| May 24, 2014

Tiananmen Square stokes patriotic education

Last week, I discussed the prelude to the Tiananmen Square uprising and the ruthless government crackdown on June 4, 1989. The slaughter of students and their supporters who gathered in Beijing in the spring of 1989 and occupied Tiananmen Square for seven weeks made ...

| May 17, 2014

Tiananmen's silver year: from protest to massacre

Twenty-five years ago on June 4 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) turned on Chinese citizens in a ruthless display of violence, not for the first time, slaughtering many in the streets of Beijing to crush a pro-democracy movement lead by university students. From April ...

| May 10, 2014

The Sewol tragedy: for whom the bell tolls

South Korea is a nation in mourning, sharing the unfathomable grief of parents who lost their teenage children on what should have been a festive school trip. It is a nation experiencing collective depression, where many are tormented by the heartbreaking and endless grim ...

| May 3, 2014

Obama's pivot to Asia: Rebalance and reassure

Summits are all about symbolism and optics and on that score U.S. President Barack Obama’s swing through Asia was a qualified success. Another few nails were hammered into the coffin of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with officials now edging toward a face saving TPP-Lite, ...

| Apr 26, 2014

Asian paradox: Closer but cooler

The mini-Cold War between Japan and South Korea has kept Washington busy as it tries to forge closer security ties between its allies to offset the rise of China. Policymakers confront the Asian paradox of deepening distrust and conflict in tandem with widening economic ...

| Apr 19, 2014

Team Abe's alternate-reality Kool-Aid

Japan’s relations with China and South Korea are in tatters, there has been no progress on dealing with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, strains with Washington persist, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks are at an impasse, whaling got harpooned and hopes for a deal ...

| Apr 12, 2014

Weapons for peace and proactive pacifism

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has relaxed curbs on arms exports and sees great market potential in Asia. In the Pacific Century, Asia’s impressive economic growth is funding expanding defense budgets, making the region the most lucrative global arms market. Alas, it is also a ...