The Philippines

Martial law in the southern Philippines: understanding the fine print

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Understanding the introduction of martial law on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines is a matter of understanding the fine print. Michael Henry Ll. Yusingco explains Filipinos were caught off-guard by President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law over Mindanao on May 23 this year, however their reaction was one of measured acceptance. In […]

Japan, Japan - Australia relations

Shouting at Japan won’t stop Antarctic whaling

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Protests against Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Ocean are counterproductive and strengthen Japan’s resolve to continue its operations, argues Ishii Atsushi On 31 March 2017 Japanese whaling ships returned home after a four-and-a-half month whaling operation in the Antarctic during the Austral summer, catching 333 minke whales based on Japan’s newly implemented scientific whale research […]

China

China’s Confucius Institute: working to plan?

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Confucius Institutes make a valuable contribution to Chinese language teaching and learning abroad, but Jeffrey Gil questions their impact on China’s international profile China sees promoting the study of its language as a way of conveying knowledge and understanding of itself, its culture, history and politics. The promotion of language and culture is part of […]

Thailand

No obituary yet: Thai democracy and the 1932 revolution

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A modest plaque has disappeared from the pavement at the Royal Plaza in Thailand. Arjun Subrahmanyan considers the wider significance of its removal The recent disappearance of a plaque commemorating the 1932 revolution in Siam shows the suspicion over popular sovereignty that still prevails in the country. The event, staged by a group of commoners […]

Obituaries

Improbable recruit became pioneer and leader in his field

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Emeritus Professor Nicholas Tarling 1931–2017 Anthony Reid remembers Nicholas Tarling, a man of many parts—but above all, the most prolific Southeast Asian historian of this or any age Nicholas Tarling died in the water on 13 May aged 86, continuing to do his regular beach laps in the chilly Hauraki Gulf in front of his […]

Cambodia, Thailand

A peaceful New Year’s gift on the Cambodia–Thailand border

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A small gesture holds a glimmer of hope for a more lasting peace on a troubled border, reports Marnie Feneley On a recent field trip shooting panoramic photographs at Banteay Chhmar, a temple in northern Cambodia, we decided to take a detour further north to see a temple known as Ta Muen Thom. This temple, […]