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No good time for Xanana Gusmão to let go (Oct 24)
Author: Damien Kingsbury, Deakin University Timor-Leste’s prime minister, Xanana Gusmão, has deferred his decision to step down as his country’s leader until April 2015. He had announced earlier this year that he intended to leave office firstly in September, then in October. He has since said that he wishes to stay on to oversee negotiations […]

Taiwan’s Ten Thousand Double-Edged Swords (Oct 24)
Author: Che-Yu Ou, Waseda University Procuring the Ten Thousand Swords missile system is a blunder for Taiwan; it aggravates the security dilemma between it and the PRC. For its own security, Taiwan should deter threats from the PRC by manufacturing weapons with exclusively defensive capabilities. The Ten Thousand Swords missile, or the ‘Wan Chien’ missile, […]

THE ROVING EYE The Kobani riddle (Oct 24)
The barbarians, in the form of Islamic State goons, are at the gates of Kobani, the bombed-out city in northern Syria which is also the epicenter of a non-violent experiment in local democracy. But don't expect the US, Turkey and the administration of Iraqi Kurdistan to save Kobani: the city is now an easy-to-lose pawn in a pitiless game because it embodies a people-power challenge to the hegemony of the nation-state. - Pepe Escobar (Oct 24, '14)

Lords rule Hong Kong's democracy dance (Oct 24)
The students who met Hong Kong government officials this past week are the foot-soldiers in the city's umbrella revolution because the adults feel it's not time for them to mount the stage. Even if there there is still room for a scenario in which everyone gets to sing "kumbaya", the rich still call the shots - and across the pro-democracy panoply it is well-known that the struggle with Beijing will be won on the streets, not in the debating hall. - Peter Lee (Oct 24, '14)

The importance of being exceptional (Oct 24)
"National exceptionalism" has gained traction in the past few years, yet the concept is nothing new and has played a part from ancient Greece to Abraham Lincoln's America. The subject is seldom explored, nor are the fealty oaths that politicians swear to it challenged. Yet shine light on the history of exceptionalism and the dark underbelly of such unconditional love through the ages is revealed. - David Bromwich (Oct 24, '14)

The US and selective support for separatism (Oct 24)
The Barack Obama administration strongly condemned the declaration of independence by Crimea, but so far as international justice is concerned, the separation closely resembles Kosova's break from Serbia in 2008, which Washington warmly welcomed. Although independence is a pillar of America's foundation, in modern times the US does not support moves that don't fit in with its policy of self-appointed indispensability. - Brian Cloughley (Oct 24, '14)

Infrastructure spending is the medicine Thailand’s insecure economy really needs (Oct 23)
Authors: Pisit Leeahtam, Chiang Mai University & Cynn Treesraptanagul, Chiang Mai In May 2014, the Thai army, known as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) staged a coup d’état to prevent civil war breaking out after months of political deadlock and administrative paralysis. Since then, the interim constitution has been enacted, the new […]

Renminbi stepping in right direction toward internationalisation (Oct 23)
Author: Thierry de Longuemar, ADB Over the past several decades, we have seen how China’s high economic growth and increasing economic integration with other countries have led to a dramatic increase in its clout in global output and trade. Just look at the facts. China is now the world’s second largest economy, accounting for 12 per […]

Global Summits Shine Spotlight on Obama’s Pivot to Asia (Oct 22)
By John J. BrandonLess than one week after midterm elections in the United States, President Obama will travel to Asia to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum from November 10-11 in Beijing, and the East Asia Summit from November 13-14 in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. When he last visited Asia in April, President Obama was making up for his absence last year at these meetings because of the U.S. government shutdown. In the view of many Asians, President Obama's absence had cast serious doubt on whether the U.S. is able to serve as an effective counterbalance to China and that his administration's "pivot" or "rebalancing" is more rhetoric than substance.

Indonesians Have High Hopes for Their Next President (Oct 22)
By Sri Budi Eko WardaniIn Indonesia, people are celebrating. Joko Widodo's supporters joined a parade on Monday to welcome him and Jusuf "JK" Kalla on the day they were sworn into office as Indonesia's new president and vice-president. After a grueling process, Jokowi, as the new president is popularly known, and JK won against former general Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa...

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