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Are Myanmar’s reforms stalled? (Feb 1)
Author: Trevor Wilson, ANU Myanmar’s initial reforms beginning in March 2011 were dramatic and surprised everyone, but they are still incomplete and not always operating well. Many problem areas have not yet undergone reform (such as land reforms, judicial system reform, and ending human rights abuses), meaning that much ‘unfinished business’ remains. But this does […]

Democracy-loving media’s misleading coverage of Hong Kong protest (Jan 31)
Author: Ivy Lee, CSUS For the West, democracy is not only a core value but also represents the best possible form of government for all nations.  This notion determined how the Western media perceived, interpreted and covered events in the 2014 Hong Kong protest. When thousands of students called for a weeklong boycott of classes […]

AEC not just about the economics (Jan 30)
Author: Sanchita Basu Das, ISEAS Regardless of whether or not the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will be successfully concluded by its deadline of 31 December 2015, we shouldn’t be solely obsessing about its ability to deliver its ‘single market’ objective on time: the AEC project has broader strategic objectives too, and on that front, it’s […]

A year of relative stability for Central Asian regimes (Jan 30)
Author: Dr Kirill Nourzhanov, ANU By local standards, 2014 was a reasonably successful year for the leaders of Central Asian countries. There were no revolutions, insurgencies or mass protests threatening their grip on power. Incumbent heads of state carried out regime maintenance in their customary manner: focusing primarily on managing the inner circle of the […]

SINOGRAPH China's power disequilibrium (Jan 30)
Fifty years ago, China was a totalitarian state - there was nothing outside of the part: no civil society, no market economy, and no companies. The country was completely isolated from the outside world. China now is extremely different, and President Xi Jinping has an international community to be responsible to. However, one question is, how long is Xi Jinping in power for? Ten years - or for life? - Francesco Sisci (Jan 30, '15)

SPENGLER STDs and strategy in Iran (Jan 30)
In the 5th Century BC, the "Persian disease" noted by Hippocrates probably was bubonic plague; in 8th-century Japan, it meant the measles. Today it well might mean chlamydia. Standout levels of infertility among Iranian couples, a major cause of the country's falling birth rate, coincide with epidemic levels of sexually transmitted disease. Both reflect deep-seated social pathologies. (Jan 30, '15)

Obama's India visit a big blank (Jan 30)
The three-day state visit by the Barack Obama to India - an unprecedented second visit by an incumbent US president to India - was extraordinarily rich in political symbolism, yet it failed to produce a substantive outcome. There were no commitments regarding US investments, no accord on climate change, no flagship project on joint development of military technology. Nor did India sign any new contracts for US weaponry. - M K Bhadrakumar (Jan 30, '15)

COMMENT Saudi Arabia's culpability for extremism (Jan 30)
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a hothouse of extremism that nurtures distorted dogma. Its acceptance, endorsement and external preaching of perverted ideology is an international disgrace. It has an absurd, outdated and hypocritical monarchic regime that has the unearned distinction of being located at the geographical center of a great religion that has been perverted by self-centered bigots. - Brian Cloughley (Jan 30, '15)

Obama’s Visit to India Signals Rapidly Evolving Relationship (Jan 29)
On his three-day visit to India, President Obama became the first U.S. president to attend the annual Republic Day parade with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in what many are calling a sign of strengthened relations between the world's largest democracies. In Asia editor Alma Freeman caught up with The Asia Foundation's India country representative, Sagar Prasai, from his office in Delhi for his perspective on what this means for U.S.-India relations, regional integration, and Prime Minister Modi's push for greater foreign investment.

Asia’s Cities Poised to Lead in Climate Change Adaptation (Jan 29)
By Toral PatelWith support from the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities challenge, a number of cities across Asia are beginning to confront the impacts of climate change. Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, recently selected as one of Resilient Cities' newest member cities and home to 1.5 million people, is one. Due to its low elevation and proximity to the Mekong River...

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