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Asia Unbound

CFR experts give their take on the cutting-edge issues emerging in Asia today.

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Showing posts for "Taiwan"

Friday Asia Update: Top Five Stories for the Week of June 28, 2013

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Australia's new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, gestures at a news conference at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Brisbane on February 24, 2012. Australia's new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, gestures at a news conference at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Brisbane on February 24, 2012. (Renee Melides/Courtesy Reuters)

Sharone Tobias and Will Piekos look at the top five stories in Asia this week.

1. Julia Gillard is ousted as Australia’s prime minister, replaced by Kevin Rudd. Australia’s first female prime minister was ousted by the Labor Party on Thursday over fears that the party would lose September’s election with her at the helm. She was replaced by Kevin Rudd, who previously served as prime minister until a 2010 party coup. Chief among the Labor Party’s concerns is Australia’s faltering economy and slowing mining boom. Rudd, a fluent Mandarin speaker, also urged China to finalize a free trade agreement with Australia. Chinese farmers are worried that their businesses could be hurt by the free trade agreement because of the size of Australia’s agricultural output. Read more »

Sharone Tobias: Internet and Press Freedom in Taiwan

by Guest Blogger for Adam Segal
A general view shows booths at the 2013 Computex exhibition, the world's second largest computer show, in Taipei World Trade Center on June 3, 2013. (Pichi Chuang/Courtesy Reuters) A general view shows booths at the 2013 Computex exhibition, the world's second largest computer show, in Taipei World Trade Center on June 3, 2013. (Pichi Chuang/Courtesy Reuters)

Sharone Tobias is a Research Associate for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Earlier this month, Taiwanese Internet advocacy groups succeeded in shutting down an anti-piracy bill similar to the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The bill was an amendment to the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office’s Copyright Act, and would have forced Internet service providers to block a list of domains or IP addresses connected to websites and services that enable illegal file sharing. The plan would have allowed Taiwan’s bureaucracies to create a blacklist for websites and peer-to-peer sharing tools like BitTorrent, rather than blocking individual videos and files as the law currently allows. Read more »

Friday Asia Update: Top Five Stories for the Week of June 14, 2013

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Protesters supporting Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), chant slogans as they march to the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong on June 13, 2013. (Bobby Yip/Courtesy Reuters) Protesters supporting Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), chant slogans as they march to the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong on June 13, 2013. (Bobby Yip/Courtesy Reuters)

Sharone Tobias and Will Piekos look at the top five stories in Asia this week. There will be no Friday Asia Update next week, June 21st. 

1. Leaked NSA information could hurt U.S.-China ties; Snowden makes it to Hong Kong. Edward Snowden, a twenty-nine year-old Booz Allen Hamilton employee and contractor with the National Security Agency (NSA), fled to Hong Kong shortly before leaking information about a secretive NSA program called Prism. From Hong Kong, Snowden told Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post that the U.S. government has been hacking into computers in Hong Kong and mainland China for years. Read more »

Friday Asia Update: Top Five Stories for the Week of May 17, 2013

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Former police officer Abner Afuang burns a replica of Taiwan's national flag as he protests against the mistreatment of Filipinos working overseas, along a main street of Manila on May 17, 2013. (Courtesy Reuters/Romeo Ranoco) Former police officer Abner Afuang burns a replica of Taiwan's national flag as he protests against the mistreatment of Filipinos working overseas, along a main street of Manila on May 17, 2013. (Courtesy Reuters/Romeo Ranoco)

Sharone Tobias and Will Piekos look at the top five stories in Asia this week.

1. Tensions between Taiwan, Philippines escalate. The Philippine navy opened fire on a Taiwanese fishing vessel last week in disputed waters, killing one man on board and igniting a new round of tensions in the South China Sea. Though Philippine officials (including the president) have expressed their sympathies, Taiwan has rejected these apologies as lacking “sincerity.”  In response, Taipei recalled its envoy to the Philippines, announced a hiring freeze of Filipino workers, and held military drills. Yesterday, the Philippine envoy to Taiwan advised thousands of Filipino workers not to leave their homes. Read more »

Taiwan’s Media Uproar: A New Generation Comes of Age

by Guest Blogger for Elizabeth C. Economy
Jimmy Lai, chairman and founder of Next Media, holds up a copy of the Apple Daily newspaper as he speaks to Reuters in Taipei on November 29, 2010. Jimmy Lai, chairman and founder of Next Media, holds up a copy of the Apple Daily newspaper as he speaks to Reuters in Taipei on November 29, 2010. (Nicky Loh/Courtesy Reuters)

James Stand is an intern for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The November 27 sale of Beijing critic Jimmy Lai’s Next Media Ltd. to Tsai Eng-Meng’s pro-Beijing media consortium Want Want Group has rekindled the debate over Taiwan’s media freedom. The proposed sale has exposed the failures of Taiwan’s media regulatory bodies, and, more importantly, has energized journalists, students, and freedom of speech advocates and inspired protests in defense of Taiwan’s free press. Read more »

Guest Post: Taiwan and the TPP: Don’t Count Your Chickens

by Elizabeth Leader
AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt greets Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou at the Presidential Office in Taipei. AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt greets Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou at the Presidential Office in Taipei. (Central News Agency/Courtesy Reuters)

Following the recent reelection of Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou, media outlets worldwide have speculated about the president’s economic posture in his second term: Will he continue to advance relations with the mainland, or shift his gaze outward toward Taiwan’s neighbors in the Pacific? Hence, it is no surprise that the announcement of President Ma’s intent to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) has been cast by the media as a hot button issue. Read more »

Guest Post: Jared Mondschein on Asia Behind the Headlines

by Elizabeth C. Economy
A worker unloads coal at a storage site along a railway station in Shenyang, Liaoning province on April 13, 2010. A worker unloads coal at a storage site along a railway station in Shenyang, Liaoning province on April 13, 2010. (Sheng Li / Courtesy of Reuters)

Jared Mondschein looks at the key stories in Asia behind the headlines.

Another Unfortunate First for China – Already the largest consumer and producer of coal in the world, China has now reached another milestone with one of the dirtiest of energy sources: It now imports more coal than any other country. Japan had been the top importer of coal since 1976, but China’s rapid economic growth and consequent energy demand have forced Beijing to seek energy sources wherever they can find them. Even more concerning: China’s coal consumption is projected to increase every year for the next fifteen years. Read more »

China, Hong Kong and Taiwan: Running Dogs, Democracy, and More

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Kong Qingdong, a direct descendant of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, stands in front of a painting depicting celebrities and world leaders, including a dancing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, at the Confucius Peace Prize ceremony in Beijing on December 9, 2011. Kong Qingdong, a direct descendant of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, stands in front of a painting depicting celebrities and world leaders, including a dancing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, at the Confucius Peace Prize ceremony in Beijing on December 9, 2011. (David Gray / Courtesy of Reuters)

Kong Qingdong has gone viral. The Peking University professor of literature and descendant of Confucius has become an overnight celebrity with his televised rant against Hong Kong. In a televised interview, Kong rails against non-Mandarin speaking Hong Kongers, denounces their rule of law system, and calls them “running dogs,” a Maoist-era epithet that typified the class warfare of the 1950s and 60s. What induced this attack was a momentary interchange on a Hong Kong subway between a Hong Kong resident and a mainland woman, in which the Hong Konger told the woman that her child should not be eating on the subway. Read more »

What to Expect in Asia in 2012

by Evan A. Feigenbaum

Traders stand near a screen showing the Indonesia Stock Exchange Composite Index during the first day of trading for 2012 in Jakarta January 2, 2012. Courtesy Reuters/Stringer.

It’s been a fascinating year for Asia. The region has continued to consolidate its role as the essential player driving global recovery. Developing Asia, including China, India, and the major ASEAN economies, maintained robust growth, in contrast to the advanced economies’ collective anemic growth over the same period.

But 2012 promises to be more fraught as domestic politics take command amid new challenges to growth.

Here are twelve trends I see coming for Asia in 2012—risks, opportunities, and emerging patterns that will shape Asia during the next twelve months, and beyond.

Read more »

Asia Behind the Headlines

by Elizabeth C. Economy
A floating restaurant is stranded in a branch of the Yangtze River in Chongqing Municipality on March 21, 2010.

A floating restaurant is stranded in a branch of the Yangtze River in Chongqing Municipality on March 21, 2010. (Stringer Shanghai / Courtesy of Reuters)

Jared Mondschein looks at the key stories behind the headlines in Asia.

- One less hurdle to the dam – The New York Times is reporting that the Xiaonanhai Dam along the Yangtze River, a $3.8 billion project that environmentalists have derided for its dire ecological impacts, is back on track for construction. China’s State Council decided to reduce the boundaries of a Yangtze River preserve—that had been established to protect biodiversity in the wake of the Three Gorges dam—signaling that overall approval for the project is imminent. According to one Chinese geologist, the dam will displace 400,000 people and flood 18 square miles of fertile farmland. All this to produce power at a cost of about $2,144 per kilowatt, triple the cost of the Three Gorges Dam.

- Where does China want foreigners investing? The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planning agency, announced the latest revision to the foreign direct investment catalogue. The catalogue, a list of industries that the NDRC divides into the categories encouraged, allowed, and restricted, for the first time deemed car-making and polysilicon plants as only allowed – not encouraged, as it had done previously. Are foreign carmakers worried? For the most part, those already in the country aren’t, but the future does not look at bright for those still waiting to be allowed to enter the market, such as Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, the maker of Subaru. Read more »