Politics

India’s Modi Reshuffles Cabinet: Gains, Surprises

Narendra Modi’s long-awaited cabinet reshuffle took place late on July 5 with some gains in terms of government efficiency and some surprises. Overall, Modi’s supremacy has been underscored, working in tandem w...

China Joins the ‘Great Game’

During the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent visit to China, the two countries agreed to jointly fund a disaster response center in Afghanistan. It was just the latest sign of China’s increasingly promin...

Duterte’s Federalism: False Promise

As a Brit with an interest in Philippine history, I am struck by the similarity of the demand for Brexit with the call for a Federal system for the Philippines. Both are ill-conceived, emotional responses to the real or alleged failures of the existing syst...

Viet Steel Mill Owners Acknowledge Huge Fish Kill

A sampling of public reaction suggests that the Vietnamese are impressed but hardly exuberant over an apology and a promise by the Taiwanese owners of a huge new steel plant in central Vietnam to pay half a bil...

Philippines’ New President Shakes up the South China Sea

In his first cabinet meeting after taking his oath as president on June 30, Rodrigo Duterte slid into his most comfortable mode: rambling on about ways to cut red tape for the poor and setting up a 24-hour hotl...

Chaos in Myanmar’s Jadeite Industry

Somewhere in Mandalay in central Myanmar, a crane hoists a two-tonne rock onto an unobtrusive truck. Yawning, the truck driver secures the boulder and covers the open back with canvas. It is 2 am and the driver sets off with his partner, both boosted with ...

Malaysian PM Snares Another Political Enemy

Having won decisive victories in two by-elections and a third in Sarawak state elections in May, Prime Minister Najib Razak has been picking off his political enemies one by one, possibly in preparation for a s...

Will China Bullying Hurt Taiwan’s Economy?

Although relations across the Taiwan Strait are entering a new ice age, cooperation at a working level is likely to continue, with Beijing not wanting to alienate the taishang, the hundreds of thousands Taiwane...

Malaysian PM Reshuffles Cabinet, Consolidates Power

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on June 27 reshuffled 10 portfolios in his cabinet, rewarding a handful of United Malays National Organization stalwarts including Noh Omar, the Selangor UMNO chief, as Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister...

Brexit’s Lessons for Asia

In the early hours of June 24, when Britain’s Brexit referendum results began to indicate a vote to leave the Europan Union, it quickly became clear from regional reports that the vote was more a protest agains...