Perspectives

A weaker yuan could help China to avoid deflation. © Reuters

Itsuo Toshima

Is China partaking in competitive currency devaluation?

The Chinese yuan has weakened to around 6.25 against the dollar, its lowest point since June 2014. This is close to the limit of the yuan's trading band and may indicate that Beijing is joining the global devaluation competition. The People's Ban...

  • Elizabeth Pisani

    Be careful what you wish for, Indonesia

    One hundred days ago, on Oct. 20, Joko Widodo surfed into office as president of Indonesia on a tidal wave of expectations. Voters believed he would announce a cabinet of new faces -- technocrats rather than crusty, old-time politicians -- who would ...

  • Lina Baechtiger

    The dark undercurrent of freer trade flows

    The global proliferation of free trade zones has been one of the most important developments for international business in recent years. These zones offer companies significant advantages in shipping products, and in Asia, we have some of the world's...

  • Peter Fuhrman

    China still lacking in innovation

    China's economy suffers from an acute case of "not invented here" syndrome. Everything can be, and increasingly is, manufactured in China, but almost nothing of value is invented here. The result is an economy still centered on low-pay, low-margi...

  • George Magnus

    European Central Bank's last throw of the dice

    The European Central Bank has finally fallen into line with its peers in the U.S., U.K. and Japan by launching its own program of quantitative easing. ECB President Mario Draghi on Thursday announced that the Eurosystem of the EU member states' c...

  • Min Jiang

    2015 Chinese internet industry prospects

    With more than 650 million Internet users and more than a billion cellphone users, China is the world's largest Web and mobile market. This enormous market is dominated by a handful of Chinese Internet companies, such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, t...

  • Gan Jie

    Easy money: Good or bad news?

    On Nov. 22, China cut interest rates for the first time in two years and rumors started circulating that a further cut could come soon, as well as a loosening of lending restrictions. After a year which saw growth drop to its slowest in 24 years, man...

  • Gi-Wook Shin

    What should we do about North Korea's human rights situation?

    Last spring two North Korean defectors visited Stanford University from Seoul to share their experiences in the North. Hosted by Stanford's Korean Students Association, the event was held to increase awareness of North Korean human rights issues in t...

  • Shofwan al Banna Choiruzzad

    Indonesia must do more to clean up palm oil's image

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo is waging a diplomatic battle to "tear down the barriers" that threaten global demand for one of the country's biggest exports -- palm oil. While his government and the industry agree that there are genuine environmen...

  • Itsuo Toshima

    Hedge funds, oil money may rock markets in 2015

    TOKYO -- A major change is going to take place in the global flow of money in 2015. Hedge funds are no longer alone facing the market headwinds -- they've got company, in the form of big-money groups driven by oil money. Market players will have to c...

  • Angela Huyue Zhang

    Don't panic, China is not buying the world

    It looks like China ended 2014 as a net capital exporter. This should come as no surprise. Since the financial crisis in 2008, the growing prowess of Chinese companies and their rapid expansion in mature markets has inflamed global fears that Chi...

  • Vikram Nehru and Yun Tang

    Malaysia's big chance to help shape ASEAN's new era

    By the end of 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community is to be born -- and as the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Malaysia will be its presiding midwife. Using an elaborate scorecard, each of ASEAN's 10 members has been asked ...

  • Itsuo Toshima

    New year begins with a crude awakening

    TOKYO -- When crude oil prices were above $100 per barrel, economists warned they could cramp global growth. High-flying oil prices, which reflected huge geopolitical risks in the Middle East, also depressed stock markets. Speculative moves by ho...

  • Curtis S. Chin and Jose B. Collazo

    Asia infrastructure needs reform not more development banks

    Amid talk of the "Asian century," one of the most important questions is how best to finance the continent's tremendous infrastructure needs. Whether crumbling roads in the Philippines or power blackouts in India, the region's physical infrastructure...

  • Kerry Brown

    Loyalty -- China's key divide

    Over the years, outside analysts have sunk a lot of effort into figuring out how to classify people in China. Class and ethnicity have been the favored frameworks, and both of them got good coverage in the Maoist period through 1976. But as China...

  • Ulrich Zachau

    Myanmar, on the way to ending poverty

    Myanmar's economy is projected to expand by more than 8% over the next year, the highest growth rate in Southeast Asia. As it rejoins the global economy after decades of isolation, Myanmar now has the opportunity to lift its poorest people out of pov...

  • Peter Tasker

    Abe seals the deal

    Fortune favors the brave. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's political gamble has come up trumps. His sweeping victory in Sunday's election allows him to extend his mandate to December 2018. If Abe does indeed stay in office until then, he will bec...

  • Itsuo Toshima

    Greece, China drive risk-aversion globally

    TOKYO -- Global markets were hit hard Tuesday as risk aversion triggered by Greece and China spread worldwide. The Greek debt crisis and structural issues in Chinese finance have begun to take hold, and provide signals as to the direction of the ...

  • Sara Hsu

    Property slowdown makes China's shadow banking even more dangerous

    China's shadow banking sector is morphing, as a slowdown in the economy leads to a decline in financial activity, especially in the real estate sector. Major channels for nonbank financing have slowed, while new ways of conducting such business h...

  • Fred Gale

    China needs predictable policies for food security

    Chinese officials have promoted a "new" food security strategy in numerous speeches and articles over the past year. The strategy acknowledges that the country needs to improve its agricultural output while accepting that imported food is necessary t...