Disguised Pollution: Industrial Activities in the Dark

Dr Qin Yu
Assistant Professor, Department of Real Estate, National University of Singapore

Friday, 11 October 2019, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Belt and Road Economics: Opportunities and Risks of Transport Corridors

Dr Michele Ruta
Lead Economist, World Bank

Thursday, 3 October 2019, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

The State Advances and the Private Sector Retreats? How State Entry Impacts the Innovation Performance of Privately Owned Enterprises

Dr Kenneth G Huang
Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Management, and
Department of Strategy and Policy, NUS Business School

Tuesday, 24 September 2019, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Hong Kong Protests in 2019: Digital Natives’ Offline Games?

Qi Dongtao, 19 August 2019

Observers of recent Hong Kong protests, including some local social activists, have been greatly impressed by the young protesters. There is reportedly no strong leadership or organisational support behind the protests, but since early June 2019 the young protesters have successfully mobilised numerous participants and coordinated various street activities during the protests.

Innovation and China’s Global Emergence

Bert Hofman, Qian Jiwei and Erik Baark, 14 August 2019

The East Asian Institute organised a conference on “Innovation and China’s Global Emergence” from 25 to 26 July 2019. The conference topic was rather timely, the papers highly informative and substantive, and the discussion rigorous and focused on some of the key policy issues currently being debated in trade disputes involving China. This is a summary of what was presented and discussed.

Trade, Technology and Trust

Bert Hofman, 15 July 2019

The Osaka meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was seen by many as one of the last opportunities to prevent the trade war from escalating to possibly a new cold war.  The good news is that the two parties are talking again; the 25% tariffs on an additional US$300 billion are on hold for now and Huawei is still allowed to buy technology from the United States. President Trump even went so far as to declare China a potential strategic partner, which contrasts with the designation of a “strategic competitor” by US National Security Review and US National Defence Strategy, or the more aggressive power that Vice President Pence had called China in his speech at the Hudson Institute last October. A few days after Osaka, China’s National Development and Commission announced a further shortening of the “Negative List” of sectors reserved for Chinese enterprises (from 48 to 40) and Premier Li Keqiang pledged a faster timetable for the opening of the financial sector for majority foreign ownership at the Summer Davos in Dalian …

Hong Kong’s Extradition Bill: Protests and Implications

Zhao Litao, Qi Dongtao and Shan Wei, 27 June 2019

After a massive protest against the highly controversial extradition bill on 9 June 2019, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the indefinite suspension of the bill on 15 June. Nevertheless, a larger protest demanding the complete withdrawal of the bill and Carrie Lam’s resignation took place on 16 June. Although Lam did not accept the protesters’ demand for her resignation, she apologised to the public through a government statement amid the larger protest. The tension between the Hong Kong government and society will likely continue in the near future, probably in more moderate forms. This can have profound implications for Hong Kong, Taiwan, the “one country, two systems” principle and China’s relationship with some Western countries …

Creating Loyalty and Building Families in Wartime China

2 September 2019

Professor Louise Edwards, Scientia Professor, School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales, Australia, examines wartime propagandists’ efforts to reorient group identity and encourage participation in the war effort through an analysis of posters, woodblock prints and ink-drawings produced in China during the War of Resistance against Japan.

Nation-Empire: Reframing Japan’s Intense Colonial Mobilisation

30 August 2019

In the EAI weekly seminar organised by the East Asian Institute (National University of Singapore), Dr Sayaka Chatani, assistant professor/presidential young professor at the Department of History, National University of Singapore, compared Japan’s mobilisation of soldiers in its colonies to the home islands in her presentation. The presentation was based on some chapters from her newly released book, Nation Empire: Ideology and Rural Youth Mobilization in Japan and its colonies, published in 2019. The methodology used in the project was a bottom-up comparison of four village cases and individuals across the empire. The research also focused on the overarching institutional spread and long-term presence of the Seinendan (youth associations) as an anchor, so as to highlight the interactions between discursive construction of “rural youth” and actual experiences.

Does Innovation Require Democracy?
A Case Study of Taiwan’s and China’s Innovation Process

20 August 2019

Conventionally, it has been argued that democratic states would be more favourable for innovation than one-party systems. The contrast between China and Taiwan, however, calls for a re-examination of such a view. According to the Global Innovation Index 2019, China ranks number 14, the only country with a one-party system in the top 20. Taiwan, on the other hand, is not on the list. Dr Lee Chun-Yi, associate professor and director of Taiwan Studies Programme at the University of Nottingham, UK, looks at how innovation is related to the social-political context and presents her preliminary findings at the EAI seminar.

Information Provision and Streamlined Medical Service: Evidence from a Mobile Appointment App

14 August 2019

Dr Yi Junjian’s research focuses on two major research problems. First, people in China are queuing for limited medical services. Second, there are huge disparities among China’s hospitals. There is no referral system and price differentials among hospitals are too small.

The New Development Triangle: State Capacity, Institutional Foundation and Economic Policy

3 July 2019

In the shaping of economic performance and development, the state is the most powerful and critical player. Through political decisions, the state has the capacity to influence allocation of production factors as well as formation of institutions. Within a state, there are also two main channels through which the state can shape economic performance—the state’s institutional system can shape the economic performance in the long run, and its economic (or social/political) policies can have influence in the short run. Together, state capacity, the institutional system and economic policy form the “New Development Triangle (NDT)”. Professor Tang Shiping from the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, explained this theory and how it can help to understand the conditions of economic growth.

Profitability of Vietnam’s High-Speed Railway

26 June 2019

The Vietnam government first announced its High-Speed Railway (HSR) plan connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in 2007. Although the plan was rejected by Vietnam’s National Assembly in 2010 due to its high cost, the railway project management board has prepared an amended plan scheduled to be presented in the coming October to the National Assembly for approval. The HSR, if approved, is expected to adopt Japanese railway trains and technologies. By comparing to HSR in Japan, Dr Tomoo Kikuchi and Ms Tomoyo Nakamura examined the profitability of the Vietnam HSR based on population density, if it goes into operation.

Foreign Residency Rights and Corporate Fraud

14 June 2019

In China, criminal fugitives are on the rise. Weakness of China’s passport power, indexed by the number of countries waiving visas for Chinese nationals, may motivate fraud-committing individuals to obtain foreign residency as an exit route, given that extraditions seldom occur. Prof Li Zhen, Musim Mas Chair Professor in Sustainability, Professor of Accountancy, NUS Business School, and his colleagues examined whether persons (natural persons or family who directly or indirectly own > 50% of shares of firms) with foreign residency rights (FRR) are more likely to engage in corporate fraud in China.

Southeast Asia and the Return of Power Politics

7 June 2019

ASEAN was formed in the cold war period when the world was divided between competing communist and capitalist systems. The “ASEAN way” of seeking development, harmony and agreement has allowed it to prosper and expand its international influence to co-opt interested powers into its various cooperative and dialogue frameworks. Since around 2010, however, this has been challenged by the return of power politics to the Southeast Asian region. Lowell Dittmer, professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley in USA, gave a talk at EAI on this resurgence of power politics, with analysis on the status of relations among ASEAN, China, Japan and the United States.

Informal Economic Behaviour and Authoritarian Regime Instability

17 May 2019

Previous studies on informal economic behaviour (IEB) or corruption in China have drawn diverging implications. In some studies, IEB is seen as a lubricant to smooth things out and increase efficiency amid the rapid economic growth. In others, IEB is considered to be detrimental to healthy socio-economic development. Almost all existing studies have focused on the receiving parties, but neglected the side that gives and offers briberies. Tang Wenfang, Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa, presents his study on IEB in China, based on survey data that captures the parties giving briberies.

Development Financing in the Context of the Belt and Road Initiative

Sarah CHAN, 7 August 2019

Strengthening the financial collaboration of both governments and commercial/private capital is important to form an efficient Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) investment and financing system. Most BRI projects are funded by China’s banks, including policy banks such as China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of China.

Chinese Communist Party’s Grass-roots Organisations in State-owned Enterprises

LI Yao, 7 August 2019

Since the launch of the modern corporate system (MCS) in 1993, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has adjusted the roles and functions of its grass-roots party organisation (GPO) in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to strengthen and promote the development of MCS with Chinese characteristics (MCSCC).

Shinzo Abe’s Consumption Tax Reform

Yoshihisa GODO & LIM Tai Wei, 26 June 2019

Shinzo Abe resigned as Japanese prime minister and president of the Liberal Democratic Party in September 2007. After five years away from the spotlight, Abe returned to power in December 2012 …

China’s Core Interests and Critical Role in North Korea’s Denuclearisation

YUAN Jingdong, 13 June 2019

China and North Korea have maintained a unique relationship, one of ‘lips and teeth’ and sealed in blood, for nearly seven decades. It was buttressed by their shared communist ideology and joint armed conflict during the Korean War …

South Korea-Japan Relations in the 2010s: Ambivalent Strategic and Economic Partners?

JO Yanghyeon & LAM Peng Er, 6 June 2019

From the United States’ strategic perspective, the cooperation between its South Korean and Japanese allies, important components of the US hub-and-spokes architecture, is indispensable to the region’s stability …

American Asian Strategy under Trump: The Art of the Deal

Lowell DITTMER, 6 June 2019

The upset election of Donald Trump was unusually divisive. The American foreign policy community was also divided, and with good reason:  Trump had some very radical ideas about American foreign policy, was determined to implement them and disdained the counsel of the Establishment.  If consistently implemented, they portend a drastic shift in the terms of American engagement with the world …

Latest Publications

East Asian Policy

Volume 11, No 2, Apr/Jun 2019

China: An International Journal

Volume 17, No 2, May 2019

China’s Economic Modernisation and Structural Changes: Essays in Honour of John Wong

Edited by ZHENG Yongnian & Sarah Y. TONG