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Re-Engaging Burma, Containing Beijing

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), seen here with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. on November 28, 2011, makes a historic trip to Burma this week. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Policy

Hillary Clinton’s trip to Burma this week could be a breakthrough moment in U.S.-Burma relations. In every respect, the conditions in Burma are among the most dire of any country. To its credit, the Obama administration recognizes that this moment of change is an opportunity for the United States to help move Burma away from authoritarian rule and into the world community. 

Photo of the Day: Hong Kong Graffiti

Multimedia

A clever take on a typical construction sign with reference to '852,' Hong Kong’s international dialing code and slang for the city itself on November 26, 2011. (Dan Washburn /Flickr)

Interview: Tuong Vu, Author of 'Paths to Development in Asia'

<i>Paths to Development in Asia</i> by Tuong Vu, selected as runner-up in the 2011 Bernard Schwartz Book Award.
Policy

Since the economies of East Asia first experienced broad economic growth in the post-World War II era, academics have debated which factors best explain such success. In his book Paths to Development in Asia, University of Oregon Political Science professor Tuong Vu argues that state formation, more than colonial legacy or geography, played a decisive role in explaining such success. Vu's study was selected as a runner-up for Asia Society's 2011 Bernard Schwartz Book Award.

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: