The opportunity for emerging political figures to make their mark is considerable.
Here are five political leaders from around the world who are emerging as significant talents and possible contenders for influence in 2017 and beyond.
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China's new freight train line to London is part of an increasing web of trade routes designed to boost the country's influence abroad.
The Pine Gap facility, southwest of Alice Springs.
Felicity Ruby/Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability
More than ever, Pine Gap remains at the heart of the Australian alliance with the United States, but serious reform is needed.
A growing number of young Asian men are using a plethora of whitening products.
Skin whitening among women has long been commonplace, but now young Asian men too, are using a plethora of whitening products.
A lack of regulation of surrogacy in developing countries makes it easy for exploitation to occur.
The reasons for banning compensated surrogacy in developing countries don’t apply in Australia.
Chinese premier Li Keqiang and Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev shake hands at a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting, which will help facilitate transparent economic cooperation between Asian countries.
China Daily Information Corp/Reuters
China will have to play by international rules on transparency and accountability if it wants to secure its place as a leader for economic development in Asia.
Cities like Dhaka are internally diverse, even contradictory. Such variation extends to the types of economic activity that take place in them.
As cities trumpet their liveability, creativity and greenness, many informal settlement activities are often relegated to the shadows.
The ascendency of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines is just one of the shifts away from liberalism in southeast Asia.
Reuters/Lean Daval Jr
Shifts in southeast Asian countries' political leadership has led to another worrying region-wide shift: away from liberalism.
Thailand’s late king chose his son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, to succeed him.
The heir to Thailand's throne, Maha Vajiralongkorn, enters his reign with no authority other than that of the office he now holds.
Most serious foreign policy analysts hope Hillary Clinton wins the US presidential race.
Despite growing concerns about possible declining American power and influence, the US still dominates the region upon which Australia has increasingly come to depend.
Nations can choose their friends – and their enemies – but they can’t choose their geography. Australia is fortunate to enjoy one of the most strategically benign locations in the world, but this hasn’t…
Asia is home to the world’s largest known stateless group, the Rohingya.
Unless managed more effectively, forced migration will have permanent and intensifying negative impacts on countries across the globe.
Should Hillary Clinton win the White House the long evolution of Australia-US alliance should continue as normal.
US presidents over the past 25 years have had varying views of the alliance with Australia. While none have questioned its value, commitment has not been even across the board.
There are some rather remarkable aspects of the increasingly heated debate about China’s influence in Australia. First, the idea that China actually has any “soft power” to exert is actually rather surprising…
The indefinite ruler: Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.
Tajikistan, a longstanding human rights violator, has been cracking down harshly on what's left of its political opposition.
No love lost.
EPA/Narendra Shrestha/Mast Irham
Calling Barack Obama a 'son of a whore' was just another PR disaster for a country already subject to lazy stereotypes.
Japan astounded the world with its economic performance for decades.
One thing became dramatically apparent in the economic sphere following the Cold War: capitalism was ubiquitous, but it looked very different in Japan, Germany, the US and China.
Almost 70 years after Indian independence, tribes once classed as criminals are still fighting for their freedom.
Residents of a Manila neighbourhood gather at the scene of the killing of an alleged drug dealer by police.
EPA/Francis R. Malasig
To understand Rodrigo Duterte’s rise to power and the public support for killing drug dealers and users, we need to distinguish the empirical from the normative – the 'what is' from 'what should be'.
Twenty countries in our region have laws criminalising sex between consenting males.
Our inward focus on marriage equality means Australia is largely absent from efforts to increase respect for LGBTI people in our region.