Tag: Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas

With a Smile, Southeast Asian Nations Protect an Authoritarian

BANGKOK — ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is not an acronym that tends to excite. Founded on notions of consensus-building and noninterference, the 10-nation group issues pronouncements drowning in careful and bland language. This week, though, regional governments have banded together to use ASEAN’s principles to justify a startling act: blocking Cambodian […]

Read More

Hong Kong Court Rules Against Same-Sex Unions

HONG KONG — A Hong Kong court ruled Friday against allowing same-sex unions in the city, a setback for efforts to broaden recognition of such partnerships in Asia. The decision by Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance upheld a government policy prohibiting such unions. It came five months after Taiwan’s government became the first in […]

Read More

Building for Real With Digital Blocks

In 2011, Jorgen Hallstrom, a project manager at Swedish Building Services, was redesigning public housing complexes around Stockholm. The buildings were rundown and bleak, the public spaces uninviting. Mr. Hallstrom, like any developer, wanted to get residents’ views. But he knew that very few would come to hear about the project, and those that did […]

Read More

The Mystery of the Melanistic Manta Rays

Spanning up to 25 feet from wing to wing, manta rays look like U.F.O.’s from below. If you ever get a chance to dive with them, look up. Lights won’t beam down and abduct you, but something about their bellies may surprise you. Most are white, but some are splattered with unique black blotches. This […]

Read More

Snakehead Fish Found in Georgia: ‘Kill It Immediately’

It was described as “a companion for the Creature from the Black Lagoon” when it appeared in Maryland, as “Frankenfish” when it was caught in Virginia and as the “freshwater fish equivalent of a tank” when it showed up in the Harlem Meer in New York. There has been no end to the creepy descriptions […]

Read More

Kiribati Cuts Taiwan Ties in Favor of China, Further Challenging Taipei

TAIPEI, Taiwan — For the second time in a week, a Pacific island nation has decided to break diplomatic ties with Taiwan in order to establish official relations with China, further isolating Taiwan diplomatically as Beijing spreads its wealth to court the handful of nations that still recognize the government in Taipei. The government of […]

Read More

Industrial Policy Isn’t Boring. It’s Big, and It Has United the Left and Right.

Just a few years ago, the phrase “industrial policy” was employed mainly as a term of abuse. Economists almost universally insisted that state interventions to improve competitiveness, prioritize investment in strategic sectors and structure market incentives around political goals were backward policies doomed to failure — whether applied in America, Asia or anywhere in between. […]

Read More

Kim Jong-un’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

SEOUL, South Korea — Guess what country just issued stamps of Donald Trump? North Korea! Yes: An official postage stamp features grave-looking likenesses of President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, standing side by side. It commemorates their pleasantry-laden chitchat earlier this summer at Panmunjom, in the Demilitarized Zone between the two […]

Read More

Waning of American Power? Trump Struggles With an Asia in Crisis

WASHINGTON — For two and a half years, President Trump has said he is finally doing in Asia what he asserts his predecessor, Barack Obama, failed to achieve with a strategic pivot: strengthen American influence and rally partners to push back against China. But as violence escalates and old animosities are rekindled across Asia, Washington […]

Read More

Finding Amelia Earhart’s Plane Seemed Impossible. Then Came a Startling Clue.

Robert Ballard is the finder of important lost things. In 1985, he discovered the Titanic scattered beneath the Atlantic Ocean. He and his team also located the giant Nazi battleship Bismarck and, more recently, 18 shipwrecks in the Black Sea. Dr. Ballard has always wanted to find the remains of the plane Amelia Earhart was […]

Read More

Protest at Hong Kong Airport Forces More Than 100 Flight Cancellations

HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s airport canceled more than 100 flights on Monday afternoon after thousands of demonstrators flooded the transportation hub, one of the world’s busiest, in a show of anger over the police’s response to protests the night before. The cancellation of well over 100 flights, including many departing after 6 p.m. was […]

Read More

The Treaty’s Dead. Now Level the Field.

After more than 30 years, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (I.N.F.) Treaty ended last week, with an American withdrawal on Friday and a Russian withdrawal on Saturday. Although the United States abided by the terms of the treaty, Russia violated it by fielding more than 100 banned intermediate-range missiles, and China, which was never bound by […]

Read More

Pentagon Chief in Favor of Deploying U.S. Missiles to Asia

SYDNEY, Australia — The American defense secretary, Mark T. Esper, said Saturday that he was in favor of deploying ground-based missiles to Asia, a day after the United States formally pulled out of a Cold War-era arms treaty that directly limited such weapons. Mr. Esper, speaking to reporters on his way to Australia, said he […]

Read More

China Needs New Places to Sell Its Mountain of Stuff

BEIJING — China has too many factories making too many goods. Thanks to its punishing trade war with the United States, its biggest overseas customer isn’t buying like before. So China is seeking new customers. They could prove to be a hard sell. China this week formally restarted its efforts to create a free-trade zone […]

Read More

Lion Bones Are Profitable for Breeders, and Poachers

An international treaty prohibits the buying and selling of products made from any of the big cat species, save one: the African lion. If the animals have been bred in captivity in South Africa, then their skeletons, including claws and teeth, may be traded around the world. Lion parts legally exported from South Africa usually […]

Read More

Interpol Operation Seizes More Than 10,000 Animals in Anti-Trafficking Campaign

Over 26 days in June, world law enforcement officers recovered dolphins and sharks, lion and tiger cubs, nearly two dozen primates and more than 10,000 reptiles, birds and marine animals, Interpol said on Wednesday, announcing the results of a major operation against wildlife traffickers. The campaign, called Operation Thunderball, was coordinated by Interpol and the […]

Read More

Why Xi Jinping Is Courting Kim Jong-un

ImageA picture of Mao Zedong and Kim Il-sung on a remaining section of the Hekou Broken Bridge, which connected China and North Korea before it was bombed by the United States Army during the Korean War.CreditEuropean Pressphoto Agency SEOUL, South Korea — As President Xi Jinping of China left North Korea on Friday afternoon, much […]

Read More

Recyclers Cringe as Southeast Asia Says It’s Sick of the West’s Trash

TELOK GONG, Malaysia — Black sedans with government plates raced through a town near Malaysia’s main seaport, flashing blue sirens as they approached rogue trash dumps. The raid, in the town of Telok Gong this week, was among the latest efforts by officials to shut down unlicensed dumps holding plastic scrap imported from the United […]

Read More