Russia’s Take on the North Korean Crisis

Russia’s Take on the North Korean CrisisThe current crisis on the Korean Peninsula was unexpected for Russia and raised serious concerns that both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump could recklessly push the situation over the brink. However, the probability of an open military conflict is still low and the pressure to solve the North Korean…

Depression in China: Cries for Help Go Unanswered

Depression in China: Cries for Help Go UnansweredThe bottom of Chen Aiming’s life fell out standing on a Fuzhou rooftop last July 24. Recalling his 28 years of misery, there was little he could think of other than how unfairly life had treated him. He was born with a lisp in a poor rural family, ostracized by his peers as a child…

Luster Starts to Wear off Philippines’ Duterte

Luster Starts to Wear off Philippines’ DuterteThe declaration of martial law on May 23 by Filipino President Rodrigo R. Duterte, while only for 60 days and on the southernmost island of Mindanao, has begun to crystalize growing doubts about Duterte’s commitment to democracy and started to remind his constituents of unsettling resemblances to Ferdinand Marcos, who pretty much wrecked the country…

Britain’s Theresa May Blows It Through Hubris

Britain’s Theresa May Blows It Through HubrisYesterday’s British general election was supposed to be a coronation for Theresa May, the strict and autocratic Conservative prime minister, who grabbed the party leadership last year after the Brexit referendum result and immediately turned herself from being a Remainer in the European Union debate to a hard-line Brexiteer leaver. Instead the election has enabled…

Prosper or perish: Time for Sustainable Development

Prosper or perish: Time for Sustainable DevelopmentWith US President Donald Trump's walkout of the Paris Deal, the agreement that aims to keep planetary warming by 2030 below the 2°C rise ceiling, the debate about sustainable development has gained increased traction, with advocates directly contradicting the president and saying it could generate millions of jobs. In this new development model, the United…

Reviving a Once-Raffish Shanghai Theme Park

Reviving a Once-Raffish Shanghai Theme ParkGangsters and secret society members once roamed the tiled corridors of Shanghai’s Great World, rubbing shoulders with European businessmen, prostitutes, fortune-tellers, magicians and gamblers. The indoor theme park on the border of the French Concession and the International Settlement was described by one visiting Hollywood director in the 1930s as a “house of multiple joys”…

Sleeping With the Fishes (or the Lawn) in Hong Kong

Sleeping With the Fishes (or the Lawn) in Hong KongA man in black burns offerings in the Garden of Remembrance in Cape Collinson, at the easternmost point of Hong Kong Island. Ashes float in the misty rain. On the edge of Hong Kong’s busy downtown, the garden, surrounded by stately walls and abuzz with insects, is always peaceful and serene. There are several walls…

US President Breaks his International Toys

US President Breaks his International ToysThere is more to Donald Trump than simply a series of foreign policy surprises and muddles. For all the Twitter comments, deliberate insults and displays of sheer ignorance, a pattern is emerging which is even more of a danger than any of the specific decisions, policies or quotes. At the roots of Trumpism is a…

The Challenge of Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines

The Challenge of Abu Sayyaf in the PhilippinesThe Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), which has for over two decades terrorized a wide section of the island of Mindanao and beyond from its island bases in Sulu and Basilan, has once again been in the news.  Despite the claims of the government that it has only 300-400 men, nonstop military operations against the group…

China’s Greatest Market Failure and Greatest Healthcare Opportunity

China’s Greatest Market Failure and Greatest Healthcare OpportunityAlzheimer’s is the fastest-growing, major fatal disease in China. Today there are at least 9.5 million diagnosed sufferers in China with perhaps as many cases undiagnosed. Almost one million Chinese are diagnosed every year with Alzheimer’s, with the number of new cases each year expected to accelerate sharply beginning around 2030. It is also the…