15 April 2016

Each week on the Policy File we round-up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This week we look at global tax evasion in the wake of the Panama Papers leak, Australian politics in an election year and the new security alliance forming in the South China Sea. 

The investigation into the leak of 11.5 million documents, otherwise known as The Panama Papers, continues to grab headlines around the world. On Forbes, Ralph Jennings looks at how the leaked documents have impacted the political power of China, while on BloombergView, Mohamed A El-Erian looks at the unintended consequences and political repercussions.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) takes a look at the email chains, invoices, and documents that make up The Panama Papers, with a short video of the unseen victims of the scandal. Will Fitzgibbon of the ICIJ, meanwhile, looks at how offshore banking facilitates the shadowy world of spies.

Neil Harris on Wired takes a look at the world’s tax havens, while Juan Carlos Varela at The New York Times says don’t blame Panama; tax evasion is a global problem.

The upcoming Federal election and budget dominate Australian policy discussion this month. On Policy Forum Pod, two key economists – Bruce Chapman and Tim Higgins – discuss the future of the Australian Higher Education Scheme (HECS), while Kanishka Jayasuriya and Carol Johnson look at Australia’s ‘ideas boom’ and the cost to real innovation.

A new security alliance of Japan, the US, and Australia is emerging in the South China Sea, but can the trio correct the power balance and persuade Asian countries to abide by international rules? On Policy Forum Ernest Bower takes a look at the emergence of this new security alliance and its triangle of influence, while Malcolm Cook looks at a new threat beneath the waves of the South China Sea.

Writing for Forbes, Jean-Pierre Lehmann looks at the escalation of the South China Sea disputes and questions China’s ‘peaceful’ rise, while Susan Finder on The Diplomat takes a closer look at China’s maritime courts and how they bolster the country’s sovereignty claims.

On DevPolicy Blog, Emma Wanchap looks at the economic cost of conflict in Syria, while Ben Taub on The New Yorker looks at the top secret documents that link the Syrian regime to mass torture and killings.

Don’t forget you can debate key public policy issues by joining the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society’s LinkedIn group – a closed group exclusive to Society Members.  Be part of the conversation – we’ll see you there.

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Hayward, K. (2016). The Policy File - Policy Forum. [online] Policy Forum. Available at: http://www.policyforum.net/the-policy-file-15-april-16/