Asia Pacific Articles

An Inconvenient Truth – The Health Status of Migrant Workers in China

By Zara Zhang  |  January 20, 2014

In the context of panicky exaggeration put forth by politicians and journalists alike regarding the relationship of China and the US, too few voices offer calm, reasoned, and historically backed input into this issue. Proving his relevance and timely focus yet again, Patrick Mendis offers exactly that in his latest book Peaceful War. Yes, even in this field, Mendis achieves a creative blend of historical thought with modern conceptions of citizenry to illustrate—if it pans out—what could be one of the most effective, powerful, and instructive parallels of world history: the adoption of the American Dream by China. Mendis’ analysis is based on the core assumption that China’s rise parallels that of the US, but only enough for important divergences to be noted.

By Joshua Barthel  |  October 25, 2013

Malaysia has one overarching and transformative policy objective: to achieve high income and developed nation status by the year 2020. High income nations, as defined by the World Bank, are those with a gross national income per capita of US$12,480 or more in 2011. Malaysia’s per capita income now stands close to US$10,000 and the aim is to increase it to US$15,000 by 2020. My view is that developed nations should also meet a number of other important benchmarks. For instance, a nation’s wealth must be reasonably distributed, not concentrated in the hands of the elite; physical and social infrastructure must be robust; and, most importantly, a developed country should be democratic and respect basic freedoms.

By Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak  |  September 23, 2013

It happens all the time, but it still surprises me when I hear the women I work with in India’s rural villages discuss violence and forced sex with disconcerting nonchalance. They say things like, “if I don’t cook well, can’t take care of the children well or refuse sex, I will have to face a beating. In these villages, living in a violent home is so commonplace that to live without violence is described as a supernatural occurrence. Of the women who don’t face violence, others will say, “Yes, a few have very good kismet or destiny.”

By Suniti Neogy  |  September 23, 2013

"For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” - President john F. Kennedy

By Patrick Mendis  |  April 9, 2013

"For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” - President john F. Kennedy

By Patrick Mendis  |  April 9, 2013

Humanitarian food aid has long been a tool of diplomacy; no country has exemplified this than North Korea. Even while decrying the government as an instrumental member of the "Axis of Evil", the United States and its allies have funneled aid into the country. Is it worth it?

By Anthony Wohns, Matt Lowe  |  February 25, 2013

The ascendance of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) on August 2009 was praised as the first genuine power transition in Japan’s postwar history. However, there were just as many—or more—who were anxious about the new DPJ-led Japanese government’s capacity to govern. After all, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had dominated most of the five decades of Japan’s postwar history as the ruling party. The sole role of the opposition parties, including the DPJ, was to criticize the policies presented by LDP-led governments. It was obvious, therefore, that the DPJ would be inexperienced at ruling. The question was how long it would take before the DPJ grew to become sufficiently able to play the role of a ruling party.

By Yuki Tatsumi  |  January 31, 2013

The Cold War is long over, yet the world still feels many of its repercussions. Two states in Asia remain divided: China and Korea. While both North Korea and South Korea still evince some intention of reunification, the cross-strait relationship between China and Taiwan is drastically different. Rather than unification, the alternative of remaining separate has become the dominant policy in Taiwan. 

By Dennis Lee  |  January 28, 2013

Being a hegemonic global power, the United States has a large presence on all the world’s continents. Although the majority of media attention has focused on the US military presence in the Middle East, the United States also holds a strong presence in East Asia centered on the bases in Okinawa, Japan. From the US defense point of view, the bases serve as an important strategic check on nearby countries such as China and North Korea. Despite the strategic importance of the bases on the international level, the foreign US military presence has spurred strong local opposition in the Okinawa prefecture. This special arrangement in Okinawa draws in issues ranging from major international security interests between the United States and Japan to the systemic local impact on the lifestyle in the islands.

By Scott Zhuge  |  December 30, 2012