Society

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Japan’s Pink Kink

  The Japanese sex industry, often referred to as the “Pink Trade”, looks inexplicably kinky and oddly ritualized. But as strange as it seems, it is also pervasive and... Read More...
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Eyeing the Neighbors With Distrust in Asia

Bopping -- although staggering like an overloaded pack mule is probably a more apt description -- frequently back and forth between Hong Kong and Shenzhen is almost always a study in contrasts, though not alway... Read More...
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Milton Friedman’s Hong Kong Misconceptions

Milton Friedman was without doubt a great economist and, more important, one who, for good or ill, influenced politicians including Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Augusto Pinochet. But his much quoted... Read More...
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Could Singapore Have Feet of Clay?

Singaporeans, as the rest of Asia knows to tiresome detail, are called to a higher standard. And the reason we know is that Singapore Inc never tires of telling us. As they see it, ther... Read More...
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The Rising Dragon’s Environmental Disaster

Its nose-curling stench hits you even before you see the floating carpet of green algae and a dense matting of water hyacinth. Once a beauty spot praised by poets, Dianchi Lake, around Kunming, the capital ... Read More...
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No Time of the Sign?

Imagine a Singapore without street signs signs, imagine Seoul without traffic lights, imagine Hong Kong without its nanny signs and announcements, imagine removing that great clutter of dos and don’ts t... Read More...
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Looking for Love

One of the most popular soap operas in China can’t be watched on CCTV or even a television. Instead it’s found on the popular China blog, Danwei.org as well as on YouTube, where the short, wryly funny episod... Read More...
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A Right Royal Mess?

Asian royals have been much in the news. Royalty backing a coup in Thailand. Royalty creating mayhem in Nepal. A revolt against royals in tiny Tonga. A rare royal birth in Japan. And in Korea, discussion of... Read More...