APAC Insider

Goodbye (and Hello)

Well, as educational and informative as it has been for me (and I hope at least some of our readers) to try and cover the whole of the Asia-Pacific area in one blog, it’s time for me to move on to something a little different, so this will be my last

Kim Ready to Talk?

There’s been a flurry of reports the past couple of weeks suggesting that North Korea is finally ready to return to the Six-party talks on its denuclearisation. According to the Korea Herald this ‘willingness’ to reconsider is based largely on the co

Deadly Year for Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists has just released its report for 2009, and noted last year was the deadliest so far for members of the media, with 71 deaths in cases where the motive has been confirmed.This was largely due to the single attack i

Keeping India Together

As I’ve mentioned before, managing a country the size of India from the centre is no easy task. But one of the main ongoing challenges to central government authority took a particularly troubling turn with an incident Monday.Indian authorities have

Decisive Victory?

The major US-led offensive in Afghanistan against militants in Helmand Province is, according to reports, going well–military at least. This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise–militants were never going to offer much resistance in a stand-up fig

The Limits of Soft Power

The newly-launched offensive in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province has raised some interesting issues about the importance of soft power, something that the coalition forces still need to master in the fight against the Taliban.The BBC has an interesting

Bad Winner?

How do you reassure supporters of your beaten electoral opponent, especially if many of them hail from a minority that you have vowed to help reintegrate into society, that their voice will get a sympathetic hearing? Presumably not by having the army

China's Free (and Easy) Speech

An interesting piece in The Times newspaper yesterday about the apparent deterioration in US-China relations.’Now almost 55% of those questioned for Global Times, a state-run newspaper, agree that “a cold war will break out between the US and China”.

Vietnam Digs Heels In

As the New York Times reports:’Tensions crept up another notch last month, after China announced plans to develop tourism in the Paracels [Islands], which the Chinese military has controlled since 1974. It was an inauspicious start to what the two go

A Tale of Two (Potential) Coups

It seems irresistible for some defeated candidates to cry foul when an election doesn’t go their way, and Sri Lanka’s main opposition candidate is no exception.As Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe, who wrote an election preview piece for The Diplomat last we

Money Talks

In the meantime, though, the presidential race is shaping up to be a battle between big money and big name recognition, with the country’s wealthiest politician running just behind the son of its beloved late former leader Corazon Aquino, who helped

Middle Kingdom? Or Hermit?

Reuters reports that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has ruled out giving any handouts to entice North Korea to a summit in the middle of this year, for what would be only the third such meeting between the two technically at war nations.He’s ab

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