pork and beer - Jrwooley6 - Flickr Creative Commons
Asia / Blog

The Political Power of Rice and Rice Waste

Image from Jrwooley6 via Flickr Creative Commons

In the last few days Thailand’s former prime minster Yingluck Shinawatra has been impeached – accused of corruption in a scheme aimed at subsidising rice farmers by paying them unrealistically high prices for their yields in order to secure their votes.

It seems then that rice, like oil or conflict …

China Bi-Lateral Trade Agreement with UK - via Wikimedia Commons
Asia / Blog

Chinese Public Diplomacy and the Limits of Continued Opaqueness

 

China Bi-Lateral Trade Agreement with UK – via Wikimedia Commons

Public diplomacy in the 21st century is utilised as an instrument of soft power for national governments wishing to enhance their objectives abroad by establishing a dialogue with foreign publics. The term was formulated in 1965 by the Dean of Fletcher School of International Affairs, Edmund …

600px-Senkaku_Diaoyu_Tiaoyu_Islands
Asia / Blog

China and Japan: An uncomfortable handshake

Photo Source: Jackopoid via Wikimedia Commons.

In recent years, the relationship between Japan and the People’s Republic of China has become increasingly strained. Issues such as Japanese politicians visiting Yasukuni Shrine, and the Senkaku Islands dispute, have exacerbated diplomatic tension between the two economic giants.

Whilst this tension has been simmering away for decades, the Japanese purchase …

Chinese Marines prepare for an exercise.
Asia / Blog

Hard or Soft Power: China’s Conundrum

Statue of Confucius in Nanjing – Kevinsmithnyc via Wikimedia Commons

China faces a conundrum. Its economic might is growing at a rapid pace. Indeed, in some measures of economic wealth, China will overtake the United States later this year in economic output.  But this poses a problem. How does China leverage this newly found economic …

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Americas / Asia

The Enduring Strengths of the Pax Americana

 

The US Capitol Building – Via Wikimedia Commons

From most accounts and commentaries it seems that the Chinese economy will soon surpass the United States within a decade or less.

Alongside this economic prophecy is the worry that America’s military may find it increasingly difficult to operate against an effective Chinese Access-Denial strategy. Protecting Taiwan and …

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Africa / Americas

The Future’s Bright; The Future’s Green. (Or at Least it May Be).

Is it too idealistic to believe that sustainable economies can lead to a more equal global society? Source: Wikimedia Commons

There is an increasingly consistent rhetoric among some leading politicians and policy makers that there is huge potential of green industries to develop and create jobs within green economies. This is of course an attractive …

Image: The New Garden Path Along the Great Wall of China. Image source:
Asia / Blog

Hong Kong and China – Diversity and Permeability

Image: The New Garden Path Along the Great Wall of China. Image source: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr Creative Commons

When one thinks of China, ‘walls’ can sometimes spring to mind.

When looking for a classic pun to describe China’s compendium of internet controls and regulations, or colloquially; ‘the Golden Shield’, the world’s commentators alighted on the …

Jammu (North India) - Steve Evans via Wikimedia Commons
Asia / Blog

Kashmir: The Challenges of Peace

Jammu (North India) – Steve Evans via Wikimedia Commons

The global community has made plenty of attempts to put an end to the protracted dispute between India and Pakistan and launch a peace process. Since 1949, UN peacekeeping forces have been active in the territory of Kashmir, where they enforce the observance of ceasefire agreements. …

DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN09 - Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation captured during the 'Opening Plenary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2009.
Asia / Blog

Russia’s new friendship with China isn’t all that friendly

DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN09 – Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation captured during the ‘Opening Plenary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009′ at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2009 via Flickr

 

For most of human history, the people inhabiting modern-day Russia and China were …