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Asia Blog

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.

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?"

Woodroofe: Clinton, Not Ban, Should Be Next UN Chief

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a press conference at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland, on February 28, 2011. (Eric Bridiers/State Department/Public Domain)
Policy

The United Nations Security Council recently approved Ban Ki-moon for a second five-year term as U.N. Secretary General. But, according to Asia Society Associate Fellow Thom Woodroofe in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation opinion piece, this was the wrong decision. His choice?

Jakarta Globe Lauds Asia Society 'Indonesianist' Rachel Cooper

Future Asia Society Director of Cultural Programs and Performing Arts Rachel Cooper (2nd from left) with fellow dancers Dayu Wimba, Ni Ketut Arini and Ni Made in Bali, Indonesia.
Sustainability

In a laudatory July 4 profile, the Jakarta Globe singled out Rachel Cooper, Director of Cultural Programs and Performing Arts at Asia Society, for her efforts as a performance arts presenter in bringing the arts of Indonesia to U.S. audiences.