Perspectives

Even if it hurts, China must let yuan fluctuate

The People's Bank of China has doubled the range of the yuan's daily volatility against the dollar. The move appears to be one step forward in the reform of the yuan's exchange rate to better reflect market demand. But given that the central bank...

  • Woody Epstein: On the risk of becoming stupid

    In the 1980s, I used the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or Darpanet, to collaborate with colleagues worldwide. Web browsers did not yet exist, but a text-based program called Lynx allowed us to use the Web programming language HT...

  • Stem cell uproar deals blow to Japan's science esteem

    OSAKA -- Scientific research in Japan stands to suffer a setback from the recent developments involving studies about a new method to create stem cells, including the way the Riken science institute dealt with questions about the papers' credibility....

  • International pressure forces businesses to clean up supply chains

    From a narrow, dark tunnel inside mountains in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo come echoes of hammers chiming on rock as gold is hacked from a seam deep underground. Hunched under low roofs and bowed by their heavy sacks, miners clamber out and ...

  • Tokyo, Seoul need to put in some face time

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye has enjoyed solid public support since she took office about a year ago. She has maintained public approval ratings above 50% -- higher than those of her recent predecessors. Not all is well on the diplom...

  • Robert J. Geller: Back to the future: Restarting Japan's nuclear power plants

    Applications from utility companies to restart many of Japan's nuclear power plants are now being considered by regulators. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government have stated their support for these applications, provided regulators find that s...

  • Woody Epstein: Probabilities and possibilities

    We have more than our share of extreme natural disasters in Asia. Earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and typhoons. The severity and costs are impossible to predict. Drawing up effective emergency plans is a Sisyphean task. How should we...

  • Indonesia must rise to strengthen Asean

    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is at the heart of the region's institutional architecture. Having driven economic integration and four decades of rapid growth, Asean has enabled its 10 member states to punch above their weight in Asian an...

  • Fading Japan

    TOKYO -- Time was when Japan was so much more economically powerful than any other Asian nation that many reports on the region's economy excluded the Land of the Rising Sun. This was the only way to ensure accurate analyses. But the term "Asia excep...

  • Beijing-Taipei detente stirs hope for stability with a dash of anxiety

    China and Taiwan recently held the first talks between ministerial-level officials since the revolution in 1949. Representatives in charge of cross-strait relations agreed to set up a framework for carrying on direct discussions. Regular government-l...

  • Abe-Putin relationship of trust can help advance territorial talks

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 8, the day after Abe attended the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in the Russian city of Sochi. The leaders of major European countries and t...

  • Shuja Nawaz: Time for tough love for Bangladesh?

    In early January, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League won another term in power, by a landslide, thanks largely to the move by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by Begum Khaleda Zia, to boycott the polls. The ...

  • Myanmar's opening -- and Japan's resurgence

    Kanreki is the auspicious Japanese term for the 60-year cycle of life. As Japan enters this memorable anniversary of economic assistance to Myanmar that began with war reparations in 1954, the vicissitudes of that relationship, its peaks and troughs,...

  • Woody Epstein: Baby, you can't drive my car

  • Philippe Espinasse: The curse of 'guanxi' banking

    News that some international investment banks sometimes try to curry favor with China's political elite by hiring their offspring should not surprise anyone. In the most recent case, the hiring by two successive investment banks in Hong Kong of a jun...

  • Vikram Nehru: America's TPP debacle leaves Hamlet without the prince

    The steep road toward a successful Trans-Pacific Partnership pact just got steeper. The TPP is an ambitious free trade agreement that involves 12 Asia-Pacific countries, including its largest and most vocal champion -- the U.S. But growing opposi...

  • Michael Auslin: America losing steam in Asian free trade race

    In late January, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dealt a potential deathblow to America's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In refusing to allow the Senate to consider so-called fast-track trade legislation, formally known as "tr...

  • Mahindra's mantra begins to bear fruit

    MUMBAI -- Anand Mahindra's key to success is maintaining a solid corporate structure. Among Indian auto-related companies, special attention in 2014 is focused on the Mahindra & Mahindra group. It overtook Indian rival Tata Motors at home to beco...

  • The silver lining to America's 'fizzling pivot'

    WASHINGTON -- On the face of it, Harry Reid, the U.S. Senate majority leader, was simply doing what any self-respecting protectionist might do in response to a government initiative seen as a potential threat to local jobs: A day after President Bara...

  • Andrew Sheng: Protecting trade finance from US tapering

    As we approach Chinese New Year, moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve to prepare to taper its bond purchases have put a damper on the festive mood. An official with China's commerce ministry recently remarked that the outlook for the country's foreign t...