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By Wen Xin Lim - 21 Feb 2017

When K-pop Meets with China’s Hard Power

While Seoul has ignored Beijing’s anxiety over its THAAD deployment, China has imposed restrictions on trade, economic activities, and cultural exchanges with South Korea in retaliation. Specifically, China has banned all imports of South Korean entertainment and music.
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By Tai Wei Lim - 09 Feb 2017

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Elections 2017: A Look at the Candidates

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By Wen Xin Lim - 07 Feb 2017

US-Philippine Relations: A Love-Hate Affair

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Working Together for a Better World

Many countries, including India and China, the security normalizing and economically recovering Japan and the ASEAN Economic Community are all looking forward to working with the incoming Trump administration in the US.
By Tai Wei Lim - 11 Jan 2017 | 0 comments Readmore...
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ASEAN Has Central Role in East Asia Diplomacy

Being in the driver’s seat for regionalism and positing its centrality in East Asia, ASEAN can aggregate the interests of all major powers like US, China, Japan, India, Russia and the EU as well as middle powers like South Korea and Australia.
By Tai Wei Lim - 04 Jan 2017 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Is the Trump-Tsai Phone Call a Storm in a Teacup?

One indication of a stable Sino-US relationship is revealed in the Chinese reaction to the Trump-Tsai phone conversation. Beijing sought to downplay its significance, and the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi described it as “just a small trick” by Taiwan.
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South Korea’s Park Geun-hye Impeached by Parliament

An influence-peddling scandal raised a groundswell of anger towards South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Members of the public took part in large rallies to voice their opposition. On December 9, South Korea’s parliament voted to impeach Park.
By Tai Wei Lim - 13 Dec 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Give Peace a Chance: Violence at the Sino-Myanmar Border

After fighting between government forces and rebel groups broke out in the northeast Myanmar border towns of Muse and Kutkai, some Myanmarese fled into Chinese territory. A Chinese daily reported that a state-owned structure suffered light damage from stray shells.
By Tai Wei Lim - 02 Dec 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Gateway to an Asia-Pac Free Trade Zone: TPP or RCEP?

The ultimate goal is for TPP or RCEP to be a gateway to a macro Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) objective that APEC has set its sights on. The FTAAP can help harmonize existing multilateral and bilateral trade linkages.
By Tai Wei Lim - 28 Nov 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Can Trump Fix America’s Neglected Infrastructure?

During his presidential campaign, US president-elect Donald Trump repeatedly stressed that he would rebuild US’ deteriorating infrastructure by pumping USD 550 billion into an aggressive plan to ensure better and more effective transportation and network systems.
By Wen Xin Lim - 23 Nov 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Go East and Build: Chinese Forays into Eastern Europe

Beijing has set up the USD 11 billion China-Central Eastern European fund to finance projects located in Central and Eastern Europe. This was jointly announced in Riga in the Baltic state of Latvia by Premier Li Keqiang and Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis.
By Tai Wei Lim - 22 Nov 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Why Hillary Clinton Lost

A Clinton victory would have been as significant as an Obama victory. For years, African Americans and women were at the periphery of the political establishment. Her victory would have been a powerful message to young women that the glass ceiling for women in US politics can be broken.
By Tai Wei Lim - 16 Nov 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Observations about the US Presidential Elections

The American presidential election is carried out via the Electoral College rather than the one man one vote system. The Electoral College consists of electors who are designated to vote on behalf of their constituencies. It is theoretically possible for the more popular candidate in the national poll to be the loser in the Electoral College.
By Tai Wei Lim - 08 Nov 2016 | 1 comments Readmore...
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History of the Maritime Silk Road

The Maritime Silk Road was historically used for transporting ceramics from East Asia to other regions including Europe. It is useful to re-discover how these sea-lanes, when not under dispute, were able to encourage trade and commerce amongst the maritime nations.
By Tai Wei Lim - 19 Oct 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong meant different things to different people. To his allies, he was a decisive leader with a vision to make China a great nation. To his detractors, he was a strongman with flaws that resulted in hardship for a large number of people. To his rivals, he was a fearsome opponent with Machiavellian instincts and methodical ways of dealing with his enemies.
By Tai Wei Lim - 17 Oct 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Are Chinese Tourists a Boon or a Bane?

While Chinese tourists are welcomed due to their increased spending power, their ill manners and rude behaviors unfortunately put the host countries in a difficult position and also tarnish China’s reputation as a whole.
By Wen Xin Lim - 12 Oct 2016 | 1 comments Readmore...
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The Chinese Communist Party’s 6th Plenum

The 6th plenum has several objectives in mind. One is to foster party discipline amongst the Chinese Communist Party members. Tackling corruption remains high on the agenda as President Xi Jinping has reiterated the need to make party discipline stronger than the law.
By Tai Wei Lim - 10 Oct 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Japan’s Abdication Dilemma

The announced possibility of Japanese Emperor Akihito’s abdication has become a much-discussed issue in Japan. He cited his age and state of health as the reasons for his not being able to continue with his royal duties.
By Tai Wei Lim - 03 Oct 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Malacca in the Maritime Silk Road Connectivity

In July 2016, Malaysia indicated that China may be welcomed to construct a port in Malacca’s Carey Island as part of the Malacca Gateway project. Chinese ambassador Huang Huikang characterized the USD 10 billion investment in this project as a component of China’s Maritime Silk Road initiative.
By Tai Wei Lim - 28 Sep 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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China’s Consumer-Centric Telecom Reform

In the last two years, Chinese telecom regulators have initiated a number of reforms that are market-oriented and consumer-friendly. The series of reforms has produced tangible economic benefits.
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Will European Banks Hold Cash and End Negative Interest Rate Policy?

The news that an increasing number of European banks are looking for cheap way to store cash as interest rates go negative is a good way for banks to register their protest over the impact of negative interest rates.
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Rethinking of Popular Economic Ideas

The lingering subpar economic recovery since the 2008 subprime crisis and the ascendancy of the Chinese economy since 1979 has given rise to an intellectual re-examination by some economists of many popular economic ideas.
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China Continues Ascendancy in Basic Science Research

In the 2015 Nature Index published recently, China kept its number two position in the country ranking and continues its push to narrow the gap with the leading country, the US.
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Duterte Trust Rating and South China Sea Talk

A nationwide survey showed President Rodrigo Duterte gaining a historic high of 91 percent in public trust in his first week in office. The rating easily broke the former record which was held by Benigno Aquino III in 2010.
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This Time It’s Different: The Secondary Shockwave of Brexit

Most analysts predict that the financial system can take the Brexit shock and engineer the transition to a new, albeit lower, equilibrium. However, few look at the possibility of a second shock, and even fewer dare to predict an Armageddon type of unravelling of events.
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New Expression of Democracy

Many Asian countries have long distrusted popular democracy, looking at the Westminster form of representative democracy as a more acceptable way. Now with Scotland and Northern Ireland’s separation from the UK lurking around the corner, Asian leaders must look for their own expressions of democracy.
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A New Arms Race in Supercomputing

The fastest supercomputer with a theoretical peak performance of 124.5 petaflops, Sunway TaihuLight, is not only a Chinese supercomputer, it runs on microprocessors developed entirely in China.
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Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of China

Shenzhen is now dubbed China’s Silicon Valley. Based on the City Competitiveness Bluebook of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the city surpassed Hong Kong to become China’s most competitive city in 2014.
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Green is Gold

A report released on May 26, 2016 by the United Nations Environmental Programme shows that China will get forest cover on almost one quarter of the country by 2020 if the country succeeds in its mission towards building an “eco-civilization.”
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Midea Moves Aggressively into Robotics

On May 17, Germany’s Kuka received a friendly buyout proposal from Midea, a white goods appliances company based in Guangdong with annual sales of EUR 19 billion. Midea proposed to pay EUR 115 per share to buy the 86.5 percent of Kuka that it does not own.
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China’s Economic Policy: Short Term Pain for Long Term Gain

A front page interview with an anonymous “person with authority” in the People’s Daily on China’s economic situation shows clearly what senior leaders think about the current economic issues facing China.
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China’s Looming Debt Bust

The article in the May 7 issue of The Economist on the coming debt bust of China’s financial system failed to move the RMB or other financial markets. Has there been a real change in the fundamentals of the Chinese financial system, or has the market simply changed its perception of the problem?
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Who is China’s True Friend After All?

Footage of Queen Elizabeth II making an unguarded comment on China’s diplomats leaked out early this month. Be it cultural difference or misunderstanding, a big question that should be addressed by China is, who is its true friend after all?
By Wen Xin Lim - 24 May 2016 | 0 comments Readmore...
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Can Big Data Detect “Character”?

In view of P2P lending problems in China and the US, computer-based credit evaluation systems have apparently failed to solve the question of character in the 4Cs of credit extension.
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New Economics of Solar Power: Good News for Environment and Poverty

This latest development in solar power cost improvement is significant in the war against environment degradation as well as the global war on poverty.
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China Clamps Down on Shady Internet Finance

China announced a plan to investigate and review the operations of all internet finance entities in the country in 2016 to stamp out shady internet finance companies.  
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Drones Creating New Jobs

The bottleneck facing the industry at the moment is a shortage of qualified drone pilots. The industry estimates that there is an annual requirement for 10,000 pilots but there are currently only about 1000 license holders.  
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China’s Economy: Signs of Weaning Away from Old Model?

The declining steel intensity and increasing tax intake from the modern manufacturing and service sectors bode well for China’s real economy.
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The Looming War between Huawei and Samsung

With the declaration of Huawei’s ambitions in smartphones, it is only a matter of time that Huawei and Samsung will compete head on, particularly in the coming 5G smartphone era.
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Will Google Succeed Where Motorola Failed?

Although Motorola did succeed with Iridium and placed 66 satellites around the world, it was not able to overcome the cost and power requirement issues. Let us hope Google will have a better technology breakthrough than Motorola.
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Chinese Companies at the Forefront of 5G

The new director general of the Global System for Mobile Communication Association Mats Granryd stated in Beijing recently that Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE are now leading players in 5G telecom technologies research & development.
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Zero Interest Rates: Can Retirees Survive?

With an increasing retiree population around the world, especially in developed regions, and with non-government retirement funds forming an important part of retirees’ incomes, the low return of their non-government pension plans or the increasing risk undertaken by these funds could suppress retirees’ spending over time.
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Robot Waiters: Too Much Hype?

The elimination of these robot waiters came less than a year after their fanfare filled introduction in a number of Xiamen restaurants, reminding technology futurists that the time of the large-scale robotic substitution of workers might still be some time away in the service sector.
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Credit Rating Standards: Improvement on the Horizon?

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) announced that it had investigated seven domestic credit rating agencies since September last year and that it had sent warning letters to six of them on March 23, 2016.
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Merger of the Month Ends in a Whimper

The withdrawal of Anbang Insurance under the pretext of “various market considerations” from the bidding war for Starwood was a surprising anti-climax to the most keenly watched bidding war of March 2016.
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Jump in Quality of Chinese Basic Science Research

Since the first Nature Index database started in 2012, China’s total contribution has risen to become the second largest in the world, surpassed only by the United States. But, what sets China apart is the rapid growth of its weighted fractional count.
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Small Scale Aerial Agricultural Spraying Made Possible in China

The Agras (Agriculture Aerial Spray) MG-1 drone is specifically designed for aerial spraying of agricultural chemicals. The simultaneous application of agricultural chemicals over a large track of land can prevent harmful infestations from migrating, and this can achieve a significant improvement in field pathogen control.
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Cuts in Social Security Contributions: Forcing Local SOEs to Reform?

On March 21, the Shanghai government announced the drop of contributions by companies to social security premiums by 2.5 percent. The city cut its pension contributions by 1 percent, medical insurance by 1 percent, and unemployment benefits by 0.5 percent, while maintaining the same level of social security benefits.
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Stock Market Meltdown: China Central Bank Sought Help from Fed

An email from the People’s Bank of China’s chief representative for the Americas, Song Xiangyan, to the director of the US Federal Reserve's International Finance Division, Steven Kamin, on the morning of July 27, 2015, had the subject line: "Your urgent assistance is greatly appreciated!"
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Baidu US Laboratory Breakthrough in Speech Recognition

Late last year, Baidu announced a breakthrough product in its Silicon Valley laboratory, a speech recognition engine developed to handle Chinese Putonghua called Deep Speech 2.
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The National People’s Congress and Creeping Improvements in China’s Judicial System

The ministerial approval rating of the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate hit a multi-year high in 2016. The figures seem to indicate strongly the public’s perception of an improving legal environment and justice administration.
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Changing Regulatory Philosophy? Chinese Regulators Seek to De-Risk Insurance Products after NPC

The director of CIRC’s life insurance supervision department Yuan Xucheng noted that the rapid growth of short- and mid-term insurance products has caused concerns about the risks created by potential asset-liability mismatches and liquidity conditions.
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Chinese Firm Breaks into the High Tech Smart City Market

Huawei has been successful in extending its leadership position in the ICT area to the smart city market. Its Safe City Solution has reportedly been deployed in more than 100 cities globally in collaboration with multiple technological partners.
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The Longmay Gaffe: Communications Lapse or Governance Gap?

Longmay is the largest state owned coal company in Heilongjiang, producing close to 50 million tonnes of coal a year. On March 12, Governor Lu acknowledged that wages were in arrears for Longmay’s workers and attributed the gaffe to Longmay’s management’s withholding of information.
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US Keeps the Lead in International Patent Filing but the Chinese are Catching Up

The World International Property Organization recently announced that the Chinese company, Huawei, is the leading company in global patent filing in 2015 under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
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Recommended Readings for the Week

An article in the Wall Street Journal discusses the difficulties experienced by some US colleges in helping their Chinese students assimilate with the local culture and student body.
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Reforms in Chinese Public Science Research and Development

China’s new plan envisions that by 2020, research and development (R&D) investment will account for 2.5 percent of GDP.
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Wall Street Sea Turtles: Assets or Liabilities?

The increasing number of Chinese Americans returning from Wall Street to China presents both a challenge as well as opportunities to the modernization of China’s financial sector.
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Rail Technology: The Amazing Catch Up that Propelled the Chinese Economy

The successive wins of rail contracts in HSR and urban rolling stock in the US attest to the price competitiveness and technological sophistication of indigenous Chinese rail technology.
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Watch out for China's Trade Data Carefully Next Month

China exports data for February was released on March 8 and weighed down the global stock market. Exports dropped at a faster pace of 25.4 percent year-on-year (yoy) following January’s decline of 11.4 percent yoy, a figure much worse than market expectations of a 14.5 percent contraction.
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Welcome to the IPP Review

Welcome to the IPP Review! The IPP Review is an online forum on international public policy, with a focus on current affairs in Asia and around the world. We hope that you will enjoy the articles here, and we invite you not just to share your comments, but also to contribute articles of your own. (Please see our Call for Papers.)
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Who is the Ghost behind Ghost Screenings?

Ghost screening refers to the inflation of screen viewership through the collusion of screens owners, movie producers, and financial investors.
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