Conversations with Thaksin, Thailand's prime suspect

Jan 25, 2012

Conversations with Thaksin, Thailand's prime suspect

THE SHOCKING COUP: “The situation is no good.” “It’s just a matter of time,” a top minister had told him. “We only have a few weeks left before they act.” Another had told him: “Our days are numbered.” By Sept. 17, 2006, in New ...

Jan 20, 2012

Finessing the dramatic opening to Myanmar

Perhaps a democratic system of government will not prove the final answer for Myanmar. Just take a look at the Philippines if you’re crazy about another possible “for sale” democracy in Asia. But considering what the good people of what used to be called ...

Dec 26, 2011

The Korean god that failed and then was gone

Major historic chapter-ending news often seems so terribly sudden. Many North Koreans were said to be sincerely weeping over the demise of “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il, but for other people around the world, the end came none too soon. Their eyes are quite ...

Nov 22, 2011

Guess who's suddenly inviting Uncle Sam to dinner?

Real-life diplomacy reveals, as Lord Palmerston, twice British prime minister (1855-8, 1859-65), famously put it: “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.” Over the decades ...

Nov 7, 2011

Asian leader receives coveted American award

They honored the controversial, though increasingly appreciated, Asian statesman Lee Kuan Yew at the historic Ford Theater in Washington recently, and I wish I had been there. Exceptional leaders are hard to find anywhere on the globe, including Asia. Until his recent retirement, this ...

Sep 19, 2011

'Our prosperity is not a threat to our neighbors'

Modern-day China still seems to search for a clear-headed sense of its true self and its proper place in the 21st-century sun. Where and how this otherwise predictable resource-seeking superpower will fit into the scheme of things on this troubled planet is the 1.3 ...

Aug 17, 2011

Rising superpower floats an aircraft carrier

China’s new (and first) aircraft carrier isn’t fully operational yet. But whatever its ultimate naval potency, we know that it does at least float! It’s currently in a mainland dock for further dressing up and hosting of crew training before setting sail. We recall ...

Jul 16, 2011

No 'one size fits all' for democracy

“Political man” is a complicated species. Cultural conditions and history differ widely. Humility in the interpretation and prediction of human nature is the wisest bet. The evolving “Arab Spring,” as the media term it, is viewed through Western eyes as if the transformation of ...

Jun 22, 2011

Kissinger analysis key to understanding China

It is very tempting to proclaim “On China” as the most important new nonfiction book of 2011. But that it may well be. Several reasons compel this judgment. The first is that this extraordinarily clear-headed analytical study has just one central focus: China. It ...

Jun 10, 2011

Round two for a U.N. workaholic

What’s surprising about the probable confirmation of incumbent United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for a second five-year term is not its near-certainty. It is the virtual lack of controversy surrounding it. If you judged the former South Korean foreign minister’s first term ...