Weekly Rewind: Thailand's 'Tear-Jerker' Ads, China's Nouveau Riche, and Picking New Zealand's Flag

Soldiers parade in front of the mausoleum of late president Ho Chi Minh, founder of today's communist Vietnam, as the communist regime celebrates its 70th anniversary in Hanoi on September 2, 2015. (Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images)

Welcome to Asia Society’s Weekly Rewind, featuring some of the best Asia-related content you may have missed. This week:


China’s Nouveau Riche Have Landed on America’s Campuses
Yi-Ling Liu | Foreign Policy

The image of Chinese students studying in the United States has transformed dramatically in the last two decades. “For many Chinese studying in the United States in 2015, time spent stateside is but a steppingstone to a Chinese dream — one that’s for sale,” writes Yi-Ling Liu, who analyzes the generational attributes of Chinese students in America today.

‘Violent Outbreaks’ Feared After 13 Yakuza Brass Split
Eric Johnston | Japan Times

Japan’s National Police Agency is warning the nation about the possibility of gang warfare, following a shakeup of Japan’s largest and most notorious Yakuza crime syndicate. Earlier this week, the Kobe-based Yamaken-gumi syndicate ousted 13 leaders of its member factions, causing fear of violence between rival groups. The upheaval is seen as the culmination of long-term power struggles between affiliated gangs.

New Zealand's New Flag: Final Four Designs Announced
Elle Hunt | The Guardian

In 2016, New Zealand will hold a binding referendum on changing the national flag, replacing the British Union Jack design that was first adopted in 1902. Take a look at the final shortlist of four alternative designs, selected and announced on Tuesday by a government appointed-panel.



Thai Commercials: Great at Making People Cry
Richard Macauley | The Atlantic

In the world of television advertising, Thailand is “quietly becoming the world leader in a special niche: the tear-jerker.” Watch five of the ads that have gone viral, including the one below from security camera company Vizer, which has already garnered over 4 million YouTube hits since August 27.

Video: ความจริงที่ไม่เห็นด้วยตา" Official HD : โดย กล้องวงจรปิด Vizer (vizer cctv)

Vietnam Military Might on Display for National Day
Le Thi Minh Hue | Channel News Asia

This week marked 70 years since Vietnam declared independence from France. Catch a glimpse of the massive parade held on Wednesday in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh Square, where Vietnam’s founding father Ho Chi Minh declared the nation’s independence on September 2, 1945.

China Marks 70th Anniversary of WWII Victory over Japan
NBC News

See photographs taken the at parades and ceremonies held on Thursday in Beijing and Hong Kong as China marked the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Japan in World War II. 


Overheard This Week

“We Chinese love peace. No matter how much stronger it may become, China will never seek hegemony or expansion.”

—Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a military parade speech, shortly before announcing cuts of the nation’s military personnel by 300,000 [South China Morning Post]


By the Numbers

23,400 — The estimated number of Yamaguchi-gumi affiliated gang members before Tuesday’s upheaval [Japan Times]

10,300 — The number of online submissions from the public of designs for New Zealand’s potential new flag [The Guardian]

30,000 – The estimated number of people who marched in a military and civilian parade for Vietnam’s 70th National Day celebrations in Hanoi [Channel News Asia


Each week, Asia Blog will feature highlights from Asia-focused feature writing, photography, and multimedia. Do you have recommendations? Please email a link and any related details to blog@asiasociety.org (we regret that we won’t be able to respond directly to each inquiry).

Opinions expressed on highlighted articles are solely those of the author(s), not of the Asia Society.

About the Author

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Tim Lau is a Content Producer at Asia Society. He is a New Jersey native and has also lived in Greater Chicago and Washington, DC.