Last Tuesday, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte presented his Cabinet-in-waiting to the public for the first time. The rite of political passage was quickly overshadowed, however, when Duterte's news conference took a by-now-familiar turn for the bizarre.
Words cannot begin to describe the devastation and suffering that has befallen Syria, now in its fifth year of civil war. Upon his return from the ravaged country, the U.N.'s humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, solemnly told the U.N. Security Council, "I have run out of words to fully explain how the actions of the parties to the conflict have led to the devastation of a country and its people."
When a group of Asian editors met Chinese leaders on Tuesday, they got right down to business.No, they did not discuss the state of China's economy or prospects for its reforms. Nor did they dwell on China's internal reforms or crackdown on corruption.
The visit to Hong Kong by Chinese leader Zhang Dejiang -- third-ranking official of the Chinese Communist Party, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the top official responsible for Hong Kong affairs -- was clearly an attempt by Beijing to appear to be conciliatory, with Zhang holding a brief meeting with four pan-democratic legislators.
The Executive Yuan, or Cabinet, announced last Monday that a marine cooperation dialogue mechanism would be set up between Taiwan and Japan before the end of July to solve the inane political squabble touched off by the Japanese detention of a Taiwanese long-line fishing boat in the part of the open sea where Tokyo claims as the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Okinotori Atoll in the West Pacific.
"Tsai is 'extreme' because she is single: China."
Tsai Ing-wen has been formally inaugurated as the new president of Taiwan. She is the first woman to hold this top government position, a milestone of tremendous importance.
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.