Asia / Blog

Hopes for improved Sino-Japanese relations

The Yasukuni Shrine 2012. Photo source: Kakidai via Wikimedia Commons.

Japan and China’s relationship can often be fraught. Public opinion in both countries can quickly become heated and turn into riots, destroying shops and flag burning. The 2012 anti-Japanese protests occurred across China in response to the Japanese government buying the disputed islands, known as the …

Asia / Blog

The UK’s role in South-East Asian Security

South-East Asia. Photo source: Cacahuate via Wikimedia Commons

The declaration by China of an ‘Air Defence Identification Zone’ (ADIZ) over a disputed region of the East China Sea on 23rd November 2013, has only served to further underline the fact that, whilst much of the world’s attention remains focused on the never-ending traumas of the …

Asia / Blog

‘This is Not Merely a Race’* – Space and Foreign Aid

Indian Space Research Organisation. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.

‘Now it is time to take longer strides…time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.’

Such were the words of President John F. Kennedy to the US Congress on 25 …

Anti-government protesters gather in Bangkok earlier this month http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Protesters_on_motorcycles_in_Bangkok%2C_1_December_2013.jpg
Asia / Blog

No Real Winners in Upcoming Thai Election

Anti-government protesters gather in Bangkok in December. Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The uncertainty surrounding the upcoming February 2nd elections in Thailand centres, not on who will win, but rather on whether it will take place at all. The incumbent Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra retains substantial support – especially amongst rural agricultural workers, the poor and …

Asia / Blog

Game & First Set, Authoritarianism: Central Asia, the U.S. and the failure of Democracy

National flags at the UN Building in Geneva. Photo Source: Yann via Wikimedia Commons.

Despite some very limited improvements to public freedom and electoral legitimacy, authoritarianism has proved exceptionally durable within Central Asia in the two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The methods of electoral fraud, suppression of opposition, legislative …

Asia / Blog

Seeking Peace on the 38th Parallel: Diplomacy in the Koreas

Photo Source: Globaljuggler via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1998 the South Korean President, Kim Dae Jung, extended an olive branch to his Northern counterpart and adversary, Kim Jong-il.  The peace offering was known as the “Sunshine Policy” – a diplomatic framework aimed at peaceful coexistence between the two Koreas – which would win him the Nobel …

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Asia / Blog

ASEAN and the Economic Arms Race in Southeast Asia

The “Nine-Dotted Line”. Photo Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency via Wikimedia Commons.

October saw ten of Southeast Asia’s most prosperous nations meet for the biannual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit – the twenty-third of its kind held since 1967.  Hosted in Brunei, the gathering of nearly a dozen of the continent’s rising economic …

Asia / Blog

Xi Jinping, Central Asia and Russia: Misguided Speculation over a New ‘Great Game’

BRICS leaders at the G-20 Summit in St.Petersburg. Xi Jinping then travelled to several Central Asian republics. Photo Source: Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR, Agência Brasil via Wikimedia Commons.

Much attention has been paid to a series of visits undertaken by the new Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Central Asian republics last month. Notwithstanding the ostensible …

Americas / Asia

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Cui Bono?

Image courtesy of Public Citizen, © 2012, some rights reserved.

Article by Walt Andrews, written for and originally published by the St. Andrews Foreign Affairs Review.

“For big corporations, trade agreement time is like Christmas morning,” according to US Senator Elizabeth Warren. She was discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and unfortunately she’s entirely right. The TPP …

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Asia / Blog

India’s Perfect Storm

Image courtesy of Petr Kratochvil, @ 2013, some rights reserved.

Article by Likhitha Palaypu, written for and originally published by the St. Andrews Foreign Affairs Review.

When Raghuram Rajan gave his inaugural speech as Reserve Bank of India governor on September 4, 2013, critics lauded him as India’s would-be financial saviour: the man who would inherit …