North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
Papua New Guinea (Independent State of Papua New Guinea)
Philippines (Republic of the Philippines)
Singapore (Republic of Singapore)
South Korea (Republic of Korea)
Thailand (Kingdom of Thailand)
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of Vietnam)
Articles from the World Press
East Asia in General
1. America’s Place in the Asian Cen-tury, Kishore Mahbubani, Current History, May 2008. If, as it is predicted, China and India take over the top places as the world’s largest economies, and if China continues to acquire power inside Asia, will the United States, which has been the main power-broker in the region, have a role to play?
2. A Country on the Move: China Urban-izes, Kate Merkel-Hess and Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, Current History, April 2009. If there is anything that worries Chinese leaders it is the arrival into the cities of large numbers of poorly educated, rural workers. They present a security risk that the Chinese government has of-ten handled with heavy-handed tactics. What will happen as China continues to urbanize?
3. Blind Chinese Rights Champion Ordered to Prison, Calum MacLeod, USA To-day, August 25, 2006. Inspired by radio broadcasts from the United States, a blind Chinese activist blew the whistle on thousands of forced abortions and sterilizations and was sentenced to prison for four years.
4. Soldier Remembers Tianan-men, Christopher Bodeen, Deseret News, March 19, 2009. In this Associated Press release, reporter Christopher Bodeen summarizes the views of a former Red Army soldier and medic who was present at the massacre of Tiananmen Square in 1989. He later served three years in a labor camp for political crimes.
5. China’s Agony of Defeat, Orville Schell, Newsweek, August 4, 2008. China’s desire to prevail at everything it attempts, including the 2008 Olym-pics, stems from its history of humiliation by the West. In their minds, "victimhood" has given China’s leaders the moral authority to do whatever it takes to put China at the top.
6. Hong Kong’s Make-Believe Elec-tion, The Economist, March 17, 2007. In two previous elections for chief executive, no opposition candi-dates emerged. But in 2007, a semblance of a democratic election process was begun when a challenger came for-ward. Yet, the public was not allowed into some of the de-bates and pro-democracy activists were forcibly removed from the debate hall.
7. Indonesia’s Reform Era Faces a Test, Greg Fealy, Current History, November 2008. Recent reforms in Indonesia are likely to remain as the country has successfully navigated the transition, begun in 1998, from Suharto’s authoritarianism to democ-racy.
8. A New Strategy on Myanmar, Morton Abramowitz and Jonathan Kolieb, Current His-tory, November 2008. For twenty years, the West has been wringing its hands about Myanmar. No matter what they have done, the untenable situation in that country re-mains unchanged. Perhaps it is time for a new strat-egy.
9. Inside the Hermit Kingdom, Mat-thew Cook, Conde Nast Traveler, October 2008. Very few people have ever been allowed inside North Ko-rea as tourists. Cook gives readers a quick glance inside one of the world’s most closed civiliza-tions.
Thailand and the Philippines
10. People Power Sours: Uncivil Society in Thailand and the Philippines, Mark R. Thompson, Current History, November 2008. The business communities in Thailand and the Philippines have histori-cally been quite vocal about their desire for democracy. But when the majority speaks, they seem more and more un-willing to accept the results. Is democracy really possible in these societies?
11. Taiwan’s Liberation of China, Randall Schriver and Mark Stokes, Current History, September 2008. Much has been made of the possible vio-lent takeover of Taiwan by a menacing China, but Schriver and Stokes point out that Taiwan has gained the clout to lead China toward a more moderate stance in world affairs and toward itself.
12. Cultural Revolution, The Economist, March 17, 2007. While the pro-independence party of Chen Shui-bian was in power in Taiwan, efforts were made to distance the country from its ties with the mainland, including minimizing the historical role of Chiang Kai-shek.
13. Asia’s Democracy Backlash, Joshua Kurlantzick, Current History, November 2008. For years, the United States has been the beacon of democracy in Southeast Asia. Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, and even Thailand, seem to be listening more to China to-day than ever before. Is democracy doomed in Southeast Asia?
14. Yoneji Kuroyanagi, Hisashi Kondo, Japan Plus, August 2006. Professor Kuroy-anagi discusses the role of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in creating an East Asian Com-munity. He believes that a European Union-type commu-nity will never be developed in East Asia.
15. In Japan, New Nationalism Takes Hold, Robert Marquand, The Christian Science Monitior, December 28, 2006. Is Japan experiencing an awakening nationalism? Can evidence of it be found in magazines, in cartoons, on television, and in the speech content of motivational speakers? Despite the continuation of a strongly pacifist national personality, new voices are emerging that show Japan moving slowly away from its moderate world view of the past 50 years.