An Ageing, Worried Hong Kong Marks 20 Years Out of UK’s Clutches

An Ageing, Worried Hong Kong Marks 20 Years Out of UK’s ClutchesTwenty years on from the end of British colonial rule of Hong Kong, it would be hard to argue that the territory’s relative position in the world has improved. Indeed, the optimism felt at the time of the handover that the city could be beacon of freedom, prosperity and democracy in the region and the…

Japanese Firm Got Almost a Free Indonesian Bank

Japanese Firm Got Almost a Free Indonesian BankA scandal-plagued Indonesian bank, now in the hands of a controversial Japanese company, was sold to its new owners for virtually nothing, adding another layer of intrigue to the long saga of what was once the notorious Bank Century.  It is now doing business as PT Bank J Trust Indonesia TBK.  The result, since Century's…

Difficult Trek on Silk Road in Afghanistan

Difficult Trek on Silk Road in AfghanistanWithout a durable peace in Afghanistan, gloomy shadows continue to loom over China’s ambitious Silk Road initiative. The Chinese are quite preoccupied with the issue and are investing time and money in the effort to solve the Afghan puzzle. That is why China’s political involvement as well as a soft military presence in Afghanistan have…

Trump, Modi bond and boost US-India partnership

Trump, Modi bond and boost US-India partnershipDonald Trump and Narendra Modi had a remarkably successful afternoon and evening at the White House yesterday, bonding and even hugging in an easy way, and avoiding potential clashes on issues such as visas and climate change that might have disturbed the harmony of the Indian Prime Minister’s first meeting with the US President. Together…

Reducing Tensions Over THAAD

Reducing Tensions Over THAADThe deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea has prompted strong opposition from China and has become a new and significant destabilizing factor on the Korean Peninsula and for the security of the region. Managing and resolving the issue is not only important to improving and stabilizing the…

Modi on a roll as he meets Donald Trump for the first time

Modi on a roll as he meets Donald Trump for the first timeNarendra Modi is on a roll. The Indian prime minister arrived in Washington last night for his first meeting with Donald Trump, which takes place on June 26. after lining up two politically significant and headline-catching political and economic successes in India. The country’s long overdue-national sales tax, a major economic reform, is coming into…

The Philippines’ Marawi: Next Islamic State Nucleus

The Philippines’ Marawi: Next Islamic State NucleusForeign nationals from Yemen, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia have been killed in the month-long struggle for the Mindanao island city of Marawi, an unsettling signal that IS, thwarted by overwhelming military pressure in the Middle East, is seeking to establish a new base in Mindanao. That came home in terrifying fashion for 11-year-old Jasper Samiahan,11,…

Japan Fields a Powerful New Woman Politician

Japan Fields a Powerful New Woman PoliticianYuriko Koike has been called the most powerful woman in Japan and a potential successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. For now she is concentrating on affirming her unquestioned position as the most powerful woman in Tokyo. People of the Japanese capital go to the polls July 2 to choose members of the 127-seat Tokyo…

A Malaysian Kleptocrat’s Vast Depredations

A Malaysian Kleptocrat’s Vast DepredationsThe sheer amount of money the thieves involved in 1Malaysia Development Bhd. managed to steal and spend in the United States in the brief five years of the state-backed investment company’s active existence is simply astonishing, according to documents filed last week by the US Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Section in Los Angeles. The documents…

Vietnam Uses Thugs as Surrogates to Keep Citizens in Line, Report Says

Vietnam Uses Thugs as Surrogates to Keep Citizens in Line, Report SaysAll over Vietnam, young toughs are being employed as a sort of police auxiliary who administer beatings to citizens that the national police aren't yet ready to arrest, or perhaps would rather not arrest, according to a new report issued on June 19 by the New York-based Human Rights Watch NGO. The report, titled "No…