Pirates of the Middle Kingdom?

There is a myth that Chinese people spend every evening glued to the screen watching pirated Hollywood DVDs. The myth is promoted by the LA studios and the video equivalents of the MP3-obsessed Recording Industry Association of America, who, no doubt influenced by watching too many of these movies, use scary and melodramatic storylines to…

Lies, Damn Lies and Singapore

In it would be the country’s paramount leader and former Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, telling his audience in a Los Angeles media conference in 1998: “Singapore has managed this relentless flood of information not by blocking the flow but by stating its point of view in competition. We defend our position in open argument…

History Repeating Itself

Engagement with China was not supposed to work out this way. In a new report, Amnesty International has added its voice to the growing condemnation of China’s blanket support for unpleasant regimes like Burma, North Korea, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan and Iran. Amnesty draws particular attention to arms sales, but Beijing is using all means at…

Charade

There’s a farce being played out in the Philippines, and it’s orchestrated by the country’s putative president.  But her subalterns are either also in on it and have memorized their lines, so to speak, or else are taking their cue from what she and their superiors in various government agencies do and say. As part…

Southern Exposure

By Paul Ehrlich Thailand's low-level, long-running Muslim insurgency in the south is showing no signs of a peaceful solution. If things continue this way, say experts of terrorism in Southeast Asia, the area could become the next center for regional extremists looking to support or exploit separatist goals. The bloody unrest has claimed more than…