Asia / Blog

Dark Clouds Loom over the Malaysian Elections

Article by Nicolas Freeman

Photo credit: Flikr.

Few things are certain about Malaysia’s upcoming general election.

Prime Minister Najib Razak and his ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), have been talking up the chances of holding elections for over a year.  Mr. Najib’s term is set to run out at the end of June 2013, and most now …

Asia / Blog

The New Guy: Xi Jinping and Foreign Policy

Shinzo Abe has promised to take a tougher stance over the Diaoyu/Senkaku

In little under two months Xi Jinping will take control of the People’s Republic of China, and will thus inherit the world’s largest standing army, the second largest economy in the world by GDP and a population size almost unparalleled anywhere else on …

Asia / Blog

Switch on Diplomacy: Energy Cooperation in the Mekong Region

Article written by Rike Riesmeier.

Image courtesy of the New York Times.

Energy cooperation is a crucial tie that connects countries in the ASEAN region. A successful shift to export-oriented industry in countries like Thailand does not only mean an important step forward for their economy, but also results in a rising demand for energy. The …

Americas / Asia

US-China relations: Learning from the cold war

US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger opened China’s door to the US in 1971. Photo courtesy of

This week, in the New York Times, an article entitled ‘U.S Envoy Optimistic About Ties With China’ appeared.

In the article Nick Gladstone quoted the US Ambassador to China (Gary F. Locke) saying, “Chinese leaders have grown more …

Asia / Blog

UK-ASEAN relations: The significance of Britain’s accession to ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation

ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images. Image Courtesy of The Citizen Journals.

In July this year Britain became the latest addition to the long list of countries that are now party to ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), the document that establishes the general principles governing interstate relations in Southeast Asia. Britain’s Foreign Secretary William …

Asia / Blog

The middle class problem that threatens Indonesia

Image Courtesy of

Indonesia has already attained international prominence through its membership in the G-20 group.  It hopes that its current financial boom will pave the way for it to gain accession into the BRIC club.

Indonesia recently became a leading exporter of coal and gas to China and India, and is also the largest …

Asia / Blog

Promotion of human rights in the ASEAN region

Image Courtesy of Foreign Policy Magazine.

Article by Lucy Kentish – originally published on Asia House.

The 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) received a negative response from the human rights community following its adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). Creating a regional human rights instrument is challenging for any regional or …

Asia / Blog

Changes and Continuity in China's Foreign Policy under the New Leadership

Article by Sijia Jiang – Originally published on Asia House

Xi Jinping meets Barack Obama at the White House inFebruary 2012. Photo source: The Guardian.

China’s new leadership is due to be unveiled this week at the 18th Communist Party Congress. Though it is still far too early for the leadership transition to be widely felt …

Asia / Blog

Narrating the Arab Uprisings

Article by Mehdi Beyad – originally published on Asia House

Local sentiments, too often neglected, expressed through street art. Photo by Naira Antoun. Photo courtesy of

In his essay Politics and the English Language (1946), George Orwell described the intimate dynamic between power and language, warning against the prevailing political discourse that made “lies sound …