Hong Kong is panicking at the discovery that the drinking water supply at several of its housing estates is contaminated, with samples showing lead that exceeds the World Health Organization's guideline of 10 micrograms per liter.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe failed to grasp the nettle when he delivered a much-touted address on the 70th anniversary of his nation's surrender at the end of World War II.
Despite strong opposition from China, the South China Sea issue was vigorously discussed by ASEAN foreign ministers at their annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur last week, as well as by foreign ministers of the United States, Japan and other countries.
Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Kenya, his father's birthplace, for the first time since becoming president in 2009. Also on his itinerary was Ethiopia. It was the first time for a serving American president to visit either country.
Two and a half years after the Philippines first sought international arbitration in its disputes with China over the South China Sea, the first hearings were finally held in The Hague this month by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, despite China's refusal to take part and its contention that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction.
The historic agreement reached by the world's major powers and Iran on that country's nuclear program marked the Obama administration's biggest diplomatic achievement in six years. China was one of the P5+1 countries negotiating with Iran. What was its role?
Since early this year, Beijing has been capitalizing on the fact that 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and has repeatedly sought to embarrass Japan by reminding the world of its aggression against China in the 1930s and 1940s.
China's new national security law, enacted last week by the National People's Congress, the country's parliament, is worrying on several levels, both because of what it says and because of what is left ambiguous.
Chinese sayings are hot these days. The United States Supreme Court, in its ruling on same-sex marriage, cited Confucius. And at the opening of the U.S.-China strategic and economic dialogue last Tuesday, speakers from both sides quoted Chinese proverbs, showing that they at least had something in common.
As expected, the Hong Kong Government's electoral reform package, which had been the focus of heated debate, failed to pass in the Legislative Council, thus blocking Beijing's formula for "one man, one vote" elections for Chief Executive in 2017.