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Book Excerpt: 'The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World'

Picture released on Dec. 19, 1977 of Phan Hien (C, back), Vietnamese Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs facing Richard Holbrooke (R, front) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, during U.S.-Vietnamese talks on normalizing relations between the countries, at the Vietnamese Embassy in Saigon. (Michel Clement/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

On Monday, November 28, Asia Society New York will host a book event for the publication of The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World, a collection of writing by the friends and colleagues who knew the late diplomat and Asia Society Chairman best, as well as excerpts from Holbrooke's own writing.

The Continued Trial of Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, at Tompkins Square Park, New York, 1986
Arts

The Chinese Communist Party continues to make life difficult for the artist Ai Weiwei. Following a three-month detention earlier this year on account of "economic crimes", Ai has resumed his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government through social media outlets like Twitter and Google+.

Is This the Burmese Spring?

US President Barack Obama speaks alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Indonesia on November 18, 2011. (Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

When Hillary Clinton makes her historic visit to Burma in December, she needs to press and prod the government towards reform.

Top Tweets About China's Mysterious Desert Images

What do you think is going on in the deserts of China?
Policy

On Sunday, Gizmodo published a story entitled, "Why Is China Building These Gigantic Structures In the Middle of the Desert? Some in the traditional media have tried to make sense of the mysterious patterns in the desert, and others have bandied about wild guesses on Twitter. We've included some of our favorites below.

Interview: Frank Dikötter, Author of 'Mao's Great Famine' [UPDATED]

Frank Dikötter, author of 'Mao's Great Famine.' (Hong Kong University)
Policy

The author of Mao's Great Famine, which was a runner-up in the 2011 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award, spoke with Asia Blog about China, famine, and why the Great Leap Forward doesn't get enough attention. He also has a few choice words for The New Yorker's Pankaj Mishra.

Upcoming Summits Underscore Importance of East Asia in U.S. Strategy

(L to R) Chinese President Hu Jintao, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stand together for a photograph at the Group of 20 (G20) Cannes Summit at the Palais des Festivals November 3, 2011 in Cannes, France. (Chris Ratcliffe-Pool/Getty Images)
Policy

Earlier today, the Asia Society released a task force report entitled U.S.-East Asia Relations: A Strategy for Multilateral Engagement. This report, compiled by an international group of experts, presents a series of practical recommendations on what the U.S. can do to build constructive relationships with Asian countries.

Taiwan For Sale?

Flags of the United States and Taiwan fly outside Chinatown gate in Washington, D.C. (Flickr/Photo Phiend)
Policy

In today's New York Times, former Harvard academic Paul V. Kane writes that the United States should terminate its defense arrangement with Taiwan in exchange for China forgiving the $1.14 trillion of U.S. debt that it holds. Kane argues that this move would be:

Orville Schell on Walmart and the Greening of China

Walmart in Shenzhen, China. (dcmaster/Flickr)
Business

Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the U.S.-China Center at Asia Society, has an article in The Atlantic discussing how a burgeoning "green movement" has affected Walmart's relationship with China. Are the world's most populous country and the world's largest corporation at the vanguard of a growing environmental movement? Schell isn't so sure:

Video: Chinese Author Murong Xuecun Talks Government (and Self) Censorship

Chinese author Murong Xuecun speaks during the Chindia Dialogues at Asia Society in New York on Sunday, November 6, 2011. (Elsa Ruiz)
Arts

Before he was featured on the front page of the New York Times, the 37-year-old novelist spoke at Asia Society in New York. Click the headline to read and watch.

Amitav Ghosh: Oil, Opium and the Religion of Free Trade

Jonathan Spence (L) and Amitav Ghosh (R) at Asia Society New York on Nov. 3, 2011. (Suzanna Finlay)
Arts

UPDATE: Jay Corcoran filmed some behind the scenes interviews with Amitav Ghosh, Jonathan Spence and members of the audience. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch.)

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The relevance of past to present took center stage at Asia Society last night, when historical novelist Amitav Ghosh drew a provocative parallel between the Opium Wars of the 1830s and the present day.