Spurned by Washington, Pakistan Looks East

Spurned by Washington, Pakistan Looks EastNotwithstanding Pakistan’s upbeat claims about defeating terrorism, continuing military operations in both urban and rural Punjab and new operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) show how the menace of terrorism continues to defy solution through a straightforward application of military force. Part of the problem is that the jihadi infrastructure remains intact, and…

Good for Alibaba? SCMP Quashes Column on Xi-linked Tycoon

Good for Alibaba? SCMP Quashes Column on Xi-linked TycoonThe steady erosion of the journalistic independence of the South China Morning Post, once the region’s most influential English-language daily, was demonstrated last week when the paper’s editors pulled an article linking an investor in Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel Group to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s chief of staff. The article, by long-time Money Matters columnist…

Forbes Magazine Dumps an Article on an Influential HK Tycoon

Forbes Magazine Dumps an Article on an Influential HK TycoonThe continuing tightening of the noose around democratic practices in Hong Kong now appears to be playing itself out in the New York-based Asia Society, the prestigious nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between Asians and the United States, and its billionaire Hong Kong chairman. There have long been worries about Chan’s influence.…

Canada: Expedite Snowden-Linked Asylum Cases

Canada: Expedite Snowden-Linked Asylum CasesThe Canadian government should fast-track its consideration of the refugee claims of seven people who sheltered US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden before he left Hong Kong in 2013. The Hong Kong government has sent the adult asylum seekers detention notices, indicating that they could soon be deported to countries where they would face…

Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in Indonesia

Floating Hospitals: Meeting Healthcare Gaps in IndonesiaThe increase of Indonesia’s health budget allocation from 3.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product in the 1990s to 5 percent in 2017, totaling Rp104 trillion (US7.28 billion), is designed to alleviate some of the country’s healthcare delivery problems, with  75 percent of citizens still greatly depending on public health care. But one of the biggest…

1H2017 Review: Korea

1H2017 Review: KoreaSouth Korea’s long-running political upheaval ensured that 2017 kicked off amid controversy. The very first day of the year saw president Park Geun-hye denouncing her impeachment by the National Assembly. However, on March 10, the Constitutional Court upheld the ruling, ending a presidency mired in controversy since Park’s election in 2012. Park was then arrested…

1H2017 Review: Japan

1H2017 Review: JapanFor Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 2017 has been the year that his political credibility came into doubt. A poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper on June 17 and 18 showed that Abe’s approval rating fell 10 points to 36%, and the rate of disapproval reached 44% - his first net negative rating since…

1H2017 Review: Singapore

1H2017 Review: SingaporeSingaporean politics was rocked in June by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s siblings, who accused him of abusing his power. Their main grievance concerned what they considered the prime minister’s efforts to acquire and preserve the family home. His actions, they argued, ran contrary to the dying wishes of their father, Lee Kuan Yew, who…

1H2017 Review: Taiwan

1H2017 Review: TaiwanTaiwan’s gross domestic product is headed for its fastest clip since 2014, according to an economic think tank. GDP will probably exceed 2%, according to a forecast released in April by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER). Darson Chiu, deputy director of macroeconomic forecasting at TIER, said the figure is not necessarily “a very…

Duterte’s Year One: Chaos Under the Surface

Duterte’s Year One: Chaos Under the SurfaceWith his first year in office completed, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte doesn’t know the difference between policy and bragging to drinking partners. He has simply not grown up. He remains a hambugerong bugoy, a teenage braggart. Thus the constant boasting about his sexual prowess, the dirty talk, the tilting against convention. He has an exaggerated…
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