For the love—and hate—of factory work


Once regarded as a status job, factory work has lost its appeal to China’s young, notes ANDREW KIPNIS. In China, factory work used to be an honourable profession. The vast majority of the people lived in villages and farmed. The factories were state-owned and located in the biggest cities; they provided better living conditions than […]


The Emperor of India: Modi’s first year in office


Narendra Modi and the BJP were swept to power in 2014 on a promise of major change. PETER MAYER assesses Modi’s record after 12 months. When the results of the national general elections in India were announced in mid-May, 2014 they signalled a major rupture in the established pattern of national politics. Most observers and […]


Vietnam moves cautiously on constitutional reform

BY and

BUI NGOC SON and PIP NICHOLSON glimpse some positive responses to calls by activists for constitutional reform in Vietnam. On 4 February 2013 former Justice Minister Nguyen Dinh Loc  presented a petition, signed by 72 scholars from various disciplines, to the Constitutional Amendment Committee calling for  fundamental and broad-ranging changes to Vietnam’s constitution. Now referred […]

Australia - Asia relations

Diasporas key to greater Australian engagement with Asia


A new report from the Australian Council of Learned Academies argues that smart engagement with Asia is essential for securing Australia’s future. Australia’s engagement with Asia has too often been characterised by short-termism, opportunism and focus on monetary gain. Smart engagement, by contrast, means more than the pragmatic emphasis on economic benefit, and working towards […]

China, Tibet

Democracy takes fragile root on China’s edge


JIE CHEN sees similarities between Tibet and Taiwan in the Tibetan government-in-exile’s struggle to democratise. At the invitation of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)—better known as the Tibetan government-in-exile—I recently joined several overseas-based Chinese scholars on a visit to the CTA’s headquarters in Dharamsala, India. We were warmly received by senior CTA members and some […]


The making of Xinjiang Han


 Much has been much written about the exploitation and cultural repression of the Uyghur population in China’s far-west province of Xinjiang but, says TOM CLIFF, far less attention has been paid to the Han settlers.  Settlement in the urban areas of Southern Xinjiang has recently been made easier in an attempt to encourage Han immigration. […]