Recent elections for the new non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council went off with a predictable yawn. Countries representing regional groups gained the coveted two-year rotating membership without opposition and basically by acclimation. A secret ballot was set; vote for one out of one. So when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia won a coveted seat for the Asian group, there was polite applause, wry smiles, and then later political shock and awe when the Saudi's rejected the seat and renounced the Council's role in the Syrian war.
When Prime Minister Najib Razak, wearing his finance minister's hat, presents the 2014 budget today, the big question is whether he will lead Malaysia to finally bite the bullet to strengthen the economy.
If you believe that all politics is local, you will have to apply that to economics as well. Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul spoke at a Harvard gathering recently about why what happens in “emerging markets” matters. His main take: ultimately, growth depends on what happens at home.
Guiding North Korean defectors to a secure and stable life here may be a key touchstone of Seoul's capability to smoothly integrate the two disparate societies in the event of national reunification. Defectors who have successfully settled in the South would be able to play a bridging role to facilitate the integration process.
Ever since the Second World War, the United States has played an indispensable role, ensuring peace and order in the world and creating conditions that allowed for the revitalization of the war-torn countries of Europe and Asia. During the Cold War, of course, the U.S. also expected the beneficiaries of its support to line up on its side against the Soviet bloc.
2013/10/23, 5 Comments
After the U.S. lifted its embargo following former president Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972, China began learning from Western examples. The establishment of a series of special economic zones was part of the lesson China learned, which has now prompted it to set up the Shanghai free trade zone (FTZ).
China has devised a set of comprehensive rebalancing strategies to ASEAN focusing on Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. They would strengthen Bejing's new diplomatic strongholds under the fifth generation leader, President Xi Jinping. Given the present regional strategic environment, ASEAN is the top priority of China's foreign policy towards neighboring countries.
Actually, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III can, by his lonesome, abolish the pork barrel — if he wants to.
Some 120 academics and experts on both sides of the Taiwan Strait met for two days in Shanghai on Oct. 11 and 12. They exchanged views on relations between Taiwan and China at the first Cross-Strait Peace Forum, organized by China's National Society of Taiwan Studies and Taiwan's 21st Century Foundation along with 12 other think tanks.
- Joe Hung, 2 Comments
The story of Joseph and his brothers in the Bible has so much to tell us about our psychological selves. In addition, part of Joseph's tale links rather nicely with a certain someone here at home in Taiwan.