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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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A Rare Rights Victory in China
March 17, 2020

A Rare Rights Victory in China

By Shen Tingting
NGOs helped convince China to end the arbitrary detention of sex workers. A crackdown on civil society will make future reforms harder.
Democracy? Autocracy? Coronavirus Doesn’t Care.
March 17, 2020

Democracy? Autocracy? Coronavirus Doesn’t Care.

By Maylin Meisenheimer
Capacity for governance best predicts the performance countries have against the coronavirus.

Did Vietnam’s Maritime Militia Really Swarm a China Military Base ?
March 17, 2020

Did Vietnam’s Maritime Militia Really Swarm a China Military Base ?

By Do Thanh Hai
Though recent allegations raise more questions than they provide answers, they should reinforce the need for greater transparency in the South China Sea.

Battling COVID-19, One TikTok Challenge at a Time
March 15, 2020

Battling COVID-19, One TikTok Challenge at a Time

By Dymples Leong
From China to Vietnam, the battle against misinformation on Generation Z's favorite social media platform continues.

Even Coronavirus Couldn’t Stop the 2nd US Carrier Visit to Vietnam
March 11, 2020

Even Coronavirus Couldn’t Stop the 2nd US Carrier Visit to Vietnam

By Christopher Sharman
Mutual willingness to proceed with the visit indicates that the trust between Washington and Hanoi has reached a new level.
Japan’s Misguided Alliance With Myanmar’s Abusive Military 
March 10, 2020

Japan’s Misguided Alliance With Myanmar’s Abusive Military 

By Teppei Kasai
While other democracies have recoiled in horror, Japan has continued to pour overseas aid into Myanmar.

The Legitimacy of the Afghan Government Post-Election and After the US-Taliban Deal
March 10, 2020

The Legitimacy of the Afghan Government Post-Election and After the US-Taliban Deal

By Najibullah Noorzai
How can the Afghan government revive its legitimacy ahead of the intra-Afghan peace talks?
ASEAN Must Do More to Help the Rohingyas
March 09, 2020

ASEAN Must Do More to Help the Rohingyas

By Kasit Piromya
ASEAN must move from aid to rights advocacy in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. 

The World Sees a Public Health Crisis. Beijing Sees a Political Threat.
March 09, 2020

The World Sees a Public Health Crisis. Beijing Sees a Political Threat.

By Sarah Cook
Amid the coronavirus epidemic, suppression of dissent remains a top priority for the CCP, and the stakes are higher than ever.

Afghan and Burmese Women: Sisters in the Universal Struggle for Human Rights
March 07, 2020

Afghan and Burmese Women: Sisters in the Universal Struggle for Human Rights

By Kamal Ahmad and Farhat Popal
It is essential that the international community continue to invest in women and girls around the world.

The US-Taliban Deal Ignores Human Rights and Women
March 06, 2020

The US-Taliban Deal Ignores Human Rights and Women

By Farahnaz Ispahani
The Trump administration's deal with the Taliban ignores human rights concerns.
The World Must Respond to Hong Kong’s Latest Politicized Arrests
March 06, 2020

The World Must Respond to Hong Kong’s Latest Politicized Arrests

By Benedict Rogers
Arresting mainstream politicians and a media mogul for peaceful protest marks a sharp escalation in the assault on Hong Kong’s freedoms.

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