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Foreign affairs

ASEAN integration in 2030: United States perspectives

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The paper argues that United States (US) participation in the East Asia Summit (EAS)—regional integration architecture led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)—was motivated by four changes in the regional economic landscape: (i) the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and emergence of the ASEAN+3 grouping; (ii) the rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the leading regional growth engine and an active player in regional integration arrangements; (iii) the failure of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) arrangement to foster trade liberalization in the region; and (iv) the inability of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Round to lower global trade barriers significantly.
In joining the EAS, the Obama Administration espoused an approach known as divided functionality, one that would give priority to APEC, and its trade-focused Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement economic engagement with East Asia, and the EAS for addressing political and security issues. Currently, two architectures for regional economic integration are contesting. The first embodies the US vision of a deeply institutionalized Asia-Pacific economic community, as articulated by the ongoing TPP trade negotiations. The second is represented by the Asia-only ASEAN+3 framework, a shallowly institutionalized grouping with weak enforcement compliance mechanisms. However, despite differences in the two approaches, prospects for a healthy complementarity between them—through overlapping memberships, the application of open regionalism, and the benefits of competitive liberalization among specific trade agreements—seem promising.
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China 2030: Building a modern, harmonious and creative society

Title Original Language: 
2030 年的中国: 建设现代" 和谐" 有创造力的社
Abstract Original Language: 
This overview, followed by five supporting reports, identifies these challenges of tomorrow, points to key choices ahead, and recommends not just ‘what’ needs to be reformed, but ‘how’ to undertake the reforms. The overview is divided into nine chapters. The first chapter examines the characteristics of China’s development since 1978; considers future opportunities, challenges, and risks; and describes a vision of China in the year 2030. The second chapter maps a new strategy that will realize this vision, focusing on the key choices ahead for China to sustain rapid economic and social development and become a modern, harmonious, and creative high-income society before 2030. Chapters three to eight elaborate on each of the six pillars of the new strategy: consolidating China’s market foundations; enhancing innovation; promoting green development; ensuring equality of opportunity and social protection for all; strengthening public finances; and achieving mutually beneficial win-win relations between China and the rest of the world. The ninth and final chapter addresses implementation challenges, including the sequencing of reforms and overcoming obstacles that are likely to emerge.
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Abstract in English: 
This overview, followed by five supporting reports, identifies these challenges of tomorrow, points to key choices ahead, and recommends not just ‘what’ needs to be reformed, but ‘how’ to undertake the reforms. The overview is divided into nine chapters. The first chapter examines the characteristics of China’s development since 1978; considers future opportunities, challenges, and risks; and describes a vision of China in the year 2030. The second chapter maps a new strategy that will realize this vision, focusing on the key choices ahead for China to sustain rapid economic and social development and become a modern, harmonious, and creative high-income society before 2030. Chapters three to eight elaborate on each of the six pillars of the new strategy: consolidating China’s market foundations; enhancing innovation; promoting green development; ensuring equality of opportunity and social protection for all; strengthening public finances; and achieving mutually beneficial win-win relations between China and the rest of the world. The ninth and final chapter addresses implementation challenges, including the sequencing of reforms and overcoming obstacles that are likely to emerge.
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India-China in 2030: a net assessment of the competition between two rising powers

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
This paper examines the balance between China and India in 2030. The assessment also incorporates the actions of other actors such as the U.S. and Pakistan, as well as regional actors, where necessary. The assessment uses a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures, and seeks to avoid previous assessment templates wherever possible. This is a unique competition, not previously faced by our planners, and requires a unique approach.
The paper is based on the following starting assumptions:
a. A global multipolar system is emerging with the rise of China, India, and others. With a shift in the locus of global politics from the Atlantic to the Pacific, India, the U.S. and China will define the emerging global balance of power. This triangular relationship, or tri-polarity, is likely to be the most significant aspect of the emerging 21st century global system.
b. The growth of the Chinese and Indian economies over the past decade, and in the next two decades, will lead to increasingly assertive political and military strategies from both nations.
c. The increasingly assertive nature of both nations will bring them into competition with each other, as they seek global stature and access to energy resources and raw materials to continue their economic growth. There has been, and there will continue to be, a continuing technological revolution.
This will particularly manifest in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, hypersonics, and materials science. This ongoing revolution will impact on geopolitics and military balances, as well as the India-China competition.
e. Significant discontinuities are possible. The National Intelligence Council (2008) has noted that historically, geopolitical rivalries trigger discontinuities more than technological change. Technology is resulting in radical change and has been a major driver. However, over the past century, geopolitical rivalries and their consequences have been more significant causes of the multiple wars, collapse of empires, and rise of new powers than technology alone.

The assessment of the India-China competition is built in four parts:
The Nature of the Competition. The first element of the balance examines the nature of the competition between India and China. Description of competition describes how both sides see the different areas of competition, as well as the importance attached to each. This also includes India-China contrasts that affect the competition, including objectives, strategic culture, differences in strategic characteristics and competencies, and the application of national resources to realizing strategic goals.

Key India-China Balances. The next part of the paper is an examination of key balances. These balances are neither exhaustive nor independent of each other. Significant issues will differ depending on the context, but were possible, each balance will include a basic assessment, and consider goals, key asymmetries, trends, and implications. The key balances are: 1. Command and Control Capability; 2. Nuclear Forces; 3. Conventional Maritime capability; and, 4. Conventional Air-land Capability.

Scenarios. Through the extrapolation of long-term trends from these key balances, three India-China scenarios have been be generated to examine how the balance could manifest in 2030.11 Key drivers and critical uncertainties are incorporated into the scenarios and described in detail. These scenarios are reviewed from both the Indian and Chinese perspectives based on strategic aspirations and the investment in military capabilities likely to be deployed in 2030. This also will highlight issues that earlier parts of the paper have not identified.

Implications. The last section will be an overall assessment of the balance in the India-China competition. This section describes where there are strategic asymmetries, and environmental opportunities for both India and China – as seen from their point of view - and where they might seek to improve the situation in their favor. Finally, it describes potential impacts on the U.S. as well as issues that require further examination.
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Africa in 50 years' time. The road towards inclusive growth

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
"Since the advent of independence for most African countries, the African continent has struggled with a seemingly endless array of development challenges, from civil war and political instability to epidemic disease, chronic food insecurity and pervasive poverty. However in recent years, Africa has experienced an economic resurgence. The emerging economies, particularly Brazil, India, South Africa and China, have recognised Africa’s potential as an investment destination and a source of natural resources. Over the past decade, despite the successive global food and financial crises, Africa has been growing at an unprecedented rate. Though it will take decades of growth to make major inroads into Africa’s poverty, there is now a growing optimism about Africa’s potential. Africa has some of the most abundant natural resources in the world, many of which are yet to be tapped. These include not just minerals and oil, butalso bountiful possibilities for clean energy. But natural resources are not Africa’s only advantage. While Western countries are shouldering the burden of aging populations, Africa is the world’s youngest continent. If it invests in education and training to develop the potential of its youth, Africa could become one of the most dynamic and productive of economies. In a rapidly changing global environment, Africa needs to seize the initiative and take advantage of these emerging conditions. It needs policies that maximise its comparative advantage and bring about the necessary structural changes in its economy. It needs to invest far more in its young people and in the hard and soft infrastructure required for growth. And above all, it needs institutions that are capable and responsive, and leaders in politics, business and society willing to behave in a democratic and accountable manner.

The future, as always, is shrouded in uncertainty. But many of the trends that will determine Africa’s future prospects are already visible today. If we are clear sighted in our analysis, we can begin to identify the challenges and opportunities that lie before us. Recently, there had been extraordinary tide of political events which led to revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, civil war in Libya, and stirrings of discontent across a number of other countries. These events reveal that the growth experienced in Africa over the past decade – important though it has been in the fight against poverty – is not sufficient. Too many Africans have been excluded from its benefits. Growth is inclusive when it creates economic opportunities – the pace of growth – while ensuring equal access to them – the pattern of growth. But growth in Africa has been narrowly concentrated in a few sectors and geographical areas.

Inequality has become more pronounced and more visible. Young Africans are finding themselves excluded from the labor market and the formal economy with rising youth unemployment. Unless we can find a way to promote inclusive growth, then growth itself may become a source of instability. Given that Africa’s independence began about 50 years ago, for the next 50 years this document assesses the economic and human development prospects in Africa. It identifies the drivers of change and their likely consequences over the next half century, and proposes policy choices that will enable Africa to fulfil its potential in the years ahead.
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The U.S.-ASEAN Relationship in 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Abstract in English: 
"Thinking about the U.S.-ASEAN relationship in 2030 is a useful exercise for testing the tenets of U.S. strategy in the region and in Asia generally. Does the United States have plans in place that will move it toward a vision—along with ASEAN, its members, and other key actors—that promotes its best interests on issues ranging from economic growth and prosperity to regional security to coping with transnational threats and disaster? And can the United States do so while promoting strong people-to-people ties, innovation, and collaboration? Are we investing in these efforts? Do we have the resources and political will to follow them through to fruition?

The answers are at our fingertips. We have the momentum and resources to make choices. This may not be the case 18 years from now, however."

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China and India, 2025 - A comparative assessment

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
China and India, the world's two most populous countries, will exercise increasing influence in international affairs in the coming decades, and each country's role on the world stage will be affected by the progress that it makes and by the competition and cooperation that develop between them. This monograph focuses on the progress China and India seem likely to achieve from 2010 through 2025 in four domains: demography, macroeconomics, science and technology, and defense spending and procurement. In each domain, the authors seek answers to these questions: Who is ahead? By how much? and Why? The authors find that India has distinct advantages over China in terms of demographics; that the two countries are surprisingly close in terms of forecasted economic growth, although China's overall economic output is likely to remain significantly higher than India's; and that, for both science and technology and defense spending and procurement, China's current substantial margins over India are likely to rise but by amounts that will vary widely depending on several alternative scenarios. The monograph concludes with implications for policy and for further research.

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Asia 2050: Realizing the Asian century

Abstract Original Language: 
An additional 3 billion Asians could enjoy living standards similar to those in Europe today, and the region could account for over half of global output by the middle of this century, says this ADB report. This potentially promising future for the region sometimes referred to as the "Asian Century" though plausible, is by no means preordained.

This study is aimed at senior policy makers, top business leaders and key opinion makers within Asia to help forge a consensus on a vision of and strategy for Asia’s potentially historic rise among the global community of nations between now and 2050. The study offers a long-term perspective of the Asia region as a whole as opposed to the more common approach that delivers a short- to medium-term perspective of selected countries, subregions or issues.
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, August 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
An additional 3 billion Asians could enjoy living standards similar to those in Europe today, and the region could account for over half of global output by the middle of this century, says this ADB report. This potentially promising future for the region sometimes referred to as the "Asian Century" though plausible, is by no means preordained.

This study is aimed at senior policy makers, top business leaders and key opinion makers within Asia to help forge a consensus on a vision of and strategy for Asia’s potentially historic rise among the global community of nations between now and 2050. The study offers a long-term perspective of the Asia region as a whole as opposed to the more common approach that delivers a short- to medium-term perspective of selected countries, subregions or issues.
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Australia in the Asian century

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
Asia’s rise is changing the world. This is a defining feature of the 21st century—the Asian century. These developments have profound implications for people everywhere.

Asia’s extraordinary ascent has already changed the Australian economy, society and strategic environment. The scale and pace of the change still to come mean Australia is entering a truly transformative period in our history.

Within only a few years, Asia will not only be the world’s largest producer of goods and services, it will also be the world’s largest consumer of them. It is already the most populous region in the world. In the future, it will also be home to the majority of the world’s middle class.

The Asian century is an Australian opportunity. As the global centre of gravity shifts to our region, the tyranny of distance is being replaced by the prospects of proximity. Australia is located in the right place at the right time—in the Asian region in the Asian century.

For several decades, Australian businesses, exporters and the community have grown their footprint across the region. Today, for Australia, the minerals and energy boom is the most visible, but not the only, aspect of Asia’s rise. As the century unfolds, the growth in our region will impact on almost all of our economy and society.

An increasingly wealthy and mobile middle class is emerging in the region, creating new opportunities. They are demanding a diverse range of goods and services, from health and aged care to education to household goods, and tourism, banking and financial services, as well as high‑quality food products.

Beyond economic gains, there are many valuable opportunities for building stronger relationships across the region, including through closer educational, cultural and people‑to‑people links.

Our nation also has the strength that comes from a long history of engagement with countries in Asia. Australia’s relationships in our region are strong and robust, including with Asian nations like China, Japan, India, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). But in this Asian century we must enter a new phase of deeper and broader engagement.

This White Paper provides a roadmap for the whole of Australia—governments, business, unions, and the broader community—in this next phase. Our goal is to secure Australia as a more prosperous and resilient nation that is fully part of our region and open to the world.

Australia starts from a position of strength. Just as our region has a lot to offer us, we have a lot to offer our region. We have strong, world-leading institutions, a multicultural and highly skilled workforce, and a productive, open and resilient economy, which is one of the strongest in the world. These assets have been reinforced by a series of economic reforms and good decisions made over past decades, including Australia’s world-beating actions to avoid the worst impacts of the Global Financial Crisis.

Our strengths have long been reflected in Australia’s interaction with countries in Asia. Over the past 50 years, Australia’s trade with Asia as a share of our total trade has risen dramatically. Our financial, political and cultural links have deepened. We have strong relationships and close friendships with countries across the region.

But Australia’s success will be based on choice, not chance. In order to succeed, we must sustain the policy settings and pathways that have served us well. We need to reinforce our strong social foundations, including our national institutions, our cultural diversity and our outward-looking society.

We will need to do more than this—we all need to respond to the rapid changes occurring in our region.

Australians need to act in five key areas in order to succeed in the Asian century.

First, irrespective of how the Asian century evolves, Australia’s prosperity will come from building on our strengths. We need to reinforce the foundations of our fair society and our prosperous, open and resilient economy at home. We need to build on areas where we already perform well, in order to extend our comparative advantage. Critical to this will be ongoing reform and investment across the five pillars of productivity—skills and education, innovation, infrastructure, tax reform and regulatory reform.

Second, as a nation we must do even more to develop the capabilities that will help Australia succeed. Our greatest responsibility is to invest in our people through skills and education to drive Australia’s productivity performance and ensure that all Australians can participate and contribute. Capabilities that are particularly important for the Asian century include job‑specific skills, scientific and technical excellence, adaptability and resilience. Using creativity and design-based thinking to solve complex problems is a distinctive Australian strength that can help to meet the emerging challenges of this century. As a nation we also need to broaden and deepen our understanding of Asian cultures and languages, to become more Asia literate. These capabilities are needed to build stronger connections and partnerships across the region.

Third, Australia’s commercial success in the region requires that highly innovative, competitive Australian firms and institutions develop collaborative relationships with others in the region. Australian firms need new business models and new mindsets to operate and connect with Asian markets. We will work to make the region more open and integrated, encouraging trade, investment and partnerships. Firms will adapt their business models to seize the opportunities created in our region.

Fourth, Australia’s future is irrevocably tied to the stability and sustainable security of our diverse region. Australia has much to offer through cooperation with other nations to support sustainable security in the region. We will work to build trust and cooperation, bilaterally and through existing regional mechanisms. We will continue to support a greater role for Asian countries in a rules‑based regional and global order. Australia’s alliance with the United States and a strong US presence in Asia will support regional stability, as will China’s full participation in regional developments.

Fifth, we need to strengthen Australia’s deep and broad relationships across the region at every level. These links are social and cultural as much as they are political and economic. Improving people-to-people links can unlock large economic and social gains. While the Australian Government plays a leading role in strengthening and building relationships with partners in the region—with more intensive diplomacy across Asia—others across a broad spectrum spanning business, unions, community groups and educational and cultural institutions also play an important role. Stronger relationships will lead to more Australians having a deeper understanding of what is happening in Asia and being able to access the benefits of growth in our region. In turn, more of our neighbours in the region will know us better than they do today.

Success in the Asian century requires a whole-of-Australia effort, with businesses, unions, communities and governments being partners in a transformation as profound as any that have defined Australia throughout our history.

It is in the interests of all Australians—and therefore in the national interest—to develop the capabilities and connections that Australia will need, so that we can contribute to, and learn from, the region, and take full advantage of these opportunities.

The challenges ahead require sustained effort; Australians cannot build stronger relationships or learn new skills overnight, or even over five years, especially given the diversity of the countries in our region. Some actions can be taken immediately, but others require further conversation among communities across the nation, detailed planning and careful implementation over a generation.

Chapters 1 to 4 of the White Paper explain the extraordinary rise of Asia over recent decades and its likely future to 2025. They examine Australia’s place in Asia and our outlook to 2025. This sets the scene for a roadmap for Australia in the Asian century.

Chapters 5 to 9 set out an ambitious set of national objectives and pathways to guide Australia to 2025. Advancing and implementing these national objectives sets the agenda for taking full advantage of the Asian century, but achieving these objectives will require a concerted and coordinated effort from the entire community.
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The Atlantic Geopolitical Space: Common opportunities and challenges

Title Original Language: 
The Atlantic Geopolitical Space: Common opportunities and challenges
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, July 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
This report summarizes discussions among a group of experts who met on 1 July 2011 to examine the prospects for cooperation in the Atlantic space. Summarizing the tenor of these discussions is a challenge given the wide variety of experts involved – academics and government officials from all parts of the Atlantic participated, drawing on themes across a range of issues – economic, security, energy, environmental, crime and many others. The report therefore stays close to the original discussion, with some small editorializing here in this executive summary and in the conclusion.
The Atlantic space is a region connected by growing linkages and common challenges. One of the aims of this conference was to begin thinking about and elaborating that which distinguishes and unites the region, and indeed whether unifying characteristics are sufficient to overcome the divergences and disparities among these four continents, which together house the world’s richest and its poorest.
It is clear that economic flows and social linkages are growing across the Basin. Investment, trade, migration, social networking, criminal activities, and other indicators are on the rise, though in some cases the same is true for extra-Atlantic interactions, especially with Asia. Yet most agreed that these flows and links alone were sufficient to call for agenda-setting on governance issues, and to begin thinking about how to resolve common problems collectively.
Meanwhile Northern Atlantic basin states are the architects of the post-war economic and security order – a liberal order whose foundational ideas remain more widely accepted today than its institutional architecture, which represents a snapshot of the distribution of power in 1945. In the absence of global agreement on reframing institutions of governance, it seems doubly important to examine the Atlantic space as a region ripe for better mechanisms of cooperation.
In terms of cross-border interactions, conference participants discussed activities between social actors such as private enterprises; they looked at region-wide economic and social activity; they disaggregated activity by state and by sector. Different pictures emerged from these analyses. Taken as a whole, economic activity between South America and Africa is low (by comparison to the EU-US relationship), but in certain areas like mining and energy there is growing investment in Africa, especially from Brazil. A bewildering host of challenges and concerns emerged from these discussions. Promoting security linkages in the South Atlantic – where there is virtually nothing in place – was seen as important both because of Brazil’s rising military strength and also because new discoveries and new technologies make it possible to exploit offshore resources more comprehensively.
Likewise, new security threats – including drug shipments, piracy, and other illicit activities – threaten weak littoral states and call for cooperative security solutions. Energy, climate change, and natural resources are a key theme in the Atlantic. The divergence between the most and least efficient producers (and the most and least prolific consumers) is perhaps greater than anywhere else on the planet. The North Atlantic states have technological solutions that are the most advanced in the world. Yet they cannot translate into control of agendas and solutions, or preservation of historical rights and access to common resources. Governance mechanisms for common resources have been devised in the North
Atlantic. How can these be translated successfully to other parts of the basin? Thus, different parts of the Atlantic basin clearly have diverging objectives and concerns given varying levels of development, democratization, and security challenges. Opening the discussion of these factors raises a host of questions needing attention, among them:
★ How do interactions drive interests and what does that mean for Atlantic basin cooperation? Most (but not all) Atlantic states are market economies and democracies – can norms and values also play a role in driving cooperation, and if so what should they be?
★ What should the emerging powers of the South Atlantic do with their power? Can they serve as anchors (along with North America and the EU) around which all Atlantic states can coalesce in order to promote democracy and development, and to find solutions to common natural resource problems?
★ What is the best way forward for cooperation and policy coordination? A sectoral approach often seems most feasible, drawing together stakeholders in agreements which are limited to interested actors and to narrow sectors. But how does this affect national sovereignty? Is sovereignty still so tightly held by most states that meaningful cooperation is precluded, or can cooperative solutions be forged among Atlantic basin states without EU-style relaxation of sovereignty norms?
★ What role do (and should) civil society groups play in the Atlantic space, and how do we best ensure respect for democratic accountability and the rule of (international) law given the deep power imbalances and the diverse interests at stake?
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