Asia

Putin – A star or a tsar?

More than twenty years have passed since the fall of The Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. These events left the world in an optimistic spirit. With the end of the Cold War, people all around the world dreamed about a world of cooperation. Russia started to …

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Monarchy, military and democracy – a look at the power dynamics in Thailand

State power in Thailand has been divided between 3 key actors in recent political history: the monarchy, the military, and the democratically elected government. Now with the change of the monarch, continued rule of the military junta and a promised general election for next year, how will governance in Thailand …

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The Chinese ‘Black Mirror’: heightened censorship in the land of the dragon

“Stressed spelled backwards is dessert.” It is late October, rainy. I am having coffee with a couple who just left Beijing after working there for several years. They seem happy to be somewhere else, even with the bad weather. The small Italian café has encouraging signs on the walls, telling …

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Japan and Vietnam: Asia’s Overlooked Friendship

When the news cycle is dominated by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and China’s resurgence, it’s often easy to forget that there are other major players in East Asia. Two, Japan and Vietnam, have quietly been increasing their economic and military co-operation. After the United States’ long-standing arms embargo on …

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The persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar

On August 25, 2017, a small faction of Rohingya militants known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) carried out an attack on three border posts in the Rakhine state, leaving twelve police officers dead. This prompted a brutal government-approved military retaliation, which in turn led to the outbreak of …

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Migration is here to stay, how can Europe benefit?

Over the past few years, the official strategy of the European Union (EU) to mitigate migratory pressures has been to promote economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, this strategy contradicts most economic studies, which show that migration increases as countries develop, which is why international organizations are redoubling their efforts …

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The Wilful Destruction of Uighur Culture

“Are there any Uighurs on this train?” asked the policeman. Yes, there were, and they all had to show their ID’s and open their bags for inspection. I was on a 46-hour train ride from Chengdu, a city of more than 10 million in eastern China, to Xinjiang, China’s largest …

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How does the United States shoot down a nuclear missile?

IT IS SAID that the late leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, once warned that in the scenario of a nuclear war, “the survivors will envy the dead”. Nonetheless, on July 4th, North Korea tested its first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) which, if successful, could reach the United States …

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Winter is Coming to Westeros but Disappearing on Earth

There is squabbling between the kingdoms in the fantasy world of  the HBO TV series “Game of Thrones”, and a great enemy to all is near. But what could this famous fictional world tell us about the real world we are living in? Is there a threat so great that …

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Clickbait Catastrophe: the Case of Mumbai’s Blue Dogs

India is home to the world’s largest population of stray dogs, numbering in the tens of millions and responsible for about a third of rabies deaths worldwide. Since 2001, dogs have been protected under Indian law, and over the last fifteen years their population has skyrocketed. Street dogs have become …

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