Asia Unbound

Asia Unbound

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

Latest Post

Medical staff in protective gear work at a 'drive-thru' testing center for COVID-19 in Yeungnam University Medical Center in Daegu, South Korea, on March 3, 2020.

Unmasking Differing U.S. and South Korean Approaches to COVID-19

Policies governing face masks and other protective equipment access have revealed the high political stakes of government responses to the crisis in an election year in both countries. Read More

Coronavirus in South Asia, March 24, 2020: Outbreak in Pakistan and India on Lockdown
No country in South Asia has been fully spared by the coronavirus pandemic. This week Pakistan’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 ticked up dramatically, and India moved into a near-complete lockdown. With a handful of cases but sandwiched between the virus’s epicenter to the north and locked-down India to the south, Nepal and Bhutan chose to proactively close their borders. Bangladesh has been reluctant to compel social distancing while Sri Lanka has imposed curfews, with violators facing arrest.
South Korea
Military Considerations for OPCON Transfer on the Korean Peninsula
Military considerations, not political aspirations, should guide the transfer. 
Coronavirus Lessons From Asia
As the United States, the United Kingdom, and European nations face rising tolls from the coronavirus pandemic, their slow, often confused initial responses have come under widespread criticism. C…
  • Coronavirus
    South Asia Reads: Coronavirus Edition
    Welcome back to South Asia Reads. This week, we've prepared an update on developments in each South Asian country, from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, regarding the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
  • China
    What the COVID-19 Pandemic May Mean for China's Belt and Road Initiative
    As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic spreads worldwide, the public health crisis and response will lay bare China’s leadership aspirations as a great power. It is too soon to say preci…
  • South Korea
    The U.S.-ROK Alliance in an Era of Uncertainty: Challenges and Priorities
    Strengthening South Korea’s alliance with the United States begins with a return to strong shared values and principles based on the common systems of liberal democracy and market economy.
  • China
    China and Coronavirus: From Home-Made Disaster to Global Mega-Opportunity
    Despite an initially horrendous response to the coronavirus, covering up initial warning signs, suppressing information about it, and allowing some five million people to leave Wuhan in a rush before…
  • Southeast Asia
    Has Malaysia’s Democratic Experiment Imploded?
    In recent weeks, Malaysian politics have been upended by a series of dramatic moves, countermoves, and reversals. Less than two years after the landmark May 2018 election that ousted Malaysia’s long-…
  • China
    China’s State Media Outlets: The White House Cracks Down, But How Much of a Threat Are They?
    In recent weeks, the Trump administration has taken increasingly tough measures against Chinese state media outlets operating in the United States. The White House has forced state broadcasters like …