Asia

New dunes in Saudi Arabia

“You can look at these ancient hills and see nothing. Or, you can see nothing to hold you back.” The sandy landscape of the strictly religious desert nation of Saudi Arabia rolls across the screen. “This is the opportunity you need to write humanity’s next chapter. Neom.” The dramatic video …

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Has Taiwan found the fair way?

We all know that politics and golf go together like Donald Trump and… well, golf. And the two have many similarities: they can both be described as open exhibitions of overweening ambition, courage deflated by stupidity, and skill scoured by a whiff of arrogance. After moving between shining on the …

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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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