China’s Moneybag Friends at Harvard University

China’s Moneybag Friends at Harvard UniversityThe level and sources of funding from China-linked tycoons and institutions for Harvard University is opaque and prodigious, and calls into question just how the dons at the US’s most prestigious educational institution handle the influence and remain unfettered academically and intellectually. Harvard is not unique in being a soft but influential voice on China…

US’s Tillerson Stirs up The South China Sea

US’s Tillerson Stirs up The South China SeaUnited States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Southeast Asia has exposed how the US’s current obsession with North Korea is undermining more important long-term interests. The only good thing one could say about the visit, which took in the Philippines – for ASEAN’s 50th anniversary – Thailand and Malaysia was that his words…

The Mystery Behind Singapore’s Expulsion of a Chinese-American Academic

The Mystery Behind Singapore’s Expulsion of a Chinese-American AcademicThe Singapore government’s decision to expel a high-ranking Chinese-American academic on the grounds of working for an unnamed foreign power has raised questions for which answers might not be obvious. It also raised an issue so sensitive that it is seldom openly discussed. The individual was Huang Jin, a former Brookings Institution Fellow and head…

India-China Rivalry Deepens over Border Clash

India-China Rivalry Deepens over Border ClashAfter almost seven weeks into tension, the Indo-China rivalry on the Sikkim/Doklam region, in which both countries are accusing the other of violating their borders, has refused to die out, exposing the delicate nature of their bilateral relations despite the otherwise strong bilateral trade worth billions of dollars. Whatis significant is that because of the…

Singapore Family Feud Exposes Farce of Country’s Judicial Independence

Singapore Family Feud Exposes Farce of Country’s Judicial IndependenceThe rift within the Lee family over what to do with the grand colonial-style home of Lee Kuan Yew, the patriarch who died in March 2015 at 92, has further exposed the contradictions inherent in Singapore’s system between the appearance of rule of law via an independent judiciary and the perceptions of so many onlookers…

Astonishing North Korea Policy Change From Tillerson

Astonishing North Korea Policy Change From TillersonThere are times when the utter confusion apparent in Donald Trump’s White House is a cause for relief. One such seems to be the case of North Korea. If one listens to Trump himself one comes away with two possible directions for US policy following the North’s latest testing of long range rockets which could…

French Justice Catching up With Malaysians in Sub Scandal?

French Justice Catching up With Malaysians in Sub Scandal?Although Abdul Razak Baginda, the central figure in what was previously Malaysia’s most notorious scandal, has been charged with “active and passive complicity in corruption” by French prosecutors, according to Agence France Press on Aug. 1, it is unlikely that they are going to catch up with him anytime soon. Razak remains in Malaysia, a…

China to Take Charge of Kowloon Immigration Facility

China to Take Charge of Kowloon Immigration FacilityThe Hong Kong government is railroading through a plan to give up legal rights to a piece of its own territory in favor of Beijing. A chunk of the high-speed rail terminus being constructed in the middle of Kowloon, where immigration and customs formalities will be performed, is to come under the formal jurisdiction of…

China Overseas Investment Curb Exposes Splits in Government

China Overseas Investment Curb Exposes Splits in GovernmentWang Jianlin displayed considerable composure and self-confidence when facing questions about the recent sale of his theme park and hotel assets to smaller rivals Sunac China Holdings and Guangzhou R&F Properties. But Wang, the founder of China's largest real estate developer Dalian Wanda Group and formerly China's richest man, may actually have something to fear.…

Unending Punishment: Political Repression in Vietnam

Unending Punishment: Political Repression in VietnamOn July 30, 2012, the mother of political prisoner Ta Phong Tan burned herself to death at a government building in despair over her daughter’s imprisonment. This is the fifth anniversary of her death. This is what life is like as a prisoner of conscience in Vietnam: Isolation. Withholding of newspapers and letters from family,…
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