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May, 1, 2016

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Commentary > China Post > Special
A world away from this side of the Pacific in California's largest city, where leaders from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors are convening for the annual Milken Institute Global Conference, concerns continue to grow about the sustainability of mainland China's relatively rapid rise.
 
In thinking about the children caught up in the Syrian refugee crisis, it might be tempting to quote the age-old adage and ignore them as "children of a lesser God." Not quite.
 
When the Disney movie Frozen was all the rage in South Korea in early 2014, comparisons abounded between the cartoon's ice queen character Elsa and the country's President Park Geun-hye.
 
The Republic of China (R.O.C.) is party to the conflicts in the Taiwan Strait and the East and South China Seas. Should the military competition between the United States and China lead to war, Taiwan will be part of it. Time to reconsider the strategic importance of a tiny island only 130 kilometers away from the mainland. It is a small but central element of East Asia's security architecture.
 
At this late stage of the ongoing Philippines presidential contest, the man to beat appears to be Rodrigo Duterte -- until very recently an outsider to national politics who very few thoughtful Filipinos took seriously. How does one account for the phenomenal rise to national stature of a local politician from a remote corner of southern Philippines?
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For the first time in its history, there will be a Nobel Peace laureate and the world's most famous political icon in the family of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), which serves as the ASEAN annual meeting.
 
On April 25, 2015 I witnessed the powerful earthquake that struck Nepal. It was an enormous tragedy that hit this country. The earthquake took the lives of nearly 9,000 people, injured twice as many and displaced hundreds of thousands.
 
Thailand's bitter political rivals may be finding themselves in unfamiliar waters leading to the upcoming referendum on the charter draft. That is to say that the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties may have to conspire for the sake of their very slight common interests. Having fought bitterly in a cutthroat showdown that was largely responsible for the military intervention a couple years ago, the country's two biggest political camps must want to restore at least a semblance of the arena where they used to go toe-to-toe.
 
We have just stepped into the Nepal New Year and it has now been a full year since the devastating earthquake knocked us all out of our complacency and tendency to take things for granted. The quake left almost 9,000 people dead, thousands more injured, and countless others homeless, as their houses were destroyed and many villages were reduced to rubble.
 
The debate in Britain on whether the country should get out or remain in the European Union (EU) is fascinating on a number of scores.
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