Backgrounders

Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.

The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

Author: Beina Xu

The U.S.-Japan alliance has been the cornerstone of Washington's security policy in East Asia, but rising threats from China, North Korea, and economic recovery in both countries have raised questions about the future of the rapport.

See more in Japan; Defense and Security

Abenomics and the Japanese Economy

Author: Beina Xu

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has focused his second term in office to implementing an audacious set of economic policies designed to spur the country out of its decades-long deflation and sluggish growth, explains this Backgrounder.

See more in Japan; Economics

Governance in India: Women's Rights

Author: Beina Xu

Several high-profile sexual assault cases in India have sparked a national debate over women's rights and the need for social reform in a rapidly modernizing country, explains this Backgrounder.

See more in India; Women

Expanding China-Africa Oil Ties

Authors: Christopher Alessi and Stephanie Hanson

China has increased its economic ties with Africa as it seeks to fulfill its growing energy demands. But China's way of doing business has prompted international criticism, even as its policy of noninterference faces new challenges.

See more in China; Africa (sub-Saharan); Oil