and international organisations in 2020, with online technical support as one important avenue of their aid activities. Their move to online aid delivery conforms with a general trend in the humanitarian sector towards the greater use of remote humanitarian programming.

go to East Asia Forum: The rise of China and India’s remote humanitarian aid (eastasiaforum.org)

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Indonesia – Indonesia must act on illegal gold mining or fall for fool’s gold (East Asia Forum)

Muhammad Beni Saputra writes: Indonesia’s illegal gold mining problems reveal deeper issues with local level corruption and economic inequality. In Sumatra, gold miners have complained about inconsistencies in the police’s tough security measures to eradicate mining. While there was a harsh crackdown on individual miners — with some ending up in jail — most oligarchs behind the lucrative business remain untouched.

go to East Asia Forum: Indonesia must act on illegal gold mining or fall for fool’s gold | East Asia Forum

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Techno Democracies/Semiconductors – Biden looks to techno-alliances to chip in on semiconductors (East Asia Forum)

Tian He writes for East Asia Forum: The Biden administration has proposed an ambitious plan to build an alliance of techno-democracies to counter the rapid rise of China as a technology superpower. This strategy is quietly taking shape in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, as US President Joe Biden sets out to rebuild the semiconductor sector in the United States.

go to East Asia Forum: Biden looks to techno-alliances to chip in on semiconductors | East Asia Forum

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Malaysia – Fiscal distress exacerbates Malaysia’s growing COVID-19 crisis (East Asia Forum)

Shankaran Nambiar writes: Malaysia continues to grapple with its growing second wave of COVID-19. The country of 32 million people has now exceeded 995,000 infections and 7900 deaths since the start of the pandemic. In early June 2021, the number of infections increased by more than 7000 in a single day, rising to over 10,000 daily cases in July. For a country in political crisis, the poor state of public health has had inevitable economic consequences.

go to East Asia Forum: Fiscal distress exacerbates Malaysia’s growing COVID-19 crisis | East Asia Forum

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India – India’s ‘arbitrary and irrational’ vaccine policy spells trouble (East Asia Forum)

R Ramakumar writes: In May 2021, the Supreme Court of India remarked that the country’s policy of charging those aged between 18–45 for COVID-19 vaccines was ‘prima facie arbitrary and irrational’. The government has since revised its vaccine policy by covering a larger share of the population with free vaccines. Yet, India’s vaccine policy continues to be based more on politics than on reason or science.

go to East Asia Forum: India’s ‘arbitrary and irrational’ vaccine policy spells trouble (eastasiaforum.org)

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South Korea – Does South Korea’s youngest political boss have the chops to lead? (East Asia Forum)

Jinwoo Kim writes: Sometimes a political earthquake unfolds right before one’s eyes. Such was the case on 11 June 2021, when Lee Jun-seok was elected as the youngest leader of South Korea’s main conservative opposition party, the People Power Party (PPP). Riding the coat-tails of a convincing PPP sweep of by-elections in Seoul and Busan, the 36-year-old, Harvard-educated computer science major vowed to revamp South Korean politics.

go to East Asia Forum: Does South Korea’s youngest political boss have the chops to lead? | East Asia Forum

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USA/Nuclear Weapons – The right reasons for saying no to nuclear first use (East Asia Forum)

Hugh White writes: Washington is once again debating whether to declare that it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons. There are good reasons why it should. But it would not be right to suggest that a no-first use policy would cost the United States nothing strategically.

go to East Asia Forum: The right reasons for saying no to nuclear first use (eastasiaforum.org)

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Japan/South Korea – Japan–South Korea Olympic diplomacy over before it began (East Asia Forum)

Editorial Board, ANU, writes: Despite the long list of problems associated with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics — corruptionscandalsbudget overruns, a year’s long delay due to COVID-19 and widespread public opposition — the event continues to be billed as a festival of peace.

go to East Asia Forum: Japan–South Korea Olympic diplomacy over before it began | East Asia Forum

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