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September 5, 2015


The Marvel of Bánh Mì
Andrew Lam

In the colonial era the Vietnamese appropriated French baguette and added local ingredients to concoct a sandwich that is now a hit with the patrons of restaurants and food trucks from Singapore to San Francisco. Read More

After the Fall of Saigon
Ngo Vinh Long

The Vietnam War lasted twenty years and cost the lives of more than two million Vietnamese and 58,000 U.S. troops. In the forty years since the Communist victory and American defeat, a surprising friendship has followed. Read More

The Globalization of Clean Energy Technology
Neil Bhatiya

Probing the global implications of China’s clean energy technologiesRead More

Images from a Land at War
Robert Nickelsberg

“Face to face with the fragility of the human condition”—a portfolio of a veteran photojournalist’s work in Afghanistan spanning twenty-five years. Read More

A Step in the Right Direction
Neil Bhatiya

Should climate change be left to nation states to resolve? Not on your life.Read More

Eyeing the Generals
Shuja Nawaz

Pakistan is watching the battle of two Sharifs—Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif versus powerful army chief General Raheel Sharif. A political crisis is fueling tensions between the country’s civil and military institutions. Read More

Tray of Candies
Qais Akbar Omar

Kabul Memoir: An Afghan writer recalls family disagreements, and a wise patriarch’s way of settling them. Read More

Road to Gandamak
William Dalrymple

“Not one benefit, political or military, has been acquired with this war.” That was G.R. Gleig, writing in 1843 about the British retreat from Afghanistan. While the West may have forgotten the Afghan hatred of foreign rule, Afghans have not. Read More

New Threat to Afghan Women
Manizha Naderi

Afghanistan has recorded tremendous progress in women’s rights. The world must understand how this achievement is an essential component of the rule of law and advance to democracy. Read More

The Taliban Question
Zahid Hussain

It is unlikely that the Taliban insurgency will topple the Kabul government and return to power anytime soon. But the group could command the Pashtun region—and threaten security in Pakistan across the border. Read More

What Went Wrong
Edward Girardet

The American-led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is proving to be a failure. A military approach thwarted a long-term development strategy for the country. With foreign troops on the way out, the country braces for its uncertain fate. Read More

Compromise in Kabul
Thomas Barfield

Ashraf Ghani became the new president of Afghanistan in a power-sharing deal that followed a contested election. Can he now address poor governance, corruption and the Taliban insurgency? Read More

World Supply and Chinese Demand
Neil Bhatiya

Is Beijing’s appetite for commodities pernicious, or simply pragmatic?Read More

Collapsing Certainties
Partha Mitter

Art history that presents the Western canon as universal creates a world of inclusions and exclusions, undermining local voices and practices. Let us consider a redefinition of cosmopolitanism that demands the study of art in its social and cultural setting. Read More

Through a Hole in the Wall
Dorinda Elliott

Ai Weiwei’s work sweeps from sculpture and installations to Instagram images. Confined to China, he has been hailed as the most powerful artist on the planet. He speaks with journalist Dorinda Elliott about modern art, Chinese culture and snapping subversive selfies. Read More

Cricket Won’t Save South Asia
Fawzia Mahmood

Making the case for normalizing India-Pakistan RelationsRead More

Chongqing’s Challenge
Tom Miller

A Yangtze River boomtown reveals the dark side of China’s rapid urbanization. The skyline looks like another Hong Kong, with towering modern buildings and soaring bridges, but a closer look reveals worsening social stratification. By focusing on short-term economic gains, Chinese leaders risk creating divided cities with expansive slums and ghettoes of extreme wealth. Read More

Consumption Conundrum
Christian Déséglise, Delfina Lopez Freijido

The urban centers of the New Economic Powers are bent on GDP growth to become influential global cities. Yet the Western model being emulated is itself facing serious sustainability challenges. It is necessary to ask whether material possessions and use of natural resources are the best measure of prosperity. Read More

Our Vietnamese Hearts
Andrew Lam

Those who fled the Fall of Saigon in 1975 were refugees traumatized by wars and bound by old ways of life. In the United States, they built new lives in a country known for its fabulous fantasies, high-tech wizardry, and individualistic ambition. For many, the homeland is a destination, but no longer their destiny. Read More

Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750
Ira Hubert

Ira Hubert studies the meaning of Chinese history since 1750. Read More

The Extraordinary Fall of Bo Xilai
Anne Henochowicz

Anne Henochowicz investigates a murder in Chongqing Read More

Tibet’s Voice of Realism
Pico Iyer

The 14th Dalai Lama may be a Buddhist spiritual figure, but pragmatism is all that truly matters for him. He is a doctor of the mind, determined to locate the source of suffering and come up with a practical cure. As the author observed while traveling with him in Japan, it is a message that resonates far beyond Tibet and China. Read More

Unhappy Neighbors
Ngo Vinh Long

China is aggressively enforcing a self-declared zone of sovereignty in wide areas of the South China Sea. Its takeover of disputed islands and arrests of fisherman have triggered growing diplomatic and legal challenges to Beijing. Without a Code of Conduct for the contested waters, the region may become a new global flashpoint. Read More

A Long March into Space
Joan Johnson-Freese

When Liu Yang became China’s first female taikonaut with the launch of Shenzhou 9 in 2012, it was yet another sign that the country is catching up with the United States in the conquest of outer space. Concerning the military motives behind China’s ambitious program, however, it’s time to separate wild speculation from valid conclusions. Read More

Live, from Beijing!
Ying Zhu

Gone are the days when China Central Television broadcast nothing but party propaganda. It is a modern media empire, operationally autonomous and fending off competition from a rising number of rival domestic channels. Now, like Qatar’s Al Jazeera, it is taking on the world. CCTV is a channel to watch. Read More

Rule of the Princelings
Cheng Li

Xi Jinping received a strong mandate to govern during the 18th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China in November. Accelerating economic reform is clearly on his agenda. But how far will he move the country from authoritarianism to democracy? Read More

Waiting for the Next Act
Dorinda Elliott

Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York, has been studying and writing about China for more than fifty years. He speaks with Dorinda Elliott about the recent leadership transition, prospects for constitutionalism, dangers of nationalism, need for greater Washington-Beijing cooperation, and this next phase of Chinese history. Read More

East and West
Nabil Fahmy

While the consequences of Asia’s rise have been exhaustively analyzed in the global context, relatively few have questioned the effect of a rising East on the rapid transformation of the countries of the Middle East. Read More

Seznec on the New Silk Road
Fritz Lodge

There is a new Silk Road quietly emerging that connects the booming economies of East Asia with the oil-rich Gulf states of the Arab Peninsula and, through them, European markets accessible just across the Suez canal.Read More

Drone Wars
Michael Burnam-Fink

Meet the Predator, the unmanned attack aircraft that is defining warfare in the post-Cold War era. Initially deemed useless by the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency, it has become America’s weapon of choice in the War on Terror. With the creation of a new military bureaucracy dependent on identifying and striking new enemies, will Predator missions ever end?Read More

India's Nuclear Power Problem
Monamie Bhadra

The Indian government launched an ambitious plan to expand atomic energy output seven-fold by the year 2022. But a surprising grassroots movement has sprung up to challenge the program. Rather than focusing on worries about cataclysmic accidents, it is emphasizing citizen rights and government accountability.Read More

The Struggle for Iran's Future

The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future. Edited by Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel. Melville House, 2010. 462 pp.Read More

Great Games, Local Rules
Alexander Cooley

The big-power competition in Central Asia is not quite what it seems. More intriguing is how the region’s governments play the U.S., China and Russia off one another for political and economic gain.Read More

Arab Spring Seen From Tehran
Trita Parsi

The geopolitical contest for the region’s hearts and minds Read More

Asia Model for Arab Reform
Ellen Laipson

President Obama’s May 19 speech about change in the Middle East raises some important and enduring conundrums about politics and identity that apply to Asia as well as the Middle East. The U.S. wants to be on the right side of history, and has newly embraced the demand for reform and democracy as a higher-order determinant of U.S. policy priorities than the earlier emphasis on stability. Read More

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