Gambling on Chinese Investment in Laos

Gambling on Chinese Investment in LaosWith its massive cupolas, one shaped like a green crown and the other painted bright gold, Kings Romans Casino does not blend in with the forests of rural Southeast Asia, but the establishment is the heart of the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GT-SEZ), a controversial gambling hub in northern Laos. The area has mostly…

Asia in 2016: China

Asia in 2016: ChinaThe Chinese government had much to be irritated about in 2016, both at home from its gyrating stock markets, and abroad from an unfavorable international ruling on its South China Sea expansion and attacks on its economic policy from Donald Trump, now President-elect of the United States. The Chinese government rejected an international tribunal’s ruling…

China’s Stressed Youth

China’s Stressed YouthWedding photography in China is like no other: creative, elaborate and theatrical. A couple pose next to a bucolic Tuscan hillside with its bubbling fountain and clear skies, as the photographer clicks away. Next to them is a Victorian gentleman's drinking club and a salon straight out of the Palace of Versailles. Also within view…

China Slapped Down on South China Sea for Environmental Issues

China Slapped Down on South China Sea for Environmental IssuesOn July 12, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea upheld the Philippine government’s challenge to China’s sweeping claim that it had “since time immemorial” ruled the seas between Hainan and Singapore. But almost overlooked in media reportage of the tribunal’s rulings were important clarifications of provisions of the United Nations Convention on…

Streamed Durex Sex Ad Frustrates Chinese

Streamed Durex Sex Ad Frustrates ChineseA three-hour streaming group sex tape aired recently in China by condom giant Durex seemed to leave viewers wanting more when the promised orgy stopped short of climax. The innovative condom and sex-toy marketer sprung its latest surprise to grab even more attention from consumers used to the company's humorous and risque pitches. This time…

Rare Gulf of California Species Threatened by Chinese Appetites

Rare Gulf of California Species Threatened by Chinese  AppetitesChina’s insatiable appetite for animal parts that have no apparent scientific value as either medicines or tonics is playing havoc with a rare fish and the world's smallest porpoise, both of which inhabit Mexico’s Gulf of California. The fish, the totoaba, can grow to as long as two meters and weigh as much as 100…

China and India Lag on Health Care

China and India Lag on Health CareChina and India, often cited as two rising economic powerhouses, are less than fully equipped in terms of health care, a key attribute of national economic development, according to Amartya Sen. Emergence of the United States, Europe, Japan and Korea as developed economic powerhouses validates Sen’s argument. China and India, representing one out of three people…

China’s 1-Child Policy Repeal Won’t Matter

China’s 1-Child Policy Repeal Won’t MatterThe Chinese Politburo’s agreement this week to finally replace its one-child policy completely with one allowing couples to have two children is probably too little late. China is about to discover it can’t command families to have babies, or cajole them or flatter them. One of the products of urbanization is falling birth rates. The…

Xi Jinping Rewrites WW2 History

Xi Jinping Rewrites WW2 HistoryMassive ceremonies focused on military display are planned by China on Sept. 3 to mark the defeat of Japan in World War II. This is yet another step in the re-writing of history that ignores most of the rest of Asia. The facts of history are that Japan lost a war with the United States,…

The Guangzhou-Lhasa Train

The Guangzhou-Lhasa TrainChina’s vaunted high-speed train covers almost 4500 km from Shanghai to Lhasa in just 48 hours, one of the fastest long-distance train journeys in the world, hauling 863 passengers across the roof of the world. But there is another train to the Tibetan capital, a 4980 km journey from Guangzhou that passes through 10 cities…
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