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,…

India’s Modi Takes a Key State

India’s Modi Takes a Key StateNarendra Modi and Amit Shah have won yet another victory in their drive for the pan-India political domination of their Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party with a coup in the desperately poor state of Bihar, where Nitish Kumar, the chief minister and head of a regional party, resigned dramatically on July 27. In a carefully orchestrated series…

With China Intruding, Indian Navy Finally Starts to Act

With China Intruding, Indian Navy Finally Starts to ActUnder fire from defence analysts and the federal auditor for its luckless and ill-equipped navy, long a victim of political and bureaucratic apathy, the Indian government is scrambling to bolster it against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive China which is intruding into the Indian Ocean in force. The two Asian giants have been locked…

The Duterte Mirage

The Duterte MirageHow long will it be before Filipinos wake up to the sheer lack of achievement in President Duterte’s year in office? He still stands high in the polls because of his uncouth, action-man image. From far right to far left criticism is muted despite a performance that which does not bear too close examination nor…