US-China Competition: What Really Matters?

The United States (US) and China are competing for dominance in technology. America has long been at the forefront in developing the technologies (bio, nano, information) that are central to economic growth in the 21st century. Moreover, US research universities dominate higher education globally. In Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s annual Academic Ranking of World Universities, 16 of the top 20 institutions are in the US; none is in China.

7 December 2021

Will The US Democracy Summit Divide The World?

United States (US) President Joe Biden will host a virtual democracy summit for leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector on 9-10 December 2021 with the themes defending against authoritarianism; addressing and fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights as per the statement released on the website of the US State Department. The invitations for the US Democracy Summit are out and more than half of the world was invited while the rest were left ou

5 December 2021

Decent Work For Persons With Disabilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the youth unemployment rate in Indonesia. It has also affected the employment opportunities for young people (18-29 years old) with disabilities (PWD).In February 2021, Statistics Indonesia noted that the total number of persons with disabilities who were of working age was 17.7 million, with 7.8 million employed.

5 December 2021

Getting Ready For Omicron

As yet another new SARS-CoV-2 variant emerges and begins to spread – one with a worryingly large set of mutations that may make the virus more capable of evading our immune defenses – we are all being forced to reassess the strategies we have come to rely on for protection. In many countries, like the United States (US), vaccines have been viewed as the primary ring of protection, allowing Americans to live in relative security from the virus.

4 December 2021

Omicron And What Comes Next

There is an adage that you cannot have back-to-back financial crises. The implication is that a financial crisis causes people to be more careful – so any bank, investment firm, or investor who survives one crisis will not be taking big risks anytime soon.

2 December 2021

Building A Better Global Health Framework

It is incredible to think that when the last Paris Peace Forum was held, in November 2020, no COVID-19 vaccine had yet been approved. A year later, more than seven billion doses have been administered, preventing countless deaths and helping to turn the tide of the pandemic in many countries. But this scientific triumph is being overshadowed by the failure to ensure that all people benefit from it.

29 November 2021

Philippines: Managing Disputes In The SCS

After the exchange of words between Manila and Beijing on the unfortunate incident in the South China Sea (SCS) involving the Philippines and China on 16 November 2021 where three Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessels had fired water cannons on two Philippine supply boats have subsided, the area of Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal or Rén'ài Jiāo) is now quiet, and the supply run is back to normal. Thanks to the quiet diplomacy and negotiations through bilateral diplomatic channels

28 November 2021

Is China’s Xi's On A Dangerous Path?

Momentous changes are casting a long shadow on China. The country’s political system will soon undergo a profound reform, pending final approval (a quasi-formality) at next year’s congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). President Xi Jinping, the Party chairman and the “navigator” of the country, has decided on a new course, abandoning the principle of collective leadership.

27 November 2021

The Drums Of War In Taiwan And Ukraine

The vastness of Eurasia is becoming bracketed by belligerence. On the western front, Russia has deployed a growing number of military units to the regions near its border with Ukraine, inviting a flurry of speculation about its motives.

26 November 2021

China's Tech Regulators Strike Again

ByteDance, the parent company of the popular social-media platform TikTok, has a not-so-secret weapon. Its powerful algorithms are able to predict users’ preferences with precision and recommend content they actually want to see, thereby keeping them glued to their screens. But ByteDance may soon have to sheathe that weapon – or, at least, dull its blade.

25 November 2021

Malaysia's Migrant Labour Dilemma

COVID-19 has disrupted labour markets around the world, causing a global manpower shortage. Lockdowns in the early months of the pandemic triggered an exodus of millions of rural migrant workers from booming megacities like New Delhi and Dhaka.

24 November 2021