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In Sweden, a Bold Step in Language Education — But Will it Last?

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA's Beijing store (pictured) is its second-largest in the world. (xiaming/Flickr)
Education

In bold if not surprising news, last week Swedish Education Minister Jan Björklund called for Chinese language to be taught in all primary and secondary schools, which would make Sweden a leader in Europe.

China Must 'Shoulder More Responsibility' in Dealing With HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS poster in China. (Tricia Wang 王圣捷/Flickr)
Policy

China must be more responsive and responsible with outside aid for AIDS, according to an Asian Correspondent article by Asia Society Associate Fellow Jia Ping.

Fighting Against the 'Dark Omens' of Rising Sea Levels

Rickshaw drive in the flooded streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2007. (Sumaiya Ahmed/Flickr)
Sustainability

Last week, a report in Nature Geoscience revealed that polar ice may be melting faster than previously thought, leading to a more significant rise in sea levels throughout the course of the century. We asked our Sustainability Roundtable to discuss the implications of the warming of the oceans and the subsequent rise in sea levels. What will these phenomena mean for the future development of Asian countries? Are there opportunities for regional cooperation in dealing with the consequences of these environmental changes?

Mark Twain, William Shakespeare and Jiang Zemin

An elderly man looks at portraits of former Chinese communist leaders (L to R) Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and current president Hu Jintao in Ditan Park in Beijing on June 28, 2011. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

As my friends know, it doesn’t take much to make me think of Mark Twain. And even people I’ve never met who have followed my writings on China know about my obsession with Twain, since I’ve managed to bring him into discussions of a wide range of China-related topics, from Shanghai history (he never went there but has a San Francisco-bound fictional character set sail from that treaty port) to the Boxers (with whose cause he expressed sympathy in 1900). So, it’s no surprise that, when rumors about Jiang Zemin’s death flew and then were squashed earlier this week, I found myself thinking of Twain.

Ai Weiwei 'Intensively Dedicating Himself to His Artistic Creation'

Ai Weiwei (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
Arts

The New York Times reports that recently freed Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei — whose New York photos are currently on display at Asia Society Museum — is reportedly back at work. Swiss gallery owner Urs Meile told the paper that he visited Ai from June 30 to July 3 and that the artist was in good health.

China's Looming 'Debt Monster': Problem or Investment?

View from the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai looking over development in PuDong, 2007. (FrankTheFotographer.com/Flickr)
Policy

China has accumulated massive debt through government spending on a "massive stimulus program" and "giant public projects," but the future of such investments is uncertain.

Chinese Investors 'Rescue' Small U.S. Companies 'From a Very Tough Economy'

Detail view of China's 100 yuan note. (David Dennis/Flickr)
Business

U.S. companies recieved $5 billion in Chinese investments in 2010, but it "may be only the beginning of a tidal wave of direct Chinese investment in American businesses," James Flanigan wrote yesterday in a New York Times article on Asia Society's recently released special report, "An American Open Door?"

Asia Must Take Initiative on Climate Change, Regardless of the US

India's Taj Mahal, visible through the surrounding haze, at sunrise. (Tine Steiss/Flickr)
Sustainability

This past week, former American Vice President Al Gore sharply criticized the Obama administration for failing to significantly alter United States policy on climate change and energy. What role should American leadership play in shaping government policies on climate change throughout Asia? Alternatively, what global leadership role exists for developed and developing Asian countries themselves in areas like clean energy and global warming mitigation? Is the possibility of a global deal on climate change completely dead? If so, can it be resuscitated?

Media Zooms in on Ai Weiwei's New York Photos

Ai Weiwei Outside Tompkins Square Park, 1986.
Arts

Opening just seven days after the famed Chinese artist's release from detention for alleged tax evasion in China, the Asia Society Museum exhibition Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993 received immediate and widespread coverage from international news media.

As CCP Turns 90, Time For 'Backward Glances' and 'Symbolic Gestures'

A Chinese military band practices inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing before celebrations start for the Chinese Communist Party's 90th anniversary on July 1, 2011. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

Asia Society Associate Fellow Jeffrey Wasserstrom has a piece in Miller-McCune magazine set to coincide with today's 90th anniversary of the Chineses Anniversary. In "Whose Road Led to Hu’s China?" Wasserstrom — author of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know — asks, "What kinds of historical echoes sound loudest in today’s China?