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Asia Blog

South Korea Wins Winter Olympics — Should North Korea Co-Host?

A man walks along a row of banners with the logo of South Korea's mountain resort of Pyeongchang, 180 kms east of Seoul, on July 7, 2011 after the mountain resort was picked to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)
Lifestyle

Amidst the jubilation surrounding South Korea's victory over Germany and France to host the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, an uncomfortable proposition was made: Should North Korea be allowed to co-host?

On Monday, just five days after the first cheers in Pyeongchang, opposition Democratic Party chairman Sohn Hak-kyu proposed the idea at a meeting with other government officials.

Desai: After Mumbai Bombings, Time to 'Stand Up to Fight for Peace'

An Indian office worker walks past wall graffiti made after the 2008 terror attacks near the recent blast site at Opera House in Mumbai on July 14, 2011. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

It's been just over 24 hours since three coordinated bomb blasts killed at least 21 and injured scores more in Mumbai, India's financial center.

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.

Asian Nations Must Work Together to Fight Rising Sea Levels

Floating fishing village in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. (A. Strakey/Flickr)
Sustainability

Recently, 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?

Asia Society Philippines Welcomes Astronaut Ambassador

See ya later! Malaysian spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor waves farewell at the steps of the Soyuz rocket. (Bill Ingalls/NASA/Flickr)
Lifestyle

The "first and only" astronaut from the ASEAN region, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor of Malaysia (see video below), dropped by Asia Society in the Philippines earlier this month. Executive Director of Asia Society Philippines, Harvey Keh, said the visit was part of a project to "better understand our ASEAN neighbors."

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.

Rising Sea Levels Could Wash Away 20 Million People

Moyna’s home in Bangladesh is completely surrounded by contaminated floodwater. Here, the 10-year-old is taking a bath – the only way she knows to try to keep clean. (Rafiqur Rahman Raqu/DFID/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?

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.