Asia Unbound

Asia Unbound

CFR fellows and other experts assess the latest issues emerging in Asia today.

Latest Post

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his fourth State of the Nation Address at the Philippine Congress in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines on July 22, 2019. Eloisa Lopez/Reuters

Duterte Terminates the Visiting Forces Agreement … or Does He?

Last week, after hinting at it for some time, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte officially announced he would terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States. Under the agreement, in place for two decades, the Pentagon can keep rotations of troops in the Philippines. As Richard Heydarian has noted, the deal also provides a legal basis for U.S.-Philippine joint exercises. Read More

Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia Continues to Struggle to Confront the Coronavirus
Although Southeast Asia remains the region where the coronavirus is most likely to spread in significant numbers, most of the region’s states remain significantly underprepared to deal with the virus…
Tracking Trade Tensions With India
President Donald J. Trump heads to India at the end of the month— this week the White House formally announced the trip for February 24 and 25, with Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and New Delhi the main stops. …
Southeast Asia
A Horrific Mass Shooting in Thailand: Some Thoughts
Over the weekend, Thailand suffered a horrific mass shooting, in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima, known as Korat. A gunman apparently angered about a land dispute attacked his commanding o…
  • Coronavirus
    The Coronavirus Tests Xi Jinping's Top-Down System
    The coronavirus outbreak is on track to become the worst humanitarian and economic crisis of Xi Jinping's tenure, but the Chinese president is certainly not likely to resign.
  • India
    South Asia Reads: February 6, 2020
    The annual budget in India and Chinese investments in Pakistan were two major opportunities to reverse declining economic fortunes in South Asia. This week's articles explain how both fell short of expectations. Plus: climate refugees in Afghanistan, weightlifters in northeast India, and more.
  • Australia
    Morrison Struggles Amidst His Bushfire Response
    Daniel Flitton is the editor of The Interpreter, a digital magazine published daily by the Lowy Institute in Sydney. When political dramas unfold in real life, they never seem to feature that one …
  • Coronavirus
    Southeast Asian Governments Struggle Against the Coronavirus Test
    The coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China, continues to spread around the globe. New cases are being discovered every day. Last week, the first domestically transmitted cases were reported in …
  • Southeast Asia
    The Uncertainty of Vietnam’s Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy
    In a major new defense white paper, its first in ten years, Vietnam has signaled that it could abandon its long-standing foreign policy strategy of hedging between major powers like China and the Uni…
  • Bangladesh
    One Year After a Contentious Election, Bangladeshis are Satisfied With the Country’s Direction
    Geoffrey Macdonald is resident program director for Bangladesh and Vivek Shivaram is program officer for South Asia at the International Republican Institute. !function(){"use strict";window.addEv…
  • India
    South Asia Reads: January 27, 2020
    As 2019 came to a close, annual reports showed just how nations' economies and governments measured up—and how countries in South Asia slid backward on many metrics. Plus: an island settlement for Rohingya refugees that leaves questions unanswered, continued protests in India, and a new approach to counter poaching in Nepal.