February 18, 2010
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
Kim Ready to Talk?
February 17, 2010
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
Deadly Year for Journalists
February 16, 2010
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
Keeping India Together
February 15, 2010
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
Decisive Victory?
February 12, 2010
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
The Limits of Soft Power
February 10, 2010
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
Bad Winner?
February 08, 2010
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”.
China's Free (and Easy) Speech
February 05, 2010
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
Vietnam Digs Heels In
February 04, 2010
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
A Tale of Two (Potential) Coups
February 03, 2010
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
Money Talks
February 02, 2010
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
Middle Kingdom? Or Hermit?
February 01, 2010
China, China, China
The BBC’s three top Asia-Pacific stories this morning were all about the country, and all addressed themes that will undoubtedly be recurring for the foreseeable future – media restrictions, defence and human rights.A report by the International Fede
China, China, China
January 29, 2010
Moderate Taliban. Really?
The most interesting discussions prompted by the summit on Afghanistan’s future held in London yesterday were centred around suggestions of negotiating with the Taliban. Although both sides are understandably wary about discussing details, a UN offic
Moderate Taliban. Really?
January 28, 2010
Rocket Envy
We have an interesting piece coming up tomorrow by ‘War is Boring’ blogger and defence analyst David Axe who looks at China’s recent missile exo-atmospheric test and what it could mean for the region (China is only the second country to succeed in su
Rocket Envy
January 27, 2010
Time to Dance?
Having talked a couple of days ago about military restraint between prickly neighbours (in that case Cambodia and Thailand), and a day after we flagged the west coast of the Korean Peninsula as a possible flashpoint, North and South Korea have exchan
Time to Dance?
January 26, 2010
DPJ's Futenma Blues
Japan’s ruling Democratic Party of Japan saw a potential door close on one possible way out of the problems it’s having over the relocation of a US Marine base in Okinawa.The DPJ is having a real headache deciding whether to follow through with a 200
DPJ's Futenma Blues
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