Is Asia Pacific a disruptor?

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 30 October 2018


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building #8, ANU
ANU Canberra


Wenting Cheng, Nick Frank, Raymond Gao, Gary Lea, Sora Lee, Dori Patay, Johan van der Walt, Ryan Wong


School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

Inspired by John Braithwaite’s Cascade of Violence framework, this panel traces the cascade of disruptions on the trade, political, environmental, social and security landscapes in Asia Pacific. In a similar way that Steven Pincus has studied the British empire as a whole rather than individual colonized states, we present Asia Pacific as a highly disruptive and disrupted region in this post-colonial era.

The rise of e-commerce in China, the booming AI capacity in East Asia, the security imagination on Korean Peninsula, the democracy resuscitation in Malaysia, the patchy intersectoral governance in Fiji and Vanuatu, the paralyzing tension around US-China trade war, and the dinosaur rules of international tax regime. Each snapshot presents a disruptor that rides the wave of uncertainties and spread the disruption beyond geographical and sectoral boundaries.

Governing these cascading disruptions from the East and the West requires nimbleness for layering evidence-based strategies as the first-line of response, and if ineffective the deployment of a separate layer that probes and experiments with novel approaches as the second-line of response. With the Asia Pacific interests in mind, how are the Asia Pacific communities ‘crossing the river by feeling the stones’? In such interesting times of power transition, as Kishore Mahbubani would encourage in his ‘love letter to the West’, Asia Pacific should be given a chance to disrupt the old system and lead a new world order.

About the speakers

Wenting Cheng Prior to joining Regnet Wenting was a researcher at Development and Research Center of State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China, a think tank directly affiliated to SIPO. At the Center, she participated in over 20 research projects and submitted policy briefs related to China’s intellectual property laws, policies and national strategies, especially focusing on patent.

Nick Frank joined RegNet in 2018 to explore the linkages between shifts in production structures and changes in the composition of free trade agreements. Prior to enrolling in RegNet’s PhD programme, Nicholas worked as a researcher, programme officer and consultant for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) in Geneva, Switzerland. At the ICTSD, he worked on a number of trade and investment issues including regional trade agreements and preference schemes, service sector competitiveness, value chain integration and upgrading, e-commerce and e-enabled commerce, and disruptive technologies. Before joining the ICTSD, he worked in the Accession’s Division of the World Trade Organization Secretariat where he focused on the accession negotiations of Kazakhstan, the Seychelles and the Bahamas.

Raymond Gao is a PHD scholar focusing on investment law and international arbitration, trade law, geoeconomics, globalization and rule of law. Prior to joining RegNet, Raymond worked at an international law firm and an international arbitration institution respectively in Hong Kong. He worked on international arbitration, with a focus on comparative investment arbitration rules research, serving as secretary for arbitral tribunals and managing international arbitration proceedings. Also, he was engaged in cross-border corporate transactions, including mergers approval of CFIUS and antitrust review of EU Commission, equity and corporate bonds offerings

Gary Lea From 2010 onwards, Gary acted as an IP and licensing consultant for a number of Australian and overseas organisations, including several law firms and trade mark attorney firms. Thesis topic: The risk machine? What might be the implications of AI technology for risk governance?

Sora Lee was previously at Korean Development Institute School of Public Policy and an affiliated scholar at Korean Women’s Institute at Ewha Womans University. Her research interests include: issues of health equity and feasibility of cross-sectoral action, women’s empowerment during the development process,capability approach

Dori Patay is an early-career PhD Student at RegNet who specializes in health governance in global and national levels. She is working on developing an analytical framework allowing the quantitative evaluation of policy making mechanisms in health, and in her PhD research she investigates and compares the governance processes in tobacco control in Australia, Japan and Hungary.

Johan van der Walt has done work in the tax regularization space he has a keen interest in the shift from “tax secrecy” to “tax transparency” (e.g. on the back of the Automatic Exchange of Information and country-by-country reporting) and the impact this shift (if sustained) would have on the compliance attitudes of the various participants in the regulatory community. The research will be comparative with reference to Australia (developed economy; good tax compliance) vs. South Africa (developing economy; deeply-divided society with a particular political legacy; small tax base; questionable tax compliance levels).

Ryan Wong has undertaken various planning roles within regional governance alliances and the federal government in Australia. He was primarily involved in research and evaluation projects that facilitated integration across portfolios and sectors. His master’s thesis described the processes, tools and frameworks for integrating planning functions in 12 regional health economies. He has experience in interviewing high-level executives and technocrats, analysing strategy documents, and conducting surveys.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet