Surfing the web for effective content regulation in Southeast Asia
East Asia Forum
by Albert Jehoshua Rapha
13h ago
In 2023, the internet penetration rate in Southeast Asia reached 70 per cent, primarily due to pervasive smartphone usage and considerable enhancements in internet infrastructure across the region. Amid this rapid digital transformation in Southeast Asia, content regulation has become an increasingly pressing issue. Southeast Asia must counteract the proliferation of harmful and illegal online content, including the ubiquitous dissemination of hate speech and the upsurge of AI-generated deepfake videos. ASEAN member states have employed severa ..read more
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Corruption control needs a clean-up in Asia
East Asia Forum
by Luke Nottage
1d ago
Despite the creation of many new legal instruments to combat corruption, it remains a problem in Asia with significant regional and global economic effects. During the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency measures for government procurement and economic management expanded opportunities for corruption and impacted enforcement activities. Overall corruption has persisted despite new national and international law instruments. The 1997 OECD Anti-Bribery Convention was prompted by the United States’ enactment of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. Developed economy member states, including Japan ..read more
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Understanding Indonesia’s Ukraine peace summit scepticism
East Asia Forum
by Trystanto Sanjaya
2d ago
Indonesia refused to sign on to or explicitly support the June 2024 Ukraine peace summit’s final communique, justifying its action by emphasising the need to have an ‘inclusive’ dialogue by inviting all parties involved, including Russia. This action may seem puzzling, as the final communique does not deviate from UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions Indonesia voted in favour of in 2022. But unlike the 2022 UNGA votes on resolutions condemning the Russian invasion, Indonesia sees the 2024 peace summit as a primarily Western-led initiative that carries little ability to make substantive prog ..read more
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Russia swoops to secure influence in a nuclearised Korean peninsula
East Asia Forum
by Anthony V Rinna
2d ago
The aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s 2024 summit with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, which includes provisions of mutual security assistance, has raised concern in the United States and allied capitals. While a desire to threaten the West may partially explain Russia’s motivations for strengthening security cooperation with North Korea, the Kremlin is also acting at a sub-regional level. Russia’s longtime use of multilateralism to exercise influence on the Korean peninsula has failed to provide Moscow with much leverage in Korean security affairs. In re ..read more
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Politics puppeteers Japan’s press freedom
East Asia Forum
by David A McNeill
3d ago
Every year, Japan’s poor press freedom ranking triggers handwringing and defensiveness in equal measure. The country’s 2024 ranking of 70 out of 180 countries in the annual index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) should alarm Japanese citizens, said veteran politician Ichiro Ozawa, who noted that Japan ‘has experienced incredible democratic backsliding’. Not so, countered the right wing news website Japan Forward. Despite being called an ‘index,’ the RSF study ‘has little to do with scientifically gathered intelligence’. The critique questioned why the survey ranked Malta, which was ..read more
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When Modi met Moscow
East Asia Forum
by Sumit Ganguly
4d ago
In a striking departure from the practice of first visiting India’s South Asian neighbours after assuming the premiership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after being elected for a third term, chose Moscow for his inaugural foreign visit. What explains his decision to visit Russia and bear hug Russian President Vladimir Putin even at the cost of irking the United States?  One of India’s principal concerns in Moscow’s growing closeness (and dependence) on Beijing since the onset of the Russia–Ukraine war. New Delhi has watched this development with an increasing sense of foreboding because ..read more
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Beijing treads carefully in correcting economic imbalances
East Asia Forum
by EAF editors
4d ago
Overinvestment in a new industry can happen in the most laissez-faire of contexts. If you’ve ever scored free postage on a bag of dog food on Amazon, or got a good deal on a lift to the airport with Grab, you’re the beneficiary of a dynamic in emerging industries where firms chase market share apparently at the expense of profits, in the hope of achieving dominance as those firms who can’t achieve sufficient economies of scale fall by the wayside and the industry consolidates. In China, the Made in China agenda has introduced some of these new dynamics in manufacturing industries deemed strat ..read more
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Public-sector leadership can power Indonesia’s climate change mitigation
East Asia Forum
by Gaffar Muaqaffi
5d ago
During the press conference for the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s AR6 Synthesis Report in March 2023, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a comprehensive effort to address the severe threat posed by the climate crisis. He emphasised that climate action is necessary on all fronts — ‘everything, everywhere, all at once’. Given the need for comprehensive measures, abandoning the multi-stakeholder approach to climate change mitigation is not an option. Economic actors cannot afford to debate over who should lead in fighting the climate crisis ..read more
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Public-sector leadership can power Indonesia’s climate change mitigation
East Asia Forum
by Gaffar Muaqaffi
6d ago
During the press conference for the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s AR6 Synthesis Report in March 2023, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a comprehensive effort to address the severe threat posed by the climate crisis. He emphasised that climate action is necessary on all fronts — ‘everything, everywhere, all at once’. Given the need for comprehensive measures, abandoning the multi-stakeholder approach to climate change mitigation is not an option. Economic actors cannot afford to debate over who should lead in fighting the climate crisis ..read more
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The long game in Singapore’s ‘next gen’ politics
East Asia Forum
by Kai Ostwald
6d ago
Singapore’s new prime minister Lawrence Wong, a 51-year-old technocrat with close ties to former premier Lee Hsien Loong, has settled into office after his elevation in May 2024. Wong’s ascent marks just the third transition since the country’s independence in 1965 and continues the uninterrupted rule of the People’s Action Party (PAP). The novelty of this transition drove extensive commentary and public interest. A common theme throughout is the difficulty of the task that confronts Wong. That begins with evolving geopolitical challenges, particularly the uncomfortable squeeze that the emerg ..read more
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