A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. That was how British statesman Winston Churchill described Russia, but it also fits China, which has risen astoundingly in just over three decades to become the world's No. 2 economy.
With the country stuck in the middle-income trap for more than a decade, the government says it is now booting up "Thailand 4.0" to pluck the Kingdom from its "lost decade." How that will come about is perhaps more important than what the ambitious plan is all about.
The United States' decision to lift all restrictions on arms sales to Vietnam slays the ghosts of the Cold War, even as it shows how Washington is squaring up to face new challenges to its global dominance.
In response to the thoughtful inaugural address by Taiwan's new president, Tsai Ing-wen, China's Taiwan Affairs Office had a simple rejoinder: her speech was an "incomplete test answer." In China's view, she must do the test over and fully meet China's demands before she can get a passing grade.
It was a challenging conversation. The Moroccan parliamentarian I was talking to wasn't having any of it. Egypt was the largest Muslim country in the world, he insisted. Why on earth was I talking about Indonesia?
Like turkeys praying for a Christmas they would probably never enjoy, large sections of Britons are being lured by a Europhobic popular press and jingoistic politicians into thinking it would be a good thing if their country left the European Union.
The Economist called President Ma Ying-jeou a "Bumbler" in 2012. Social media in Taiwan call him a "loser," a transliteration of lu she (魯蛇) in Chinese, which means almost the same in English.
A coalition government with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has been proposed by presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte with an offer of at least four Cabinet portfolios -- agrarian reform, social welfare, environment and natural resources, and labor.
North Korea, the world's last remaining truly totalitarian dictatorship, held a Communist Party Congress from May 6 to 9. Tight total control of the enormous, closely choreographed show was self-evident. The last such party congress was held in 1980, an occasion for regime founder Kim Il Sung to indicate succession of power to his son Kim Jong Il.
Graduates at high schools and universities all over Taiwan are dealing these days with traditional "xie shih yen" questions. As much as I enjoy these celebrations, I believe we are long overdue in our need to change some of their aspects.