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The Debate

The Debate is our home for the best opinions from around Asia. Whether it is negotiating with Iran, responding to North Korean provocations, discussing Japan's looming demographic issues, or considering the new balance of power in the Asia-Pacific, some of the region's leading thinkers offer their take.

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Can Marriage Equality Become a Reality in Thailand?
September 02, 2022

Can Marriage Equality Become a Reality in Thailand?

By Mookdapa Yangyuenpradorn and Sippachai Kunnuwong
Recent legislative developments have raised hopes, but the Thai government could still sink the LGBTQ dream of equal rights.
Michelle Bachelet’s Spectacular Fall From Grace
August 31, 2022

Michelle Bachelet’s Spectacular Fall From Grace

By Mark S. Cogan
The legacy of the outgoing U.N. human rights chief has been defined by her dithering and inaction over the Chinese government's abuses in Xinjiang.

There Is No ‘New Normal’ in the Taiwan Strait – Yet
August 30, 2022

There Is No ‘New Normal’ in the Taiwan Strait – Yet

By Gerrit van der Wees
While Beijing is certainly trying hard to push in the direction of a “new normal,” Taiwan and the United States are pushing back against that notion.

New Regulations in Uzbekistan Effectively Impose Government Control on NGOs
August 26, 2022

New Regulations in Uzbekistan Effectively Impose Government Control on NGOs

By Umida Niyazova and Lynn Schweisfurth
Will international donors legitimize Uzbekistan’s tightening grip on civil society?

ASEAN’s Efforts to Mediate the Myanmar Political Crisis Deserve More Recognition
August 25, 2022

ASEAN’s Efforts to Mediate the Myanmar Political Crisis Deserve More Recognition

By Thuc D. Pham and Hoai Nguyen
The argument that ASEAN should do more is widespread, but the grouping has already taken several unprecedented steps.
Who Will Champion the Rohingya?
August 22, 2022

Who Will Champion the Rohingya?

By Paul McPhun
“Failing meaningful and safe return to Myanmar, I worry what the future holds. How long can people live with so little basic protection and hope?”

How Lese Majeste Laws Are Eroding Free Speech in Southeast Asia
August 19, 2022

How Lese Majeste Laws Are Eroding Free Speech in Southeast Asia

By Samantha Holmes
Lese majeste laws are irreconcilable with freedom of expression.
The ICC Must Engage With Myanmar’s Democratic Government and Hold the Junta to Account
August 17, 2022

The ICC Must Engage With Myanmar’s Democratic Government and Hold the Junta to Account

By John Dugard, Chris Gunness, Tommy Thomas, Yuyun Wahyuningrum, and Ralph Wilde
There is no way the people of Myanmar will find justice in national courts. The international community must act. 

Western Disengagement Will Turn Afghanistan Into a Pariah State 
August 17, 2022

Western Disengagement Will Turn Afghanistan Into a Pariah State 

By Hameed Hakimi and Mark Bowden
If Western governments and humanitarian actors abandon Afghans now, we will be condemning a whole nation to a grinding cycle of brutal poverty with unpredictable long-term consequences.

A Year After Taliban Takeover, Afghanistan’s Economy Is Still in Crisis – and So Are Its Children
August 15, 2022

A Year After Taliban Takeover, Afghanistan’s Economy Is Still in Crisis – and So Are Its Children

By Chris Nyamandi
Aid is keeping Afghan children alive, but it can’t fix an economy in collapse.

Another and Better Way of Promoting Democracy
August 15, 2022

Another and Better Way of Promoting Democracy

By Rizal Ramli
Preaching and pressuring has failed to move the needle. An era of resurgent authoritarianism calls for a new approach.
What International Financial Actors Need to Learn From Sri Lanka
August 12, 2022

What International Financial Actors Need to Learn From Sri Lanka

By Frances Rachel Morrow-Nguyen
Establishing rules of the aid game and channels of communication might prevent a repeat of the current crisis, in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

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